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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

521 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 521
Hads: 2,480
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,183
Gots: 847 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

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

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

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

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,480
Photo of homebrew311
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with Beerisheaven- thanks!
Poured into Duvel glass.

A: pours a black and viscous as possible... darkest stout I've seen, along with Hunahpu's of course. Has a thin layer of dark brown head. Leaves a dark coating on the side of the glass.

S: huge notes of dark fruits and chocolate, lots of molasses, some earthy hops in the mix. Huge aroma with a lot going on.

T: The front has a nice roasty character with notes of bitter chocolate and fresh ground coffee, this gives way to a bit of sweetness and a touch of hops. The finish is sweet with some vinous notes along with chocolate again. The abv is very well hidden, and the bold flavors are in perfect balance.

MF: thick, viscous, chewy, a tad syrupy, low carbonation

D: well like Hunahpu's, this is a one of a kind stout. Not quite as much unique character as Hunahpu's, but you can see it is clearly a well made big beer. It smells like it could be overwhelmingly sweet, but once it hits the palate, the roasty notes take precedence. Great Brew!

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Photo of kbutler1
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to try this the day after the Hunahpu release.
Poured into a snifter a deep black/brown with a slight tan head.
Aroma is of subtle dark malt sweetness, dark fruit, and chocolate/coffee.
The taste starts with a slight coffee bitterness and sweet dark chocolate and smoothes out very nicely.
The mouthfeel is medium/heavy
Very smooth and drinkable!

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Photo of Tucquan
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-04-22 in Lititz, PA. Special thanks to matador677.

A - Fantastic. Completely opaque black with a remarkably dark brown, 1-finger head that is surprisingly lively. It reminded me of bubbling mud pits in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

S - Roasted grain, milk chocolate, plum.

T - Dark roasted grain, plum, tart grape skins, milk chocolate, chalk and some toffee/molasses sweetness. It finishes nicely tart and rich with a hint of coffee and a just-right amount of hop bitterness.

M - Thick body and surprisingly medium carbonation. Smooth, creamy, lucious.

O - Just a top shelf Imperial Stout. I'd like to try the other varieties of this fine brew.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhokov '11 bottle with the new label poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: This is the thickest beer I have ever seen. Completely like motor oil. Basically no head on pour, but with swirl its a supreme dark brown tan color. Tons of lacing, almost like syrup. The head color is like nothing I have ever seen either. Special brew.

S: Lots of chocolate from the nose. Faint coffee, but not as pronouced as I was expecting. Some dark fruits, but mostly chocolates and roasted malts.

T: Wow, that is a smooth smooth RIS! Freakin' delicious beer. No coffee in the taste. Bitterness from the chocolate, lots of dark but some milk chocolate. Long finish. You really don't get any booze, it's completely masked.

M: Very much a full bodied beer. Mouth coated by the oil.

O: A. I really liked this one a lot. It's up there for my on the non-BA RIS that I have had. Can't wait to try the Hunahpu's and some of the BA variations of this one.

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Photo of sleazo
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours jet black with an eruption of dark brown foam. Amazing lace and retention. Beautiful looking beer.

S_A deep roasted malt combined with sweet chocolate and coffee. Very potent in a good way

T_The taste is a bit different from the smell. Dark chocolate covered cherries and a light vanilla mix with a bit of sourness to create a well balanced imperial stout. The sweetness is tempered well with the acidity here.

M_This style can get a bit too thick but this is not. Still thick but with a nice carbonation to cut through the viscosity.

O_A very impressive beer. The alcohol is present but in no way hot. This hits the various notes of the sytle without falling into any of the common traps. Very well done.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml into an Ommegang Chalice.

Pours a flat pitch black syrup. A short dark head rises from the void briefly, then falls away, leaving slight lacing in its wake.

Aroma is dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Smells warm and inviting.

Taste is rich. The sweetness hits immediately. Chocolate stands out above all, followed by a slight hop bitterness. Not much roasted character, this is a very rich, sweet beer.

Mouth is thick as it can be. Wonderfully heavy mouthfeel.

This is an enjoyable sipper from Cigar City. This one 750ml will keep me busy for most of tonight. Would be a great brew to split among friends.

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Photo of hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured pretty black and left a small head that quickly dissipated. The aroma was coffee, chocolate, plums, cherries, black currant, and a hint of rubbing alcohol. The taste was just like the smell. Sweet dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate dominated. Pretty smooth going down but there is a hint of alcohol. Overall, a great RIS. The alcohol taste is noticeable and probably the only thing wrong with this beer, but at 11.5% what do you expect?

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Photo of beersensei305
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes on 10/30/10. on tap at CCB.

A: Black and opaque, a tan head apears late but is thin and dissapears quickly.
S: Coffee, Chocolate, dark roasted malts.
T: Very complex taste, Coffee, choclate, roasted malts, dark fruits, toffee, molassess.
M: Very heavy beer, very creamy.
D: Good sipping beer but the flavors dominate everything even after you finish. So this is a one and down brew.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Greg (tpd795) for this 750. Fantastic treat. 750 into Bruery tulip.

Pours pitch black, with thin layer of brown head. Nice legs, but little in the way of lacing. Still, an intimidating beer.

Nose is chock full of big, bittersweet chocolate and dark fruit. Hint of a burnt edge, just a bit of alcohol,

Taste is different, but good - big and bold. Big time bittersweet dark fruits, blackstrap molasses, earthy dark chocolate, all with an almost burnt edge to it. Balancing bitterness seems to come almost entirely without a big hop presence. Maybe a bit of alcohol bite, but it's restrained. Finish is long, a bit burnt, lots of earthy bitter chocolate and some dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is nice - more carbonation bite than expected, which I tend to like, creamy as the beer warms, full bodied and then some. No syrupiness at all and only a bit sticky. Long finish is full, a bit burnt but balanced.

Drinkability is quite nice. This one impressed me, as most Cigar City brews have. These guys just know their shit.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil; thick, black and viscous with the densest of heads. The head was a brown color but had a near black outer coating.

Chocolate malt scent with dried fruitiness such as dates or even apricot. There is a little coconut and vanilla in the scent with a creamy marshmallow.

The taste has dry chocolate, dried fruit, marshmallow, vanilla espresso, and milk chocolate. The taste and feel scream out creaminess with dry Graham cracker tones. There is so much going on yet this is a solid cohesive stout. Strong, thick and tasty it's a huge player.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Good Time's pub with a steak sandwhich. Brew arrived in a tulip-ish glass (same as the DFH signature without a logo). Brew was gorgeous with the normal deep dark ominous black and a tall finger and a half deep tan (almost brown) head. Brew smelled of chocolate and roasted malts. Tasted even better than I remembered and left a nice little buzz. Aside from the nose, nice hints of vanilla and cream. Smooth and creamy, but rather rich and thick.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black I mean really black. Like a total absence of light black. The head on this beer was super dark and had a reddish tinge. Tons of lacing.

S: Chocolate. Roast. Coffee. Just a really nice and rich big dark beer nose. I have only had a few beers from these guys but they do have a signature smell if that makes sense.

T: Chocolate. Tasted like a very rich chocolate cake. Super decadent. Massive roast taste.

M: Super dry. Nice carbonation. Full bodied.

D:: Awesome beer. Really nice. The bottle was on the pricey side but at least it was good.

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Photo of nabudis0803
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black into a snifter, forming a nice 2 finger head. As the other reviews have said this beer is jet black, one of the blackest beers I've seen. Honestly looks as delicious as a stout can be. Smells like dark chocolate with some light fruitiness behind, very faint though. The dominant taste is the dark chocolate with the coffee flavor enhancing it, especially in the back end which stays strong for a couple of minutes, very pleasant. My favorite part of the beer is the mouthfeel; the taste is awesome but the beer is so damn creamy, it's like liquid velvet. The 11.5% is totally masked, booze taste at all. I recommend this to any stout lover and hell this is ranked among the best beers I've had.

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Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beast of a beer all around.This is up there with Ten Fidy,Speedway stout...and any top non barrel aged beer.this one can compete with the best of them.Would love to try the BA version.

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Photo of morimech
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dense black color in a very viscous fluid. Just a thin head forms and quickly settles. Moderate amount of spotty lcaing is left on the glass.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of bitter chocolate, black licorice, coffee, and some clean alcohol.

Taste wise this is one of the best RIS's I have had. Not too sweet (Dark Lord) and not to bitter (Darkness, Storm King), but just a ton of black roasted malt goodness. Notes of bitter chocolate, French roast coffee, licorice, dark molassas, and just a hint of smokiness. The alcohol is evident and helps cleanse the palate.

Lacks suitable carbonation. Just a little bit more carbonation to help the smells and tastes pop, this would be one of the world's great beers. Very thick and heavy body.

Just one minor trouble spot in the design of this otherwise exceptional beer.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well it's about time I had this beer. Had like 2 or 3 variants so far but never had the base beer; Zhukov.

Look is perfection. Straight up motor oil looking. My car wants this beer.

Smell is kind of sad. Nothing special at all. Typical Imperial

Taste is great. A bit of a lingering heat feel on the back end but overall a great beer. Very different beer and I think that is what sets this apart from other Imperials. You can tell it is very clean and well executed.

Feel is as good as most Imperials. There is however a lingering burn from the ABV which is what is holding this back.

Overall an amazing beer. Can't wait to pop open a bottle each month to see how the flavors develop.

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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 garbercury
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter, happy to try this one. Cool fall day, Steelers-Ravens, Lets do this.

A--Dark black, head is a deep red, fine looking beer.

S--Malty dark chocolate, boozy.

T--Yup, malty dark chocolate, expresso, wow, this tastes great!!

M--Feel on this beer is one of the best I have ever had. Silky smooth, creamy, awesome.

D--Well, nearly 12 percent, pretty heavy duty. Definite sipper, but a beer that gets my highest recommendation for the style!

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Photo of BrownNut
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, aged 16 months from 8/2012 bottling, sampled on NYE 2013 after having reviewed it in 9/2012 and 1/2013 below. Served cool in a snifter. Scores reflect 1/2013 tasting.

A - 4.5 - Thickest, most used-motor-oil pour I've seen. Possibly the darkest head I've seen - chocolate milk brown initially, which lightens.

S - 4.0 - Nice bitter chocolate. Some ash and fresh baked dark bread.

T - 4.5 - Still pretty stiff despite the year plus of aging. Substantial char. Edges even a bit into ashtray territory. Dark/bitter chocolate leaning towards baker's chocolate. Only in the sides of my mouth during and after swallowing is there a hint of sweet, a suggestion of fruit. That's when the char/ash takes over, while a bit of tart sweetness lingers on the lips and tongue tip. Over the course of the bottle, a grown-up chocolate syrup note comes more forward.

M - 5.0 - Viscous like pudding. Very thick, heavy, and smooth. So nice. Thicker than BCBS or tied for thickness.

O - 4.5 - This is a huge imperial stout and not for the faint of heart. Very well done. I think the main effect of aging it over a year has been make it creamier.


2012 vintage, drunk Jan 2013, made without looking back at the previous one until after re-reviewing. Bottle to tulip, served starting at 55 degrees F.

When they released this in Sep 2012 they recommended letting it age for several months to fully come together.

A - 4.75 - Opaque black with a thick, enduring mocha-colored head. Serious lacing.

S - 4.0 - Somewhat reserved. Chocolate. Hint of coffee. Hint of wood. For a flash I got something boozy, for a couple of flashes I got something vinous.

T - 4.5 - Months of aging have taken some of the bitter edge off. It was difficult to get through a 750 of this when I had it fresh - not in a bad way, just in a big, bold, challenging way that made you take it slow. Now it has mellowed some. I'm still left with a bitter chocolate aftertaste, but not a strong one. It's not so full of char in the main body as before. It's more balanced, with the dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate syrup notes coming forward, although not overly sweetly. A touch vinous. The taste and mouthfeel still make you go slower than you would with another beer, which I love.

M - 5.0 - Superb. Thick, heavy body approaching pudding feel. Creamy, velvety, viscous from lips to throat.

O - 4.5 - A fine, fine imperial stout. This is a serious beer.


Here's my original review from Sep '12. The official scores for this review reflect this tasting.

2012 vintage, drunk late September 2012. Bottle to tulip, served cool.

A - 4.5 - Pours like motor oil, thick, viscous, and black, with one of the darkest heads I've seen. Like dense chocolate milk color. Gets a bit lighter as it sits. A thick, enduring head.

S - 4.5 - A comforting graham cracker malty aroma intersecting with a delicate roasty char. A few times, just for a flash, I got a whiff of hops.

T - 4.5 - Perfect balance. There's a maturity to this combination of flavors. Yes, there's chocolate, but it doesn't go too far in any one chocolate direction such as chocolate syrup or brownies or cocoa or semisweet or milk chocolate or baking chocolate like many do, but rather occupies the nexus of them all while tastefully restraining all of the chocolate and sweetness against the other elements such as some char, woodiness, and coffee. None step forward to be dominant. As it gets closer to room temp, the char becomes easier to parse out.

That same refined, mature, chocolatey, charry, dry quality persists in the exhale after swallowing.

There's some kind of fruit flavor left on the lips afterwards, like maybe cherry, which wasn't apparent in the main tasting. Think of a dark chocolate covered cherry and pull back on the candy cherry intensity and sweetness.

The winey combination of fruit and chocolate veers briefly into hop territory sometimes and then disappears. It overlaps so nicely with those other flavors. The aftertaste is the best kind of tease, threatening to cross the threshold into real bitterness but holds just shy. Threatens to be too chocolatey but holds just shy. Threatens to be too much char and holds just shy. It's so well balanced.

M - 5 - Medium-heavy bodied, viscous, and ultra smooth. Either a moderate dryness or the very beginning of hop abrasion does its mild work on the tongue. Leaves a nice warm burn at the back of the throat for a little while. Only HotD Fred has a better mouthfeel due to pure sexiness.

O - 4.5 - Here's a hyped beer that delivers. One of the best. Everything comes together so nicely. This is grown up stout, yet still so rich. I tend to fly through beers more quickly than I'd like, but this one insists on being savored.

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Photo of ricknelson
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City was something that I picked up at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge, Ma based solely on the BA rating card place in front it on the store shelf. I trust the BA ratings and in this case they were right on. Tremendous stout to say the lease, and a total surprise that a beer this good could come from Florida. Have it again since my first taste and still rate it as one of best stouts that i have had. My buddy was in Florida recently and I told he had to go to Cigar City and have a Marshal Zhukov. He did, and he liked it so much he went again the next day to have it again. Great beer if you like stouts. Right up there with Goose Bourbon County, KBS and Old Rasputin.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with an amazing dark mocha head with large bubbles nestled in the middle. The head carries such a nice color! The lacing is very nice creating an artistic presentation on the inside of the glass. Possibly the best looking bottled RIS that I've seen.

Smells of milk chocolate, cocoa, and cedar start the nose with a tingling heat on the nostrils. Some vanilla and cayenne spice come trough as well.

Notes of dark chocolate, molasses, earth, smoke, cedar, coffee, raisins, and a touch of biting spice appear in the taste. There is a touch of sweet almost sour toward the end of the taste which seems a little out of place. It reminds me of a combination of raisins and apples.

Cigar City really hit the nail on the head with regards to the appearance and mouthfeel of this. It is like velvet in the mouth, creamy and soft with a chewy, medium-full feel. A nice sticky dryness is left on the palette upon swallowing.

I truly enjoy the complexity of this brew and feel it is among the best russian imperial stouts that I've had. The alcohol is well hidden and I will enjoy finishing the rest of this 750ml. Thank you TCHopCraver for bringing this one back from Tampa!

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours a perfect used motor oil black and very thick. The head was a dark caramel color that faded away quick. Could taste a smokey dark chocolate with a hint of some fruit.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of number1bum
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these at Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

Pours a vicious, thick black color, completely opaque with a slowly rising two plus fingers of dark tan head. Head settles very slowly and retains very well, keeping a thick, creamy head throughout and leaving some beautiful lacing on the sides, falling slowly back to the beer after each sip or swirl. Beautiful.

Smell is exceptionally fruity, with lots of citrus and blackberries. Ton of fruit going on here. There is also a good amount of fudgy chocolate, some molasses, a bit of coffee and some roasted malt. Not a ton of roasted malt for a RIS. A bit of alcohol creeps in as it warms.

Taste is also very fruity with a lot of black currant flavor in particular, as well as some citrus. The malt flavors are bolder than the aromas, though, with more fudgy chocolate and roasted malt than the nose had. Lots of molasses to, and also a bit of smoke and coffee. Some bitterness and roasty flavor lingers into the finish. This is rich and super flavorful, and really tasty.

Mouthfeel is incredibly rich, full bodied and very chewy. This is a meal, or definitely a great dessert. It's slick, creamy and very smooth on the palate.

This is an exceptional beer. No other way to say it. Tons of flavor, very robust, and the alcohol is exceptionally well hidden given the strength. Incredibly fruity as well. I'm glad I picked this up; it is outstanding. Seek it out.

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