Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 1,823 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +0.9%
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!
11-03-2010 03:54:44 | More by BEERchitect
4.1/5 rDev -6%
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.
01-16-2010 03:38:14 | More by Phyl21ca
4.1/5 rDev -6%
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.
01-04-2010 20:11:12 | More by womencantsail
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
09-23-2010 17:36:13 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.55/5 rDev +4.4%
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.
11-01-2013 19:16:31 | More by kylehay2004
4.4/5 rDev +0.9%
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.
11-10-2011 03:42:32 | More by Knapp85
4.53/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
05-04-2012 23:55:22 | More by oberon
4.28/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
05-20-2010 12:48:14 | More by TMoney2591
3.73/5 rDev -14.4%
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.
12-02-2009 01:37:12 | More by largadeer
3.48/5 rDev -20.2%
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.
09-18-2009 17:32:46 | More by nickfl
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
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.
11-17-2010 20:31:43 | More by Kegatron
4.53/5 rDev +3.9%
Was down in FL for the holidays and I agreed to pick one of these up for someone in MD. The only place I could find it for sale in Gainesville was a beer bar that sold beer to go. I purchased the rather expensive (for me) bottle of beer and proceeded to drink the rest of the night away. The owner of the bar (and a friend of mine) asked me what beer I had bought to go and when I told him (he had not heard of it, been a busy 6 months for him) he promptly bought another one for he and I to share.
Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass (Delirium tulip). Beer is viscous as it pours from the bottle into the glass, jet pitch as dark as can be black in color. Leaves a residue where the beer hits the side walls of the tulip. There isn't much head or carbonation (its 11% alcohol) but when you swirl the beer a big thick head of really dark brown bubbles (small combining into large) forms and falls away leaving a ton of lacing on the walls. The carbonation level cannot support the head. This beer looks amazing. I've never seen such a dark colored head.
The aroma is overwhelming and complex. The flavor of this beer had better not let me down, the aroma is beautiful. First off its strong. I stick my whole nose into the tulip and breath in. I can smell chocolate and sweet malt. The alcohol is there but its not solventy it adds to the experience and helps accent the roasted coffee flavors. The sweetness is the dominant flavor.
Time to drink finally. The beer was served a little too cold so I held the bowl of the glass in my hand for several minutes enjoying the aroma. Mouthfeel is good, big bodied despite the high ABV, lots of flavors that completely coat the mouth. The alcohol is not as obvious in the beer as it was in the aroma, the flavor is dominated by a strong sweetness (that the alcohol may be contributing to) in the front of a good full malt character and then an avalanche of roasted espresso and coffee in the back of the mouth. Beer continues to surprise by not having an aftertaste. The coffee flavor is present and lingers but there is not secondary flavors. This is a world class beer and one of the, if not the best, Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. I'm sure the oak and cedar aged versions are even more complex and amazing.
12-28-2009 16:46:28 | More by drabmuh
4.4/5 rDev +0.9%
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.
04-30-2010 02:25:56 | More by jlindros
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,823 ratings.