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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: 1,182
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 Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Finally opened a bottle at DLD 2010. Served in a mini snifter.

Pours black as night with a good mocha head. Head recedes quickly without leaving behind much lace. The nose is incredible with a wondrous balance of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. A good dose of booze to blend things up. The taste is equally decadent with all the flavors in harmony. Good, smooth feel with a bit of heat. Drinks incredibly well and this will be a big cellaring candidate for me.

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

A crazy-stupid stout that works magic in how it comes together in an ultimate robust mouthfeel, chocked full of roasty coffee, cocoa, and rich maltiness. Not overley complex, but it doesn't have to.

The pour brings an oil-like volumpuous pour that brings up a thick and building character both in volume and in head formation. Deep brown in color the head forms a dense and weighted froath that simmers to a lace along the glass and with intermitten pockets of creme. With each swirl, the beer coats the glass with inky brown legging. Both intimmidating and alluring all in one glass.

Rich aromas of roasty espresso, heavy toast, and roast (almnost ashy). Cocoa and malt counter against the harsher edges of roast while contributing layers of robust flavors that blend well with coffee- including cherry, licorice, and soy/sherry.

Boastfull, almost brash, flavors of intense coffee/cocoa completely take control of taste with any other rival flavors playing minority roles. Dense roast, espresso, cocoa powder, and charred woods abound. Malty flavors begin to display molassas flavors but low on sweetness. Malty rich with a dry toast character. Low on cherry, berry, anise esters, these only decorate the peripheries of the beer in the aftertaste.

Very boastfull with thickness and chewiness, the beer makes no appologies. Sweetness is foregone in favor of dry toast and powdery/chalky feel (again, almost ashy). Though the beer waivers from its full-bodied start because of alcohol thinning, it retains such weight and velvety richness to carry it well into the finish and lingering into an eternal aftertaste.

This is one serious Stout!

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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 basscram
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

bought the 750 at cigar city on 10/30/10.
poured into my goblet glass and it pours like motor oil into a glass. their is no head or lacing, even as it is swirled around.
Color is black and light brown at the top. cannot shine light through this.

smell is slightly charred nuts but VERY light smell.
first taste is wow! Very thick. As I let it move along my tongue, a lot of chocolaty goodness is what I experience, almost like M&M's. The alcohol is hidden in the taste! There is some floral tastes as it subsides on the back of the tongue.

I put drink-ability pretty low because this is definitely not one you would want to gulp but sip on slowly and enjoy like a fine brandy or wine.

I'm very impressed with this beer.

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

750mL Bomber into a Snifter.

Yet another stout from the mystery stout box from 7ways. Amazing generosity.

A: Pours jet black and thick as tar (quite literally). Head materializes from beneath, half-finger, a few seconds after I finish pouring.

S: Crisp, bitter-sweet in the front, roasted malts and caramel, back fades into booze.

T: Bitter into sweet, then fading into booze. Back is far sweeter than it smells.

F: Mouth-coatingly thick. Clings to your lips on the way in. I imagine this is what drinking motor oil is like.

D: Damn good, something implacable in the mouth and nose here, but really really good.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.44/5  rDev -43%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

What an up and down experience this was....

Pours a motor oil black... Syrupy and thick... No head at all even when swirled... No carbonation present here at all... Uh oh....

Lovely thick aromas of blackstrap molasses, dark bitter chocolate, strong coffee and deep roasted malts... Awesome aromas to this one...

Lazy and flat tasting... Strange bitter almost sour taste present.... Not much in common with the aromas... Thick oily mouthfeel is great but I can't get by the taste of this one...

Drain poured this one... Maybe a bad bottle but as is, a big disappointment...

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

Poured this into my snifter. It pours a jet black opaqueness with a thin reddish tan head that simmers quickly to leave a nice ring. Smell is of roast malt, molasses, and caramel. Taste is of creamy, strong coffee with a slight sweetness. Mouthfeel feels like a coat of velvet throughout the mouth. Low carbonation. Drinkability is quite high for me due to the excellent flavor. I have been quite impressed with Cigar City. Try one!

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

A: thick motor oil black, thin chocolate head that does not last long.

S: dark roasted malts, chocolate,

T: Chocolate, roasted malts. bitter coffee, caramelized sugars. Boozy.

M: thick and syrupy, get me a spoon

D: Fantastic, will make a great winter warmer

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Photo of dstc
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color, completely dark. Very small brown head, one of the darkest beers and heads I've seen. Head falls to nothing, thin, chocolate lace.

Deep, robust, roasted malt aroma with coffee hints.

Nice dry bittersweet chocolate flavor up front followed by a bitter coffee flavor ending with a lingering bitterness. Absolutely wonderful flavor.

Mouthfeel is full and thick. Very chewy and very smooth.

Holy crap. Not my favorite style but this is the greatest stout I've ever had. Awesome.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown, clear with a low, short lived mocha-colored head. Thick and oily, this one looks heavy for sure.

S - Chocolate, roast, boozy alcohol. Sweet dark malts (raisiny).

F/M - Rich dark fruity malts, heavy melanoidins, raisins, prunes. nice dry roastyness. Chocolate and a little smoky. Medium high bitterness accentuated by dark malts. Oily, thick, viscous, full body with moderately low carbonation. Lingering smoky chocolaty flavor.

D - Excellent for such a huge beer. I could keep topping off this glass all night. World class for sure.

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Photo of klikger
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour served in a Bruery tulip

A - Black, huge dark brown head & great lacing

S - Rich chocolate, coffee, molasses, dried cayenne peppers, and some cinnamon. It doesn't get much better.

T - Cinnamon, dried chilis, dark chocolate --> more chili pepper and sweet, roasted malts plus earthy and piny hops --> Bitter, yet sweet finish. There's a lot going on here - exhilarating stout!

M - Very creamy and pretty thick; rich, but not syrupy

D - Definitely a sipper; half of a 750 was perfect.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured into a Cigar City snifter at 45°F.

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

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Photo of NYManc
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Courtesy of BA infi! Shared with BA r0nyn and infi's brother.

A: Thick motor oil black with no head and lacing. When placed under the light I can see a deep dark red mixed in. No head whats so ever, but when swirled around a small mocha head seems to emerge. No lacing whatsoever as well.

S: Wow, a very sweet smelling RIS. Sweet sweet toffee and chocolate mixed with an Espresso. A hint of malts mixed in with all this after a few sniffs.

T: Creamy goodness of coffee very well blended with chocolate. Overwhelming (in a good sense) after taste of extremely smoked malts. It lingers for a very long time after the gulp has disappeared.

M: Extremely rich, creamy, and smooth. Heavy body

D: This brew will disappear before you know it. 11.50% ABV is hidden like a ninja. High drinkability.

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Photo of infi
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Shared with BAs brun, NYManc and r0nyn. From 10/6 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Immediately as I was pouring the stout out of the bottle, I could tell of its incredible viscosity and thickness, just by how heavy it felt. Lo and behold, this brew was looking like molasses and syrup in the glass. Immensely dark and black with no head, but rather some floating tan bubbly islands and no lacing. The legs of the alcohol were quite noticeable too. Aroma was very sweet, especially when let warm. The milk and dark chocolate notes opened up vigorously and made way for a caramel appearance. Reminded me of a toned down version of ST's Creme Brulee. Also, more espresso than coffee on the nose alongside some boozy heat.

Flavors were more coffee and espresso oriented, but segued into a beautiful malt backbone with milk chocolate sweetness. Each flavor component was represented very well on the palate. This finish was incredibly notable too: very chocolately and sweet, like some Ghiradelli. Very, very appetizing.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy. Very thick and generously coating. It's got to be the thickest beer I've ever encountered so far and I loved it. Much respect to the Marshal.

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Photo of BDJake
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

-from part of a trade with BigBlacke-

Completely opaque, motor oil-like pour with a miniscule brown head. Aroma notes of espresso, kahlua, toffee, and dark chocolate dominate the nose. The flavors are of unsweetened mocha, bitter espresso, toffee, and burnt molasses. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel, with a bitter finish that only shows the warmth from the high abv towards the end. Although it drank extremely well for the style, it may still be a bit much for novice beer drinkers. This is a beer meant to be savored, and that it should be. Once again, another fine offering from a brewery that doesn't get enough attention due to the overall lack of a craft beer scene in the South.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. Courtesy of fellow BA infi. Split with him and BA NYManc.

Pours a ridiculous jet back that's completely opaque. Looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle. No head whatsoever, though. A few swirls gives it some sticky lacing coating the side of the glass. Smell is...whoa. Super sweet caramel malts override the senses, along with dark chocolate, coffee and espresso. A bit of warming gives it a little bit of alcohol at the end. Massively impressive.

Taste starts off with some malty sweetness that quickly gives way to all the flavors from the nose. Tons of dark chocolate, espresso and coffee. Just...wow. Everything has a pleasing roasted quality as well, giving depth to the flavor profile. The sweetness is the most pleasant part of the brew, at least for me. That caramel sugary flavor just complements the other nuances so well. The mild bitterness and sweetness lingers long into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, smooth smooth like velvet. Rich and creamy with excellent body and balance. I am quite impressed.

Drinkability is suitably high, thanks to the absolutely delicious taste and superb mouthfeel. The ABV is hidden very well, making this a very dangerous brew. Definitely one of my new favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. I just wish it was more readily available around here. Thanks to infi for sharing this great brew with me.

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

I think this beer was my first ever Want. Imperial Stouts and the victorious general at Stalingrad, the architect of Operation Uranus, just go hand in hand. A big thanks to 50belair for the hoook up!

From a 750ml into a snifter. Let's totally geek it up. Consumed while watching my documentary on the Battle of Stalingrad. Too bad my Soviet military cap is back in Canada.

Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: Pours thick and pitch black out of the bottle. Initially pours quite flat, but a wonderful, slow motion cascading effect produces a small, dark, dark mocha colored, thicker looking head with a few bubbles on the top. Head had little retention and quickly fades to a faint wisp and bubbly ring. Jet black body, dense looking, with zero carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp swirls after every sip, leaving some dots of lacing that slowly fall down the sides of the glass. Looks thick and vicious.

SMELL: Roasted malts, molasses, dark pure chocolate and burnt espresso beans fill the nose. Hints of wood there too, and some faint notes of toffee in the background. Complex for sure, but not quite bold enough to be a whopper.

TASTE: Roasted characters, with lots of molasses and dark chocolate notes up front. Some toffee sweetness through the middle, into a more bitter coffee, espresso and chocolate finish. Bolder and lingering aftertaste is plenty roasted and bitter, with some nice sweet toffee and molasses notes. Quite well balanced and very enjoyable. Bold beer with lots of bitter-sweet flavors. Great stuff.

PALATE: Thick, oily body with understated carbonation. Enough carbonation to keep it really vicious and satisfying though. Heavy and full on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of heat on the swallow and finishes relatively mouth-coating, though far from cloying. Pretty menacing. Ends up a little flat by the end of the glass, so a little more carbonation would be necessary to keep it up for the long haul.

OVERALL: A big, bold, and demanding beer. The Marshal can certainly battle it out with the other big stouts, and perhaps claim victory in the end. Though a touch more carbonation would help bring it over the hump, this big stout is really drinkable and I really enjoyed every sip of it. I'm glad I have a few more for down the road. The Marshal and I will battle it out again. Thanks a lot for hooking me up with my first ever Want 50belair.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a glass of this at George Keeley's on Manhattan's upper west side. This is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts I had. Very dark color with a very dark head. Aroma is amazingly malty with the smell of dark roasts, alcohol and yumminess. The 11.5 aby really packs a punch so be careful. I'll have this again.

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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 ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slowly trudges out of the bottle a cumbersome, inky black body with a brief, dark brown head.

Smell: As one would expect, it has a deeply roasty nose, with vast notes of French roast coffee, unsweetened chocolate, London demerara. Lighter hints of vanilla and smoke tucked in as well. I'm rather perplexed about the amount of woodiness held within the nose, and did a double-take at the bottle to make sure it wasn't really from the cedar-aged group.

Taste: A weighty helping of blackened, roasty maltiness. Bittersweet chocolate sauce, blackstrap molasses, and rightly smoky carbonized coffee beans. Very light hint of vanilla. Slight dark fruitiness. The sweetness is offset by a fair amount of bitterness. This beer has a noted woodiness to it, especially for NOT being from the Humidor series. Warming in all the right ways. Prolonged, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Near-full mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Good, satisfying, and soothing. This beer is going to pay for itself by lowering my blood pressure several points.

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Photo of STEG
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

God damn you jefferz5000, your constant instigation has caused me finally to take down the Z-man, on such a special occasion as this, a tuesday night!

Pours a pitch black 100% opaque light destroying black hole of a color. There is no closer hexadecimal color value closer to this than #000. Even a vigourous pour leaves a very thin of almost as hatefully colored head. By far and away, the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer. I would have liked to see more head though, that's what she said...

It smells great too, the alcohol and chocolate combine to create a truly intoxicating smell, it has very light coffee in here as well.

This sublime beer has booze up front followed quickly by dark chocolate and malt and then has a bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is truly sublime, its so smooth, viscous, creamy, and syrupy all at once making for something truly decadent that can be enjoyed sip after sip.

Alcohol is present but not overwhelming, there is a lingering coffee aftertaste that is holding it back but not bad on the drinkability scale.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a serious beer, black, really no head and very little carb. Looks like motor oil. Smells like rich dark roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, crazy dried cherries, raisins and faint notes of alcohol. Tastes the same. Chocolate, coffee, lots of vanilla, oaty, leathery fruits. Really thick and heavy, slightly cloying to me. A little hot from the alcohol and a little sharp. Is it drinkable, yeah...would I want another tomorrow, no.

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Photo of cbak999
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - DARK DARK DARK...motor oil dark. Just a slight head and even it is dark.

S - burnt caramel, burnt chocolate, molasses, vanilla, very complex!!!

T - over the top. There's so much going on, it's hard to even review. A bit boozie, but the caramel, burnt chocolate, and molasses tastes all come through.

D - well, you aren't going to sit down and drink a bottle by yourself...or if you do, you won't remember the second half. It's a great sipper. Needs to be cold out, because this will warm you up.

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Photo of aepb1
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown/ black with a little dark brown head

S- Strong coffee, come alcohol

T- Roasted coffee, dark, very smooth

M- full bodied, creamy and slick, not a lot of carbonation

D- Great RIS, goes down nice and easy and local, glad they're distributing bombers to me area now

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Photo of socon67
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one rich tasting RIS. The smell is that of a strong coffee, with traces of caramel, roasted toffee, and a little spice.

The taste is equally impressive. I found it to be so rich that it was a bit heavy, but if you are a fan of robust stouts than this hits the mark.

The drinkability is okay, when you consider the style.

So far this was my favorite offering from Cigar City and I intend to cellar a bottle as per the brewers instructions. I suspect the taste will be even better in a few months.

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