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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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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,193 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,193
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,079
Gots: 739 | FT: 60
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: 2,193 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Switz90
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of neorunner
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of KJ2013
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of dunlap926
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of IAmHollywood13
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of rxeight
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of Bendurgin
3.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Sean. Thanks. Poured into a tulip. This one sits black in the glass with about a finger of dark brown head.

Earthy aroma here. Tobacco and leather with hints of chocolate sweetness in the background. Burnt coffee with a little bit of a lingering fruiting character. Pretty sweet in the aroma with some nice earthy aromas taking the forefront here. The flavors here tend to be sweet; like a chocolate syrup mixed into some burnt coffee. A bit of a fruity flavor in the finish with rustic flavors like leather and char. Kind of falls apart on the pallet for me.

The body is thick and full. Somewhat syrupy with low carbonation. Kind of sticky.

This is a no nonsense RIS here. Lots of big flavors. A little sweet for my liking but a pretty well done beer in the end.

Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Agent Zero.

Super excited to try this after many other CCB successes, but this really let me down....Pours dark brown with a medium tan head that is gone in a microsecond if its shows its head at all, which on two of the three pours it didn't...Aroma is light chocolate, mildly sweet but plain and boring...The taste is also light malt to start then a very ashy bitter coffee finish. Just very blah for a stout.

Nothing worth securing, an above average beer, but a clearly below average RIS.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These notes are based on an immature sample batch before it was aged on roasted cedar and bottle conditioned to near perfection. But at this stage it wasn't perfect. I'll append these notes when a sample of the properly conditioned release is available. It pours murky dark brown and is on the lower end of the carbonation scale (if such a thing exists). The aroma has roasty notes and just a hint of chocolate. It really lacks some depth. The taste is much the same with semi sweet medium to highly roasted malts, faint caramel and just a touch of chocolate. There appears to be little depth or complexity in the flavor as was the case in the aroma and shows the need for proper aging and conditioning. It was tasty like this but just barely more than one dimensional.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.54/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours black with no head to speak of. Incredibly disappointing there

S- tons of licorice and ark malts, along with some slight chocolate. Pretty nice

T- licorice dominates the flavor profile. Getting some soy sauce too. Tad bit of chocolate. No coffee to speak of. Very, very disappointing

M- super thick and syrupy body. Dear god. Incredibly viscous

O- I expected much more, given the reputation. Very disappointing beer

Photo of pixieskid
3.54/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This beer exhibits things that I love in an imperial stout but at the same time was surprised that I didn't enjoy it more...

Pours black as night with a solid 2 finger head; has a bit of that redish color like Huna does but not quite as good looking.
Nose; milk chocolate, a bit of roastiness.
Taste; way different than the last bottle I had, which was the under-carbonated batch from 2010. It's like a boozy milkshake, extremely one dimensional and somewhat cloyingly sweet.
Mouthfeel is super thick, chewy, and rich.

Overall; I don't know if it was just too much at the time, or if my palate has changed, but as Harrymel stated, it was somewhat of a chore to drink and I only had a third of the bottle. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, it was just too much and surprised me as I've drank nearly an entire bottle of Huna to myself and loved every sip...

Photo of cpmichael
3.57/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter. Bottle was about 1.5 years old.

A: Pours a super dark black. With about 1 inch of mocha foam.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a sweet vanilla character.

T: Bitter/Baker's chocolate, on the malty side, and a hint of coffee, less than the nose suggested. Something seems a little off balance with this one.

M/D: Rich and carbonated. This is a pretty thick beer, it was very drinkable, but it seemed like something was missing in the taste.

Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, 2010 version.

Appearance: Pours out completely pitch black and very viscous-looking. About a finger of a dark brown/orangish tinted head forms. A bit in the way of lacing, and okay retention. This is definitely one of the more impressive imperial stouts as far as viscosity that I've seen, which really picks this beer up from an appearance standpoint.

Smell: Both bitter and sweet chocolate as well as cacao nibs come out immediately to me. Underneath that, I get vanilla, light dark fruits and toffee, and a big roasted/bitter/ burned malt presence with a touch of hops on the back end.

Taste: Bitter roasted malts right up front. Bitter chocolate, vanilla and coffee as well. Lightly hoppy on the back end, and I can feel the alcohol in the back of the throat more than I can taste it. I did like it, but I would call it a touch messy overall; too much malt bitterness and it still seemed pretty hot at this point.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Despite the head that formed on the pour, this beer has a surprisingly low amount of carbonation. It is heavy bodied and very viscous, but comes close to being flat. I don't think I care for it too much. Overall, I enjoyed the beer but wouldn't go out of my way for it again. A bit more time in the cellar would have done this one some good.

Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.6/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Glennlawless
3.6/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Florida9
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick, viscous, and flat. No head. No lacing. The liquid itself is a glossy black.

S: Sweet raisin and roasted malts.

T: A sweet and rich blend of chocolate, raisins, molasses, and dark malts. A bit acidic.

M: Thick, flat, and syrupy, yet still manages to finish with an odd thinness.

D: The lack of carbonation greatly distracted from this beer and I simply could not enjoy it. I would hesitate to even call it a sipper as it offered little to invite you back for another sip.

Photo of rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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

Thanks to bobby8405 for this 750ml bottle. 2 pours into an oversized snifter.

A slow initial pour directly into the center of the glass yields a dense and very dark tan (more like light brown) head. This slowly reduces to a skim. Creamy sheets of lace slide back into the glass, leaving a few sticky spots. Retention and lacing both increase substantially with the second pour.

Very assertive roasty nose. Lots of espresso, cocoa and burnt malt. Sweetness plays a smaller part- bittersweet chocolate, a few chocolate chips. No sign of booziness, an impressive feat at this ABV. Strong and inviting.

The espresso is rather dominant in the mouth initially. Tangy chocolate chips and raisins vie for attention with the roasted and burnt malts. The booze that was seemingly absent in the nose is definitely in play now, but it's not out of place at all. It joins with a cherry character to create a bit of a liquer aftertaste. Some earthy and herbal hops linger as well. A hint of something slightly odd I can't quite put my finger on, maybe diacetyl, drops it down a notch, but still very tasty.

The carbonation is perhaps a touch too vigorous, but the body is otherwise quite satisfying, thick and coating.

Overall impression: Nice beer. Seems to be a good candidate for aging (although I do wonder what that strange flavor was).

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 claspada
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ GingerMan NYC. Pours a dark dark dark brown (pretty much black) with a crazy thick inch of dark brown foam/head which leaves a boat ton of sticky brown lacing.

Aromas of extreme dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark bitter chocolate. As it warms I get some sweet dark molasses and a little smoke in the background. Some hefty espresso emerges and begins to dominate it continues to warm.

The taste is initially astringent dark roasty malts and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted charred malts are also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Some sweeter milk chocolate emerges as it warms but the roasted, bitter, astringent malts are a bit too dominant and a taste I am slowly beginning to dislike in my beers.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full bodied for sure. Chewy in an understatement here. Extremely thick, syrupy, viscous and mouth-coating. Much more carbonation than I experienced in last year's bottled version which had some carbonation issues I recall reading somewhere.

Overall this is a good tasting beer but the heavy chewiness in the body and roasted bitter, charred malt flavors are just too dominant for my tastes. I would prefer some more balanced milk chocolate flavors but I guess that is more the American Stout category as opposed to the RIS category here. Better than I remember, but my small sample at the bar was enough as I would struggle to finish the 750ml that this is typically bottled in. Maybe I am just over the Russian Imperial Stout category or my tastes have just shifted away from enjoying these huge chewy beast beers.

Photo of Crittervision
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

Photo of TaborTime
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Overlord
3.66/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Jw347 who I owe after he really stunned me with a couple incredible extras.

Pours black with some brown edging. Big gigantic brown foam head. A fantastic looking beer.

Smells faintly of hops and dark fruit, and strongly of roasted earth, malt, and coffee. Whoa. Pretty roasty.

Taste is massively roasted. I mean, charred, scorched wood/earth/malt/coffee roasted. I won't lie: it is palate wearying after a while. The light surprising hint of dark fruit and citrus, and some bitter chocolate, liven things up, but this beer is bone dry and kilned like a scorched desert. Man. It's like acrid ashy malt with some livening notes to keep it drinkable.

Wish I could have split the bottle with someone. Good, but a bit much.

Photo of JPick
3.67/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,193 ratings.