Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MikeMoriendi:
More User Reviews:
4.65/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
07-15-2013 16:17:38 | More by tectactoe
4.03/5 rDev -7.6%
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma is oak with some roasted malt, soy sauce and chocolate. The flavor is oak, smoke, chocolate and soy. Oily, thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Really happy I got to try this beer.
03-19-2010 22:44:24 | More by Mora2000
4.85/5 rDev +11.2%
Poured from a 32oz growler, thanks go out to muskabeatz for sharing this with me.
The group of us were all rather worried, holding our collective breath really as this one was opened because the bottle was sticky out of the shipping package and it had clearly leaked some... Much to our delight the beer didn't seem to have been adversely effected at all!
A: Holy smokes, this beer was rich and dark, truly giving the description "motor oil" a work out, coated with just a tiny bit of the darkest foam I've ever seen, this beer is a pretty, pretty, looking stout!
S: The initial assault on the nostrils is pure apple, fresh, crisp, ripe from the farm. But that's not it, it seems to warm into a sweeter hybrid between apple pie and fudge brownies, really a uniquely delicious aroma with just a hint of woodiness trailing. The only negative for me was that I caught a whiff of alcoholic fumes that kept this away from perfection.
T: The taste matches the smell pretty well, The apple seems to be some kind of blend between washington and bit of granny smith tartness. The apple mixes with some dark chocolate evenly smoothed out with the brandy. Maybe the clearest trace of Zhukov's present in this beer, I caught a little dark fruit, almost a darker cherry flavor in the tail end. As it warms up you get a little alcohol hotness, only a tiny bit boozy as it warms. This monster leaves a barrel-aged dark chocolate sort of bitterness in your mouth that lets you know you've got a quality stout. Wow, what a unique, delicious stout!
M: Mouthfeel, I'll be brief, THICK. Could use a tiny bit more carbonation, but given the age of the growler and the leaking concerns we faced, I was really pleased with the carbonation level relative to the style.
O: Wow, the sum of this beer's parts is a fantastically mind-blowingly dark Russian Imperial Stout. The taste is well-crafted and doesn't seem forced, somehow the apple, while tart, mixes well with the chocolaty sweet barrel-aged stout characteristic you expect from something akin to Bourbon County. A wonderful treat.
04-01-2011 02:59:29 | More by Infernal75
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
Growler purchased (by me) at Hunahpu's release 2011 in Tampa. Brought back to Athens to share with 3 friends.
Pours dark and thick. A few bubbles rise, but nothing I would call a head. Not a glimpse of light comes through this one.
Nose is all apples. Amazing that such a huge and heavy beer can replicate the smell of fresh apples.
Taste has a big brandy component, but is also very sweet and a touch hot. Still, a phenomenal brew.
Just like every other incarnation of Marshall Z, this beer is thick and syrupy.
Great, great beer. I'm glad to have enjoyed it, both at the brewery and at home from te growled.
03-16-2011 21:04:12 | More by mondegreen
4.45/5 rDev +2.1%
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.
04-14-2011 20:00:49 | More by glid02
4.55/5 rDev +4.4%
A: Pours pitch black with a deep mocha colored head that is almost an inch thick. It held pretty well for a growler pour and leaves nice lacing.
S: Big chocolate notes with hints of coffee and roastiness in the background. also the barrel is quite present bringing some vanilla notes and some green apple notes as well.
T: The barrel is very present bringing out notes of caramel and green apple with some vanilla. tons of chocolate and some woodiness as well. A slightly roasted bitterness and a nice booze like presence with a lingering bitter chocolate note.
M: Rich and creamy. incredibly smooth with no real heat present or chalkiness. the abv is hardly detectable, exactly what i am looking for in a stout
D: this is one outstanding stout that I am extremely happy to have gotten to try. i would not hesitate to try this one age if given the chance
07-15-2010 23:46:40 | More by mikey711
4.47/5 rDev +2.5%
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.
07-09-2011 04:50:15 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.18/5 rDev -4.1%
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.
04-29-2012 15:29:01 | More by hooliganlife
1.5/5 rDev -65.6%
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
04-25-2011 07:42:39 | More by hopsbreath
4.35/5 rDev -0.2%
A- Pours a heavy dark black motor oil like with a heavy tan head.
S- Smell of Apple and oak to the nose.
T- Taste of oak flavors and brandy with hints of chocolate notes and burnt coffee. Oh so good.
M- Very smooth and creamy with Alot of killer flavors.
D- Very good stuff. Thank you Captinredbeard ..n
04-02-2011 23:42:43 | More by SamuelJackson45
4.7/5 rDev +7.8%
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.
09-19-2011 01:13:41 | More by mikesgroove
4.38/5 rDev +0.5%
Nick3 shared this fine tick. Thanks!
Appearance: The pour is pitch black, and in the glass it's incredibly viscous and completely opaque. The head is dark brown and quickly recedes to a collar. Slick oily residue clings to the glass when the beer is swirled.
Smell: the nose has an absolutely massive apple brandy character, to the point where it's hard to pick up the base beer. Sweet red apple and caramelized sugar completely overwhelm the dark malt base of Zhukov, but it's really enjoyable in a one-dimensional way.
Taste/mouthfeel: Sweet apple brandy is again dominant, but Zhukov's comes through a bit more than it does on the nose. Ripe red apple, chocolate, black licorice, caramel and molasses hit the tongue in waves. The body is incredibly thick, carbonation low. Mildly boozy and tannic in the finish, and surprisingly dry given the initial sweetness. The barrel character is so strong that there isn't much left beyond it, but it's enjoyable for exactly that reason. Unique stuff.
03-18-2011 03:26:02 | More by largadeer
3.88/5 rDev -11%
Bottle received from J2Brew2, Thank you sir!
Shared at a DC area BA tasting, I believe a little over a week from the release.
Came in the Cigar Gity's 32 oz Growler with a label on it refering it as the Brandy Zhukoz. Cap on this thing is a bit tricky and recomend taping any of there growlers that are sent.
Pours a syrupy black color in to the glass with a bit of head forming in the glass. Head is a extreme dark brown color and crumples down with in a few minutes. The aroma is of a roasty dark chocolate aroma is very present. In the background pushing through you have apples and brandy. All the smells are easily picked up and very nice. Taste was of a extremly roasty dark chocolate with a candy apple background. The brandy taste was little non other than the apple flavor in the fore front. The body on this brew was bit too much for me personally. The body was extremly thick and was not enjoyable to drink. It seemed to have the body of something you would use as a syrup instead.
Overall I am very happy with getting to try this concotion. If you have a chance it is a very interesting brew and would recomend trying it out.
03-25-2011 14:19:54 | More by BZero007
4.5/5 rDev +3.2%
32oz growler, out of my Maudite tulip. Thanks to Dave for making this one happen. A variation of a favorite of mine.
A- Oily, slick, and black. It is a vicious looking fluid that no light can penetrate. Has actually a nice reddish dark brown head. Very light lacing...
S- A beautiful blend of sweet brandy, oak, and chocolate. The oak and brandy is pretty overpowering on the smell. I get some touches of cherry or plum perhaps.
T- Wow. I love regular Zhukov's and this is a nice improvement. The barrel aging is apparent, but not completely overpowering. The heat is present at first, but it transitions to flavors of chocolate, brandy, and some hops.
M- It's without a doubt a little hot, but the flavor is well blended. The body is actually better than regular Zhukov's, a little less thick. The aftertaste is very nice too.
O- This is another great beer out of CCB. Would love this in some bottles, so it maybe had some time to mellow out. Delicious...
04-01-2011 00:52:42 | More by Gfunk720
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.