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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,990 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,990
Reviews: 481
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,044
Gots: 696 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,990 | Reviews: 481 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.

Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.

Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.

Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.

Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season.

ccrida, May 23, 2010
Photo of Axnjxn
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

Axnjxn, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of vfgccp
3.78/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

July 2011 bottle, opened Aug 2012

A - Wow, the pour is liquid bowling ball black. Thick, creamy, milk chocolate brown head with fantastic retention and lace. Zero highlights on the solid black body.

S - Warm booze, balsamic, black molasses, toffee, savory, and anise.

T - Thick sweet molasses, burnt toast, dark roast coffee, cherry and plum fruits, toffee, dry dark chocolate, and cream.

M - Chewy mouthfeel. About as thick as they come.

O - Aggressive flavor profile; this bottle is definitely meant for sharing. It feels more over the top than in balance, which is cool if it's your thing but it's a little much for me.

vfgccp, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

bsuedekum, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of claspada
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ GingerMan NYC. Pours a dark dark dark brown (pretty much black) with a crazy thick inch of dark brown foam/head which leaves a boat ton of sticky brown lacing.

Aromas of extreme dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark bitter chocolate. As it warms I get some sweet dark molasses and a little smoke in the background. Some hefty espresso emerges and begins to dominate it continues to warm.

The taste is initially astringent dark roasty malts and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted charred malts are also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Some sweeter milk chocolate emerges as it warms but the roasted, bitter, astringent malts are a bit too dominant and a taste I am slowly beginning to dislike in my beers.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full bodied for sure. Chewy in an understatement here. Extremely thick, syrupy, viscous and mouth-coating. Much more carbonation than I experienced in last year's bottled version which had some carbonation issues I recall reading somewhere.

Overall this is a good tasting beer but the heavy chewiness in the body and roasted bitter, charred malt flavors are just too dominant for my tastes. I would prefer some more balanced milk chocolate flavors but I guess that is more the American Stout category as opposed to the RIS category here. Better than I remember, but my small sample at the bar was enough as I would struggle to finish the 750ml that this is typically bottled in. Maybe I am just over the Russian Imperial Stout category or my tastes have just shifted away from enjoying these huge chewy beast beers.

claspada, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL courtesy of SurlyTwinsFan pours Ten-Fidy black and viscous as hell with a frothy brown head. Surprisingly little retention and lacing though.

Nose is very fruity with a ton of tobacco, toffee and molasses.

Taste is big on the tobacco and burnt caramel. Some heavy fruit creeps in along with a distinctive roast character. Its big and thick, but I am surprised that I dont find this more enjoyable. I think the burnt sugar and molasses are a bit much for me. CCB is such an odd brewery for my palate...some of their beers that others dislike, I have loved and some of the consensus favorites I dont find appealing. Always an exciting ride though, so I wont be passing on any Cigar City offerings anytime soon.

twiggamortis420, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black beer with a brown head that was made up of fine bubbles and dissipated rather quickly to a partial cap.

S - Very sweet, with lots of chocolate. The roast in these bottles seems to vary from bottle to bottle. Some molasses, just a touch of coffee.

T - It's a very sweet stout, lots of chocolate, some brown sugar, molasses, little bit of roast. If you like sweeter RIS's, this one may be for you.

M - Full bodied, viscous, lower carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, on the sweet side. I prefer an earlier bottle I had that was much more roasty qualities, but the last few bottles I've had tasted more like this one.

AgentZero, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle - Thanks to lubiere for this

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy/frothy brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, malts, smoke, nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it isn't as syrupy feeling as I expected. I can taste lots of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and some nuts. There is also a nice amount of smoke mixed with malts. It ends with a bitter sweet aftertaste.

Overall – One of the better RIS's Ive had. Although the taste is big and bold, it's still very drinkable and well balanced. I'd love to have a few bottles of this tucked away.

spinrsx, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Lare453
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler into a dfh glass

a very dark dark dark brown. almost black. light brown head that leaves a ton of lacing.

s cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, malt, vanilla

t a big malty beginning, dry bitter chocolate middle. the ending is bitter coffee, chocolate and chicory. the aftertaste is long lasting and is mocha, chicory and coffee and it is a bit dry

m thick and rich. smooth and great carbonation. big body and bold

o pretty good, but there are a lot better, easy to get Stouts out there.

thick, rich, delicious, dry, sweet. just fantastic.

Lare453, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think it was Matt (drabmuh) that brought this yesterday. Thank you!

Jet black with a dark brown hear with great retention and thick lace, this is quite the looker. The nose is great too, plenty of roast, some pine hop aroma and bitterness along with a bit of a grainy bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and a touch of alcohol round out the nose.
The palate opens big and bitter with a burnt grain bitterness, roast, bitter chocolate and a little cream. Some licorice character is noticeable too. Roasty and bitter on the finish, this is solid. Big and full in body with low carbonation, this beer is really good, but a little bit goes a long way.

DefenCorps, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of Duff27
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, no head. Motor oil viscosity. Nice alcohol legs.

Some roastiness. The smell doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Like the taste a hell of a lot more than the nose. Coffee, roast. Has this zip to it, yeses.

Mouthfeel is palatial. So thick. Adequate carbonation.

Wow, this one is all about the viscous appearance and thick(!!!) mouthfeel. Sets it apart. Thanks egrace84.

Duff27, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

WOLFGANG, Jun 27, 2013
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!

barnzy78, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of Durge
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque black brew with a decent brown head and lots of lacing. The aroma is full of deep nut coffee and buttery toast, somewhat mild but heavenly. The flavor brings thick molasses grassy hop that finishes with an ashy smoke. Unreal. Thick with minor carbonation and tart apricot highlights. Charcoal works it's way to the top with fruity overtones of watermelon and apricot with lots of buttery edges. Reasonably drinkable for such a sturdy brew but naturally a bit too much alcohol for proper sessioning. The feel is smooth and invites slow but steady enjoyment. This was one of the better Imperial stouts I've had the pleasure of drinking. Cigar City has thoroughly impressed me thus far.

Durge, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of cjgator3
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. This one is a pretty thick pour. Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate notes. 

T- The taste is big and roasty with ton of roasted malt flavors with some unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and some bitterness from the hops in the warming finish. Very nice! All the flavors blend very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I can't wait to try this again with some more age on it! 

cjgator3, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Gobzilla, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of KevinGordon
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

KevinGordon, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

gford217, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to beerhan for giving me a shot at this one.

Well, I don't know if I'm forgetting something in all the reviews I've done thus far, but if not this is the first time I've ever a beer that actually pours like motor oil. I've heard that the biggest, most hardcore stouts do, but this is my first ever motor oil pour, a super viscous black oil in the glass that literally leaves a coating on it. A small brown head forms on this black monstrosity, leaving some legs around the top of the glass. Here's an experiment to try with friends, by the way: have half a glass of this with some friends drinking a "manly" BMC. Have said friend keep half a glass of their beer full, drink your Zhukov, and fill your glass half full with water. The remnants of the beer coating the glass mixed with half a glass of water will likely be darker than your friend's beer. Seriously, try this. I did.
A big aroma comes out; lots of roasted malts contributing strong espresso,toast, and a touch of burned wood (not quite charcoal, and not overly harsh charred wood). Cocoa and heavy malts counter harshness and help to avoid the astringency that can be found in heavily roasty beers while offering lots of robust flavor. Underneath are notes of dark cherry and vanilla with something like sherry (not cooking sherry, the good drinking stuff).
The taste follows suit precisely. All the huge roasted malt with smoked wood, espresso, a touch of chocolate, vanilla and cherry. It's not sweet, but the light flavors underneath accentuate and really serve to point to the big malts and roasted nature of this bad boy.
The body is massive, thick and viscous as it ought to be with a nice smoothness to it. Rich malts make this huge and massively robust, and, much like the former Soviet operatives with whom I keep occasional company, this one is straightforward and brash, making no apologies. Chewy stuff.
The simple fact is that this thing is a beast. This doesn't want your money. It just wants to kick your ass for the simple pleasure of it.

Brenden, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +3%

eawolff99, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from thagr81us in a past massive trade. Thanks once again Calton!

This bottle was the 2010 vintage. This one pours a blackest of black, motor oil sludge in consistency with absolutely no head or activity. It smells of rich and smooth milk and dark chocolates, featuring both sweet and bitter malt characters with a good amount of coffee. The sweetness is almost Baltic-esque. The flavors are heavy on chocolates, all types of chocolates. Initially I got a good amount of milk chocolate, followed by coffee. It is quickly followed by a dark chocolate bitterness and plenty of roasted malts. It's just really sweet, which takes away from the overall balance. It drinks exceptionally smooth, as one should expect. Overall it's a nice RIS but it is on the sweet side. I can see where Nielsborium got it's sugar from and I can see the base of Hunahpu as well. It's a solid beer, worthy of barrel aging and new additions, but alone it's nothing too special.

aasher, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of kscaldef
2.53/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours inky black with no activity. Just a thin layer of foam on the top that very quickly dissipates to a reddish-brown ring.

S: Dominant aroma of blackstrap molasses, with some notes of vanilla, green pepper, and licorice.

T: I'm trying to pick out individual flavors, but it's just something of a muddy "dark" flavor. The biggest thing that stands out is that weird green pepper note. Cocoa powder in the aftertaste. As it warms, a bit more chocolate comes out, but there's also an acrid note that becomes more noticeable.

M: Quite astringent and drying. Virtually no carbonation. A bit cloying.

O: This beer doesn't really come together for me. It's big and bold, but in a muddled and indistinct way, and there's some peculiar notes that I find off-putting (green pepper?). Definitely not one of my top choices of the style.

kscaldef, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

pathman, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy bret27. Pours an absurd black color with one of the darkest brown heads imaginable. Dark chocolate aroma, woody and hugely roasty. Flavor is roasted insanity, darkest chocolate and coffee grounds. Almost charred/ashy, a little dark fruitiness. Earthy woody hops, massively bitter. Astringent on the tongue. This one really assaults the palate. It's good, very good, but so robust it's hard to get through.

illidurit, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

enelson, Aug 30, 2012
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,990 ratings.