Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla Beans
Cigar City Brewing

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla BeansMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla Beans
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
13.2%
Score:
99
Avg:
4.61 | pDev: 7.38%
Reviews:
22
Ratings:
123
From:
Cigar City Brewing
 
Florida, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  77
Gots
  17
SCORE
99
World-Class
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla BeansMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla Beans
Notes: Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout aged in Laird's Apple Brandy barrels with Madagascar vanilla beans on the small batch system. Brewed exclusively for BeerZareGewd.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: absolute pitch black pour, a finger of dark drown head that fades to a film and ring quickly
S: wow....big aroma. Apple brandy and vanilla jump out of the glass. Sweet fudge. The mix of fudge, vanilla and sweet apple brandy is awesome.
T: just like the nose! What a treat. This has it all going on. The smooth barrel and apple brandy race to the taste buds first. So smooth, just like you hope and few accomplish. Then it's the fudge and vanilla complimenting each other in waves of goodness. This is an amazing beer!
F: thick, sticky, the flavors coat my teeth and mouth and linger on one sip. The barrel in this is super smooth to boot.
O: all 5's.....world class amazing beer!

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tan head. Oil black.

Not sure how this gets a 4.7. It is thick, but a bit roasted/charred which covers up the vanilla and apple brandy. I couldn't find the AB very much. Plums, raisins, molasses, chocolate. Ends very roasted.

This was okay, but definitely didn't live up to the hype.

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Photo of sposter4
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with espresso colored head that disapates quickly. Smell is pure apple brandy. Very thick mouth feel that keeps the flavor around long after its drank. Apples and vanilla blends well and covers the heat well. Great improvement on a great base beer

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Photo of Mar02x
4.99/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer really lived up to the hype. It costed a few dollars to get it, but it was worth it :) - This was a thick creamy tasty bastard. This beer was thick without the use of Glycerin, awesome! Well-done Cigar city, now please send me a case. I even wanna pay for it.

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Photo of El_Anonimo
3.85/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Given MZ is personal favorite the opportunity to try this variant got me excited. The thought of an AB barrel and vanilla beans added to the anticipation. In the end this variant fell short of the hype. The vanilla bean profile was muted but the base was typical MZ --- motor oil.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.54/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a fantastic varaint. I wouldn't put it above the Sherry Zhukov, but it's pretty close. Between this and Decoherence, CCB has been killing it with the stouts this year!

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Photo of cultclassic89
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic beer, just not quite on the same level as the BVDL or French Vanilla Militia that we had next to it.

Appearance is perfect, thick and black with a beautiful dark brown head.

Nose is pretty amazing. Rich apple brandy and tons of chocolate fudge. We let it open up and warm to try to get as much vanilla as possible, but it was still just a little underwhelming compared to the other two bottles. It's there but it won't jump out at you like BVDL, FVM, Vanilla Rye, etc.

Taste is very much the same. What this beer really reminds me of is Prairie's Apple Brandy Noir, just a perfect version of that. If the vanilla was more prominent, it would be 5's across the board.

Feel is perfect, very thick and viscous like the other big boy stouts out there.

Overall this is an incredible beer, but it doesn't have that big kick of vanilla that puts it in the realm of BVDL and FVM.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.37/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a deep black color with a thick brown head on top. The smell of the beer is heavily roasted with some sweetness and a little bit of brandy in there. The taste of the beer is much like the original version of Marshal with just a subtle sweetness in there that I imagine is coming from the brandy barrel. The feel is very rich. Overall it's a solid brew but it doesn't give off much more than the original version.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Inky black. No head. Smells really intense. Molasses and alcohol. Brandy. Nutty malts. Tastes really nice, but it's just as intense. Strong apple brandy. Nutty malts. Molasses and fudge. Booze. Just a hint of soy sauce. I don't really get any vanilla, though. Heavy as anything. Silly. It tastes good, but it isn't sensible or drinkable at all.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, served in a snifter glass 4/29/2016.

Pours a dark black body, more or less like the base Marshal Zhukov. Half finger brown head, short retention, not a lot of lacing. Smells of rich cocoa, chocolate and a nice apple brandy oak presence. Didn't get a ton of vanilla on this, though it pokes out its head a bit more as it warms up. Flavour is similarly heavy on the Marshal Zhukov base, which is not a bad thing, though you expect a bit more. Apple brandy presence is great, with a warming green apple background. The vanilla is around, but it never really comes into its own. That being said, maybe it's not supposed to be the star of the show. I think the apple brandy does that very well here. Mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied, a bit thinner than expected but not significantly so. A bit of hype behind this, likely related to the trading scene, but overall this is a very solid barrel-aging treatment on a stellar base beer.

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Photo of spycow
4.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted during our visit to Cigar City. Reminded me of their Apple Brandy Hunaphu variant they made several years ago. The apple brandy goes perfect with the imperial stout and then you add complexity of the vanilla beans that give it this apple vanilla turnover taste. Not too sweet but perfect balance of the richness of the stout and the addition of the vanilla beans coming out of apple brandy barrel. Outstanding and would live up to any hype. Cheers!

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Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a great one. Missed this at Huna Day but had a friend come through to get me a taste. Base Zhukov is always good, but like Dark Lord, the barrel versions are (almost) always way better. Loved the flavor profile on this one. Would love to get more!

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Photo of joemochas
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you're in a random CCB line at Hunahpu's Day, 3rd person from the station, and they randomly tap this, what do you do? You drink the damned delicious beer. This was fantastic.

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Photo of cardsfan
4.73/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this at a bottle share so have updated my rating as I had this at Huna Day after several heavy stouts. The apply brandy really shines through despite such a thick tasty base. Get a little vanilla but overall an excellent variant.

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Photo of trooperp
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Three significant layers.. Initially, the apple brandy envelopes your mouth and nose. Truly smells breathtakingly sensational! It then twists and layers through the Rick, thick dark chocolate... It finishes with a warm melting vanilla.. Each taste was better than the last.. Certainly a masterpiece and religious journey..

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Photo of JNewbs
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply unreal. Thanks to Ben G. for bringing this to our tasting. One upped the entirety of what everyone else brought to sample. Which is absolutely saying something considering that we had a 2007-2015 BCBS vertical on the same night. Honestly one of the best nights ever, and I have 3 kids.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.39/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Apple brandy is a nice barrel treatment of an excellent base beer. Vanilla is a bit lacking. Great to try but not worth the effort needed in obtaining this whale.

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Photo of BeRanger
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Poured dark, like motor oil with a nice dark brown rim into my snifter.

S: Originally slightly chilled the nose was filled with Apple Brandy however as I left the beer warm the vanilla started to shine through. A little booze on the nose but its not overpowering.

T: Divine - fantastic combination of the apple brandy barrel and a blend of vanilla. The barrel was just right - not overly sweet, a perfect compliment to a top notch base beer. Can't help but think about a fudge dipped caramel apple with some vanilla drizzle.

F: Thick, Chewy - the mouth feel you'd expect from regular zhukov with a little more grit. This one will coat your glass.

O: Better than I expected - the beer came out absolutely perfect. Highly recommend taking this from slightly chilled to room temp to see the contrast between predominantly barrel and the vanilla. I could drink this all day, every day. Cheers to CCB and "BeerZareGewd!"

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Photo of Kylo76
3.43/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Was really excited to try this, most disappointing beer I've ever had. Poured pitch black with little head into snifter. Got a bit of the Apple brandy and vanilla in the nose. First taste was extremely sweet and syrupy with a very medicinal aftertaste. Tasted almost like corn syrup, not boozy nor did I get much barrel character. Overall way too sweet with a musty soy sauce like aftertaste and a syrup viscosity. Had 50 beers at the share and this finished in the bottom five.

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Photo of JamesH
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unfreaking-believable. A bit roasty as it is fairly fresh Zhukovs but once it hits room temperature the apple brandy compliments the roasty base of the beer. Basically a caramelized vanilla apple dipped in brandy and zhukovs. Wonderful beer. One of the best that CCB has brewed in a long time.

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Photo of HitchSlap
4.98/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best beer I've ever had from CCB was the AB Zhukov they did for tap only in 2011. So I was stoked to try this new batch with vanilla beans added.

A: Dark, viscous, completely blacks out the glass allowing no light through, low-ish carbonation.

S: Booze, fruited brandy, bitter chocolate.

T: Unreal, never have I had a beer this well executed. At cold temp the vanilla was very subtle, as it warmed up the vanilla came through like a champ, but never overshadowed the awesome flavor Laird's Apple Brandy Barrels provide. Not at al cloyingly sweet.

M: sticks to the glass and the sides of your mouth, thick, very very thick.

O: I don't see how you improve upon this beer, this kills almost any TG stout I've had to date and sets a new standard for BA stouts.

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Photo of masucci85
4.94/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite possibly one of the best and most unique smelling beers I have ever had Apple, Fresh thick Fudge, Brandy, Rich Caramel and Vanilla. Like smelling Christmas morning at grandmas house next to a fire with a silk smoking jacket on.
The brandy is more toned down than the nose leads to believe no booze burn, very dangerous. The sweet notes hang around without ever becoming overwhelming, and OMG that Vanilla.
Mouth feel is full bodied lots of texture and perfectly chewy.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say this is not just one the best stouts I have ever had but possible one of the best beers I have ever had. Truly a unique experience that can hardly be translated into words.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Apple Brandy Barrel Aged W/ Vanilla Beans from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 123 ratings