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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout | Cigar City Brewing

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95
world-class
531 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
531
Ratings:
2,550
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
9.81%
 
 
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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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

Added by BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 531 | Ratings: 2,550
Photo of EricCioe
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours deep black, one of the most viscous looking beers I've ever seen, which surprised me given the Huna that we had right before this. On the nose there is a giant roast component, dark fruit and vanilla and molasses. This is a very sweet beer. In the mouth the roast provides a base for molasses, dark fruit, and some smoke to play around on. The body is thick, one of the thickest I've ever experienced, with a long finish of the various flavors fading together.

Overall, I'd drink this over Huna all day long. There is enough going on in this beer, and to me Huna pushes all those flavors over the edge. While you can't call this balanced, for a big stout everything sits well together.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night.

Pours black with clear, amber edges. No real head on my pour and no lacing. Thick and viscous pour.

Heavily roasted malts with black licorice. Heavy char.

Very little carbonation on the mouthfeel, as well. Lots of heavy char and licorice.

Big and tasty.

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Photo of ubenumber2
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours midnight black with an almost black head , smells of toasted malts and chocolate , thick tasting beer , almost like taking a bite instead of a drink. Overall this is one of the best Non BA stouts I have ever had , glad I have more put back and will be tracking more down

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle with a year of age on it.

A - Black with a nice beep brown small(ish)head.

S - Big. roasty, chocolate, malty

T - Like the nose. Chocolate, roasty, coffee, malty. Very smooth.

M - Very thick, slightly oily. Coats the mouth.

O - Very good. Up there witht the best imperial stouts.

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Photo of Pete27lax
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2011 bottle on 11/25/11

The look of this beer is the perfect view of an RIS in my opinion. A sludgy, oil like pour comes out with a solid 1 finger head. The word black simply doesn't do this beer justice, incredibly dark and dense. Fantastic appearance.

Smell was great as well. Very sweet, molasses is there upfront. Roasty coffee and chocolate are there but take a back seat to the sweet molasses. A tiny bit of the alcohol is present but expected due to the abv.

Taste, though very good as well, was the low point in this beer. (which is definitely not a negative comment) Roasted notes are very noticeable, especially in the after taste. Taste is extremely sweet, dark fruits and molasses. Chocolate also adds to the sweetness. I also have to note how there is no trace of alcohol in the taste which is very impressive.

Can't say enough about the mouthfeel. This is what my ideal RIS feels like. Thick, dense, sticky, all the way through. Really stays on your palate for a while which is just great. I have yet to try a stout with a mouthfeel as impressive as Zhukov (though I have yet to try Dark Lord).

Overall one of my favorite RIS to date. Great all the way through and can't wait to see how this does with some age!

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Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a mid-sized, creamy, tan head. Great retention. The aroma is a swirl of chocolate, and espresso with hints of vanilla and molasses. Full-bodied and very creamy with some carbonation. Sweet chocolate and bitter coffee flavor. Well-balanced. Lengthy, burnt, bitter finish. World class imperial stout!

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Photo of mikey711
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from Dstructo.

A: Pitch black. No light can get through this beast. THe head is brown and bubbly and leaves very nice lacing.

S: Smokey/peety is the first thing that I detect then a bit of roast, coffee, and chocolaty sweetness. It smells a bit likt scotch. As it warms some of the smokiness fades more into chocolate.

T: The smokiness still comes through and is very enjoyable but it is much more balance with the roasted malts and bitter chocolate. The bitterness is mostly in the finish.

4: Rich, creamy, bold. The bitterness from the chocolate lingers a bit too long for my liking. No chalkiness and no booziness.

D: I plan on enjoying this one for a long period of time while splitting the bottle.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into my tulip. 2011 vintage.

A – Black. Beyond black. Huge 3 fingers of creamy deep dark brown head that just clings to the glass. Looks like chocolate egg cream froth.

S – Dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, coffee, vanilla.

T – Huge and heavy roasted malts immediately. Full dark chocolate taste right after but not making this overly sweet. It is there but its not a super sweet stout. Vanilla and molasses present. Has a nice bitter effect at the end. Warming alcohol finishes it off.

M – Thick and creamy. It totally coats your mouth from corner to corner. Viscous is the word. Nice.

O – Excellent stout. Its got a great complex taste. Leaves you wanting more. Was an easy drinker considering the ABV. Glad I bought a few of these.

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Photo of zachary80
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, great lacing, very good head that fades but stays stronger than normal.

Smells fairly average for an imperial stout.

Taste is heavy roast - a little rough but still pleasing.

Very heavy mouthfeel - one of the heaviest, and fits well with the flavor.

Overall a great beer but not my favorite IS.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this CCB brew. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pretty freaking nice. Absolute clear separation between the body and head. Poured a dark black color...almost like the color of an infinite abyss. Zero visibility. Produced three fingers with of cocoa, tan colored head. Stellar head retention and some lacing as consumed.

S- A very nice aroma indeed. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. While this dominated, I could pick up a nice subtle layer of sweetness underneath...almost like molasses.

T- Bittering, chocolate malts and slight fruit character upfront that quickly transitions into a roasted, charred flavor. Finishes with a tad bit of creamy, sweetness and a decent amount of heat.

M- Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Wished this was a little more viscous.

D- With the level of bitterness upfront, and then the heavy charred flavors and big alcohol heat on the back end, my one glass became a pretty big chore to put down.

Overall, this is only my second beer from CCB, but I have not been impressed whatsoever. It was dressed for the part and had a pretty decent aroma, but just really fell apart in the other three areas. Hopefully they can prove me wrong down the road.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all. Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable. Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation.

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Photo of azorie
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is outside of the UK, this is best example of a prefect RIS, there is IN FLORIDA.

rich creamy sweet, dark chocolate taste, just heaven... really the rest is just for the eyes.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks Kevin for sharing this.

A- Pours a thick dark black body, ½ finger tan chocolate head, nice lacing, very opaque, decent carbonation.
S-The aroma is very nice, cocoa, dark malts, vanilla, some brown sugar, big roasted notes, coffee, caramel.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma, cocoa, chocolate, hints of vanilla, brown sugar, nice roasted coffee comes out as well, caramel, slight dark fruits (cherries, plums) dark malts.
M- Big mouth feel, thick body, well carbonated, smooth drinking.
O- This beer was enjoyable, I have yet to come across a CCB beer that was a disappointment, I would love to revisit this beer some time down the road.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Richard H..), unknown vintage (2013?), poured into a BBA snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes

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Photo of beerhan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into a wine glass. Thick black motor oil. Very glad this was split among 8 of us or so. This stained the glass for sure. Smells like straight up booze with some dark chocolate and licorice in there. Tastes incredible especially as it warms up. There are some subtle cocoa notes as well as a hint of coffee towards the end. It is sure a sipper. It feels so thick and chewy in the mouth it is a meal in itself. This is a delicious beer but it is really hard to get down unless you take real small sips but nonetheless very memorable.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2012 vintage 750 ml bottle into a Cigar City Brewing branded snifter

Pours a thick, viscous dark midnight black capped by by a dark brown one and half finger head. I'm always amazed by how Zhukov pours; this is one huge, thick RIS. Strong roasty malt, bakers chocolate, boozy alcohol, and dark fruit. One sip brings an explosion of flavor, charred dark chocolate malt, huge plum, prune, and black cherry notes, molasses which finishes with continued bold roasted malt, dark roast coffee/espresso, and warming alcohol. Ridiculously complex. The mouthfeel of this brew leaves nothing to be desired, huge and viscious, oily, velvety, creamy and silky. The most full-bodied brew that I've ever had and possibly the best mouthfeel of any brew I've had. As far as I'm concerned Marshal Zhukov is the one of the standards for Russian Imperial Stouts. Quite possibly the best brew I've ever had in the style.

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Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beast of a beer all around.This is up there with Ten Fidy,Speedway stout...and any top non barrel aged beer.this one can compete with the best of them.Would love to try the BA version.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerDan23, again...another thank you Dan! Pours from a 750ml capped bottle into my Portsmouth tulip/snifter glass. Pours a dark color, not as black as Hunahpu's...almost creamier in appearance. Pitch black in appearance in the final pour. Huge toffee colored thick creamy, yet frothy head with great retention! Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing around the glass.

Aroma is inviting! While a roasted coffee like aroma is the most prominent, the sweetness resides in the back ground leaving my mouth watering! Not an incredibly strong aroma, but solid, and good!

Not as sweet as I thought it would be, but very good none-the-less! Huge chocolate notes, semi-thick malts, only a slight sharpness from hops rests in the background. Mouthfeel is creamy, milky, semi-thick body. A wonderful heat/burn in the mouth and down the throat from the big ABV. I really, really want to try the BA version of this! Carbonation is pretty low, but perfect for the style. Another solid and tasty beer from Cigar City!

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Photo of unclejimbay
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Potentially impressive beer, but unfortunately lacked any carbonation, non whatsoever. I have heard that carbonation may be an issue with this batch, and this bottle is indeed a victim. Purchased ~10/2010 from Broudy's Liquors in Jacksonville Beach, FL. This was a recently delivered batch in October 2010. I opened the 750ml bottle on 1/17/2011 which had been cellared at 68F for ~ 3 months, opened on time in January as suggested on the bottle. This is the first problem Cigar City beer I have ever drank over the past 2 years more than a couple dozen or so 750 bottles and kegged beers.

Dark brown/black in color with no head or carbonation.
Aromas of dark roasted malts, coffee, unsweetened cocoa.
Tastes as it smells, with some mildly sweet boozy abv, much less bitter than I have seen others noted.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, as thick as a beer can get. Poured like motor oil on a cold day, with no carbonation at all.

I hope to try this again with proper carbonation. Seems like an impressive big daddy stout when enjoyed as intended. I will standby for another taste.

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Photo of baggio
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[email protected]

A: Dark as coal with a creamy brown head.

S: Caramel, Chocolate, Roasted malts, Butterscotch.

T: Caramel, Roasted malts, Milk chocolate, Cocoa, Ripe fruit.

M: Low carbonation and very high residual sweetness in this one. Smooth and robust.

A good imperial stout that reminds me of 3F Dark Lord because of the big sweetness. Very good stuff.

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Photo of QuentinCall
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

"I just wasn't prepared for it to bitchslap me with every sip."

This beer lumbers out of the growler: viscous, jet-brown and seemingly denser than physically possible. A foamy head the color of wet sand and milky espresso blooms and slowly settles to a sizable and velveteen layer. It's fascinatingly dark, honestly, darker than Expedition, darker than KBS. I feel like congratulations and chain e-mails and newscasts are in order to acknowledge that Cigar City has made the Black Materia of beers.
The roast profile of this beer is fairly astonishing and forthrightly stands as the dominant aspect of the nose -- a capacious and multi-faceted coffee foundation (somehow concurrently bright, earthy, robust and sodden) roundly supported by raw chocolate notes, a substantial dose of oak and traces of syrupy stone fruits.
This is an aggressive beer. The roast is translated and follows logically to the taste. Again, coffee dominates at every turn but it is, mostly, fitted neatly to lovely moments of bittersweet ganache, bourbon, and molasses. And while I think its delicious as well as a potential touchstone for its style, its also a little overwhelming for me. Simply, super heavy + intensely upfront roastiness = the slowest of sippers.
The mouthfeel here is the key asset and what ultimately clinches this for me. It is plush, wet, not overly carbonated (which I can easily imagine dooming this one) and not as sticky as the nose could very well lead you to believe. Thankfully, it lasts for a while and not much longer.
This is a massive and blatantly militant beer that could readily be construed as magnificently executed or somewhat overwhelming and unbalanced. However, what I feel is the most important thing to keep in mind: be amongst friends, you probably shouldn't drink this one by yourself.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City may be the first great Florida brewery (although I am also a big fan of St. Somewhere). I've had several of their beers now, and other than the Jai Alai, they all have a similar taste profile. Somewhat smokey, espresso like flavors. This one is very well balanced, even a bit on the sweet side. Dark as motor oil, very little head. ABV does not overwhelm, and the beer gets better by the sip. Already one of my favorite imperials. I have yet to have a Cigar City beer I didn't like, and I hope to make it to the brewery at some point.

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Photo of uvachief
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a brand snifter glass. Pours a deep dark mocha chocolate brown almost black with a thin layer of tan head that dissolved quickly leaving a trace of oily residue. You can smell the toffee and molasses in the nose. Going to be sweet. First sip is toffee, chcolate, molasses with a touch of high end espresso coffee. Sweet but overly sweet. To be honest, tastes a heck of a lot like The Answer Good Night Mekong. Maybe a little thicker but still not Surly Darkness thick. Similar to Hardywood Trickery or Brothers Resolute. Coffee is buried on the backend. No abv burn detected halfway through the glass. Cherries coming through now. Just slides down like a raw saghaw molasses. I could probably drop a biscuit on this. Super good stout.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to RyanSchwam for this monster. My first CCB ever!

A - pours jet, jet black. One of the blackest beers I've ever seen. Lots of head, almost a waterfall effect like Guinness. The foam is the darkest brown. Great looking beer.

S - lots of malt, some hints of anise and coffee, maybe some chocolate on the bass note. The alcohol is detectable, but not overbearing.

T - I've been into Ten Fidy lately, so I'm implicitly comparing all RISs to that right now. MZ is pretty good, but the malt overwhelms, which is a trap to which many RISs succumb. Objectively, it's delicious.

M - goes down like a dream. The alcohol makes it somewhat syrupy, but nothing significant to complain about.

O - I asked Ryan for two bottles of this one because I was going to age the one that I didn't drink, but I'm not sure there are any flavors that need substantial toning down. Good beer, I'll certainly get it again if I'm ever in Florida.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.