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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,202 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,202
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,081
Gots: 740 | FT: 61
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,202 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to moz9. No date on the bottle but the label lists the ABV at 11% but the listing on the site has it at 11.5%. Perhaps that would differentiate which vintage this is.

Pours a very thick, solid black with zero head aside from a a few tiny bubbles on one side of the glass. The beer looks thick and viscous with no noticeable carbonation. There is no noticeable lacing as the beer is consumed but once the glass is empty an extremely thin, clear, brown film-like layer can be seen.

The aroma is quite strong. Dark and bitter chocolate dominate the nose, along with some almost earthy notes. There is a sweetness to it, maybe some milk chocolate and/or dark fruit. There is a hint of coffee as well as a strong aroma of alcohol. When the beers is a bit colder it smells bourbon-like, which was surprising, but as soon as it warms even the slightest amount that characteristic disappears.

The taste is very sweet. Not cloying, a tad sugary, but somewhat balanced on the back end. There are milk chocolate and slight toffee flavors that stand out and make the beer very sweet at first. There is also a hint of molasses and a bit of ripe, dark fruit, almost cherry-like. There is roasted malt character that takes over and finishes with a bitter,charred, burnt coffee flavor that sticks for a bit. As the beer warms the sweeter characteristic become more pronounced and the bitter ones fade a bit.

The mouthfeel is extremely thick. Syrupy and viscous. The carbonation is as close to non-existent as you can get. In fact, there may be none. There is some warming from some alcohol that may make it seem like there is a touch of carbonation but that may not be the case. When the beer is a bit colder the charred, burnt flavors dry it out considerably but that fades as it warms.

Overall, this was a solid and interesting example of the style. I actually enjoyed the whole 750ml bottle myself over the course of an almost 5 hour period so I had the beer at various temps and as it warmed it brought out new flavors and/or highlighted some of the existing ones. I definitely wish I had another bottle as I'd like to lay one of these down and revisit it down the road.

Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of LambicKing
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Brabander
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of brystmar
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200th review! Shared two pours on draft with my brother on his 30th bday.

A: black as night with a finger of dark brown head. Strong, sticky lace beckons your return to Mother Russia.

S: semi-sweet baker's chocolate, strong roasted malts, sweet malt, hints of both lactose and booze.

T: chocolatey with mild sweetness; roasted malt backbone holds its ground, contributing to a dry boozy finish. Not as complex as I was hoping, but solid for what it is.

M: holy molasses, Batman! Most viscous beer I'd had before this beast was Dark Lord 2010, and even that cannot compare to the hearty milkshake that is Zhukov. Seriously, this could be labeled as a boozy chocolate float and nobody would think twice.

D: easy drinking on the alcohol front; mild boozy warmth as it descends. However, a beer this heavy takes a toll on your stomach as it stuffs your body with chocolatey goodness. One 12oz pour filled me up to the brim.

Great beer, epic heartiness! Yet another impressive brew from Cigar City.

Photo of MattXT
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of babaracas
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version. Poured from the 750ml a completely opaque pitch black with a dense brown head, leaving thick globs of lace. Wow, a fantastic looking stout. Smell: dark chocolate, dark brown sugar, heavily creamer-ed coffee, mildly citric hops and something a bit rye-like in the background. Taste: dark, high cocoa chocolate, mild roasted notes throughout, molasses, herbal and earthy hops beneath. Mouthfeel: really exceptional, thick and creamy with enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy. I'm drinking this pretty warm and I'd swear there's no way this is 11+%. Well hidden, making it scarily drinkable. Will be revisiting this one for sure.

2011 version. Pours pitch black with dense creamy looking three fingers worth of dark brown head. Settles slowly to a half inch and leaves a sheet of thin lace down the glass, staining the glass brownish yellow. Smell: yeasty pumpernickel with carroway, dark cocoa, espresso, herbal and earthy. Taste: dark brown sugar, bready, some molasses, black currant, herbal and slightly citric (acidic) hopping, espresso and anise finish. Full bodied - thick with an exceptionally creamy feel. Missed this one(‘s carbonation) last year and happy to have it back. Same rating as 2009.

Photo of zekeman17
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of PhatAtUT
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of codynevels
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of kbutler1
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to try this the day after the Hunahpu release.
Poured into a snifter a deep black/brown with a slight tan head.
Aroma is of subtle dark malt sweetness, dark fruit, and chocolate/coffee.
The taste starts with a slight coffee bitterness and sweet dark chocolate and smoothes out very nicely.
The mouthfeel is medium/heavy
Very smooth and drinkable!

Photo of beerwolf77
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of WynnO
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of mmulebarn
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

**Updated notes - 11-2-12
Was fortunate enough to have cbutova provide another bottle of this, which was amply carbonated, improving the appearance and mouthfeel a good amount. A super thick dark brown head with red tints retained well and left good lace, crazy head on this one. Like stated in the original review, it's tasty but extremely sweet, thick and rich- fudge, dark cherries and molasses take over the palate. I imagine it drinking best as a ~5 oz. dessert beer, it can get overbearing quickly.

(original scores/review - 2/3.5/3.5/2.5/2)
Thanks to cbutova for sharing this 750ml. I wasn't positive at the time of tasting this, but I just confirmed that this is the base beer for Hunaphu's, which I enjoyed last year.

Opens with a small hiss, but the pour is not too promising carbonation-wise. Pours black as black with no head, just slight bubbles that quickly form a thin tan ring. Ugly sediment at the bottom. Stains the glass something evil.

First impression in the smell is a big spiciness, soy sauce and licorice. Very sweet, tons of molasses. Oddly, really no expected stoutness (roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, etc)

Big, thick, sweet chocolate fudge, molasses, licorice. Smoky a bit on the finish. Dark cherries also very noticeable which adds to the extreme sweetness. Not getting much coffee.

Barely carbonated. Super thick, oily. Sweetness is cloying from the get-go. Alcohol is very-well hidden but this beer still feels so huge. Smoky ashiness lingers on the palate.

The uber-low carbonation didn't help, but damn this was one huge, sweet, tolling beer. The flavors are decent but found this to be too sweet. I enjoyed Hunahpu's alot more, but now I really gotta try it again knowing this is the base beer...

Photo of savagepm
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of djtomain
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of facesnorth
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Norseman
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Bartos
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to neorunner for surprising me with this bottle. He says its from 2009.

Appearance
Damn, this stuff looks thick. I almost have to scoop it out of the bottle. The pour is super black and ropey. A nice, toasted head rises up, and rests at a thin layering. Not that much lacing.

Aroma
A little tiny hint of oxidation in the form of a suggestion of paper; but this is very subtle and actually a welcomed addition to the aroma's profile. Leather and sweet, dark tobacco dominate. Molasses and dark fruits are below. Alcohol gives this beer a punch.

Taste
Very leathery with earthy suggestions of maduro cigar tobacco. A burnt dark chocolate flavor forms mid-palate. A really nice french vanilla cream element takes things through to the end.

Mouthfeel
Indeed, this beer is full bodied, but its not as thick as the looks suggested. Carbonation is ample, perhaps a bit high at first. The beer has a dry, burnt cocoa powderiness to the finish. This is a very sticky beer as well. Alcohol is sturdy, but very nicely incorporated for an ABV that nears the 12% mark.

Overall
This is pretty decent. Solid brewing, but it just isn't intense all across the board as I had hoped. It does make a good base beer for Cigar City style experiments though.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,202 ratings.