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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: 2,480
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,183
Gots: 847 | 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: 2,480
Photo of AgingWarrior
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Pours thick and black, almost like motor oil. About a finger of reddish brown head that dissipated quickly in a nice layer. Lots of thin lace that covered the glass throughout the drink.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate and faint hint of raisins.

T- Very chocolaty taste. The malts hit hard on the first sip, but the hops provide nice balance on the back. For a 11.5% ABV there is no alcohol burn. Very smooth.

M- Full bodied, smooth as silk.... the beer slides down the throat.

D- About as drinkable as an 11.5% abv RIS can get. This another excellent brew from Cigar City.

Highly recommend!

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Photo of GregJ
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thick brown head. Smells of coffee, cocoa nibs, dark roast malts. Tastes of dark chocolate, roast malts, maple syrup, mocha and molasses. Full body, medium carbonation aftertaste of dark chocolate and roast malts. Outstanding!!!

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

Bottle pour served in a Bruery tulip

A - Black, huge dark brown head & great lacing

S - Rich chocolate, coffee, molasses, dried cayenne peppers, and some cinnamon. It doesn't get much better.

T - Cinnamon, dried chilis, dark chocolate --> more chili pepper and sweet, roasted malts plus earthy and piny hops --> Bitter, yet sweet finish. There's a lot going on here - exhilarating stout!

M - Very creamy and pretty thick; rich, but not syrupy

D - Definitely a sipper; half of a 750 was perfect.

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Photo of dudecandle
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body, small and very dark head.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, a hefty dose of coffee.

T: This is delicious, but very straightforward in its profile. Chocolate, coffee, and smoke. The smoke is actually a little stronger than I'd prefer, and is really a downer for me.

M: Big with some alcohol burn, but the smoke is a bit bothersome.

D: I actually got a bit bored through only 8 ounces of this. I know it's great, but frankly, the smoke overtook it for me. Chocolate and coffee are good, but I would have preferred a stronger third pop there.

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Photo of raznug
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Marshal Z pours thick and black and is topped with 1" of brown colored head
Smell: The aroma is a blend of roasted malt, alcohol, toffee and chocolate. The aroma is rather intense good but intense.
Taste: The flavors that erupt from the pint glass is just simply amazing; chocolate, roasted flavors, coffee and a nice amount of alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel: Thick and oily is a great way to describe the way that this beer feels going down.

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

Reviewing from notes taken on 03/20/10. Poured into a CCB snifter at the tasting room at the brewery.

A- Pours black as coal. Two fingers of a dark brown head. Excellent retention and a crazy amount of lacing left behind.

S- Big roasted malts, chocolate, and molasses.

T- Follows the nose. Lots of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and sweet molasses. This beer is heavenly. Some dark fruits are also present, however, I get more of the chocolate with every pull.

M- Nice and creamy. I really want another sip.

D- I was at the brewery at 1050 AM waiting for them to open the doors. I had 3 snifters full for breakfast. I could have kept going well into dinner!!!! I may have needed help walking, but I seriously could have polished off another 3 snifters!

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Photo of mechamifune
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black with the slightest bit of a brown head. Only a whisp remains after a few seconds. Super sticky leg in the lacing. Carbonation minimal. After Dark Lord, about the thickest looking beer i've seen.

Smell is chocolate and dark fruits. Not overpowering but very good for the style.

Taste is chocolate, bitter roastiness, sugary sweetness, dark fruit, and a slightly bitter, dry finish. A nice complex taste with all notes integrated well.

Mouthfeel is full and super smooth. Reminds me a lot of Founders IS in that regard. The highpoint of the beer.

Overall, this joins Founders IS as my favorite "normal" IS. Of course founders is significantly cheaper and easier to find, so this loses out in that regard. Cigar City continues to impress me with their stouts and I look forward to trying more and more of their stuff.

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Photo of rtaps
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


pours pitch black and looks like soy sauce, with no head at all. and very viscous looking

smell is also like a soy sauce with dark fruits

very sweet, a lot of dark fruits and molasses

medium bodied, no carbonation to it at all and very viscous

overall it was interesting, enjoyable in moderation. would like to try one with less age to it

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to worthy sniffer

A:dark dark mocha brown with a dark red leather like mini foam that leaves a really thick lacing. This thing is totally opaque as no light went through

S: wow chocolate city so much so it's almost overwhelming there is some mocha in there maybe a hint of alcohol but mostly chocolatey goodness

T:the staring flavor is coffee and dark chocolate the coffee bitterness with a little bit of dark fruit in there. The chocolate carries through with a little bit of the mocha flavor and the dark fruit coming out more like figs or raisins this taste also could be coming from the molasses as there hints of sweetness as well

M: it is pretty oily and very thick and chewy toffee like for sure as you can almost feel the sugar sticking to your teeth. The expresso and fruit flavors add a crisp taste that seems like it could be smoothed out with more time though still very good.

O: I am very impressed with this beer but in mad at myself for not being able to wait longer to open as I know this would taste better with at least two years on it but alas I wi have to come back. That being said the chocolate and expresso flavor is some of the best I've ever had in a beer and is well balanced with the sweetness the dark fruit power should fade with age and that will make the better flavors come out more. So looking forward to coming back as enjoyed the hell out of this get it if you can

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bomber poured into 2 Cigar City snifters.

a: Black body. Thick like oil. One finger head. Brown like leather.

s: Roasted malt, molasses, baker's chocolate, faint coffee.

t: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, smoked molasses, espresso and hop spice finish.

mf: Full chewy body. Heavy with low carbonation.

o: All is OK when this beer warms. The raw ground espresso roast after taste is a bit much.

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

Had a 2011 vintage in a tulip earlier this year. This review will be updated asap once I grab another bottle. Poured a black, thick, viscous beer. Smells sweet, lots of chocolate in this once some caramel as well. Really sweet… almost too sweet for me (and I usually love sweet chocolate bombs), this would be good barrel aged (hence the reason hunahpu is so popular). I need to try this again, but this was very chocolaty and sweet.

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Photo of Bobheed
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an extremely vicious black, super thick like syrup had about a finger of darkest reddish brown head I've ever seen. This is without a doubt the darkest beer I've ever seen

S: Has a pretty big bourbon characteristic despite it not being BBA. I also got quite a bit of espresso and wet wood type scents.

T: Right upfront, it tastes almost just like pure molasses, then that goes into some espresso qualities and nice bourbon soaked dark fruits. Tons of dates, tons of dark chocolate. Finishes strong with alcohol.

M: Super thick and with a slight alcohol burn. With the super aggressive appearance and flavors of this beer, I was really happy about the mouthfeel being so crazy and intense.

Overall this was excellent, one of the best stouts, let alone beers I've ever had. I managed to stockpile a few as Cigar City is not sold in my state. Look forward to future bottles with more age on 'em.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Crazy how this beer went from being a imperial stout to a sensation. In Florida, fat, ugly and dorky guys drool over this beer.

A: Black

T: Good, a little boozy, some spice and dark figs. Always get them really cold and let them warm down to temp to really, really taste this stout. Warm is where its out.

M: Fresh, carbonated somewhat, without bourbon I can only say so much. Pretty good.

O: 94 out of 100 for Imperial Stouts

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

Pours an opaque black color, with a minimal brown head. Very thick and oily aspect to it. Not much lacing nor retention.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts, olives (?)/ herbal hops and wood.

Taste is sort of unusual with a malt/mollasses start and kind of a malt adstringency that resembles sourness. In the middle I can definitely taste some herbal/earthy hop charachter. It progresses with dark fruits, smoke malt and ends with lots of roast+hop bitterness with a lingering aftertaste.

Body is medium to heavy, smooth carbonation. Great silky mouthfeel.

Nice beer but it tastes a little too smoky to me. I realize it is just a personal preference but I like my imperial stouts leaning more towards vanilla/chocolate/coffee. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL Bomber into a Snifter.

Yet another stout from the mystery stout box from 7ways. Amazing generosity.

A: Pours jet black and thick as tar (quite literally). Head materializes from beneath, half-finger, a few seconds after I finish pouring.

S: Crisp, bitter-sweet in the front, roasted malts and caramel, back fades into booze.

T: Bitter into sweet, then fading into booze. Back is far sweeter than it smells.

F: Mouth-coatingly thick. Clings to your lips on the way in. I imagine this is what drinking motor oil is like.

D: Damn good, something implacable in the mouth and nose here, but really really good.

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Photo of bigaltemple
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours like motor oil. Jet black color doesn't allow any light to pass through. Very dark brown two-finger head leaves thick lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee. Roasted dark maltiness really dominates along with some big notes of coffee.

T/M - Overly sweet, chocolatey coffee up front. The roasted malts really come through in the taste as well. Has quite a bitter finish that hangs around for awhile. Full-bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation. That really helps balance out the feel.

O - No complaints with this one. Really glad I got my hands on a bottle, and would definitely try another one.

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

2011 vintage poured into southampton snifter

Pours thick and completely black with a very dark brown head. The smell seems muted the only thing really coming through is a sort of burnt malt scent. The taste on the otherhand is very pleasant like a sort of mocha iced coffee with a slight warming alcohol sensation. Mouthfeel is what a good imperial stout should be thick and coating with just enough carbonation. Overall a very good sipper, glad I got a few to age.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me give a big thanks to fogdog for a great trade!

Not sure I've ever given out this many 5's to a beer, but this one really deserves it. Pours a thick motor oil color (as stated in a previous review thought it really fit) with a chocolate brown head that fades sloooowly leaving a nice amount of lace around the glass.

Smell is of herbs, molasses, some hops, and something else I can't describe.

Taste is phenomenal! Dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, caramel, herbs, some peppery notes, and bitterness from the hops. Thick mouthfeel and not sugary sweet. The alcohol is ever so slightly present and it makes for a very drinkable beer. There is so much going on in this beer that I just can't believe it! Wow wish I could just buy this by the truck load. One of the best RIS's I've ever had.

Very well balanced not overly sweet from the malts, not overly bitter, just right in my book, and not the least bit watery, again it has a very creamy thick mouthfeel. What a great beer.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from 2011, poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks therealnomayo.

Whoa. It pours thick like heavy cream, but it’s pitch black. The head is the darkest I’ve ever seen on a stout, reminiscent of 80% dark chocolate. Fairly tight bubbles, a finger’s worth of head. Gorgeous lacing, with thick sheets of foam made of infinite tiny bubbles all around the glass. Even an hour after pouring, the lace remained. Good grief, this is flawless.

Very roasted, toasted aroma. Some definite smoke in the smell here. Very dark chocolate, as the appearance would suggest. Not a ton of coffee, but plenty of vanilla - those two flavors work very well together. Some dark fruits. I really have to search for the alcohol.

Very roasted, almost charred malts in the taste. It's similar to a burnt marshmallow, simultaneously very roasted and very sweet. Definite coffee bitterness lingers in the finish. A lot of chocolate, and it only becomes more pronounced as it warms. By the end of the bottle, this was sort of like drinking burnt hot fudge, the dregs at the bottom of a scalding canister. The alcohol is very muted.

The feel is just about perfect. Super thick and viscous – again, the milk comparisons are warranted. The carbonation is very low, but there’s just enough to help the flavors open up. As chewy and mouth-coating as they come, this is a big beer but a joy to drink.

I really loved this. As far as non-bal aged stouts go, this is right near the top for me. This is decadent, and yet it still comes across as restrained. Though in general I prefer more sweetness in Russian Imperial Stouts, Marshal Zhukov’s absolutely crushes it.

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Photo of schwaeh
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received from injuredreserve. 2010 release.

A: This is one black stout! This is blacker than Satan's armpit. Slight carbonation(I was worried by the previous talk of flatness) but it was there. Not much head to speak of, just a slight brown ring.

S: Big, big, big dark chocolate and anise are the dominating factors. There is some hints of vanilla and a little foreshadowing of alcohol.

T: The smell is spot on. It is thick, viscous, and chocolaty. Dark malts without any overbearing roastiness make up the body of this big rich stout. The anise and very slight vanilla add enough other complexities to keep Zhukov from being one-note with all the dark chocolate. The alcohol is more noticeable than in it's big brother, Hunahpu's.

M: Thick! Low carbonation. Coats your mouth like a hot fudge sundae.

O: I really didn't know how this would hold up after having Hunahpu's but it really didn't seem any less special or inadequate at all. I can without a doubt tell this is the base beer with the chili's and cinnamon being the main difference. This stout sets the bar so high and I can't wait for it to come out again. Killer beer!

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

Bottle has been in the cellar in September of 2009. Was really excited to try this one and drank it in preparation for a Hunahpu's Imperial Stout tasting.

A: This beer is very dark, plasma-like black levels, big chest out boasting head. Lace left until fully consumed. Hansome.

S: The smell is of chocolate and cocoa with a hint of espresso.

T: The taste is dominated by the bittersweet chocolate, but adds some good depth with roasted notes and a real dry finish. The dryness and roasted offset the sweetness. Real good flavors and makes me start to like CCB after being let down a bit. Alcohol was superbly masked, perhaps benefiting from some time in the cell.

M: Milk chocolate? No not quite, but rather smooth bodied. A great velvety consistency.

D: Hmmm...not sure when I'll try it again, but great beer.

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Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into my 3F snifter.

A: Holy mudslick ! Blackest Black you can imagine, thick and very chewy. Looks like a chocolate mousse on top of a pour of motor oil - absolutely THE BEST if you love BIG stouts !

S: a bit of cherry,fruity, plum, with the barley toasted aroma, really very nice and welcoming.

T: Well, if you have read to here , you KNOW what is coming here - GEE-BUS !!! Unreal, deliciousness, just mouth-coating, smooth, not-to-sweet, awesome and so beguiling. You can't stop comi8ng back for more tastes. Smell the awesomeness, swish it and chew it and let it slowly drip down your throat.

M: thick, smooth, delightlyfully chewy , and just friggin' mouth-coating greatness !

O: EPIC. TOTALLY, will definetly seek out additional bottles.

Thank You Cigar City, signed, Fan For Life - stouts4me.

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Photo of falcon1
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing is an outstanding example of an Imperial Russian Stout. It is tremendously rich and creamy in taste - rather sweet on the tongue. The flavor is immense, but not over powering to the senses. It reminds me of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and people in Central Ohio will understand what I am talking about. One of the best Imperial Russian Stouts that I have had the pleasure of tasting recently.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 release poured at cellar temp into my Founder's snifter,

A: B E A utiful! Deep, dark brown. 2 finger mocha head that is slow to recede. Lots of sticky lacing. One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen.

S: Roasted, chocolately malt.

T: Just like it smells. Deep, dark, silky, roasted chocolate.

M: The thickest, chewiest, creamiest stout I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. This make this one stand out.

O: One of the top 3 non-BA stouts I have had. CCB deserves the acclaim it gets for the stouts they produce.

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Photo of bret27
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of threewisemen

S: Roasted malt, little dark unsweetened chocolate. Not all that sweet. This stout is all business.

A; Very black. Little brn head, decent lace.

T: Same as smell, little sweetness, toffee, some warming etoh presence, but not overwhelming.

M/D: Fairly thick w/good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for an IS.

Overall: Good but not amazing. The reason I have to give this stout serious props is because it is basically the base recipe for all their stouts, some of which are mind-blowing. Marshal Z is the backbone of this operation. He does the heavy lifting for cigar city I believe.

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