Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout
Cigar City Brewing

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout
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Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #20
ABV:
11.8%
Score:
97
Ranked #374
Avg:
4.39 | pDev: 8.88%
Reviews:
648
Ratings:
2,957
From:
Cigar City Brewing
 
Florida, United States
Avail:
Summer
Wants
  1,167
Gots
  969
SCORE
97
World-Class
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout
Notes: This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of backstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with Mushroom Solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

We brew and release Zhukov's in the summer knowing that a beer of this heft reaches its full potential a few months after release. So save a bottle for the cold winter!

80 IBU
Reviews: 648 | Ratings: 2,957 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MisfitIK-9:
Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of SawDog505
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 16 oz Snulip, vintage 2017. Pours as pitch black as any beer ever, with a massive 2 finger dark mocha head that leaves some massive streaks of lace behind, with excellent retention.

Smell is deep dark chocolate, expresso beans, vanilla, molasses, and just a tickle of alcohol.

Taste is what you would expect dark chocolate and roasty coffee dominate up front with vanilla, molasses, leather, and warming alcohol in the long lingering and satisfying finish.

Mouthfeel is big and viscous, enough life, definetly dry as you expect from a beer of this girth, and a sipper that because of the complex flavors and amazing taste goes down way too easy.

Overall it was hard to judge knowing my sky high expectations, well it totally delivered one of the best stout I have ever had and possibly the most gorgeous beer on earth! Thanks Doctorzombie for this treat.

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Photo of Kramerwtmf
1.23/5  rDev -72%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I was really looking forward to trying the 2013 Zhukov. I opened the bottle and noticed a strange aroma, but when I poured it it looked delicious. I took another whiff and wow this smelled horrible. The taste was just as bad. I'm so disappointed but I hope I get to try this again.

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Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the deepest pour of any stout I have come across,jet black with a deep cocoa powder colored thick creamy head,just awesome.Deep molasses and coffee aromas really stand out when pouring,some roasted nut and chocolate round out an aggressive aroma profile.Thick and creamy feel to the beer makes it glide down to easy.Flavors of black strap molasses and chocolate start out on the palate wich is somewhat sweet but not overly so,French roast coffee and mild earthy tones keep the beer balanced and more quaffable,the alcohol is there but it didn't make it less drnkable.Wow this is a brash bad ass imperial stout,no wonder the high ratings,one of the best beers I have had this year...if not the best.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 Bomber

Thick, oily pour with a shallow tan head that settles and leaves solid lacing.

Smell is more dark fruit than malts, interesting non-adjunct imperial stout. Taste is right in line with this... there's a very thick body and nice malty backbone, but you don't necessarily get a lot of it in the taste... the taste is subtle, but sweet dark fruits like raisins/dates.

Really enjoyed this, and put it right up there with the best non barrel aged or adjunct stouts!

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Photo of BrownNut
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, aged 16 months from 8/2012 bottling, sampled on NYE 2013 after having reviewed it in 9/2012 and 1/2013 below. Served cool in a snifter. Scores reflect 1/2013 tasting.

A - 4.5 - Thickest, most used-motor-oil pour I've seen. Possibly the darkest head I've seen - chocolate milk brown initially, which lightens.

S - 4.0 - Nice bitter chocolate. Some ash and fresh baked dark bread.

T - 4.5 - Still pretty stiff despite the year plus of aging. Substantial char. Edges even a bit into ashtray territory. Dark/bitter chocolate leaning towards baker's chocolate. Only in the sides of my mouth during and after swallowing is there a hint of sweet, a suggestion of fruit. That's when the char/ash takes over, while a bit of tart sweetness lingers on the lips and tongue tip. Over the course of the bottle, a grown-up chocolate syrup note comes more forward.

M - 5.0 - Viscous like pudding. Very thick, heavy, and smooth. So nice. Thicker than BCBS or tied for thickness.

O - 4.5 - This is a huge imperial stout and not for the faint of heart. Very well done. I think the main effect of aging it over a year has been make it creamier.

JANUARY 2013 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

2012 vintage, drunk Jan 2013, made without looking back at the previous one until after re-reviewing. Bottle to tulip, served starting at 55 degrees F.

When they released this in Sep 2012 they recommended letting it age for several months to fully come together.

A - 4.75 - Opaque black with a thick, enduring mocha-colored head. Serious lacing.

S - 4.0 - Somewhat reserved. Chocolate. Hint of coffee. Hint of wood. For a flash I got something boozy, for a couple of flashes I got something vinous.

T - 4.5 - Months of aging have taken some of the bitter edge off. It was difficult to get through a 750 of this when I had it fresh - not in a bad way, just in a big, bold, challenging way that made you take it slow. Now it has mellowed some. I'm still left with a bitter chocolate aftertaste, but not a strong one. It's not so full of char in the main body as before. It's more balanced, with the dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa, and chocolate syrup notes coming forward, although not overly sweetly. A touch vinous. The taste and mouthfeel still make you go slower than you would with another beer, which I love.

M - 5.0 - Superb. Thick, heavy body approaching pudding feel. Creamy, velvety, viscous from lips to throat.

O - 4.5 - A fine, fine imperial stout. This is a serious beer.

SEPTEMBER 2012 REVIEW OF 2012 VINTAGE

Here's my original review from Sep '12. The official scores for this review reflect this tasting.

2012 vintage, drunk late September 2012. Bottle to tulip, served cool.

A - 4.5 - Pours like motor oil, thick, viscous, and black, with one of the darkest heads I've seen. Like dense chocolate milk color. Gets a bit lighter as it sits. A thick, enduring head.

S - 4.5 - A comforting graham cracker malty aroma intersecting with a delicate roasty char. A few times, just for a flash, I got a whiff of hops.

T - 4.5 - Perfect balance. There's a maturity to this combination of flavors. Yes, there's chocolate, but it doesn't go too far in any one chocolate direction such as chocolate syrup or brownies or cocoa or semisweet or milk chocolate or baking chocolate like many do, but rather occupies the nexus of them all while tastefully restraining all of the chocolate and sweetness against the other elements such as some char, woodiness, and coffee. None step forward to be dominant. As it gets closer to room temp, the char becomes easier to parse out.

That same refined, mature, chocolatey, charry, dry quality persists in the exhale after swallowing.

There's some kind of fruit flavor left on the lips afterwards, like maybe cherry, which wasn't apparent in the main tasting. Think of a dark chocolate covered cherry and pull back on the candy cherry intensity and sweetness.

The winey combination of fruit and chocolate veers briefly into hop territory sometimes and then disappears. It overlaps so nicely with those other flavors. The aftertaste is the best kind of tease, threatening to cross the threshold into real bitterness but holds just shy. Threatens to be too chocolatey but holds just shy. Threatens to be too much char and holds just shy. It's so well balanced.

M - 5 - Medium-heavy bodied, viscous, and ultra smooth. Either a moderate dryness or the very beginning of hop abrasion does its mild work on the tongue. Leaves a nice warm burn at the back of the throat for a little while. Only HotD Fred has a better mouthfeel due to pure sexiness.

O - 4.5 - Here's a hyped beer that delivers. One of the best. Everything comes together so nicely. This is grown up stout, yet still so rich. I tend to fly through beers more quickly than I'd like, but this one insists on being savored.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a blunt in a bottle.

Deep, dark, abyss-like black pour with an angry red head of 1/2 finger. Bubbles flirt with you as they smile up the side shallowly.

You know when you're about to try a drug that you know could be a turning point for your life, and it's right there in front of you? That's the aroma. It's got such a depth, a danger, something so unknown you don't even dare to figure out why or who or how. The aroma is cigars, tobacco, leather, oak, wood, slight vanilla (but only in a sense that you're in a cigar smoker's Cadillac). This beer is DARK. Zero bright notes.

And then it hits you. Bam. Right in the kisser. Tobacco. Ash. Dark chocolate. Cigar papers. Molasses. Pungent piney bitterness from piney and smokey hops. Herbal bitterness is off the charts for style. This beer is 100% dark, takes no prisoners, and will kill you.

Feel is thick, viscous, coats the mouth, sharp carbonation up the middle.

Overall, if there's a beer that perfectly flirts on the line between Imperial Stout and Black IPA, this is the golden child. The rich tobacco and dark chocolate notes are there but the hops are just humongous. The palate punishment is quite possibly too much, but I keep coming back for more. The hops, the dankness, the cigar ash...just wow. It's really delicious, but it's palate punishment on so many levels. This is the dungeon of stouts. Why is it named Marshall Zhukov? Was he an evil, tempestuous, disturbed man? I think one can only handle 6 ounces of this at a time before being transported to a black hole in space.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle into a tulip. a year old.

pours like black treacle. blackest of black bodies, with a large dark brown head, the darkest head I've ever seen on a beer. This looks Awesome!

some mild aromas of chocolate & toffee.

Smooth, smoky, chocolate. coffee, a slight sweetness and a slow burn from the alcohol, and a faint bitterness. None of these dominate, and this is a superbly balanced Imperial Stout. Later in the dink, the burn does get a little more pronounced, But I thoroughly enjoyed this drink.

The mouth is closing in on full, finish is a not too strong faintly coffee burn with a touch of bitterness.

Overall, an excellent Imperial stout. I find it rare when I get all the tastes described on the label ,but that was the case here. Cigar City nailed this one, and it's a must grab when it appears on the shelves.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of claaark13
4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into a DHF chalice. Thanks urwithdave, I've wanted to try this guy for a while now and just hadn't gotten around to trading for it.

A - Perfect. Pours like I'm topping my car off with a liter of oil. So dark, so thick. A dark, chocolate colored head slowly rises from the 12oz line to the top of the chalice. As time passes and sips occur, the head retains at 1/4" or a little less. Beautiful. This is exactly how I want all of my RIS to pour.

S - Before any sips, I was getting roasted malts with a very mild amount of hops in the background. As it warmed, I picked up on some sweetness. As I drank and as it continued to warm, the sweetness turned to dark fruits / roasted malts. Pretty good aroma all around. My wife described it as shoving your face into a bag of chocolate covered raisins. I can agree with this assessment. Nothing great stands out at me though and makes me think, "I need to try this right now."

T - Sweetness upfront and then the whole way through, finishing with roasted malts and a slight hint of what I'd call slightly burnt coffee. Sweet, creamy middle flavor. Finish is dry. Upon further investigation (2nd sip), I think I'm getting some hops here. As I get further into the glass, I get sweet dark fruits -> mild hops -> sweet roasted malts. The sweetness is evident, but not overpowering. The more I drink this, the more I really enjoy it. I am going to finish this bottle without issue. Not a lot of complexities, but a very nice drink.

M - Oh yes, this is how I like my RIS. I'll put this one up there with the appearance...perfect. Thick, creamy, full. RIS should have to be at least this thick to compete. Drinkability isn't really dinged here for me, but that is just my opinion.

O - I really like this beer. It is unique in that I think it hits the middle ground of two categories of RIS: thick/sweet and thick/hoppy. It stands out among most peers. Balance isn't perfect, but it is good. Of course, I'm comparing it to other "fresh" bottles of RIS to be fair. $12? Really? I'd buy as case, annually, if I lived in Tampa. I think the fact that this is available on the shelves holds it back on many people's scales, but I think it would fare very well in a blind taste test.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at the Cigar City brewery on a trip to Tampa...

Poured from a bomber into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black. No carbonation, no head, and no lace to be had here. Bummer...

S - Chocolate, caramel, molasses, and a hint of coffee...

T - Pretty much follows the smell. Chocolate, dark roasted malts, molasses, and coffee. Ends on a sweet caramel note. A little sweeter than I expected, but still really tasty, and abv is very well hidden...

M - Despite the lack of carbonation this one has a good mouthfeel. Thick and chewy like a good RIS should be...

D - Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again with a little carbonation. All in all, another solid brew from CC...

Cheers...

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Photo of Kmlund
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Dmbphoenix
4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Roze
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of ricecracker420
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of MrMonotone69
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of Zraly
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sent to me by my soon-to be boss (how lucky am I?) -- Opaque black with a very faint espresso crema head. Smells of rich chocolate, earth and tobacco. Fabulous legs. Swirl this one and see this stout cling to your glass for dear life. Cigar City is chasing down the wine snob in me with this one!

Sticky sweet and perhaps the most intense, hardcore chocolate note I've come across yet in an imperial stout. The creamy smooth finish is divine. Notes of bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and cocoa. Extremely tasty.

Incredible. A monster. And would make a lovely dessert beer paired with your best dark chocolate and dried cherries.

One of the best.

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Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of TheBronze
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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

Was lucky enough to get a glass of this at the Ginger Man in NYC when I was in the city for one night. Served in a snifter, this is probably the darkest stout I have seen to date.

Had a small dark mocha colored head that faded very quickly, but did leave lacing on the side of the glass. I detected a hint of smoke on a predominantly coffee nose, but I couldnt wait to taste this beer.

Worth every bit of attention that this beer receives, the taste and mouthfeel is where this beer shines. A little thick, almost treacly feel that really allows you to pick up on all the tastes that this beer has to offer. Will be searching it out in the future!

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Photo of tsauce2
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2957 ratings