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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

512 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 512
Hads: 2,429
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 1,181
Gots: 816 | 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: 512 | Hads: 2,429
Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (1,033 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (1,902 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (1,486 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,069 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of mendvicdog
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at the DC bottle share at the Smoke and Barrel on October 14, 2012.

Appearance is exactly what you expect in a big stout, dark with a little creamy head.

Smell not that intense, but very pleasant, a little smoke and a tiny tart fruit

Taste is similar to smell; no surprises. The alcohol is hidden well in this beer. Mouthfeel just so smooth.

The whole beer is just what I would call smooth deliciousness. (421 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.26/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,928 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a brown head and awesome retention. Great looking beer.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some dark fruit notes as well as some faint vanilla.

Taste: Quite sweet. Hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit along with the roast. Very smooth with a mildly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is mild and smooth and the finish is slick.

Overall: A bit sweet but very good. I thought everything blended together quite well. I would definitely have this one again. (558 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (1,825 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (2,066 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

~750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a fucking gourgeous fucking head of perfect ideal cream, fantastic ideal thickness, and fantastic retentuion. Just about one of the best heads I've ever seen. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. The retention is just plain amazing for the ABV. Mocha cream head. Incredible.

Sm: Chocolate, coffee, dark malts, cream, roast, and marshmallow. Fantastic. An above average strength aroma.

T: Cream, chocolate, marshmallow, fantastic dark malts, subtle roast, caramel, and some milky notes. Balance is damn near impeccable. That's pretty fucking good. Incredibly well built. It don't get much better than this. Masterfully constructed. Incredibly well layered.

Mf: Amazingly soft and creamy. Smooth and wet. Delightful. Perfect carbonation. Perfect thickness.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the high ABV, which is very well hidden. This is amazingly good. I'd definitely seek this out again. A home run from Cigar City. Surpasses my expectations. Damned incredible.

(1,396 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/22/11 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to Dreadnaught33; thanks Jonathan, another want of mine.

a - Pours a pure black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing; a great looking stout.

s - Smells of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, and cocoa.

t - Tastes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, light vanilla, and light alcohol. A slight step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, nice creamy body.

d - I thought this one was a great RIS. Tried it right before a Hunahpu and it's pretty similiar and equally enjoyable. I thought the alcohol was a little more prominent in MZ and Hunahpu had that spice for the peppers and more vanilla, but can't go wrong with either. Would love to have again. (813 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/11/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible imperial stout. All around awesome complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An incredibly amazing offering. (1,596 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (2,268 characters)

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gtreid for this one.

Poured into stone old guardian snifter.

Pours a small layer of dark mocha head. Fades to a thin layer quickly. Color is a vicious black.

Aroma: Big roasted malt beer. Cocoa caramel, and coffee. Some earthy hops. Dark dried fruit notes, mainly cherry. Some toffee in the background.

Taste: Lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Then i get the dried cherries followed by toffee and earthy hops balancing it out. As the end there is some thick molasses.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and malty, a little dry.

Overall, this is a solid RIS with lots of nice flavors that mix together. This is a sipper for me and I am glad I am sharing this with a few other BAs. I definitely recommend this one for the season. (811 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very thick black, very oily looking and viscous. A small brown colored head forms upon pouring and reduces to a thin cap on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Tons of molasses, it really dominates the aroma. There is some chocolate mixed in, a little bit of coffee, and faint roast. Definitely know its got some alcohol in it as well.

T: The flavor is certainly still full of molasses, but to a lesser extent. The chocolate is more pronounced, with some licorice and faint dark stone fruit. The roast comes through on the finish nicely, not much alcohol presence.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming as it goes down.

O: A big stout for sure. Really over powering in terms of thickness and sweetness, great if it is the only beer you plan on drinking. (779 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, vintage 2011. Split between myself and three other friends, poured into four tulip glasses. After having Hunahpu's I was hoping it didn't ruin Zhukov's for me.

A: Thick and sludgy looking black pour. Medium brown colored head with really outstanding retention and lacing. It's thick, dark and really a great looking beer. The signature Russian Imperial Stout look from CC I'm gathering.

S: Very bold and roasted notes coming off; coffee, chocolate, toasted malts and bitter toffee. A touch of molasses comes through towards the back end of the aroma. It's very nice and although it has a wide variety of miniscule notes in it, the roast profile seems to be leading this down a one-dimensional path.

T: My initial reaction was that this is sweet, and it is. Big chocolate roast, bitter coffee and molasses notes hit first. Coming in towards mid-palate is a touch of anise, with roasted malts in the finish. The sweetness though lasts the entire time and after a while this beer got to be too much for me. I love big RIS but this is missing a serious balance.

M: Creamy, fairly thick, full-bodied with some lower carbonation. There's nothing wrong here other than it finishes a bit more dry than I like, even with its sweet characteristics.

Perhaps I was jaded by the outstanding complexity in the Hunahpu's but this just didn't live up to my expectations. It was a nice sipper with the right elements, but it was a bit too sweet and unbalanced. Perhaps some time in the bottle will do this beer justice but as it stands now, I'm not the biggest fan. (1,568 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Maggie for gifting me with this. Shared over the weekend and poured into a couple snifters. At first glance, this brew looks still. As I was pouring into the glasses, there was no head formation...shit! It looks absolutely black, the black coloration of this brew rivals the darkest brew's I have seen. A swirl of the glass releases a few bubbles which huddle together at the surface with a very dark brown color. More swirls finally form just shy of a fingers worth of head. Faint spotty lace sticks to the glass. Legs of sticky solution seemingly stain the glass and slowly creep down to the water line.

The smell of this brew is surprisingly tangy, unlike any other big RIS I have smelled. Alcohol is present even at colder than ideal temperatures. There is a fruity and citrus hop inclusion which contrasts the dark roasty malt characteristics which smell of chocolate and coffee. As the brew warms, it picks up a light smoked character which deepens the nose with notes of charcoal throughout. The citrus twang this brew has I cannot get over, it is very unique.

The taste mimics the nose. The first thing I taste is this citrus-like tangy alcohol component. Totally unique but interesting and appealing all at the same time. As more sips are taken, fruity and citrus hops are noted along with very dark roasted malts which bring forth a flavor of bitter chocolate, coffee, charcoal, molasses-like dark sugars and faint hints of must. The aftertaste includes some cocoa powder character.

This is a very full bodied, thick brew that is only exaggerated in it's smooth viscous feel due to it's low level of carbonation. It is very complex and enjoyable. A kiss of alcohol warms you up in this brew and seemingly evaporates from the tongue. This is a very well made brew. The carbonation could be turned up a few notches but all in all this is a solid brew. It's no wonder I enjoy the one-offs of this beer so much, this is an awesome foundation to start with and start tweaking flavors. (2,006 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap

Marshal is a black imperial stout oh yes he is. Black with a oil slickness, thick with no light able to peek through. A nice tight off white head with slimy lacing. Smells of deep roasted malt with chocolate and more malt. Tastes consist of the same with dark sweet chocolate and some coffee with some hops to go with it. Dark fruit with some alcohol but not intruding. Roasted malt with some underlining toffee. This is pretty well bodied and nicely carbed, not dead in the water. A nice slick feel with some bitterness in the end. Glad I got a chance to try this brew. (578 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Rhettroactive. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. It poured pitch black in color and very thick looking. It had a dark chocolate colored head clinging to the edges of the glass and scattered across the top of the beer. Great looking beer.

The aroma shows a lot of dark chocolate to it. I get some molasses and caramel sweetness out of it along with a little roasty bitterness. What I start to really notice though is a tart, somewhat fruity presence that has a bit of a raspberry like flavor to it. It gives it kind of a strange twist, but not enough to take away from all the other really good flavors.

The taste also shows a lot of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate to it throughout. The finish is where I get a stronger roasty, coffee like bitterness coming out. Again though I get a little bit of a fruity, tart, sweetness to it that just seems out of place.

The mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the dark chocolate and roasty flavors but the fruity, sweet, tart, raspberry like flavors that I got just seemed out of place in it to me. Good beer but not great. (1,188 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel in DC for the bottle share. Personal review #1500, woah it's been that many already? Off we go, much thanks to InfinityonTrial for bringing it.

It is a bit dark downstairs to truly see but the most impressive thing is a super dark mocha chocolate head that is created. Settles slowly with a whispy top, some speckled like lacing gets stuck in some of the legs, on a classic opaque walnut black body.

Nose hits with what seems like very solid roast coffee, with a mild chocolate sense. Good solid roast body, light bitterness and not burning my nostrils. Pretty solid, not earth shattering, but feels and sense quite decent.

On first sip I feel in love instantly. Wonderful dark rich bitter chocolate, with a creamy ganache like sense in the palate. Roasting warming coffee on the aftertaste. A real fascinating play on the bitter as well, there's this wonderful lime juice on the tongue of hop astringency while finishing. All miraculously melds together even after multiple sips, a warming roast quality of piping coffee, but no boozy character either.

Great beer, truly memorable. (1,148 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 512 ratings.