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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

521 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 521
Hads: 2,475
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,185
Gots: 845 | FT: 78
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,475
Photo of djmichaelk
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, chilled then warmed a bit, into a snifter.

A - Pours black, with auburn edges. Solid finger of mocha-colored head, with great retention and lacing.

S - Very nice. Cheerios, roast, dark chocolate, and a sweetness that lurks around in the shadows.

T - Lots of roast and dark chocolate here, and coffee-like notes. Chicory and nuttiness mid-palate. A sweet caramelized sugar finish. A bit of alcohol in the finish. Very warming. Everything I'd like to have in an RIS. Among the best of the regularly available RIS's that I've had.

M - Plenty of carbonation, and it's VERY full, almost like a shake. I've had this several times, and once when trying to finish it quickly I struggled putting it down -- that thick an heavy.

D - Well, the abv is fairly high, so that makes it tough to drink more than a single (large) bottle, but the flavors make me want more and more.

O - This definitely ranks with Speedway as one of my favorite heavy stouts. I love the fact that it's made in the town that I just moved to, and it's available pretty much all the time. At $10, the price is pretty good, too. Certain other breweries in the northeast and midwest would charge $15-20 for this.

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Photo of mhksuccess
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. The beer, as well as the glass, are courtesy of smokinoak in a recent trade. Bottled August 31, 2012.

A - Looks like motor oil on the pour, black and viscous. Tan carbonation rises through the body, almost like a nitro pour. Not much head on this one, but the halo around the edge is thick and long lasting. Spotty droplets clings to the wall of the glass; apparently a cross between lacing and legs.

S - Rich, roasty aroma full of dark fruits. Plum, dates, and dark cherry dance with chocolate and bitter char. Hints of sweet marshmallow and molasses pull it all together. The aroma is complex and delicious.

T - The flavor is an immediate shot to the palate. Strong and complex with a great balance. Initially sweet with the dark fruits of the nose, milk chocolate, and smokey vanilla. The slightest amount of charred bitterness on the back end. Nice mocha finish. Smooth as hell.

M - Thick with a nice subtle carbonation. Coats the tongue and the best way to describe the feel is "soft." Velvety smooth with no alcohol , despite the 11% ABV. One of the best feels to any beer I have had.

O - Cigar City is a tease of a brewery that only distributes (to PA/DE/MD) the beers that I am not very interested in and none of the beers I want. Thank god for trading because Marshal Zhukov is excellent. This is one of the fullest stouts I have had in both flavor and mouthfeel. Easy drinking with great sweet and roasty balance. I got two, so I am really looking forward to opening the other in a few years. If you have access, grab this one. Up there with FBS and Pt5 among the best non-BA stouts, in my opinion.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle thanks to my buddy Ryan Bailey for bringing this beer back from Florida over the summer. The bottle said to wait till January so here we go!

Served at cellar temp so 51 degrees into a tulip glass.

A- Pours like sludge. Pure black no light coming through whatsoever with no head at all just a slight brown rim around the glass the forms later. Really really nice slow moving alcohol feet on the side of the glass. This ones gonna be a doozy!

S- Up front is tons of molasses and sweet burnt sugars with a strong roasted malt background behind it. Plenty of nice chocolate notes in there as well with a slight coffee presence but not much at all which is really making me want to dive right in.

T- Super thick and creamy roasted malts up front that are complimented by a really nice molasses/burnt sugar profile. As it hits the back of the throat and goes down this strong espresso and unsweetened bitter chocolate flavor comes out that just dominates the mouth. Definitely a slight alcohol flavor in there but is blended really nicely by the full body. You would barely know its there unless you hunt for it, not boozy at all.

M- Super thick syrup like body with moderate to no carbonation and a nice slight bitter slight wet finish. Excellent.

This is everything I love in a beer. Super thick and loaded with complex flavors other than pure coffee. Same with the mouthfeel, just coats the throat and leaves you wanting more. Unfortunetly due to the thickness it lacks a lot of carbonation which could make this beer easier to drink. This 750 is gonna be tough to get through without some water hah I wish I had another bottle and could have tasted this stuff fresh.


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Photo of aepb1
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown/ black with a little dark brown head

S- Strong coffee, come alcohol

T- Roasted coffee, dark, very smooth

M- full bodied, creamy and slick, not a lot of carbonation

D- Great RIS, goes down nice and easy and local, glad they're distributing bombers to me area now

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Photo of alaimoa
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd try a random stout I had in the basement for a few months and came away very impressed. Jai is a great IPA and Marshall is amazing so I can only imagine what the Hunapu is like. Jet blac pour with a reddish/brown head and a thin line of lacing. Smell is roasted coffee and burnt sugar and a bit of raisin. Sips an upfront coocoa and roasted coffee with sweetness and a bit of a thin mouthfeel but made up by a lingering full mouth coating sticky sweetness.
Overall it has quite a few layers of flavor. Some people may knock it on sweetness or booziness but I actually like it and think it would develop nicely with some age

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle shared w/ one other

A - As dark and rich as BA Yeti was, this takes that to an insane new level. Beer clops out of the bottle in chunks and coats the glass like used oil. Blacker than Batman. The head is darkest brown I've seen since big brother Hunahpu.

S - Just an incredible display of roasted malts, this is a very straightforward stout that emphasizes the art of malt selection.

T - Again this stout is the perfect showcase of the roasted malt combined with sweetness. So balanced, this can be, and is, used as a basis for all kinds of incredible barrel aging and secondary fermentations for good reason. They perfected the malt flavors and went from there.

M - Thicker than anything I've had in over a year. This stuff has to be chewed. Perfect finish.

O - Overall this beer is incredible. I've already gone into it, the beer is the perfect imperial stout. I need to try every variant, and every Hunahpu. This beer re-affirmed my adoration of Hunahpu's. WOW.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks schwaeh for sharing this bottle with me-

A: Poured dark as night with one finger head that dissipated into a thin coffee colored lacing.

S: Chocolate,molassas,toasted malt,coffee.

T: Chocolate with dark roated malt,slight vanilla,slight bitter coffee, anise.

O: "WOW" I was blown away at how delicious this RIS was ,I loved the way it coats the tounge and leaves an oil slick residue on the glass , the thickness of this stout is out of this world, Very well made and will definitly seek out again..

Thanks again Steve.

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Photo of Auracom
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of my stout tasting on October 22nd, 2011. 6-7 oz. into snifter.

A – Hello Pennzoil, meet Marshal Zukov’s. About as oily-looking as it gets. Pours a flat and true-black with no really hint of brown or any other tone on the edges. Khaki one/two finger head.

S – Lots of roast upfront, but not to the volcanic or ash-like level that some people have claimed. Dark Chocolate, brown sugar and spice, dates and raisins, and a touch of alcohol.

T – More of the same. Quite a bit of bitterness to account for the hops added into the brew. A touch smokey, but again the roasted note takes center stage here back up with a decent mixture of undertones. Reminds me of Founder RIS but with a bit more roast.

M – Quite thick body here. Relatively smooth. Lengthy finisher with a lasting bitter aftertaste.

D – Not an easy one to work through on your own. This was the first beer we ticked off the lengthy list of ~ 30 bottles and I felt that 3-4 ounces would have been ideal. Overall, I think it is judged a bit harsher than it deserves and serves at a great base beer for other CC endeavors (e.g. Hunahpu’s).

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

A: thick motor oil black, thin chocolate head that does not last long.

S: dark roasted malts, chocolate,

T: Chocolate, roasted malts. bitter coffee, caramelized sugars. Boozy.

M: thick and syrupy, get me a spoon

D: Fantastic, will make a great winter warmer

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

Poured into my Strong Beer Month '04 snifter. Blacker than hell pour with a slowly rising espresso head. Slight bubbly in the middle of the froth, with the top being a darker color than the middle looking from the side of the glass. Head slowly dissipates, leaving some nice brown lacing with a 1/4" of filmy head.
Tobacco, marshmellow, zippy hoppy and some fumes. Very decadent.

Oily up front, very viscous. Really soft on the lips, velvety. Bitter...chocolate & hoppy. Throw in some cold brewed coffee too. Plum, raisin, fig and strawberry...yowzers. Strong bitter chocolate oil. Astringent tobacco bitterness, somehow a little tart on the finish. Long lasting bitter, dry & tannic. Mouth feels like I just smoked a mild cigar.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received 2011 bottle in a trade, and opened w/ barfwin & cosmonick at our Black Friday tasting.
Poured from 750ml bottle into red wine glass.

Aroma: Molasses, blueberry, cocoa powder, and a very faint sashimi soy sauce note. All aromas appropriate, and working well together.

Appearance: Pitch black body! Thin layer of foam is dark brown, and disappears quickly. As the thick syrup washes over the inside of the glass, it clings on, and leaves an amber hue.

Flavor: Rich chocolate brownie, a nice smokiness, a hint of cherry, and some dark chocolate bitterness. Very nice balance is struck between chocolaty sweetness and bitterness, with a final nod toward the bitter side.

Mouthfeel: Full body with velvety medium-high carbonation.

Overall: Definitely one of the finer imperial stouts that I've had. Someone at our tasting commented that Zhukov's is the base beer for Hunahpu's. I can definitely see a resemblance, minus the pepper of course. I'll be trying to get this again the next chance I have!

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Marshal Zhukov pours out of the bottle like oil that's a couple of thousand miles past due. Very dark and well carbonated..glad it's not from the flat batch. Chocolate colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Big nose. Chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted malt, raisins. Just what you want an RIS to smell like. Very inviting.

T: Everything from the nose is there. Molasses and chocolate are the most dominate flavors to me. Nice complex taste.

M: Thick, rich and coats the mouth, leaving a nice chocolate aftertaste.

D: Alcohol never shows itself at any point..not in the nose or taste. Drinks very well.

From this point forward, when someone asks what is my favorite RIS, this will be part of the conversation.

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Photo of jjdc
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours with a beautiful mocha head, but otherwise its inky black. Nose of dark chocolate and raisins. It unfolds in a complex and perfectly balanced set of flavors: Maraschino cherries, cocoa, raisins and espresso. The mouthfeel is perfect. This is all around one of the best beers I've tasted. Cheers to Cigar City.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(750ml bottle courtesy of markwise and shared at Mike's sours/saisons tasting). Pours black with chocolate head. No carbonation and oil-like. Aroma of chocolate and soy. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness. Medium bodied with slick texture. Finish is smooth and roasty. This is a really good RIS. Thanks Mark!

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

August 2009 750 ml bottle. Heeded the bottles advice to not open until January or February. Gave a bit more time even.

A: Well if that isn't the darkest head I've ever seen. The beer itself is black as night of course. Head is actually retaining a bit here. Sort of angled up against the edge of the glass with the middle dissipating. Can't get over how dark the head is itself.

S: When the bottle cracked open I immediately was hit with a tobacco, earthy herb type aroma. Almost smelled like a cigar laced with a bouquet garni. The beer in the glass smells very, very roasty. Has a burnt toast aroma with a good heap of charred wood as well. Some vanilla and bourbon are there as well. Alcohol seems to hide behind the burnt aroma. Just seems as if the malts have hit the limit on their toasting. There is a slight floral hop smell as well, but in the forefront are the malts for sure.

T: Burnt wood on the palate as well, makes me wonder what is lending this flavor to the beer. Tastes oak aged, although it's not. Has a bitter chocolate flavor that accentuates the burnt flavor. Hops begin to lend a helping hand with the bitterness of this beer. Very earthy, herbaceous hop flavor. I almost expect more sweetness, but this is a nice flavor profile. There are notes of whiskey, vanilla, wood, herbs, tobacco and some nearly burnt molasses. Black strap I believe it's called.

M: Feels very heavy sitting on the tongue, nice and syrupy. Carbonation is also more present than most RIS's. Just a very different experience and take on a RIS.

D: Tough to take larger sips of this beer. Some of the flavor can be overwhelming if taken in high doses. Just a bit too burnt and bitter for a RIS in my eyes.

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Photo of nootch23
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter.

A - pours a thick, midnight black with a half finger of chocolate colored head. Can't see anything through the glass.

S - great smelling beer, smells really big. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee underlying the big boozy smell that is right up front.

T - really complex tasting beer. Really big notes of chocolate, molasses, licorice, coffee, and a lot of fruit flavors like cherries and prunes, if you can believe that. The alcohol is definitely there and has that alcohol burn with each drink. Despite the alcohol in each taste, it's an easy beer to drink, really smooth going down.

M - thick presence lingers with lingering tastes of chocolate, fruits and coffee. very smooth finish.

O - this is a great beer yet a pretty big one that will probably be unbelievable given 2-3 years in the cellar. I love complex tasting beers and each flavor plays beautifully off the other. The booziness is present but is balanced out pretty well so its not overwhelming or overpowering the rest of the beer. I'm really glad I had this and thank akuyper for sending it along in our trade. This is a beer that is definitely worth seeking out and trying and/or cellaring. Am very interested to see how this beer tastes after aging for a few years. I can see why it's so highly regarded.

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Photo of stxSS07
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a tulip. Courtesy of moose3285...thanks Mike!

A- Pours an oil slick black. Chugs out of the bottle. This is the darkest beer I've ever seen. Head is a dark mocha brown...leaves a huge brown film/legs when swirled.

S- Huge. First smell is of dark cacao powder, figs, and raisins. Scents of molasses, roasted malt/coffee. Alcohol is present, but not in a stinging way..I feel like it lends a hand to the sweetness. I pick up some licorice and vanilla on the back end as well. Very complex and I'm sure there are more notes that I just can't pick out individually.

T- First taste is of sweet dark fruits - figs and cherries mostly. Mid-palate I get more dark fruity notes...mostly raisins but coupled with a touch of bittering hops. Huge coffee/espresso finish...lasts forever. Somewhere in there I get the smell/flavor of a fresh pouch of Beechnut. Easily the most complex non-BA RIS I've had.

M- Thick and chewy with adequate carbonation. One of bigger stouts I've had as far as feel goes.

O- As previously stated, this is the best non-BA RIS I've had. The flavor is so incredibly complex and powerful that I almost doubt there were no additives (i.e. coffee) to this. I will definitely be seeking this out again.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the most opaque, motor oil pour I have ever seen. This tastes like liquid fudge. Flavor is a blend of bitter dark chocolate and espresso. Mouthfeel is motor oil thick, which was foreshadowed by the pour. A really good RIS.

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Photo of rodkin
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black, with a really dark brown head. Quite large head for 11%, with decent lacing. Looks very thick.

Milk chocolate, coffee, roast, bit of dark chocolate, some dark fruit, hint of vanilla.

Taste is similar. Milk chocolate, roasted bitterness, dark fruit sweetness, vanilla, dark chocolate. Really sweet, like a melted chocolate bar.

Mouthfeel is really smooth, creamy, nice carbonation.

A very fine stout. The alcohol is entirely hidden, which is scary. Maybe slightly sweeter than I'd like, but overall very good. Now if only it had some cinnamon, chili, vanilla, and cocoa mixed in...

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Photo of infi
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Shared with BAs brun, NYManc and r0nyn. From 10/6 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Immediately as I was pouring the stout out of the bottle, I could tell of its incredible viscosity and thickness, just by how heavy it felt. Lo and behold, this brew was looking like molasses and syrup in the glass. Immensely dark and black with no head, but rather some floating tan bubbly islands and no lacing. The legs of the alcohol were quite noticeable too. Aroma was very sweet, especially when let warm. The milk and dark chocolate notes opened up vigorously and made way for a caramel appearance. Reminded me of a toned down version of ST's Creme Brulee. Also, more espresso than coffee on the nose alongside some boozy heat.

Flavors were more coffee and espresso oriented, but segued into a beautiful malt backbone with milk chocolate sweetness. Each flavor component was represented very well on the palate. This finish was incredibly notable too: very chocolately and sweet, like some Ghiradelli. Very, very appetizing.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy. Very thick and generously coating. It's got to be the thickest beer I've ever encountered so far and I loved it. Much respect to the Marshal.

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

Was very impressed with this one.

A: Large, extremely dark colored head, almost ashy. Head displayed fantastic retention eventually settling leaving ample thick lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, semi-sweet scents, vanilla notes, some dark fruit hints, and molasses.

T: Dark chocolate, hints of cherry, bits of toffee. The fruit undertones persist and add a pleasurable complexity to the overall experience. Espresso flavors show up just in time for the beers finale.

M: Thick, well carbonated, creamy.

O: I found this beer to be very good, just shy of another Cigar City stout, Hunahpu's.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These notes are based on an immature sample batch before it was aged on roasted cedar and bottle conditioned to near perfection. But at this stage it wasn't perfect. I'll append these notes when a sample of the properly conditioned release is available. It pours murky dark brown and is on the lower end of the carbonation scale (if such a thing exists). The aroma has roasty notes and just a hint of chocolate. It really lacks some depth. The taste is much the same with semi sweet medium to highly roasted malts, faint caramel and just a touch of chocolate. There appears to be little depth or complexity in the flavor as was the case in the aroma and shows the need for proper aging and conditioning. It was tasty like this but just barely more than one dimensional.

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Photo of ricknelson
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City was something that I picked up at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, Ma based solely on the BA rating card place in front it on the store shelf. I trust the BA ratings and in this case they were right on. Tremendous stout to say the lease, and a total surprise that a beer this good could come from Florida. Have it again since my first taste and still rate it as one of best stouts that i have had. My buddy was in Florida recently and I told he had to go to Cigar City and have a Marshal Zhukov. He did, and he liked it so much he went again the next day to have it again. Great beer if you like stouts. Right up there with Goose Bourbon County, KBS and Old Rasputin.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.