Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 1,867 | Reviews: 472 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -9.9%
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.
01-24-2010 18:20:26 | More by DefenCorps
3.78/5 rDev -13.3%
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.
08-19-2012 19:40:45 | More by vfgccp
3.63/5 rDev -16.7%
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.
08-17-2011 14:07:33 | More by claspada
4.3/5 rDev -1.4%
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.
01-17-2012 19:57:39 | More by spinrsx
4.23/5 rDev -3%
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!
02-21-2014 04:29:58 | More by Axnjxn
4.03/5 rDev -7.6%
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.
06-02-2012 02:45:21 | More by Duff27
4.4/5 rDev +0.9%
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.
11-30-2009 03:36:28 | More by gford217
4.46/5 rDev +2.3%
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!
03-23-2014 18:28:15 | More by barnzy78
4.28/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
08-07-2010 19:51:01 | More by Durge
4.13/5 rDev -5.3%
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!
11-06-2009 03:57:42 | More by cjgator3
3.85/5 rDev -11.7%
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.
01-30-2010 23:01:00 | More by illidurit
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
01-02-2011 18:01:37 | More by Brenden
3.88/5 rDev -11%
From notes, 8/22/10. Good imperial stout but not really a standout. I still don’t really get all of the CCB hype. Pours black with a brown head. Looks pretty thick. Nice head retention. Solid chocolate/coffee/roast flavor. Taste is on the sweet side with a definite, lingering molasses note. Medium full body. Some hop bitterness helps curtail the sweetness. Good beer but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the pack. As a year round beer (and depending on price), it’s very good, but among all >10% stouts, it’s not so memorable.
01-27-2013 07:38:31 | More by popery
3.88/5 rDev -11%
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.
11-19-2011 09:31:06 | More by aasher
3.98/5 rDev -8.7%
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.
10-08-2012 01:42:49 | More by Lare453
4.7/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
10-13-2010 23:49:06 | More by DmanGTR
3.93/5 rDev -9.9%
750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks again to Matt for sharing!
(A)- Pours pitch black, with one of the darkest brown colors in a head I have ever seen.
(S)- Aroma-wise, fairly straightforward for the style with some rich bits of raisin and molasses and a good underlying roasted profile.
(T)- A touch different from the smell in that, it has the classic roastedness and rich bits, but it almost tastes like it has an underlying honey-like sweetness throughout the flavor profile of the beer; interesting.
(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Perhaps a touch sweeter than I was expecting, but it blends well and counterbalances what might have been quite a strong roasted profile. It definitely cut out some of the residual bitterness too.
(O)- Not sure how old this particular bottle was, but I did enjoy the slightly different nuances this beer put out. Not overly complex for the style, but it fits the style well.
11-27-2012 17:02:53 | More by sweemzander
4.53/5 rDev +3.9%
Thanks to nedvalton for this one! Definitely big one on my wanted list. Marshall Zhukov pours dark as fuck with another dark as fuck tan head - seriously, this is incredible. The only beer that can rival this level of darkness and viscosity is probably Founders Imperial Stout. If the look is any indication, this is gonna be a good beer. The nose is heavily roasted and super malt-heavy as expected. Deep espresso beans, cocoa, bittersweet fudge - this beer SMELLS thick. Mostly sweet in the aroma, but it shows some signs of light char, roastiness, and even a hint of leafy bitterness.
Swish! This beer wafts across my tongue about as thick and dense as they come. Waves of thick, sweet fudge, chocolate, and heavy roasted malts rush back and forth with huge robustness. After the initial taste, the brew seems to lighten up a bit and the chocolate takes on more of a sweet, milky flavor. Some light licorice and anise flavors add to the sweetness as well. Much to my liking, there is a very noticeable hop character; ashy, leafy, and herbal, providing a nice bitterness that slashes through the sweetness of the beer. There is some char and roast, but not quite enough to reveal a "smokey" flavor. Heavily woody and even a little nutty on the end with a huge dry-roasted coffee bean aftertaste. Medium carbonation provides the creamy and chewy mouth feel of this beer - big, robust, and powerful.
This is a damn fine beer. It's got just about everything I'm looking for in an imperial stout. For an 11%-er, the alcohol was hidden well, making this one dangerous. Sweet, roasty, and even bitter, this beer will put you on your ass. It's huge, it's powerful, it's not for sissies. Definitely rivals some of my other favorites, FIS and Ten FIDY. I wish this stuff were easier for me to acquire, I'd have it all the time. But maybe that's a good thing.
02-04-2013 05:38:05 | More by tectactoe
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,867 ratings.