Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,827 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -6%
I've been sitting on this one for a while, and since I've recently moved, most of my beer is wrapped in newspapers so I've been playing a blind game of catch, grab and drink. Review is from notes taken on 7/8/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.
Appearance: Possibly one of the most impressive RISs I've come across, this one does indeed pour like spent motor oil - just as black as black can be, and the head is almost as dark and impressive, coming in at a whopping three fingers and fading lazily down to a full and firm cap; impossible to see through, but I'm sure the carbonation is plenty full considering the amount of carb on the crack and the full head;
Smell: Lots of big and dark fruit, but I think there may be a mild infection as it's a little sour and tart in the nose; big chocolate malts and a very earthy and big roastiness; still a bit of an herbal, bitter hop presence as well, but should be expected since it's got 80 IBUs.
Taste: I think I'm right about the infection -- the tart, sour dark cherry flavor is there, but it's not major (like in the case of Abyss); the syrupy and bittersweet chocolate is there, and the burnt coffee grains play a major role in the array of flavors; also a bit of the hops linger and have a bit of an earthy and slightly citric bite to them.
Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and gritty -- the mouth is covered with a thick and sticky coating; teeth have a gritty feel afterwards; gums and tummy are left especially warm and tingly from the bigger ABV of 11%. Along with the appearance, the mouthfeel is probably the most impressive aspect of the beer.
Overall: A really good stout, overall, but definitely a sipper and something that you only want once in a while. I probably should have saved this for a cooler night as opposed to an evening in July... in Atlanta... but I'm glad I'm drinking it in the cool confines of the air conditioning anyway.
07-09-2012 00:33:16 | More by bamadog
4.3/5 rDev -1.4%
A: Thick dark brown head with good retention, pitch black color, good carbonation and lacing
S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate, molasses
T: Espresso, dark chocolate, dark toffee, dark fruits, complex
M: Smooth and creamy, good carbonation, medium-full bodied, warming
O: Good stuff, hope to try this again and again in the future
04-26-2012 14:06:28 | More by derkfromwi
4.72/5 rDev +8.3%
Pitch black; so dark the falling pour is opaque. A rich thick dark brown head fades fairly slowly leaving a nice amount of Belgian lacing behind. The aroma is rich and pungent highly roasted chocolate malt with a hint of dark fruit oily molasses alcohol. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied silky smooth and oily thick with an excellent coating viscosity that really complements the intense roasted malt and baker's chocolate flavors. A bitter element of the charcoal chocolate lingers nicely. A really excellent sipper.
02-09-2010 00:33:06 | More by jjayjaye
3.63/5 rDev -16.7%
Thanks to bobby8405 for this 750ml bottle. 2 pours into an oversized snifter.
A slow initial pour directly into the center of the glass yields a dense and very dark tan (more like light brown) head. This slowly reduces to a skim. Creamy sheets of lace slide back into the glass, leaving a few sticky spots. Retention and lacing both increase substantially with the second pour.
Very assertive roasty nose. Lots of espresso, cocoa and burnt malt. Sweetness plays a smaller part- bittersweet chocolate, a few chocolate chips. No sign of booziness, an impressive feat at this ABV. Strong and inviting.
The espresso is rather dominant in the mouth initially. Tangy chocolate chips and raisins vie for attention with the roasted and burnt malts. The booze that was seemingly absent in the nose is definitely in play now, but it's not out of place at all. It joins with a cherry character to create a bit of a liquer aftertaste. Some earthy and herbal hops linger as well. A hint of something slightly odd I can't quite put my finger on, maybe diacetyl, drops it down a notch, but still very tasty.
The carbonation is perhaps a touch too vigorous, but the body is otherwise quite satisfying, thick and coating.
Overall impression: Nice beer. Seems to be a good candidate for aging (although I do wonder what that strange flavor was).
03-25-2010 01:04:51 | More by PDXHops
4.2/5 rDev -3.7%
750ml bottle, not sure who I got this particular bottle from, but it's either Centennial or Blazer06, either way thanks guys. Into a Stone IRS glass.
A: Probably the darkest beer I've held in my hands, completely black, no light, even around the edges of the glass. About an inch of head shows up, and it is easily the darkest brown head I've ever seen. Nice lacing left behind. Damn fine looking beer.
S: Rich chocolate, caramel malts, and a fair amount of roasted malts. Smells incredibly sweet. Lots of molasses and coffee, brown sugar and a ton of great strong dark beer smells. There's a lot going on here, but I wish it just popped a little bit more. Still, quite nice.
T: A lot like it smells, tons of sweetness. Right off the bat I get black coffee with sugar mixed in, that's exactly what it tastes like. Under that is a nice chocolate and caramel flavor that lingers just long enough to fade into coffee and burnt malts. A fair amount of bitterness wraps things up, not full on from hops, as there is some bitter burnt malt in there, but it is a nice resiny, hoppy bitterness.
M: Incredibly thick with the perfect amount of carbonation, a very fine carbonation, that really aides to making this a thick, creamy beer. Very sticky on the lips. Just about perfect here. Not boozy at all.
O: A very sweet stout, that tonight is hitting the spot. I'm not a huge fan of coffee and sugar, but with the chocolate and bit of hoppy bitterness make this really nice. Excellent dessert beer. The mouthfeel is almost exactly right, really thick, and sticky. Really a nice beer, lives up to it's reputation.
01-02-2012 03:48:02 | More by pokesbeerdude
3.75/5 rDev -14%
I bought this bottle at the brewery. I'm drinking one now and will try and pick up another one to age.
It's super-black with a deep brown head.
The smell is of roasted malt with hints of molasses and alcohol.
This is a rich RIS, but it's not cloying. Flavors mix to make a typical complex taste.
The body is wonderfully slick.
Overall this is a fine RIS and another good beer from Cigar City. It's a seasonal release, so get one while you can.
11-03-2009 19:00:56 | More by Shaw
2/5 rDev -54.1%
DManGTR hooked me up with this bad boy. Thanks, man! 2010 bottling into imperial pint glass.
A- Thick, motor-oil, dark brown beer, slow-growing 1cm creamy thick oatmeal cookie head. Nice initial lace ring.
S- Semisweet chocolate and dark fruit. Chocolate is very light and sweet.
T- Big harsh roasted malt. Very bitter. Finish leaves a dark fruit sweetness that seems like it's trying to cover up some acrid/rotting fruit flavor. The lingering sweetness builds like cherry robitussin (it's not nearly as strong as cherry robitussin, it's just a similar flavor/mouthcoating feeling). Additional strange flavors creep in- cinnamon? peppercorn? what the heck?
M- Low carbonation, big heavy beer. Alcohol is noticeable. Actually, this one's pretty hot, even with some time on it. Lingering bitterness/astringency that I don't like.
O- Man, I hope the double barrel is better than the base. This one has some flavors that seem out of balance and rough around the edges. Did not finish the 750ml. I much enjoyed Bohr and Dirac, this one is not enjoyable, though.
Thanks again to DManGTR for the chance to try this.
How the hell is this beer rated so highly? Confusing to say the least.
05-18-2011 22:01:21 | More by ShogoKawada
4.15/5 rDev -4.8%
Thanks to forgetfu for this one!
Pours with more viscosity than I've ever seen on a beer. Almost no head, but what does turn up is super dark brown. The body is opaque black and thick.
Nose is all about molasses and blackstrap rum. Stewed figs and dates, motor oil comes to mind, black chocolate and something close to black licorice and coffee extract.
Palate is super thick and cloying. Chock full-o-coffee flavors, thick like molasses, raisins, dates, plums, demerara sugar, rum-soaked oak, and leather leather leather. Long long finish.
Notes: This bad boy is super thick, sweet and cloying. Would like a little more carbonation though. Mouthfeel suffers because of the lack of bubbles. I like it, but it's a BIG f---ing beer! FFO Dark Lord, BCBS, D.O.R.I.S., etc.
05-14-2011 03:30:41 | More by SFLpunk
4.25/5 rDev -2.5%
A - Black as black can be with a thin tan head. Pretty standard for a RIS. Decent lacing, just above average in this dept.
S - Slightly better than average, so I'll call this good. Both dark and sweet chocolate. Funny, you don't usually get that combo. Vanilla and coffee. Again, standard for the style. Pretty nice surprise of sweetness in there though..
T - Pretty awesome taste. I wasn't expecting this much flavor. Roasted Malts are obvious right off the bat. The Sweet chocolate is present first, and then the bitterness from the dark chocolate is there too. Must be a few different roasts to make this complex of a flavor. Some woodiness in there too. Pleasantly surprised.
M - Thick and full. Lots of body, but maybe a hint too much carb for the style. Alcohol is hidden well, but not completely.
O - Glad I got a few of these when I did. Hope they become available again as I'll buy up a bunch more. Great stout that makes for a great time.
03-30-2011 21:04:00 | More by BeerThursdays
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,827 ratings.