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
94
outstanding

501 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,388
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,166
Gots: 771 | FT: 71
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: 501 | Hads: 2,388
Photo of SiepJones
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

4/4/4/4/4 (1,037 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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%. (1,155 characters)

Photo of boatshoes
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Overall, (1,030 characters)

Photo of hrking
2.66/5  rDev -37.4%
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. (489 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (2,268 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black cola body with a tan head and a roasted chocolate smell as well as coffee, some toasted/burnt malt as well. A thick, slightly smooth body with loads of coffee malt taste along with hints of toffee and bitter chocolate. Dryness eminates from the coffee malts as well as ABV peeking through, in a good way, and is a great beer to sip on. (356 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sebletitje for the chance to try this one.

Pours a viscous, oily black with a dark mocha head. Settles to a silky cover with nice lace.

Nose has fudge, coffee, molasses, dark fruits, floral hops and roasty malts.

Flavors of chocolate, espresso, dark malts, figs, plums, bitter hops and molasses.

Creamy body is delicately carbonated. Lasting finish. Well balanced stout. (389 characters)

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

Kuhnhenn Winter Soltice BA/RB tasting party. Thick RIS, thick chocolate. Pours dark brown with some head. Great tasting, with some complexity beyond the bittersweet chocolate . A little chocolate in the aroma. Contained roast. Drying.Best consumed as a dessert. (261 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely jet black with a gorgeous deep tan head on top. Poster child of a RIS. Roasted and somewhat burnt coffee aroma. Deep, deep roasted flavor. Has a distinct burnt graininess to it. Ever so slight tinge of alcohol come thru the roasted flavor. Very nice espresso notes going on. Long lingering licorice flavor. The roasted/licorice flavor goes on and on. Extremely full mouthfeel. Liquid pudding in a glass. Finish tends to be somewhat dry/astringent but thats really only comes from the huge grainy like quality. Simply an awesome beer. Well balanced and enjoyable. A meal in a glass for sure. (601 characters)

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me give a big thanks to fogdog for a great trade!

Not sure I've ever given out this many 5's to a beer, but this one really deserves it. Pours a thick motor oil color (as stated in a previous review thought it really fit) with a chocolate brown head that fades sloooowly leaving a nice amount of lace around the glass.

Smell is of herbs, molasses, some hops, and something else I can't describe.

Taste is phenomenal! Dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, caramel, herbs, some peppery notes, and bitterness from the hops. Thick mouthfeel and not sugary sweet. The alcohol is ever so slightly present and it makes for a very drinkable beer. There is so much going on in this beer that I just can't believe it! Wow wish I could just buy this by the truck load. One of the best RIS's I've ever had.

Very well balanced not overly sweet from the malts, not overly bitter, just right in my book, and not the least bit watery, again it has a very creamy thick mouthfeel. What a great beer. (994 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version. Poured from the 750ml a completely opaque pitch black with a dense brown head, leaving thick globs of lace. Wow, a fantastic looking stout. Smell: dark chocolate, dark brown sugar, heavily creamer-ed coffee, mildly citric hops and something a bit rye-like in the background. Taste: dark, high cocoa chocolate, mild roasted notes throughout, molasses, herbal and earthy hops beneath. Mouthfeel: really exceptional, thick and creamy with enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy. I'm drinking this pretty warm and I'd swear there's no way this is 11+%. Well hidden, making it scarily drinkable. Will be revisiting this one for sure.

2011 version. Pours pitch black with dense creamy looking three fingers worth of dark brown head. Settles slowly to a half inch and leaves a sheet of thin lace down the glass, staining the glass brownish yellow. Smell: yeasty pumpernickel with carroway, dark cocoa, espresso, herbal and earthy. Taste: dark brown sugar, bready, some molasses, black currant, herbal and slightly citric (acidic) hopping, espresso and anise finish. Full bodied - thick with an exceptionally creamy feel. Missed this one(‘s carbonation) last year and happy to have it back. Same rating as 2009. (1,232 characters)

Photo of PretzelCity
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks again to Bhalter8 for hooking this one up. Out of the bottle and into the glass it pours like used motor oil, thick viscous and black as night. The head is almost two fingers of burnt chocolate looking foam. This is a dark beer. The nose is roasted malts, nuts? and booze. The taste is sweet, malty sugary goodness. Light chocolate and toffee, pretty dry in the finish with a hint of coffee. Full body. Very rich and very thick. Maybe too rich to finish a whole 750ml bottle alone. This one is a beast fresh, but it seems like it could stand the test of time with the best of them. (588 characters)

Photo of nabudis0803
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (711 characters)

Photo of Katahdin
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing one notices is the deep dark pitch of black it pours. Almost heavy in apperance like molasses, which interestingly it has strong hints of. Has a beautiful rich, creamy head. The body is complex with subtle hints of molasses, chocolate, chicory, coffee and even dried fruits. Goes donw nice and smootgh, no fighting needed. Almsot wish it was not an 11% beer because would really enjoy several glasses of it ona cold winter's night. (447 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Pitch black. A big two fingers of dark mocha color head appears and leaves great spotty lace. Very impressive.

A: Great chocolate, and roasty aroma. Molasses, more chocolate, and just a hint of dried fruit. Oh, and did I mention the chocolate?

T: Just plain awsome. The chocolate shines, but there are underling hints of raisin, smoke, and currant. There is a bitterness from the hops that really make the beer quite balanced for such a big stout.

M: Thick and viscous. It coats the palate with a chocolatey goodness.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is great for a beer of this strength. I could drink quite a lot of this. Overall, this is one of the best examples of an RIS I have had. Another great brew from the guys at Cigar City. Skal. (796 characters)

Photo of younger35
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this beer from both Gibby and tpd975, God bless 'em. Haven't had many brews from Cigar City but they've all been pretty top notch. Drank form my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Easy the darkest brew that I've ever witnessed being poured from a bottle. No cap remains but a pretty thin collar remains along with no lacing.
Pours a dirty motor oil black with a super dark tan head that's so dark it's nearly red.
Smell- Nice and intense as the beer starts with a huge roasted profile that's as close to burnt and charred as you can get. Tons of bitter dark chocolate and raw slightly roasted cocoa nibs. French roast and a touch of vanilla are fairly prevalent before the substantial hoppiness kicks in. They are dank and earthy with a sort of spicy blast that I may have only smelled in an Imperial Stout before in Darkness '08 (not a tasty beer). The alcohol is fairly prevalent too and probably really adds to that spiciness.
Taste- Starts slightly bitter from the super roastiness of the malts. The coffee aspect is fairly large as is the chocolate. It's somewhere between milk chocolate and dark chocolate depending upon the drink I take. Plenty of molasses and cake batter with just a hint of caramel. The hops are fairly aggressive but not as crazy as the nose led me to believe. They are lightly citrusy and somewhat earthy with a fairly medicinal sort of herbal kick. The alcohol is pretty aggressive and warming but nothing that seems to interfere with the overall tastiness of the brew.
Mouthfeel- A fairly large body with a light zip of carbonation that really aids in a the semi creamy, numbing feel.
Drinkability- This is the first true IRS I've had in quite a while and it was very tasty. It's very intense and pretty over the top. I can't wait to see what happens to the other I have stowed away in a couple years. Nice little alcohol punch too, feelin' good. Thanks much guys! (1,899 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to moose3285 for throwing this into a friggin' incredible box of Cigar City brews that arrived not long ago. Mike, you are on my list of people to speak up for when judgment day rolls around.

Pours black. Thick black, like the lakes around here, which are so ready to freeze at the first solid cold snap. The head is sunburnt tan, really wild reddish tint to it. Purty. The smell is divine, heavy on the chocolate & malts, hold the hops. Bonus points for the both the cool bottle as well as the historical figure...gives my old History Minor a little goose.

Marshal Zhukov would have been thrilled to learn he's been reincarnated as this brew. Wow. This bastard has depth like the Mariana Trench. Roasted, firethrower-tarred malts are all over the place, but there's a warm coffee element, balanced out by a smattering of chocolate applause, & a sweet sling of hoppy nip at the end. All of which melds into a single chorus of happy.

The balance on this monster is remarkable. None of the tastes or apparent ingredients outweights any of the others, & all seem to insist on complementing one another rather than playing Soviet & Capitalist. Rich, creamy, warming. Really, words fail me.

This beer is borderline perfect. I am delighted to unexpectedly have another one in the basement (thanks mully) which I will hold onto for a while. Although I cannot see how aging this would make it any better. (1,411 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Maltzilla for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy dark tan one-finger head, with some very nice thick/creamy sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee, and a nice touch of coffee, vanilla, slight dark fruits. The taste is very nice, malty, slightly sweet, slightly bitter, with lots of chocolate/toffee, and some coffee, nice touch of vanilla, also some slight dark fruits. Full/medium body, the ABV is hidden pretty well. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from CC. Thanks Diego! (607 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all. Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable. Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation. (410 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by either mfielden or nick3 at a recent Cigar City tasting - can't remember exactly who provided this one as there were a ton of Cigar City beers.

Pours completely pitch black, and it's even more black in the glass. A thick finger of dark brown head forms and retains very well. Cigar City know how to make an impressive-looking imperial stout, I'll give them that.

The aroma is tar-like, intensely roasty, ashy, burnt. Unsweetened chocolate and anise come to mind. Blackened, burnt. This borders on being horribly acrid, but it manages to remain somewhat pleasant; it really is right on that fine line though.

The taste is, unsurprisingly, massively roasty and charred, with quite a bit of tartness and acidity from the enormous amount of dark malt. Cherries, burnt bread, tar, charcoal. This is intense, but it's surprisingly tasty. While it's not something I'd care to drink often or in quantities larger than 3 ounces, it's a pretty decent little beer. Condolences to Overlord for drinking an entire bottle solo. (1,033 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.66/5  rDev -13.9%
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. (737 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Justin for this 750mL, poured into a tulip.

Wow, is this one seriously good-looking beer. It pours pitch black out the bottle and seems to suck up all the light in the room underneath a thick mocha head that recedes very slowly and leaves sheets of lacing.

The aroma is big, dark and roasty with tons of heavily roasted dark malts and plenty of espresso and dry cocoa powder. There is an underlying molasses sweetness that almost balances the roasted character.

The taste is absolutely massive with all kinds of things going on. There is a heavily roastes dark malt backbone that underpins everything. On top is the very dry, almost chalky, bakers chocolate and cocoa character with some espresso. The sweetness of the molasses from the aroma is not nearly as evident, though I'm pretty sure it's in there somewhere. Also, I get hints of tobacco in the taste as well, but maybe that's just in my head...tough to tell with all the other things going on.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and slick, almost oily, going down. It's dessert-like and very thick on the palate with enough carbonation to keep it from becoming cloying.

This is a huge beer all the way around - gorgeous looking and with a complex taste that I think will improve with time as the flavors start to meld together. (1,299 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.