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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,998 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,998
Reviews: 482
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,054
Gots: 695 | FT: 54
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,998 | Reviews: 482 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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

brentk56, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"I took a speed-reading course and read War And Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

--Woody Allen

Bottom of the Black Sea black with an incredibly thin slice of fudge milkshake colored suds. The almost nonexistent head is no surprise following an almost imperceptable escape of CO2 on crown cracking. Looks (and sounds) like carbonation might be an issue.

There's nothing wrong with the nose. On the contrary, each sniff delivers a blast of dark chocolate and licorice and most other roasted malt-related aromas as well. Firepower is definitely not an issue, so let's hope the same is true on the palate.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout is a massively flavorful RIS that is a better mouthfeel away from greatness. The shortage of bubbles keeps the beer from expanding (opening up) on contact and allowing one to appreciate the finer nuances of the flavor profile. It's still damn good stuff... and what happens with warming comes close to putting the lie to the previous sentence.

There's so much black malt that it could almost be classified as an Imperial schwarzbier. Specifics include high cacao dark chocolate-covered coconut (think Mounds bar), black licorice, blackstrap molasses and a surprising amount of vanilla beaniness. Talk about taste bud saturation. The next highest taste score can no longer be denied.

Rarely has there been a beer of this ABV that is this easy to drink. The alcohol hasn't hit me yet, but with each mouthful becoming a large gulp, it's bound to soon. The mouthfeel is not full, but it's probably just a lack of inflation rather than a barley deficit. Oh, what could have been.

Cigar City is on the right track with Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, an RIS that means serious business. If they can get the carbonation kinks worked out, this big black ale has a chance to be... wait for it... legendary beer. Thanks to ktrillionaire for the opportunity.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A crazy-stupid stout that works magic in how it comes together in an ultimate robust mouthfeel, chocked full of roasty coffee, cocoa, and rich maltiness. Not overley complex, but it doesn't have to.

The pour brings an oil-like volumpuous pour that brings up a thick and building character both in volume and in head formation. Deep brown in color the head forms a dense and weighted froath that simmers to a lace along the glass and with intermitten pockets of creme. With each swirl, the beer coats the glass with inky brown legging. Both intimmidating and alluring all in one glass.

Rich aromas of roasty espresso, heavy toast, and roast (almnost ashy). Cocoa and malt counter against the harsher edges of roast while contributing layers of robust flavors that blend well with coffee- including cherry, licorice, and soy/sherry.

Boastfull, almost brash, flavors of intense coffee/cocoa completely take control of taste with any other rival flavors playing minority roles. Dense roast, espresso, cocoa powder, and charred woods abound. Malty flavors begin to display molassas flavors but low on sweetness. Malty rich with a dry toast character. Low on cherry, berry, anise esters, these only decorate the peripheries of the beer in the aftertaste.

Very boastfull with thickness and chewiness, the beer makes no appologies. Sweetness is foregone in favor of dry toast and powdery/chalky feel (again, almost ashy). Though the beer waivers from its full-bodied start because of alcohol thinning, it retains such weight and velvety richness to carry it well into the finish and lingering into an eternal aftertaste.

This is one serious Stout!

BEERchitect, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a very dark brown color head with great retention and some good lacing. Aroma is very complex with a mix of black chocolate, coffee and some nice roasted malt with loads of other complex flavors that are very hard to describe. Taste is also a very complex and enjoyable mix between some black chocolate with light lactic sugar and some coffee notes, Body is very full with great carbonation and I thought I smell a little bit of phenolic alcohol. I am glad to have tried this one and makes we want to try some more beers form this brewer.

Phyl21ca, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +3%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Greg is the man, nuff said. Another one I can finally cross off my list, I was able to open this one up and go to town on it last night. Served cold and poured into a snifter over the course of a couple hours, this one was consumed on 02/11/2010.

Best pour that could have happened, hands down. Simply astounding with the deepest, darkest black color possible and a huge, towering head of dark tan that nearly over topped the rim of the glass and simply refused to go anywhere. Could not have asked for it to look better, perfect. Could smell this one from across the room. Dark molasses, coffee, dark, dark chocolate just filling the air. Hints of dark wood, sweet, licorice, just an immense, immense aroma coming off of this one, I was really, really impressed from the start. Each sip seemed fuller more intense and luscious then the one before. Dark chocolate and coffee and dominant now, with vanilla creeping in but not overtaking, then a smack down of lightly bitter coffee seals it and I am in love. A full on RIS, this is what it is all about. Warming brings the coffee out front and center and everything starts to become clear now. Really just is impressive, impressive beer. One of the fullest feels, similar to Dark Lord or Abyss in that department, outstanding balance and flavor and could not ask for it to come across more full.

Overall one of my new favorites. I cannot even imagine what Hunaphus will bring if this one is as good as this, I am just beyond impressed.

mikesgroove, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +3%

jaydoc, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: You can't get much prettier than this beer. A thick, black motor oil like pour with a surprising amount of mocha colored foam.

S: Pretty standard RIS aromas coming out of this one: coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, and some dark fruits.

T: The chocolate is the most prominent flavor coming out of this beer. The coffee and roasted malt provide a bit of contrast and bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A nice viscosity to it.

D: Not a bad beer. I guess my expectations were a bit high for this one, but the flavors were a bit underwhelming, unfortunately. Still a good RIS, but not the best.

womencantsail, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very dark three finger thick head on a jet black body. Initially after the pour it's hard to find the head - body transition, an interesting finding. The head stays forever it seems gradually releasing aroma of sweet and dark chocolate, roasted malt, oak/rum, brown sugar and vanilla.Flavor follows with a very complex and dynamic character. Opening with cola, milk chocolate and cream moving to dark chocolate and roasted malts finishing with vanilla and coffe, a great beer. Full, thick body coating the palate and light carbonation. This one lives up to the hype and expectation. A must try.

kylehay2004, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was something I had been looking forward to tryin for a while. Finally opened a bottle with some friends last night and was blown away by how beautiful the beer was. The blackness of this beer is great. The head is very dark brown and creamy thick. The bubbles struggle to come to the top of the beer. The smell is of molasses and coffee, there is a ton of dark malts that give off a burnt aroma also. The taste of the beer is very nice, I love the bitter sweetness that the beer has. It's sweet, roasted and dry. The mouthfeel is thick and very oily. Overall this beer was a real gem. I liked this quite a bit. I'd love to have this one again sometime.

Knapp85, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slowly trudges out of the bottle a cumbersome, inky black body with a brief, dark brown head.

Smell: As one would expect, it has a deeply roasty nose, with vast notes of French roast coffee, unsweetened chocolate, London demerara. Lighter hints of vanilla and smoke tucked in as well. I'm rather perplexed about the amount of woodiness held within the nose, and did a double-take at the bottle to make sure it wasn't really from the cedar-aged group.

Taste: A weighty helping of blackened, roasty maltiness. Bittersweet chocolate sauce, blackstrap molasses, and rightly smoky carbonized coffee beans. Very light hint of vanilla. Slight dark fruitiness. The sweetness is offset by a fair amount of bitterness. This beer has a noted woodiness to it, especially for NOT being from the Humidor series. Warming in all the right ways. Prolonged, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Near-full mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Good, satisfying, and soothing. This beer is going to pay for itself by lowering my blood pressure several points.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the deepest pour of any stout I have come across,jet black with a deep cocoa powder colored thick creamy head,just awesome.Deep molasses and coffee aromas really stand out when pouring,some roasted nut and chocolate round out an aggressive aroma profile.Thick and creamy feel to the beer makes it glide down to easy.Flavors of black strap molasses and chocolate start out on the palate wich is somewhat sweet but not overly so,French roast coffee and mild earthy tones keep the beer balanced and more quaffable,the alcohol is there but it didn't make it less drnkable.Wow this is a brash bad ass imperial stout,no wonder the high ratings,one of the best beers I have had this year...if not the best.

oberon, May 05, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +3%

JAHMUR, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by either mfielden or nick3 at a recent Cigar City tasting - can't remember exactly who provided this one as there were a ton of Cigar City beers.

Pours completely pitch black, and it's even more black in the glass. A thick finger of dark brown head forms and retains very well. Cigar City know how to make an impressive-looking imperial stout, I'll give them that.

The aroma is tar-like, intensely roasty, ashy, burnt. Unsweetened chocolate and anise come to mind. Blackened, burnt. This borders on being horribly acrid, but it manages to remain somewhat pleasant; it really is right on that fine line though.

The taste is, unsurprisingly, massively roasty and charred, with quite a bit of tartness and acidity from the enormous amount of dark malt. Cherries, burnt bread, tar, charcoal. This is intense, but it's surprisingly tasty. While it's not something I'd care to drink often or in quantities larger than 3 ounces, it's a pretty decent little beer. Condolences to Overlord for drinking an entire bottle solo.

largadeer, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

SocalKicks, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Many, many thanks to HeyOhhh for this beast.

When I think of Soviet Russia, darkness comes to mind. A sky so dismal they're begging to see the glorious sun of Highland Scotland, bitter winters, the eternal dread of the oprichniki: they all seem bright compared with the darkness currently sitting in my snifter. Motor oil, chocolate syrup, and pitch could be used as a comparative image, but they all fall short. This is Russian darkness at its finest. Even the finger-thick foamy head is dark, the second-darkest head I've yet seen (I can't really remember the darkest, but I know there was something darker than this one). Just as the Russian people could not escape the gloom of the Soviet bootheel, light cannot escape from this brew. I know I've gone a bit overboard in discussing the look here, but I was amazed by the bleakness oozing thickly from the bottle during the pour. Now, as distinctively Russian as the appearance is, I'm not sure how Russian the smell comes off as being. Heavy doses of chocolate and anise are joined by rabbit punches of black cherries, coffee, and tobacco. I'm sure you can come by these in Russia, but they're not recognized as Russian things. You know what I mean? Upon drinking, the good Marshal himself lets his troops loose: Whole divisions of bitter chocolate, brigades of tobacco and cran-black cherry, and skirmishing squads of leather, figs, burnt toast, molasses, and nutmeg. The victory is quick and one-sided, a Russian version of Austerlitz. The occupation then begins, and these troops make sure they bring every nook and cranny of the tongue under complete control. Despite this lingering and brutal occupation, a dearth of active carbonation, and a healthy, semi-perceived alcoholic content, the drinkability is dangerously high here. I just can't seem to get enough of that grinning soldier on the bottle and the brew that bears his name.

TMoney2591, May 20, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

emerge077, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. an extremely impressive stout here, one of the best ive ever had. who needs a barrel when you've got Zhukov? luxurious pour, velvety dark chocolate color with a rising bubbly and thick mocha head. so so dark on the malt. its short of being burnt, but its chocolaty and a touch smoky in the nose, and more earthy and mineral heavy in the flavor. in certain high end espressos, the connoisseurs tell you to look for blueberry and other fruit notes. I get that here, amidst the coffee notes, some dark fruits as well, very nice, subtle complexity. chocolate too is robust, not sweet but bitter and raw. the darkness of this is lovely, so deep and rich, but im finding it a lot more drinkable than I should at 11% abv. my friends left right after we cracked a 750 of this, and im having no trouble at all doing the heavy lifting here. full bodied but not filling. im enjoying it more and more as it warms. this is a world class example of the style, and proof of the fact that we don't need to put every stout out there in a bourbon barrel to make it special. brilliant stuff from cigar city.

StonedTrippin, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of nickfl
3.48/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - No head and an oily, utterly black body.

S - Mocha, coffee aroma. Some subtle smoke and caramel with a hint of boozy alcohol.

T - Spicy, medicinal and alcoholic. Very strong roasted grain flavor with a little bit of chocolate as well as some licorice and rosemary.

M - Thick, heavy, oily body, low carbonation, and a sweet, coffee like finish.

D - Drinkability is practically nonexistent; this is a huge, thick mess of a beer. It is obviously complex, but the alcohol is so rough that it obscures the character of the beer. I would guess that this has the potential to turn into something great, but it seems like it will take at least a year or two of aging for this beer to come together.

nickfl, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bomber into a couple of tulip glasses. Thanks go to Jw347 for this in a recent trade.

Pours black as motor oil coming out of the bottle, topped off with a ½ finger of burnt and blackened looking dark mocha head. There actually isn't a whole lot to the retention or lacing on this, as this peters out pretty quickly, but the amount of sticky brown oils that it leaves down the sides of the glass has you anticipating the dark decadence to come. The aroma is sharp in the nose at first with roasted coffee character, before a gooey smelling mix of chocolate and caramel malts rise up underneath. Citric green hops add some fresh green balance to this. Lot of beefy power here to the nose but I'm not getting any heat, as this merely amps up the robustness of the flavors.

The taste is thick and tangy in the mouth with chocolate fudge and toffee character up front. This is enveloped by crunchy burnt notes of roast and coffee, while a solid tingle of green and earthy feeling hops runs through the middle of the profile. The backend is heavy with leftover sweetness and citrus flavor before leading into dry roasted and zippy espresso finish. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and VERY chewy in the mouth. That 11% ABV is just beautifully hidden here, as you can feel just how big it is as it sits on the palate but there is absolutely no heat signatures coming out of this at all. Beefy but not boozy. Fantastic feel!

While not the most complex RIS out there, this doesn't have to be, thanks to the robustness, power, and most importantly balance of all of those huge flavors that are involved here. It's no wonder that this makes a perfect base for all of the different varieties that they put out of this beer. Just a well crafted Russian Imperial Stout with the alcohol content being right where I like it.

Kegatron, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Cigar City beer. Can't wait to try it. Got this thanks to either msulinski or mikereaser who each got me a bottle. I got me a bottle to drink nows and one to ages fer the ages.

A: An aggressive pour into my SN 30th Ann. tulip/goblet/snifter glass yields a large 2+ finger black colored head that slowly fades and leaves its mark on the sides of the glass. The beer itself is so dark it makes "pitch black" look like yesterdays gray.

N: The word on the street, or in the glass is roast. Tons of it, that is. Lots of coffee with that, some black patent malt, crystal malts, sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, etc. Some earthy hops in the background as well. A slight creamy chocolate comes through lightly. A touch of booze. Reminds me a lot, and I mean A LOT! of Imperial Stout Trooper.

T: Wow. Pretty thick and kinda rich. It has that marshmellow and nuggat like taste that NightStalker had. Thick and chewy. Lots of malts, crystal, black patent, and tons of roast. Lots of roast and coffee. Some minerality with lots of scorched malts and some bitterness that comes with that. Some earthy spicy hops along for the ride. Some warming booze, slight alcohol sting and boozy taste. Semi sweet, and comes with some caramel. WIth that is a slight sweet candy bar, touch of bakers chocolate, creamy oatmeal, and nuggat.

M: Thick and creamy, semi smooth, chewy, and marshmellowy, with decent carbonation.

F: Finish is pretty dry and gets really bitter. There is a nice combination of dry charred earthy scorched malts that adds a bunch of bitterness and a little minerality, as well as chewy earthy hops. A nice hop finish really. A touch of lingering sticky sweetness, and lots of lingering roast and coffee. Lots of lingering malts as well. Some bitterness and minerality on the back of the tongue as well. It really coats the mouth and sticks around. A touch of warming booze, but being 11.5% it hides it really well. I like this one, but it's hard to drink an entire 750ml by myself. I would like some smaller sizes or have to share with a friend next time.

jlindros, Apr 30, 2010
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,998 ratings.