Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

503 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 503
Hads: 2,396
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,166
Gots: 781 | 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: 503 | Hads: 2,396
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black with a ruby edging, with no head. Nose of bourbon, coffee, earthy notes, molasses, and booze. Flavors are smooth coffee and chocolate, with a solid booze undertone, char notes, and rich molasses. Wow! Velvety smooth body, with a rich, bittersweet, smooth aftertaste. The finish is slick, with a solid linger. Huge, but drinkable. (393 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
2.53/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours inky black with no activity. Just a thin layer of foam on the top that very quickly dissipates to a reddish-brown ring.

S: Dominant aroma of blackstrap molasses, with some notes of vanilla, green pepper, and licorice.

T: I'm trying to pick out individual flavors, but it's just something of a muddy "dark" flavor. The biggest thing that stands out is that weird green pepper note. Cocoa powder in the aftertaste. As it warms, a bit more chocolate comes out, but there's also an acrid note that becomes more noticeable.

M: Quite astringent and drying. Virtually no carbonation. A bit cloying.

O: This beer doesn't really come together for me. It's big and bold, but in a muddled and indistinct way, and there's some peculiar notes that I find off-putting (green pepper?). Definitely not one of my top choices of the style. (834 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Maltzilla for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy dark tan one-finger head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee, and a nice touch of coffee, vanilla, slight dark fruits. The taste is very nice, malty, slightly sweet, slightly bitter, with lots of chocolate/toffee, and some coffee, nice touch of vanilla, also some slight dark fruits. Full/medium body, the ABV is hidden pretty well. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from CC. Thanks Diego! (607 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a FW tulip

dark black pour with a great dark brown head. smell is extremely chocolately and malty. very aromatic. the taste is so sweet. tons of chocolate. no bitterness at all. real impressive RIS!! VERY full bodied. mild carbonation.

overall great. thanks Taylor! (287 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to pint glass on 1/29/11

A: Viscous motor oil. I've never seen a beer this thick. It literally coats and leaves a trail of engine wear on the interior of the glass. Little to no head and zero lacing.

S: Black cherries on the nose. You can certainly pick up the alcohol, but it is well integrated with the black fruits and slight hints of smoke.

T: Like Joey Lawrence once said: "Whoah!" Raspberry and black cherry jam fill the mouth upon contact. I detect 70% dark cocoa nibs on the mid-palate, and Kona coffee on the finish. It really coats the tonsils and lingers for some time.

M: Like drinking heavy whipping cream or liquid butter. Massive, epic; it is right up there with Ten Fidy as being one of the thickest stouts - or beers in general - that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

O: An absolutely brilliant brew. This is the first full sized serving I've had of a Cigar City beer, and it did not dissapoint. I do wonder why it was bottled in a 750ml, as it is a much bigger serving then any one human should have in a night. (1,050 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received a while back from Drink1121... Huge thanks for the bottles Caleb!! I'm still broke and diving a bit into the cellar... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 Finger head is very dark brown ... it seems to die fairly quickly though and doesn't leave much lace... cap is pretty. Brew is black.. no light escaping.

Rich and malty... very fruity with alot of prunes and dried cherries.. lite cocoa... espresso... really very complex... I've just been sniffing it for probably ten minutes now.

Waves of dark malts begin with dark roast... and then a big blast of cocoa... that sorta turns into a bit of a coffee chocolate cordial mid-palate with some caramel maltiness... dark cherries linger on the finish with a bit of drying dark grain and cocoa.. very nice body with a bit lighter than average carbonation actually helps the mouthfeel be very smooth.

As it warms quite a bit of char and ash shows and sorta limits drinkability for me... still is very very complex but a definite sipper that makes you think.

4/4/4/4/4 (1,037 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottle courtesy of korguy123. Thanks!
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured ink black. One of the blackest beers I have ever seen. Not too much head formed but there was a small amount of espresso coloured head.

S - Cocoa, molasses, coffee, some licorice and hints of dark fruit.

T - Cocoa, roasted malts, molasses, coffee, licorice and faint notes of dark fruit. Fairly sweet. Very complex.

M - Medium body, somewhat viscous at times but somewhat lighter at other times. The carbonation was very light; almost somewhere between flat and light carbonation. A little more carbonation would have really made a difference here.

O - An excellent RIS. Aside from the slight carbonation issue, not much to complain about here. (735 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from thagr81us in a past massive trade. Thanks once again Calton!

This bottle was the 2010 vintage. This one pours a blackest of black, motor oil sludge in consistency with absolutely no head or activity. It smells of rich and smooth milk and dark chocolates, featuring both sweet and bitter malt characters with a good amount of coffee. The sweetness is almost Baltic-esque. The flavors are heavy on chocolates, all types of chocolates. Initially I got a good amount of milk chocolate, followed by coffee. It is quickly followed by a dark chocolate bitterness and plenty of roasted malts. It's just really sweet, which takes away from the overall balance. It drinks exceptionally smooth, as one should expect. Overall it's a nice RIS but it is on the sweet side. I can see where Nielsborium got it's sugar from and I can see the base of Hunahpu as well. It's a solid beer, worthy of barrel aging and new additions, but alone it's nothing too special. (975 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, no head. Motor oil viscosity. Nice alcohol legs.

Some roastiness. The smell doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Like the taste a hell of a lot more than the nose. Coffee, roast. Has this zip to it, yeses.

Mouthfeel is palatial. So thick. Adequate carbonation.

Wow, this one is all about the viscous appearance and thick(!!!) mouthfeel. Sets it apart. Thanks egrace84. (379 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, enjoyed 3/12

A jet-black beer that pours like motor oil, thick and sludgy, with a big brown bubbly head that settles down slowly. Lacing is sticky; the glass looks like I had an ice cream sundae, not a beer.

Nice nose; lots of chocolate, both bitter and milk, anise, espresso, roasty malt, and a just a trace of booze.

Big and tasty, the way this style is supposed to be. It’s all here, tons of chocolately goodness, coffee and roast, just a hint of tobacco, molasses, toffee, caramel, a bit of hoppy bitterness, but just so, in the finish. Sweet, fudgy and desert-worthy; paired especially well with chocolate chip brownies for an over-the-top diabetes-inducing indulgence.

The body on this one is perfect; go big or go home. Tons of chew, thick, thick, thick, low carbonation, your lips are sticky after a sip.

I feel like this one can hang in there with almost any other example of this style. To me it was like going to San Diego and drinking fresh Pliny, Nelson, Kern River, etc. How to say which is best? They are all tremendous examples of American IPAs. Put this one up there with the KBS and the BCBS and the rest in my book. It’s like comparing Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, etc., etc. It’s not that one is better than the other, but rather, who are you in the mood for today? (1,335 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

July 2011 bottle, opened Aug 2012

A - Wow, the pour is liquid bowling ball black. Thick, creamy, milk chocolate brown head with fantastic retention and lace. Zero highlights on the solid black body.

S - Warm booze, balsamic, black molasses, toffee, savory, and anise.

T - Thick sweet molasses, burnt toast, dark roast coffee, cherry and plum fruits, toffee, dry dark chocolate, and cream.

M - Chewy mouthfeel. About as thick as they come.

O - Aggressive flavor profile; this bottle is definitely meant for sharing. It feels more over the top than in balance, which is cool if it's your thing but it's a little much for me. (627 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- so viscous and pitch black. A dark brown head fading to a tiny lacing.

S - roasty burnt grains. Dark bitter chocolate. Cocoa powder.

T - charcoal burnt wood. Chocolate syrup. faint black licorice ending. Sweet alcohol. hints of earthy bread and some hop floral. So sweet. Lactose?

M - possibly the thickest stout ever. So viscous d'ass heavy bodied.

O - pretty wel balanced for 11.5 abv and such a heavy body (415 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. This one is a pretty thick pour. Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate notes. 

T- The taste is big and roasty with ton of roasted malt flavors with some unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and some bitterness from the hops in the warming finish. Very nice! All the flavors blend very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I can't wait to try this again with some more age on it!  (623 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Matt for the bottle!

It pours black with a 2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is all sorts of complex; coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, sweet malt, molasses. Wow.

The taste follows suit. All the smells are there with the bottom line of this being a very malty/sweet RIS with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. Super good tasting and the alcohol is hidden pretty well.

The smoothest of mouthfeels with a better drinkability rating than it has a right to, this is simply marvelous. (523 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This might be the darkest, thickest pour I've ever seen, head, carbonation missing from it, but with a beer of such style, who cares? No lace to it, no head to it. Aroma is very easy going. Aroma is pretty faint, chocolate, ever so slight booze.

Taste, a sipper for sure, thick, chewy, not a lot of any component jumping out other than chewiness. No coffee, a decent amount of chocolate. Don't taste any vanilla or wood. Just tons and tons of roasted malt, maybe some oatmeal to round all this out into a tasty concoction. If I could pick this up for $10 all the time, you can bet it would be always on hand. (609 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on 4.20.11

25.4oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A - Dark-deep brown in color, almost black with a slight head that is dark brown and only forms on the eges.

S - Slight coffee and lots of toffee.

T - Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and toffee.

D - Little carbonation, but thick and mouth coating. (317 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 24/10/14, big cheers towards alfie for the bottle

A motor oil black before it hits the glass, two fingers of super dark foam quickly ends up as a thin film leaving no lace

S bruised plum, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate syrup, faint coffee and smoke, some licorice, more chocolate syrup, some earthy notes, smells rich

T faint spicy notes but it could be left over from some my pork chop seasoning, lots of chocolate of all sorts, no booze anywhere, more coffee then the nose but its still mellow, some molasses and more licorice, a more intense version of the nose

M very thick and syrupy, low carbonation but not flat, sticky on the lips, no booze and an intense coffee and char finish

O thick and rich, lots of chocolate and bonus points for completely hiding the booze, there's zero at every point

well put together RIS, could use some more carbonation but that's my only complaint and its a minor one (958 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours blacker than black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head is one of the darkest I can remember seeing and settles into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of deeply roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms the malt aromas sweeten considerably and hints of molasses waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with an acrid character kick things off and are joined midway through the sip by unsweetened chocolate flavors. The ending is solidly bitter and holds slight notes of coffee. As with the smell the flavor profile sweetens a good deal once it warms a bit, with the roasted malt flavors losing acridity and dark molasses flavors permeating throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass, and the second one, and could have had a few more.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one right out of the bottle, but once it has a chance to warm it gains complexity and comes into its own. Worth a shot. (1,098 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.66/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ GingerMan NYC. Pours a dark dark dark brown (pretty much black) with a crazy thick inch of dark brown foam/head which leaves a boat ton of sticky brown lacing.

Aromas of extreme dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark bitter chocolate. As it warms I get some sweet dark molasses and a little smoke in the background. Some hefty espresso emerges and begins to dominate it continues to warm.

The taste is initially astringent dark roasty malts and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted charred malts are also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Some sweeter milk chocolate emerges as it warms but the roasted, bitter, astringent malts are a bit too dominant and a taste I am slowly beginning to dislike in my beers.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full bodied for sure. Chewy in an understatement here. Extremely thick, syrupy, viscous and mouth-coating. Much more carbonation than I experienced in last year's bottled version which had some carbonation issues I recall reading somewhere.

Overall this is a good tasting beer but the heavy chewiness in the body and roasted bitter, charred malt flavors are just too dominant for my tastes. I would prefer some more balanced milk chocolate flavors but I guess that is more the American Stout category as opposed to the RIS category here. Better than I remember, but my small sample at the bar was enough as I would struggle to finish the 750ml that this is typically bottled in. Maybe I am just over the Russian Imperial Stout category or my tastes have just shifted away from enjoying these huge chewy beast beers. (1,591 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle - Thanks to lubiere for this

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy/frothy brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, malts, smoke, nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it isn't as syrupy feeling as I expected. I can taste lots of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and some nuts. There is also a nice amount of smoke mixed with malts. It ends with a bitter sweet aftertaste.

Overall – One of the better RIS's Ive had. Although the taste is big and bold, it's still very drinkable and well balanced. I'd love to have a few bottles of this tucked away. (773 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Agent Zero.

Super excited to try this after many other CCB successes, but this really let me down....Pours dark brown with a medium tan head that is gone in a microsecond if its shows its head at all, which on two of the three pours it didn't...Aroma is light chocolate, mildly sweet but plain and boring...The taste is also light malt to start then a very ashy bitter coffee finish. Just very blah for a stout.

Nothing worth securing, an above average beer, but a clearly below average RIS. (500 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.

Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.

Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.

Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.

Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season. (1,510 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a thick, viscous blacked out color with a layering of dark browned head. Retains for a bit, some wispy tanned film lies on top, leaving a couple spots of lacing behind.

Very roasty and warm in the nose. Plethora of dark fruits with some candied, sweet notes. A suggestion of cola. Licorice, plum, and dates. Cocoa with caramel and roasted malts. Decent flair of alcohol too.

Roasty and sweet up front. More dark fruit than I was expecting with candied dates and anise notes with a hint of plum. Dark chocolate and cocoa swirled with caramel and heavy, roasted malts. Warm booze and residual sweetness in the finish.

Very thick, viscous, almost oily feel on the tongue, decent carbonation. A really nice imperial stout, although it made me yearn for Hunahpu's. (799 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think it was Matt (drabmuh) that brought this yesterday. Thank you!

Jet black with a dark brown hear with great retention and thick lace, this is quite the looker. The nose is great too, plenty of roast, some pine hop aroma and bitterness along with a bit of a grainy bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and a touch of alcohol round out the nose.
The palate opens big and bitter with a burnt grain bitterness, roast, bitter chocolate and a little cream. Some licorice character is noticeable too. Roasty and bitter on the finish, this is solid. Big and full in body with low carbonation, this beer is really good, but a little bit goes a long way. (654 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black cola body with a tan head and a roasted chocolate smell as well as coffee, some toasted/burnt malt as well. A thick, slightly smooth body with loads of coffee malt taste along with hints of toffee and bitter chocolate. Dryness eminates from the coffee malts as well as ABV peeking through, in a good way, and is a great beer to sip on. (356 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.