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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

2,275 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,275
Reviews: 504
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,132
Gots: 765 | FT: 66
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: 2,275 | Reviews: 504
Photo of masterofsparks
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sholland119
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Back from a short business trip, sharing Blind Beer #6 with vickster529 as a nightcap. The suggested "glassware" is, if I understand the drawing properly, a syringe. I consider myself forewarned. A bomber into Vickie's Mad Elf snifter and my DFH snifter.

A-There's black, there's motor oil black, there's deep, opaque black. Then there's this black, which I lack the vocabulary to describe. This beer also has the darkest foamy brown head I think I have ever seen. Going out on a limb and guessing RIS for this one. Looks awesome! 5.0

S-Big and bad. Rich and roasty, tons of dark chocolate, toffee, booze soaked cherries. Outstanding. 4.5

T-Lives up to the expectations of the look and the nose. Rich, very nice roasty base, some heat that is well controlled, toasty marshmallow and huge chocolate and espresso notes. 4.5

M-Heavy but not tiring on the palate. Medium carbonation works well here. 4

O-Excellent! The perfect knockout punch after a long day of meetings and travel. This beer rocks! Tons of flavor, well controlled heat, rich flavors.4.5

Photo of jeff1973
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Dave_Treat
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of PorterLambic
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Arrives pitch black with a small, dense head the color of cocoa powder. Head dissipates to a thin film covering.
Smell is full of semisweet chocolate, malt, dark fruits, oak and wet cardboard. Very well balanced.
Taste is roasted malts, rum, dark chocolate, dark fruit. Lighter notes of oak and coffee. Very complex and well balanced.
Rich, very full-bodied. Extremely light effervescence. Thick almost to the point of being cloying but not quite getting there, thankfully. Smooth, this brew slides down your throat like liquid velvet. Unexpectedly, there was no warming from this 11% abv beer.

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of RavenForBeer
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Kmat10
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'11 Vintage poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip. Thanks to Cigar City for this one!

A- Pitch black, slick like oil. The head is the most beautiful dark chestnut color I've ever seen on a beer, leaves streaks of thick lacing down the glass.

S- Sweet coffee mixed with dark chocolate. Molasses. Toffee with a hint of alcohol at the end.

T- Divine. Blackstrap molasses. Bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa nibs. Toffee, mild alcohol hidden very well. Almost tastes like blackberry on the finish.

M- Juicy and thick. I like my stouts like I like my men. Lingers on the palate for an amazing bittersweet feel on the tongue.

O- One of the greatest Imperial Stouts I've ever had, could drink this every day. Cigar City, I fucking love you

Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black I mean really black. Like a total absence of light black. The head on this beer was super dark and had a reddish tinge. Tons of lacing.

S: Chocolate. Roast. Coffee. Just a really nice and rich big dark beer nose. I have only had a few beers from these guys but they do have a signature smell if that makes sense.

T: Chocolate. Tasted like a very rich chocolate cake. Super decadent. Massive roast taste.

M: Super dry. Nice carbonation. Full bodied.

D:: Awesome beer. Really nice. The bottle was on the pricey side but at least it was good.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy garnet reddish froth. it was almost metallic swirling around in the glass. Was beautiful and probably the most attractive beer I have seen in a glass.

smell: loaded coffee, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all. loads of coffee flavor.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: amazing, best stout and one of the best beers I have eve had. I compared this side by side with a BORIS and it blew it away. Not even close.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, obtained from Whole Foods, Sarasota, FL, over Thanksgiving break. Poured in to a 14 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a thick, oily, inky black, pretty dark viscous, at least, viscous enough to considerably slow the eruption of what ultimately turns out to be about a finger and a half of deep brown cocoa head. The colors on all this are absolutely gorgeous, but I do have to say that the head retention leaves a little to be desired, probably due to alcohol retardation - it fades to a delicate but dense-looking collar and wispy but uniform surface dusting within about 45 seconds, though it is replenished somewhat by a steady but slight stream of fine carbonation. The lacing obviously suffers a similar fate - it's runny, glittery, and clings only in dribs and drabs.

Aroma: Dutch chocolate cake, bitter and dry, topped with licorice, espresso sprinkles, and slathered in a delicious raisin and cherry glaze. Cocoa is far heavier here than in the taste, or perhaps that's merely relative to the sheer volume of earthy, toasty, dry roast that's present in the mouth. Regardless - with agitation - this is this beer's best quality.

Taste: A slight tartness is the first thing I'll note, if only because it seems the least "stout"-like of the notes this one presents. I'll presume it's not infection, largely because it is slight, but it's worth noting. The next general observation is that this is a very, very "dark" beer - it's heavily roasted, toasted, charred in places. The remainder of the notes themselves are somewhat textbook but very nice: you have your heavily toasted, earthy, French roast coffee; dark, bitter cocoa; slightly spicy anise; a slew of dark fruits (raisins mainly, which meld slightly with what faint alcohol spice and warmth is present to lend that rum raisin note); charred toast; heavily darkened toffee and molasses with most of its residual sweetness gone. Hop bitterness is faint, nearly an afterthought, or perhaps just buried well amongst all the toasted astringencies. As I hinted above, one of the most impressive things about the taste is the near complete lack of any alcohol presence, something that may be buried well amidst all the charred astringencies.

The tartness is coming through as more "cherry-like" as things warm, both jiving (mentally) with the cherry note I got in the aroma above, as well as jiving (flavor-ly) with the other dark fruits present here. Tasting more like a bitter dutch chocolate cherry cake with every minute.

Mouthfeel: That thick oily viscous appearance of the beer didn't lie when it suggested that this beer was gonna be thick and sticky, but it's not nearly as cloying as you imagine it might be - mostly because of the relative attenuation of the sugars - but also because of that tart note mentioned above, which does a bit of a job with "cleaning up" the palette, if you will. Certainly, this is also likely assisted by a fair amount of lift courtesy of some fine, dense carbonation. It thickens up as things warm, but it also gets more even, creamier, and smoother.

Drinkability: For an 11.5% abv beer, I'm nearly tempted to put this at a 4.5. I'm amazed by the lack of alcohol presence in this brew - even though you feel it once it hits, this one sneaks up on you as good as it does in any brew. Regardless of the reason, this brew is otherwise solid - flavorful, full, and somewhat balanced (though if you don't like char and heavy, heavy roast, steer clear). I also hear it's not even the best of the Cigar City RIS offerings. As it's the first I've had, however (not only my first CC RIS, my first CC! Glad to see they're getting big distribution in FL now), I'll have to go with both a "recommended" and a "I can't wait to visit my grandmother again."

Photo of tbone1384
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to readbaron for sending this bottle my way! Split and shared with ClarkPinnock [First installment of "A Beer Observed."]. Poured my allotment into a chalice.

The pour on this beer is one of the thickest I have ever seen. This slowly glugs out of the bottle. I can tell there is lower carbonation as there is no head to this at all. I didn't see a wisp of lace until the final few ounces from the bottle. Still, this is one evil-looking brew, and I dig it. The nose is potent with sharp twangs of vinous grapes, molasses, espresso, booze, chocolate. A plethora of aromatic tones.

The body, though low in carbonation, is still pleasant. So smooth and creamy. This is really thick stuff! I'd like a bit more bubble play, but this is alright. If this beer were any less "big," I'd have more of a complaint. The flavor profile mirrors the nose quite. Lots of dark chocolate, wine, mild booziness, licorice, and heavily roasted coffee beans. I lowered the drink-ability on this one, as the alcohol burn just gets to me after awhile, and this is more pronounced as this beer warms. Still, this was one heck of a weekend-starter. Great beer to sip by the fire, or as CP enjoyed it, with a pipe.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhokov '11 bottle with the new label poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: This is the thickest beer I have ever seen. Completely like motor oil. Basically no head on pour, but with swirl its a supreme dark brown tan color. Tons of lacing, almost like syrup. The head color is like nothing I have ever seen either. Special brew.

S: Lots of chocolate from the nose. Faint coffee, but not as pronouced as I was expecting. Some dark fruits, but mostly chocolates and roasted malts.

T: Wow, that is a smooth smooth RIS! Freakin' delicious beer. No coffee in the taste. Bitterness from the chocolate, lots of dark but some milk chocolate. Long finish. You really don't get any booze, it's completely masked.

M: Very much a full bodied beer. Mouth coated by the oil.

O: A. I really liked this one a lot. It's up there for my on the non-BA RIS that I have had. Can't wait to try the Hunahpu's and some of the BA variations of this one.

Photo of siege06nd
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by Rhettroactive. Thanks, Rhett!!

Poured into a snifter.

A: Oil sludge right here. Inky black with a beautiful finger and a half of dark brown head...I love it when a head is this dark. Quickly settles to a half finger with a good amount of sticky lacing. The head is frothy and bubbly, like chocolate milk. Head isn't super consistent, but coloring is top notch here.

S: A lot of cocoa, brownie, coffee grounds. There's a bit of astringency in the nose that is throwing me...almost smells like a milk stout...a lactic acidity.

T: Milk chocolate, some coffee, coconut. Super sweet and that same astringency shows up again, but it's more refined than it was in the nose. Just wave after wave of chocolate: milk, mocha, baking, dark, semi-sweet. Definitely the defining characteristic here. Coffee hangs in the background and pops up here and there. But the astringency holds it back...super sweet and borderline sour, but only for a moment. Even with that, though, it's a very good flavor profile.

M: Pretty assertively carbonated. Full bodied. Sweet, cloying, sticky. Right on.

O: A good Russian Imperial Stout here. A slightly off sourish sweetness on the mid hurts it a little bit. Not sure where that is coming from, could actually be hops. That being said, the other flavors are outstanding. One of the most chocolately RIS's I've had the pleasure of trying. A very good beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.31/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Capone's. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: A barely layered reddish brown head that dissipated quickly. Brew itself was opaque black with web-like lacing.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, whole milk.

T: Opens sweet raisins, grass. Sweet malts, milk chocolate, prunes, figs, bitter roasted coffee, with a lingering coffee and hop finish.

M: Medium to full bodied and highly carbonated and coarse. Finish lingers with oily mouthfeel and really coated the mouth. The mouthfeel really didn't do it for me here. Too light and too carbonated which was not conducive to the flavors the beer was trying to express.

D: Not the best interpretation of an RIS. The flavors are there, but the way its executed is not. Glad I tried it, but wouldn't seek it out again.

Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz swing-top growler thanks to biniek13. Filled 11/12 (approaching a month old). Poured into Hunahpu glass. This is my first time having MZ from a growler, however I've had it from the bottle a couple times (1st time reviewing).

A- Pours a very dark jet black like motor oil with a thick creamy half-finger dark mocha brown head (one of the darkest heads I've seen) that has decent retention but recedes to a perfectly flat top. Despite being almost a month old in the growler, this beer surprisingly still has retained a decent amount of carbonation of consistently rising bubbles. Some alcohol legs.

S- Dark chocolate, some creamy milk chocolate, dark fruits, some figs, raisins, and a hint of roasted malts. Fairly aromatic and nicely complex for a RIS.

T- Dark chocolate, figs, some raisins especially on the finish, a hint of bitterness from the chocolate. Nice complexity, awesome balance, and a great representation of the style.

M- Great thick body that isn't too syrupy, very smooth, extremely easy to drink (definitely hits you sooner then you know it).

O- Marshal Zhukov is a great representation of a RIS and one of many great beers from CCB. Definitely one of my favorites and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the style.

Photo of Dactrius
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,275 ratings.