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
97
world-class

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,165
Gots: 766 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,362 | Reviews: 513
Photo of aubuc1
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a thick tannish almost red head.

Smell is roasty, sweet and a smooth chocolate. Very balanced.

Taste is pretty bold. Coffeeish roasty, char with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. This beer is not real drinkable for me, but does not sacrifice the beer.

Another great, huge beer from ccb.

Photo of gwguest
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle with no visible batch or freshness dating into a Bruery tulip.

A vigerous pour yields a very scant milk chocolate brown foam on top of an opaque black body. Foam is gone in a flash. A quick swirl causes a thin motor oil-like stain on the side of the glass. I've never seen a beer leave quite such a residue behind. Interesting. It's not particularly appetizing, but interesting.

The aroma is a very harmonious blend of anise / licorice, molasses, dark dark chocolate and minimal roast. The are hints of a brown sugar sweetness in the nose which really perks up the beer and adds some fantastic complexity.

Flavors in the beer are quite intense and mirror the nose in many ways. There is a touch more coffee and toffee taste than I get in the aroma, but I think the toffee taste is what may be suggesting brown sugar in the aroma. The roast level is a smidgen higher, but not nearly as baking as other beers in this style.

The mouth feel is identical to what I imagine the glass would feel. Thick, coating with just a thin suggestion of carbonation. This is borderline flat, but I would venture to say that this is how the brewer intended. It has carbonation, but it is simply on the low end for the style. Personally, I would prefer a bit more of the scrubbing action, but no points off for where it is.

Drinkability, for an 11.5% beer, is a tick above. The slick mouth feel and intensity of flavors make it difficult to have very much, but the abv is undetectable. It's not cloyingly sweet and doesn't sit in the stomach like a rock. Nicely done.

Overall, Zhukov is a beer like no other that I have tried. It is far from my favorite, but it is definitely worth a try. I can see this being some BAs absolute favorite beer ever. It is very well-crafted, but it won't score a ton of points with everyone. Nice work from Cigar City.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night.

Pours black with clear, amber edges. No real head on my pour and no lacing. Thick and viscous pour.

Heavily roasted malts with black licorice. Heavy char.

Very little carbonation on the mouthfeel, as well. Lots of heavy char and licorice.

Big and tasty.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black. No head what so ever. One bubble actually. Vry thick. Smells malty and sweet. Tastes fairly nondescript. Just a ton of malty sweetness. Some light fruitiness on the tongue. Lots of earthiness own the tongue a bit of roast. Very basic but solid. Thick mouthfeel but not very well carbonated.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: This looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, SO viscous. Almost no head unless it is a very high and aggressive pour. Then a tiny head forms, fades to a ring, and disappears. No lacing. At this point I am wondering if this is a 'flat' bottle or if it is just this lightly carbonated.

Smell: The aromas blend together in a very smooth fashion. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, dark chocolate, coffee, a little molasses, and some anise. A touch of booze to remind me that it is a big bad army officer of a stout.

Taste: Again, very smooth. The malt is blended, it tastes like several types of dark and roasted malts were used here. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee, vanilla, and some anise provide supporting flavors. Each flavor knows its role and has a properly proportioned strength. As the glass continues, the coffee flavors grow somewhat. Some spicy hops help to finish it out. There is some lingering coffee bitterness and molasses sweetness, but considering how huge this drinks, it cleans up fairly well. I think additional carbonation would help the finish even more as well.

Mouthfeel: This was not completely flat, but I think it was unintentionally under-carbonated. Other than that, it was velvety smooth, very viscous, creamy, and very full bodied. With a proper amount of carbonation, this score jumps considerably.

Drinkability: If this had the proper level of carbonation, it would be up there with the heavy hitters of the stout world. As is, it was ok, and all of us sort of lamented what could have been.

Photo of aasher
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from thagr81us in a past massive trade. Thanks once again Calton!

This bottle was the 2010 vintage. This one pours a blackest of black, motor oil sludge in consistency with absolutely no head or activity. It smells of rich and smooth milk and dark chocolates, featuring both sweet and bitter malt characters with a good amount of coffee. The sweetness is almost Baltic-esque. The flavors are heavy on chocolates, all types of chocolates. Initially I got a good amount of milk chocolate, followed by coffee. It is quickly followed by a dark chocolate bitterness and plenty of roasted malts. It's just really sweet, which takes away from the overall balance. It drinks exceptionally smooth, as one should expect. Overall it's a nice RIS but it is on the sweet side. I can see where Nielsborium got it's sugar from and I can see the base of Hunahpu as well. It's a solid beer, worthy of barrel aging and new additions, but alone it's nothing too special.

Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks again to Matt for sharing!

(A)- Pours pitch black, with one of the darkest brown colors in a head I have ever seen.

(S)- Aroma-wise, fairly straightforward for the style with some rich bits of raisin and molasses and a good underlying roasted profile.

(T)- A touch different from the smell in that, it has the classic roastedness and rich bits, but it almost tastes like it has an underlying honey-like sweetness throughout the flavor profile of the beer; interesting.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Perhaps a touch sweeter than I was expecting, but it blends well and counterbalances what might have been quite a strong roasted profile. It definitely cut out some of the residual bitterness too.

(O)- Not sure how old this particular bottle was, but I did enjoy the slightly different nuances this beer put out. Not overly complex for the style, but it fits the style well.

Photo of justintcoons
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an oily, tar-like impenetrable black with 1 finger of chestnut brown, fine-laced head that dissipates slowly. A nice thick layer of creamy lacing clings to the side of the glass and does not let go. Extremely impressive!

N: Espresso, rich toffee, molasses, roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate and hints of citrusy hops.

T: Rich toffee, chalky bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley and hints of Fruity Pebbles upfront. This is followed by molasses, toffee, roasted barley and some citrus notes. Finishes bitter with espresso, dark chocolate, peanut and more toffee.

M: Full bodied, chewy, creamy, chalky, sticky, syrupy and dry.

O: This beer is strange because it achieves a huge, sweet maltiness with toffee and roasted notes throughout and yet it has a rather prominent fruity hop profile that would normally just balance everything out. Yet it is extremely sweet and bitter at the same time. The appearance and mouthfeel are extremely impressive. This is one beautiful looking beer! Very deep, rich, sweet and complex yet I'm not overly excited about the fruity hop profile.

Photo of Bfarr
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick syrupy black pour and tight sienna head with great retention and lacing. Dark chocolate and charcoal roasted aroma with an herbal note. Big chocolate taste up front gives way to coffee notes and finishing sweet and herbal. Coffee linger. Very thick viscosity with light bite and a lightly lingering dryness.

The look and feel of this beer is incredible. It actually coats the glass and turns it a different color that stays until it’s rinsed off. A fairly unique flavor is good in a small dose means it’s definitely a great beer for an 8 – 10oz pour. Any more than that and the herbal quality really takes over. This is typical of the malty CCB beers that I’ve tasted. I’d say it’s great to share or have a small taste of it but any more than that and it begins to be disappointing. Really a pretty enjoyable beer.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to neorunner for surprising me with this bottle. He says its from 2009.

Appearance
Damn, this stuff looks thick. I almost have to scoop it out of the bottle. The pour is super black and ropey. A nice, toasted head rises up, and rests at a thin layering. Not that much lacing.

Aroma
A little tiny hint of oxidation in the form of a suggestion of paper; but this is very subtle and actually a welcomed addition to the aroma's profile. Leather and sweet, dark tobacco dominate. Molasses and dark fruits are below. Alcohol gives this beer a punch.

Taste
Very leathery with earthy suggestions of maduro cigar tobacco. A burnt dark chocolate flavor forms mid-palate. A really nice french vanilla cream element takes things through to the end.

Mouthfeel
Indeed, this beer is full bodied, but its not as thick as the looks suggested. Carbonation is ample, perhaps a bit high at first. The beer has a dry, burnt cocoa powderiness to the finish. This is a very sticky beer as well. Alcohol is sturdy, but very nicely incorporated for an ABV that nears the 12% mark.

Overall
This is pretty decent. Solid brewing, but it just isn't intense all across the board as I had hoped. It does make a good base beer for Cigar City style experiments though.

Photo of bierguru
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -
pours like oil thick and slugish its awesome pours no head but light brown lacing and is jet black

S -
hints of malt chocolate licorice and some roasted flaovrs

T -
chocoalate maybe vanilla roasted notes molassess

M -
a bit dry mildly sweet overall well balanced biterness sweetness

D -
simple and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness split the 750 and glad i did very rich

Photo of mhksuccess
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass
it pours extremely dark almost black
very little head
it smells very smokey
i would say this taste is very smooth, taste of toffee and a sweetness
on the back-end
very balanced hints of lot of flavors but a good mix not one that is overpowering
i spilled a drop with a swirl lol and get a hint of coffee/expresso
overall i find that the hop profile is a little not quite to my tasting
that is why i feel that an overall rating of a 4 possible little lower is what i woudl score
think i may pass on this next time

Photo of koopa
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Nice murky black body with an attractive 1 finger brown head. Not much retention but some lace.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, and as previously mentioned a marshmallow like quality.

Taste: Roast malt, coffee, nuts, espresso, and a touch of sweetness that is really faint. A bit too much astringent bitterness from all the coffee.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, creamy, and coating! I like it but it could be a bit much for some that don't really appreciate a full bodied stout!

Drinkabilty: Full bodied with an 11.50% abv holds this delicious brew back in this category.

Photo of kjyost
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed Nov. 19, 2011 at Inaugural Bottle Share, thanks tbadiuk! From notes.

A: As dark as the night is black. Not a hint of light. Dark tan head, light lacing.
S: The nose just hammers you with molasses, with underlying hints of liquorice.
T: Sticky sweet, with tons of molasses and burnt sugar. Did not develop and complexity is lacking, A sweet molasses bomb of a beer.
M: Sticky and the sweetness just lingers forever on the palate.
O: Comes across as an imperial sweet stout. If you like sweet stouts, you'll likely like this, but I found it overpoweringly molasses dominated. It is rare I have a RIS where I don't get any roasted notes...

Photo of popery
3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 8/22/10. Good imperial stout but not really a standout. I still don’t really get all of the CCB hype. Pours black with a brown head. Looks pretty thick. Nice head retention. Solid chocolate/coffee/roast flavor. Taste is on the sweet side with a definite, lingering molasses note. Medium full body. Some hop bitterness helps curtail the sweetness. Good beer but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the pack. As a year round beer (and depending on price), it’s very good, but among all >10% stouts, it’s not so memorable.

Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy bret27. Pours an absurd black color with one of the darkest brown heads imaginable. Dark chocolate aroma, woody and hugely roasty. Flavor is roasted insanity, darkest chocolate and coffee grounds. Almost charred/ashy, a little dark fruitiness. Earthy woody hops, massively bitter. Astringent on the tongue. This one really assaults the palate. It's good, very good, but so robust it's hard to get through.

Photo of billshmeinke
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge, sticky, black as can be, super duper sweet but with enough of a roasty and coffee finish to persuade you that there's some sort of "balance." Seriously though, so so sweet. Really mouth coating and gnarly viscous with hints of berries, cherries, licorice, chocolate, and smoke. If you like sweet and super viscous imperial stouts, try and find some of this.

Photo of Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to readbaron for sending this bottle my way! Split and shared with ClarkPinnock [First installment of "A Beer Observed."]. Poured my allotment into a chalice.

The pour on this beer is one of the thickest I have ever seen. This slowly glugs out of the bottle. I can tell there is lower carbonation as there is no head to this at all. I didn't see a wisp of lace until the final few ounces from the bottle. Still, this is one evil-looking brew, and I dig it. The nose is potent with sharp twangs of vinous grapes, molasses, espresso, booze, chocolate. A plethora of aromatic tones.

The body, though low in carbonation, is still pleasant. So smooth and creamy. This is really thick stuff! I'd like a bit more bubble play, but this is alright. If this beer were any less "big," I'd have more of a complaint. The flavor profile mirrors the nose quite. Lots of dark chocolate, wine, mild booziness, licorice, and heavily roasted coffee beans. I lowered the drink-ability on this one, as the alcohol burn just gets to me after awhile, and this is more pronounced as this beer warms. Still, this was one heck of a weekend-starter. Great beer to sip by the fire, or as CP enjoyed it, with a pipe.

Photo of jimixr
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured completely black. A very thick and slow pour. Zero visibility.Absolutely no head or lacing.

S- A very nice aroma. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. A little bit of alcohol is present in the smell.

T- Dark fruit up front. Roasted malt and an almost charred taste. Finishes with a creamy almost chocolate taste. A lot of alcohol burn on the end.

M-Full bodied. Very thick and oily. It is almost completely without carbonation, but it doesn't bother me much.

O- A good representation of the style. I wish my bottle had a little more carbonation. It was almost to much to finish my glass. This is definitely one to share.

Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for opening this one, Torry. Consumed on 11/23/2009 in a snifter. Pours out black like motor oil with a thick, creamy, two finger toffee brown head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered. The chocolate component reminds me of a dark chocolate cake. Booze is noticeable and there's and a dash of

Zhukov's RIS opens with dark fruit (plum, grape, currant) blackstrap molasses, and a strong charred malt character. There's a dash of brown sugary sweetness and vanilla. There's a nice moderate level of black coffee, it's not dominant but evident nonetheless. The chocolate toffee.

The flavor opens with aggressive hops, alcohol, and burnt malt. Blackstrap molasses is evident, as well as a light toffee sweetness. The dark chocolate component is strong, and it reminds me a bit of a truffle. Dark fruit is subtle. The beer is pleasant thus far. Midpalate, the roast becomes overdone and the booze is too aggressive. I can't get over the strong char. The finish is dark chocolate, a strong burnt roast, and coffee. It's bitter, aggressive, acrid, and astringent.

Full bodied with an upper level of carbonation and a sticky, chewy, and syrupy mouthfeel.

Photo of Lerxst
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours like motor oil. Pitch black. A vigorous pour produced just the smallest semblance of a head that disappears right away.

S-Strong dark chocolate notes leap out at me first then some charred malt, dark fruit, coffee and hints of licorice and booze.

T-Dark chocolate leads here too, very prominent. The roasty malt is also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Hints of dark fruit gently peek their way through as well.

M-Full bodied. Thick, viscous, coating. Just a hint of carbonation. I'm not one who likes a lot of carbonation, particularly in stouts, but this one could use just a slight bit more. Without the carbonation it kind of reminds me of the old Hershey's syrup in the can.

D-Its a sipper for sure, but it is good and enjoyable. But one is certainly enough.

I really love CCB and RIS's, but this one was a bit of a disappointment. I just expected more. It certainly isn't a bad beer at all, so maybe my expectations were set too high by Hunahpu. (OK, I know Hunahpu is a American Double and not an RIS, but I LOVED that beer, so my stout expectations for CCB were high)

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 2-26-2011

A - dark black body with some purple light through the edges. No foam of any sort.

S - woody dry chocolate, bitter earthy notes.

T - smoky, dry, bittersweet dark chocolate.

M - robust and smooth, little to no carbonation

D - not bad. Tastes good, isn't too overpowering.

Photo of MikeGill
3.84/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 2/18/10 at Big Z Beverage in Huntington NY during an in-store event.

Draught beer poured by the brewer into a clear plastic cup.

Pours a menacing black with zero head. Aromas of molasses and black licorice along with bitter chocolate shavings.

Rich and extracted. A shock to the taste buds. Bold favors of chocolate covered espresso beans and burned fruit. Big alcohol warmth. Woodsy with a roasty charred dryness that hits the mouth hard. Black coffee and dried herbs on the finish. A big beer that demands attention.

Photo of ryanonline
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark, pitch black with the darkest tan you can get without it just being brown in the head. huge lacing.

chocolate, espresso and a touch of resinous pine coming from the hops.

ooh, this one is thick and deep. lots of roast and char with some coffee and chocolate but a very bitter piney finish. a touch too sweet though.

the mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full bodied yet it still retains a certain smoothness, for an 11% alcohol beer, it is masked very well.

wonderful beer, could use some aging though.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bendurgin for sharing. Poured into a tulip. This is the slowest pouring, thickest oily looking beer I think I've seen. The head is about three quarters of an inch and very very dark brown; it almost blends into the body.

The aroma consists of chocolate and dark fruit. This is mostly sweet smelling with a touch of alcohol.

The taste is full of sweet chocolate malt and cherry like fruit.

This is very thick and the carbonation is soft. This is going to take a while to drink.

Well, I prefer more coffee and bitterness in my stouts. But fans of big, chewy, viscous fruity stouts will be very happy with this one.

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