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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,995 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,995
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,045
Gots: 695 | FT: 54
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,995 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of titosupertramp
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Marshal Zhukov pours out of the bottle like oil that's a couple of thousand miles past due. Very dark and well carbonated..glad it's not from the flat batch. Chocolate colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Big nose. Chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted malt, raisins. Just what you want an RIS to smell like. Very inviting.

T: Everything from the nose is there. Molasses and chocolate are the most dominate flavors to me. Nice complex taste.

M: Thick, rich and coats the mouth, leaving a nice chocolate aftertaste.

D: Alcohol never shows itself at any point..not in the nose or taste. Drinks very well.

From this point forward, when someone asks what is my favorite RIS, this will be part of the conversation.

titosupertramp, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of Chico1985
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

**Updated notes - 11-2-12
Was fortunate enough to have cbutova provide another bottle of this, which was amply carbonated, improving the appearance and mouthfeel a good amount. A super thick dark brown head with red tints retained well and left good lace, crazy head on this one. Like stated in the original review, it's tasty but extremely sweet, thick and rich- fudge, dark cherries and molasses take over the palate. I imagine it drinking best as a ~5 oz. dessert beer, it can get overbearing quickly.

(original scores/review - 2/3.5/3.5/2.5/2)
Thanks to cbutova for sharing this 750ml. I wasn't positive at the time of tasting this, but I just confirmed that this is the base beer for Hunaphu's, which I enjoyed last year.

Opens with a small hiss, but the pour is not too promising carbonation-wise. Pours black as black with no head, just slight bubbles that quickly form a thin tan ring. Ugly sediment at the bottom. Stains the glass something evil.

First impression in the smell is a big spiciness, soy sauce and licorice. Very sweet, tons of molasses. Oddly, really no expected stoutness (roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, etc)

Big, thick, sweet chocolate fudge, molasses, licorice. Smoky a bit on the finish. Dark cherries also very noticeable which adds to the extreme sweetness. Not getting much coffee.

Barely carbonated. Super thick, oily. Sweetness is cloying from the get-go. Alcohol is very-well hidden but this beer still feels so huge. Smoky ashiness lingers on the palate.

The uber-low carbonation didn't help, but damn this was one huge, sweet, tolling beer. The flavors are decent but found this to be too sweet. I enjoyed Hunahpu's alot more, but now I really gotta try it again knowing this is the base beer...

Chico1985, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at the Cigar City brewery on a trip to Tampa...

Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black. No carbonation, no head, and no lace to be had here. Bummer...

S - Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and a hint of coffee...

T - Pretty much follows the smell. Chocolate, dark roasted malts, molasses, and coffee. Ends on a sweet caramel note. A little sweeter than I expected, but still really tasty, and abv is very well hidden...

M - Despite the lack of carbonation this one has a good mouthfeel. Thick and chewy like a good RIS should be...

D - Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again with a little carbonation. All in all, another solid brew from CC...

Cheers...

comfortablynumb1, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this with my brother-in-law (godin64bit) while we watched Superbowl XLV...

Popping this open--- sounded uncarbonated... Pours an inky dark black, very little carbonation. Just a few little bubbles create a loose and lazy collar. Viscous and oily legs... Leading to sticky lace that looks like that of a root beer float. Some carbonation here would put this beaut over the top.

The smell has huge chocolate notes... Almost reminding me of chocolate covered raisins-- raisenettes, perhaps? Mmmm. This is quite tasty. Great roastiness. The flavor holds a hint of booze not found in the nose. The chocolate is so thick and full, it should be called "fudge."

The body needs some bubbles... It is very full and thick. The beer is insanely drinkable for the ABV. If the carbonation issues get worked put, this will be a top rung contender.

AleWatcher, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"I took a speed-reading course and read War And Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."

--Woody Allen

Bottom of the Black Sea black with an incredibly thin slice of fudge milkshake colored suds. The almost nonexistent head is no surprise following an almost imperceptable escape of CO2 on crown cracking. Looks (and sounds) like carbonation might be an issue.

There's nothing wrong with the nose. On the contrary, each sniff delivers a blast of dark chocolate and licorice and most other roasted malt-related aromas as well. Firepower is definitely not an issue, so let's hope the same is true on the palate.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout is a massively flavorful RIS that is a better mouthfeel away from greatness. The shortage of bubbles keeps the beer from expanding (opening up) on contact and allowing one to appreciate the finer nuances of the flavor profile. It's still damn good stuff... and what happens with warming comes close to putting the lie to the previous sentence.

There's so much black malt that it could almost be classified as an Imperial schwarzbier. Specifics include high cacao dark chocolate-covered coconut (think Mounds bar), black licorice, blackstrap molasses and a surprising amount of vanilla beaniness. Talk about taste bud saturation. The next highest taste score can no longer be denied.

Rarely has there been a beer of this ABV that is this easy to drink. The alcohol hasn't hit me yet, but with each mouthful becoming a large gulp, it's bound to soon. The mouthfeel is not full, but it's probably just a lack of inflation rather than a barley deficit. Oh, what could have been.

Cigar City is on the right track with Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, an RIS that means serious business. If they can get the carbonation kinks worked out, this big black ale has a chance to be... wait for it... legendary beer. Thanks to ktrillionaire for the opportunity.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

paulozanello, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Rhettroactive, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: This looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, SO viscous. Almost no head unless it is a very high and aggressive pour. Then a tiny head forms, fades to a ring, and disappears. No lacing. At this point I am wondering if this is a 'flat' bottle or if it is just this lightly carbonated.

Smell: The aromas blend together in a very smooth fashion. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, dark chocolate, coffee, a little molasses, and some anise. A touch of booze to remind me that it is a big bad army officer of a stout.

Taste: Again, very smooth. The malt is blended, it tastes like several types of dark and roasted malts were used here. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee, vanilla, and some anise provide supporting flavors. Each flavor knows its role and has a properly proportioned strength. As the glass continues, the coffee flavors grow somewhat. Some spicy hops help to finish it out. There is some lingering coffee bitterness and molasses sweetness, but considering how huge this drinks, it cleans up fairly well. I think additional carbonation would help the finish even more as well.

Mouthfeel: This was not completely flat, but I think it was unintentionally under-carbonated. Other than that, it was velvety smooth, very viscous, creamy, and very full bodied. With a proper amount of carbonation, this score jumps considerably.

Drinkability: If this had the proper level of carbonation, it would be up there with the heavy hitters of the stout world. As is, it was ok, and all of us sort of lamented what could have been.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(750ml bottle courtesy of markwise and shared at Mike's sours/saisons tasting). Pours black with chocolate head. No carbonation and oil-like. Aroma of chocolate and soy. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness. Medium bodied with slick texture. Finish is smooth and roasty. This is a really good RIS. Thanks Mark!

trappistlover, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Same as Hunahpus with a jet black color and very dark head and lacing.

S: Very complex malt character with molasses, fudge, and smoky malts being most prominent. A little teriyaki saltiness as well, but with plenty of sugariness to balance.

T: Also a great taste with balanced malt notes and a little bit of hop esters as well. Bitter back and big fudge and smoke notes.

M: Very smooth and inviting.

D: Very drinkable for a stout of this magnitude. Another excellent stout from Cigar City!

Dreadnaught33, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/22/11 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to Dreadnaught33; thanks Jonathan, another want of mine.

a - Pours a pure black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing; a great looking stout.

s - Smells of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, and cocoa.

t - Tastes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, roasted malts, light vanilla, and light alcohol. A slight step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, nice creamy body.

d - I thought this one was a great RIS. Tried it right before a Hunahpu and it's pretty similiar and equally enjoyable. I thought the alcohol was a little more prominent in MZ and Hunahpu had that spice for the peppers and more vanilla, but can't go wrong with either. Would love to have again.

mdfb79, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle thanks to my buddy Ryan Bailey for bringing this beer back from Florida over the summer. The bottle said to wait till January so here we go!

Served at cellar temp so 51 degrees into a tulip glass.

A- Pours like sludge. Pure black no light coming through whatsoever with no head at all just a slight brown rim around the glass the forms later. Really really nice slow moving alcohol feet on the side of the glass. This ones gonna be a doozy!

S- Up front is tons of molasses and sweet burnt sugars with a strong roasted malt background behind it. Plenty of nice chocolate notes in there as well with a slight coffee presence but not much at all which is really making me want to dive right in.

T- Super thick and creamy roasted malts up front that are complimented by a really nice molasses/burnt sugar profile. As it hits the back of the throat and goes down this strong espresso and unsweetened bitter chocolate flavor comes out that just dominates the mouth. Definitely a slight alcohol flavor in there but is blended really nicely by the full body. You would barely know its there unless you hunt for it, not boozy at all.

M- Super thick syrup like body with moderate to no carbonation and a nice slight bitter slight wet finish. Excellent.

This is everything I love in a beer. Super thick and loaded with complex flavors other than pure coffee. Same with the mouthfeel, just coats the throat and leaves you wanting more. Unfortunetly due to the thickness it lacks a lot of carbonation which could make this beer easier to drink. This 750 is gonna be tough to get through without some water hah I wish I had another bottle and could have tasted this stuff fresh.

SkÅL!

Arenbeer, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of unclejimbay
3/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Potentially impressive beer, but unfortunately lacked any carbonation, non whatsoever. I have heard that carbonation may be an issue with this batch, and this bottle is indeed a victim. Purchased ~10/2010 from Broudy's Liquors in Jacksonville Beach, FL. This was a recently delivered batch in October 2010. I opened the 750ml bottle on 1/17/2011 which had been cellared at 68F for ~ 3 months, opened on time in January as suggested on the bottle. This is the first problem Cigar City beer I have ever drank over the past 2 years more than a couple dozen or so 750 bottles and kegged beers.

Dark brown/black in color with no head or carbonation.
Aromas of dark roasted malts, coffee, unsweetened cocoa.
Tastes as it smells, with some mildly sweet boozy abv, much less bitter than I have seen others noted.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, as thick as a beer can get. Poured like motor oil on a cold day, with no carbonation at all.

I hope to try this again with proper carbonation. Seems like an impressive big daddy stout when enjoyed as intended. I will standby for another taste.

unclejimbay, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed during an epic tasting with tlay10 and poured into a snifter.

Pours a creamy, inky black, very viscous. The head arrives incredibly late, a miniscule layer of fizz that's thick and composed of tiny bubbles the color of cinnamon. It fizzles out quickly without a trace, leaving no lace, but there are some impressive dark orange legs hugging the glass as I swirl.

In the nose: cinnamon, molasses, acrid black malts. Some hefty espresso emerges as it warms. Not much sweetness, but there are some dark plums, smoke, perhaps some vanilla.

The flavor is replete with coffee, sweet plum sauce and brandy. It gets sweeter as it warms. Nice and complex, with different flavors emerging at each stage of the swallow. Tobacco, dark chocolate and pretzels in at the finish. Is there some cedar in here? Regardless, it's nicely woody and well-hopped. Perfectly balanced finish -- not too sweet, not overly dry.

Light, tickly carbonation in the mouth. It's incredibly creamy and smooth; just a pleasure to swish about. The amazing thing is there's hardly any noticeable alcohol. Whoever put an 11 percent ABV on the bottle must be out of his damn mind.

For an off the shelf beer, Zhukov's is absolutely incredible. The flavors and mouthfeel are amazingly well-integrated, and it feels like drinking velvet. It exceeded our expectations.

Phelps, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of steve8robin
3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one at a tasting and thought it was a decent beer. Let's do an official review for my, iced-in in Georgia saga this week. 750ml...

A: Well, sheesh, after a very rigorous pour of this black and thick as motor oil liquid, I get absolutely no head whatsoever! Ok.

S: I get some black licorice and booze upfront immediately. quickly followed by cocoa and vanilla blended with molasses in the middle and some stick honey and sugary malts on the back. Decent.

T: Very sweet upfront almost like an iced tea at first which is quickly buried by a bitter roastiness. Some black licorice and cocoa in the middle with some nice caramel malt hidden on the back. This is a very sticky and thick brew. Good.

M: Huge and heavy! Very stick with a great carbonation. A bit of a cloying bitter finish. Decent.

D: A little harder to go down because it's so thick and heavy with an accent on the booze. Decent.

All in all, this seems like my first middle of the road brew from CC. Everything I've had from them has either been great or a letdown. This one is just decent. Most I've had were great from them. This one is good if you like roasty, huge, heavy, and thick stouts. I do like these types of stouts, but this one does not seem to pull it off as well as some others. Need to crack another Hunahpu soon. That's a stout thick like this, but well, VERY WELL, done.

steve8robin, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Lerxst
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours like motor oil. Pitch black. A vigorous pour produced just the smallest semblance of a head that disappears right away.

S-Strong dark chocolate notes leap out at me first then some charred malt, dark fruit, coffee and hints of licorice and booze.

T-Dark chocolate leads here too, very prominent. The roasty malt is also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Hints of dark fruit gently peek their way through as well.

M-Full bodied. Thick, viscous, coating. Just a hint of carbonation. I'm not one who likes a lot of carbonation, particularly in stouts, but this one could use just a slight bit more. Without the carbonation it kind of reminds me of the old Hershey's syrup in the can.

D-Its a sipper for sure, but it is good and enjoyable. But one is certainly enough.

I really love CCB and RIS's, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. I just expected more. It certainly isn't a bad beer at all, so maybe my expectations were set too high by Hunahpu. (OK, I know Hunahpu is a American Double and not an RIS, but I LOVED that beer, so my stout expectations for CCB were high)

Lerxst, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Good Time's pub with a steak sandwhich. Brew arrived in a tulip-ish glass (same as the DFH signature without a logo). Brew was gorgeous with the normal deep dark ominous black and a tall finger and a half deep tan (almost brown) head. Brew smelled of chocolate and roasted malts. Tasted even better than I remembered and left a nice little buzz. Aside from the nose, nice hints of vanilla and cream. Smooth and creamy, but rather rich and thick.

cosmicevan, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into three pint glasses. Thanks to Steve and Chris for the assist!

A: Slid into the glasses like junkyard diesel engine motor oil. Creamy cigar ash colored head. Fair retention, no lace.

S: Killer aromas of spicy dark fruit, grassy hops, dark bread, and dark chocolate.

T: See above. Loads of ashy, burnt flavors. Quite savory and chewy with a bit of tangy fruit.

M: Thick and sticky. Dry, bitter, and quite clingy.

D: Drinks way better than the abv would lead you to believe. Very nice!

GbVDave, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to beerhan for giving me a shot at this one.

Well, I don't know if I'm forgetting something in all the reviews I've done thus far, but if not this is the first time I've ever a beer that actually pours like motor oil. I've heard that the biggest, most hardcore stouts do, but this is my first ever motor oil pour, a super viscous black oil in the glass that literally leaves a coating on it. A small brown head forms on this black monstrosity, leaving some legs around the top of the glass. Here's an experiment to try with friends, by the way: have half a glass of this with some friends drinking a "manly" BMC. Have said friend keep half a glass of their beer full, drink your Zhukov, and fill your glass half full with water. The remnants of the beer coating the glass mixed with half a glass of water will likely be darker than your friend's beer. Seriously, try this. I did.
A big aroma comes out; lots of roasted malts contributing strong espresso,toast, and a touch of burned wood (not quite charcoal, and not overly harsh charred wood). Cocoa and heavy malts counter harshness and help to avoid the astringency that can be found in heavily roasty beers while offering lots of robust flavor. Underneath are notes of dark cherry and vanilla with something like sherry (not cooking sherry, the good drinking stuff).
The taste follows suit precisely. All the huge roasted malt with smoked wood, espresso, a touch of chocolate, vanilla and cherry. It's not sweet, but the light flavors underneath accentuate and really serve to point to the big malts and roasted nature of this bad boy.
The body is massive, thick and viscous as it ought to be with a nice smoothness to it. Rich malts make this huge and massively robust, and, much like the former Soviet operatives with whom I keep occasional company, this one is straightforward and brash, making no apologies. Chewy stuff.
The simple fact is that this thing is a beast. This doesn't want your money. It just wants to kick your ass for the simple pleasure of it.

Brenden, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from the whole foods bowery growler room.

i honestly laughed at how dark the head was on this beer. poured into a tulip, looked fantastic. great head retention, great lacing.

nose is leathery, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley.

taste is big and roasty. huge roasted barley flavor, chocolate, coffee. not very sweet. dry, roasty, slight warming alcohol note.

super thick without being sweet. really a nice beer.

wyattshotmaker, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of CASK1
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

CASK1, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of phattysbox
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

phattysbox, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of TheDudeRules
2.58/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Was hooked up with this from a trade with Afksports. Thank you sir.

Poured straight from the bottle to tulip bulb glass.

Beer was inky jet black,and semi consistency of old motor oil. Very little head. A scant amount of carbonation. Plenty of lacing.

Smell. A hint of molasses. A more pungent smell of teriyaki and soy sauce gave me a full on punch in the nose.

Coats the tongue quite well. The lack of carbonation was a downfall in my opinion. I felt like I was left wanting a little more bite.

Taste. A touch of chocolate and tons of malt. Very rich,but unbalanced.

Overall,I was very unimpressed. Thick,malty,non carbonated liquid mess. Certainly glad I tried it,but I really can't recommend it. There are so many better options out there worth your dollar.

TheDudeRules, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Stone IRS snifter, served at room temp.

Viscous black liquid emerges from the bottle. Heavy pour produces a very scant head. Dark brown sugar cap goes nearly as soon as it came, though leaves a surprising amount of lacing. Carbonation is visibly missing from this bottle. Body is void of light, opaque is an understatement.

Rich fudgy chocolate oozes from the glass. Smoky, charred malt is set just behind. A slight bit of ash is noted. Molasses and hints of licorice can be enjoyed as a more subtle scent. Warmth brings out a rather pleasant caramel flavor to the surface.

The contrast of flavors noticed right of the bat leads me to believe I am in for a treat. Sweet chocolate, rich creme and caramel flavors are balanced by a roasted nearly charred malt flavor and hints of espresso.

Thick creamy mouthfeel despite the complete lack of carbonation. Thick flavors coats making for a long finish. Carbonation is completely lacking, even a light amount would improve the mouthfeel tremendously.

Impressive beer. Any beer which can overcome a complete lack of carbonation and still score very high is worthy of the praise it receives. The alcohol is hidden rather well. Certainly a sipper but every sip is enjoyable. Pairs very well with homemade roasted cinnamon and cayenne dark chocolate truffles.

kzoobrew, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 27, 2010
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,995 ratings.