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

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 127
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
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: 101 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Hunahpu's release.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head. Quickly dissipates. The aroma is super strong and nicely complex. Great aromas of boozy brandy, chocolate, oak, vanilla, dark roasted malts, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste is very, very good as well but doesn't retain as much complexity as the nose and falls a bit with some excess booze. The full is thick and heavy and not horribly boozy. Drinks very well; I preferred this to the bourbon version.

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of stakem
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chcolate brown color with lighter golden brown edges and a two finger head that slowly fades into a lasting cap that leaves sporadc lacing.

Sweet brandy aroma with light fruit notes, alcohol and leathery malt. Hints of toffee, caramel, leather and dark fruit, especially raisin, plum, date and fig.

Slightly chewy medium body with tight carbonation and slight oxidization.  Lots of earthy leathery malt with caramel, toffee, nut, dark fruit notes and slight alcohol wamth.  Slightly spicy and buttery with a slight dry finish.  Sweet but alcohol is relatively well masked.    

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.55/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Cigar City taproom. This was dark brown/black, completely opaque, with very little head (probably due to the 11.5% ABV). Initially sweet, after the first whiff I can tell that the beer has strong brandy notes. Reminds me of several great barrel aged beer aromas (OADL, 110K+OT I tried at 2009 DLD).

The beer was delicious and a little less boozy than expected, sweet and rich, roasted malts and a little smoke. Thicker than your usual barrel aged beer, I'd love to try the standard Marshal Zhukov's sometime to see how thick it is. Creamy and mouthcoating, lovely.

This was hands down the best beer I tried at CC, better than Hunahpu's (also on tap), just an extremely well made beer aged to what seemed like perfection in a brandy barrel. Also, one of the best names for an RIS that I've heard, nearly as good a name as Old Rasputin.

Photo of xnicknj
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Hunahpu release... A midnight black body, no differences noted than the other variants. A dark tan head, not much retention, a little streaky lace... The nose on this is pretty outstanding. The Laird Apply Brandy shows off strongly, very sweet, dark fruits, a little wood. A touch hot but I like it... The taste is again dominated by the apple brandy, so much so that a lot of the base beer is gone. However, in the middle of the taste is an almost perfect apple brandy note which you get the liquor as a beer, so complex right there. However, the rest of the sip is a lot of alcohol.

I like this a lot, slightly less than the 4 Roses, still very good.

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of eawolff99
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.