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.

518 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,449
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,188
Gots: 836 | FT: 79
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: 518 | Hads: 2,449
Photo of DUBinMIA
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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 +5.8%
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 -1.4%
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 -1.2%
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 +0.7%
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 -0.5%
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 +5.8%
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 +6.5%
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 -3.5%
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%
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 +2.3%
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 +5.8%
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 +1.9%
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 +9.8%
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 -14.5%
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 +11.2%
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 -6.5%
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

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pours a deep black, very little brown head or bubbles. Leaves a sticky coat on the glass.

S - Excellent nose. Lots of chocolate and toffee. Coffee, vanilla, dark fruits.

T - Strong depth of flavour. Roasted coffee mainly but was competing with the chocolate, sweet chocolate, not bittersweet. The vanilla is there as well as a very nice strong flavour of molasses.

M - Very smooth, heavy, lingering. Excellent

O - Quite a tasty beer. Not quite a sipper like so many other RISs (this is a good thing!)

 542 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010.

Poured into a cigar city snifter.

Appearance: Midnight black bodied beer. It looks like motor oil. Medium brown head with less than a fingers worth of head.

Smell: Deep Dark chocolate and roasty coffee.

Taste: Bitter dark chocolate and a heavy malt profile that is not really sweet. Roasty almost burnt coffee notes. Mild astringency noted also. Hardcore RIS almost overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Dense full bodied beer with low carbonation. Chewy, viscous, and silky.

Overall: I was really looking forward to tring this beer when i returned from Florida a few week ago. Picked up a bottle of this at Kickback Gastropub in Jacksonville. This beer was a really well made beer, but the bitterness was almost over the top to me. Maybe a little bit of sweetness to help this beer along. Doing a side by side with Hanahpu that is the beer that is up next.

 863 characters

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

Big thanks to neorunner for surprising me with this bottle. He says its from 2009.

Damn, this stuff looks thick. I almost have to scoop it out of the bottle. The pour is super black and ropey. A nice, toasted head rises up, and rests at a thin layering. Not that much lacing.

A little tiny hint of oxidation in the form of a suggestion of paper; but this is very subtle and actually a welcomed addition to the aroma's profile. Leather and sweet, dark tobacco dominate. Molasses and dark fruits are below. Alcohol gives this beer a punch.

Very leathery with earthy suggestions of maduro cigar tobacco. A burnt dark chocolate flavor forms mid-palate. A really nice french vanilla cream element takes things through to the end.

Indeed, this beer is full bodied, but its not as thick as the looks suggested. Carbonation is ample, perhaps a bit high at first. The beer has a dry, burnt cocoa powderiness to the finish. This is a very sticky beer as well. Alcohol is sturdy, but very nicely incorporated for an ABV that nears the 12% mark.

This is pretty decent. Solid brewing, but it just isn't intense all across the board as I had hoped. It does make a good base beer for Cigar City style experiments though.

 1,256 characters

Photo of schwaeh
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received from injuredreserve. 2010 release.

A: This is one black stout! This is blacker than Satan's armpit. Slight carbonation(I was worried by the previous talk of flatness) but it was there. Not much head to speak of, just a slight brown ring.

S: Big, big, big dark chocolate and anise are the dominating factors. There is some hints of vanilla and a little foreshadowing of alcohol.

T: The smell is spot on. It is thick, viscous, and chocolaty. Dark malts without any overbearing roastiness make up the body of this big rich stout. The anise and very slight vanilla add enough other complexities to keep Zhukov from being one-note with all the dark chocolate. The alcohol is more noticeable than in it's big brother, Hunahpu's.

M: Thick! Low carbonation. Coats your mouth like a hot fudge sundae.

O: I really didn't know how this would hold up after having Hunahpu's but it really didn't seem any less special or inadequate at all. I can without a doubt tell this is the base beer with the chili's and cinnamon being the main difference. This stout sets the bar so high and I can't wait for it to come out again. Killer beer!

 1,147 characters

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks schwaeh for sharing this bottle with me-

A: Poured dark as night with one finger head that dissipated into a thin coffee colored lacing.

S: Chocolate,molassas,toasted malt,coffee.

T: Chocolate with dark roated malt,slight vanilla,slight bitter coffee, anise.

O: "WOW" I was blown away at how delicious this RIS was ,I loved the way it coats the tounge and leaves an oil slick residue on the glass , the thickness of this stout is out of this world, Very well made and will definitly seek out again..

Thanks again Steve.

 531 characters

Photo of mulder1010
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML poured into a tulip. Shared with Mr Kennedy, spicelab, and Bluebetty. Thanks to Forgetfu for this.

A-- Poured oil black. Imposing looking. Thick and sludgy looking.
Head was a dark leather color bordering on dark chocolate. At best half a finger of head, otherwise a bit over film. Low carbonation. No lacing but dark chocolate legs left on the sides of the glass.

S-- Chocolate and coffee. Thick and rich smelling, no real hop presence though. Small flashes of vanilla and toffee.

T-- More chocolate and more coffee. Small bits of acidity. Thick but quite smooth tasting.

M-- Thick, rich and almost decadent. Lots of dark chocolate mixed with milk chocolate. Flashes of vanilla and toffee backed by coffee and coffee acidity. Low carbonation with a heavy feel.

O-- 11.5% ABV??? Really? Felt and tasted like 8%. Very nicely hidden. Rich and thick but very drinkable and enjoyable. Long back story with this beer but has held up very well and aged very well. Probably better without the hop presence. Much bigger and enjoyable without it to me. 750 ML might be a bit much though.

 1,095 characters

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Maggie for gifting me with this. Shared over the weekend and poured into a couple snifters. At first glance, this brew looks still. As I was pouring into the glasses, there was no head formation...shit! It looks absolutely black, the black coloration of this brew rivals the darkest brew's I have seen. A swirl of the glass releases a few bubbles which huddle together at the surface with a very dark brown color. More swirls finally form just shy of a fingers worth of head. Faint spotty lace sticks to the glass. Legs of sticky solution seemingly stain the glass and slowly creep down to the water line.

The smell of this brew is surprisingly tangy, unlike any other big RIS I have smelled. Alcohol is present even at colder than ideal temperatures. There is a fruity and citrus hop inclusion which contrasts the dark roasty malt characteristics which smell of chocolate and coffee. As the brew warms, it picks up a light smoked character which deepens the nose with notes of charcoal throughout. The citrus twang this brew has I cannot get over, it is very unique.

The taste mimics the nose. The first thing I taste is this citrus-like tangy alcohol component. Totally unique but interesting and appealing all at the same time. As more sips are taken, fruity and citrus hops are noted along with very dark roasted malts which bring forth a flavor of bitter chocolate, coffee, charcoal, molasses-like dark sugars and faint hints of must. The aftertaste includes some cocoa powder character.

This is a very full bodied, thick brew that is only exaggerated in it's smooth viscous feel due to it's low level of carbonation. It is very complex and enjoyable. A kiss of alcohol warms you up in this brew and seemingly evaporates from the tongue. This is a very well made brew. The carbonation could be turned up a few notches but all in all this is a solid brew. It's no wonder I enjoy the one-offs of this beer so much, this is an awesome foundation to start with and start tweaking flavors.

 2,006 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.