Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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
95
world-class

512 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 512
Hads: 2,429
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 1,180
Gots: 816 | FT: 75
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: 512 | Hads: 2,429
Photo of headbucket
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Summer 2010 release.

A: Very dark black, very hard pour creates a minimal dark brown head that lasts for a very short time. No lacing left around the glass and barely any bubbles around the rim of the glass after the initial head dies.

S: sweet. dark,sugary smell, a bit of dark chocolate and bitterness that either goes along with the dark chocolate or is a coffee like scent, a little bit of dark fruit in there too, and a bit of alcohol smell as well.

T: Overpoweringly sweet. The sweetness is too much for me to be able to enjoy any of the other flavors that may be present in the beer. Mostly very dark sweet chocolate, some raisins or dark fruit mixed in, molasses, and just a touch of bitterness. Slight bitterness akin to dark chocolate and coffee on the aftertaste. I think i enjoy the aftertaste of the beer much more than the initial flavor.

M: Thick and syrupy. Not really any carbonation present. Neither of which is automatically a bad thing, but the sweetness of the taste combined with the syrupy consistency of the beer isn't too appealing.

O: A bit of a disappointment for me, overly sweet and this sweetness is too prominent in the flavor profile for me. I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time. This is from the batch that I had heard there were carbonation issues with some of the bottles, and it seems like this could be a bottle affected by it(although never having had this beer before I cannot be sure). I don't know if I drank this a few months earlier if the sweetness wouldn't have been as intense, of if the carbonation may have been slightly higher, but I wish I would have tried it earlier. Not a terrible beer, but I wish I had about 6 ounces of it and not the 2/3rds of a bottle that I do. Would like to try again sometime to see if the over sweetness that I am getting out of this beer and lack of carbonation are a fluke, or if that is just how this beer is. That being said, it really doesn't taste like 11% and I am soldiering on and putting it down a little quicker than most other beers of this strength, maybe just because I want to move on to something else. (2,128 characters)

Photo of DUBinMIA
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured into a heffe glass just for grins... pours thick motor oil black!!! with a deep brown thick foamy head about 3 in. with lace. maybe my glass was the prob. but the head retention lasts forever.

smells of sweet malt and bitter chocolate some pine and citrus hops also noted... mmmm i can't wait! slight alcohol notes toward the end barely...

where to begin... how about WOW!!!! everything i have been hoping this beer would be. complex and big as hell!!! malt sweetness to start with a light almost milky vanilla flavor then abrupt bitter coffee takes over... then a pause with dark cherry features and then come the hops.... floral and then almost piney. amazing complexity!!!

MY FIRST ALL 5 BEER!!! just noticed that!
mouth feel is thick and creamy that allows flavors to linger.

Overall i am very impressed with this beer... totally worth the $16 i paid for the 1 pint 9.4oz bomber. YOU NEED TO TRY THIS BEER!!!! i have been waiting and searching all over for this one and it lived up and beyond my own hype!!!

just noticed this is my first ALL 5 BEER!!! (1,071 characters)

Photo of hrking
2.66/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not impressed with this beer after all the hype about these beers being so good I guess I expected more. Bitter flavors and over roasted grains and not really giving a good example of the style compared to other RIS's . I was trying to find some of the flavors described on the bottle and had a hard time pulling them out. I would love to try the Hunapaus when it comes out but at this point its going to half to be pretty damn good to win me back over. This one was average at best. (489 characters)

Photo of CASK1
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My New Year's Eve treat. I've been holding on to this for a little while, and was quite nervous due to the carbonation issues aired on several BA threads. No problem here!

Pours thick, nearly black, and opaque. The darkest head I've ever seen on a beer. Nice and dense, fades after a few swallows, but leaves a ring of foam to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is burnt toast, black coffee, and a background of dark chocolate. Light spicy hops, and soft alcohol. Low fruitiness of figs and raisins, mostly overwhelmed by the roast malt.

Flavor is similar to aroma, but the sweet chocolate is more up front. Chocolate, coffee, and burnt malts. Sweetness up front fades to a low, lingering bitterness from both roast malts and hops. Low spicy hop flavor and low esters of dark fruit.

Thick, rich full body, almost viscous. Low but adequate carbonation. Alcohol is warming, but subtle and sneaky.

As drinkable as a RIS can be. I'd like a little more hop bitterness to balance the malt sweetness, but this is an awesome take on the style. (1,040 characters)

Photo of unionturf
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this from a friend in Fla and after 6 months I had to try it.

This beer pours pitch black with a very nice 1" head. Smells of a roast and cocoa flavor and it is a very smooth beer considering the style and ABV.

Very heavy which is cool, loved how when I was finished in the bottom of my Chimay glass there was a stout/cocoa looking powdery sediment in the bottom.

Excellent beer and a great first impression from Cigar CIty brewery. Can't wait to try the brown ale I have next. (491 characters)

Photo of phattysbox
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 32oz growler at the Bowery beer room (Whole Foods - NYC).

Poured jet black into a 7 oz tasting glass. Motor oil in color and consistency, one ca tell this is going to be a very viscous brew. A small 1/2 inch chocolate colored head establishes itself and lingers for quite a while. Surprised given the ABV. Looks great int he glass.

Smell: Nose is really complex here. Strong caramel and sweet malts dominate. Burnt raisins, plums, and dark chocolate fill the air when this is poured. Some roast but held in check by copious amounts of malt sweetness.

Taste: Quick flash of acrid roastiness that gives way to coffee-like character. Actually the coffee notes are quite strong in the brew and is very pleasing. The coffee/cappuccino notes mix well with a heavy malt profile. Chocolate covered figs and plums, followed by roasted caramel. The ABV is held in check with this brew - only a slight warming is noted. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and spot on for an RIS.

Overall: Great beer. Glad to be drinking this on a cold winter's night. Lots of complex things going on here - seek it out. I've never tried their barrel versions of this brew so I might have to now. (1,174 characters)

Photo of HeartofMiami
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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 danh53
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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 mindspin315
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
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 -14.1%
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 -2.3%
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 ELS
3.75/5  rDev -12%

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 hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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 -5.6%
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 -6.1%
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 +2.3%
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 -11.3%
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 +3.3%
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 +8.2%
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 +17.4%
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 bmanning
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
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 zep9865
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
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 +5.6%
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 +3.3%
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 -10.8%
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)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 512 ratings.