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

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,164
Gots: 768 | 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 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!

Photo of facundoCNB
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A thick jet black pour with dirt brown head. Smells roasty, coffee, molasses, dark chocolate, charred. The flavor is spot on with aroma. A delicious charred flavor with enough sweetness to balance out, and a bit of soy sauce. Thick full body with low carbonation.
An excellent stout. Glad I got ahold of one, and looking forward to someday trying huna.

Photo of gcamparone
4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25 oz bomber into a cigar city snifter. Thank you FLBrew for this guy!

Appearance - Pours a thick, oily, opaque black body with a nice 2 finger milk chocolate colored head that reduces very slowly to release those delicious aromas at a slow pace.

Smell - Strong, potent aromas of dark fruits, dark chocolate, molasses, toasted marshmallows, and coffee beans fill the air. Really inviting.

Taste - Let this one warm up for the flavors to come out. The first flavors to touch the tongue are bold coffee with cream, milk chocolate, vanilla, molasses.. these flavors develop into deep roasty notes, including cocoa, really dark chocolate, roasted malt. The aftertaste is charred and delicious.

Mouthfeel - Thick, rich, and savory. I enjoyed this over a 2 hour period and the flavors and thickness got better as it warmed.

This is what an imperial stout should taste like.. perfectly balanced, rich, complex, flavorful. Doesn't need a barrel or a boat load of crazy ingredients to make it world class.

Photo of zachary80
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, great lacing, very good head that fades but stays stronger than normal.

Smells fairly average for an imperial stout.

Taste is heavy roast - a little rough but still pleasing.

Very heavy mouthfeel - one of the heaviest, and fits well with the flavor.

Overall a great beer but not my favorite IS.

Photo of Brew_Bro
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. I'm surprised I never reviewed it. Here we go...

Pour is amazing. It's one of the best parts about this beer. You get a thick oily pour with an amazing dark tan head. It's a thing of beauty and to be honest I've only ever had one beer with a better pour and it was on draft at CCB tasting room on nitro(Cafe Americana).

Smell is full of rich chocolate. You get some minor espresso in there. Smells like a candy bar. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is silky. It's the typical CCB stout mouthfeel where it's creamy and light. Like your tongue is laying on a pillow of feathers. Thick and creamy.

The taste is full of dark chocolate. You get some roasted espresso but it's mostly chocolate which is why I enjoy this so much. I'm a choco-holic and this gets the job done. The alcohol isn't prevalent at all for a 10% ABV which I appreciate. It's a really deep tasting beer. If I drank this every day I'm pretty sure I'd go into a diabetic coma.

Overall it's my favorite beer for a reason... It's the top of the line in my opinion for what a RIS should be. Just great and next year I will probably buy a case instead of 2 bottles so it lasts me until the next year. I even trade for this beer when I run out because I love it that much. It's the epitome of what CCB is known for in stouts.

Photo of ricknelson
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of hardy008
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage

Pours dark black, almost like motor oil, with a one finger mocha head, which fades to a thin round disc before vanishing, and leaves no lacing. The aroma has dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted malt, molasses, and espresso.

Tastes sweet with the perfect amount of bitterness. There is dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, molasses, cherries, dates, figs, and licorice, The dark malt and espresso do a nice job of balancing the sweetness from the other flavors. It's amazing that an 11.00 % abv beer has no alcohol taste. Very nicely made.

Full bodied with modest carbonation, and a chocolate with espresso aftertaste. Definitely a chewy beer. Definitely a world class Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a FW tulip

dark black pour with a great dark brown head. smell is extremely chocolately and malty. very aromatic. the taste is so sweet. tons of chocolate. no bitterness at all. real impressive RIS!! VERY full bodied. mild carbonation.

overall great. thanks Taylor!

Photo of BierJager89
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Obsidian with a dark brown head, perhaps the darkest beer I have ever seen.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, molasses in a delicious nose.

T: Dark chocolate, but sweet, molasses.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: This beer is an epic drinking experience. One of the best non-barrel aged imperial stouts I've ever had.

Photo of BrownNut
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

JANUARY 2013 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

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.

SEPTEMBER 2012 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

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.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a thick, viscous black with a few-cm. head of cocoa-colored head. Very good retention, no lacing.

S: Rich cocoa, molasses, espresso, moderate roast, a little caramel in the background provides something different for an RIS, a whiff of cherry. All in all very well balanced.

T: Roasted malt and dark chocolate, slight tang, finishing with lots of espresso and cocoa on the palate which leave behind a film. An everlasting finish. Some alcohol noticeable.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation. A little heat is evident. Mouthcoating and leaves some residue on the lips.

O: Superb example of the style, definitely on the bigger end but very well executed. This tip-toes into the roasty RIS category without going full blown.

Photo of GJ40
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle dated 31Aug2012 in a DFH snifter. Thanks surge1311!!!

A - Deep black with no light. A sturdy tan head that clings nicely to the glass. I enjoyed watching it stick with each sip then oh so slowly slide down the side.

S - Rich malt aromas with molasses, brown sugar, roasted marshmallows, chocolate and coffee. Great depth and complexity.

T - Like the aroma, rich malts dominate. Lots of dark chocolate. Great complexity. Smooth with no rough edges.

M - Thick and chewy yet an aspect of light and airy. Fantastic.

O - This is the stuff oil workers scrape off their shoes. But unlike them, this is not something you wish away. A great brew from an unlikely part of the country.

Photo of JohnG190
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black as pitch, light cannot penetrate. Looks like motor oil in the glass! The head was thin and dark, dark brown. Chocolate, dark fruit, licorice on the nose, nice aroma. Sweet up front with hints of anise and licorice. Dark chocolate follows with a great dark fruit, slightly bitter finish. Thick mouthfeel with no carbonation to speak of. Overall, this may well be the greatest non-BA Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had!

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. an extremely impressive stout here, one of the best ive ever had. who needs a barrel when you've got Zhukov? luxurious pour, velvety dark chocolate color with a rising bubbly and thick mocha head. so so dark on the malt. its short of being burnt, but its chocolaty and a touch smoky in the nose, and more earthy and mineral heavy in the flavor. in certain high end espressos, the connoisseurs tell you to look for blueberry and other fruit notes. I get that here, amidst the coffee notes, some dark fruits as well, very nice, subtle complexity. chocolate too is robust, not sweet but bitter and raw. the darkness of this is lovely, so deep and rich, but im finding it a lot more drinkable than I should at 11% abv. my friends left right after we cracked a 750 of this, and im having no trouble at all doing the heavy lifting here. full bodied but not filling. im enjoying it more and more as it warms. this is a world class example of the style, and proof of the fact that we don't need to put every stout out there in a bourbon barrel to make it special. brilliant stuff from cigar city.

Photo of jbaker67
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour is deep, viscous black with a frothy white head and great lacing. Big leather, roasty, black licorice, pruney, raisins, caramelly, anise, and brown sugary aroma. Taste is deep dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, anise, black licorice, earthy, a touch of grass, leather, and char with a roasted bitter finish. Thick oily mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Rich, decadent and very smooth for 11%. Nice!

Photo of kylehay2004
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very dark three finger thick head on a jet black body. Initially after the pour it's hard to find the head - body transition, an interesting finding. The head stays forever it seems gradually releasing aroma of sweet and dark chocolate, roasted malt, oak/rum, brown sugar and vanilla.Flavor follows with a very complex and dynamic character. Opening with cola, milk chocolate and cream moving to dark chocolate and roasted malts finishing with vanilla and coffe, a great beer. Full, thick body coating the palate and light carbonation. This one lives up to the hype and expectation. A must try.

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