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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: 21.26%
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 popery
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 8/22/10. Good imperial stout but not really a standout. I still don’t really get all of the CCB hype. Pours black with a brown head. Looks pretty thick. Nice head retention. Solid chocolate/coffee/roast flavor. Taste is on the sweet side with a definite, lingering molasses note. Medium full body. Some hop bitterness helps curtail the sweetness. Good beer but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the pack. As a year round beer (and depending on price), it’s very good, but among all >10% stouts, it’s not so memorable.

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

Cousin got me a bottle a few months ago. Finally getting around to drinking it. Can't wait to finally try this.

Appearance: Pours the darkest color I've ever seen bar Ten Fidy. Huge pillowy brown head. Looks insane.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, cherries, alcohol, mocha, coffee, syrup, and dark malts.

Taste - Tastes absolutely amazing. Chocolate, dark fruits with predominantly a cherry flavor, coffee, dark malts, slight roast, syrupy sweetness, and more milk chocolate and a slight hop bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick mouthfeel. Barely any carbonation but it works. Leaves a cocoa powdery film in your mouth. Awesome.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had. In my top 5. So fucking delicious.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ML bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Motor oil black with 2 fingers of dark brown head that some what dissipates but stays with the beer the whole way leaving stick multi layered lacing on the glass.

Smell- Wow getting bourbon here even though this isnt aged in boubon barrels at all. Also getting coffee, lots of forms of chocolate, and some espresso.

Taste- Up front the 1st thing that hits is a little booze. The booze is followed by chocolates and coffee and bitter hops. The finish is a long cloying roastyness.

Mouthfeel- Heavy body that coats the mouth with a perfect amount of carbonation balance. Also, a nice alcohol warming towards the end.

Overall- Very interesting Russian Imperial stout. Lots of charecteristics of a BA stout with a very nice long toasty/roasty finish.

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Photo of dbc5
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. 6 ounces poured into a 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout snifter.

A. Pour appears extremely viscous. Moderate pour yields about a one finger, coffee colored head which recedes into darkness quickly. Not much evidence of carbonation once the head recedes.

S: Large amount of chocolate upfront. Also picking up a brown sugar character that I've gotten from other Cigar City stouts (Cognac Milk Stout). Some coffee and vanilla as well. Dominate aroma is dark chocolate, followed by the sweetness and coffee.

T: Tons of roasted malt sweetness up front. A good amount of dark chocolate. Definitely a sweeter stout. Picking up some vanilla, which in combination with the extremely thick mouthfeel, lends a cream-like character. After swallowing, getting some bitter coffee and just a touch of hop bitterness attempting to balance out some of the sweetness.

M: This is the most noteworthy aspect of the beer. I don't know that I can identify a more viscous non-barrel aged stout. Short of Bourbon County Stout, this may be the thickest beer I've had. It coats your palate and sticks around forever.

O: Enjoyable brew. It is pretty sweet and I can see that being an issue for some when working through the 750 ml format. Being honest, I'm a fan of sweet beers but found myself becoming a bit fatigued in the palate by the end of the bottle. Would be happy to acquire another bottle somewhere down the road to see what age does to it.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter.

A - THICK. Lots of beers get described as motor oil, this is the first one I've ever seen that actually truly looks like used motor oil. Completely and utterly black, opaque. This is what a stout should look like.

S - chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roasty malt

T - really complex. There's a lot of dark chocolate, again the molasses flavor peeks through, vanilla, bitter chocolate. Complex to the point of being hard to describe. No bitterness anywhere. Finish is smooth and sweet.

M - say it again, THICK! Thickest beer I've ever had. Near zero carbonation. Rich. I wish every stout were this thick!

O - Look and feel nailed it. Smell and taste were also very good. Super complex, kick you in the face stout. Definitely one to share, as this one almost wears you out by the end. Very much looking for this one again.

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

2012 vintage poured into Founder's Bolt Cutter glass

Pour: This is without a doubt the thickest beer I have ever personally poured or poured for me. I mean this has to be the closest thing to motor oil that I have ever put in my mouth! It is beyond black and of course no light will be allowed to penetrate this beast. There was a 1 to 2 finger dark, dark brown head and as I poured this my son even made a face and asked "why is it so dark?" I have to agree with him that every aspect of appearance on this screams DARK!! Lacing is really not evident.

Smell: Loads of roasted malts up front with a touch of smoke. There is chocolate, some coffee and some dark spices of some sort that I can't pick out.

Taste: Like in the smell there is a ton of roasted malt notes leading into some mild bitter coffee and a wonderful full chocolate taste. I am also picking up a wonderful vanilla coated coffee beans like taste. The complexity but balance on this beer is unreal! A bit of hop bitterness takes hold mid palate and a bitter burnt coffee in the aftertaste. Absolutely wonderful!!

Mouthfeel: Well what is a motor oil like beer supposed to feel like? Obviously this is super thick and chewy to the point of being a satisfying meal. It covers every corner of my palate with it's syrup like consistency and does not let go! I love it! The alcohol is barely noticeable.

Overall: I love the balance of this. It is such a huge roast bomb but somehow everything is held together without any one aspect overpowering. This with the appearance and mouthfeel of this beer makes this without a doubt an A+ beer!!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

~750ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a fucking gourgeous fucking head of perfect ideal cream, fantastic ideal thickness, and fantastic retentuion. Just about one of the best heads I've ever seen. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. The retention is just plain amazing for the ABV. Mocha cream head. Incredible.

Sm: Chocolate, coffee, dark malts, cream, roast, and marshmallow. Fantastic. An above average strength aroma.

T: Cream, chocolate, marshmallow, fantastic dark malts, subtle roast, caramel, and some milky notes. Balance is damn near impeccable. That's pretty fucking good. Incredibly well built. It don't get much better than this. Masterfully constructed. Incredibly well layered.

Mf: Amazingly soft and creamy. Smooth and wet. Delightful. Perfect carbonation. Perfect thickness.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the high ABV, which is very well hidden. This is amazingly good. I'd definitely seek this out again. A home run from Cigar City. Surpasses my expectations. Damned incredible.


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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
2010 Vintage

Thanks to my buddy futura123 for this one.

Appearance: From pictures I had seen, Marshal Zhukov was almost guaranteed to get a 5 on appearance, however the almost inaudible hiss upon cracking the cap might put this in jeopardy. The pour lives up to my expectation - thick, viscous and black as Satan's heart. Needless to say the beer appears pitch black in the glass, with a back light not even managing to reveal a micron of red along the edge. Sadly my initial concern regarding the carbonation appear justified, as even the most vigorous of pours only manages to generate a very thin layer of foam. The foam that does generate is a beautiful dark mocha colour - I can just imagine how good this would look with a full head! A swirl coats the glass in a thick brown residue, that fades into heavy alcohol legs (this is going to be a bitch to clean).

Smell: Holy hell, now this is what I call a nose - you can smell this from a mile away and boy does it smell good! Massive dark chocolate aromas combine with dark roasted coffee, roasted malt, dark caramel and molasses to form the bulk of the nose. In addition closer inspection of the nose yields notes of: Caramelized/burned brown sugar, sweet dark toffee, a little sweet milk chocolate, burned raisins, a hint of date, some char, a hint of smoke and a little liquorice. As the beer hits room temperature, the nose becomes a lot sweeter, with dark chocolate fudge and a hint of vanilla becoming apparent.

Taste: As the nose promised, the flavour is massive in every way - each sip bombards your taste buds with masses of dark chocolate, sweet dark caramel, molasses and a massive blast of roasted malt towards the finish. Other flavour notes include: caramelized (almost burned) brown sugar, coffee, sweet dark fruits (raisins, dates and maybe a hint of cherry), milk chocolate, a touch of vanilla, some char, a touch of liquorice and a distinct woody note (strange since this has not been aged in any barrels).
The finish is still quite bitter (the 80 IBUs don't seem to have faded after 2 years in the bottle) and lightly dry. There is absolutely no trace of the 11% Abv, which makes this dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Perfect! As with the rest of the beer, the body is absolutely massive - viscous, chewy and sticky. The carbonation is of a very low level (just perfect for my tastes) and wonderfully smooth.

Overall: Marshal Zhukov is one hell of a beer and is easily one of the best un-barrel-aged imperial stouts I have had! I would highly recommend this for anyone who loves massive imperial stouts. I will certainly be trading for a whole lot more of this!

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Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz swing-top growler thanks to biniek13. Filled 11/12 (approaching a month old). Poured into Hunahpu glass. This is my first time having MZ from a growler, however I've had it from the bottle a couple times (1st time reviewing).

A- Pours a very dark jet black like motor oil with a thick creamy half-finger dark mocha brown head (one of the darkest heads I've seen) that has decent retention but recedes to a perfectly flat top. Despite being almost a month old in the growler, this beer surprisingly still has retained a decent amount of carbonation of consistently rising bubbles. Some alcohol legs.

S- Dark chocolate, some creamy milk chocolate, dark fruits, some figs, raisins, and a hint of roasted malts. Fairly aromatic and nicely complex for a RIS.

T- Dark chocolate, figs, some raisins especially on the finish, a hint of bitterness from the chocolate. Nice complexity, awesome balance, and a great representation of the style.

M- Great thick body that isn't too syrupy, very smooth, extremely easy to drink (definitely hits you sooner then you know it).

O- Marshal Zhukov is a great representation of a RIS and one of many great beers from CCB. Definitely one of my favorites and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of LifeTree
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a CCB snifter

A - Thick and dark as poured into glass. Delicious looking brown foam and thick head. This is a sexy looking beer!

S - Alcohol and roasted notes. The strong alcohol aroma is the only knock on this beer. But hey... its 11% abv its got some alcohol in it

T - Bitter and roasted coffee tones. Not the most complex beer I have had but this is a straight forward imperial stout. Very robust compared to many other imperial stouts I have had.

M - Starts off as medium body and finishes very full body

O - This one is up there with some of the best imperial stouts I have had. The only ones that dare to compare are Bells Expedition, North Coast Old Rasputin, and Stone Imperial Stout.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 bottling acquired via trade with Mposha. I love how the bottle label looks like a cigar band. Poured into a Founders snifter. The appearance of this beer is almost shocking. It is viscous and absolutely pitch black with a really dark brown head. The head is about a finger thick, but dissipates pretty quickly (not surprising at this ABV) and leaves a slight trace of sticky, almost crusty-looking lace behind. The nose has lots of sweet malt, roasted coffee, chocolate, a hint of vanilla, marshmallows, and dark fruit. Heavenly.

Very full body and a thick, creamy, almost gooey feel. This substantial mouthfeel seems appropriate given the complex myriad of flavors that explode across the palate. Big sweet bready malt, bitter espresso beans, dark bakers chocolate, molasses, tangy dark fruit, German lebkuchen, and earthy licorice are just a few of the many flavors I seem to pick up. Just when you think things are calming down, the finish hits you with a nice warming booziness that leaves a long, lingering taste like the burnt crust of a rum-soaked chocolate cake in your mouth.

This may or may not be the best-tasting RIS I have had. In a head-to-head, I still think I'd prefer Founders (Marshal Z is a little sweet and Founders has just the right amount of bitterness to suit my palate). Marshal Z however, is easily the most complex RIS I have had. I am really glad I have 2 more bottles as it will take at least another 1 or 2 sittings with this beer to even begin to expore all of its tantalizing pleasures. Thanks to Cigar City for brewing it, thanks to the folks in Florida for supporting this brewery, and thanks to Mposha for trading it.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks again to Matt for sharing!

(A)- Pours pitch black, with one of the darkest brown colors in a head I have ever seen.

(S)- Aroma-wise, fairly straightforward for the style with some rich bits of raisin and molasses and a good underlying roasted profile.

(T)- A touch different from the smell in that, it has the classic roastedness and rich bits, but it almost tastes like it has an underlying honey-like sweetness throughout the flavor profile of the beer; interesting.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Perhaps a touch sweeter than I was expecting, but it blends well and counterbalances what might have been quite a strong roasted profile. It definitely cut out some of the residual bitterness too.

(O)- Not sure how old this particular bottle was, but I did enjoy the slightly different nuances this beer put out. Not overly complex for the style, but it fits the style well.

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 MZ. Been saving this one for a while and I'm excited to crack it open.

A: I don't usually rate very high for appearance, but this is just beautiful. Thick, jet black, and a huge, astounding dark mocha colored creamy head.

S: Sweet, roasty, chocolaty, and a hint of soy sauce.

T: Coffee, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce, and a very faint metallic tang that make this the lowest score. I'm debating edwhether my score is too harsh, as it is still delicious, and my palate has been spoiled over the last week with some truly awesome impy stouts. (

M: Holy hell, this is where this beer shines. The thickest beer I've ever had with the possible exception of bcbs, but more of a creamy tckness than a sludgy, syrupy thickness. Smooth, creamy, and oh so good.

O: okay, so I went back and upped the score for taste. It definitely got better as it warmed. Really glad I got to try this one. I think it says a lot that this beer fared so well in a week that included '08 bcbs and '07-'12 Abyss.

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Photo of davey101
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

8/30/2012 vintage. 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks Matt!

A - Pours a thick black body. I guess I have to go cliche and call it "motor oil" here. Although personally after performing numerous oil changes I've never seen used oil look this appealing. The head that forms initially is massive. Something I've never seen before in a beer is layers in the head. Three fingers of dark mocha foam with an apparent one finger layer of light mocha head capping it off. After settling down I'm left with some edging and an abundance of sticky lacing. Swirling creates a trace of alcoholic legs and thick clinging suds. Literally stains the side of the glass with a dark yellow/brown color for a bit. Perfect.

S - Lots of roasted malts that almost come off as ashy and chalky. Herbal anise leads into dark chocolate, coffee, sweet barbecue sauce (yes, BBQ sauce), vanilla and spices. Smooth and robust with some warming booze.

T - Roasted malts, bitter coffee beans, smooth dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla. Just an unreal balance of sweet, roast, and savory. Aftertaste if of burnt coffee, which is surprisingly enjoyable. Some warming alcohol on the end.

M - Thick, syrupy, and coating. A light prickly carbonation prevents it from being too much. Alcohol is hardly noticeable.

O - This beer has such presence. Its a huge roasty monstrosity of a stout, yet its never cloying or too alcoholic. It also has one of the best appearances and mouth feels I've experienced in a stout. Puts most barrel aged stouts to shame, this is the real deal!

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Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to robinsmv for this one!

Pours like motor oil... except maybe darker, and thicker. So sexy looking - dark coffee brown head fades to a thin, well retaining film that smears lacing across a layer of oily alcohol legs.

Oh my... bittersweet. Chocolate cookies, fudge... it even SMELLS thick. Damn. Some brown sugar or cinnamon, french toast, molasses... nose-gasm.

Bittersweet chocolates of all kinds, abstract roasted malt qualities, incredibly thick and exceedingly smooth, alcohol character goes virtually undetected... I wonder how many calories are in this bottle. My guess would be a lot, and it's worth every fuckin' sip.

Damn good.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to RyanSchwam for this monster. My first CCB ever!

A - pours jet, jet black. One of the blackest beers I've ever seen. Lots of head, almost a waterfall effect like Guinness. The foam is the darkest brown. Great looking beer.

S - lots of malt, some hints of anise and coffee, maybe some chocolate on the bass note. The alcohol is detectable, but not overbearing.

T - I've been into Ten Fidy lately, so I'm implicitly comparing all RISs to that right now. MZ is pretty good, but the malt overwhelms, which is a trap to which many RISs succumb. Objectively, it's delicious.

M - goes down like a dream. The alcohol makes it somewhat syrupy, but nothing significant to complain about.

O - I asked Ryan for two bottles of this one because I was going to age the one that I didn't drink, but I'm not sure there are any flavors that need substantial toning down. Good beer, I'll certainly get it again if I'm ever in Florida.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by @scud, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Completely oil black body, with a very sizable two finger deep khaki head. Leaves no lacing, but the glass is slick with a brown sludge through the glass.

Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, with a hefty smokey/roastiness. A large amount of coffee comes through. as it warms, vanilla and caramel come out.

Taste: Deep bitter coffee and chocolate. Very rich. Some toffee and caramel come out as it warms. Closes with some vanilla milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy, and very rich. A definite sipper.

Overall: Evolves amazingly through the glass. Really great stuff. Thanks Dan for sharing.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pour this beer and it is black as can be with a Khaki head that just lasts forever.

At first this smells mostly of bakers chocolate. Espresso and coffee notes as it warms. Way underneath dark fruits.

Taste of espresso chocolate and roast. Some earthy hops come through as well. Very enjoyable. Not much alcohol but would love to try this with a year on it.

Mouthfeel is full. Incredibly thick beer. So smooth.

A top notch stout for sure.

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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 WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, bottled August 31, 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Absolutely gorgeous. Pours pitch black, thick and viscous looking. As it fills the glass it slowly produces a two-finger, dark chocolate brown, thick and creamy head, which has nice retention and spotty lacing.

S- Loads of chocolate and roasted grain, some char, fruit and vanilla.

T- A big rush of malty sweetness, chocolate, cocoa powder and molasses, after a bit some roasty flavors become more dominant, with roasted grain and a huge amount of coffee. Some notes of fruit and vanilla are playing in the background. Slight alcohol warmth towards the finish, but it's very well hidden in general.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation, has a creamy, velvety and slightly slick feel with some lingering chewiness.

O- This is a damn impressive beer, one of the tastiest stouts I've had in the last few months. Everything you could want in a stout is here in a big way and it all works very well together. If you were fighting your way room-by-room through the burning ruins of the Reichstag this is the kind of beer you would want to be drinking.

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Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a trip to Orlando in Sept. 2010.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Blacker than black body but no head at all. Kind of plops into the glass. Very viscous as it leaves a film on the glass as it's tilted.

Smell: Dark chocolate, bit sweet, robust coffee. Not as strong as i would have expected but still pleasant.

Taste: Hazelnut, layer of roasted coffee, long finish. Flavor is gradual, builds up in the middle. Molasses cookies, lingering coffee flavor. Not as complex as ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Real thick yet retains a slick smooth feel. A bit syrupy.

Overall: Real good but still haven't found one that tops DL.

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Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta give the Marshal another try. Last bottle was 100% flat. 2011-2012 winter version.

A- Pitch black doom into a pint glass with an extremely dark head. Cap is silky like whipped cream and retains very well. Big patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Chocolate drizzled raisins lead the way for me. Also big molasses and roast malts. Seems fairly straightforward.

T- Massive flavor of chocolate and cherries like a really sticky, fudge browny. Big notes of molasses syrup, coffee beans, caramel, and roast cracked grains. Seriously like a dessert in liquid form. Lots of sweetness.

MF- One of the thickest and biggest beers I have ever imbibed. Lower end carbonation does great justice compared to a horrifying flat version. Some alcohol heat and bitterness.

This beer is a BEAST, very thick and like a sweet dessert. Just a bit too sweet for me but I cant hate too hard. Brownies in the liquid phase.

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Photo of QuentinCall
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

"I just wasn't prepared for it to bitchslap me with every sip."

This beer lumbers out of the growler: viscous, jet-brown and seemingly denser than physically possible. A foamy head the color of wet sand and milky espresso blooms and slowly settles to a sizable and velveteen layer. It's fascinatingly dark, honestly, darker than Expedition, darker than KBS. I feel like congratulations and chain e-mails and newscasts are in order to acknowledge that Cigar City has made the Black Materia of beers.
The roast profile of this beer is fairly astonishing and forthrightly stands as the dominant aspect of the nose -- a capacious and multi-faceted coffee foundation (somehow concurrently bright, earthy, robust and sodden) roundly supported by raw chocolate notes, a substantial dose of oak and traces of syrupy stone fruits.
This is an aggressive beer. The roast is translated and follows logically to the taste. Again, coffee dominates at every turn but it is, mostly, fitted neatly to lovely moments of bittersweet ganache, bourbon, and molasses. And while I think its delicious as well as a potential touchstone for its style, its also a little overwhelming for me. Simply, super heavy + intensely upfront roastiness = the slowest of sippers.
The mouthfeel here is the key asset and what ultimately clinches this for me. It is plush, wet, not overly carbonated (which I can easily imagine dooming this one) and not as sticky as the nose could very well lead you to believe. Thankfully, it lasts for a while and not much longer.
This is a massive and blatantly militant beer that could readily be construed as magnificently executed or somewhat overwhelming and unbalanced. However, what I feel is the most important thing to keep in mind: be amongst friends, you probably shouldn't drink this one by yourself.

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

A: Pours black and thick with a half inch of dark and dense head.

S: Chocolate and coffee aromas were present but subtle.

T: A little sweet up front with a nice dry and slightly bitter finish to round it out.

M: Big chewy body.

I liked this beer a lot. I wanted something big that would help me sink into the couch after a long day, and this guy did not disappoint. As massive and complex as an Imperial Stout should be, while maintaining the balance necessary to be dangerously drinkable.


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