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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

521 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 521
Hads: 2,475
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,185
Gots: 845 | FT: 78
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

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

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

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

80 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,475
Photo of DmanGTR
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured into a Cigar City snifter at 45°F.

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

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Photo of scottfrie
3.27/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into brandy snifter. Thanks to the generous BA who traded me this one.

A: Pours pitch black with an extremely unimpressive collection of bubbles that I guess is supposed to be considered a head. A couple of tiny soapy specs of lace were left down the glass.
S: Notes of chocolate, molasses, and a hint of toffee. Not a very smelly beer.
T: Rich notes of bitter dark chocolate, sweet fudge brownies, dark roasted malts, and a hint of caramel. I get a touch of coffee in the finish, and the aftertaste contains notes of molasses and faint earthy hops.
M: Thick body, slick and chewy mouthfeel, but almost no carbonation. This beer seriously needs some bubbles. Alcohol is hidden very well.
O: I was a bit let down by this one. The flavor is good but not very complex, and while the body is thick the carbonation is borderline watery. Hopefully this is just bottle variation, as fuller carbonation would be a drastic increase.

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Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a trip to Orlando in Sept. 2010.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Blacker than black body but no head at all. Kind of plops into the glass. Very viscous as it leaves a film on the glass as it's tilted.

Smell: Dark chocolate, bit sweet, robust coffee. Not as strong as i would have expected but still pleasant.

Taste: Hazelnut, layer of roasted coffee, long finish. Flavor is gradual, builds up in the middle. Molasses cookies, lingering coffee flavor. Not as complex as ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Real thick yet retains a slick smooth feel. A bit syrupy.

Overall: Real good but still haven't found one that tops DL.

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

991st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 ML

Thanks to Spydfire83 for this gift.
*Shared by those at MrHirschybars*

App- When I look at nostalgia items in a antique store and see those old Mobil cans from the 50's, this is the liquid I imagined would be flowing out of it. Pure black motor oil with a huge viscous body to it. Not the semi-transparent oil we use today. This also produced a small one finger dark roasted looking brown head with some nice cling lines.

Smell- This opened like a good hot cast iron pan roasting nuts for the holidays. A little bit of the nuts come in and then a little bit of the wafting smoke from the fire comes up. A bit of liquid chocolate and then a little bit of the malts on a final pull.

Taste- So far for me, CCB has been hit and miss. I was really afraid this would be like Hunaphus and I wouldn't like it. Not the case. A very good large stout with a lot of flavors and layer wrinkles to make us beer geeks happy. Not as smooth as some, not as flavorful as some. But very well done with large quantities of chocolate, roast, smoke, coffee and some dark dark fruits. (←, this was very minimal)

Mouth- A thick body with a low carbonation level. Dark chocolate, coffee and roast after taste. A good feel but not as creamy as I would like it to be.

Drink- This was a good treat. I am glad I decided to open this one up for everyone and it got rave reviews from the group. A solid, large, not overly complex but still very multi-faceted beer. I would love to have this one again.

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Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at the brewery. Review from notes.

A: thick, syrup-like look with thin lacing after the small head disappears. Not much to say about highlights - maybe a very dark brown.

S: smells of coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts and grains, some sweetness, and a faint alcohol smell as it warmed past 50.

T: mostly the same as smell, with slightly burnt sugar added.

M: deliciously smooth, with some carbonation to balance it, but it's thick. What do you expect?

O: great beer, only wish it was less expensive and more available. It was $12 or $15 at the brewery, and I have not seen it elsewhere.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Aggressive pour yielded only on finger of creamy light brown head. Retention was poor, even for the ABV. No lacing.

5.0 S: Really awesome nose on this. Rich dark chocolate is plentiful. Deeply roasted espresso undertones. Lots of blackstrap molasses with caramel, lightly herbal and citrus hops, and a oaky woodiness. Black cherry with a touch of sherry. Full of the CC house flavor that works so well in their stouts.

4.5 T: Like the nose, this is complex and powerful. Dark chocolate is again the strongest flavor with molasses, caramel, and neutral malt sweetness next. Notes of vanilla, oak, cherry, and herbal hoppiness. There's hitns of sherry again, but it acts to complement the flavors. Really tasty.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Carbonation is a bit lower than I'd prefer, but not horrible. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.5 D: Really tasty beer. About as good as Hunahpu's.

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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 rlee1390
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black, two finger creamy deep brown head with some lacing.

S-Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and molasses.

T-Roasted coffee notes dominate, some chocolate, good deal of molasses, some bitterness.

M-Medium to heavy, very creamy but not much carbonation.

O-Not as sweet as some RISs I've had but the roasty and coffee flavors are great. Now to track down a Hunaphu.

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Photo of Resuin
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. I've had this for over a year - I'd guess this is a 2013 version.

Appearance: Pours black with a nice deep, dark tan/brown head of a couple fingers that lingers for a while before leaving a black and brown layering atop the beer. (4.75)

Smell: Big roasted coffee, dark chocolate, toasted malts, licorice, dark fruits. Big, bitter and sweet stout flavors. This is not a subtle aroma. (4.5)

Taste: Soy sauce, dark chocolate, licorice, toasted malts, marshmallow, bitter coffee. The taste is sweeter than the aroma lets on. Still, quite drinkable and tasty - huge flavor. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a thick, creamy body. Finish is a bit harsh and bitter - not bad though. (4)

Overall: This is a big stout with a huge amount of both bitter and sweet. I wouldn't exactly call it balanced but it packs a ton of flavor and is fairly drinkable. An enjoyable, big experience. (4.25)

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Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey and Wayne for opening a bottle to share.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue. Nice mocha head that exhibits good retention and lace.

S: Bold aromas of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Hints of citrus hops hide beneath.

T: Nice rich aroma. Bold roasted malt, bakers chocolate, and earthy slightly acidic coffee. Subtle notes of dark fruit, and a hint of molasses to provide balance. Fairly roasted and earthy.

M: On the lighter side of full bodied, rich, smooth, with great carbonation.

D: Good. I think this is one that will get even better with age.

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Photo of mrebeka
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage -- I've had this one in the cellar for close to 2 years and finally cracked it open.

A- Poured into a CBS snifter...black as motor oil with very little head. Nice lacing around the glass. As a WWII buff, I love the labeling.

S- Heavy coffee with a perfect amount of chocolate, some molasses and hints of vanilla. Great smell, can't wait to taste.

T- Excellent....I love stouts, and I just love this beer. A great mix of flavors. Robust layers of chocolate and coffee. The high ABV is there, but covered up with the array of flavors quite nicely. The more I drink this, the more I wish I had more.

M- Very heavy and very chewy but in a good way.

O- Hats off to Cigar City on this brew. I still love my Founders and Goose Island stouts, but this one is a big plus for the best brewery south of the Mason Dixon. Having this makes me want to try a Hunahpu even more.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 1/16/2010. Bottle. Pours a viscous black with a small dark tan-reddish head. Aroma of alcohol, dark chocolate, roasted malt. Flavor of tons of roasted malt and some bitter chocolate in the finish. Rich and decadent. The 11% makes itself well-known but overall, this was quite a tasty beer!

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Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated July so around 9-10 months old.

A: Jet black with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen - possibly the darkest. It's a dark dark brown head, at first it almost appears to be the same color as the beer before it washes out a little bit. Swirling the glass results in a multi-colored head. Fascinating. Huge head that appears to be very dense. Does not fade at all for the first few minutes. After about 10 minutes it has faded enough for me to take a sip. Leaves huge sheets of lacing all over the glass. Easy 5.

S: Loads of roasted malt. Bitter char, espresso and dark chocolate. Prominent molasses and toffee.

T: Heavy heavy toffee and molasses up front - almost like an english barleywine. Turns into roasted malt with coffee and chocolate in there. Roasted malt isn't as prominent as I would expect, the molasses are really strong.

M: Big and syrupy thick.

O: A big syrupy RIS. Very heavy on the molasses which almost drowns out all that wonderful roasted malt unfortunately. I would have liked to have given it better scores for taste but the flavor was less stout that I expect, and quite unbalanced I felt. Will have to age one and see how I feel.

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

A: Pours pitch black with a beefy two finger mocha colored head and some light lace down the glass with each sip.

S: Just a crapload of roasted malt, dark chocolate espresso beans and charred wood. Smells amazing. Faint cranberry, raisin and ash in here as well.

T: Tons of dark chocolate, espresso, dark chocolate covered cherry, molasses and charred wood. Faint hints of dark fruit peeking out from under the velvety dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is Barry White smooth. Just so good.

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Photo of Florida9
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick, viscous, and flat. No head. No lacing. The liquid itself is a glossy black.

S: Sweet raisin and roasted malts.

T: A sweet and rich blend of chocolate, raisins, molasses, and dark malts. A bit acidic.

M: Thick, flat, and syrupy, yet still manages to finish with an odd thinness.

D: The lack of carbonation greatly distracted from this beer and I simply could not enjoy it. I would hesitate to even call it a sipper as it offered little to invite you back for another sip.

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

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

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a silky black color with a dark brown head, lingers for a short while then dissipates. Some lacing on the glass as it drinks down. Molasses, espresso, toffee on the nose. Bright molasses flavor at the front of the taste, finishes very clean with rich espresso. Mouthfeel is smooth, very light carbonation. This is excellent, really enjoyed it.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared with KRAMER17801 and brewslut on 4/9/10.

A - Poured a black, oily mass with a minimal burnt tan head that eventually vanished completely.

S - Interesting blend of tobacco, leather, smoked jerky, leafy and peppery hop notes, licorice and molasses, which all combines to give this RIS an utterly complex nose, despite the absence of apparent chocolate or coffee notes.

T - Leathery initial flavor with a slight burnt, smoked meat flavor. There is a slight chocolate and coffee presence, but both are overshadowed by thick molasses and bitter licorice notes. Segues into quite a hoppy experience in the backend with leafy, earthy notes, tobacco and more bitter licorice attributes.

M - Full bodied and slick with a fair amount of carbonation. Finishes with a lingering leafy, chingy hop bitterness on the palate.

D - Marshal Zhukov is definitely one intensely bold RIS with complex flavors and aromas. While this wasn't one of my favorite Cigar City releases, I still appreciate the deviation from the typical chocolate and coffee-infused stouts out there.

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dvelcich for bringing this and the Humidor version.

A - Pours back, mocha-colored head, very thick and viscous.

S - Sweet dark fruits, slight char, burnt sugars, nice level of roast, chocolate. Pretty sweet, sweeter then expect, really. The chocolate and burnt sugars really stand out and create the high level of sweetness.

T - Similar to the nose. Very sweet, chocolate, burnt sugars, char, roast, dark fruits. The alcohol is barley noticeable, which is impressive for such a fresh version and 11.5%. Impressive.

M - Full, rich and viscous, creamy oak finish.

O - A really good RIS. Perhaps a bit too sweet to enjoy in large amounts, but still, very good and enjoyable. Would def have again, if offered. I would like to try a bottle with some age on it to see if the sweetness dies down at all. Very good.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black beyond black. Head is the darkest mocha I have ever seen. Slow to leave and lots of lace left.

S - Fresh deep malt. Soy, burnt coffee and chocolate notes.

T - Soy sauce, sesame seed, booze, sweet thick malt.

M - Heavy body, good carb and balance.

D - Very tasty. Would drink even after it is a good idea.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with Beerisheaven- thanks!
Poured into Duvel glass.

A: pours a black and viscous as possible... darkest stout I've seen, along with Hunahpu's of course. Has a thin layer of dark brown head. Leaves a dark coating on the side of the glass.

S: huge notes of dark fruits and chocolate, lots of molasses, some earthy hops in the mix. Huge aroma with a lot going on.

T: The front has a nice roasty character with notes of bitter chocolate and fresh ground coffee, this gives way to a bit of sweetness and a touch of hops. The finish is sweet with some vinous notes along with chocolate again. The abv is very well hidden, and the bold flavors are in perfect balance.

MF: thick, viscous, chewy, a tad syrupy, low carbonation

D: well like Hunahpu's, this is a one of a kind stout. Not quite as much unique character as Hunahpu's, but you can see it is clearly a well made big beer. It smells like it could be overwhelmingly sweet, but once it hits the palate, the roasty notes take precedence. Great Brew!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Dark as night black pour. Brown and khaki colored head with lots of lacing down the glass.

Roasted malts, coffee, licorice, some alcohol, and lots and lots of chocolate in the nose. Chocolate lovers would go crazy for this!

A chocolatey stout for sure! Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, stinging licorice, and some coffee round out this big stout. Incredibly sweet though, and that would be my only complaint. I wish the chocolate would come in its more bitter form, but sweet chocolate lovers would gladly geek out over this! (Can you believe I was lucky enough to pair this with Green Flash Double Stout chocolate brownies? Yum yummm!) Too sweet for my tastes, yet still delicious!

Rich, thick, and full mouthfeel. Decadent.

A delicious chocolate stout I can't wait to have again, though it's too sweet to become one of my favorites.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-04-22 in Lititz, PA. Special thanks to matador677.

A - Fantastic. Completely opaque black with a remarkably dark brown, 1-finger head that is surprisingly lively. It reminded me of bubbling mud pits in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

S - Roasted grain, milk chocolate, plum.

T - Dark roasted grain, plum, tart grape skins, milk chocolate, chalk and some toffee/molasses sweetness. It finishes nicely tart and rich with a hint of coffee and a just-right amount of hop bitterness.

M - Thick body and surprisingly medium carbonation. Smooth, creamy, lucious.

O - Just a top shelf Imperial Stout. I'd like to try the other varieties of this fine brew.

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

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

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

Vintage: 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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