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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,448
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,188
Gots: 836 | FT: 79
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

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

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

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

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 518 | Hads: 2,448
Photo of Crittervision
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

deep-ass black, the darkest head ive seen yet, this just after drinking black tuesday and the abyss. pillowy too. superb.

smell is prominently fruit. is it melon? watermelon? hard to tell. next up, wondering why i havent noticed them yet, are roasts that vary from familiar roasted malts to those id smell emanating from a coffee grinder.

taste is bitter, big molasses, fruitiness that includes that mystery melon from before along with prunes that were picked as not-quite-ripe plums, a bitterness that i perceive to be coming from hops that havent done us the favor of fading yet. the coffee comes through and might share some of that bitterness as well, but also provides a nice roastiness.

for an imperial stout, a medium mouthfeel that could stand to be a bit thicker. regardless, it is quite nice and is certainly as thick as many in this style that ive tried. i think it was not done justice by following black tuesday and the abyss. but, that is how it happened.

this is the least balanced of the three. the bitterness is a couple notches too high, as i prefer my stouts sweet and decadent. however, if youre into those more hop-forward stouts, you may find this one quite to your liking.

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Photo of farrago
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Be careful not to pour too aggressively or you'll get half a glass of head, all dark brown and mostly foam but also with a few islands of larger popping bubbles, thick and gobby streaks of lacing. Pure black in color liquid, that's all you can say, not a star in the sky. Cappuccino, milk chocolate, licorice blow through your nostrils like wet paper, the smokiness is more like incense than wood smoke, light touch of plum and cherry fruit, there's an underlying leafiness, like plant oils on your fingers, otherwise hops a vocal backseat driver. Full-bodied enough that you have to gulp to get it going down your throat, as expected from the pour, the carbonation has a large billowing effect, making it foam up and close to out of your mouth. Less milky here, the roast more pronounced in the coffee bean, dark chocolate flavors, close to bitter. Flutter of caramel, butterscotch. The cherry fruit deepens here, more red than black. Again the hops don't distinguish themselves through individual flavors, more both a tactile bite and oiliness which cements the whole onto your palate. Monochromatic, as all exemplary steamrollers are. You can't wash it out of your mouth with a hose.

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Photo of Gmann
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a used motor oil black color with the most darkest brown head that I have seen to date. The head is dense and clingy which resulted in some nice sticky lacing. The aroma is of nice bakers chocolate, almost to a tee. Nice milk chocolate and mocha to boot. A nice big and roasty malt flavor. Good choclate and coffee flavor. Bitter chocolate dominates, followed by a strong roasted coffee. Nice and earthy. The brew is big and chewy, yet exceptionaly smooth. Abv is well hidden. I'm not a big fan of imperial stouts but this is a gem. Great great great roasted malt flavor. Nice caramel sweetness, good coffee presence. Seek this sucker out. It is good!

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Photo of dudecandle
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body, small and very dark head.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, a hefty dose of coffee.

T: This is delicious, but very straightforward in its profile. Chocolate, coffee, and smoke. The smoke is actually a little stronger than I'd prefer, and is really a downer for me.

M: Big with some alcohol burn, but the smoke is a bit bothersome.

D: I actually got a bit bored through only 8 ounces of this. I know it's great, but frankly, the smoke overtook it for me. Chocolate and coffee are good, but I would have preferred a stronger third pop there.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Greg is the man, nuff said. Another one I can finally cross off my list, I was able to open this one up and go to town on it last night. Served cold and poured into a snifter over the course of a couple hours, this one was consumed on 02/11/2010.

Best pour that could have happened, hands down. Simply astounding with the deepest, darkest black color possible and a huge, towering head of dark tan that nearly over topped the rim of the glass and simply refused to go anywhere. Could not have asked for it to look better, perfect. Could smell this one from across the room. Dark molasses, coffee, dark, dark chocolate just filling the air. Hints of dark wood, sweet, licorice, just an immense, immense aroma coming off of this one, I was really, really impressed from the start. Each sip seemed fuller more intense and luscious then the one before. Dark chocolate and coffee and dominant now, with vanilla creeping in but not overtaking, then a smack down of lightly bitter coffee seals it and I am in love. A full on RIS, this is what it is all about. Warming brings the coffee out front and center and everything starts to become clear now. Really just is impressive, impressive beer. One of the fullest feels, similar to Dark Lord or Abyss in that department, outstanding balance and flavor and could not ask for it to come across more full.

Overall one of my new favorites. I cannot even imagine what Hunaphus will bring if this one is as good as this, I am just beyond impressed.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this CCB brew. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pretty freaking nice. Absolute clear separation between the body and head. Poured a dark black color...almost like the color of an infinite abyss. Zero visibility. Produced three fingers with of cocoa, tan colored head. Stellar head retention and some lacing as consumed.

S- A very nice aroma indeed. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. While this dominated, I could pick up a nice subtle layer of sweetness underneath...almost like molasses.

T- Bittering, chocolate malts and slight fruit character upfront that quickly transitions into a roasted, charred flavor. Finishes with a tad bit of creamy, sweetness and a decent amount of heat.

M- Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Wished this was a little more viscous.

D- With the level of bitterness upfront, and then the heavy charred flavors and big alcohol heat on the back end, my one glass became a pretty big chore to put down.

Overall, this is only my second beer from CCB, but I have not been impressed whatsoever. It was dressed for the part and had a pretty decent aroma, but just really fell apart in the other three areas. Hopefully they can prove me wrong down the road.

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Photo of DIM
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was black bodied. It poured with a huge, frothy, clumpy, and sticky head that was the darkest brown I've ever seen.

s: On the mild side, but certainly appealing. Roasty to the point of being charred malts that all but completely cover up traces of cocoa and dark fruit. Warm, but not enough to suggest 11.5% abv.

t: Extremely abrasive, but extraordinarily satisfying. Charred dark chocolate flavors linger long into the bitter finish. Not much else going on, but this isn't at all lacking in any way.

m: A little on the watery side which surprised me, but that is a mild complaint.

d: Not subtle at all, but it was damn delicious. I've really enjoyed the CC I've been lucky enough to try so far.

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Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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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 Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black as night, with a sandy brown head and great lacing

S: deep, rich, dark roasted malt, chocolate, toffee

T: I love it when I'm really excited to try a beer and it totally measures up to the high expectations I had. Rich, big, robust, complex, delicious, with hints of chocolate. This is a big RIS, and done very well.

M: Aggressive without being hot, thick, great carbonation level, easy going down, especially for 11.5% abv. As the glass is emptied it looks like an oil slick took place where the beer used to be. Viscosity lives here.

D: I have another bottle in the cellar that I'm pretty excited about. Highly recommended. This is one of the best in the style.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gtreid for this one.

Poured into stone old guardian snifter.

Pours a small layer of dark mocha head. Fades to a thin layer quickly. Color is a vicious black.

Aroma: Big roasted malt beer. Cocoa caramel, and coffee. Some earthy hops. Dark dried fruit notes, mainly cherry. Some toffee in the background.

Taste: Lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Then i get the dried cherries followed by toffee and earthy hops balancing it out. As the end there is some thick molasses.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and malty, a little dry.

Overall, this is a solid RIS with lots of nice flavors that mix together. This is a sipper for me and I am glad I am sharing this with a few other BAs. I definitely recommend this one for the season.

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Photo of Lunch
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle acquired in a trade from Kiefdog (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter, also sent to me in our trade, at cellar temperature (01/22/10). I have been quite anxious to try this beer for some time and thanks go out to Kevin for sending it my way.

A: Hands down the finest looking Imperial Stout that I have seen. Pour a thick dark motor oil black with perhaps the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer. Exceptional retention and lacing.

S: Wonderful aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, rich cocoa, espresso, toffee, caramel, and hints of molasses.

T: Taste pretty much mirrors the nose and is extremely rich and full flavored. Rich chocolate and roasted malt are surrounded by sweet and slightly bitter cocoa, espresso, toffee, caramel and molasses. The taste and flavor profile keep improving as it warms. There is just a faint sense of a warming alcohol that is quite pleasant and never gets in the way.

M: Perhaps the most full-bodied and thickest beer I have tried. Extremely creamy and rather viscus with great coating of the entire palate. Wonderful low and creamy carbonation and i see no room at all for improvement.

D: Good drinkability and I had no problem finishing the entire 750 myself, but the 11.5% abv., the thickness, and the rich flavors do not lend themselves to excessive drinkability.

Overall this was an exceptional experience and certainly an Imperial Stout that can easily hold its own. Great flavors, exceptional appearance and mouthfeel, and an overall polished RIS. Thanks again Kevin! Highly Recommended.

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Photo of bret27
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of threewisemen

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think it was Matt (drabmuh) that brought this yesterday. Thank you!

Jet black with a dark brown hear with great retention and thick lace, this is quite the looker. The nose is great too, plenty of roast, some pine hop aroma and bitterness along with a bit of a grainy bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and a touch of alcohol round out the nose.
The palate opens big and bitter with a burnt grain bitterness, roast, bitter chocolate and a little cream. Some licorice character is noticeable too. Roasty and bitter on the finish, this is solid. Big and full in body with low carbonation, this beer is really good, but a little bit goes a long way.

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Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours blacker than black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head is one of the darkest I can remember seeing and settles into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of deeply roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms the malt aromas sweeten considerably and hints of molasses waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with an acrid character kick things off and are joined midway through the sip by unsweetened chocolate flavors. The ending is solidly bitter and holds slight notes of coffee. As with the smell the flavor profile sweetens a good deal once it warms a bit, with the roasted malt flavors losing acridity and dark molasses flavors permeating throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass, and the second one, and could have had a few more.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one right out of the bottle, but once it has a chance to warm it gains complexity and comes into its own. Worth a shot.

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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 SiepJones
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a thick black body with a thin dark brown head. Roasty Malt wafts from your glass and a slight hint of alcohol reminds you how much artillery the Marshal is packing. The flavor begins with a nice roasted malt, into a bitter dark chocolate, then a hint of toffee on the finish. The body is very chewy and creamy with a slight nip at the end from the alcohol. The thin head that began disappears with each sip. Overall an excellent offering from Cigar City and now one of my favorite imperial stouts.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy garnet reddish froth. it was almost metallic swirling around in the glass. Was beautiful and probably the most attractive beer I have seen in a glass.

smell: loaded coffee, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all. loads of coffee flavor.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: amazing, best stout and one of the best beers I have eve had. I compared this side by side with a BORIS and it blew it away. Not even close.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received a while back from Drink1121... Huge thanks for the bottles Caleb!! I'm still broke and diving a bit into the cellar... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 Finger head is very dark brown ... it seems to die fairly quickly though and doesn't leave much lace... cap is pretty. Brew is black.. no light escaping.

Rich and malty... very fruity with alot of prunes and dried cherries.. lite cocoa... espresso... really very complex... I've just been sniffing it for probably ten minutes now.

Waves of dark malts begin with dark roast... and then a big blast of cocoa... that sorta turns into a bit of a coffee chocolate cordial mid-palate with some caramel maltiness... dark cherries linger on the finish with a bit of drying dark grain and cocoa.. very nice body with a bit lighter than average carbonation actually helps the mouthfeel be very smooth.

As it warms quite a bit of char and ash shows and sorta limits drinkability for me... still is very very complex but a definite sipper that makes you think.


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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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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a a two finger frothy dark mocha/coffee colored head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Splotches of spotty lacing are left behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with hints of espresso/coffee bean, sweet milk and dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, honey as well as some subtle earthy hops. Not overly roasty with a good balance of sweet chocolate. The aroma is amazing and very complex.

Chewy viscous mouthfeel with a very prominent roasty character and tons of sweet silky chocolate maltiness. Lots of deep roasted cofee/espresso bean flavor up front and dry earthy hops with some pine character. This is countered by a silky dark and milky chocolate presence mid palate and a lot of rosted malt, molasses and burnt toast flavor. More roasty espresso and coffe bean presence in the finish. I thought that this beer would be a bit sweeter but it is very dry, bitter and roasty and the hop profile is much more dominant than I would have liked. This beer is a bit rough when fresh but I feel the flavor will improve greatly with age. ABV is very well masked. It's hard to believe it's 11%.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Won this in my first LIF win from Scray24. Thanks again!

Appearance- Poured an opaque motor oil black with a massive, rocky three fingers of brown head. Amazing head for a RIS and it has surprisingly good retention as well. Very nice looking.

Smell- Lots of bitter chocolate, burnt roast, and coffee. Additionally, some notes of dark fruit as well. A many-layered and complex nose but definitely dominated by roast of many varieties.

Taste- Rich bitter chocolate is most prominent. An excellent combination of roast and bitterness, both sweet and bitter. Dark fruits show up again as well, almost reminiscent of some flavors that usually show up in a dubbel or quad. Quite interesting and very well integrated.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is rich, slick, and chewy all at once. Perfectly carbonated as well. Drinkability is a bit low given the style and sweetness but very good for the style.

Overall, an excellent imperial stout. I was very impressed and to date have enjoyed all Cigar City brews I have had.


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Photo of hrking
2.66/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not impressed with this beer after all the hype about these beers being so good I guess I expected more. Bitter flavors and over roasted grains and not really giving a good example of the style compared to other RIS's . I was trying to find some of the flavors described on the bottle and had a hard time pulling them out. I would love to try the Hunapaus when it comes out but at this point its going to half to be pretty damn good to win me back over. This one was average at best.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was down in FL for the holidays and I agreed to pick one of these up for someone in MD. The only place I could find it for sale in Gainesville was a beer bar that sold beer to go. I purchased the rather expensive (for me) bottle of beer and proceeded to drink the rest of the night away. The owner of the bar (and a friend of mine) asked me what beer I had bought to go and when I told him (he had not heard of it, been a busy 6 months for him) he promptly bought another one for he and I to share.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass (Delirium tulip). Beer is viscous as it pours from the bottle into the glass, jet pitch as dark as can be black in color. Leaves a residue where the beer hits the side walls of the tulip. There isn't much head or carbonation (its 11% alcohol) but when you swirl the beer a big thick head of really dark brown bubbles (small combining into large) forms and falls away leaving a ton of lacing on the walls. The carbonation level cannot support the head. This beer looks amazing. I've never seen such a dark colored head.

The aroma is overwhelming and complex. The flavor of this beer had better not let me down, the aroma is beautiful. First off its strong. I stick my whole nose into the tulip and breath in. I can smell chocolate and sweet malt. The alcohol is there but its not solventy it adds to the experience and helps accent the roasted coffee flavors. The sweetness is the dominant flavor.

Time to drink finally. The beer was served a little too cold so I held the bowl of the glass in my hand for several minutes enjoying the aroma. Mouthfeel is good, big bodied despite the high ABV, lots of flavors that completely coat the mouth. The alcohol is not as obvious in the beer as it was in the aroma, the flavor is dominated by a strong sweetness (that the alcohol may be contributing to) in the front of a good full malt character and then an avalanche of roasted espresso and coffee in the back of the mouth. Beer continues to surprise by not having an aftertaste. The coffee flavor is present and lingers but there is not secondary flavors. This is a world class beer and one of the, if not the best, Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. I'm sure the oak and cedar aged versions are even more complex and amazing.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.