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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

100 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 11.47%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gtreid on 01-17-2010)
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 61 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Super huge thanks to Jeff for busting this one out as a nice surprise. In a flip-top growler for around a year, hopefully it has held up okay. It pours out of the growler inky and oily, completely black in color, much like the regular iteration of Zhukov. Understandable, there is basically no head that forms; simply a minuscule, deep-mocha ring that surfaces at the circumference of this black-hole brew and nothing else. Very quiet and still in the glass.

Whatever was lost in terms of appearance can be forgiven as soon as you finally smell this beer - it's absolutely fantastic. Sensational brandy notes, both sweet and warming with fine hints of booze and apples. Rich, dense, fudge-covered chocolate cake, backed with mounds of dark fruits; dates and figs, rolled and covered in brown sugar. It sounds like a diabetic's nightmare, but the sweetness is really monitored so well.

Some warmth brings forth even more aromas; more molasses, more brown sugar, and more, sweet, sweet apple brandy. The coffee that was so heavy in the original Marshal Zhukov's stout seems to have lots it's magic here, but no matter - the apple brandy aging (and possibly a year in the growler) has turned the base beer into a whole new monster, at least aromatically.

I take a sip, and immediately I am both surprised and enthralled to find that the flavor actually does have some intense, roasted coffee notes in it - much akin to the regular Zhukov stout - and it blends perfectly with the other flavors here. Roasty coffee beans, chocolate cake, rich and dark fudge, burnt, sticky toffee, and a whole lotta wet oak in the background.

The apple brandy flows through the entire profile so perfectly. Warm, boozy, and ever-present, yet it's miles and miles away from ever being "hot". This is certainly only of the smoothest inclusions of brandy barrels I've ever tasted. Lots of silky, sweet prunes and dates in the finish, along with more apple-like, boozy brandy and mild after-notes of chocolate and coffee.

Even with virtually no carbonation (although there was still a *touch* left in the growler), this brew was insanely palatable. It was definitely huge on the palate; silky, chewy, thick, and beyond viscous, and there's not doubt that a year of mellowing out did nothing but help. I would imaging that just a touch more carbonation would be excellent, but I still don't have much to complain about at this point.

So out of the 20+ beers that were consumed this night, this beer was far and away the best in show. Just insane, really. Marshal Zhukov is an amazing stout, first and foremost, and tossing that sucker in apple brandy barrels just takes things to a whole different level and gives you a completely out-of-this-world, barrel aged stout. Again, such a huge thanks to Jeff for this nice surprise. What an amazing brew.

Serving type: growler

07-15-2013 16:17:38 | More by tectactoe
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a snifter

This bad boy sits a sinister ink black in the glass. A true motor oil type of body when swirled. A thin dark khaki cap rises and falls quickly, leaving some sporadic bubbles along the edges. The nose is extremely bold and robust. Huge roasted malt, brandy, oak, molasses, licorice, vanilla, and dark Belgian chocolate. On the palate, it follows the nose. Huge roast notes up front, before sticky toffee, licorice, and molasses through the middle. Brandy notes all over the place with vanilla and chocolate presenting in the finish. Whoa boy. I can't get over just how bold this beer is. I wasn't the biggest fan of the regular Zhukov but this beer is phenomenal. I got a huge char presence in the regular Zhukov that seems to be much more subdued and tolerable in this guy. Definitely one of the most in your face beers I have ever had. Big, thick, full body with low carbonation. Lingering roast and brandy just never seems to go away.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2012 20:28:06 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a sluggish black with almost no carbonation leaving a dirty white ring on the adge with light lacing

S: Rich cocoa, a big whiff of brandy, wood Earthiness and blend of dark fruits and coffee beans

T: Starts with a big deep chocolate, roastiness and brandy plus some old wood and Earthiness which slowly transitions to coffee, dark fruit with the brandy, smokey leather and cocoa still sitting ont he palate. The finish is a bit sweet, rather dry with some light bitterness and booze from like acetone or something

M: Big and thick but flat as a board

O: Good despite being super low on carbonation, the odd booziness.

Serving type: growler

08-07-2012 17:46:39 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Tobe
Tobe


4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep black with a tan head. The head was a litle undersized but did leave a nice degree of lacing around the glass.

Nice strong aroma of alcohol (in this case brandy) with some other notes of chocolate and coffee. The flavor is very spot on to the aroma. A very big beer where the alcohol is the main spotlight. Chocolate does come across but mostly in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and a little oily and big alcohol.

This was an amazing beer that developed a lot of complexity and if bottled would only have gotten better. If you see this beer order it right away, but be warned you will be sipping on it for a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2012 21:39:10 | More by Tobe
Photo of abrand
abrand

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap from dixie cup

Pours jet black with a very small ebony head that leaves no retention. No visibility through the pour. Smells of sweetness with hints of coffee. Taste is huge. Super sweet up front with hints of fruit and a nice bitter coffee centered backbone. Mouthfeel is quite viscous. Overall this is amazing. So glad I got to try this.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2012 12:18:43 | More by abrand
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at the release at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black with a small tan head. No visible carbonation. Don't know where to put observations about consistency, but this is thick and sticky to the touch.

S: Brandy, alcohol, chocolate, coffee.

T: Everything you would expect from the aroma, but has some sweet caramely flavor also.

M: Thick, sweet, sticky. Alcohol presence is high, punch you in the mouth high.

O: Excellent, and I think the barrel aging helps this beer develop more (and interesting) characteristics. Certainly is a sipping beer!

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 03:54:42 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Brad, thanks! Beer is black with nearly no head, no lacing, low retention and low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, brandy, nice roast.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet with the liquor and the malt on the front palate. The beer falls a little flat at the end but overall it is an excellent barrel aged stout. I'd have this again.

Serving type: growler

06-19-2012 14:55:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den

Pours an inky blackness with a faint, almost non-existent head. Ring of tanned film sits on top, leaving a few spots of lacing.

A crushing barrel character erupts from the nose, jam-packed with brandy, vanilla and booze. Hints of chocolate and dark malt sweetness with plenty of warmth. Oaky and warm with some roastyness.

Pretty aggressive up front with brandy, oak and hints of leather. Chocolate and vanilla bleed through the booze, blending well with the warmth. Tremendously burly backbone with thick layers of roasted dark malt. Finishes with a nice spike of brandy barrel and alcohol.

Insanely thick body - like one of the thicker beers I've ever had. Milder carbonation, sticky and heavy on the tongue. This is a tasty spin on Zhukov's - I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2012 00:59:28 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer is black with a thin, oily beige head that leaves an oily residue on the glass. The aroma offers a strong brandy presence, along with oak and roast notes. Big, bold flavor. Thick body with low carbonation. Lots of brandy presence. Palate coating. Very tasty.

Serving type: growler

06-09-2012 23:09:34 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Devil's Den for their 4th annual Bella Vista beer bash for beer week. In a Tulip glass.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged looks very black. It's a stout so that much is apparent. The body is thick as hell. It basically looks like Dark Lord 08 with the oil like appearance and just goop, but not quite to that DL level. Not much foam. The smell is very roasty, with a whole lot of barrel character. Some smoke with chocolate. I cant help but to pick up some alcohol with warming. Taste is very barrel forward with a nice roasty finish with some smoke and char, wood, apple brandy. Flavorful and big in body. This one is just thick with minimal carbonation. A bit hot and the barrel sticks around in the finish. This is a big beer for big people so 5oz's would have been plenty for me.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2012 16:16:49 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the apple brandy barrel aged. Had on tap at DLD.

A: Pours incredibly thick and viscous. No head or lace, but it leaves massive stick and stains as I drank this.

S: Apple brandy, some oak. Unsweetened chocolate, and roasted malts.

T: The taste gets elevated to another level. Delicious milk chocolate, caramel, and the apple brandy all mix together wonderfully. There is a touch of smokey char and roasted malts on the finish.

M: Thick and viscous. Heavy bodied with some chew, the carbonation is pretty low. It just coats your entire mouth and wont go way.

O: Really, really good. I wish this was bottled. I'd trade a lot for it. I'm really glad that the barrel aging didn't thin out the base beer because the thickness of MZ is one of the reasons why I liked it so much. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2012 14:35:57 | More by Treebs
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap @ DLD

jet black, thick, oily, with a bit of cream colored head.

on the nose, sweet fruity bourbon and roasted malt.

flavor was bold all around. some charry roasted malt. brandy was a bit heavy, but very fruit like. added a whole level of flavor to this stout. a bit sweet, some booze.

fairly smooth, very thick, some burn and bite from booze.

very good, not sure i could drink 12oz's in less than an hour though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2012 15:29:01 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark, black as night this one poured with a tremendous fury. Evil looking and thick as oil it came at me . Small two finger head settled down and coated the sides with sticky chocolate colored lacing that let me know I was in for it.

As I reach in and take a whiff it hits me like a ton of bricks. Deep aroma of roasted malts, huge brandy notes , vanilla, molasses, tons of rich oak and lots of sugary and boozy touches. Hard to explain, just soo complex I dont know where to begin. Warming just confuses me more as the profile seems neverending. Each sip is like liquid god for me. Deep roasted notes, coffee, light licorice, brandy, boozy flavor that seems to dominate early on but fade as it starts to warm. Vanilla, and oak, chocolate, rich decadent notes of toffee and never ending complexity welcome me and wont let me go.

Serving type: growler

09-19-2011 01:13:41 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32 oz growler split three ways into red wine glasses. Reviewed 21 March 2011. Thanks bra.

Ar. Strong apple, alcohol, fruit way out of balance with the base beer. it is hard to get past that, good aroma but it is apple dominated

Ap: Smooth creamy dark brown head, great retention, dark black, speckling of lace

T: Strong apple, overripe apple, apple enhances the char/smoke, chocolate, stout nuances overwhelmed by apple, very good but way out of balance, nice lingering chocolate, oak in finish, sweet dark character, base beer increases in strength with warmth

M: Low carbonation (slightly higher than the 4 roses), thick and viscous, smooth, roast balances sweetness

O: Apples way out of balance, the beer is good but the apple overwhelms the greatness in the base beer, i feel like it could be much better

T:

Serving type: growler

09-14-2011 03:40:41 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade. Thanks man. Just barely opens the growler. Been sitting in my fridge the whole time waiting for a good oportunity. Poured into my cigar city snifter. Pours soo thick. Maybe the thickest I've seen. At first I was worried there was no carb but the two glasses I poured for my brother and my roomate had a nice dark tan head. No real lacing though on any of the glasses.

Aroma is amazing. Never had those aromas in a beer before. It's got a strong green apple aroma from the apple brandy. Nice roasty and caramel notes in the background.

Taste is the same. You get that apple brandy at first and then a nice caramel flavor then to a nice roastyness and oak and then finishes with the apple brandy again every time you move your tinge around after you swallow. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is so thick. A sipper for sure. Glad I shared it with friends. Nice carb for a growler.

Overall an awesome beer I'm glad I got to try. Gunna have to look for more next year.

Serving type: growler

07-09-2011 04:50:15 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of Enish266
Enish266

California

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by the perpetually generous johndoe8. Poured from growler into RR -tion goblet.

Pours a near impenetrable black-brown with zero head. A quick swirl coats the glass nicely and is reminiscent of the regular Zhukov.

Oh how I love the nose of a impeccably barrel-aged beer. One of the best Brandy noses I have inhaled in a while and vaguely reminiscent of the Matt that I had later in the evening.

Not a let down at all from the nose. The first sip envelops the tongue with sweetness and vanilla. Not cloying. Brandy is present throughout the whole consumption. Roast and chocolate are present in the backbone. Finishes exactly as I would like it: with no heat and with flavor that goes on and on.

Minimal carbonation but could have used a touch more. I was my understanding that the growler may have leaked in transit and could be the reason for this. Definitely very thick and viscous.

A pleasure to drink. One of a kind and would gladly have this again (or one of the other variations).

Serving type: growler

06-08-2011 09:28:54 | More by Enish266
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour from a 32oz growler courtesy of Crizay - so cool of you to bring this out to the tasting at Paul and Tim's bonfire party. Consumed from my Great Lakes snifter.

How could any beer with the Marshal Zhukov's base appear to be bad? There's just no way - we're talking about perhaps a quinnesential Russian Imperial Stout - black as night with unrivaled density. There's a bit less head and lace here than the non-barrel aged version, but this is still very impressive looking.

The smell is intriguing, but not without some pretty substantial flaws. While the base beer has deep notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, burned coffee beans and a hint of dark fruit, this is basically comprised of apple brandy and Acetaldehyde. While intriguing (I could not stop smelling this, partly to savor the unique addition of the spirit and partly searching for the base beer), this really decimates the base instead of enhancing.

The taste is also just really strange. I just don't believe this combination of RIS and apple brandy barrel was a good choice for anything other than experimentation. The booze and apple dominates and washes out the goodness of the stout underneath. While the fantastic Four Roses version ehnanced the roasty notes of Zhukov, this just really seems to complicate and confuse things. Maybe this was a good change of pace, but I just struggle to understand why these barrels smothered all the intricate flavors - no oak, vanilla or any of the wood I like in my wood aged beers.

The mouthfeel was back on track with huge viscosity, although this did feel a touch less viscous than the original and the Four Roses versions. Overall, this wasn't a bad beer, but the Four Roses version kills it. Kills it dead.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2011 13:09:06 | More by jampics2
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review has been transcribed from notes taken at the 2011 Hunahpu release.

A: Incredibly viscous, deep black, and topped off with a dark chocolate head.

S: Great bouquet, saturated with chocolate, apples, and creme brulee.

T: Raisin, brown sugar, and rum are delicately blended in this brew.

M: Medium body is accented by an oily texture and a sticky finish.

O: Not as good as the Four Roses Zhukov, but tasty nonetheless. Definitely worth a shot if you're ever able to find the stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2011 21:25:11 | More by Avagadro
Photo of calcio360jrd
calcio360jrd

Florida

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District for Cigar City/TBC takeover night.

This was by far the hit of the evening, the keg was tapped out barely an hour after firt pour. Pour was black as night and thick as hell when coming from the tap. The smell was intoxicating, u got a real hit of the apple brandy barrel aging right at the beginning. The taste was just as wonderful, the complex flavors of a RIStoudt along with the barrel aging were fantastic on the palette. Glad i got 2 pours before the keg kicked. Recommend this to anybody if you get the chance to try it, fantastic!

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2011 14:56:11 | More by calcio360jrd
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared at DLD by Jason.

A - Black beer with a small tan head that didn't stick around for long and left a few random spots on the sides.

S - Lot of brandy on this one. MZ is something I have always thought is pretty sweet, and it actually matches up pretty well with the Lairds on this particular brew. Smells like it might have a bit of heat.

T - Lots of brandy, little bit of barrel goodness, and some underlying base beer in the form of chocolate and roasted malts. It's good, but a bit boozy.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, pretty full bodied.

O - Pretty good, wish we could see Lairds Apple Brandy on more stuff. Good, not spectactular, but would definitely drink again if I had the opportunity.

Serving type: growler

05-13-2011 20:46:35 | More by AgentZero
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz growler shipped to me from beer advocate yesac. consumed mostly on DLD, but again in the privacy of my own home later that evening. drank out of my stone IRS snifter.

A- the pour is a thick looking opaque black body with a very small dark brown colored head. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing that i pick out of the nose is the brandy and alcohol in general. its strong, but not overpowering. after that i get lots of dark roasted malts and dark chocolate. the barrel makes itself known by adding a little bit of vanilla to the mix. the vanilla from the oak mixed with the chocolate makes for a very inviting scent.

T- the taste starts out with the dark roasted malts that i could smell. after that i get hit in the face with apple brandy and booze. vanilla from the oak barrel imparts some sweet vanilla notes. lots of chocolate (milk and dark) also adds to the sweetness. more chocolate and lots of coffee at the end.

M- the body is very much full. almost chewy. im told that the base beer is thicker. wow. the alcohol warming is strong and reminds me to sip and savor this. the carbonation is really low which adds alot here. very nice.

O- this was one of the best beers i had at dark lord day. i very much hope to have it again sometime soon. a little under the radar for a barrel aged stout from cigar city. check this one out if you get the chance. its very easy to drink and i could see myself getting into trouble with the whole growler.

Serving type: growler

05-01-2011 23:35:21 | More by jwinship83
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

1.5/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Thanks to CoastieSimon for hooking me up with a 32oz growler of this as an EXTRA! The man could have traded it for quite the array of tasty rare beer but really showed his generosity sending it to my corner of the world. Shared at a tasting hosted by ramnuts. Fellow BA’s ChaseT, black13, MADhombrewer, Witchsbrew, TulipSnifter also helped me drink this. Thanks guys.

A: Oily dark brown with extreme viscosity. Leggy walnut brown stained glass upon the swirl. Very dark brown head turns flat fairly quick. Looks just like Marshal Zhukov so far, and that’s a good thing. 5

S: Acetone invasion! Oh no… I really do hate that smell in my beer but typically I only find it in sours. It’s very unwelcome here. Some apples and cocoa can be found behind the acetone upon closer examination, but it’s already failed in my book. 1/5

T: Following the nose… No more explanation needed. 1/5

M: Thinner than the base beer, which might be the thickest beer I’ve yet to drink, but not by much. 4/5

O: Do I really have to explain my score here? I love the Zhukov base and Hunahpu's. It would make sense that this should have been an amazing beer. Unfortunately it wasn't. Ramnuts insisted he's "had worse". He also stated "in Russia, Marshal Zhukov drinks you!" Well said Frank. I certainly felt a little palate raped after drinking through the three ounces needed to write the review. 1/5

Serving type: growler

04-25-2011 07:42:39 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Grant via Shep – thanks to both!

Pours black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing and thick legs.

Smells of heavy dark chocolate and molasses backed by booze-soaked green apples. Also present are hints of roasted malts.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Smooth roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off before being joined by well-integrated apple brandy flavors. Midway through the sip the beer sweetens with the addition of molasses. Very light hints of oak work their way into things near the end of the sip, smoothing over the molasses flavors and carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It’s got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I’m not sure how I feel about the brandy treatment of this beer, I can easily say that I preferred the Four Roses bourbon version. Still, an interesting treatment to an already distinctive beer that’s well worth a shot.

Serving type: growler

04-14-2011 20:00:49 | More by glid02
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sharing this medicine jar growler at Stakem's tasting on 4/2/11.

A - Emerged from the medicine jar as a pure black liquid with a burnt golden brown ring of foam that reduced to some patchy retention and lacing.

S - Whoa! Intense alcohol notes and a big whiff of brandy character, followed by lots of wood and apples. However, the apple character is much more tart that I was anticipating. As the liquid warmed up a bit, the tart green apple presence really opened up and took center stage.

T - Where to start? First sip elicits smoke, tar, tobacco, whiskey, oak/wood and an intense green apple character that is really displayed quite prominently in the finish. While there is a hint of alcohol warmth in the finish, it doesn't come close to suggesting an 11.5% ABV tag. The tartness of the apples works amazingly well with the brandy character and all of the other complexities found within.

M - Full-bodied with a viscous, oily texture and smooth yet sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild. Finishes with a hint of tartness and some earthy hop bitterness. Not too sweet at all.

D - Very different than the Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel Hunahpu's, but equally as awesome. Cigar City manages to consistently blow me away with their amazing beers, and this one is no exception!

Serving type: growler

04-05-2011 13:14:25 | More by ffejherb
Photo of muskabeatz
muskabeatz

Indiana

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Sendsilk for this one!

Poured from a 32oz. CCB growler into my Portsmouth tulip.

A- This is THE darkest beer I have ever seen, touched, held in my hand, drank, you name it...the darkest EVER. Many times I've seen a khaki or brown head come to rest on top of an imperial stout similar to this; however, the head on this beast is a dark, burnt brown, nearly the color potting soil. Jesus. This is love at first sight.

S- After reading prior reviews, the aroma was a bit more subtle than I had built it up to be in my imagination. Lots of oak initially, along with a rich brandy presence, and green apples in the background. All of these marry with the tremendous malt presence that adds a noticable roastiness into the mix as well. I find the aroma slightly underwhelming simply because I was expecting a bit more apple out of it.

T- Wow. This beer presents to the drinker all the most wonderful flavors to be had in life: fresh apple pie, sweet brandy, heavy malt presence, all linked together by brownies and baker's chocolate in the finish. Absolutely outstanding.

M- Heavenly. The Zhukov's varieties are just about as thick as they come in terms of viscosity, and this one sits damn near the top. It is uncompromisingly thick and syrupy, with just enough carbonation to come in and save the day. For me, it doesn't get much better than this.

O- Overall, Brandy Zhukov's is up there as one of my favorite beers ever. While the aromas were just shy of meeting my expectation, this is a beer I would NEVER turn down. I was happy to split this growler with three of my good friends, and we all decided that this brew fell just short of the greatness that is Hunahpu's. In the end I'm eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to try this, and can only hope to have it again in the future.

Serving type: growler

04-04-2011 21:21:39 | More by muskabeatz
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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.