Marshal Zhukov - Vanilla Hazelnut
Cigar City Brewing

Marshal Zhukov  - Vanilla HazelnutMarshal Zhukov  - Vanilla Hazelnut
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.2 | pDev: 8.57%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Marshal Zhukov  - Vanilla HazelnutMarshal Zhukov  - Vanilla Hazelnut
Notes: Classic Marshal Zhukov’s imperial stout with roasted hazelnuts and vanilla.
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 293 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kitch
kitch from Hong Kong

4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 22 fl. oz. bomber with no bottled on or best before date. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a thin brown head that dissipated quickly and left only sparse lacing.

Aroma: Roasty, chocolate, molasses, licorice, dark fruit, raisin, plum and a touch of vanilla.

Taste: Roasty, dark fruit, plum, prunes, raisin, chocolate, coffee, molasses, licorice and hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: The base of roastiness, chocolate and dark fruit is good, but I’m not getting much of the adjuncts. The vanilla come through lightly with just hints of it here and there. While the hazelnut, I’m just not really getting at all. It’s a good sipping Russian Imperial Stout though.

Oct 07, 2019
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, aged at least a year and a half:
Pour like the oil to be discarded after a change. there is a nice, chocolate nougat head that slowly bubbles up from the darkness, mostly tight bubbles with some medium ones thrown in. The larger ones fade first, making the dark brown head seem more creamy. Soon enough the smaller ones start to disappear to give the impression of a very slow fade out.

Nose doesn't have a big pop to it, and is noticeably missing the vanilla addition. The basic roasty malt of a rich stout is the main aspect here, with a little hint of the hazelnuts. Specific aspects are a nice little char and just a whiff of that soy sauce umami.

The taste starts with a nice amount of that roasted malt right off the bat. A little unsweetened brownie and cocoa powder flavor come out, in both taste and feel. A medium full feel has a bit of an oily start, but the char dries out and gives a little powdery to chalky feel - but not a distracting one. The vanilla is still not noted, and neither is the hazelnut in the first few sips. However, as my palate adjusts to the chocolate roasted goodness, a nutty presence starts to show itself. It's integrated quite nicely into the initial flavors as well as into the very light burn of alcohol that comes with the dark soy sauce noted in the nose (it's just about as light in the taste as it is in the nose).

Quite nice - and a little more smooth in flavor and feel than I recall the base beer, which I liked quite a bit. It also seems to have a little sweeter profile - perhaps the vanilla is working under the covers to help. Seems like aging worked well on this one (entirely in refrigerator).

Sep 30, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From Saveur Biere. In Teku glass. Watching X-Men Apocalypse. Alcoholic and chocolately. The vanilla and hazelnut notes are not very clear but probably provide its peculiar profile. Pleasant at first, but however it becomes too sweet and sticky in the long run

Apr 01, 2018
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kevanb from Illinois

3.41/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

650ml bottle, believed to be 2017 release, poured into a Cigar City Hunaphu snifter glass.

The beer pours a jet black color, thick and viscous, looks like motor oil with a thick and firm tan head, great retention and spotted lace. The aroma is pleasant, lots of roasty grains, rich chocolate, light vanilla with a bit of nuttiness and some stone fruit acidity. The flavors are disappointing, really harsh roast character, dark grains, light ashy smoke, almost acrid like coffee flavor with light stone fruits, bittersweet chocolate and very artificial tasting vanilla. The mouthfeel is coating and thick, creamy with a heavy body, excellent texture that coats well and finishes with a soft but warm creamy texture.

Verdict: A bit of a mess, the hazelnut character is hardly noticeable and indistinguishable from the chocolate flavors found in the base Marshall Zhukov and the vanilla is fairly cheap and artificial tasting. The balance is poor and feels either too roasty or too sweet, just not that great.

Mar 06, 2018
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Pencible from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured anopaque black with thick dark tan head.
S: It smelled like molasses and raisin and roasted coffee, with some cocoa powder and vanilla and nutty toffee.
T: It tasted like bitter dark chocolate and sticky sweet molasses, with some coffee and vanilla and nutty malt. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste with a little alcohol warming.
M: It was super thick and chewy with some carbonation. Amazing gigantic body.
D: This was a delicious brew with well balanced and nuanced scent and taste. The body was perfect, although the finish was a little hot, so it was better to sip. Age would probably help mellow. Fresh is still awesome. Recommended.

Dec 23, 2017
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T-34-85 from New York

4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing imperial stout.
Good thick bodied beer that pours a deep black with short rich brown had of foam, and leaves an oily lacing along the sides of the glass as you tip it side to side.
Nice roasty aroma with notes from the vanilla and hazelnut present. Phenomenal rich assertive taste and an excellently complimenting heavy thick mouth feel.

Totally worth the effort and wait to try this beer.

Dec 07, 2017
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Not much of a "pfft" when the bottle was opened - a bit of a concern there. Black and thick, with a thin tan head that fades almost immediately. Low amount of visible carbonation in this opacity.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts. Tobacco and dark malty roastiness, with some coffee in the roast as well. Minimal if any hazelnut on the nose, which is a bit of a surprise. Nice, but it’s not blowing me away.

T: Chocolate – dark, cacao, and bakers. Roasted maltiness. Some vanilla, but not huge. That deep old leather and tobacco flavor. Deep roasted malts with some bitter roasty notes, and some hop bitterness at the swallow. Sticky sweet malts and the bitter notes battle it out in the hang. I’m still missing any particular hazelnut on the flavor.

T: Thick, viscous, sticky body, as usual for Zhukov and variants. The alcohol presence is surprisingly low. Low carbonation sensation, but as expected for style and the base beer itself.

O: I don’t know if it’s just this bottle, but the vanilla isn’t huge and the hazelnut is essentially missing completely. Both of which are disappointing. Aside from the modest vanilla, this is indistinguishable from base Zhukov. Which is to say, still a pretty darn good beer, but I’m disappointed. I don't know if there was something wrong with this particular bottle - no noise on uncapping, poor head retention - that led to the lack of hazelnut. I'll post back when I open another bottle.

Oct 09, 2017
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Transferred from regular Zhukov)
The people pours a nice brown and creamy head that dissipates fairly quickly but still looks very nice. The beer itself is phenomenal. It's a nice dark chocolate black color with a syrupy texture that betrays its heft. The texture definitely has some weight to this baby.

The smell is good but a little boozy. The hazelnut note seems to dominate everything and covers the vanilla as well. The chocolate is very light but the hazelnut and light vanilla note are bold enough and good enough to make up for the rest of the notes.

The taste is really good. It has a strong hazelnut at the center of the beer but has a stronger vanilla note taste mixing with a cocoa like chocolate note with a light roasted malt note and hop bitterness to it. It definitely tastes like a RIS and the additions don't hurt the flavor at all.

The body is very good. The heavy body has a nice lightly syrup feel with a nice heft like you're eating some nice liquid hazelnut spread. The carbonation is fairly light though but it adds a nice fuzziness to it.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer and worth getting a hold when it's available. The notes mix well with each other and the body is like nothing else.

Aug 26, 2017
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black with a thin mocha head that fades to leave light wisps and a light halo.

S - Aromas of nice chocolate, good stout notes with solid barrel notes. The vanilla is more barrel than actual vanilla notes. The roasted hazelnuts are very light.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very chicory like. Earthy wood with anise notes, the vanilla is really more barrel notes. Also the hazelnuts are very faint, really odd. Surprised by this.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this was a rather average stout, the vanilla and hazelnuts are far too faint unfortunately.

Serving Type: bottle

Jul 02, 2017
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud

Nice thick creamy dark coloured head fades semi quickly, long legs, pitch black thick beer

Nose big thick dark choc, heavy roast and a little char, heavy dark coffee, coffee syrup, vanilla, little toasted hazelnut, little fluffy nougat and cookie dough notes, candy, vanilla etc, baking choc.

Taste huge thick heavy dark beer, tons of dark chocolate, bakers choc, choc syrup, big cookie dough, biscuity wafer cookie, some vanilla, hint of anise licorice, little toasted hazelnut but not much, bitter roast, plenty of roasted coffee and espresso bitterness, a little chicory like, loads of chocolate lingering, little sticky sweet syrupy coffee, bitter earthy hops.

Mouth is heavier bod decent carb no booze

Great base stout but lack of hazelnuts especially and light vanilla is a bit meh.

Jul 02, 2017
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out an amazing rich blackness. Vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, red berry skin and toasted nuts. Roasted malt profile. Medium bodied. Lower carbed. Nice level of sweetness with a fairly bitter bite. Semi dry finish. This is real good.

Jun 23, 2017
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VeganUndead from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The adjuncts do a fantastic job adding additional depth and complexity to the base. Not overly sweet, and remarkably drinkable for an covering over 11%

Jun 06, 2017
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Phyl21ca from Canada

3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of intense fake hazelnut and vanilla extract is not really that interesting. Taste is a mix of astringent bitter roasted malt with quite a bit of residual sugar notes with some hazelnut and vanilla extract which don’t really fit in the mix. Body is full with oily texture and good carbonation with some warming alcohol notes. Low-level of drinkability with too much astringency notes.

Jun 04, 2017
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jopezu from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark oil slick with a thin head that waves goodbye quickly. nose; char, dark chocolate, almond, & mild coffee grind. taste; thick chocolate malt, cocoa, char, vanilla, mellowed citrus hops, plum, & light espresso. dense, heavy carbonation & heavy mouthfeel. high abv is expertly hidden. much more roasty/burnt than the regular zhukov with more vanilla & nut; as advertised. delicious stout!

Jun 03, 2017
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Tommo from Texas

3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The front of this beer is excellent. Nice vanilla notes on the nose, smooth easy going thick body. My issue is the back. Very soy saucy. Not my style at all. So its good, but not something i would ever buy again

Jun 02, 2017
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black beer topped by a finger of dense dark tan head that fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, hazelnuts and vanilla
T: Taste is sweet vanilla up front with some roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso, charred wood and smoke with some hazelnuts as well. Swallow is alcohol, roasted malts and lingering hazelnuts with lingering charred wood.
M: This beer is thick and velvety on the palate with soft carbonation that is just slightly prickly with a dry finish
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some good flavors and complexity. It represents the style well and doesn't have any detectable flaws. Definitely one to try if you like the style.

Jun 01, 2017
Photo of EMH73
EMH73 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ours pitch black with a half inch light brown head that left no lacing and dissipated quickly. Smells and tastes of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, a bit of char, hazlenuts and a hint of vanilla. Medium to full bodied, creamy mouth feel, lightly carbonated. Only real negative is that it is a bit pricey.

May 26, 2017
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Jimmys from Pennsylvania

2.58/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

bomber into Victory Parkesburg glass.

pour is jet black, completely opaque glass of beer. head is where the issue starts. there is none. a thin rim of foam is all I got. no lacing left behind.
smell is full of dark chocolate, alcohol, maybe even some yeast degradation aromas. brown sugar.
flavor is a tad artificial, slick and syrupy. finish is sweet and cloying. tons of residual sugar and a tingly booze combines in the finish which coats your tongue.
very full bodied beer with a lower carb level.
pretty disappointed in this as my first try at this RIS from CCB. I am going against the grain when I say this, but this is not a very good beer. I missed the "vanilla hazelnut" at the top of the label as I was excited to find this stout in PA and thought I had stumbled upon a gem. lucky for me not getting much vanilla or hazelnut, but more artificial character that muddies the finished product. would be willing to try the regular, but not this big of an offering at the high price tag.

Apr 16, 2017
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LAp from Ohio

4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a FFF tasting glass. Espresso laden to the point of tasting almost spicy. Cocoa creaminess. Hazelnut on the backend is very subtle. Vanilla is trace. Phenomenal. This is an unbelievably layered beer. So well done.

Apr 15, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black color with mocha head. Aroma is quite estery with bright apple notes, maybe a hint of white wine and booze. Taste starts slightly tart and fruity, continues with some acidic notes, light earthy notes, overall on the sweeter side with a light bitterness on the finish. Medium to full bodied, smooth feel. Overall it's decent but not as good as the regular version.

Apr 07, 2017
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a coal black color and an opaque consistency. There was a two inch, tan-colored, long-lasting, foamy head. Good, but not great lacing.

S: A nicely enticing aroma of vanilla, light hops, chocolate, roasted malt, and hazelnuts.

T: Tasted of a whole bunch of chocolate, a good shot of roasted malt, some hops, the advertised hazelnuts and vanilla, a tinge of dark fruit, and a little speck of tobacco. Not unsurprisingly, this is a big, bold flavor. It isn't quite as complex as I would have expected, but it's still very tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

O: An incredibly enjoyable, well made RIS. Bracing and interesting.

Apr 06, 2017
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jcflorian from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First off I have never tried the regular version of Zhukov but have heard great things.

Pours pitch black with slight mocha head and zero head.

Aroma is like a chocolate hazelnut candy bar

Ironically the taste is the worst part of this beer. Hazelnut is artificial tasting . Chocolate dominates the flavor but I get very little vanilla.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied . Very appropriate for style.

I really wanted to love this beer. And in some ways I did, but the artificial taste bothered me a lot and affected my ratings big time . Maybe the regular version is better. Would like to try sometime

Mar 27, 2017
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FBarber from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours completely black with a very dark chocolate brown frothy head. Head dissipates slowly but leaves no lacing or residual head. Beer appears pretty thick and viscous.

Smell has a strong aroma of chocolate, hazelnut, some roasted malts and a hint of sugary sweetness.

Taste is very strong in the hazelnuts. Notes of chocolate and roasted malts also come through. The vanilla is hard to find in this. Hints of tobacco, dark fruits and earthy hops on the back end. The earthy hops provide a bit of a bite on the back end. Overall this one had a definite sweetness to it, that isn't bad, but its there.

Feel is rather full bodied. Smooth, creamy, and roasty. Mild prickly carbonation.

Overall a really well done outstanding beer from CCB. Like many have said, I prefer the regular, but I also prefer less sweetness in my stouts in particular RIS. That being said, this is well done and very good - not overly sweet. My only gripe is that I would have liked more vanilla and less hazelnut. But either way, very well crafted.

Mar 25, 2017
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Cigar City tulip glass. It pours ink black with a lovely finger of deep mocha colored head and lacing that lasted through the pour. It's a really attractive pour. You can really smell the hazelnut and vanilla, along with roasted malt, cocoa, and a whiff of tobacco smoke. Wow! It's really flavorful with roasty malt and vanilla up front and chocolate and hazelnut throughout. There's even a hint of dark fruit which I really enjoy. The tastes blend magnificently. This stout is thick, creamy, and chewy with moderate carbonation. It's hard to believe the ABV is 11.2%; it's so smooth. I'll admit this was a Whale for me and I had really high expectations but the Marshal met - even surpassed - them. This is one delicious RIS; no gimmicks, just great brewing!

Mar 25, 2017
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pezhead_79 from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoy the regular Zhukov and had likely too high of an expectation for this variant. The base beer is solid as usual but the vanilla flavor was just not balanced enough to be memorable.

Mar 24, 2017
Marshal Zhukov - Vanilla Hazelnut from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 293 ratings