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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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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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 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 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 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 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 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
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

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

thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sharing this at Stakem's tasting on 4/2! Poured from the growler into a snifter.

A black like used motor-oil appearance with not one iota of light can pass through. There is look that just yells viscosity and a ring of beads that are dark brown and don't stick. The smell is so full of brandy -big brandy barrel aroma Jeez!the smell is pungent and fragrant with an almost dessert-like smell, yet vinous and fruity. It lives up to theBrandy barrel name. The feel is rich, thick, roasted and subtly sweet with enough carbonation, yet it still seems 'chewy' and coats the mouth.

The flavor is slightly astringent w/ woody flavor and lots of brandy w/ subtle burnt toast and toffee flavor with tinges of light creamy caramel and subtle smokiness and spiced elements in the finish which is strong and dry. I found this to be agreat brew overall. If you want to have an Brandy barrel aged stout I would say start here! This has lots of barrel flavor and used as an ingredient it really works -as a barrel aged beer should be.

Serving type: growler

04-04-2011 17:04:39 | More by Slatetank
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the growler Dave!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Motor oil black with almost no head. There's a little bit of extremely dark-tan film, but no lacing left behind. I love how dark this is.

The nose is filled with juicy green apples. Wow, lots of apple. Caramel, wood and a bit of alcohol heat. A touch of earthy dark chocolate and plum makes it's way through as well. The barrels are strong with this one. Good, but a little one-dimensional.

Dark chocolate laced with green apples on the tongue. Caramel, apple skin and vanilla. Booze soaked oak. I wasn't quite sure about this one at first, but it really starts to grow on you after awhile. Lots of apple brandy barrel.

Mouthfeel is smooth, chewy and viscous. Unfortunately, there is very little carbonation, even for this style, which hurts the feel a bit. Nice warming alcohol, but not overdone. A few more bubbles and this would be perfect.

Overall, this is a solid beer. Lots of apple brandy. I love the caramel and vanilla notes that start to shine through as the beer warms up. The -bals could probably be toned down a bit, but it's still enjoyable as is. I'd love to see this in bottles some day. Really glad I got a chance to try it.

Serving type: growler

04-04-2011 01:40:05 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours solid black, no head, no lace. Looks ominous.
Smells of so many things, sweet caramel, coffee, chocolate, hint of booze, dates, and the brandy really comes through.
Taste is dark as hell, rich and thick of coffee grounds, brandy, sweet and yet bitter chocolate. This thing lingers in the back of the throat with hints of bitter coffee grounds....not coffee.
It slides down your throat like cough syrup and coats the glass the same way. It's still on the glass between sips. No carbonation at all and it doesn't need any.
This is a fantastic stout which pulled all the goodness out of the brandy barrel. I really hope to try more of this series.

Serving type: growler

04-03-2011 00:03:41 | More by kirok1999
Photo of SamuelJackson45
SamuelJackson45

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Cheers...

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 23:42:43 | More by SamuelJackson45
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another 32oz growler from Shep, a seriously generous dude.

Pours pitch black with a nice active mocha head that leaves decent lacing and shows stubborn retention given it's coming out of a growler.

The aroma is heavy on the apple brandy. In fact, I can definitely smell the red apple rinds and booze from the brandy. There is a roasted malt and dark chocolate presence underneath with some other dark fruits, like raisins.

The taste is more of the same with the initial apple brandy character dominating for a while though the chocolate, tobacco and leather of the underlying Zhukov comes through increasingly as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and decadent, like most of the CCB imperial stouts. Really good carbonation for a growler.

Another impressive brew from CCB though I do think it's a notch below the 4 Roses version. The apple brandy is very unique and there's no doubt it's the dominant character in this one.

Serving type: growler

04-02-2011 02:31:27 | More by gford217
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CaptinRedBeard for securing this 32oz growler at the recent Hunahpu release and for bringing this back to share with me on 3/24/11.

Poured into a sniffer this brew appears a thick viscous coloration of black. When held to the light there is no light penetrating, not even around the edges, there is no lighter browness. A finger's worth of very dark brown head forms and recedes leaving spotty lacework on the glass. A light swirl revives the cap back to a finger which again recedes hanging close to the edges of the glass.

The smell of this brew is of tart green apples upfront. There is a prominent amount of tingly fusel booze throughout. Notes of dark chocolate provides a rich dark roasted quality to the brew mixed with a raw oak smell that developes more as the beer warms.

The taste is boozy and very roasty with a thick chocolate bitterness reminiscent of 90% cacao. More flavors of coffee come forward along with a tart green apple fruitiness. There is a solid foundation of heavily kilned malt throughout this brew that imparts a flavor of char that lingers in the mouth. There is a light touch of must across the back mixed with licorice and raw oak flavors. Very deep and enjoyable all together.

This is a full bodied brew with a light to modest amount of carbonation. A good blends of flavors with a big booze flavor and warmth that packs quite a kick. This apple brandy barrel experience was quite different from the hunahpu experience I had which makes me believe it is a different type or treatment of the barrel. I was very glad to get to try this brew, it is certainly one to share as there is a lot going on in this brute. Thanks again Corey!

*Update 4/2/11
Got to try this brew a second time care of SamuelJackson45 who also got a growler care of Corey. Quite a different experience as far as the apple inclusion inside this beer. It is significantly more bold than the sampling we had a week prior. The apple inclusion is a very bold scent of apple cores. I think Leon dry appled his growler...

Serving type: growler

04-01-2011 15:59:14 | More by stakem
Photo of Infernal75
Infernal75

Indiana

4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: growler

04-01-2011 02:59:29 | More by Infernal75
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Gfunk720

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

Serving type: growler

04-01-2011 00:52:42 | More by Gfunk720
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KickInTheChalice

Illinois

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

Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a tulip. From the 2011 Hunahpu's release. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this over.

Appearance: This pours black with cerry mahogany edges. A small foamy tan head fades to a ring. Pretty standard for an 11.5% stout.

Smell: Sweet apple brandy jumps into the nose; roast malt, some coffee, and chocolate provide support.

Taste: The smoothness in the brandy is quite noticeable, as is the flavor. Dark, chewy, roasted malt gives a base to the malt character, with touches of roast coffee and chocolate adding more character, and the oak and vanilla contributing even further depth. Still fairly boozy, but the brandy is pleasant so I do not feel compelled to knock it down for that.

Mouthfeel: As with the other Zhukov-based beers I have had, I found this to be incredibly creamy and smooth. Cigar City knows how to put this in my wheelhouse when it comes to the mouthfeel.

Overall: This was overall just a solidly enjoyable beer. Somewhat dominated by the brandy, but that is not a bad thing. When available, this is definitely worth seeking out for me.

Serving type: growler

03-30-2011 21:45:37 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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

Thanks a ton to cpinto6 for this beauty.

Super thick pitch black oily heavy motor oil with thick legs, light head covering darker head.

Nose apple brandy is dominant, dark roasts, black patent, dark chocolate, fluffy oats and nougat like, bits of dark fruit, caramel, light vanilla, light bitter earthy hop

Taste starts rich, thick, smooth oats, roasty, dark choc, milk choc, light pepper, some apple brandy, woody ethers, some fruity taste like green apple, lighter earthy hops, light bitter roasted malts, sticky and a little sweet, chewy malts, light vanilla, coffee grinds, finishes with a thick mouth coating, lots of dark malts and chocolate, woody ethers, light minerality, light booze.

Mouth is fairly thick, creamy rich smooth, mouth coating, decent carb for the style.

Good, apple brandy adds some different feel and flavors compared to the original, and the brandy has a sharp contrast, and adds some woody ethers, made it lighter on the hops and malts even, booze is actually not bad.

Serving type: growler

03-26-2011 18:41:29 | More by jlindros
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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.