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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: 2,475
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,184
Gots: 846 | 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
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Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,475
Photo of RickS95
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can't improve upon the look. There are no words to define the darkness of this beer. It completely lacks any sort of lightening agent. A literal black whole of color. Very thick pour. Even the head is dark...an extreme dark brown, the darkest head I've seen. Only a finger thick, decent retention, all that with a hefty ABV.

The scents are subtle, so while no one smell dominates, everything there works in harmony. Chocolate, dark roasted malts, coffee, caramel, even the sweetness from the molasses.

It's a world class malt bomb. The darkness of roasted expresso and the assortment of malts explodes on the tongue. It tastes like a liquid candy bar, with some alcohol. Just enough hop presence (80 IBUs, really?) for balance.

Dessert in a bottle. Hard to believe this thing packs such high alcohol and IBU because it's so gentle on the palate. It oozes sweetness and creaminess. So easy to drink, no need to worry about sipping this because it's so smooth. Full bodied, you almost chew it. Faint bitterness just to make sure the palate is ready for the next brink.

Overall, Cigar City has created a beer with no faults. It's literally a perfect beer; so good there's nothing to even nitpick about.

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Photo of HeartofMiami
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Shared a bomber with a friend. Pours black, almost a purple and completely opaque. No head. Smell is fresh espresso and bittersweet cocoa. Faint hint of brown sugar. Mouth feel is full and rich like a fresh cup of mocha coffee. Taste is so complex yet balanced. Toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses and maybe a hint of tobacco. Perfect balance. Incredibly delicious!

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

Sent to me by my soon-to be boss (how lucky am I?) -- Opaque black with a very faint espresso crema head. Smells of rich chocolate, earth and tobacco. Fabulous legs. Swirl this one and see this stout cling to your glass for dear life. Cigar City is chasing down the wine snob in me with this one!

Sticky sweet and perhaps the most intense, hardcore chocolate note I've come across yet in an imperial stout. The creamy smooth finish is divine. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and cocoa. Extremely tasty.

Incredible. A monster. And would make a lovely dessert beer paired with your best dark chocolate and dried cherries.

One of the best.

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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 cope0021
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a black, viscous fluid that sucks all the light out of a room. No lacing, but it sure coats the side of the glass like syrup. No head to speak of.

Nice aroma. Mix of sweet notes and muted alcohol. Nothing overpoweing. This is what I expect heaven would smell like.

First taste is sweet, but not too sweet. Some flavors of chocolate and raisins. Perfectly ballanced beer.

This beer is thicker than thick, but smoother than silk.

This has to be among the best beers I have ever tried. I cannot wait to get my hands on some more.

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

Pours thick and very black.
I am not going to comment very much on this one because alot of other people have already said my thoughts. I will say that it is the best Imperial Stout I have ever had. I was only able to find 1 bottle. If you have a chance to buy or trade for a bottle of this, I cannot recommend it enough. Your taste buds will thank you.


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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!!!

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Photo of indurTheB
5/5  rDev +16.8%

The 2014 is way better than 2013. Had a pint while waiting for the bottle release at Cigar City on August 4th, 2014. The 2013 has a "bread" taste to it. This year its much more crisp and refreshing. Hard to believe that there were 200+ people in line for this when last year on release day I waited in a 3 person line.

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

2012 vintage poured into a CCB snifter. Pours darker than a black hole. It sucks light out of it's surroundings. Super thick, almost black head. Smells rich, dark, complex, malty, smokey, chocolately, boozy, peaty, and even smoky. Taste is very complex, almost indescribable. So rich, 100 diferent levels of flavor and taste come through. Taste like a big ball of smoked cereal, covered in chocolate, rolled in dirt, smoked with peat moss. Everything about this brew is amazing. The label says it pairs well with ground wars, and after a full bottle I'm about ready tp start one just to find out. Very thick. If it was not labeled properly, I could mistake it for the leftovers of my last oil change. No discernable off flavors. Just pure, unadulterated Russian Stout here. And on National Stout Day to top it all off!

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Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh zhukov, you are still one of my top 5 fav beers.

Bottle poured into my st bernardus chalice, hell no i didn't share this with anyone else tonite!

I have read forum posts about people saying which beer is the darkest, and they sure are right when they say that it is the marshal, black as nite this one is.

Lovely roastiness off the nose of this one, little bitter chocolate smell and coffee, sounds like what i had about 14 hours before this with my breakfast.

In some ways i actually prefer the taste of the regular version of zhukov to all the other treatments for the sheer fact of how clean it is, the alcohol is there but not in the forefront, the coffee taste is very prevalent to me.

This overall is just a great, if not the best, imperial stout for my money on the market, glad i got about another dozen bottles here around the house!

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

The perfect example of a non barrel aged imperial stout. Pours oily black with a beautiful dark brown head. Taste is an explosion of roasty malts. Just enough hop presence to back it up. Everything about this beer is perfect for the style, even the name and label!

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Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
4.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a definite wow beer. It comes on a tiny bit hot, not much at all though and I get an initial splash of coffee and toffee. Vanilla slithers its way in after the toffee and it ends with probably my favorite finish of any beer yet. Absolutely incredible, a finish of dark chocolate covered cherries... a sort of dark chocolate black cherry flavor. The finish of this beer is so incredible, I have to say it probably is the best finish and aftertaste of any beer I've had, at least any stout hands down. The nose on this beer is much like any RIS, specifically dark chocolate and toffee stand out to me. All I can say is yeah this beer is a must try for any lovers of Imperial Stouts!
P.S. Many thanks to toofdoc (Josh) and the boys at The Mack House Bottle Share Group for the bottle!

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Photo of mschrei
4.96/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very very good beer. Lots of flavor, complex and thick. Pours dark brown with big foam. Felt like a strong alcohol burn earlier but it mellowed into a very strong eventual smoothness. Smoky, syrupy, candylike, mouth filling, Lots going on with this, one of the best non-barrel aged imperial stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of mrebeka
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage -- I've had this one in the cellar for close to 2 years and finally cracked it open.

A- Poured into a CBS snifter...black as motor oil with very little head. Nice lacing around the glass. As a WWII buff, I love the labeling.

S- Heavy coffee with a perfect amount of chocolate, some molasses and hints of vanilla. Great smell, can't wait to taste.

T- Excellent....I love stouts, and I just love this beer. A great mix of flavors. Robust layers of chocolate and coffee. The high ABV is there, but covered up with the array of flavors quite nicely. The more I drink this, the more I wish I had more.

M- Very heavy and very chewy but in a good way.

O- Hats off to Cigar City on this brew. I still love my Founders and Goose Island stouts, but this one is a big plus for the best brewery south of the Mason Dixon. Having this makes me want to try a Hunahpu even more.

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Photo of ubenumber2
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours midnight black with an almost black head , smells of toasted malts and chocolate , thick tasting beer , almost like taking a bite instead of a drink. Overall this is one of the best Non BA stouts I have ever had , glad I have more put back and will be tracking more down

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a hotel glass

A: Deep dark abyss of blackness with a chocolate shake head good lacing

S: rich roast, molasses, dark fruits, chocolate, some coffee

T: It's decadent with chocolate a roasted Carmel and coffee taste a light sweetness

M: It's creamy and thick if lays n your tongue like it belongs there

O: This is everything a stout should be one of the most beautiful and rich examples it's roasty slightly coffee tasting thick lush on the mouth it's a delight to drink. This is a beg borrow or steal kind of stout do yourself a favor find it.

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Photo of Brew_Bro
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. I'm surprised I never reviewed it. Here we go...

Pour is amazing. It's one of the best parts about this beer. You get a thick oily pour with an amazing dark tan head. It's a thing of beauty and to be honest I've only ever had one beer with a better pour and it was on draft at CCB tasting room on nitro(Cafe Americana).

Smell is full of rich chocolate. You get some minor espresso in there. Smells like a candy bar. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is silky. It's the typical CCB stout mouthfeel where it's creamy and light. Like your tongue is laying on a pillow of feathers. Thick and creamy.

The taste is full of dark chocolate. You get some roasted espresso but it's mostly chocolate which is why I enjoy this so much. I'm a choco-holic and this gets the job done. The alcohol isn't prevalent at all for a 10% ABV which I appreciate. It's a really deep tasting beer. If I drank this every day I'm pretty sure I'd go into a diabetic coma.

Overall it's my favorite beer for a reason... It's the top of the line in my opinion for what a RIS should be. Just great and next year I will probably buy a case instead of 2 bottles so it lasts me until the next year. I even trade for this beer when I run out because I love it that much. It's the epitome of what CCB is known for in stouts.

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Photo of drgoose23
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this imperial stout and I feel in love with Stouts. I honestly had never had a stout besides Samuel smith oatmeal stout and Guinness but honestly I don't count those. It's all about IMPERIAL STOUTS. So I was told to try this by a very knowledgeable dude in the craft beer game so I tried it and fell in love dude. Great aged or out of the tap or in the bottle. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this, please do yourself a favor. I've had this couple times on tap and in bottle and it's as good as the first time, every time. I would give it 5/5 but I always think things can only get better.

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Photo of Phoenix2443
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from randombattle, poured into a new Belgium globe glass.

Pours a dark black with a short brown head. Nice foam color I'm excited now.

Well I smell the alcohol there but hey it is 11%. Lots of dark roast smells too.

Taste is lots of milk chocolate and dark roasting as. Hop bitterness is a good balance at the end. One of the best tasting stouts I can recall.

Mouthfeel is where this really shines, nice and heavy. Syrupy without the soy sauce awfulness.

Overall this has to be the best stout I've had to date. I am really impressed. Lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Bobheed
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an extremely vicious black, super thick like syrup had about a finger of darkest reddish brown head I've ever seen. This is without a doubt the darkest beer I've ever seen

S: Has a pretty big bourbon characteristic despite it not being BBA. I also got quite a bit of espresso and wet wood type scents.

T: Right upfront, it tastes almost just like pure molasses, then that goes into some espresso qualities and nice bourbon soaked dark fruits. Tons of dates, tons of dark chocolate. Finishes strong with alcohol.

M: Super thick and with a slight alcohol burn. With the super aggressive appearance and flavors of this beer, I was really happy about the mouthfeel being so crazy and intense.

Overall this was excellent, one of the best stouts, let alone beers I've ever had. I managed to stockpile a few as Cigar City is not sold in my state. Look forward to future bottles with more age on 'em.

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Photo of dar482
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a deep black color with very dark chocolate brown head.

The aroma is huge of sweet sweet caramel and toffee notes. Lots of licorice, a touch of smokiness, chocolate, hoppy wood character, dark fruit.

The flavor follows with a thick sticky rolling amount of bittersweet chocolate with a bit of coffee. There's then lots sweet toffee notes and then a kick of bitterness on the end that cleans the beer up. It's extremely complex as it rolls of coffee, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, and a balanced, but strong hop character. Touches of smoke, licorice, molasses.

A full, but clean and smooth mouthfeel.

One of best non-barrel aged imperial stout I've had.

Having had '13 and '12 of this, I can say I prefer it fresher. It just had more complexity and brightness to it.

The beer reminds me of Founders Imperial, but sweetness and more balanced.

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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 jjdc
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours with a beautiful mocha head, but otherwise its inky black. Nose of dark chocolate and raisins. It unfolds in a complex and perfectly balanced set of flavors: Maraschino cherries, cocoa, raisins and espresso. The mouthfeel is perfect. This is all around one of the best beers I've tasted. Cheers to Cigar City.

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

A – This brew is darker than the days of Stalin, with a Bolshevik-brown head which is quickly severed, leaving splattered rusty crimson stains on the glass wall.

S – The aroma is so big that not even the Iron Curtain could curtail it. Impressions of aromatic non-Warsaw Pact cocoa, Western coffee, capitalist licorice, Communist Cuban Rum and Ukrainian rawhide emanate even more free than the Soviet people in the days of Glasnost! As it airs out the alcohol sting totally dissipates. Which would be a terrible thing in USSR.

T – The taste is huge; pleasurably acrid and burnt flavors punctuate this brutal brew. Coffee flavor, suggestions of smoke, charred wood and charcoal are initially available with a hearty dose of burnt cocoa on finish. As it warms and airs out, it reveals tremendous new character; cherry, brown sugar, cola, cinnamon and more of an impression of espresso than one of coffee. This is an amazing example of the RIS; keeping with its tradition, it is certainly fit for consumption by even the most bloodthirsty totalitarian maniacs.

M – It is blood-thick. Plenty viscous for the brutality of the roast.

D – This brew is absolutely nuts, the raw rugged real deal.

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Photo of sharpy26
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smells of deep roasted espresso, alcohol, and burnt sugar.

Taste is incredible. Just deep dark malts that coat the tongue. No alcohol taste present at all. Lots of different flavors with a chocolate aftertaste.

I bought the bottle and then stored in the refrigerator for several months, so that could have played a factor. This stuff is dark. One of the best imperial stouts I have ever tasted.

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