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
97
world-class

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,166
Gots: 767 | FT: 72
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,362 | Reviews: 513
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of xpdrinker
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - 25.4oz bottle courtesy of biggsbowler (thanks!). Bottle July '11. Pours like sludge. Super pitch black, monster dark brown head. 

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, booze-soaked dark fruit, molasses and a little raisin. Little bit of vanilla.

T - Cocoa, chocolate truffles, slightly nutty. Dark fruit, vanilla. Fantastic.

M - Like a bucket of black paint. Carbonation has faded a little but this thing coats the mouth and stays. You can almost chew on it.

O - This is probably not only my favorite stout but also my favorite beer. Perhaps it's destiny that it's released the same month as my birthday. I'll be getting an entire case next year.

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.

Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.

Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.

Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.

Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season.

Photo of timc100
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fresh 2013 vintage.

Pours the darkest black I have ever seen from a beer, even more the Hunahpu's - actually looks like motor oil. The head is very dense and creamy - burnt heavy roast mocha. It leaves a dark mocha stain on the glass with dense lacing. Astoundingly beautiful beer. The aroma is phenomenally - can already tell this is in a whole new league . Sticky molasses, tons of dark fruits - raisins, plums - decadent chocolate; followed by heavily roasted oily espresso beans, cherry, and some vanilla and very slight graham cracker sweetness. It tastes just as big as it smells with the most viscous mouthfeel possible without it being a shake. Very bitter and aggressive - the cherry, vanilla, and dark fruits become more pronounced with warmth.

This is truly an outstanding beer - hands down the most impressive imperial stout that has not been barrel aged or aged with extra ingredients. It has less espresso and more dark fruits than anticipated - kind of like a baltic porter/imperial stout blend. When comparing it to hunahpu it is very difficult because they are two completely different beasts - there are great aspects of this beer that did not shine through Huna. If I could, I would have both of these beers in the cellar at all times.

Photo of Benish
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Probably the best none-barrel aged Imperial Stout I've tasted!

Appearance: The color was quite simply jet black. While pouring from the bottle it looked thick like motor oil. After swirling it around the glass, the beer stained the surface for some time time. The surface appeared slick and shiny reddish brown. Overall my friend and I agreed that the beer looked like soy sauce. Its thick and pitch black. It can't get anymore specific.

Aroma: picked up mostly milk chocolate, vanilla, and some molasses. The smell is rich and delightful.

Taste: Starts out sweet with roasted malts and finishes with intense bitter dark chocolate. At the beginning of the sip I picked up some sweet vanilla and then it started to become more rich in molasses. However the finish was the extra kick. Finishes complex and bitter with a ton of chocolate! It's not so boozy; very very smooth, the flavors transition one after another really well.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and heavy bodied. Slick in the mouth.

Overall: I love it. I've had many Imperial Stouts and I started to feel there were not much differences between many of them. But this stands out. The complexity of the beer is incredible, most particularly the bitter chocolate finish. Seek this out!!

Photo of mendvicdog
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at the DC bottle share at the Smoke and Barrel on October 14, 2012.

Appearance is exactly what you expect in a big stout, dark with a little creamy head.

Smell not that intense, but very pleasant, a little smoke and a tiny tart fruit

Taste is similar to smell; no surprises. The alcohol is hidden well in this beer. Mouthfeel just so smooth.

The whole beer is just what I would call smooth deliciousness.

Photo of Danny1217
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black, like ink. You can literally see the thickness of it. Not much head to speak of, but the intensity of the black color speaks in itself. Smells very roasted. Some hops coming through (it is a very fresh bottle, so the hops are all in tact) as well as dark fruits, chocolate, espresso, toffee, and booze. The alcohol on the nose is powerful, and actually frightening. Fortunately, the alcohol is completely hidden beneath the bold flavors. Bitter chocolate, roasted malts, espresso, figs, and a floral hop bitterness. Bitter and powerful. Flavorful even as imperial stouts are concerned. Each sip coats my mouth with its deliciousness. A somewhat light carbonation makes it feel so creamy. This beer is viscous and full bodied.

Could be the best RIS I have had. Definitely one of them. I need to find some more of this and see how it does with age.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found a botle of Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout at my local Whole Foods in Manhattan. When did Cigar City start sending the Zhukov up here??

Appearance: Huge bottle onto my Sierra snifter. God this thing pours thick and then some! Outrageous. Pure Kuwaiti oil with a pitch-black color to match, plus an oversize head the size of a fist. Carbonation issues? This thing sure did pop out with a bang and overflowing, which is rare for an Imperial Stout... all in all, though, this looks exceptional indeed.

Smell: Booze, sweetness, chocolate powder, dark fruit, a hint of sourness.

Taste: The hops shine here, along with strong chocolate and cold-brewed coffee. Some smoke as well, very subtle. A tad of anise and a dry, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally rich, creamy and sleek/slick, with a nice hoppy/tingly feel at the end of the sip. Dry, reverberates in the mouth long after you're done. A tummy-warmer for sure!

Overall: Damn good this is! One of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever enjyoed, no doubt. From the looks to the last drop, this is truly outstanding. Worth the price of admission and then some! The alcohol is the only aspect of this beer that gets on the way of sheer enjoyment. Boozy, it requires sipping. I took over 90' to finish this...

Photo of Dnayew
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not the same animal as CCB's Hunapuh, but probably the finest baseline RIS on the planet. Outstanding beer. This is what a Russian Imperial Stout should taste like.

Photo of shand
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me give a big thanks to fogdog for a great trade!

Not sure I've ever given out this many 5's to a beer, but this one really deserves it. Pours a thick motor oil color (as stated in a previous review thought it really fit) with a chocolate brown head that fades sloooowly leaving a nice amount of lace around the glass.

Smell is of herbs, molasses, some hops, and something else I can't describe.

Taste is phenomenal! Dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, caramel, herbs, some peppery notes, and bitterness from the hops. Thick mouthfeel and not sugary sweet. The alcohol is ever so slightly present and it makes for a very drinkable beer. There is so much going on in this beer that I just can't believe it! Wow wish I could just buy this by the truck load. One of the best RIS's I've ever had.

Very well balanced not overly sweet from the malts, not overly bitter, just right in my book, and not the least bit watery, again it has a very creamy thick mouthfeel. What a great beer.

Photo of dayvinn87
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So, this is the stout that started my romance with stouts. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before. When I ordered a glass (at 11$) I was hoping that the hype surrounding this beer would be true. As soon as I put the glass up to my face the chocolatey-espresso smell punched me in the nose. I tipped the glass up and the motor oil slowly slid into my mouth. The chocolate and espresso flavor was instant and the gulp did not leave me with any bitter or spicy taste. The feel was smooth and I knew I had found my favorite beer.

Excellent beer. The only reason I didn't give it a perfect score is because I want to remain optimistic that there is something better out there, even though I doubt there is.

Cheers

Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

Oh man! This beer is legit. A ton of flavors that overwhelms the palate with flavor but remains balanced and pretty easy to drink....not sure how that's possible but it is. Flavors are espresso, licorice, chocolate and a nice addition of a dark sweetness like candied sugar and fruits like raisins.

Wish I could drink this more often so I can see how it compares to my favorites because right now it's on the top. Unfortunately I've only had it this one time.

Photo of dstc
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color, completely dark. Very small brown head, one of the darkest beers and heads I've seen. Head falls to nothing, thin, chocolate lace.

Deep, robust, roasted malt aroma with coffee hints.

Nice dry bittersweet chocolate flavor up front followed by a bitter coffee flavor ending with a lingering bitterness. Absolutely wonderful flavor.

Mouthfeel is full and thick. Very chewy and very smooth.

Holy crap. Not my favorite style but this is the greatest stout I've ever had. Awesome.

Photo of themind
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours dark as night with a coffee roast and molasses aroma. The mouthfeel is amazing! this beer is creamy and goes down very smooth. The abv is mostly hidden with little to no burn. This beer deserves it's rating, just a finely crafted imperial stout. Would I buy again, YES! There are other RIS brews out there that overcome this masterpiece but they are few in number.

Bottom Line: Great RIS, defining the style.

Photo of Finatic
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle shared with friends and poured into a miniature Cigar City sifter.

A: Awesome black like motor oil appearance. A nice light brown fluffy head with some lacing and decent retention.

S: The chocolate and coffee undertones just strike your nose as soon as the bottle is uncapped.

T: A lovely chocolate, coffee taste overwhelms the palate. Nice hidden taste of burnt malts comes out as the beer warms.

M: Perfect carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden, a very easy beer to drink given the high ABV.

O: Cigar City has nailed this one right on the nose, my favorite Russian Stout so far in my limited array into the RIS arena.

Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent. Very unique Russian imperial stout. Nice Notes of dark roast coffee and tobacco

Photo of afksports
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this on cask, and tap twice, but most recently on tap so that's what we're going with. Had it at the CCB event at Blind Tiger on 11/17. Some crap post nasal drip had me tackled, so I was only able to enjoy this and the Peach IPA. Argh, Novemberrr!

It pours a thick black with a dark tan/brown, almost khaki and red head. The finger thing stuff dissipates and leaves not much lacing, but keeps some decent legs. It's pitch black. No wonder the Germans couldn't beat this guy. They couldn't see. The smell is just as fantastic, with coffee, espresso and chocolate predominating. Burnt notes are there, caramel, toffee. Taste is out of this world too. Everything that's in the nose is in the drink, plus a sweetness that covers the booze.

It feels great going down, with the only knock being that there's not much variation on the velvety smoothness. I will drink as many of these as I can get my hands on. While I'm still standing.

And if November colds don't get in the way.

Photo of EffingBob
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

This beer is just amazing

Photo of kaseydad
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Birthday beer for this birthday boy. Had this in the cellar for about six months. Crack-a-lack time.

Pours a black as night brew pour with a beautiful beige foamy head. Not much lacing but who cares?

The aroma is big chocolate, and molasses goodness. Light boozy burn in the nose but really sweet smelling. Some tobacco, jerky and shoe polish as well.

The taste is more on the chocolate side. Rich and creamy. Toffee does come out well here though the 11% is almost non-existent......until I stood up. Some roastiness and coffee bean on the aftertaste.

Overall this was a big want for me and I was able to procure a bottle from Letspour. I was not disappointed. This is a fantastic RIS that deserves the love it gets. Seek it out and enjoy. Definitely worthy of a birthday beer.

Photo of MBrausen
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter.

A. Pours a dark black, mocha brown head the settled to a light foam layer.

S. Smells of chocolate, toffee, and a little caramel.

T. Tastes of milk chocolate, light toffee and caramel with a mild hop profile showing.

M. Very thick and chewy, malty and very sticky finish.

O. Super good beer. Amazingly simple and pleasureful beer, chocolate in the right amounts, a great RIS and well made. I will be looking for a bottle of this in the future.

Photo of falcon1
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing is an outstanding example of an Imperial Russian Stout. It is tremendously rich and creamy in taste - rather sweet on the tongue. The flavor is immense, but not over powering to the senses. It reminds me of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream and people in Central Ohio will understand what I am talking about. One of the best Imperial Russian Stouts that I have had the pleasure of tasting recently.

Photo of wyatt13
4.73/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on date of August 31, 2012, so about 9 months old. I actually bought this bottle from Letspour. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Cigar City snifter.

A - One of the most badass looking brews I have ever seen. Motor oil is honestly an understatement -- the viscosity of this beer is hard to describe, but it is extremely impressive. Even more, the darkest head I have ever seen pops up to cap off the beer. Nice alcohol legs, with nonexistant lacing.

S - Awesomely complex, with bitter chocolate, high-quality coffee (bordering on espresso), some nice hop bitterness, and a bit of vanilla to round things out.

T - Immediately pounds your palate with an immense bitterness, only to have this recede and the bitter chocolate, roasted malts and awesome espresso assault your taste buds. Each sip left an aftertaste of 5 minutes that imprinted itself on my memory.

M - Thick, thick, thick. Almost like a beer milkshake. Minimal carbonation, but that fits perfectly with the style, in my opinion. Layers upon layers of sweetness simply coat the mouth and lips. The most impressive mouthfeel I've ever had.

O - I was admittedly pretty excited to try this, but this even managed to exceed my expectations. Especially in terms of appearance and mouthfeel, I'm not sure that I can conceive of anything more ideal. Can't wait to open up my Hunahpu's now!

Photo of olimpia84
4.72/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of raznug
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Marshal Z pours thick and black and is topped with 1" of brown colored head
Smell: The aroma is a blend of roasted malt, alcohol, toffee and chocolate. The aroma is rather intense good but intense.
Taste: The flavors that erupt from the pint glass is just simply amazing; chocolate, roasted flavors, coffee and a nice amount of alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel: Thick and oily is a great way to describe the way that this beer feels going down.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.