Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,165
Gots: 767 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

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

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

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

80 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,362 | Reviews: 513
Photo of themind
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours dark as night with a coffee roast and molasses aroma. The mouthfeel is amazing! this beer is creamy and goes down very smooth. The abv is mostly hidden with little to no burn. This beer deserves it's rating, just a finely crafted imperial stout. Would I buy again, YES! There are other RIS brews out there that overcome this masterpiece but they are few in number.

Bottom Line: Great RIS, defining the style.

Photo of EffingBob
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

This beer is just amazing

Photo of ronricorossi
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Thick, rich and chewy. Viscous and frothy. Sweet, with burnt notes at the back end. The bitterness lingers a bit - too much? Bah, no matter. Just about as good as a RIS gets. World class. Got to be in my top five for the style.

Photo of superspak
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/11/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, tobacco, light char/smoke, raisin, prune, and roast/smoke earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible imperial stout. All around awesome complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An incredibly amazing offering.

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Poured from a 750 into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer is pitch black with a slight dark brown head.

Aroma: I'm picking up some coffee, dark chocolate and a roasted almond smell.

Taste: It starts off with some sweet chocolate before giving way to coffee. Its a big beer whose flavors balance the alcohol. It reminds me of ten-fidy which is a good thing.

Feel. Its thick creamy and smooth.

It is a well balanced delicious beer.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is jet black with a ruby edging, with no head. Nose of bourbon, coffee, earthy notes, molasses, and booze. Flavors are smooth coffee and chocolate, with a solid booze undertone, char notes, and rich molasses. Wow! Velvety smooth body, with a rich, bittersweet, smooth aftertaste. The finish is slick, with a solid linger. Huge, but drinkable.

Photo of ELS
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Picked up a couple bottles of MZ 2014 and decided to drink one now and cellar the other bottle. I had high expectations for this RIS being a big fan of Cigar City but was underwhelmed. Although it has a nice jet black color and layer of tannish foam the aroma did not appeal to me. Smells very boozy and I pick up some notes of licorice and tobacco but they are overpowered by the boozy smell. The taste again was very boozy which didn't allow me to fully appreciate the chocolate, tobacco and licorice flavors. I also found the bitterness to be too much (I like hoppy beers so it's not that I don't like a bitter beer in general). Again, it overpowers the other flavors and doesn't do much for the balance. I'm going to cellar my second bottle for a year or two and maybe all the flavors will come together and offer a completely different/better beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -8.5%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 or 2010 bottle. Finally reviewing this beer. Of course, when I finally review it, it's a 4+ year old body.

Appearance - Inky black. No real head. A few bubbles around the edges. Stains the glass.

Smell - Fudgy. Molasses. Chocolate. Intense. Boozy.

Taste - Fudgy chocolate. Booze manifests itself faster. Some dark fruits. A little raisin and molasses. Slight oxidation, but it isn't bad.

Mouthfeel - Huge, heavy, sweet. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Pushing the limits of too sweet, but it's just under the limit of insanely large. Excellent.

Photo of Doug6322
4.5/5  rDev +3%

My first Zhukov and I was not disappointed worth all the hype cant wait to try it older

Photo of azorie
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is outside of the UK, this is best example of a prefect RIS, there is IN FLORIDA.

rich creamy sweet, dark chocolate taste, just heaven... really the rest is just for the eyes.

Photo of kaseydad
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Birthday beer for this birthday boy. Had this in the cellar for about six months. Crack-a-lack time.

Pours a black as night brew pour with a beautiful beige foamy head. Not much lacing but who cares?

The aroma is big chocolate, and molasses goodness. Light boozy burn in the nose but really sweet smelling. Some tobacco, jerky and shoe polish as well.

The taste is more on the chocolate side. Rich and creamy. Toffee does come out well here though the 11% is almost non-existent......until I stood up. Some roastiness and coffee bean on the aftertaste.

Overall this was a big want for me and I was able to procure a bottle from Letspour. I was not disappointed. This is a fantastic RIS that deserves the love it gets. Seek it out and enjoy. Definitely worthy of a birthday beer.

Photo of Kramerwtmf
1.23/5  rDev -71.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I was really looking forward to trying the 2013 Zhukov. I opened the bottle and noticed a strange aroma, but when I poured it it looked delicious. I took another whiff and wow this smelled horrible. The taste was just as bad. I'm so disappointed but I hope I get to try this again.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap from CCB tap room on 8/4/14 while I waited for my alotment of 4 bottles...they sold out about 20 people before me.

A- Dark balck with thin tan head... pretty standard with top RIS so far
S- Dark coco, a bit of vanilla, molasas
T- A bit cold on draft, but some great flavors here... dark coco richness. Very sweet due to the molasas I have to guess
M- Nice thickness, velvet and smooth

O- Nice RIS. I wish I could have gotten a bottle to age and see if the sweetness dies down a bit

Photo of indurTheB
5/5  rDev +14.4%

The 2014 is way better than 2013. Had a pint while waiting for the bottle release at Cigar City on August 4th, 2014. The 2013 has a "bread" taste to it. This year its much more crisp and refreshing. Hard to believe that there were 200+ people in line for this when last year on release day I waited in a 3 person line.

Photo of JulioH
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very nice and thick beer. Nice ABV.

Pours a nice dark beer. Doesn't form much of a head, yet some bubbles form. Smells like coffee. Taste is a bit hard to pinpoint, probably my first CCB beer. It has a very nice body, and has that cognac taste of imperial stouts. Very nice.

Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

Oh man! This beer is legit. A ton of flavors that overwhelms the palate with flavor but remains balanced and pretty easy to drink....not sure how that's possible but it is. Flavors are espresso, licorice, chocolate and a nice addition of a dark sweetness like candied sugar and fruits like raisins.

Wish I could drink this more often so I can see how it compares to my favorites because right now it's on the top. Unfortunately I've only had it this one time.

Photo of HoppySeb
3.03/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into KBS snifter glass - bottle was 2012, drank in 2014. Pours like a RIS should - jet black, viscous and it instantly creates a thick foamy head, mocha in color.

Aroma is predominantly soy sauce, very salty and somewhat sour - hints of molasses and notes of chocolate and over-ripened dried fruit behind the soy. Taste is quite similar to the nose, not very enjoyable. It is drinkable but I expected much, much more.

Mouthfeel is great - its thick, syrupy and allows you to taste the full spectrum of flavors in the beer (quite unfortunately in this instance).

Overall - I would give this brew another shot fresh, but aged 2 years - I must say this is quite the disappointment.

Photo of RickS95
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can't improve upon the look. There are no words to define the darkness of this beer. It completely lacks any sort of lightening agent. A literal black whole of color. Very thick pour. Even the head is dark...an extreme dark brown, the darkest head I've seen. Only a finger thick, decent retention, all that with a hefty ABV.

The scents are subtle, so while no one smell dominates, everything there works in harmony. Chocolate, dark roasted malts, coffee, caramel, even the sweetness from the molasses.

It's a world class malt bomb. The darkness of roasted expresso and the assortment of malts explodes on the tongue. It tastes like a liquid candy bar, with some alcohol. Just enough hop presence (80 IBUs, really?) for balance.

Dessert in a bottle. Hard to believe this thing packs such high alcohol and IBU because it's so gentle on the palate. It oozes sweetness and creaminess. So easy to drink, no need to worry about sipping this because it's so smooth. Full bodied, you almost chew it. Faint bitterness just to make sure the palate is ready for the next brink.

Overall, Cigar City has created a beer with no faults. It's literally a perfect beer; so good there's nothing to even nitpick about.

Photo of jjdc
4.87/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours with a beautiful mocha head, but otherwise its inky black. Nose of dark chocolate and raisins. It unfolds in a complex and perfectly balanced set of flavors: Maraschino cherries, cocoa, raisins and espresso. The mouthfeel is perfect. This is all around one of the best beers I've tasted. Cheers to Cigar City.

Photo of ubenumber2
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours midnight black with an almost black head , smells of toasted malts and chocolate , thick tasting beer , almost like taking a bite instead of a drink. Overall this is one of the best Non BA stouts I have ever had , glad I have more put back and will be tracking more down

Photo of drmcleod10
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Generously shared by John and split between essentially him and I
2013 bottle poured into 2 snifters

A - Dark as night. Thick creamy pour that leaves a 1/4 finger mocha head that resides back into the glass after a moment. Really solid looking stout

S - Smell is huge nose of tobacco with dark fruits, figs and some roasted dark chocolate. One of the most tobacco forward smelling beers I've had

T - Taste follows the nose with huge tobacco and dark fruit flavors on the front followed by bitter dark chocolate and hints of molasses and coffee

M - Creamy full bodied stout with moderate amount of carbonation

O - This was an awesome beer that I was honored to be able to try. Thanks John

Photo of ljthiesse
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours fabulously thick and dark, and coats the glass amazingly. Big chocolate and molasses aromas. The flavor is a little boozy, a little funky, and a little smoky, with lots of molasses and some more chocolate malt. I tend to prefer coffee and vanilla notes over molasses, but I still enjoyed this, and it is no doubt a fantastic imperial stout. World-class.

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beergod1 for the trade!

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottle date 7/11/13

A) Dark used Motor oil, thick melted chocolate ice cream, no head expected for almost a 12%.

S) Smoked malt, espresso, and baker's chocolate, Cavendish pipe tobacco

T) Not what i expected at all. Soy sauce, beef jerky, vanilla, cavendish pipe tobacco; aftertaste dark chocolate, dark fruit, and figs.

M) Thick medium amount of carbonation.

O) I was disappointed to say the least. Too much up front, too little in the back. I do want to trade for another and cellar for a while. Even as it warmed nothing changed.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

1 pint 9.4 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip style glass. The liquid portion comes out black like motor oil only it's not separated. As the liquid rises in the glass it consumes all light that it touches in the glass with absolutely zero highlights. There is a dark brown foaming head with large air pockets bubbling up to the top. It sort of looks like a melted hershey chocolate bar as the head at first. It sort of transcends its way separating itself from the liquid. By the end when it settles there's a frothy head with small and medium bubbles, excellent lacing. A truly amazing looking Russian Imperial Stout, if you were to drink this regularly you would be dissapointed the way other beers look.

Smell is pretty direct to the point. Nice malt bomb with lots of dark chocolate, but uniquly not too bitter, a little sweet. There are also some aromas of espresso or dark roasted coffee and hints of sweet licorice. Slight hints of some earthy, grassy hops. My main knock on the aroma is compared to everything else about this beer, it's not that strong, can't quite figure out why.

Taste makes up in power where the aromas lack. Huge amounts of dark and other various types of chocolate, both but I'd say slightly more sweet than bitter. A bit of dark coffee and some sweet licorice again. There's also some dark fruits like sweet candied figs and raisons and I swear I'm even picking up some subtle hints of toasted shaved coconut. Hop profile is much stronger here, almost like candy coated mild hops, mild sweet citrus and some pine. Probably should've said this earlier, but there seems to be some honey flavors too. Like in addition to all of the dark roasted malts there's a little bit of a pale caramel malt glazed with honey. To cap it off there's a very subtle smokey flavor, not overwhelming at all. This beer is loaded with flavor!

Mouthfeel is great, no doubt a full bodied pretty heavy beer, a nice long lingering flavor. Nice moderate carbonation level, small bubbles tickle your mouth most of the way through. Silky smooth with a nice bitter finish that isn't too try or too gritty. Nice flavorful beer that's excellent the whole way through. A crazy good sipper that's super decadent, but drinkable enough for any stout lover to enjoy on their own, but I'd recommend sharing, even though I'm being selfish right now and not!

Photo of barnzy78
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 release. Thanks to my friend, Matt, for cracking this open for us!
L - pitch black with a tall chocolatey brown head
S - boozy and rich with chocolate, coffee, roasted barley
T - dark chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, fairly sweet and boozy
F - full bodied and creamy
O - upper echelon RIS. Really solid stuff from a brewery I wish was distributed to IL. Glad I had the chance to try this!

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.