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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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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,452
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,191
Gots: 838 | FT: 82
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: 518 | Hads: 2,452
Photo of pmarlowe
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of GJ40
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd try a random stout I had in the basement for a few months and came away very impressed. Jai is a great IPA and Marshall is amazing so I can only imagine what the Hunapu is like. Jet blac pour with a reddish/brown head and a thin line of lacing. Smell is roasted coffee and burnt sugar and a bit of raisin. Sips an upfront coocoa and roasted coffee with sweetness and a bit of a thin mouthfeel but made up by a lingering full mouth coating sticky sweetness.
Overall it has quite a few layers of flavor. Some people may knock it on sweetness or booziness but I actually like it and think it would develop nicely with some age

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into sniffer at Lokal in Miami. $25 I couldn't pass it up...
Pours a deeeep black with tan almost brown head. Looks like muddy coffee...awesome.
Aromas of roasted malts and chocolate with a huge dried fruity raison kick. Taste is huge dried fruit and raison...sweet, but balanced with lots of roasted coffee and a chocolate finish. So smooth..almost chugable. This stout is fantastic. ..would love to have one to age as I bet this would be phenomenal in a few years. But now its amazing. Wow...

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thx to velcrogrip.

Appearance: This pours just like Hunahpu(duh!), with a small tan head that hugs the perimeter of the glass; it's black as night as you'd expect. This shit pours thicker than any other. Just viscous as anything I've seen.

Smell: Faint roasted malt, extra bitter chocolate, hints of coffee, graham cracker. There's hardly anything to smell, it's all very faint. No horse blanket : (

Taste: Holy crap, you'd never see that flavor profile coming from that smell. Definitely not indicative. Right off the bat is that faint graham cracker thing that you get in the nose(which sets this apart from most, imo)roasted malt, chocolate, and then some hop bitterness. Finish is chocolate that fades into hop bitterness. Definitely great.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, viscous, huge. Hunahpu is the most viscous stout I've ever had, and this is right there with it(makes sense).

Overall: One of the best Imperial Stouts I've ever had. Just well done, viscous as hell and it has the graham cracker x factor going for it. Win.

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Photo of dar482
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a deep black color with very dark chocolate brown head.

The aroma is huge of sweet sweet caramel and toffee notes. Lots of licorice, a touch of smokiness, chocolate, hoppy wood character, dark fruit.

The flavor follows with a thick sticky rolling amount of bittersweet chocolate with a bit of coffee. There's then lots sweet toffee notes and then a kick of bitterness on the end that cleans the beer up. It's extremely complex as it rolls of coffee, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, and a balanced, but strong hop character. Touches of smoke, licorice, molasses.

A full, but clean and smooth mouthfeel.

One of best non-barrel aged imperial stout I've had.

Having had '13 and '12 of this, I can say I prefer it fresher. It just had more complexity and brightness to it.

The beer reminds me of Founders Imperial, but sweetness and more balanced.

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Photo of timc100
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fresh 2013 vintage.

Pours the darkest black I have ever seen from a beer, even more the Hunahpu's - actually looks like motor oil. The head is very dense and creamy - burnt heavy roast mocha. It leaves a dark mocha stain on the glass with dense lacing. Astoundingly beautiful beer. The aroma is phenomenally - can already tell this is in a whole new league . Sticky molasses, tons of dark fruits - raisins, plums - decadent chocolate; followed by heavily roasted oily espresso beans, cherry, and some vanilla and very slight graham cracker sweetness. It tastes just as big as it smells with the most viscous mouthfeel possible without it being a shake. Very bitter and aggressive - the cherry, vanilla, and dark fruits become more pronounced with warmth.

This is truly an outstanding beer - hands down the most impressive imperial stout that has not been barrel aged or aged with extra ingredients. It has less espresso and more dark fruits than anticipated - kind of like a baltic porter/imperial stout blend. When comparing it to hunahpu it is very difficult because they are two completely different beasts - there are great aspects of this beer that did not shine through Huna. If I could, I would have both of these beers in the cellar at all times.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a generous BA for this awesome extra! Pours as one of the darkest beers I've seen in a long time. Motor oil black with a DARK mocha-colored head. Scent is packed heavy with chocolate, coffee, and more chocolate. Chocolate cake with a hint of dark fruits, and rich, roasted coffee. Lots of roasted malt. Taste is just as it smells, and man is this beer rich! I thought Speedway Stout was a rich imperial stout that was available regularly, but apparently Florida has some other stuff going on. : ) Mouthfeel is FULL BODIED and rich with a bit of chalkiness. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer is top notch! Rich and complex. Not much more you could ask for in an RIS. FANTASTIC beer!

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Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to Willandperry and Maximum12 for hooking me up with a bottle of this. Great traders.

Appearance. Pours very thick and black. Topped with two fingers of pretty dark brown head. Very rich looking beverage here.

Smell, Molasses and booze, dark malts and some chocolate and espresso.

Taste. Smokey dark malts, burnt sugar, dark chocolate and molasses. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low smooth carbonation.

Overall. Exactly what I like in the style. Very well made beer.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

'13 into a CS snifter. I am totally biased, as this is in my top 5 non BA RIS.

A- Jet black, black as night. Very dark. Decent ring of lacing with good retention.

S- I am getting a beautiful mix of molasses, black liquorice, chocolate, dark fruit, charred dark fruit. All of these things alone I don't like in a beer. But the fragrance is so amazing. I love it!

T- Following the nose with a beautiful harmony of all of the nose characteristics intertwined wonderfully. I feel a bit queer writing about this, but this beer is so fkng good.

M- Exactly what I want a RIS body to be. Thick. Chewy. Viscous. Glory sauce.

O- This is my favorite non-spiced RIS. Unreal. If you want to trade these to me, I will gobble them up. I have been rating under the median lately, but I know that I am over on this one. I am not a homer on this one either. Never lived in FLA, CO boy my whole life. Cheers!

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Photo of MacQ32
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep near black color with less than half of a finger of amber tinted head, over time the head appears to be move or a brown (and less red). Retention is very strong, good lacing as well.

S - Super rich and rhobust, tobacco-ey, wood, smokey, rich chocolate, semi-vanilla-ey.

T - Wowzers! Tons of uber rich dark chocolate, tons. slightly smokey, mild tobacco flavored finish. Overall, rich dark cocoa nibs. Aftertaste is sweet and mildly roasty.

M - Fuller bodied, hardly any carbonation at all, incredibly smooth.

O - Incredibly rich dark chocolate flavor, some woody/smokeyness.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, opaque color with a dark brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, whiskey like alcohol and wood. I'm the taste, dark roast coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate and alcohol. Palate coating dark chocolates with some intense citrus hops in a die hard fashion. Coffee, smoke, charcoal and earthy at that. Faint vanilla like hint. Warming booze. Full bodied feel, smooth, with an even carbonation. Overall this is a great big stout.

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Photo of Benish
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Probably the best none-barrel aged Imperial Stout I've tasted!

Appearance: The color was quite simply jet black. While pouring from the bottle it looked thick like motor oil. After swirling it around the glass, the beer stained the surface for some time time. The surface appeared slick and shiny reddish brown. Overall my friend and I agreed that the beer looked like soy sauce. Its thick and pitch black. It can't get anymore specific.

Aroma: picked up mostly milk chocolate, vanilla, and some molasses. The smell is rich and delightful.

Taste: Starts out sweet with roasted malts and finishes with intense bitter dark chocolate. At the beginning of the sip I picked up some sweet vanilla and then it started to become more rich in molasses. However the finish was the extra kick. Finishes complex and bitter with a ton of chocolate! It's not so boozy; very very smooth, the flavors transition one after another really well.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and heavy bodied. Slick in the mouth.

Overall: I love it. I've had many Imperial Stouts and I started to feel there were not much differences between many of them. But this stands out. The complexity of the beer is incredible, most particularly the bitter chocolate finish. Seek this out!!

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Photo of Beechner719
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome Beer. Pours dark black with a nice tan head. This thing is like a milkshake. Very thick. It is everything a RIS should be. It doesnt get much better than this. If you havent had this beer, get it immediately. Smells of coffee with a tiny hint of cherries as it warms up. I would recommend drinking this at room temperature. The characteristics come out a lot more.

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Photo of birchstick
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a viscous black with a nice chocolaty head like a nice good stout should be

S - Nose is sticky chocolate and caramel malts with some soy sauce notes coming out.

T - Starts off with sweet soy sauce. The sweetness is kicked up with notes of vanilla... the sweetness is knocked back down by some rich milk and bakers chocolate flavors. Toasted notes finish it off. It is overall more sweet then toasty. This is how I picture the base beer of Bourbon County Stout tasting like.

M- smooth and viscous with some carbonation burn in the back

D - This was a fantastic stout. Sweeter then most but not cloying. I have only had barrel aged versions, which have all been amazing...I can see why because the base beer is damn good. Solid stuff!

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Photo of AltBock
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CCB on August 31, 2013. They served it to me in a CCB Snifter.

This beer poured an absolute black color. CCB has plenty of light in their tasting room, but it wasn't hard to tell that this beer was a pitch black color. It was as black as a German Soldier's heart during WWII. That's pretty damn black! On top of this ink black brew was a 1/4 of an inch dark mocha colored head of foam. This nice looking head of foam had nice retention that left behind a small, but fat sized string of rings along the edge of the glass. Beautiful appearance!

This is the type of aroma that you want to find in an Imperial Stout. The aroma was hugely roasted with a nice subtle sweetness to back it up. Right up front was the dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dark roasted espresso beans. Once it got the roasted aromas out of the way, in comes the dark fruits. The dark fruit punch consisted mostly of black cherry with a touch of plum and raisins. This beer isn't over yet. This beer then finishes up with a nice caramel/molasses aroma.

The taste was just as complex as the sweet ass aroma. Like the aroma, it was the dry roasted elements that kicked off the taste. That's where I found the dark roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and a nice amount of roasted espresso beans. The roasted element of the taste was so big that it overshadowed the dark fruits and the subtle sweetness. My tastebuds could only pick out some raisins, black cherry, a touch of plum, and a miniature taste of caramel/molasses. It wasn't hard to tell who controlled the taste of this beer.

This was a dry full bodied thick Imperial Stout with a good level of carbonation and a lingering roasted aftertaste. This aftertaste wasn't going anywhere and I'm fine with that. If couldn't tell from my taste description, the aftertaste contained dry roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, a few dark fruits and a subtle taste of caramel.

I've had this beer a few times, but never bothered to review it. I know, I'm a bad person. There's no doubt about it. This is a really good beer. I didn't know Marshal Zhukov personally, but I'm sure he would be proud to have this beer attached to his name. It's good in the bottles and really good on tap.

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Photo of dayvinn87
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So, this is the stout that started my romance with stouts. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before. When I ordered a glass (at 11$) I was hoping that the hype surrounding this beer would be true. As soon as I put the glass up to my face the chocolatey-espresso smell punched me in the nose. I tipped the glass up and the motor oil slowly slid into my mouth. The chocolate and espresso flavor was instant and the gulp did not leave me with any bitter or spicy taste. The feel was smooth and I knew I had found my favorite beer.

Excellent beer. The only reason I didn't give it a perfect score is because I want to remain optimistic that there is something better out there, even though I doubt there is.


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Photo of drgoose23
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this imperial stout and I feel in love with Stouts. I honestly had never had a stout besides Samuel smith oatmeal stout and Guinness but honestly I don't count those. It's all about IMPERIAL STOUTS. So I was told to try this by a very knowledgeable dude in the craft beer game so I tried it and fell in love dude. Great aged or out of the tap or in the bottle. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this, please do yourself a favor. I've had this couple times on tap and in bottle and it's as good as the first time, every time. I would give it 5/5 but I always think things can only get better.

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

Many thanks to GeorgiaBeerGuy for this bottle and welcome to the Lehigh Valley for delivering this in person to enjoy together!

A - Pours a pitch black with a thin toffee colored lacing that's very viscous and sticky, and thick.

S - Thick aroma, molasses, caramel, vanilla, oak, cream, and chocolate.

T - Lots of oak, chocolate, molasses, some booziness, and extremely light cherry flavor.

M - Thick, full bodied, viscous, sticky, and velvet texture.

O - So glad I finally had the opportunity to try this beer!

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Photo of aMILESupreme
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pitch black stout beautifullness.

S: The roasted malts, hint of chocolate and some booze.

T: Russian imperial stout 101, brewed to perfection. complex without being overwhelming. it hits all musts of this variety. Drinks pretty easy even at 11%. really tasty.

O: wish i had bought more. i would love to sit on a few of these and see how they develop.

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Photo of TheRemyLeabeau
4.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a definite wow beer. It comes on a tiny bit hot, not much at all though and I get an initial splash of coffee and toffee. Vanilla slithers its way in after the toffee and it ends with probably my favorite finish of any beer yet. Absolutely incredible, a finish of dark chocolate covered cherries... a sort of dark chocolate black cherry flavor. The finish of this beer is so incredible, I have to say it probably is the best finish and aftertaste of any beer I've had, at least any stout hands down. The nose on this beer is much like any RIS, specifically dark chocolate and toffee stand out to me. All I can say is yeah this beer is a must try for any lovers of Imperial Stouts!
P.S. Many thanks to toofdoc (Josh) and the boys at The Mack House Bottle Share Group for the bottle!

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.