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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

503 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 503
Hads: 2,394
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,167
Gots: 778 | FT: 71
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: 503 | Hads: 2,394
Photo of HeartofMiami
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Shared a bomber with a friend. Pours black, almost a purple and completely opaque. No head. Smell is fresh espresso and bittersweet cocoa. Faint hint of brown sugar. Mouth feel is full and rich like a fresh cup of mocha coffee. Taste is so complex yet balanced. Toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses and maybe a hint of tobacco. Perfect balance. Incredibly delicious! (386 characters)

Photo of mindspin315
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one sexy Russian Imperial Stout! Poured out a huge red hued brown head. Dark as dark can be. Lacing and legs for days.

Smells like rich fudge brownies, anise, dark chocolate cake, cocoa powder up front. Roasted grain and espresso grinds come through from the middle to the end. A light faint aroma of plum and wet pipe tobacco sits in the background. Very rich and creamy.

Big dark chocolate notes right away. Bittersweet chocolate comes in right after the rich dark chocolate flavor. Drinks like a thick chocolate milk. A touch of alcohol comes through on the tongue about midway through, but overall this is so masked you could never tell this 11%. Deep roasted grain sits on the palate in the finish along with dark roast coffee, espresso bitterness, and both sweet milk & dark chocolates. Creamy rich body, thick and sticky coating all over the mouth. So sticky its like glue.

This dominated my palate just like George Zhukov dominated in his military conquests. Not to many RIS can claim to be so full bodied and coating when compared to this one. Very impressed and will be seeking this one out again and again and again.

[95/100] (1,149 characters)

Photo of Crittervision
3.66/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

deep-ass black, the darkest head ive seen yet, this just after drinking black tuesday and the abyss. pillowy too. superb.

smell is prominently fruit. is it melon? watermelon? hard to tell. next up, wondering why i havent noticed them yet, are roasts that vary from familiar roasted malts to those id smell emanating from a coffee grinder.

taste is bitter, big molasses, fruitiness that includes that mystery melon from before along with prunes that were picked as not-quite-ripe plums, a bitterness that i perceive to be coming from hops that havent done us the favor of fading yet. the coffee comes through and might share some of that bitterness as well, but also provides a nice roastiness.

for an imperial stout, a medium mouthfeel that could stand to be a bit thicker. regardless, it is quite nice and is certainly as thick as many in this style that ive tried. i think it was not done justice by following black tuesday and the abyss. but, that is how it happened.

this is the least balanced of the three. the bitterness is a couple notches too high, as i prefer my stouts sweet and decadent. however, if youre into those more hop-forward stouts, you may find this one quite to your liking. (1,200 characters)

Photo of scottyg354
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This is a black beer, no doubt about it. Head has a brown/reddish tint to it and last for a little. Lacing is nice. Pours thick, like a light chocolate syrup. No seeing through this bad boy.

S: Lots of roastiness, malt and some alcohol. Dark chocolate notes are also present.

T:This beer is good, but it has a lot of odd notes. Up front you get a smoked cherries type flavor (my brother in law compared it to like a beef jerky taste, weird!), the on the back end you get espresso and dark chocolate, with some fig notes. Decent.

M: Thick, thick, thick. This beer feels exactly like it appears Pretty damn close to a stout shake!

O: Not a bad beer, don't be turned off by the weird tasting notes I described. That's what makes craft beer, craft beer. Give it a shot! (772 characters)

Photo of hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured pretty black and left a small head that quickly dissipated. The aroma was coffee, chocolate, plums, cherries, black currant, and a hint of rubbing alcohol. The taste was just like the smell. Sweet dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate dominated. Pretty smooth going down but there is a hint of alcohol. Overall, a great RIS. The alcohol taste is noticeable and probably the only thing wrong with this beer, but at 11.5% what do you expect? (443 characters)

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The latest edition, 2011.
Pour is so huge that I have to place it in my sink as it foams over. This head is intensely chocolate brown with a dark as night body.
Cocoa, chocolate, some bitter lemon hops, and caramel sauce in the nose.
Very, very smooth. It is sweet, but not too much, more like a chocolate milk although the hop character balances nicely so it doesn't become cloying.
This has a good body and it is sweeter than I would would like, but not sticky, as it is quite drinkable for a big beer like this without having over the top carbonation in the feel.
Moves toward a caramel, chocolate sundae topped with crushed pecans and dried Turkish figs, which makes it much better than average. (700 characters)

Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Completely black, with thin chocolate head that finishes with just a ring. Nose has lots of toffee, espresso, alcohol, and dark malt. Taste has a good amount of dark chocolate, coffee, salty toffee, dark fruits, and slight earthy hops. Mouthfeel is good, coats the inside well with the chocolate, heavy body with calm carbonation. Overall, very grateful to have tried this, nice with the cold weather. (432 characters)

Photo of DrWalterWhite
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured on 3/23/12.

A:
Hard pour leaves a caramel colored two finger head over a motor oil base. Outstanding.

S:
Bitter dark chocolate, some coffee and oat notes as well.

T:
Chocolate, bread, toffee, molasses. Very complex.

M:
Wow. Thick. Almost to a fault. Like a frothy glass of half and half in terms of texture.

This an outstanding beer, but I don't know that I'm going to be able to finish the bomber by myself. This thing is THICK. A lot of novice beer drinkers claim that drinking a Guiness is like having a milkshake...well this thing is actually close to it. (592 characters)

Photo of mistakebythelake
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle drank at Big Bad Stout Tasting out of a snifter.

Pours a Jet black with hints of red around the edges of beer. No head whatsoever remind me of coffee with no bubbles. Smeels of slight tobacco and roasted malts nothing else really going on. I did like the slitty smoky taste and roosted malts with a bit of a coffee finish. I did like the fact Zuhkov was very thick, rich and creamy. Definitely a sipper for me. I preferred this RIS then his offspring Hunaphu's. (474 characters)

Photo of BigBlacke
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into my snifter. It pours a jet black opaqueness with a thin reddish tan head that simmers quickly to leave a nice ring. Smell is of roast malt, molasses, and caramel. Taste is of creamy, strong coffee with a slight sweetness. Mouthfeel feels like a coat of velvet throughout the mouth. Low carbonation. Drinkability is quite high for me due to the excellent flavor. I have been quite impressed with Cigar City. Try one! (432 characters)

Photo of Katahdin
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing one notices is the deep dark pitch of black it pours. Almost heavy in apperance like molasses, which interestingly it has strong hints of. Has a beautiful rich, creamy head. The body is complex with subtle hints of molasses, chocolate, chicory, coffee and even dried fruits. Goes donw nice and smootgh, no fighting needed. Almsot wish it was not an 11% beer because would really enjoy several glasses of it ona cold winter's night. (447 characters)

Photo of GameFreac
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cousin got me a bottle a few months ago. Finally getting around to drinking it. Can't wait to finally try this.

Appearance: Pours the darkest color I've ever seen bar Ten Fidy. Huge pillowy brown head. Looks insane.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, cherries, alcohol, mocha, coffee, syrup, and dark malts.

Taste - Tastes absolutely amazing. Chocolate, dark fruits with predominantly a cherry flavor, coffee, dark malts, slight roast, syrupy sweetness, and more milk chocolate and a slight hop bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick mouthfeel. Barely any carbonation but it works. Leaves a cocoa powdery film in your mouth. Awesome.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had. In my top 5. So fucking delicious. (716 characters)

Photo of ELS
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Picked up a couple bottles of MZ 2014 and decided to drink one now and cellar the other bottle. I had high expectations for this RIS being a big fan of Cigar City but was underwhelmed. Although it has a nice jet black color and layer of tannish foam the aroma did not appeal to me. Smells very boozy and I pick up some notes of licorice and tobacco but they are overpowered by the boozy smell. The taste again was very boozy which didn't allow me to fully appreciate the chocolate, tobacco and licorice flavors. I also found the bitterness to be too much (I like hoppy beers so it's not that I don't like a bitter beer in general). Again, it overpowers the other flavors and doesn't do much for the balance. I'm going to cellar my second bottle for a year or two and maybe all the flavors will come together and offer a completely different/better beer. (860 characters)

Photo of bmanning
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased the 750mL bottle at the brewery on 10/15/2009 - freshly bottled.
Pours an oily black with thin brown head and good lacing.
Aromas of bakers chocolate, fudge, coffee, molasses and a hint of cherry and dark fruits.
Taste is heavy on the chocolate with a nice balance with bitter roastiness and toffee aftertaste.
Very oily and thick mouthfeel - not quite to the level of Dark Lord, but close.
Although split 3-ways, I could have polished off a bottle by myself it was so good.
This is a fantastic RIS when it is fresh and will only improve with age. (557 characters)

Photo of danh53
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the darkest beers I've had with dark brown head. Aroma is chocolate and dark fruits with some coffee bitterness. Chocolate comes through more on the taste along with coffee, molasses, and pipe tobacco. Dark fruits come through on the finish. It is very sweet but there's a lot of roast to balance it. Huge mouth feel. For a non-barrel aged stout with nothing added, this is tough to beat. (395 characters)

Photo of zep9865
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in another insane tasting with aasher. Poured into New Belgium snifter. Trying to pour this beer is like a wine presentation gone wrong. No matter how you try to pour the beer, you will look like a fool. It gulp gulps out of the bottle like trying to pour motor oil into your car engine. Im immediately interested. Jet black color, any mocha or tan foam head you thought you saw is not really there.

All kinds of roasted barley on the nose with typical stout characteristics. Oatmeal, toffee, a little bit of chocolate. At 11.5, the alcohol is masked well. Don't let me forget raisins.

Beer may be a little sweet, but it is so smooth. I cannot believe that the alcohol is not over-kill. It tastes like a chocolate morsel you've never had b4.

The sweet malt of this beer kills some of the flavors that you should taste, but it is pretty smooth all the way through.

So impressed with this beer. It's like a bedtime snack or breakfast drink b4 a tailgate for those of us who would rather sip on something nice instead of housing light beers. Do it the right way. (1,071 characters)

Photo of arlo19
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked a year old bottle saved from a trip to Tampa. Bottled 8/20/13

Pour is black as tar! Great dark brown head.
The aroma is chocolate, plum, not much booze.
Taste is similar, heavy malt and not a hint of harsh alcohol.
Slightly dry aftertaste. (248 characters)

Photo of aahynick
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

about 50 degree F into a brandy snifter
A- opaque black. Pours like used motor oil, briefly forming a thin dark tan head that disappears.

S- aroma of molasses

T- big time blackstrap molasses without the iron. A lot like SA Imp Stout without the special B.

M- incredibly thick and smooth, (since I brought up the comparison) it beats out SA Imp Stout easily

D- this is rich and smooth in all caps, underlined, bold, italics, and quotated. The flavor is out of this world and has the bonus of staying with you a long time. I've read this is the base for Hunahpu's. Now I know why Hunahpu's is considered the 11th best beer on the planet. I'm damn proud this stuff is make in my neck of the woods! (698 characters)

Photo of indesertum
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

chocolate head. dark brown/black body. long retention. syrupy in texture.

wow the smell is amazing. everything you could want in a porter/stout. chocolate, roasted coffee, nice dark fruit.

thick syrupy texture. quite sweet. incredible chocolate coffee toffee notes. a little too sweet. some bitterness in the finish, but not enough to balance the sweetness. almost like a dessert beer. way too sugary.

below average carbonation. for an IRS the texture is AMAZING. incredible. almost chewy. like a runny slightly watered down chocolate syrup.

not my favorite. just a little sweet for me. i wouldnt want to drink anything more than a 2 oz pour of this. -_- not sure what to do with this whole bottle now. (706 characters)

Photo of Mscanlon31
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge beer nice chocolate expresso and vanilla. Beautiful beer for a chilly night. Another thick big stout by cigar city. Overall great beer.
Had on draft at ccb (160 characters)

Photo of MikeGill
3.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 2/18/10 at Big Z Beverage in Huntington NY during an in-store event.

Draught beer poured by the brewer into a clear plastic cup.

Pours a menacing black with zero head. Aromas of molasses and black licorice along with bitter chocolate shavings.

Rich and extracted. A shock to the taste buds. Bold favors of chocolate covered espresso beans and burned fruit. Big alcohol warmth. Woodsy with a roasty charred dryness that hits the mouth hard. Black coffee and dried herbs on the finish. A big beer that demands attention. (533 characters)

Photo of AndrewNations
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As anticipated this beer is outstanding. It pours black as sin and yields an awesome head similar to the creama on a good espresso.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Linea_doubleespresso.jpg

The head doesn't last long but as I swirl it around and let it breathe it makes an appearance again only to fade away quickly.

The smell is great. Lots og nice balance between chocolate and sweetness. I only get faint hints of coffee but nice all around.

This taste outstanding, like a good RIS should be. The most note worry aspect for me is how smooth the finish is. Its almost like its been in the cellar for several years already as the isnt too hot at all. I cant wait till get a hold of some of the other varietals of this and also see how good these age.

Nice work CCB. (790 characters)

Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 MZ. Been saving this one for a while and I'm excited to crack it open.

A: I don't usually rate very high for appearance, but this is just beautiful. Thick, jet black, and a huge, astounding dark mocha colored creamy head.

S: Sweet, roasty, chocolaty, and a hint of soy sauce.

T: Coffee, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce, and a very faint metallic tang that make this the lowest score. I'm debating edwhether my score is too harsh, as it is still delicious, and my palate has been spoiled over the last week with some truly awesome impy stouts. (

M: Holy hell, this is where this beer shines. The thickest beer I've ever had with the possible exception of bcbs, but more of a creamy tckness than a sludgy, syrupy thickness. Smooth, creamy, and oh so good.

O: okay, so I went back and upped the score for taste. It definitely got better as it warmed. Really glad I got to try this one. I think it says a lot that this beer fared so well in a week that included '08 bcbs and '07-'12 Abyss. (992 characters)

Photo of Dnayew
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not the same animal as CCB's Hunapuh, but probably the finest baseline RIS on the planet. Outstanding beer. This is what a Russian Imperial Stout should taste like. (164 characters)

Photo of pdeepak
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to get a glass of this at the Ginger Man in NYC when I was in the city for one night. Served in a snifter, this is probably the darkest stout I have seen to date.

Had a small dark mocha colored head that faded very quickly, but did leave lacing on the side of the glass. I detected a hint of smoke on a predominantly coffee nose, but I couldnt wait to taste this beer.

Worth every bit of attention that this beer receives, the taste and mouthfeel is where this beer shines. A little thick, almost treacly feel that really allows you to pick up on all the tastes that this beer has to offer. Will be searching it out in the future! (649 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.