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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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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,449
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,190
Gots: 837 | FT: 80
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: 518 | Hads: 2,449
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.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of dayvinn87
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.


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Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of dstc
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of themind
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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.

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Photo of Finatic
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of afksports
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.75/5  rDev +11%

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.

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Photo of MBrausen
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of falcon1
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of wyatt13
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

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Photo of Mscanlon31
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge beer nice chocolate expresso and vanilla. Beautiful beer for a chilly night. Another thick big stout by cigar city. Overall great beer.
Had on draft at ccb

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Photo of olimpia84
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of raznug
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep dark black color with a nice cap of creamy mocha head, settles into a long lasting collar. Scent is filled with fantastic dark malts, bitter baking chocolate, fudge, dark roasted and freshly brewed coffee, dark pitted fruits, faint notes of vanilla and coconut. Taste follows suit, deeply layered flavor with each note standing out at particular points in the drinking experience, but none being too powerful to cover anything else up. Full bodied, thick, and coating, entire glass was left with brown tint after drinking. An excellent beer that I may have enjoyed slightly more than the aged versions - blasphemous? maybe...

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Photo of unionturf
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this from a friend in Fla and after 6 months I had to try it.

This beer pours pitch black with a very nice 1" head. Smells of a roast and cocoa flavor and it is a very smooth beer considering the style and ABV.

Very heavy which is cool, loved how when I was finished in the bottom of my Chimay glass there was a stout/cocoa looking powdery sediment in the bottom.

Excellent beer and a great first impression from Cigar CIty brewery. Can't wait to try the brown ale I have next.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black; so dark the falling pour is opaque. A rich thick dark brown head fades fairly slowly leaving a nice amount of Belgian lacing behind. The aroma is rich and pungent highly roasted chocolate malt with a hint of dark fruit oily molasses alcohol. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied silky smooth and oily thick with an excellent coating viscosity that really complements the intense roasted malt and baker's chocolate flavors. A bitter element of the charcoal chocolate lingers nicely. A really excellent sipper.

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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!

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Photo of hardy008
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Pours dark black, almost like motor oil, with a one finger mocha head, which fades to a thin round disc before vanishing, and leaves no lacing. The aroma has dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted malt, molasses, and espresso.

Tastes sweet with the perfect amount of bitterness. There is dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, molasses, cherries, dates, figs, and licorice, The dark malt and espresso do a nice job of balancing the sweetness from the other flavors. It's amazing that an 11.00 % abv beer has no alcohol taste. Very nicely made.

Full bodied with modest carbonation, and a chocolate with espresso aftertaste. Definitely a chewy beer. Definitely a world class Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel in DC for the bottle share. Personal review #1500, woah it's been that many already? Off we go, much thanks to InfinityonTrial for bringing it.

It is a bit dark downstairs to truly see but the most impressive thing is a super dark mocha chocolate head that is created. Settles slowly with a whispy top, some speckled like lacing gets stuck in some of the legs, on a classic opaque walnut black body.

Nose hits with what seems like very solid roast coffee, with a mild chocolate sense. Good solid roast body, light bitterness and not burning my nostrils. Pretty solid, not earth shattering, but feels and sense quite decent.

On first sip I feel in love instantly. Wonderful dark rich bitter chocolate, with a creamy ganache like sense in the palate. Roasting warming coffee on the aftertaste. A real fascinating play on the bitter as well, there's this wonderful lime juice on the tongue of hop astringency while finishing. All miraculously melds together even after multiple sips, a warming roast quality of piping coffee, but no boozy character either.

Great beer, truly memorable.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It was just another Tuesdaynight at my crib when Jeffo brought two monster beers to share. You da man, Jeff!

A pour into my snifter scared the crap out of me. It's black, thick, mean. Is this dried blood? A nice one finger head leaving nice lacing on the side of the glass.

The dark roasted malts on the nose, the peaty and coffee scents have gotten me excited to taste this beer.

Flavors are BOOM, in your face. As promised by the nose peaty, coffee and dark roasted malts but also a nice hoppy and chocolate bitterness.

Motoroil for the mouth. It's thick and it's beautifull. It has perfect carbonation. It feels perfect for such a big stout.

Thanks Jeffo for what might be one of the best stouts ever. EVER!

and you know what's really cool? Jeffo also brought over a Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov.

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Photo of GregJ
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thick brown head. Smells of coffee, cocoa nibs, dark roast malts. Tastes of dark chocolate, roast malts, maple syrup, mocha and molasses. Full body, medium carbonation aftertaste of dark chocolate and roast malts. Outstanding!!!

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a small snifter.

Appears jet black, with the darkest head i've ever seen, dark chocolate brown. Great lacing. Huge roasty aroma.

Taste is amazing, powerful flavors of espresso, dark cocoa, and molasses. But its not overwhelming. Thick and viscous.

Overall, the best I've had from Cigar City, and definitely a top tier Imperial Stout.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was served in a Imperial Pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is simply black. No opaqueness to back light. The head is towering and has major retention. The head looks like dark chocolate hot cocoa. The lacing is thick and mark this beers very rapid departure from my glass. In short this beer is gorgeous gorgeosity!

S- Darkly roasted malt, coffee nearing Italian roast, lots of cocoa of the dark chocolate variety. Spicey leather, tobacco and suggestion of smoke lots of earthy tones. Pepperyness from the alcohol.

T- A commanding dark roasted flavors. A bit of anise, dark cocoa, dark fruits raisins and figs, earthy notes, tobacco, and a bit of warming alcohol. This only gets better as the beer warms up.

M- Full bodied with a low proper carbonation. Very viscous body. The beer has no alcohol in the mouth. Roasted flavors carry throughout the beer drinking.

O- Pure drinking pleasure for RIS fan. This would be a go to RIS if it was more widely available.

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