Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

501 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,382
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 4.47%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 772 | FT: 71
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: 501 | Hads: 2,382
Photo of FATC1TY
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
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! (1,614 characters)

Photo of MissSmisje
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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 (151 characters)

Photo of Kelly88
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
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 (876 characters)

Photo of hdelavega
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (682 characters)

Photo of DrewZ926
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of CruisaC
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of Bierlerner
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
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! (695 characters)

Photo of davod23
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (1,569 characters)

Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +17.6%
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! (850 characters)

Photo of olimpia84
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,126 characters)

Photo of jgagne
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of cbak999
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of BlastBeats
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a trade from bryanole27.. thanks man!
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout has been a long time want of mine.

Appearance: Served appropriately in my Cigar City snifter - Marshal Zhukov's glugs from it's 750mL bottle with such viscosity that comparisons to motor oil become inevitable.. the head on this thing is a foreboding espresso color. It's also impenetrable to light; completely opaque and one of the darkest beers I've ever seen.

Smell: charred malt with touch of mustiness; there's that uniquely British hop aroma in there as well.

Taste: a bunch of dark chocolate along with some dark toffee, espresso, and molasses.. the finish is what sets this beer apart though - it's surprisingly earthy and herbal. I remember reading someone's take on Marshal Zhukov's here on Beer Advocate and they used the descriptor "scorched earth." I feel like that illustrates the finish on this one pretty well. It's almost as if there's a dirt like quality to this stout (it sounds bad, but it works!).

Mouthfeel: few beers can rival Zhukov's density.. it's borderline chewy. The carbonation level is low, allowing for a smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: I'm really glad I finally got to try this one.. If I were still living in Florida, I would pick up a couple bottles every August when it's released. (1,298 characters)

Photo of xpdrinker
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - 25.4oz bottle courtesy of biggsbowler (thanks!). Bottle July '11. Pours like sludge. Super pitch black, monster dark brown head. 

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, booze-soaked dark fruit, molasses and a little raisin. Little bit of vanilla.

T - Cocoa, chocolate truffles, slightly nutty. Dark fruit, vanilla. Fantastic.

M - Like a bucket of black paint. Carbonation has faded a little but this thing coats the mouth and stays. You can almost chew on it.

O - This is probably not only my favorite stout but also my favorite beer. Perhaps it's destiny that it's released the same month as my birthday. I'll be getting an entire case next year. (645 characters)

Photo of cpmichael
3.57/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter. Bottle was about 1.5 years old.

A: Pours a super dark black. With about 1 inch of mocha foam.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a sweet vanilla character.

T: Bitter/Baker's chocolate, on the malty side, and a hint of coffee, less than the nose suggested. Something seems a little off balance with this one.

M/D: Rich and carbonated. This is a pretty thick beer, it was very drinkable, but it seemed like something was missing in the taste. (487 characters)

Photo of indurTheB
5/5  rDev +17.6%

The 2014 is way better than 2013. Had a pint while waiting for the bottle release at Cigar City on August 4th, 2014. The 2013 has a "bread" taste to it. This year its much more crisp and refreshing. Hard to believe that there were 200+ people in line for this when last year on release day I waited in a 3 person line. (318 characters)

Photo of SiepJones
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a thick black body with a thin dark brown head. Roasty Malt wafts from your glass and a slight hint of alcohol reminds you how much artillery the Marshal is packing. The flavor begins with a nice roasted malt, into a bitter dark chocolate, then a hint of toffee on the finish. The body is very chewy and creamy with a slight nip at the end from the alcohol. The thin head that began disappears with each sip. Overall an excellent offering from Cigar City and now one of my favorite imperial stouts. (514 characters)

Photo of MBrausen
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a dark black, mocha brown head the settled to a light foam layer.

S. Smells of chocolate, toffee, and a little caramel.

T. Tastes of milk chocolate, light toffee and caramel with a mild hop profile showing.

M. Very thick and chewy, malty and very sticky finish.

O. Super good beer. Amazingly simple and pleasureful beer, chocolate in the right amounts, a great RIS and well made. I will be looking for a bottle of this in the future. (488 characters)

Photo of headbucket
3.15/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Summer 2010 release.

A: Very dark black, very hard pour creates a minimal dark brown head that lasts for a very short time. No lacing left around the glass and barely any bubbles around the rim of the glass after the initial head dies.

S: sweet. dark,sugary smell, a bit of dark chocolate and bitterness that either goes along with the dark chocolate or is a coffee like scent, a little bit of dark fruit in there too, and a bit of alcohol smell as well.

T: Overpoweringly sweet. The sweetness is too much for me to be able to enjoy any of the other flavors that may be present in the beer. Mostly very dark sweet chocolate, some raisins or dark fruit mixed in, molasses, and just a touch of bitterness. Slight bitterness akin to dark chocolate and coffee on the aftertaste. I think i enjoy the aftertaste of the beer much more than the initial flavor.

M: Thick and syrupy. Not really any carbonation present. Neither of which is automatically a bad thing, but the sweetness of the taste combined with the syrupy consistency of the beer isn't too appealing.

O: A bit of a disappointment for me, overly sweet and this sweetness is too prominent in the flavor profile for me. I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time. This is from the batch that I had heard there were carbonation issues with some of the bottles, and it seems like this could be a bottle affected by it(although never having had this beer before I cannot be sure). I don't know if I drank this a few months earlier if the sweetness wouldn't have been as intense, of if the carbonation may have been slightly higher, but I wish I would have tried it earlier. Not a terrible beer, but I wish I had about 6 ounces of it and not the 2/3rds of a bottle that I do. Would like to try again sometime to see if the over sweetness that I am getting out of this beer and lack of carbonation are a fluke, or if that is just how this beer is. That being said, it really doesn't taste like 11% and I am soldiering on and putting it down a little quicker than most other beers of this strength, maybe just because I want to move on to something else. (2,128 characters)

Photo of DUBinMIA
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured into a heffe glass just for grins... pours thick motor oil black!!! with a deep brown thick foamy head about 3 in. with lace. maybe my glass was the prob. but the head retention lasts forever.

smells of sweet malt and bitter chocolate some pine and citrus hops also noted... mmmm i can't wait! slight alcohol notes toward the end barely...

where to begin... how about WOW!!!! everything i have been hoping this beer would be. complex and big as hell!!! malt sweetness to start with a light almost milky vanilla flavor then abrupt bitter coffee takes over... then a pause with dark cherry features and then come the hops.... floral and then almost piney. amazing complexity!!!

MY FIRST ALL 5 BEER!!! just noticed that!
mouth feel is thick and creamy that allows flavors to linger.

Overall i am very impressed with this beer... totally worth the $16 i paid for the 1 pint 9.4oz bomber. YOU NEED TO TRY THIS BEER!!!! i have been waiting and searching all over for this one and it lived up and beyond my own hype!!!

just noticed this is my first ALL 5 BEER!!! (1,071 characters)

Photo of hrking
2.66/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not impressed with this beer after all the hype about these beers being so good I guess I expected more. Bitter flavors and over roasted grains and not really giving a good example of the style compared to other RIS's . I was trying to find some of the flavors described on the bottle and had a hard time pulling them out. I would love to try the Hunapaus when it comes out but at this point its going to half to be pretty damn good to win me back over. This one was average at best. (489 characters)

Photo of unionturf
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this from a friend in Fla and after 6 months I had to try it.

This beer pours pitch black with a very nice 1" head. Smells of a roast and cocoa flavor and it is a very smooth beer considering the style and ABV.

Very heavy which is cool, loved how when I was finished in the bottom of my Chimay glass there was a stout/cocoa looking powdery sediment in the bottom.

Excellent beer and a great first impression from Cigar CIty brewery. Can't wait to try the brown ale I have next. (491 characters)

Photo of phattysbox
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 32oz growler at the Bowery beer room (Whole Foods - NYC).

Poured jet black into a 7 oz tasting glass. Motor oil in color and consistency, one ca tell this is going to be a very viscous brew. A small 1/2 inch chocolate colored head establishes itself and lingers for quite a while. Surprised given the ABV. Looks great int he glass.

Smell: Nose is really complex here. Strong caramel and sweet malts dominate. Burnt raisins, plums, and dark chocolate fill the air when this is poured. Some roast but held in check by copious amounts of malt sweetness.

Taste: Quick flash of acrid roastiness that gives way to coffee-like character. Actually the coffee notes are quite strong in the brew and is very pleasing. The coffee/cappuccino notes mix well with a heavy malt profile. Chocolate covered figs and plums, followed by roasted caramel. The ABV is held in check with this brew - only a slight warming is noted. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and spot on for an RIS.

Overall: Great beer. Glad to be drinking this on a cold winter's night. Lots of complex things going on here - seek it out. I've never tried their barrel versions of this brew so I might have to now. (1,174 characters)

Photo of CASK1
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My New Year's Eve treat. I've been holding on to this for a little while, and was quite nervous due to the carbonation issues aired on several BA threads. No problem here!

Pours thick, nearly black, and opaque. The darkest head I've ever seen on a beer. Nice and dense, fades after a few swallows, but leaves a ring of foam to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is burnt toast, black coffee, and a background of dark chocolate. Light spicy hops, and soft alcohol. Low fruitiness of figs and raisins, mostly overwhelmed by the roast malt.

Flavor is similar to aroma, but the sweet chocolate is more up front. Chocolate, coffee, and burnt malts. Sweetness up front fades to a low, lingering bitterness from both roast malts and hops. Low spicy hop flavor and low esters of dark fruit.

Thick, rich full body, almost viscous. Low but adequate carbonation. Alcohol is warming, but subtle and sneaky.

As drinkable as a RIS can be. I'd like a little more hop bitterness to balance the malt sweetness, but this is an awesome take on the style. (1,040 characters)

Photo of HeartofMiami
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Shared a bomber with a friend. Pours black, almost a purple and completely opaque. No head. Smell is fresh espresso and bittersweet cocoa. Faint hint of brown sugar. Mouth feel is full and rich like a fresh cup of mocha coffee. Taste is so complex yet balanced. Toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses and maybe a hint of tobacco. Perfect balance. Incredibly delicious! (386 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.