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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

513 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 513
Hads: 2,433
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 4.46%
Wants: 1,181
Gots: 821 | FT: 75
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

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
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Reviews: 513 | Hads: 2,433
Photo of ELS
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Picked up a couple bottles of MZ 2014 and decided to drink one now and cellar the other bottle. I had high expectations for this RIS being a big fan of Cigar City but was underwhelmed. Although it has a nice jet black color and layer of tannish foam the aroma did not appeal to me. Smells very boozy and I pick up some notes of licorice and tobacco but they are overpowered by the boozy smell. The taste again was very boozy which didn't allow me to fully appreciate the chocolate, tobacco and licorice flavors. I also found the bitterness to be too much (I like hoppy beers so it's not that I don't like a bitter beer in general). Again, it overpowers the other flavors and doesn't do much for the balance. I'm going to cellar my second bottle for a year or two and maybe all the flavors will come together and offer a completely different/better beer. (860 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared with KRAMER17801 and brewslut on 4/9/10.

A - Poured a black, oily mass with a minimal burnt tan head that eventually vanished completely.

S - Interesting blend of tobacco, leather, smoked jerky, leafy and peppery hop notes, licorice and molasses, which all combines to give this RIS an utterly complex nose, despite the absence of apparent chocolate or coffee notes.

T - Leathery initial flavor with a slight burnt, smoked meat flavor. There is a slight chocolate and coffee presence, but both are overshadowed by thick molasses and bitter licorice notes. Segues into quite a hoppy experience in the backend with leafy, earthy notes, tobacco and more bitter licorice attributes.

M - Full bodied and slick with a fair amount of carbonation. Finishes with a lingering leafy, chingy hop bitterness on the palate.

D - Marshal Zhukov is definitely one intensely bold RIS with complex flavors and aromas. While this wasn't one of my favorite Cigar City releases, I still appreciate the deviation from the typical chocolate and coffee-infused stouts out there. (1,080 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from Saturday – 07/07/12
750ml bottle split two ways into my FW Invitational snifters
(*label is different then the one portrayed above)

Thanks Allen!

A: Pours plenty thick and jet black in color with just the slightest edge of dark mahogany brown. Minimal head that is reddish-brown, nearing maroon, in color. Probably the darkest head I have ever seen on a stout. Very espresso like. Struggling retention and some oily alcohol streak.

S: Smells of very deep roast grain with a nice mix of tobacco leaf, soy sauce, and blackstrap molasses. There are also some hints of licorice root and dark chocolates. Interesting nose. Not bad but the soy aroma is a bit profuse. Not much alcohol evident in the nose either for such a big RIS.

T: Tastes of intense roasted grains with a bit of fudge brownie and a pervasive treacle note to the point that I feel it may have been an actual ingredient used here. Gives off a sweet and tart fermented soy flavor that takes a little getting used to. There are some lesser notes of campfire mallows, black licorice, and a bit of espresso-infused truffle that perks as the beer warms up a bit. Upper level of bitterness with a dose of earthy hop flavors. The alcohol is warming but quite well hidden here. Quite rich and unique. Probably not for everyone.

M: Body is full with a super smooth and creamy texture that lends to a much lighter feel. Really one of the highlights in the overall drinking experience. Carb seems on the lower side. Some nice lingering after coat on the palate.

D: To be opened with friends. A big, rich, and complex RIS with some real unique flavors. Although this one would be difficult to finish all 750ml alone. My tasting partner was not a fan given the soy sauce like accents. The brew develops a bit more of the espresso notes towards room temp which I found nice. All things considered, really well crafted with the 11% alcohol hidden.

Very glad for the opportunity to try this one. (1,963 characters)

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip on 4/25/11.

Pours a black oil color with no head. When swirled there is a nice brown resin that coats the glass nicely. I would like to see some head, any head at all. Nice color but disappointed with the pour.

Smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolate and the slightest of coffee in the background. I would have liked some more chocolate and coffee on this aroma. Strikes me as slightly above average but not great.

Taste is lots of roasted malts and sweet chocolate to start. Chocolate bitterness is also present as well as some distinct fruit flavors in the background. Good taste.

Mouthfeel is what really knocks this bee. No carbonation makes it just feel heavy and milky. Resin sticks nicely but leaving good bitter chocolate and coffee flavors but this really misses the mouthfeel mark and I think that really takes away from all the other aspects of this brew. To bad.

Overall this is a decent beer. The zero carb really throws the taste/mouthfeel characteristic off and while it is good it falls into a region of one and done for me. FIx the no head carbonation mouthfeel problem and this would be an "A" brew. (1,160 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle at the brewery. I'm drinking one now and will try and pick up another one to age.

It's super-black with a deep brown head.

The smell is of roasted malt with hints of molasses and alcohol.

This is a rich RIS, but it's not cloying. Flavors mix to make a typical complex taste.

The body is wonderfully slick.

Overall this is a fine RIS and another good beer from Cigar City. It's a seasonal release, so get one while you can. (448 characters)

Photo of mistakebythelake
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle drank at Big Bad Stout Tasting out of a snifter.

Pours a Jet black with hints of red around the edges of beer. No head whatsoever remind me of coffee with no bubbles. Smeels of slight tobacco and roasted malts nothing else really going on. I did like the slitty smoky taste and roosted malts with a bit of a coffee finish. I did like the fact Zuhkov was very thick, rich and creamy. Definitely a sipper for me. I preferred this RIS then his offspring Hunaphu's. (474 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL champagne style bomber poured into a tulip

Thanks to Jebus3513

Holy thickness. This pours like ink black motor oil. A thick dark brown head with purple hues rises to fill the glass beautifully. I can't get over how dark the color of the head is. Oily brown coating on the glass when swirled.

Intense aroma of espresso, black licorice, dark chocolate, oak, sweet sticky toffee and blackstrap molasses. I wasn't expecting this to be so sweet on the nose.

Even more intense flavors going on here. It's taking me a few sips to really wrap my head around it and give my palate a chance to acclimate.

Molasses and licorice are heavy, while sticky toffe, dark syrupy chocolate and espresso all come in equal waves. Overall, a sweet flavor profile. The roast is low. Very imbalanced and a little tough for me to handle.

Thick, full, rich body with minimal carbonation. Very smooth and luxurious. Awesome mouthfeel for such an intense stout.

This has some really good elements, but the molassess sweetness didn't resonate too well with me. A very good beer, I can appreciate that, but not one of my favorites in the style. (1,126 characters)

Photo of indesertum
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

chocolate head. dark brown/black body. long retention. syrupy in texture.

wow the smell is amazing. everything you could want in a porter/stout. chocolate, roasted coffee, nice dark fruit.

thick syrupy texture. quite sweet. incredible chocolate coffee toffee notes. a little too sweet. some bitterness in the finish, but not enough to balance the sweetness. almost like a dessert beer. way too sugary.

below average carbonation. for an IRS the texture is AMAZING. incredible. almost chewy. like a runny slightly watered down chocolate syrup.

not my favorite. just a little sweet for me. i wouldnt want to drink anything more than a 2 oz pour of this. -_- not sure what to do with this whole bottle now. (706 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle from a trade with mullenite a long long time ago...

A: Pours a dark viscous black with a large dark tan head

S: Smell of burnt malt , ash, cocoa, coffee

T: Bitter cocoa, dark fruit / unripened purple plums and a cloying ashy finish. Some milk chocolate and vanilla mid body taste, along with caramelized sugars and a slight candy sugar presence / cherry. I seem to sense this flavor of belgian candy sugar in many beers but in this one it is really just the from sugars caramelizing. A bit of sweetness is present, not a ton.

M: Medium to thicker body and a medium carbonation.

This was from a trade a while back and I have since turned down purchasing additional bottles that were available. Overall I think I made the right choice. This is good, not great and I am especially partial to having an overly roasted ashy finish and flavor in my stouts. (869 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta give the Marshal another try. Last bottle was 100% flat. 2011-2012 winter version.

A- Pitch black doom into a pint glass with an extremely dark head. Cap is silky like whipped cream and retains very well. Big patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Chocolate drizzled raisins lead the way for me. Also big molasses and roast malts. Seems fairly straightforward.

T- Massive flavor of chocolate and cherries like a really sticky, fudge browny. Big notes of molasses syrup, coffee beans, caramel, and roast cracked grains. Seriously like a dessert in liquid form. Lots of sweetness.

MF- One of the thickest and biggest beers I have ever imbibed. Lower end carbonation does great justice compared to a horrifying flat version. Some alcohol heat and bitterness.

This beer is a BEAST, very thick and like a sweet dessert. Just a bit too sweet for me but I cant hate too hard. Brownies in the liquid phase. (909 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

July 2011 bottle, opened Aug 2012

A - Wow, the pour is liquid bowling ball black. Thick, creamy, milk chocolate brown head with fantastic retention and lace. Zero highlights on the solid black body.

S - Warm booze, balsamic, black molasses, toffee, savory, and anise.

T - Thick sweet molasses, burnt toast, dark roast coffee, cherry and plum fruits, toffee, dry dark chocolate, and cream.

M - Chewy mouthfeel. About as thick as they come.

O - Aggressive flavor profile; this bottle is definitely meant for sharing. It feels more over the top than in balance, which is cool if it's your thing but it's a little much for me. (627 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours black with no head. Thin coffee ring appears as the beer settles. Coats the glass like CRAZY. Did I get duped with 10w30?? Aside from it looking still, it's perfect.

Smell -- Black coffee, cherry bon-bon, bourbon, vanilla, molasses. Beautiful.

Taste -- So much going on: Chocolate cake, vanilla, and black cherry are most noticeable upon the sip, followed by espresso bean and black malt roastiness. Definitely sweet, but with enough black malt acrid bitterness and a modicum of minty hops to keep it from seeming cloying and one-dimensional. There is an incredible amount of bourbon and vanillin flavor for something that is not even partially barrel-aged - it's not, right? Lingering flavors are of chocolate-covered cherries and cafe macchiato.

Mouthfeel -- Thick, chewy, coating.about as close to still as you can get. Carbonation flies past creamy headlong into Angel's Share territory. Having had a few Zhukov/Hunahpu variations up to this point, it seems to be this beer's hallmark. Intentional? Regardless, halfway through my glass it felt like chocolate syrup.

Overall -- This was a delicious beer. The roast/sweet interplay reminded me of a rich desert paired with coffee. Decadent, lots of depth, but man, that mouthfeel is difficult to get over, though looking over a lot of the other reviews. However, after browsing through some of the reviews perhaps I'm the only one? By the last 3-4 oz of my pour it became a labor to get through it was so syrupy. Regardless, good stuff. Consider sharing this with 3-4 friends. (1,552 characters)

Photo of ryanonline
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark, pitch black with the darkest tan you can get without it just being brown in the head. huge lacing.

chocolate, espresso and a touch of resinous pine coming from the hops.

ooh, this one is thick and deep. lots of roast and char with some coffee and chocolate but a very bitter piney finish. a touch too sweet though.

the mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full bodied yet it still retains a certain smoothness, for an 11% alcohol beer, it is masked very well.

wonderful beer, could use some aging though. (521 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing. Poured into a tulip. This is the slowest pouring, thickest oily looking beer I think I've seen. The head is about three quarters of an inch and very very dark brown; it almost blends into the body.

The aroma consists of chocolate and dark fruit. This is mostly sweet smelling with a touch of alcohol.

The taste is full of sweet chocolate malt and cherry like fruit.

This is very thick and the carbonation is soft. This is going to take a while to drink.

Well, I prefer more coffee and bitterness in my stouts. But fans of big, chewy, viscous fruity stouts will be very happy with this one. (626 characters)

Photo of MikeGill
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 2/18/10 at Big Z Beverage in Huntington NY during an in-store event.

Draught beer poured by the brewer into a clear plastic cup.

Pours a menacing black with zero head. Aromas of molasses and black licorice along with bitter chocolate shavings.

Rich and extracted. A shock to the taste buds. Bold favors of chocolate covered espresso beans and burned fruit. Big alcohol warmth. Woodsy with a roasty charred dryness that hits the mouth hard. Black coffee and dried herbs on the finish. A big beer that demands attention. (533 characters)

Photo of jimixr
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured completely black. A very thick and slow pour. Zero visibility.Absolutely no head or lacing.

S- A very nice aroma. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. A little bit of alcohol is present in the smell.

T- Dark fruit up front. Roasted malt and an almost charred taste. Finishes with a creamy almost chocolate taste. A lot of alcohol burn on the end.

M-Full bodied. Very thick and oily. It is almost completely without carbonation, but it doesn't bother me much.

O- A good representation of the style. I wish my bottle had a little more carbonation. It was almost to much to finish my glass. This is definitely one to share. (647 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for opening this one, Torry. Consumed on 11/23/2009 in a snifter. Pours out black like motor oil with a thick, creamy, two finger toffee brown head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered. The chocolate component reminds me of a dark chocolate cake. Booze is noticeable and there's and a dash of

Zhukov's RIS opens with dark fruit (plum, grape, currant) blackstrap molasses, and a strong charred malt character. There's a dash of brown sugary sweetness and vanilla. There's a nice moderate level of black coffee, it's not dominant but evident nonetheless. The chocolate toffee.

The flavor opens with aggressive hops, alcohol, and burnt malt. Blackstrap molasses is evident, as well as a light toffee sweetness. The dark chocolate component is strong, and it reminds me a bit of a truffle. Dark fruit is subtle. The beer is pleasant thus far. Midpalate, the roast becomes overdone and the booze is too aggressive. I can't get over the strong char. The finish is dark chocolate, a strong burnt roast, and coffee. It's bitter, aggressive, acrid, and astringent.

Full bodied with an upper level of carbonation and a sticky, chewy, and syrupy mouthfeel. (1,168 characters)

Photo of Lerxst
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours like motor oil. Pitch black. A vigorous pour produced just the smallest semblance of a head that disappears right away.

S-Strong dark chocolate notes leap out at me first then some charred malt, dark fruit, coffee and hints of licorice and booze.

T-Dark chocolate leads here too, very prominent. The roasty malt is also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Hints of dark fruit gently peek their way through as well.

M-Full bodied. Thick, viscous, coating. Just a hint of carbonation. I'm not one who likes a lot of carbonation, particularly in stouts, but this one could use just a slight bit more. Without the carbonation it kind of reminds me of the old Hershey's syrup in the can.

D-Its a sipper for sure, but it is good and enjoyable. But one is certainly enough.

I really love CCB and RIS's, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. I just expected more. It certainly isn't a bad beer at all, so maybe my expectations were set too high by Hunahpu. (OK, I know Hunahpu is a American Double and not an RIS, but I LOVED that beer, so my stout expectations for CCB were high) (1,158 characters)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 2-26-2011

A - dark black body with some purple light through the edges. No foam of any sort.

S - woody dry chocolate, bitter earthy notes.

T - smoky, dry, bittersweet dark chocolate.

M - robust and smooth, little to no carbonation

D - not bad. Tastes good, isn't too overpowering. (297 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to readbaron for sending this bottle my way! Split and shared with ClarkPinnock [First installment of "A Beer Observed."]. Poured my allotment into a chalice.

The pour on this beer is one of the thickest I have ever seen. This slowly glugs out of the bottle. I can tell there is lower carbonation as there is no head to this at all. I didn't see a wisp of lace until the final few ounces from the bottle. Still, this is one evil-looking brew, and I dig it. The nose is potent with sharp twangs of vinous grapes, molasses, espresso, booze, chocolate. A plethora of aromatic tones.

The body, though low in carbonation, is still pleasant. So smooth and creamy. This is really thick stuff! I'd like a bit more bubble play, but this is alright. If this beer were any less "big," I'd have more of a complaint. The flavor profile mirrors the nose quite. Lots of dark chocolate, wine, mild booziness, licorice, and heavily roasted coffee beans. I lowered the drink-ability on this one, as the alcohol burn just gets to me after awhile, and this is more pronounced as this beer warms. Still, this was one heck of a weekend-starter. Great beer to sip by the fire, or as CP enjoyed it, with a pipe. (1,202 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy bret27. Pours an absurd black color with one of the darkest brown heads imaginable. Dark chocolate aroma, woody and hugely roasty. Flavor is roasted insanity, darkest chocolate and coffee grounds. Almost charred/ashy, a little dark fruitiness. Earthy woody hops, massively bitter. Astringent on the tongue. This one really assaults the palate. It's good, very good, but so robust it's hard to get through. (421 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge, sticky, black as can be, super duper sweet but with enough of a roasty and coffee finish to persuade you that there's some sort of "balance." Seriously though, so so sweet. Really mouth coating and gnarly viscous with hints of berries, cherries, licorice, chocolate, and smoke. If you like sweet and super viscous imperial stouts, try and find some of this. (363 characters)

Photo of popery
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 8/22/10. Good imperial stout but not really a standout. I still don’t really get all of the CCB hype. Pours black with a brown head. Looks pretty thick. Nice head retention. Solid chocolate/coffee/roast flavor. Taste is on the sweet side with a definite, lingering molasses note. Medium full body. Some hop bitterness helps curtail the sweetness. Good beer but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the pack. As a year round beer (and depending on price), it’s very good, but among all >10% stouts, it’s not so memorable. (553 characters)

Photo of bierguru
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -
pours like oil thick and slugish its awesome pours no head but light brown lacing and is jet black

S -
hints of malt chocolate licorice and some roasted flaovrs

T -
chocoalate maybe vanilla roasted notes molassess

M -
a bit dry mildly sweet overall well balanced biterness sweetness

D -
simple and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness split the 750 and glad i did very rich (393 characters)

Photo of mhksuccess
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass
it pours extremely dark almost black
very little head
it smells very smokey
i would say this taste is very smooth, taste of toffee and a sweetness
on the back-end
very balanced hints of lot of flavors but a good mix not one that is overpowering
i spilled a drop with a swirl lol and get a hint of coffee/expresso
overall i find that the hop profile is a little not quite to my tasting
that is why i feel that an overall rating of a 4 possible little lower is what i woudl score
think i may pass on this next time (555 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.