Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

525 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 525
Hads: 2,508
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,185
Gots: 861 | FT: 73
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of backstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with Mushroom Solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

We brew and release Zhukov's in the summer knowing that a beer of this heft reaches its full potential a few months after release. So save a bottle for the cold winter!

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 525 | Hads: 2,508
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into sniffer at Lokal in Miami. $25 I couldn't pass it up...
Pours a deeeep black with tan almost brown head. Looks like muddy coffee...awesome.
Aromas of roasted malts and chocolate with a huge dried fruity raison kick. Taste is huge dried fruit and raison...sweet, but balanced with lots of roasted coffee and a chocolate finish. So smooth..almost chugable. This stout is fantastic. ..would love to have one to age as I bet this would be phenomenal in a few years. But now its amazing. Wow...

 520 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to finally try this beer.

The beer pours a deep, inky black color with a large brown head. The aroma has a ton of milk chocolate in it as well as some roasted malt and a little bit of cream. The flavor is similar, with a hint of light smoke and some very dark fruit up front (mainly prunes, plums and raisins), I also get a lot of chocolate and some very heavily roasted malt. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. An excellent imperial stout, proving once again that when it comes to big, bold stouts, Cigar City is one of the best.

 555 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade thanks to Sebletitje, and another shared by Nick3 and mfielden.

A - Pours jet black and thick with a medium thick brown head, very dark, leaving a small layer of foam and good lacing.

S - Aroma is nice and intense with chocolate, coffee, roast, molasses, and black cherry.

T - Flavor is similar to the aroma and really huge with lots of roasted malt as well as some caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, smoke, and lots of cherry. Some people thought there were actually cherries in this beer. Hops noticeable in there as well.

M - Palate is really full and chewy with a long bitter hop and cocoa finish.

D - High for what this beer is. Overall this is a notch above Hunahpu's even, with a creamier, fuller palate and higher drinkability, although it lacks the nice spiciness that Hunahpu's has.

Oh yeah, does anyone else notice a lot of Communist themes in Cigar City's beers? If this was the 1950's, Joe McCarthy would definitely not approve.

 964 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to robinsmv for this one!

Pours like motor oil... except maybe darker, and thicker. So sexy looking - dark coffee brown head fades to a thin, well retaining film that smears lacing across a layer of oily alcohol legs.

Oh my... bittersweet. Chocolate cookies, fudge... it even SMELLS thick. Damn. Some brown sugar or cinnamon, french toast, molasses... nose-gasm.

Bittersweet chocolates of all kinds, abstract roasted malt qualities, incredibly thick and exceedingly smooth, alcohol character goes virtually undetected... I wonder how many calories are in this bottle. My guess would be a lot, and it's worth every fuckin' sip.

Damn good.

 653 characters

Photo of SockPuppet
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oozes out of the bottle. Almost no head. Thick, chewy, and brash. Chocolate, espresso, vanilla. This beer is great for a chilly night, but I wouldn't touch it in the summer unless I was sharing the bottle. Huge beer.

 216 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light-devouring black pour; dark brown cap slimmed to some collar foam and a vague sheen

S: bittersweet dark malts soaked in molasses and vanilla; faint herbal accents

T: rich dark malt silk brings bittersweet chocolate syrup across the palate; sweet dark brown molasses sweetness, rounded off with a boozy vanilla character; undercurrents of cold espresso with lemon peel

M: silky smooth, dense, lush; bittersweetness lingers along with a slight stickiness; herbal hops contribute a drying effect on the finish...

O: an excellent entry into the big boys of double stouts - right up there with any of your favorites - sure to impress.

 642 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Marshal Zhukov pours out of the bottle like oil that's a couple of thousand miles past due. Very dark and well carbonated..glad it's not from the flat batch. Chocolate colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Big nose. Chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted malt, raisins. Just what you want an RIS to smell like. Very inviting.

T: Everything from the nose is there. Molasses and chocolate are the most dominate flavors to me. Nice complex taste.

M: Thick, rich and coats the mouth, leaving a nice chocolate aftertaste.

D: Alcohol never shows itself at any point..not in the nose or taste. Drinks very well.

From this point forward, when someone asks what is my favorite RIS, this will be part of the conversation.

 777 characters

Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into my 3F snifter.

A: Holy mudslick ! Blackest Black you can imagine, thick and very chewy. Looks like a chocolate mousse on top of a pour of motor oil - absolutely THE BEST if you love BIG stouts !

S: a bit of cherry,fruity, plum, with the barley toasted aroma, really very nice and welcoming.

T: Well, if you have read to here , you KNOW what is coming here - GEE-BUS !!! Unreal, deliciousness, just mouth-coating, smooth, not-to-sweet, awesome and so beguiling. You can't stop comi8ng back for more tastes. Smell the awesomeness, swish it and chew it and let it slowly drip down your throat.

M: thick, smooth, delightlyfully chewy , and just friggin' mouth-coating greatness !

O: EPIC. TOTALLY, will definetly seek out additional bottles.

Thank You Cigar City, signed, Fan For Life - stouts4me.

 823 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, bottled August 31, 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Absolutely gorgeous. Pours pitch black, thick and viscous looking. As it fills the glass it slowly produces a two-finger, dark chocolate brown, thick and creamy head, which has nice retention and spotty lacing.

S- Loads of chocolate and roasted grain, some char, fruit and vanilla.

T- A big rush of malty sweetness, chocolate, cocoa powder and molasses, after a bit some roasty flavors become more dominant, with roasted grain and a huge amount of coffee. Some notes of fruit and vanilla are playing in the background. Slight alcohol warmth towards the finish, but it's very well hidden in general.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation, has a creamy, velvety and slightly slick feel with some lingering chewiness.

O- This is a damn impressive beer, one of the tastiest stouts I've had in the last few months. Everything you could want in a stout is here in a big way and it all works very well together. If you were fighting your way room-by-room through the burning ruins of the Reichstag this is the kind of beer you would want to be drinking.

 1,116 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black with a ruby edging, with no head. Nose of bourbon, coffee, earthy notes, molasses, and booze. Flavors are smooth coffee and chocolate, with a solid booze undertone, char notes, and rich molasses. Wow! Velvety smooth body, with a rich, bittersweet, smooth aftertaste. The finish is slick, with a solid linger. Huge, but drinkable.

 393 characters

Photo of floridadrift
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Crazy how this beer went from being a imperial stout to a sensation. In Florida, fat, ugly and dorky guys drool over this beer.

A: Black

T: Good, a little boozy, some spice and dark figs. Always get them really cold and let them warm down to temp to really, really taste this stout. Warm is where its out.

M: Fresh, carbonated somewhat, without bourbon I can only say so much. Pretty good.

O: 94 out of 100 for Imperial Stouts

 431 characters

Photo of draheim
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (bottled 8/31/2012) into a snifter. Pours a thick, oily pitch black w/ a deep reddish tan head. Absolutely opaque and black as night. This is an impressive looking imperial stout.

Aroma is thick and sticky as well. Molasses, dark roasted malt, rich chocolate, vanilla, dark stone fruit.

Taste faithfully follows nose. Bittersweet chocolate, sticky molasses, rum-soaked figs, espresso, vanilla, toffee, and just a touch of booze. There's a ton of dense sticky sweetness here, but it's balanced perfectly by a sharp, cocoa-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel is chewy and coating; thick and rich. Decadent. Yet it somehow manages to vanish off the palate and finishes semi-dry, leaving behind a nice chocolatey aftertaste that lingers like a rich bittersweet truffle.

Overall, a truly impressive Russian imperial stout and a genuine dessert beer. I was expecting this to be good, but not this good.

 897 characters

Photo of stxSS07
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a tulip. Courtesy of moose3285...thanks Mike!

A- Pours an oil slick black. Chugs out of the bottle. This is the darkest beer I've ever seen. Head is a dark mocha brown...leaves a huge brown film/legs when swirled.

S- Huge. First smell is of dark cacao powder, figs, and raisins. Scents of molasses, roasted malt/coffee. Alcohol is present, but not in a stinging way..I feel like it lends a hand to the sweetness. I pick up some licorice and vanilla on the back end as well. Very complex and I'm sure there are more notes that I just can't pick out individually.

T- First taste is of sweet dark fruits - figs and cherries mostly. Mid-palate I get more dark fruity notes...mostly raisins but coupled with a touch of bittering hops. Huge coffee/espresso finish...lasts forever. Somewhere in there I get the smell/flavor of a fresh pouch of Beechnut. Easily the most complex non-BA RIS I've had.

M- Thick and chewy with adequate carbonation. One of bigger stouts I've had as far as feel goes.

O- As previously stated, this is the best non-BA RIS I've had. The flavor is so incredibly complex and powerful that I almost doubt there were no additives (i.e. coffee) to this. I will definitely be seeking this out again.

 1,229 characters

Photo of ronricorossi
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Thick, rich and chewy. Viscous and frothy. Sweet, with burnt notes at the back end. The bitterness lingers a bit - too much? Bah, no matter. Just about as good as a RIS gets. World class. Got to be in my top five for the style.

 227 characters

Photo of arlo19
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked a year old bottle saved from a trip to Tampa. Bottled 8/20/13

Pour is black as tar! Great dark brown head.
The aroma is chocolate, plum, not much booze.
Taste is similar, heavy malt and not a hint of harsh alcohol.
Slightly dry aftertaste.

 248 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a fudge brown color and a decent head that leaves a nice pattern of lacing behind

Smell: Fudge, coffee and molasses

Taste: Chocolate fudge and molasses, up front, that is joined by dark fruit and citrusy hop flavors by mid-palate; the flavors mesh nicely after the swallow and the finish has a bit of toffee, too

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An incredibly well-balanced example of the style; kudos to Cigar City

 474 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rtratzlaff for the hookup from the employee stash at Cigar City. 12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep motor oil like opaque black with a thin dark tan head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is loads of roasted malts and dark chocolate with some molasses and espresso. The taste is a very sharp kick of heavily roasted malts with bitter bakers cocoa and some espresso and molasses, citrus hops come through a bit as the beer warms. The beer is a bit on the heavy side with its 11.5% abv certainly showing, but this is a very enjoyable sipper. This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout, one I would certainly love to have again.

 648 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Matt for the bottle!

It pours black with a 2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is all sorts of complex; coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, sweet malt, molasses. Wow.

The taste follows suit. All the smells are there with the bottom line of this being a very malty/sweet RIS with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. Super good tasting and the alcohol is hidden pretty well.

The smoothest of mouthfeels with a better drinkability rating than it has a right to, this is simply marvelous.

 523 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black as night, with a sandy brown head and great lacing

S: deep, rich, dark roasted malt, chocolate, toffee

T: I love it when I'm really excited to try a beer and it totally measures up to the high expectations I had. Rich, big, robust, complex, delicious, with hints of chocolate. This is a big RIS, and done very well.

M: Aggressive without being hot, thick, great carbonation level, easy going down, especially for 11.5% abv. As the glass is emptied it looks like an oil slick took place where the beer used to be. Viscosity lives here.

D: I have another bottle in the cellar that I'm pretty excited about. Highly recommended. This is one of the best in the style.

 675 characters

Photo of Demer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter. This beer is huge. Its pitch black with a deep dark brown head that stays the entire time in glass. Tons of lacing. The head is clumpy and awesome. You just know this is a serious beer just by looking at it.

The nose on this once is all roasted malty goodness. Theres some mocha and coffee thrown in to for good measure.

The taste on this beer is awesome. Roasted malts with some sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses. I also get some vanilla. This beer is motor oil thick.

Overall Im glad I have a few more bottles of this laying around. It is a great beer. I enjoyed every sip from first to last. This one is world class.

 648 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Same as Hunahpus with a jet black color and very dark head and lacing.

S: Very complex malt character with molasses, fudge, and smoky malts being most prominent. A little teriyaki saltiness as well, but with plenty of sugariness to balance.

T: Also a great taste with balanced malt notes and a little bit of hop esters as well. Bitter back and big fudge and smoke notes.

M: Very smooth and inviting.

D: Very drinkable for a stout of this magnitude. Another excellent stout from Cigar City!

 499 characters

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2014, aged approximately 10 months before being consumed. Opened at a share in June 2015. Pours a dark black with little head. Super smooth and drinkable for such a big beer!

 189 characters

Photo of humuloner22
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer. Its very dark and really good. Is it worth the hype, or the difficulty to get one? Maybe but I have had just as good that were not nearly as difficult to obtain.

Appearance: One of the darkest beers I have ever seen. Head is pretty benign when it was poured but then it began to rise above the top of the pour for a second or two then settled into a nice lacing pattern. Very dark khaki colored head sits on top throughout the drinking of it and it has a nice clinging lacing pattern on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Not as bold as I would have expected. Its pretty much a chocolate and molasses bomb. Very sweet and roasty on the nose.

Taste: Sweet imperial stout flavors dominate. It honestly reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy which is a lot easier to come by and cheaper. It is what it is, sweet but not too sweet an a lot of molasses on the tongue. It does have a fantastic mouthfeel , smooth and thick but not too much. The roasted notes are not too burned and its not overly alcoholic in the flavor profile.

Overall: I have had a lot of stouts, this is a very good one, on par with some of the best, but its not the best I have had and considering the difficulty obtaining it, I would say its worth seeking out if you are interested otherwise there are a lot of great options out there these days. I would love to try a barrel aged version of this, I imagine it would be amazing!

 1,406 characters

Photo of r0nyn
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. Courtesy of fellow BA infi. Split with him and BA NYManc.

Pours a ridiculous jet back that's completely opaque. Looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle. No head whatsoever, though. A few swirls gives it some sticky lacing coating the side of the glass. Smell is...whoa. Super sweet caramel malts override the senses, along with dark chocolate, coffee and espresso. A bit of warming gives it a little bit of alcohol at the end. Massively impressive.

Taste starts off with some malty sweetness that quickly gives way to all the flavors from the nose. Tons of dark chocolate, espresso and coffee. Just...wow. Everything has a pleasing roasted quality as well, giving depth to the flavor profile. The sweetness is the most pleasant part of the brew, at least for me. That caramel sugary flavor just complements the other nuances so well. The mild bitterness and sweetness lingers long into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, smooth smooth like velvet. Rich and creamy with excellent body and balance. I am quite impressed.

Drinkability is suitably high, thanks to the absolutely delicious taste and superb mouthfeel. The ABV is hidden very well, making this a very dangerous brew. Definitely one of my new favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. I just wish it was more readily available around here. Thanks to infi for sharing this great brew with me.

 1,405 characters

Photo of sukwonee
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

A: Black motor-oil body with one finger mocha head that lingers. Lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate. Smells very close to Hunahpu without the peppers.

T: Yum... very very good tasting stout. Dark chocolate, roasty malt, coffee, some hops. Taste is very... long...(couldn't find a better adjective) and it lingers very long too afterwards - dark chocoalte and bitterness. It's awesome and I think it will age very well too, although it tastes great now.

M: Same and Hunahpu. Thick, syrupy, chewy, awesome.

O: This is probably my favorite non-barrel aged and specially treated stout to date.

 625 characters

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.