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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

501 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,386
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 772 | FT: 71
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of backstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with Mushroom Solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

We brew and release Zhukov's in the summer knowing that a beer of this heft reaches its full potential a few months after release. So save a bottle for the cold winter!

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 501 | Hads: 2,386
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black and viscous with a deep dark khaki lacing. The lacing forms a lovely swirl over the body. 4.5

S- Huge barrel aroma and notes of bourbon. Oaky with vanilla and caramel and hints of soy sauce. 4.25

T- True to the nose, still very heavy on the barrel quality, with all the vanilla and caramel too. There's a stiff dry dark malt flavor with a dark chocolate finish. At the finish, there's something that reminds me of a grandmother's house. Kind off odd and causes a slight downgrade in rating. 4

M- Viscous, creamy, smooth and slightly hopped at the finish. Very easy to drink. 4.25

Great beer, but with a bit of an odd off-flavor. Not a deal breaker, but keeps it from perfection. (698 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into three pint glasses. Thanks to Steve and Chris for the assist!

A: Slid into the glasses like junkyard diesel engine motor oil. Creamy cigar ash colored head. Fair retention, no lace.

S: Killer aromas of spicy dark fruit, grassy hops, dark bread, and dark chocolate.

T: See above. Loads of ashy, burnt flavors. Quite savory and chewy with a bit of tangy fruit.

M: Thick and sticky. Dry, bitter, and quite clingy.

D: Drinks way better than the abv would lead you to believe. Very nice! (521 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to moz9. No date on the bottle but the label lists the ABV at 11% but the listing on the site has it at 11.5%. Perhaps that would differentiate which vintage this is.

Pours a very thick, solid black with zero head aside from a a few tiny bubbles on one side of the glass. The beer looks thick and viscous with no noticeable carbonation. There is no noticeable lacing as the beer is consumed but once the glass is empty an extremely thin, clear, brown film-like layer can be seen.

The aroma is quite strong. Dark and bitter chocolate dominate the nose, along with some almost earthy notes. There is a sweetness to it, maybe some milk chocolate and/or dark fruit. There is a hint of coffee as well as a strong aroma of alcohol. When the beers is a bit colder it smells bourbon-like, which was surprising, but as soon as it warms even the slightest amount that characteristic disappears.

The taste is very sweet. Not cloying, a tad sugary, but somewhat balanced on the back end. There are milk chocolate and slight toffee flavors that stand out and make the beer very sweet at first. There is also a hint of molasses and a bit of ripe, dark fruit, almost cherry-like. There is roasted malt character that takes over and finishes with a bitter,charred, burnt coffee flavor that sticks for a bit. As the beer warms the sweeter characteristic become more pronounced and the bitter ones fade a bit.

The mouthfeel is extremely thick. Syrupy and viscous. The carbonation is as close to non-existent as you can get. In fact, there may be none. There is some warming from some alcohol that may make it seem like there is a touch of carbonation but that may not be the case. When the beer is a bit colder the charred, burnt flavors dry it out considerably but that fades as it warms.

Overall, this was a solid and interesting example of the style. I actually enjoyed the whole 750ml bottle myself over the course of an almost 5 hour period so I had the beer at various temps and as it warmed it brought out new flavors and/or highlighted some of the existing ones. I definitely wish I had another bottle as I'd like to lay one of these down and revisit it down the road. (2,171 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all. Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable. Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation. (410 characters)

Photo of BDJake
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

-from part of a trade with BigBlacke-

Completely opaque, motor oil-like pour with a miniscule brown head. Aroma notes of espresso, kahlua, toffee, and dark chocolate dominate the nose. The flavors are of unsweetened mocha, bitter espresso, toffee, and burnt molasses. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel, with a bitter finish that only shows the warmth from the high abv towards the end. Although it drank extremely well for the style, it may still be a bit much for novice beer drinkers. This is a beer meant to be savored, and that it should be. Once again, another fine offering from a brewery that doesn't get enough attention due to the overall lack of a craft beer scene in the South. (679 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, obtained from Whole Foods, Sarasota, FL, over Thanksgiving break. Poured in to a 14 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a thick, oily, inky black, pretty dark viscous, at least, viscous enough to considerably slow the eruption of what ultimately turns out to be about a finger and a half of deep brown cocoa head. The colors on all this are absolutely gorgeous, but I do have to say that the head retention leaves a little to be desired, probably due to alcohol retardation - it fades to a delicate but dense-looking collar and wispy but uniform surface dusting within about 45 seconds, though it is replenished somewhat by a steady but slight stream of fine carbonation. The lacing obviously suffers a similar fate - it's runny, glittery, and clings only in dribs and drabs.

Aroma: Dutch chocolate cake, bitter and dry, topped with licorice, espresso sprinkles, and slathered in a delicious raisin and cherry glaze. Cocoa is far heavier here than in the taste, or perhaps that's merely relative to the sheer volume of earthy, toasty, dry roast that's present in the mouth. Regardless - with agitation - this is this beer's best quality.

Taste: A slight tartness is the first thing I'll note, if only because it seems the least "stout"-like of the notes this one presents. I'll presume it's not infection, largely because it is slight, but it's worth noting. The next general observation is that this is a very, very "dark" beer - it's heavily roasted, toasted, charred in places. The remainder of the notes themselves are somewhat textbook but very nice: you have your heavily toasted, earthy, French roast coffee; dark, bitter cocoa; slightly spicy anise; a slew of dark fruits (raisins mainly, which meld slightly with what faint alcohol spice and warmth is present to lend that rum raisin note); charred toast; heavily darkened toffee and molasses with most of its residual sweetness gone. Hop bitterness is faint, nearly an afterthought, or perhaps just buried well amongst all the toasted astringencies. As I hinted above, one of the most impressive things about the taste is the near complete lack of any alcohol presence, something that may be buried well amidst all the charred astringencies.

The tartness is coming through as more "cherry-like" as things warm, both jiving (mentally) with the cherry note I got in the aroma above, as well as jiving (flavor-ly) with the other dark fruits present here. Tasting more like a bitter dutch chocolate cherry cake with every minute.

Mouthfeel: That thick oily viscous appearance of the beer didn't lie when it suggested that this beer was gonna be thick and sticky, but it's not nearly as cloying as you imagine it might be - mostly because of the relative attenuation of the sugars - but also because of that tart note mentioned above, which does a bit of a job with "cleaning up" the palette, if you will. Certainly, this is also likely assisted by a fair amount of lift courtesy of some fine, dense carbonation. It thickens up as things warm, but it also gets more even, creamier, and smoother.

Drinkability: For an 11.5% abv beer, I'm nearly tempted to put this at a 4.5. I'm amazed by the lack of alcohol presence in this brew - even though you feel it once it hits, this one sneaks up on you as good as it does in any brew. Regardless of the reason, this brew is otherwise solid - flavorful, full, and somewhat balanced (though if you don't like char and heavy, heavy roast, steer clear). I also hear it's not even the best of the Cigar City RIS offerings. As it's the first I've had, however (not only my first CC RIS, my first CC! Glad to see they're getting big distribution in FL now), I'll have to go with both a "recommended" and a "I can't wait to visit my grandmother again." (3,785 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a very dark brown color head with great retention and some good lacing. Aroma is very complex with a mix of black chocolate, coffee and some nice roasted malt with loads of other complex flavors that are very hard to describe. Taste is also a very complex and enjoyable mix between some black chocolate with light lactic sugar and some coffee notes, Body is very full with great carbonation and I thought I smell a little bit of phenolic alcohol. I am glad to have tried this one and makes we want to try some more beers form this brewer. (584 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: You can't get much prettier than this beer. A thick, black motor oil like pour with a surprising amount of mocha colored foam.

S: Pretty standard RIS aromas coming out of this one: coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, and some dark fruits.

T: The chocolate is the most prominent flavor coming out of this beer. The coffee and roasted malt provide a bit of contrast and bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A nice viscosity to it.

D: Not a bad beer. I guess my expectations were a bit high for this one, but the flavors were a bit underwhelming, unfortunately. Still a good RIS, but not the best. (618 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, opaque color with a dark brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, whiskey like alcohol and wood. I'm the taste, dark roast coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate and alcohol. Palate coating dark chocolates with some intense citrus hops in a die hard fashion. Coffee, smoke, charcoal and earthy at that. Faint vanilla like hint. Warming booze. Full bodied feel, smooth, with an even carbonation. Overall this is a great big stout. (440 characters)

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at the Cigar City brewery on a trip to Tampa...

Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black. No carbonation, no head, and no lace to be had here. Bummer...

S - Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and a hint of coffee...

T - Pretty much follows the smell. Chocolate, dark roasted malts, molasses, and coffee. Ends on a sweet caramel note. A little sweeter than I expected, but still really tasty, and abv is very well hidden...

M - Despite the lack of carbonation this one has a good mouthfeel. Thick and chewy like a good RIS should be...

D - Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again with a little carbonation. All in all, another solid brew from CC...

Cheers... (729 characters)

Photo of bamadog
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this one for a while, and since I've recently moved, most of my beer is wrapped in newspapers so I've been playing a blind game of catch, grab and drink. Review is from notes taken on 7/8/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Possibly one of the most impressive RISs I've come across, this one does indeed pour like spent motor oil - just as black as black can be, and the head is almost as dark and impressive, coming in at a whopping three fingers and fading lazily down to a full and firm cap; impossible to see through, but I'm sure the carbonation is plenty full considering the amount of carb on the crack and the full head;

Smell: Lots of big and dark fruit, but I think there may be a mild infection as it's a little sour and tart in the nose; big chocolate malts and a very earthy and big roastiness; still a bit of an herbal, bitter hop presence as well, but should be expected since it's got 80 IBUs.

Taste: I think I'm right about the infection -- the tart, sour dark cherry flavor is there, but it's not major (like in the case of Abyss); the syrupy and bittersweet chocolate is there, and the burnt coffee grains play a major role in the array of flavors; also a bit of the hops linger and have a bit of an earthy and slightly citric bite to them.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and gritty -- the mouth is covered with a thick and sticky coating; teeth have a gritty feel afterwards; gums and tummy are left especially warm and tingly from the bigger ABV of 11%. Along with the appearance, the mouthfeel is probably the most impressive aspect of the beer.

Overall: A really good stout, overall, but definitely a sipper and something that you only want once in a while. I probably should have saved this for a cooler night as opposed to an evening in July... in Atlanta... but I'm glad I'm drinking it in the cool confines of the air conditioning anyway. (1,906 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a thick, viscous blacked out color with a layering of dark browned head. Retains for a bit, some wispy tanned film lies on top, leaving a couple spots of lacing behind.

Very roasty and warm in the nose. Plethora of dark fruits with some candied, sweet notes. A suggestion of cola. Licorice, plum, and dates. Cocoa with caramel and roasted malts. Decent flair of alcohol too.

Roasty and sweet up front. More dark fruit than I was expecting with candied dates and anise notes with a hint of plum. Dark chocolate and cocoa swirled with caramel and heavy, roasted malts. Warm booze and residual sweetness in the finish.

Very thick, viscous, almost oily feel on the tongue, decent carbonation. A really nice imperial stout, although it made me yearn for Hunahpu's. (799 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of FEONVDNGRTSNGRNG. It was allowed to warm some before being poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout pours a solid black. There's almost four fingers of foam so dark that I could barely tell it apart from the beer when the lights were low. Head retention is fantastic, I actually started getting impatient waiting for it to finish fading. Lacing is left in thick webbing. The nose is wonderfully intense, with rich dark chocolate and potent espresso leading the way. There's also a noticeable molasses aroma, but it's definitely playing third wheel to the other two. The flavor still features plenty of chocolate and espresso, but the molasses is a bit more prominent here. Frankly, I think I like it better in more of a supporting role. There is a nice earthy hop flourish just in time for the finish. The body is nice and chewy, but I don't know if it's too full, or if the carbonation is just too low, but the mouthfeel definitely comes off as a bit syrupy at times. While excellent all the way across the board, Marshal Zhukov is one of the better straight up imperial stouts (no barrels and/or flavorings) that I've had in a while. (1,192 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- so viscous and pitch black. A dark brown head fading to a tiny lacing.

S - roasty burnt grains. Dark bitter chocolate. Cocoa powder.

T - charcoal burnt wood. Chocolate syrup. faint black licorice ending. Sweet alcohol. hints of earthy bread and some hop floral. So sweet. Lactose?

M - possibly the thickest stout ever. So viscous d'ass heavy bodied.

O - pretty wel balanced for 11.5 abv and such a heavy body (415 characters)

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beergod1 for the trade!

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottle date 7/11/13

A) Dark used Motor oil, thick melted chocolate ice cream, no head expected for almost a 12%.

S) Smoked malt, espresso, and baker's chocolate, Cavendish pipe tobacco

T) Not what i expected at all. Soy sauce, beef jerky, vanilla, cavendish pipe tobacco; aftertaste dark chocolate, dark fruit, and figs.

M) Thick medium amount of carbonation.

O) I was disappointed to say the least. Too much up front, too little in the back. I do want to trade for another and cellar for a while. Even as it warmed nothing changed. (603 characters)

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

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

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

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

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

Rich, thick, and full mouthfeel. Decadent.

A delicious chocolate stout I can't wait to have again, though it's too sweet to become one of my favorites. (890 characters)

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

Kuhnhenn Winter Soltice BA/RB tasting party. Thick RIS, thick chocolate. Pours dark brown with some head. Great tasting, with some complexity beyond the bittersweet chocolate . A little chocolate in the aroma. Contained roast. Drying.Best consumed as a dessert. (261 characters)

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

This pours deep black, one of the most viscous looking beers I've ever seen, which surprised me given the Huna that we had right before this. On the nose there is a giant roast component, dark fruit and vanilla and molasses. This is a very sweet beer. In the mouth the roast provides a base for molasses, dark fruit, and some smoke to play around on. The body is thick, one of the thickest I've ever experienced, with a long finish of the various flavors fading together.

Overall, I'd drink this over Huna all day long. There is enough going on in this beer, and to me Huna pushes all those flavors over the edge. While you can't call this balanced, for a big stout everything sits well together. (697 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black and has a nice one finger light brown head. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts and molasses.

T - Dark chocolate overwhelms you transforming into expresso and finishing with dark fruits (plums/raisins).

M - Thick and highly carbonated. Full bodied and not ashamed of it.

O - A unique imperial stout. It's an in your face, bold imperial stout. But, the lingering sweetness throws me off. (439 characters)

Photo of Yagman3000
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a .750 bottle into a goblet.

Appears as dark as midnight. Pure motor oil. Super viscous with a small creamy bubbly head.

Smells very boozy... There's a sting to the nostrils. There's a trace if anise and some coffee. There might be a subtle scent of coffee underneath it all.

Tastes like dark chocolate brownies. Much less coffee and licorice in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is super thick and a mouth filler. It exits quietly and without too much if a booze burn.

Overall I'm impressed with this beer. It's a thick one and a slow sipper that carries its booze well. (580 characters)

Photo of bret27
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of threewisemen

S: Roasted malt, little dark unsweetened chocolate. Not all that sweet. This stout is all business.

A; Very black. Little brn head, decent lace.

T: Same as smell, little sweetness, toffee, some warming etoh presence, but not overwhelming.

M/D: Fairly thick w/good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for an IS.

Overall: Good but not amazing. The reason I have to give this stout serious props is because it is basically the base recipe for all their stouts, some of which are mind-blowing. Marshal Z is the backbone of this operation. He does the heavy lifting for cigar city I believe. (621 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey and Wayne for opening a bottle to share.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue. Nice mocha head that exhibits good retention and lace.

S: Bold aromas of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Hints of citrus hops hide beneath.

T: Nice rich aroma. Bold roasted malt, bakers chocolate, and earthy slightly acidic coffee. Subtle notes of dark fruit, and a hint of molasses to provide balance. Fairly roasted and earthy.

M: On the lighter side of full bodied, rich, smooth, with great carbonation.

D: Good. I think this is one that will get even better with age. (576 characters)

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

from the whole foods bowery growler room.

i honestly laughed at how dark the head was on this beer. poured into a tulip, looked fantastic. great head retention, great lacing.

nose is leathery, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley.

taste is big and roasty. huge roasted barley flavor, chocolate, coffee. not very sweet. dry, roasty, slight warming alcohol note.

super thick without being sweet. really a nice beer. (420 characters)

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

750mL Bomber into a Snifter.

Yet another stout from the mystery stout box from 7ways. Amazing generosity.

A: Pours jet black and thick as tar (quite literally). Head materializes from beneath, half-finger, a few seconds after I finish pouring.

S: Crisp, bitter-sweet in the front, roasted malts and caramel, back fades into booze.

T: Bitter into sweet, then fading into booze. Back is far sweeter than it smells.

F: Mouth-coatingly thick. Clings to your lips on the way in. I imagine this is what drinking motor oil is like.

D: Damn good, something implacable in the mouth and nose here, but really really good. (617 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours viscous black with no head whatsoever.

S. Chocolate malt with some sweetness, some spiciness, and a touch of smokiness.

T. Roasted chocolate malt with a touch of molasses sweetness. Roasted malt and coffee bitterness lead to a dry finish.

M. Thick and viscous with very little carbonation. Somehow this works better than the higher carbonation in Hunahpu's.

D. Very good. Doesn't stand out against a lot of the beers we've had, but a very solid beer. (463 characters)

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