Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 1,819 | Reviews: 469 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -8.7%
Bottle shared by Rhettroactive. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. It poured pitch black in color and very thick looking. It had a dark chocolate colored head clinging to the edges of the glass and scattered across the top of the beer. Great looking beer.
The aroma shows a lot of dark chocolate to it. I get some molasses and caramel sweetness out of it along with a little roasty bitterness. What I start to really notice though is a tart, somewhat fruity presence that has a bit of a raspberry like flavor to it. It gives it kind of a strange twist, but not enough to take away from all the other really good flavors.
The taste also shows a lot of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate to it throughout. The finish is where I get a stronger roasty, coffee like bitterness coming out. Again though I get a little bit of a fruity, tart, sweetness to it that just seems out of place.
The mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the dark chocolate and roasty flavors but the fruity, sweet, tart, raspberry like flavors that I got just seemed out of place in it to me. Good beer but not great.
01-27-2012 18:59:33 | More by billab914
4/5 rDev -8.3%
Big ole 750 received a while back from Drink1121... Huge thanks for the bottles Caleb!! I'm still broke and diving a bit into the cellar... Poured into my Delirium goblet.
2 Finger head is very dark brown ... it seems to die fairly quickly though and doesn't leave much lace... cap is pretty. Brew is black.. no light escaping.
Rich and malty... very fruity with alot of prunes and dried cherries.. lite cocoa... espresso... really very complex... I've just been sniffing it for probably ten minutes now.
Waves of dark malts begin with dark roast... and then a big blast of cocoa... that sorta turns into a bit of a coffee chocolate cordial mid-palate with some caramel maltiness... dark cherries linger on the finish with a bit of drying dark grain and cocoa.. very nice body with a bit lighter than average carbonation actually helps the mouthfeel be very smooth.
As it warms quite a bit of char and ash shows and sorta limits drinkability for me... still is very very complex but a definite sipper that makes you think.
01-06-2010 07:37:23 | More by JohnGalt1
4.4/5 rDev +0.9%
Bottle from a friend.
Pours blacker than black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head is one of the darkest I can remember seeing and settles into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.
Smells of deeply roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms the malt aromas sweeten considerably and hints of molasses waft out.
Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with an acrid character kick things off and are joined midway through the sip by unsweetened chocolate flavors. The ending is solidly bitter and holds slight notes of coffee. As with the smell the flavor profile sweetens a good deal once it warms a bit, with the roasted malt flavors losing acridity and dark molasses flavors permeating throughout.
Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass, and the second one, and could have had a few more.
Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one right out of the bottle, but once it has a chance to warm it gains complexity and comes into its own. Worth a shot.
01-17-2010 19:34:03 | More by glid02
3.8/5 rDev -12.8%
Thanks for opening this one, Torry. Consumed on 11/23/2009 in a snifter. Pours out black like motor oil with a thick, creamy, two finger toffee brown head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered. The chocolate component reminds me of a dark chocolate cake. Booze is noticeable and there's and a dash of
Zhukov's RIS opens with dark fruit (plum, grape, currant) blackstrap molasses, and a strong charred malt character. There's a dash of brown sugary sweetness and vanilla. There's a nice moderate level of black coffee, it's not dominant but evident nonetheless. The chocolate toffee.
The flavor opens with aggressive hops, alcohol, and burnt malt. Blackstrap molasses is evident, as well as a light toffee sweetness. The dark chocolate component is strong, and it reminds me a bit of a truffle. Dark fruit is subtle. The beer is pleasant thus far. Midpalate, the roast becomes overdone and the booze is too aggressive. I can't get over the strong char. The finish is dark chocolate, a strong burnt roast, and coffee. It's bitter, aggressive, acrid, and astringent.
Full bodied with an upper level of carbonation and a sticky, chewy, and syrupy mouthfeel.
11-24-2009 06:29:26 | More by HopHead84
4.28/5 rDev -1.8%
Taken from notes on 4.20.11
25.4oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.
A - Dark-deep brown in color, almost black with a slight head that is dark brown and only forms on the eges.
S - Slight coffee and lots of toffee.
T - Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and toffee.
D - Little carbonation, but thick and mouth coating.
06-02-2011 08:38:47 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.15/5 rDev -4.8%
Received in trade from brewtechnik, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a thick black color with a huge dark chocolate mousse of a head that has exceptional retention and lacing. Smells of chocolate, caramel, licorice, dark fruits, vinous, brown sugar, spicy earthy hops. Well it smells wonderful, so far so good. The flavor is big and thick. Lots of Caramel chocolate and brown sugar up front. Then some licorice and fruits move in, some sweet some tart. A bit of earth and ash come in next before a long lingering bitter dark chocolate with just a touch of oxidation. Thick thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy silky sweet mouthfeel. Damn that a big thick beer! I'll bet that's sitting somewhere around 1.050 right now. Aside from being a bit on the sweet side this is one flavorful brew.
07-28-2012 01:38:37 | More by johnnnniee
4.43/5 rDev +1.6%
2011 vintage, enjoyed 3/12
A jet-black beer that pours like motor oil, thick and sludgy, with a big brown bubbly head that settles down slowly. Lacing is sticky; the glass looks like I had an ice cream sundae, not a beer.
Nice nose; lots of chocolate, both bitter and milk, anise, espresso, roasty malt, and a just a trace of booze.
Big and tasty, the way this style is supposed to be. It’s all here, tons of chocolately goodness, coffee and roast, just a hint of tobacco, molasses, toffee, caramel, a bit of hoppy bitterness, but just so, in the finish. Sweet, fudgy and desert-worthy; paired especially well with chocolate chip brownies for an over-the-top diabetes-inducing indulgence.
The body on this one is perfect; go big or go home. Tons of chew, thick, thick, thick, low carbonation, your lips are sticky after a sip.
I feel like this one can hang in there with almost any other example of this style. To me it was like going to San Diego and drinking fresh Pliny, Nelson, Kern River, etc. How to say which is best? They are all tremendous examples of American IPAs. Put this one up there with the KBS and the BCBS and the rest in my book. It’s like comparing Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, etc., etc. It’s not that one is better than the other, but rather, who are you in the mood for today?
03-17-2012 14:48:23 | More by tobelerone
4.1/5 rDev -6%
on tap at khyber in philly
Pours a thick, viscous blacked out color with a layering of dark browned head. Retains for a bit, some wispy tanned film lies on top, leaving a couple spots of lacing behind.
Very roasty and warm in the nose. Plethora of dark fruits with some candied, sweet notes. A suggestion of cola. Licorice, plum, and dates. Cocoa with caramel and roasted malts. Decent flair of alcohol too.
Roasty and sweet up front. More dark fruit than I was expecting with candied dates and anise notes with a hint of plum. Dark chocolate and cocoa swirled with caramel and heavy, roasted malts. Warm booze and residual sweetness in the finish.
Very thick, viscous, almost oily feel on the tongue, decent carbonation. A really nice imperial stout, although it made me yearn for Hunahpu's.
11-18-2011 00:07:39 | More by xnicknj
3.7/5 rDev -15.1%
750 ml bottle, vintage 2011. Split between myself and three other friends, poured into four tulip glasses. After having Hunahpu's I was hoping it didn't ruin Zhukov's for me.
A: Thick and sludgy looking black pour. Medium brown colored head with really outstanding retention and lacing. It's thick, dark and really a great looking beer. The signature Russian Imperial Stout look from CC I'm gathering.
S: Very bold and roasted notes coming off; coffee, chocolate, toasted malts and bitter toffee. A touch of molasses comes through towards the back end of the aroma. It's very nice and although it has a wide variety of miniscule notes in it, the roast profile seems to be leading this down a one-dimensional path.
T: My initial reaction was that this is sweet, and it is. Big chocolate roast, bitter coffee and molasses notes hit first. Coming in towards mid-palate is a touch of anise, with roasted malts in the finish. The sweetness though lasts the entire time and after a while this beer got to be too much for me. I love big RIS but this is missing a serious balance.
M: Creamy, fairly thick, full-bodied with some lower carbonation. There's nothing wrong here other than it finishes a bit more dry than I like, even with its sweet characteristics.
Perhaps I was jaded by the outstanding complexity in the Hunahpu's but this just didn't live up to my expectations. It was a nice sipper with the right elements, but it was a bit too sweet and unbalanced. Perhaps some time in the bottle will do this beer justice but as it stands now, I'm not the biggest fan.
09-06-2011 13:15:48 | More by ShanePB
4.83/5 rDev +10.8%
750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.
Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.
Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.
Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.
Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season.
05-23-2010 07:00:55 | More by ccrida
District of Columbia
4.43/5 rDev +1.6%
From bottle to pint glass on 1/29/11
A: Viscous motor oil. I've never seen a beer this thick. It literally coats and leaves a trail of engine wear on the interior of the glass. Little to no head and zero lacing.
S: Black cherries on the nose. You can certainly pick up the alcohol, but it is well integrated with the black fruits and slight hints of smoke.
T: Like Joey Lawrence once said: "Whoah!" Raspberry and black cherry jam fill the mouth upon contact. I detect 70% dark cocoa nibs on the mid-palate, and Kona coffee on the finish. It really coats the tonsils and lingers for some time.
M: Like drinking heavy whipping cream or liquid butter. Massive, epic; it is right up there with Ten Fidy as being one of the thickest stouts - or beers in general - that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.
O: An absolutely brilliant brew. This is the first full sized serving I've had of a Cigar City beer, and it did not dissapoint. I do wonder why it was bottled in a 750ml, as it is a much bigger serving then any one human should have in a night.
02-01-2011 20:18:05 | More by Rhettroactive
3.53/5 rDev -19%
Thanks Agent Zero.
Super excited to try this after many other CCB successes, but this really let me down....Pours dark brown with a medium tan head that is gone in a microsecond if its shows its head at all, which on two of the three pours it didn't...Aroma is light chocolate, mildly sweet but plain and boring...The taste is also light malt to start then a very ashy bitter coffee finish. Just very blah for a stout.
Nothing worth securing, an above average beer, but a clearly below average RIS.
07-30-2010 21:24:31 | More by jrallen34
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
Thanks go out to Matt for the bottle!
It pours black with a 2 finger head of tan foam.
The smell is all sorts of complex; coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, sweet malt, molasses. Wow.
The taste follows suit. All the smells are there with the bottom line of this being a very malty/sweet RIS with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. Super good tasting and the alcohol is hidden pretty well.
The smoothest of mouthfeels with a better drinkability rating than it has a right to, this is simply marvelous.
12-25-2012 20:14:45 | More by Bitterbill
4.22/5 rDev -3.2%
2010 bottle courtesy of korguy123. Thanks!
Poured in to Duvel tulip.
A - Poured ink black. One of the blackest beers I have ever seen. Not too much head formed but there was a small amount of espresso coloured head.
S - Cocoa, molasses, coffee, some licorice and hints of dark fruit.
T - Cocoa, roasted malts, molasses, coffee, licorice and faint notes of dark fruit. Fairly sweet. Very complex.
M - Medium body, somewhat viscous at times but somewhat lighter at other times. The carbonation was very light; almost somewhere between flat and light carbonation. A little more carbonation would have really made a difference here.
O - An excellent RIS. Aside from the slight carbonation issue, not much to complain about here.
08-27-2011 19:29:34 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4/5 rDev -8.3%
A - Black beer with a brown head that was made up of fine bubbles and dissipated rather quickly to a partial cap.
S - Very sweet, with lots of chocolate. The roast in these bottles seems to vary from bottle to bottle. Some molasses, just a touch of coffee.
T - It's a very sweet stout, lots of chocolate, some brown sugar, molasses, little bit of roast. If you like sweeter RIS's, this one may be for you.
M - Full bodied, viscous, lower carbonation.
O - Not a bad beer, on the sweet side. I prefer an earlier bottle I had that was much more roasty qualities, but the last few bottles I've had tasted more like this one.
07-15-2011 14:23:03 | More by AgentZero
3.45/5 rDev -20.9%
750 mL courtesy of SurlyTwinsFan pours Ten-Fidy black and viscous as hell with a frothy brown head. Surprisingly little retention and lacing though.
Nose is very fruity with a ton of tobacco, toffee and molasses.
Taste is big on the tobacco and burnt caramel. Some heavy fruit creeps in along with a distinctive roast character. Its big and thick, but I am surprised that I dont find this more enjoyable. I think the burnt sugar and molasses are a bit much for me. CCB is such an odd brewery for my palate...some of their beers that others dislike, I have loved and some of the consensus favorites I dont find appealing. Always an exciting ride though, so I wont be passing on any Cigar City offerings anytime soon.
07-14-2012 20:42:31 | More by twiggamortis420
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
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,819 ratings.