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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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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,448
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,189
Gots: 836 | FT: 80
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: 518 | Hads: 2,448
Photo of BDJake
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

-from part of a trade with BigBlacke-

Completely opaque, motor oil-like pour with a miniscule brown head. Aroma notes of espresso, kahlua, toffee, and dark chocolate dominate the nose. The flavors are of unsweetened mocha, bitter espresso, toffee, and burnt molasses. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel, with a bitter finish that only shows the warmth from the high abv towards the end. Although it drank extremely well for the style, it may still be a bit much for novice beer drinkers. This is a beer meant to be savored, and that it should be. Once again, another fine offering from a brewery that doesn't get enough attention due to the overall lack of a craft beer scene in the South.

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Photo of EkimGram
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured form 25.4oz bottle into large snifter. Extremely dark, purely opaque. Looks thick, syrupy, and oily. Extremely thin head forms for just a moment post-pour.

Smell: Sweet toffee, coffee, and chocolate - exactly how the bottle describes it.

Taste: Not as intense as I had expected, very mild actually. Sweet chocolate and espresso. Roasted malts as well.

Mouthfeel: Very balanced, creamy, and silky. Almost no bite whatsoever. Lots of sticky, sweet residue around and in the mouth & lips.

Drinkability: By far, the most drinkable Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had. It is a very sweet brew, which is not particularly my favourite. It looks and feels excellent, though.

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

Thanks to Centennial for this bottle!

Poured into a snifter.

A- poured thick and viscous, almost motor oil consistency, deep black lacquer color with a two-finger cocoa-colored head that left significant lacing.

S- cherries and chocolate

T- chocolate, faint hoppiness and cherries in the front. Maltiness, dark chocolate and roasted malt in the middle. Cherries, dried fruit, dark chocolate and a hint of mandarin orange at the tail-end

m- thick with a fair amount of carbonation. Went down incredibly smooth.

O- This is a solid stout. I did get a little overzealous and try it before allowing it to warm and would not recommend drinking this too cold; it is much better at fifty degrees, or so. I would love to get some more of this sometime in the near future!

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a .750 bottle into a goblet.

Appears as dark as midnight. Pure motor oil. Super viscous with a small creamy bubbly head.

Smells very boozy... There's a sting to the nostrils. There's a trace if anise and some coffee. There might be a subtle scent of coffee underneath it all.

Tastes like dark chocolate brownies. Much less coffee and licorice in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is super thick and a mouth filler. It exits quietly and without too much if a booze burn.

Overall I'm impressed with this beer. It's a thick one and a slow sipper that carries its booze well.

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

L: opaque brownish black. S: chocolate candy, light smoke, bourbon. T: chocolate syrup, mesquites, bourbon, roasted coffee. F: excellent - medium heavy

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

Thanks Nate for including this with a trade.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours an extremely dark, inky black. A two finger head of dark brown(one of darkest heads around). A good amount of lacing.

S - chocolate milk. Slight roast. Caramel. Sweet. Milky Way. Dark stone fruit.

T - lots of the same. Lots of choclate and caramel. Sticky and sweet on the lips. Sweet but not cloyingly so. Lots of toffee too. Not much in the way of hop flavor or aroma. A slight hop bitterness on the back but has melded well. Milky Way. Some stone fruit notes appears as it warms.

M - full bodied and thick, almost shake like.

D - fairly low to medium-low.

Overall, a fantastic tasting RIS. A little thicker and stickier than I like but still good. The high IBU stated doesn't come through, so I can only assume the bottle is from last year. Drinks a little cleaner when consumed on the cold side.

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

It was just another Tuesdaynight at my crib when Jeffo brought two monster beers to share. You da man, Jeff!

A pour into my snifter scared the crap out of me. It's black, thick, mean. Is this dried blood? A nice one finger head leaving nice lacing on the side of the glass.

The dark roasted malts on the nose, the peaty and coffee scents have gotten me excited to taste this beer.

Flavors are BOOM, in your face. As promised by the nose peaty, coffee and dark roasted malts but also a nice hoppy and chocolate bitterness.

Motoroil for the mouth. It's thick and it's beautifull. It has perfect carbonation. It feels perfect for such a big stout.

Thanks Jeffo for what might be one of the best stouts ever. EVER!

and you know what's really cool? Jeffo also brought over a Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip on 4/25/11.

Pours a black oil color with no head. When swirled there is a nice brown resin that coats the glass nicely. I would like to see some head, any head at all. Nice color but disappointed with the pour.

Smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolate and the slightest of coffee in the background. I would have liked some more chocolate and coffee on this aroma. Strikes me as slightly above average but not great.

Taste is lots of roasted malts and sweet chocolate to start. Chocolate bitterness is also present as well as some distinct fruit flavors in the background. Good taste.

Mouthfeel is what really knocks this bee. No carbonation makes it just feel heavy and milky. Resin sticks nicely but leaving good bitter chocolate and coffee flavors but this really misses the mouthfeel mark and I think that really takes away from all the other aspects of this brew. To bad.

Overall this is a decent beer. The zero carb really throws the taste/mouthfeel characteristic off and while it is good it falls into a region of one and done for me. FIx the no head carbonation mouthfeel problem and this would be an "A" brew.

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Photo of gwguest
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle with no visible batch or freshness dating into a Bruery tulip.

A vigerous pour yields a very scant milk chocolate brown foam on top of an opaque black body. Foam is gone in a flash. A quick swirl causes a thin motor oil-like stain on the side of the glass. I've never seen a beer leave quite such a residue behind. Interesting. It's not particularly appetizing, but interesting.

The aroma is a very harmonious blend of anise / licorice, molasses, dark dark chocolate and minimal roast. The are hints of a brown sugar sweetness in the nose which really perks up the beer and adds some fantastic complexity.

Flavors in the beer are quite intense and mirror the nose in many ways. There is a touch more coffee and toffee taste than I get in the aroma, but I think the toffee taste is what may be suggesting brown sugar in the aroma. The roast level is a smidgen higher, but not nearly as baking as other beers in this style.

The mouth feel is identical to what I imagine the glass would feel. Thick, coating with just a thin suggestion of carbonation. This is borderline flat, but I would venture to say that this is how the brewer intended. It has carbonation, but it is simply on the low end for the style. Personally, I would prefer a bit more of the scrubbing action, but no points off for where it is.

Drinkability, for an 11.5% beer, is a tick above. The slick mouth feel and intensity of flavors make it difficult to have very much, but the abv is undetectable. It's not cloyingly sweet and doesn't sit in the stomach like a rock. Nicely done.

Overall, Zhukov is a beer like no other that I have tried. It is far from my favorite, but it is definitely worth a try. I can see this being some BAs absolute favorite beer ever. It is very well-crafted, but it won't score a ton of points with everyone. Nice work from Cigar City.

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Photo of bierguru
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -
pours like oil thick and slugish its awesome pours no head but light brown lacing and is jet black

S -
hints of malt chocolate licorice and some roasted flaovrs

T -
chocoalate maybe vanilla roasted notes molassess

M -
a bit dry mildly sweet overall well balanced biterness sweetness

D -
simple and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness split the 750 and glad i did very rich

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Photo of JulioH
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very nice and thick beer. Nice ABV.

Pours a nice dark beer. Doesn't form much of a head, yet some bubbles form. Smells like coffee. Taste is a bit hard to pinpoint, probably my first CCB beer. It has a very nice body, and has that cognac taste of imperial stouts. Very nice.

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Photo of DrewZ926
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black, impossibly black. About a finger of charred head.

S- Huge roasted malt, dark dark cocoa, espresso grounds, dark fruits

T- Big sweetness, heavy on the chocolate and espresso with echos of fruity esters. Picking up a lot of plums, prunes, and cherries.

M- So viscous and coating. Very thick and indulgent.

O- A great RIS, not too sweet and highly complex. Hope to find it on the shelves again soon.

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Photo of TheBeerologist
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Jackie O's snifter

A: This poured thick and black like used motor oil - one of the darkest/thickest beers I have seen. A thin, dark brown head lingered for several minutes.

S: Sweet and pleasant. I am typically not one to love too sweet of a stout so at first it was a bit much. Strong scents of molasses with a touch of dark fruit and vanilla.

T: Molasses and figs up front with a really nice roasted malt finish which balances the sweetness perfectly for me. A fantastic amount of complexity among the flavors - some coffee, some chocolate, some dark cherries. A great tasting RIS all around.

M: Well carbonated, maybe even a little much for me, but not over the top. Thick, creamy, and syrupy as well, possibly the thickest stout I have tried.

O: A great RIS - I am looking forward to aging one and trying it a bit down the road. I really wish I had regular access to this one year round as it would definitely keep me happy through the winters.

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Photo of beersensei305
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes on 10/30/10. on tap at CCB.

A: Black and opaque, a tan head apears late but is thin and dissapears quickly.
S: Coffee, Chocolate, dark roasted malts.
T: Very complex taste, Coffee, choclate, roasted malts, dark fruits, toffee, molassess.
M: Very heavy beer, very creamy.
D: Good sipping beer but the flavors dominate everything even after you finish. So this is a one and down brew.

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Photo of FATC1TY
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a Snifter/Tulip. Fresh 2012 bottle.

A: A blacker than night color with a huge red hue'd mocha head that goes, and goes and goes. Insane cascading carbonation, with unreal lacing that sticks to the glass the ENTIRE time you drink it. Great thin line of head last to the last drop. Looks gorgeous in the glass.

S: Roasty, burnt wood. Vanilla, licorice, tar, chocolate... a bit of booze even.. Smells like a typical imperial stout. Not much else going on, but enough to make me want to drink it.

T: Winner, winner chicken dinner. The taste is everything here. Roasty malts, espresso out the ass end. It's a pleasant roast, not acrid, but nice and roasted and full body. Caramel, and toffee come into play, slight vanilla and sweet chocolate pop here and there. A Floral hop bit comes at the end and finished thick... enough to coat the palate, asking for more! A hint of alcohol comes in at the finish, but nothing to deter from the finish. It's sweet enough to drink more, and bitter enough to balance it out. Perfect.

M: Milshake. It's full bodied, plenty of roasty flavors coat your mouth. Perfect carbonation to help clean it up a bit and move it along. Slightly warm finish deep in the end of the sip. They really hit it perfect here.. Love the mouthfeel. Best of the best.

O: One of my favorites. I'm not close enough to get it easily, but not far enough it's not easy to get. A great stout that fills all the voids you want in a good stout. Balanced and tasty, great roasty flavor with enough sweetness to make you enjoy it. Top rated beer for a reason.. Glad I have more on hand!

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Photo of Seamus
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a cigar city snifter. I do not know what happened, but this beer did not smell good. However, the pour was jet black, and the feel was great. Tastes like chocolate and roasted malt. Really good veer but did not like the smell.

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Photo of Kelly88
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into my Bruery Tulip.

A- ominous black with a spartan head that barely appears as bubbles on top of the bitous brew.Ruby highlights the very outer rims and minimal lace remains.

S- bitter chocolate stings the nostrils. Coffee is competing with sweet fruit at the end. Strong and pungent, really nice

T- very rich and sweet, Like rum or bourbon is covering angel food cake. Coffee is taking over the finish and really adds wonderful balance to this brew. Decadent and subtle at once, truly a great beer.

M- full and creamy. Nice flavor twang at the end to give the beer some substance. Really how I like my stouts, heavy and smooth.

Overall one of the most flavorful stouts I have ever had. Sweet flavors make for a delicious beer that delivers in lots of ways. The only gripe I have is the appearance. Definitely will be searching for more of this beer

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

Poured from a fresh 750 to a snifter.
Pours a deep black looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, leaves a dark tan brown head that leaves a pretty nice lacing down the glass.
The nose is rich with Carmel, toasty aromas, roasted malt, coffee, a tiny bit of booze.
First sip I get allot sweet flavors, dark sweet fruit, burnt brown sugar. I expected more coffee as the nose was full of it, there is a little coffee bitterness at the end. It's a pretty sweet stout.
Mouth feel is full, smooth, and a little sticky. The sweetness lingers for a looong time. This beer was super thick, your spit will be black for about 40min after this guy.
Overall I enjoyed it and recommend it.

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

Received a bottle of this year's release in a recent trade. Poured into my Rodenbach snifter.

Pours very thick, oily even. I was impressed to be honest. A nice dark brown head forms and lingers. Coats the glass as it swirls around.

Smells sweet, sticky, vinous, almost port-like actually. Plums, dark fruits, raisins.

Wow---very impressed. I was expecting more coffee-forward as many RISs are. This was not what I was expecting; in a good way. Nice berry presence with a finish of dark chocolate.

Very creamy and viscous.

Overall better than I was expecting. Makes me want to go out and trade for a Hunaphus. And a Nielsborhium while I'm at it.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wooowee! This is great stuff.

A- Pitch black! Dark dark brown 1 finger head. Nice mild layers of lacing as the drink goes down.

S- Roasted malts, espresso, lots of chocolate and herbs. Smells of chocolate and rosemary.

T- Wow! Nice roastiness. Chocolate, but not really that sweet. A great bitterness lingering in the background. And a mix of rosemary and thyme. Makes this taste like a full on meal. I love it.

M- THICK! Just how a stout should be. Full body, low carb, and thick. But not syrupy. Just perfect.

O- I think this is one of my top 10 fav stouts, for sure. Perfect balance of roast, chocolate, and a surprising herb presence that blends beautifully in this brew. Must get MORE!

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Photo of davod23
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Bruery tulip glass.

The pour is near black, oily, even chunky-looking as it leaves the bottle. Beautiful mocha-colored head that billows up, but then reduces to a thin layer on top of the brew. Good staying power. A bit of spotty lace. This is about as nice-looking as stouts get.

Smell... huh. Not bad, but nothing great. I detect some chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and smoke. However, everything is fairly subdued. I expected this to be more powerful - as imperial stouts go, this is not particularly memorable.

Taste is a bit better. Sweet chocolate and coffee gives way to smoke mid-palate, with a long, lasting, but slightly astringent finish. The astringency isn't overwhelming or anything, but I do wish it wasn't there. Not terribly boozy, either, which is a nice feature on an 11% abv brew.

Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. Again, not bad - but I expect my imperial stouts to be thick and creamy. This one has maybe slightly too much carbonation for my tastes. It seems just a bit thin, something more akin to a big porter rather than an impy stout. **edit** When this beer gets up to near room temperature, it smoothes out a bit and gets a little creamier. So I'll bump it another half-point.

Drinkability is actually totally solid. If I really liked the beer's other aspects, I could definitely see myself putting down a fair bit of this stuff. Easy to drink for the style. But really, I doubt that I would spend the money on a bottle of this again - the market is inundated with better imperial stouts.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh zhukov, you are still one of my top 5 fav beers.

Bottle poured into my st bernardus chalice, hell no i didn't share this with anyone else tonite!

I have read forum posts about people saying which beer is the darkest, and they sure are right when they say that it is the marshal, black as nite this one is.

Lovely roastiness off the nose of this one, little bitter chocolate smell and coffee, sounds like what i had about 14 hours before this with my breakfast.

In some ways i actually prefer the taste of the regular version of zhukov to all the other treatments for the sheer fact of how clean it is, the alcohol is there but not in the forefront, the coffee taste is very prevalent to me.

This overall is just a great, if not the best, imperial stout for my money on the market, glad i got about another dozen bottles here around the house!

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Photo of olimpia84
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap during my visit to CCB. Beer was poured into a CCB snifter.

A: pitch black body with a creamy one finger chocolate milk colored head and beautiful viscous lacing as the beer goes down.

S: strong aromas of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts that cordially invite you to sip on this beer. Amazing.

T: follows the nose very closely with a thick presence of coffee, dark chocolate milkshake, brownies and lots of roasted malts. Slight sweet aftertaste that ends up begging your palate to go back for some more. Complex taste, yet very well executed; this is an amazing Imperial Stout.

M: I've never had something like this before. Smooth, creamy, soft, thick, and sticky mouthfeel. Let me mention the word smooth again because that's the keyword to describe this. Full body with low carbonation, the high alcohol level is not really felt at all.

O: Best qualities are the taste and the mouthfeel; this beer is an example of how to set the bar high...really high for Imperial Stouts. It was a pleasure enjoying this beer from start to finish, it's the perfect "dessert" beer if you ask me. God bless CCB.

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

A-Dark opaque body with thick chocolate colored head. Just plan beautiful.

S-Deep chocolate and coffee notes

T-Extremely sweet start with a maple and chocolate body and a intense but perfect bitter end.

M-Thick, thick, thick! Probably the heaviest beer i have ever had.

O-So happy to have had this beer, the taste was out of this world. But i just could not finish it. It was to heavy, even for me, and i love big stouts. I probably would have given it a higher rating if it wasn't so heavy. But i cannot wait for next years batch. Another unique fabulous beer by CCB.

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Photo of cbak999
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - DARK DARK DARK...motor oil dark. Just a slight head and even it is dark.

S - burnt caramel, burnt chocolate, molasses, vanilla, very complex!!!

T - over the top. There's so much going on, it's hard to even review. A bit boozie, but the caramel, burnt chocolate, and molasses tastes all come through.

D - well, you aren't going to sit down and drink a bottle by yourself...or if you do, you won't remember the second half. It's a great sipper. Needs to be cold out, because this will warm you up.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.