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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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,386
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,169
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: 2,386
Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a brown head and awesome retention. Great looking beer.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some dark fruit notes as well as some faint vanilla.

Taste: Quite sweet. Hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit along with the roast. Very smooth with a mildly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is mild and smooth and the finish is slick.

Overall: A bit sweet but very good. I thought everything blended together quite well. I would definitely have this one again. (558 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Centennial for sending me this one!

Bottle has a hand written date of 7/15/11 on it.

The bottle has a new label so it must be the newest release. It also states 11% ABV compared to the 11.5% listed on BA.

Pours a thick pitch black with a huge 3 inch intensely dark khaki head that settles into a dome of foam. A nice latticework of lace slowly clings to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of rich dark chocolate, cocoa powder, subdued espresso/coffee, cinnamon, and some roasted malt. Taste is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet baker's chocolate, roasted espresso/coffee beans, and some molasses flavors. There is a roasty and hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer is extremely thick and creamy in the mouth. The ABV is hidden pretty well in the smell and taste. Overall, this is a good RIS that is very rich and makes for a slow sipper. I am glad I finally got to try one of these. (916 characters)

Photo of forcedlaughter
2.81/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I was really excited for this one. Poured a few ounces into a small snifter.

It looks like a big stout, but it had an interesting red hue to it in the light, and around the edges. No head, but not to be expected.

I got almost nothing in the smell. A hint of cocoa and roasted malt, but only a hint.

I love a good RIS, but this just didn't do it for me. Up front was cocoa, or almost a bakers chocolate taste that was very intense and not my favorite thing about this beer. Middle of the tongue was the roasted malts, which I thought tasted good, but on the back end it was a strange dark fruit taste that did not work for me. Maybe a plum? A date? Either way, this was not pleasant as it lingered until the next sip.

Mouthfeel was fine. I liked the soft texture. Reminded me of Brunch Weasel that way. I managed to finish the bottle, but I have to say drinkability is very low on this one. I will not be seeking this out again. The price is also something that will keep me away from trying this again.

For me, this was not what I expected, and in all the worst ways. There are so many six and four packs of this style that are more affordable than a single bottle of this and taste much better, in my opinion. (1,215 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, vintage 2011. Split between myself and three other friends, poured into four tulip glasses. After having Hunahpu's I was hoping it didn't ruin Zhukov's for me.

A: Thick and sludgy looking black pour. Medium brown colored head with really outstanding retention and lacing. It's thick, dark and really a great looking beer. The signature Russian Imperial Stout look from CC I'm gathering.

S: Very bold and roasted notes coming off; coffee, chocolate, toasted malts and bitter toffee. A touch of molasses comes through towards the back end of the aroma. It's very nice and although it has a wide variety of miniscule notes in it, the roast profile seems to be leading this down a one-dimensional path.

T: My initial reaction was that this is sweet, and it is. Big chocolate roast, bitter coffee and molasses notes hit first. Coming in towards mid-palate is a touch of anise, with roasted malts in the finish. The sweetness though lasts the entire time and after a while this beer got to be too much for me. I love big RIS but this is missing a serious balance.

M: Creamy, fairly thick, full-bodied with some lower carbonation. There's nothing wrong here other than it finishes a bit more dry than I like, even with its sweet characteristics.

Perhaps I was jaded by the outstanding complexity in the Hunahpu's but this just didn't live up to my expectations. It was a nice sipper with the right elements, but it was a bit too sweet and unbalanced. Perhaps some time in the bottle will do this beer justice but as it stands now, I'm not the biggest fan. (1,568 characters)

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

Enjoyed on tap at The Imperial.

Thick molasses pour, producing a muddy onyx-colored body topped by one and one-half fingers of dark mocha froth; excellent duration and rings of lacing leave me very impressed.

Marshal Zhukov emits good, solid aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, molasses, and some hazelnut. Wonderful taste, loaded with coffee, dark chocolate, a hint of berry in thew finish, and toffee. Bitter to start, the finish is surprisingly smooth to sweet. Creamy texture, somewhat light as well (not Guinness like, but a little airier than I anticipated) make this thoroughly enjoyable.

Splendid RIS, a very fine representative of the style and a great introduction to Cigar City's wares. I am glad I got a draft of Marshal Zhukov, for soon after I ordered mine, the keg spat empty and The Imperial added a different brew. This might have added to the muddiness, which I loved, though likely not much.

One of the better RIS I have had in some time. Recommended with gusto. (988 characters)

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

A: Pours an oily, tar-like impenetrable black with 1 finger of chestnut brown, fine-laced head that dissipates slowly. A nice thick layer of creamy lacing clings to the side of the glass and does not let go. Extremely impressive!

N: Espresso, rich toffee, molasses, roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate and hints of citrusy hops.

T: Rich toffee, chalky bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley and hints of Fruity Pebbles upfront. This is followed by molasses, toffee, roasted barley and some citrus notes. Finishes bitter with espresso, dark chocolate, peanut and more toffee.

M: Full bodied, chewy, creamy, chalky, sticky, syrupy and dry.

O: This beer is strange because it achieves a huge, sweet maltiness with toffee and roasted notes throughout and yet it has a rather prominent fruity hop profile that would normally just balance everything out. Yet it is extremely sweet and bitter at the same time. The appearance and mouthfeel are extremely impressive. This is one beautiful looking beer! Very deep, rich, sweet and complex yet I'm not overly excited about the fruity hop profile. (1,091 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Dark as night black pour. Brown and khaki colored head with lots of lacing down the glass.

Roasted malts, coffee, licorice, some alcohol, and lots and lots of chocolate in the nose. Chocolate lovers would go crazy for this!

A chocolatey stout for sure! Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, stinging licorice, and some coffee round out this big stout. Incredibly sweet though, and that would be my only complaint. I wish the chocolate would come in its more bitter form, but sweet chocolate lovers would gladly geek out over this! (Can you believe I was lucky enough to pair this with Green Flash Double Stout chocolate brownies? Yum yummm!) Too sweet for my tastes, yet still delicious!

Rich, thick, and full mouthfeel. Decadent.

A delicious chocolate stout I can't wait to have again, though it's too sweet to become one of my favorites. (890 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 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 GallowsThief
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into my tulip. 2011 vintage.

A – Black. Beyond black. Huge 3 fingers of creamy deep dark brown head that just clings to the glass. Looks like chocolate egg cream froth.

S – Dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, coffee, vanilla.

T – Huge and heavy roasted malts immediately. Full dark chocolate taste right after but not making this overly sweet. It is there but its not a super sweet stout. Vanilla and molasses present. Has a nice bitter effect at the end. Warming alcohol finishes it off.

M – Thick and creamy. It totally coats your mouth from corner to corner. Viscous is the word. Nice.

O – Excellent stout. Its got a great complex taste. Leaves you wanting more. Was an easy drinker considering the ABV. Glad I bought a few of these. (776 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 brystmar
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

200th review! Shared two pours on draft with my brother on his 30th bday.

A: black as night with a finger of dark brown head. Strong, sticky lace beckons your return to Mother Russia.

S: semi-sweet baker's chocolate, strong roasted malts, sweet malt, hints of both lactose and booze.

T: chocolatey with mild sweetness; roasted malt backbone holds its ground, contributing to a dry boozy finish. Not as complex as I was hoping, but solid for what it is.

M: holy molasses, Batman! Most viscous beer I'd had before this beast was Dark Lord 2010, and even that cannot compare to the hearty milkshake that is Zhukov. Seriously, this could be labeled as a boozy chocolate float and nobody would think twice.

D: easy drinking on the alcohol front; mild boozy warmth as it descends. However, a beer this heavy takes a toll on your stomach as it stuffs your body with chocolatey goodness. One 12oz pour filled me up to the brim.

Great beer, epic heartiness! Yet another impressive brew from Cigar City. (999 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours oliy black with a nice thick dark brown head...honestly the prettiest looking beer i have ever seen.

S-smells like a really dark yet creamy mocha. some spice and even some hops. strong scent, great scent

T-this is a great stout. comes in with a very thick and sweet taste of dark chocolate and espresso. some spice, maybe cinnamon? it is so thick, it feels like it almost solidifies and turns in to mousse in your mouth. has a powerful and long lasting after-taste of espresso and cocoa nibs. its a complex and great taste.

M-really thick medium but soft carbonation with a good crisp finish

O-i'm glad i shared this one. its one powerful stout! it starts out so great and mysterious but the more you drink it, the more the complexity seems to dull. its definitely a classic, and i look forward to my next bottle! (825 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers again to Ehammond1 for sharing this bottle

Look: Black with a huge brown head maybe the darkest head I have ever seen and good retention and lacing

Smell: Oatmeal coffee and chocolate

Taste: Taste of chocolate brownies mixed with a gourmet coffee

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation with a very sticky finish

Overall: Very good dessert beer (354 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle with a year of age on it.

A - Black with a nice beep brown small(ish)head.

S - Big. roasty, chocolate, malty

T - Like the nose. Chocolate, roasty, coffee, malty. Very smooth.

M - Very thick, slightly oily. Coats the mouth.

O - Very good. Up there witht the best imperial stouts. (299 characters)

Photo of camil1mj
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 release poured at cellar temp into my Founder's snifter,

A: B E A utiful! Deep, dark brown. 2 finger mocha head that is slow to recede. Lots of sticky lacing. One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen.

S: Roasted, chocolately malt.

T: Just like it smells. Deep, dark, silky, roasted chocolate.

M: The thickest, chewiest, creamiest stout I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. This make this one stand out.

O: One of the top 3 non-BA stouts I have had. CCB deserves the acclaim it gets for the stouts they produce. (532 characters)

Photo of joefuzz
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into southampton snifter

Pours thick and completely black with a very dark brown head. The smell seems muted the only thing really coming through is a sort of burnt malt scent. The taste on the otherhand is very pleasant like a sort of mocha iced coffee with a slight warming alcohol sensation. Mouthfeel is what a good imperial stout should be thick and coating with just enough carbonation. Overall a very good sipper, glad I got a few to age. (466 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first beer I sawed out when we moved to Clearwater Fl.

Poured into snifter.Probably the heaviest looking beer I have ever poured. Opague black with a heading just a few shades lighter then the beer itself. Lacing is all over the place very nice clumpage.

Nose is simple. Heavy roasted malts,slight touch of mocha but barely noticeable under the assault of dark roasted malts.

Taste is superb.Again a very heavy roasted malt fills the mouth and just unloads all over the palate.A slightly sweeter molasses takes over for a nice second or two.Finishes with a nice hop bite with a slight fruity touch.

Mouth is about the smoothest and creamiest stout I have ever had. Big full body and a very thick molasses chew make this somewhat a chore to sip but I love it.

An excellent beer. Now at first I was wanting to move to Florida because of the beaches but I remembered Cigar City and now there are two big reasons. (927 characters)

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

Was lucky enough to get a glass of this at the Ginger Man in NYC when I was in the city for one night. Served in a snifter, this is probably the darkest stout I have seen to date.

Had a small dark mocha colored head that faded very quickly, but did leave lacing on the side of the glass. I detected a hint of smoke on a predominantly coffee nose, but I couldnt wait to taste this beer.

Worth every bit of attention that this beer receives, the taste and mouthfeel is where this beer shines. A little thick, almost treacly feel that really allows you to pick up on all the tastes that this beer has to offer. Will be searching it out in the future! (649 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Poured from 750 ml bottle into an efes snifter. Tudor brown head, decent retention. Oily, clear lacing slides down the glass. Aroma consists of roasted malt, coffee, slight alcohol, even a touch of bacony smoke. Taste includes coffee, faint chocolate, slight underlying sweet malt and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is very, very thick and viscous. Certainly more amazing upon warming. Spectacular. (405 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 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 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 shand
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Cigar City snifter. 2011 batch.

Woohoo! This batch of Zhukov's surely has no carbonation problems! It pours an absolutely impressive (my roommate said he'd be afraid to drink it) pitch-black color with a voluminous, three finger+ dark chocolate coloured head (it escaped the glass, even on a slow pour). Retention and lacing are both great. The aroma is absolutely full of big roasty flavors of coffee and malts, as well as dark fruits. The taste is huge, with massive amounts of dark fruits, roasted coffee, and silky-smooth coffee. Looking for anything subtle? Well, there's some slight herbal hop aspects, but in general you aren't going to find "subtle" here. Zhukov's is like a sledgehammer of flavor direct to the face.

The mouthfeel? This is the biggest, thickest stout ever. Ten Fidy doesn't have shit on this. It'll coat your mouth for minutes after you take a sip. The light, but still noticeable carbonation helps this go down very easily. The drinkability is very good for the high ABV and the thickness, only the smallest hint of alcohol is available. This is the batch of Zhukov's to make anyone a believer. This is one of the best big stouts I've ever had. Be on the lookout for the 2011 bottles. If you see them, get as many as you can. It'll be absolutely worth it. (1,318 characters)

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

A - Black beer with a brown head that was made up of fine bubbles and dissipated rather quickly to a partial cap.

S - Very sweet, with lots of chocolate. The roast in these bottles seems to vary from bottle to bottle. Some molasses, just a touch of coffee.

T - It's a very sweet stout, lots of chocolate, some brown sugar, molasses, little bit of roast. If you like sweeter RIS's, this one may be for you.

M - Full bodied, viscous, lower carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, on the sweet side. I prefer an earlier bottle I had that was much more roasty qualities, but the last few bottles I've had tasted more like this one. (624 characters)

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