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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: 2,480
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,183
Gots: 847 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,480
Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. This one is a pretty thick pour. Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate notes. 

T- The taste is big and roasty with ton of roasted malt flavors with some unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and some bitterness from the hops in the warming finish. Very nice! All the flavors blend very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I can't wait to try this again with some more age on it! 

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I forget who opened this...perhaps Dunt? Thanks to whoever!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a completely black color and thicker viscosity. About half finger of tan head.

Smell – Sweet chocolate and cocoa, roasted malts, char, coffee, and brown sugar.

Taste – A nice roasted flavor up front mixed with a nice milky chocolate flavor. Slight toffee and hops come through in the middle and a hint of coffee at the end.

Mouthfeel – Nice and chewy, thicker bodied, finishes a bit dry.

Overall – A great stout and one I’d hope to have again.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Strong Beer Month '04 snifter. Blacker than hell pour with a slowly rising espresso head. Slight bubbly in the middle of the froth, with the top being a darker color than the middle looking from the side of the glass. Head slowly dissipates, leaving some nice brown lacing with a 1/4" of filmy head.
Tobacco, marshmellow, zippy hoppy and some fumes. Very decadent.

Oily up front, very viscous. Really soft on the lips, velvety. Bitter...chocolate & hoppy. Throw in some cold brewed coffee too. Plum, raisin, fig and strawberry...yowzers. Strong bitter chocolate oil. Astringent tobacco bitterness, somehow a little tart on the finish. Long lasting bitter, dry & tannic. Mouth feels like I just smoked a mild cigar.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by @scud, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Completely oil black body, with a very sizable two finger deep khaki head. Leaves no lacing, but the glass is slick with a brown sludge through the glass.

Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, with a hefty smokey/roastiness. A large amount of coffee comes through. as it warms, vanilla and caramel come out.

Taste: Deep bitter coffee and chocolate. Very rich. Some toffee and caramel come out as it warms. Closes with some vanilla milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy, and very rich. A definite sipper.

Overall: Evolves amazingly through the glass. Really great stuff. Thanks Dan for sharing.

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Photo of zachary80
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, great lacing, very good head that fades but stays stronger than normal.

Smells fairly average for an imperial stout.

Taste is heavy roast - a little rough but still pleasing.

Very heavy mouthfeel - one of the heaviest, and fits well with the flavor.

Overall a great beer but not my favorite IS.

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Photo of rodkin
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black, with a really dark brown head. Quite large head for 11%, with decent lacing. Looks very thick.

Milk chocolate, coffee, roast, bit of dark chocolate, some dark fruit, hint of vanilla.

Taste is similar. Milk chocolate, roasted bitterness, dark fruit sweetness, vanilla, dark chocolate. Really sweet, like a melted chocolate bar.

Mouthfeel is really smooth, creamy, nice carbonation.

A very fine stout. The alcohol is entirely hidden, which is scary. Maybe slightly sweeter than I'd like, but overall very good. Now if only it had some cinnamon, chili, vanilla, and cocoa mixed in...

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

750ml bottle poured into tulip.

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

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

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

M - Very smooth, heavy, lingering. Excellent

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

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Photo of Blanco
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oily and viscous out of the bottle, it barely resembles beer and looks more like ink until the huge billowy head appears, reminding that it is, in fact, still beer. The head is a rich dark brown, perhaps the darkest head I've ever seen and sticks around for a while. Lacing is awesome.

The smell is powerful, I can pick up the dark malts while the glass is sitting on the table waiting for me to drink it.

Taste is smooth and rich. some chocolate, moderately bitter. The malt profile is a bit richer than I'd like but still really good. ABV is incredibly well hidden.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thick, perhaps the chewiest stout I've had.

Overall impression is that this is solid. The flavor profile is a little one-dimensional, but outside of that, I have few complaints.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of burnt malt in the nose along with hints of chocolate.
T: The taste is very malty with flavors of chocolate and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels very full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is one that needs to be sipped, but the taste is interesting enough to make you want to slowly savor.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, chilled then warmed a bit, into a snifter.

A - Pours black, with auburn edges. Solid finger of mocha-colored head, with great retention and lacing.

S - Very nice. Cheerios, roast, dark chocolate, and a sweetness that lurks around in the shadows.

T - Lots of roast and dark chocolate here, and coffee-like notes. Chicory and nuttiness mid-palate. A sweet caramelized sugar finish. A bit of alcohol in the finish. Very warming. Everything I'd like to have in an RIS. Among the best of the regularly available RIS's that I've had.

M - Plenty of carbonation, and it's VERY full, almost like a shake. I've had this several times, and once when trying to finish it quickly I struggled putting it down -- that thick an heavy.

D - Well, the abv is fairly high, so that makes it tough to drink more than a single (large) bottle, but the flavors make me want more and more.

O - This definitely ranks with Speedway as one of my favorite heavy stouts. I love the fact that it's made in the town that I just moved to, and it's available pretty much all the time. At $10, the price is pretty good, too. Certain other breweries in the northeast and midwest would charge $15-20 for this.

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Photo of joefuzz
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into southampton snifter

Pours thick and completely black with a very dark brown head. The smell seems muted the only thing really coming through is a sort of burnt malt scent. The taste on the otherhand is very pleasant like a sort of mocha iced coffee with a slight warming alcohol sensation. Mouthfeel is what a good imperial stout should be thick and coating with just enough carbonation. Overall a very good sipper, glad I got a few to age.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Part of the most epic stout tasting ever. This one from beer and bourbon

A-dark black with no head what so ever. Not even a little
S-some roast malts but not much else, and this is even very slight
T-very subtle tastes but mellow and delicious. Roast and a slight coffee aftertaste.
M- thick on the palate. Very smooth
D-crazy drinkable. Wow.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage (I think, old label). Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 3" dark cola head. Big trails and giraffe print of lacing remains on the glass, half finger of head remains as well.

S- sweet maple syrup, chocolate, roast, anise and some dark fruits.

T- sweet chocolate, maple syrup, anise, sweet dark fruits, roast and some ash.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Big thick feel, creamy and smooth.

O- better than I expected from what I have heard about MZ. ,anyone the age mellowed the sweetness some, even though it is still very sweet for the style.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks Kevin for sharing this.

A- Pours a thick dark black body, ½ finger tan chocolate head, nice lacing, very opaque, decent carbonation.
S-The aroma is very nice, cocoa, dark malts, vanilla, some brown sugar, big roasted notes, coffee, caramel.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma, cocoa, chocolate, hints of vanilla, brown sugar, nice roasted coffee comes out as well, caramel, slight dark fruits (cherries, plums) dark malts.
M- Big mouth feel, thick body, well carbonated, smooth drinking.
O- This beer was enjoyable, I have yet to come across a CCB beer that was a disappointment, I would love to revisit this beer some time down the road.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil black stout covered by a dense brown head. Completely opaque with sticky lacing that runs slowly down the glass leaving an amber oily coating. The head was initially deep, dark brown, but lightened up with time. This is definitely a beer that you can swirl around and be mesmerized by the different images that become etched within the beer's everlasting head.

Very strong bitterness with pungent alcohol as well. This is a stout where the alcohol potency takes over. There is a slight sweetness, but it's subtle in comparison.

Surprisingly balanced and appropriate to drink in the 50 degree range. The alcohol is strong, but the residual bitterness leaves your taste buds stunned and begging for mercy. Rich, bold flavors make this stout more desirable than other "stouts" in its class.

Strong bitterness and alcohol counterbalance each other, but is thinned out by ample carbonation. I really like the smooth creaminess of this beer and have no problems with the lingering bitterness. I'm happy to drink a stout that's black like coffee, but doesn't actually have any in it (so I can go to sleep after drinking). This is one of the stouts that once you've had, you'll never go back to a watered down, "lesser than" stout again.

This is a delicious beer with strong notes of roasted coffee bean and bitter African cocoa. Very sticky and sweet while having potent bitterness and ethanol to counterbalance. When the beer is allowed to warm, it's even better with stronger sweetness and a warmer mouthfeel. This beer is worth trying, but hard to come by! I would love CCB distribution in NY!

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Photo of baggio
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A: Dark as coal with a creamy brown head.

S: Caramel, Chocolate, Roasted malts, Butterscotch.

T: Caramel, Roasted malts, Milk chocolate, Cocoa, Ripe fruit.

M: Low carbonation and very high residual sweetness in this one. Smooth and robust.

A good imperial stout that reminds me of 3F Dark Lord because of the big sweetness. Very good stuff.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to forgetfu for this one!

Pours with more viscosity than I've ever seen on a beer. Almost no head, but what does turn up is super dark brown. The body is opaque black and thick.

Nose is all about molasses and blackstrap rum. Stewed figs and dates, motor oil comes to mind, black chocolate and something close to black licorice and coffee extract.

Palate is super thick and cloying. Chock full-o-coffee flavors, thick like molasses, raisins, dates, plums, demerara sugar, rum-soaked oak, and leather leather leather. Long long finish.

Notes: This bad boy is super thick, sweet and cloying. Would like a little more carbonation though. Mouthfeel suffers because of the lack of bubbles. I like it, but it's a BIG f---ing beer! FFO Dark Lord, BCBS, D.O.R.I.S., etc.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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!

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Photo of ms11781
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of BDJake
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
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."

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.11/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -4%
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.

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