Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,358 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,358
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,167
Gots: 769 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

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

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

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

80 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,358 | Reviews: 513
Photo of rfgetz
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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...

Photo of unionturf
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of Bierlerner
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

Photo of hardy008
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of GregJ
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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!!!

Photo of jmdrpi
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of nlmartin
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of Jimbok232
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing beer, one of the best from Cigar City. The chocolate, coffee and roast are near perfect for a Russian imperial stout.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours thick and dark, completely opaque brown-black. You have heard it before and will hear it again pours like lovable motor oil base with a slightly over-sized head just over a finger's length a very very dark tan with a deep mahogany tint.

Smell: Strong alcohol with a nice burnt sugar scent and strong molasses. This beer doesnt smell it dispenses aroma.

Taste: Comes off with strong molasses, and heavy dark chocolate that feels blended with roasted coffee. It's bitter no doubt but offset with slight sweetness that comes off borderlin perfect.

Mouth: With sweet bitter chocolate, seriously a rarity that a stout like this quenches your thirst. Medium carbonation feels a little lighter than some but how sticky it is what makes this brew worth it.

Overall: This brew hit me the way in way that honestly I would be crazy to leave it alone on the shelf. And to think I already thought I had the best Russian Imperial Stout before this. Great beer, go spend a few bucks...Salud!

Photo of jjanega08
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New label but no other freshness dating on the bottle.

A= Pours a super thick pitch black color with a beautiful three finger head on it that seemed flat at first but just rose out of this thing. Amazing looking beer. The head is sooo black and thick. Very very impressive beer. I don't think this could look any better.

S= This smells like an Imperial stout should. Thick roast and tons of dark chocolate. Toffee and sweetness comes up from behind. Damn you Cigar City why must this be so good smelling. The odor is something I would just enjoy on a deep dark Minnesota winter night.

T= Every bit as good and powerful as I hoped. Tons of roast. Coffee and chocolate up front. Then the toffee sweetness comes up from behind and assaults. There is a bit of fruityness to it and maybe a bit of a hop character that I didn't expect. Dark fruit character comes through a bit in the finish which is just a cherry on top.

M= Amazingly thick and delicious. The biggest chewiest beer I've ever had.

O= I've had Hunahpu and it was mind blowing. I tell people that it is the best RIS I've ever had. This is just as amazing. A step down in complexity but still the best base beer a RIS could be and a hell of a beer. Super drinkable for such a big thick thing and amazingly smooth.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 2012 vintage 750 ml bottle into a Cigar City Brewing branded snifter

Pours a thick, viscous dark midnight black capped by by a dark brown one and half finger head. I'm always amazed by how Zhukov pours; this is one huge, thick RIS. Strong roasty malt, bakers chocolate, boozy alcohol, and dark fruit. One sip brings an explosion of flavor, charred dark chocolate malt, huge plum, prune, and black cherry notes, molasses which finishes with continued bold roasted malt, dark roast coffee/espresso, and warming alcohol. Ridiculously complex. The mouthfeel of this brew leaves nothing to be desired, huge and viscious, oily, velvety, creamy and silky. The most full-bodied brew that I've ever had and possibly the best mouthfeel of any brew I've had. As far as I'm concerned Marshal Zhukov is the one of the standards for Russian Imperial Stouts. Quite possibly the best brew I've ever had in the style.

Photo of Chaney
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage, but I still have 2010 in the cellar.

I'm splitting this with my wife tonight, but she's playing "Dance, Dance Revolution" and working on a Flying Dog "Kujo" right now, so I'm not sure how that's going to go.

I've been wanting to try this one forever!

Served in a snifter.

A: No other way to say it: This one is pitch black! Additionally, there was not light showing through and the head was ridiculously dark as well.

S: I got lots of Imperial Stout-esqe notes on the nose: Soy sauce, LOTS of dark chocolate, figs, and cigar ash. This was fairly bright overall in terms of RISs.

T: Wow! This was an amazing blend of figs, cocoa, and ash. On the palate, I got more dark fruit than anything else. On the finish, I actually got some very bright plum notes. Pretty amazing actually.

M: Creamy and delectable, with a sweet profile that was very calculated and perfect in every way. The lacing was sticky and the carbonation was low, yet perfect in this setting.

O: I guess this is the base beer for "Hunahpu's." It exceeded my expectations in much the same way that "Hunapuh's" did.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My celebratory beer for the end of Anatomy course. Woohoo!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter at 45°F.

A faint hiss as I popped the cap. The rich, chocolatey smell immediate wafted and filled the room. Poured thick, viscous, and somewhat oil-like. No head to speak of, no bubbles, just a black heavy mass in the glass. No light passes through, save a tiny bit at the edge of the glass. Would be more impressive with a dense tan head, but the viscosity makes up for it I suppose... Anyway, the aroma is impressive. A nice blend of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate (if you follow Lindt's chocolate, this is closer to the 80% cocoa bar), a faint tint of black currants, and a touch of black patent malt. This is an assertive stout, yet presents itself elegantly. The first sip reveals such complexity, yet reminds to to sit back, not worry about it and simply enjoy the beer. Sweet and fruity in the forefront, with the roastiness and cocoa character following closely. The finish is extended with much coffee and touches of vanilla, followed by a lightly astringent and almost charcoal-like texture. Alcohol warmth and dryness follows. Although no head is apparent, the beer is certainly carbonated, albeit very mild. I enjoy that texture with an intensely rich beer as such. A very nice sipper. I can see this working very well with many different desserts or with a chocolatey cigar. Even as a stand-alone dessert beer. Good job, Cigar City. This is a different beer than the last time I tried it and I'm glad I'm reviewing it this time.

Photo of Beejay
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to DmanGTR for this brew!

A: It pours like solid black glass, no light can escape this. I am pretty sure the amount of light in the room when down when I poured it since it is absorbing so much of it. It pours thick, and when swirled in the glass it leaves the glass a dark molasses brown. There is no head at all on this, but just a swirl of dark color that collects in a ring on the edges of the glass. Man does it look nice.

S: Very rich and sweet. Notes of burnt caramel and brown sugar, black licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee cake. Perhaps a bit of dark chocolate or coffee in the finish, but the sweetness is really powerful.

T: Sweet chocolate comes out first, followed by licorice, and a nice roasted flavor. The sweetness and the dry roastiness form a bit of a ying and yang balance. And while the flavor isn't as complex as the aroma, it still tastes nice. Malty, roasty, with a touch of coffee in the finish.

M: Thick mouthfeel, like drinking creamy smooth oil. The carbonation is very low, and helps create that silky feel.

D: Tasty as hell, this is something that could be enjoyed with some nice aged cheese, or maybe a cigar. This is a sipping beer that will for sure sneak up on you. Wonderful.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 bottling acquired via trade with Mposha. I love how the bottle label looks like a cigar band. Poured into a Founders snifter. The appearance of this beer is almost shocking. It is viscous and absolutely pitch black with a really dark brown head. The head is about a finger thick, but dissipates pretty quickly (not surprising at this ABV) and leaves a slight trace of sticky, almost crusty-looking lace behind. The nose has lots of sweet malt, roasted coffee, chocolate, a hint of vanilla, marshmallows, and dark fruit. Heavenly.

Very full body and a thick, creamy, almost gooey feel. This substantial mouthfeel seems appropriate given the complex myriad of flavors that explode across the palate. Big sweet bready malt, bitter espresso beans, dark bakers chocolate, molasses, tangy dark fruit, German lebkuchen, and earthy licorice are just a few of the many flavors I seem to pick up. Just when you think things are calming down, the finish hits you with a nice warming booziness that leaves a long, lingering taste like the burnt crust of a rum-soaked chocolate cake in your mouth.

This may or may not be the best-tasting RIS I have had. In a head-to-head, I still think I'd prefer Founders (Marshal Z is a little sweet and Founders has just the right amount of bitterness to suit my palate). Marshal Z however, is easily the most complex RIS I have had. I am really glad I have 2 more bottles as it will take at least another 1 or 2 sittings with this beer to even begin to expore all of its tantalizing pleasures. Thanks to Cigar City for brewing it, thanks to the folks in Florida for supporting this brewery, and thanks to Mposha for trading it.

Photo of elvisdoc
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very nice. My go to Imperial Stout here in Florida when I can't get Huna.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Arrives pitch black with a small, dense head the color of cocoa powder. Head dissipates to a thin film covering.
Smell is full of semisweet chocolate, malt, dark fruits, oak and wet cardboard. Very well balanced.
Taste is roasted malts, rum, dark chocolate, dark fruit. Lighter notes of oak and coffee. Very complex and well balanced.
Rich, very full-bodied. Extremely light effervescence. Thick almost to the point of being cloying but not quite getting there, thankfully. Smooth, this brew slides down your throat like liquid velvet. Unexpectedly, there was no warming from this 11% abv beer.

Photo of russwbeck
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: My God. The darkest, thickest head I have ever seen. Period. Dark brown in color to almost black. Creamy, lacing beautiful as it finally recedes down the glass. It leaves a cap not unlike whipped cream to introduce you to the beer.

S: Are those hops I smell? Certainly some, mixed in with coffee. Molasses, coffee, smoke, and a ton of chocolate. No alcohol is noted at all.

T: The chocolate really dominates the beginning of this beer, followed by the molasses and smoke. At this point in my mind I'm thinking about how sweet this beer is, that was not to last. You get nailed with coffee, roastiness, and a bone dry finish.

MF: Thick, creamy, extremely heavy. Carbonated well. No hint of the 11% ABV

O: This beer is simply phenomenal. I wonder what age will do to it, but I have to figure the coffee would step back the the chocolate would take an even larger part of the beer, if not thin out a bit. Very, very good fresh.

Photo of FATC1TY
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a Snifter/Tulip. Fresh 2012 bottle.

A: A blacker than night color with a huge red hue'd mocha head that goes, and goes and goes. Insane cascading carbonation, with unreal lacing that sticks to the glass the ENTIRE time you drink it. Great thin line of head last to the last drop. Looks gorgeous in the glass.

S: Roasty, burnt wood. Vanilla, licorice, tar, chocolate... a bit of booze even.. Smells like a typical imperial stout. Not much else going on, but enough to make me want to drink it.

T: Winner, winner chicken dinner. The taste is everything here. Roasty malts, espresso out the ass end. It's a pleasant roast, not acrid, but nice and roasted and full body. Caramel, and toffee come into play, slight vanilla and sweet chocolate pop here and there. A Floral hop bit comes at the end and finished thick... enough to coat the palate, asking for more! A hint of alcohol comes in at the finish, but nothing to deter from the finish. It's sweet enough to drink more, and bitter enough to balance it out. Perfect.

M: Milshake. It's full bodied, plenty of roasty flavors coat your mouth. Perfect carbonation to help clean it up a bit and move it along. Slightly warm finish deep in the end of the sip. They really hit it perfect here.. Love the mouthfeel. Best of the best.

O: One of my favorites. I'm not close enough to get it easily, but not far enough it's not easy to get. A great stout that fills all the voids you want in a good stout. Balanced and tasty, great roasty flavor with enough sweetness to make you enjoy it. Top rated beer for a reason.. Glad I have more on hand!

Photo of greenmonstah
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle shared w/ one other

A - As dark and rich as BA Yeti was, this takes that to an insane new level. Beer clops out of the bottle in chunks and coats the glass like used oil. Blacker than Batman. The head is darkest brown I've seen since big brother Hunahpu.

S - Just an incredible display of roasted malts, this is a very straightforward stout that emphasizes the art of malt selection.

T - Again this stout is the perfect showcase of the roasted malt combined with sweetness. So balanced, this can be, and is, used as a basis for all kinds of incredible barrel aging and secondary fermentations for good reason. They perfected the malt flavors and went from there.

M - Thicker than anything I've had in over a year. This stuff has to be chewed. Perfect finish.

O - Overall this beer is incredible. I've already gone into it, the beer is the perfect imperial stout. I need to try every variant, and every Hunahpu. This beer re-affirmed my adoration of Hunahpu's. WOW.

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'11 Vintage poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip. Thanks to Cigar City for this one!

A- Pitch black, slick like oil. The head is the most beautiful dark chestnut color I've ever seen on a beer, leaves streaks of thick lacing down the glass.

S- Sweet coffee mixed with dark chocolate. Molasses. Toffee with a hint of alcohol at the end.

T- Divine. Blackstrap molasses. Bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa nibs. Toffee, mild alcohol hidden very well. Almost tastes like blackberry on the finish.

M- Juicy and thick. I like my stouts like I like my men. Lingers on the palate for an amazing bittersweet feel on the tongue.

O- One of the greatest Imperial Stouts I've ever had, could drink this every day. Cigar City, I fucking love you

Photo of SebD
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick creamy tan head that dies down very slowly and leaves lovely lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet chocolate, molasses, some coffee/espresso, dark fruit, toffee and some vanilla. Smells phenomenal!

Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of sweet chocolate, rich molasses, coffee, bitter espresso, light dark fruit, some toffee and faint vanilla.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. This is a really great Stout. Definetely something to try.

Serving type: bottle

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,358 ratings.