Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,361 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,361
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,166
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: 2,361 | Reviews: 513
Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz swing-top growler thanks to biniek13. Filled 11/12 (approaching a month old). Poured into Hunahpu glass. This is my first time having MZ from a growler, however I've had it from the bottle a couple times (1st time reviewing).

A- Pours a very dark jet black like motor oil with a thick creamy half-finger dark mocha brown head (one of the darkest heads I've seen) that has decent retention but recedes to a perfectly flat top. Despite being almost a month old in the growler, this beer surprisingly still has retained a decent amount of carbonation of consistently rising bubbles. Some alcohol legs.

S- Dark chocolate, some creamy milk chocolate, dark fruits, some figs, raisins, and a hint of roasted malts. Fairly aromatic and nicely complex for a RIS.

T- Dark chocolate, figs, some raisins especially on the finish, a hint of bitterness from the chocolate. Nice complexity, awesome balance, and a great representation of the style.

M- Great thick body that isn't too syrupy, very smooth, extremely easy to drink (definitely hits you sooner then you know it).

O- Marshal Zhukov is a great representation of a RIS and one of many great beers from CCB. Definitely one of my favorites and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the style.

Photo of LifeTree
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a CCB snifter

A - Thick and dark as poured into glass. Delicious looking brown foam and thick head. This is a sexy looking beer!

S - Alcohol and roasted notes. The strong alcohol aroma is the only knock on this beer. But hey... its 11% abv its got some alcohol in it

T - Bitter and roasted coffee tones. Not the most complex beer I have had but this is a straight forward imperial stout. Very robust compared to many other imperial stouts I have had.

M - Starts off as medium body and finishes very full body

O - This one is up there with some of the best imperial stouts I have had. The only ones that dare to compare are Bells Expedition, North Coast Old Rasputin, and Stone Imperial Stout.

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 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 eatabagofbooger
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 MZ. Been saving this one for a while and I'm excited to crack it open.

A: I don't usually rate very high for appearance, but this is just beautiful. Thick, jet black, and a huge, astounding dark mocha colored creamy head.

S: Sweet, roasty, chocolaty, and a hint of soy sauce.

T: Coffee, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce, and a very faint metallic tang that make this the lowest score. I'm debating edwhether my score is too harsh, as it is still delicious, and my palate has been spoiled over the last week with some truly awesome impy stouts. (

M: Holy hell, this is where this beer shines. The thickest beer I've ever had with the possible exception of bcbs, but more of a creamy tckness than a sludgy, syrupy thickness. Smooth, creamy, and oh so good.

O: okay, so I went back and upped the score for taste. It definitely got better as it warmed. Really glad I got to try this one. I think it says a lot that this beer fared so well in a week that included '08 bcbs and '07-'12 Abyss.

Photo of davey101
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

8/30/2012 vintage. 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks Matt!

A - Pours a thick black body. I guess I have to go cliche and call it "motor oil" here. Although personally after performing numerous oil changes I've never seen used oil look this appealing. The head that forms initially is massive. Something I've never seen before in a beer is layers in the head. Three fingers of dark mocha foam with an apparent one finger layer of light mocha head capping it off. After settling down I'm left with some edging and an abundance of sticky lacing. Swirling creates a trace of alcoholic legs and thick clinging suds. Literally stains the side of the glass with a dark yellow/brown color for a bit. Perfect.

S - Lots of roasted malts that almost come off as ashy and chalky. Herbal anise leads into dark chocolate, coffee, sweet barbecue sauce (yes, BBQ sauce), vanilla and spices. Smooth and robust with some warming booze.

T - Roasted malts, bitter coffee beans, smooth dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla. Just an unreal balance of sweet, roast, and savory. Aftertaste if of burnt coffee, which is surprisingly enjoyable. Some warming alcohol on the end.

M - Thick, syrupy, and coating. A light prickly carbonation prevents it from being too much. Alcohol is hardly noticeable.

O - This beer has such presence. Its a huge roasty monstrosity of a stout, yet its never cloying or too alcoholic. It also has one of the best appearances and mouth feels I've experienced in a stout. Puts most barrel aged stouts to shame, this is the real deal!

Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to robinsmv for this one!

Pours like motor oil... except maybe darker, and thicker. So sexy looking - dark coffee brown head fades to a thin, well retaining film that smears lacing across a layer of oily alcohol legs.

Oh my... bittersweet. Chocolate cookies, fudge... it even SMELLS thick. Damn. Some brown sugar or cinnamon, french toast, molasses... nose-gasm.

Bittersweet chocolates of all kinds, abstract roasted malt qualities, incredibly thick and exceedingly smooth, alcohol character goes virtually undetected... I wonder how many calories are in this bottle. My guess would be a lot, and it's worth every fuckin' sip.

Damn good.

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to RyanSchwam for this monster. My first CCB ever!

A - pours jet, jet black. One of the blackest beers I've ever seen. Lots of head, almost a waterfall effect like Guinness. The foam is the darkest brown. Great looking beer.

S - lots of malt, some hints of anise and coffee, maybe some chocolate on the bass note. The alcohol is detectable, but not overbearing.

T - I've been into Ten Fidy lately, so I'm implicitly comparing all RISs to that right now. MZ is pretty good, but the malt overwhelms, which is a trap to which many RISs succumb. Objectively, it's delicious.

M - goes down like a dream. The alcohol makes it somewhat syrupy, but nothing significant to complain about.

O - I asked Ryan for two bottles of this one because I was going to age the one that I didn't drink, but I'm not sure there are any flavors that need substantial toning down. Good beer, I'll certainly get it again if I'm ever in Florida.

Photo of cfrances33
4.15/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Pour this beer and it is black as can be with a Khaki head that just lasts forever.

At first this smells mostly of bakers chocolate. Espresso and coffee notes as it warms. Way underneath dark fruits.

Taste of espresso chocolate and roast. Some earthy hops come through as well. Very enjoyable. Not much alcohol but would love to try this with a year on it.

Mouthfeel is full. Incredibly thick beer. So smooth.

A top notch stout for sure.

Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle poured into my 3F snifter.

A: Holy mudslick ! Blackest Black you can imagine, thick and very chewy. Looks like a chocolate mousse on top of a pour of motor oil - absolutely THE BEST if you love BIG stouts !

S: a bit of cherry,fruity, plum, with the barley toasted aroma, really very nice and welcoming.

T: Well, if you have read to here , you KNOW what is coming here - GEE-BUS !!! Unreal, deliciousness, just mouth-coating, smooth, not-to-sweet, awesome and so beguiling. You can't stop comi8ng back for more tastes. Smell the awesomeness, swish it and chew it and let it slowly drip down your throat.

M: thick, smooth, delightlyfully chewy , and just friggin' mouth-coating greatness !

O: EPIC. TOTALLY, will definetly seek out additional bottles.

Thank You Cigar City, signed, Fan For Life - stouts4me.

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

750 ml bottle, bottled August 31, 2012, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Absolutely gorgeous. Pours pitch black, thick and viscous looking. As it fills the glass it slowly produces a two-finger, dark chocolate brown, thick and creamy head, which has nice retention and spotty lacing.

S- Loads of chocolate and roasted grain, some char, fruit and vanilla.

T- A big rush of malty sweetness, chocolate, cocoa powder and molasses, after a bit some roasty flavors become more dominant, with roasted grain and a huge amount of coffee. Some notes of fruit and vanilla are playing in the background. Slight alcohol warmth towards the finish, but it's very well hidden in general.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation, has a creamy, velvety and slightly slick feel with some lingering chewiness.

O- This is a damn impressive beer, one of the tastiest stouts I've had in the last few months. Everything you could want in a stout is here in a big way and it all works very well together. If you were fighting your way room-by-room through the burning ruins of the Reichstag this is the kind of beer you would want to be drinking.

Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a trip to Orlando in Sept. 2010.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Blacker than black body but no head at all. Kind of plops into the glass. Very viscous as it leaves a film on the glass as it's tilted.

Smell: Dark chocolate, bit sweet, robust coffee. Not as strong as i would have expected but still pleasant.

Taste: Hazelnut, layer of roasted coffee, long finish. Flavor is gradual, builds up in the middle. Molasses cookies, lingering coffee flavor. Not as complex as ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Real thick yet retains a slick smooth feel. A bit syrupy.

Overall: Real good but still haven't found one that tops DL.

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta give the Marshal another try. Last bottle was 100% flat. 2011-2012 winter version.

A- Pitch black doom into a pint glass with an extremely dark head. Cap is silky like whipped cream and retains very well. Big patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Chocolate drizzled raisins lead the way for me. Also big molasses and roast malts. Seems fairly straightforward.

T- Massive flavor of chocolate and cherries like a really sticky, fudge browny. Big notes of molasses syrup, coffee beans, caramel, and roast cracked grains. Seriously like a dessert in liquid form. Lots of sweetness.

MF- One of the thickest and biggest beers I have ever imbibed. Lower end carbonation does great justice compared to a horrifying flat version. Some alcohol heat and bitterness.

This beer is a BEAST, very thick and like a sweet dessert. Just a bit too sweet for me but I cant hate too hard. Brownies in the liquid phase.

Photo of QuentinCall
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

"I just wasn't prepared for it to bitchslap me with every sip."

This beer lumbers out of the growler: viscous, jet-brown and seemingly denser than physically possible. A foamy head the color of wet sand and milky espresso blooms and slowly settles to a sizable and velveteen layer. It's fascinatingly dark, honestly, darker than Expedition, darker than KBS. I feel like congratulations and chain e-mails and newscasts are in order to acknowledge that Cigar City has made the Black Materia of beers.
The roast profile of this beer is fairly astonishing and forthrightly stands as the dominant aspect of the nose -- a capacious and multi-faceted coffee foundation (somehow concurrently bright, earthy, robust and sodden) roundly supported by raw chocolate notes, a substantial dose of oak and traces of syrupy stone fruits.
This is an aggressive beer. The roast is translated and follows logically to the taste. Again, coffee dominates at every turn but it is, mostly, fitted neatly to lovely moments of bittersweet ganache, bourbon, and molasses. And while I think its delicious as well as a potential touchstone for its style, its also a little overwhelming for me. Simply, super heavy + intensely upfront roastiness = the slowest of sippers.
The mouthfeel here is the key asset and what ultimately clinches this for me. It is plush, wet, not overly carbonated (which I can easily imagine dooming this one) and not as sticky as the nose could very well lead you to believe. Thankfully, it lasts for a while and not much longer.
This is a massive and blatantly militant beer that could readily be construed as magnificently executed or somewhat overwhelming and unbalanced. However, what I feel is the most important thing to keep in mind: be amongst friends, you probably shouldn't drink this one by yourself.

Photo of Toadvine
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black and thick with a half inch of dark and dense head.

S: Chocolate and coffee aromas were present but subtle.

T: A little sweet up front with a nice dry and slightly bitter finish to round it out.

M: Big chewy body.

I liked this beer a lot. I wanted something big that would help me sink into the couch after a long day, and this guy did not disappoint. As massive and complex as an Imperial Stout should be, while maintaining the balance necessary to be dangerously drinkable.

Cheers!

Photo of Etan
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml generously shared by Marco. Thanks!

A: Pours black and inky with a creamy dark tan head.

S: Heavy blackened barley, dark chocolate, burnt coffee beans.

T: Coffee, milk chocolate, some booze, thick roasted grain, plenty of bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy.

O: Very good imperial stout, especially in the mouthfeel area.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at the DC bottle share at the Smoke and Barrel on October 14, 2012.

Appearance is exactly what you expect in a big stout, dark with a little creamy head.

Smell not that intense, but very pleasant, a little smoke and a tiny tart fruit

Taste is similar to smell; no surprises. The alcohol is hidden well in this beer. Mouthfeel just so smooth.

The whole beer is just what I would call smooth deliciousness.

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 macrosmatic
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Extremely dark brown, opaque, with a one finger medium brown head that quickly fades to foam. No visible carbonation, although there may be some hidden in here somewhere.

S: Dark cacao sweetness, roasted malts, deep dark spicy hints in the background.

T: Dark chocolate and a bit of coffee malts, tobacco & leather. There's sweetness here but finishes with an almost tannin dryness.

M: Smooth mouthfeel, nice heavy body. There is a noticeable alcohol presence but well-hidden given the ABV.

O: Very nice base stout. Solid and well put together. Doesn't compare to the various and sundry treatments that are intermittently available, but very good.

Photo of Lare453
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler into a dfh glass

a very dark dark dark brown. almost black. light brown head that leaves a ton of lacing.

s cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, malt, vanilla

t a big malty beginning, dry bitter chocolate middle. the ending is bitter coffee, chocolate and chicory. the aftertaste is long lasting and is mocha, chicory and coffee and it is a bit dry

m thick and rich. smooth and great carbonation. big body and bold

o pretty good, but there are a lot better, easy to get Stouts out there.

thick, rich, delicious, dry, sweet. just fantastic.

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 Kadonny
3.65/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 bottle into a snifter glass. This bottle was aged at least a year, maybe a little longer.

A: Wow, this is a deep black color with some red tints to it. Two finger reddish brown head leaves massive glass lacing the never goes away.

S: Tons of dark roasted smells with dark chocolate, smoke, licorice and some sweetness.

T: Wow, so roasty. Roasted malts just dominate with deep flavors of smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, hints of tar and coffee and some caramel and toffee sweetness. The dark roasted flavors mix with the sweet but never go away. Burnt woody tones make it chalky on the finish with a decent alcohol kick to it.

M: Full, coating, lasting roast flavors, higher carbonation and some alcohol.

O: A good stout, but not a great stout. I think maybe I hurt this with the age because the coffee is pretty non existent and the dark roasted flavors pound the mouth. I thought some more hops could have helped balance, but as I said it's possible the hops were muted from age.

Overall I enjoyed it, but it is not a top tier RIS or Imp stout IMO. I had this then the Voodoo BBVD on consecutive nights and the BBVD is a much more complex and enjoyable beer. Summation? Good, but not great.

Updated 10/1/12. Tried this beer again over the weekend. 750 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

S: Getting just a ton of roasted smells with much more charred and burnt wood. Still no hop notes.

T: The dark roasted flavors of this beer seem one dimensional to me. Very charred, burnt, roasted and tar really take over. No hints of fruit, hops, coffee or even chocolate. It all seems dark and dank.

This is my second bottle and it pretty much is the same. I guess this beer is just not for me.

Photo of rodkin
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
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...

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. The beer, as well as the glass, are courtesy of smokinoak in a recent trade. Bottled August 31, 2012.

A - Looks like motor oil on the pour, black and viscous. Tan carbonation rises through the body, almost like a nitro pour. Not much head on this one, but the halo around the edge is thick and long lasting. Spotty droplets clings to the wall of the glass; apparently a cross between lacing and legs.

S - Rich, roasty aroma full of dark fruits. Plum, dates, and dark cherry dance with chocolate and bitter char. Hints of sweet marshmallow and molasses pull it all together. The aroma is complex and delicious.

T - The flavor is an immediate shot to the palate. Strong and complex with a great balance. Initially sweet with the dark fruits of the nose, milk chocolate, and smokey vanilla. The slightest amount of charred bitterness on the back end. Nice mocha finish. Smooth as hell.

M - Thick with a nice subtle carbonation. Coats the tongue and the best way to describe the feel is "soft." Velvety smooth with no alcohol , despite the 11% ABV. One of the best feels to any beer I have had.

O - Cigar City is a tease of a brewery that only distributes (to PA/DE/MD) the beers that I am not very interested in and none of the beers I want. Thank god for trading because Marshal Zhukov is excellent. This is one of the fullest stouts I have had in both flavor and mouthfeel. Easy drinking with great sweet and roasty balance. I got two, so I am really looking forward to opening the other in a few years. If you have access, grab this one. Up there with FBS and Pt5 among the best non-BA stouts, in my opinion.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,361 ratings.