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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout | Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 548 | Ratings: 2,627
Photo of kzoobrew
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Stone IRS snifter, served at room temp.

Viscous black liquid emerges from the bottle. Heavy pour produces a very scant head. Dark brown sugar cap goes nearly as soon as it came, though leaves a surprising amount of lacing. Carbonation is visibly missing from this bottle. Body is void of light, opaque is an understatement.

Rich fudgy chocolate oozes from the glass. Smoky, charred malt is set just behind. A slight bit of ash is noted. Molasses and hints of licorice can be enjoyed as a more subtle scent. Warmth brings out a rather pleasant caramel flavor to the surface.

The contrast of flavors noticed right of the bat leads me to believe I am in for a treat. Sweet chocolate, rich creme and caramel flavors are balanced by a roasted nearly charred malt flavor and hints of espresso.

Thick creamy mouthfeel despite the complete lack of carbonation. Thick flavors coats making for a long finish. Carbonation is completely lacking, even a light amount would improve the mouthfeel tremendously.

Impressive beer. Any beer which can overcome a complete lack of carbonation and still score very high is worthy of the praise it receives. The alcohol is hidden rather well. Certainly a sipper but every sip is enjoyable. Pairs very well with homemade roasted cinnamon and cayenne dark chocolate truffles.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bomber poured into 2 Cigar City snifters.

a: Black body. Thick like oil. One finger head. Brown like leather.

s: Roasted malt, molasses, baker's chocolate, faint coffee.

t: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, smoked molasses, espresso and hop spice finish.

mf: Full chewy body. Heavy with low carbonation.

o: All is OK when this beer warms. The raw ground espresso roast after taste is a bit much.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, 2010 version.

Appearance: Pours out completely pitch black and very viscous-looking. About a finger of a dark brown/orangish tinted head forms. A bit in the way of lacing, and okay retention. This is definitely one of the more impressive imperial stouts as far as viscosity that I've seen, which really picks this beer up from an appearance standpoint.

Smell: Both bitter and sweet chocolate as well as cacao nibs come out immediately to me. Underneath that, I get vanilla, light dark fruits and toffee, and a big roasted/bitter/ burned malt presence with a touch of hops on the back end.

Taste: Bitter roasted malts right up front. Bitter chocolate, vanilla and coffee as well. Lightly hoppy on the back end, and I can feel the alcohol in the back of the throat more than I can taste it. I did like it, but I would call it a touch messy overall; too much malt bitterness and it still seemed pretty hot at this point.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Despite the head that formed on the pour, this beer has a surprisingly low amount of carbonation. It is heavy bodied and very viscous, but comes close to being flat. I don't think I care for it too much. Overall, I enjoyed the beer but wouldn't go out of my way for it again. A bit more time in the cellar would have done this one some good.

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Photo of claaark13
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
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 zaphodchak
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like OIL. Solid finger of brown, almost black head. Incredibly dark body with nice lace. Almost nothing looks like this.

Licorice, fennel, and some tangy, malty funk in the nose.

Bitter and charred. Lots of bitter black chocolate, sweeter malt on the aftertaste. Some of that bitterness is probably hops, but it's hard to tell.

Quite syrupy.

Remarkable. Darkest head I've seen. Brutally intense, but kinda balanced. Not 'drinkable,' but good. Everyone's favorite paradox.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Christmas gift from my dad. Enjoying a glass on this new years day.
Pours an inky blacker than black.Head is deep brown color. smoky almost. Deep espresso foam color. Gorgeous stout appearance.
Smells of 70% cocoa, espresso, licorice, burnt malt, sorghum molasses, toffee, maple, buckwheat, a nice slightly sour dark Sourdough bread undertone, pepper coffee, really nice and full.
Taste is ...wow..syrupy molasses,chocolate, coffee liqorice, coffe liqour, sweet, sticky malt blackstap molasses in big way, smoke tobacco, malt.just overall a big thick rich blend of espresso molasses smoothness.
Mouthfeel is sticky rich and full. each sip is another wave of flavor.Palate coating, low carbonation, almost too low.
Great sipper, great stout. Carbonation affects my scoring a bit, but over all another great beer fromCCB.
Thanks Dad Prost!

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
2010 Vintage

Thanks to my buddy futura123 for this one.

Appearance: From pictures I had seen, Marshal Zhukov was almost guaranteed to get a 5 on appearance, however the almost inaudible hiss upon cracking the cap might put this in jeopardy. The pour lives up to my expectation - thick, viscous and black as Satan's heart. Needless to say the beer appears pitch black in the glass, with a back light not even managing to reveal a micron of red along the edge. Sadly my initial concern regarding the carbonation appear justified, as even the most vigorous of pours only manages to generate a very thin layer of foam. The foam that does generate is a beautiful dark mocha colour - I can just imagine how good this would look with a full head! A swirl coats the glass in a thick brown residue, that fades into heavy alcohol legs (this is going to be a bitch to clean).

Smell: Holy hell, now this is what I call a nose - you can smell this from a mile away and boy does it smell good! Massive dark chocolate aromas combine with dark roasted coffee, roasted malt, dark caramel and molasses to form the bulk of the nose. In addition closer inspection of the nose yields notes of: Caramelized/burned brown sugar, sweet dark toffee, a little sweet milk chocolate, burned raisins, a hint of date, some char, a hint of smoke and a little liquorice. As the beer hits room temperature, the nose becomes a lot sweeter, with dark chocolate fudge and a hint of vanilla becoming apparent.

Taste: As the nose promised, the flavour is massive in every way - each sip bombards your taste buds with masses of dark chocolate, sweet dark caramel, molasses and a massive blast of roasted malt towards the finish. Other flavour notes include: caramelized (almost burned) brown sugar, coffee, sweet dark fruits (raisins, dates and maybe a hint of cherry), milk chocolate, a touch of vanilla, some char, a touch of liquorice and a distinct woody note (strange since this has not been aged in any barrels).
The finish is still quite bitter (the 80 IBUs don't seem to have faded after 2 years in the bottle) and lightly dry. There is absolutely no trace of the 11% Abv, which makes this dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Perfect! As with the rest of the beer, the body is absolutely massive - viscous, chewy and sticky. The carbonation is of a very low level (just perfect for my tastes) and wonderfully smooth.

Overall: Marshal Zhukov is one hell of a beer and is easily one of the best un-barrel-aged imperial stouts I have had! I would highly recommend this for anyone who loves massive imperial stouts. I will certainly be trading for a whole lot more of this!

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Poured from 750 ml bottle into an efes snifter. Tudor brown head, decent retention. Oily, clear lacing slides down the glass. Aroma consists of roasted malt, coffee, slight alcohol, even a touch of bacony smoke. Taste includes coffee, faint chocolate, slight underlying sweet malt and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is very, very thick and viscous. Certainly more amazing upon warming. Spectacular.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Obsidian with a dark brown head, perhaps the darkest beer I have ever seen.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, molasses in a delicious nose.

T: Dark chocolate, but sweet, molasses.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: This beer is an epic drinking experience. One of the best non-barrel aged imperial stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of ubenumber2
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours midnight black with an almost black head , smells of toasted malts and chocolate , thick tasting beer , almost like taking a bite instead of a drink. Overall this is one of the best Non BA stouts I have ever had , glad I have more put back and will be tracking more down

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Photo of EricCioe
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours deep black, one of the most viscous looking beers I've ever seen, which surprised me given the Huna that we had right before this. On the nose there is a giant roast component, dark fruit and vanilla and molasses. This is a very sweet beer. In the mouth the roast provides a base for molasses, dark fruit, and some smoke to play around on. The body is thick, one of the thickest I've ever experienced, with a long finish of the various flavors fading together.

Overall, I'd drink this over Huna all day long. There is enough going on in this beer, and to me Huna pushes all those flavors over the edge. While you can't call this balanced, for a big stout everything sits well together.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night.

Pours black with clear, amber edges. No real head on my pour and no lacing. Thick and viscous pour.

Heavily roasted malts with black licorice. Heavy char.

Very little carbonation on the mouthfeel, as well. Lots of heavy char and licorice.

Big and tasty.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle with a year of age on it.

A - Black with a nice beep brown small(ish)head.

S - Big. roasty, chocolate, malty

T - Like the nose. Chocolate, roasty, coffee, malty. Very smooth.

M - Very thick, slightly oily. Coats the mouth.

O - Very good. Up there witht the best imperial stouts.

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Photo of Pete27lax
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2011 bottle on 11/25/11

The look of this beer is the perfect view of an RIS in my opinion. A sludgy, oil like pour comes out with a solid 1 finger head. The word black simply doesn't do this beer justice, incredibly dark and dense. Fantastic appearance.

Smell was great as well. Very sweet, molasses is there upfront. Roasty coffee and chocolate are there but take a back seat to the sweet molasses. A tiny bit of the alcohol is present but expected due to the abv.

Taste, though very good as well, was the low point in this beer. (which is definitely not a negative comment) Roasted notes are very noticeable, especially in the after taste. Taste is extremely sweet, dark fruits and molasses. Chocolate also adds to the sweetness. I also have to note how there is no trace of alcohol in the taste which is very impressive.

Can't say enough about the mouthfeel. This is what my ideal RIS feels like. Thick, dense, sticky, all the way through. Really stays on your palate for a while which is just great. I have yet to try a stout with a mouthfeel as impressive as Zhukov (though I have yet to try Dark Lord).

Overall one of my favorite RIS to date. Great all the way through and can't wait to see how this does with some age!

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Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a mid-sized, creamy, tan head. Great retention. The aroma is a swirl of chocolate, and espresso with hints of vanilla and molasses. Full-bodied and very creamy with some carbonation. Sweet chocolate and bitter coffee flavor. Well-balanced. Lengthy, burnt, bitter finish. World class imperial stout!

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Photo of mikey711
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from Dstructo.

A: Pitch black. No light can get through this beast. THe head is brown and bubbly and leaves very nice lacing.

S: Smokey/peety is the first thing that I detect then a bit of roast, coffee, and chocolaty sweetness. It smells a bit likt scotch. As it warms some of the smokiness fades more into chocolate.

T: The smokiness still comes through and is very enjoyable but it is much more balance with the roasted malts and bitter chocolate. The bitterness is mostly in the finish.

4: Rich, creamy, bold. The bitterness from the chocolate lingers a bit too long for my liking. No chalkiness and no booziness.

D: I plan on enjoying this one for a long period of time while splitting the bottle.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into my tulip. 2011 vintage.

A – Black. Beyond black. Huge 3 fingers of creamy deep dark brown head that just clings to the glass. Looks like chocolate egg cream froth.

S – Dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, coffee, vanilla.

T – Huge and heavy roasted malts immediately. Full dark chocolate taste right after but not making this overly sweet. It is there but its not a super sweet stout. Vanilla and molasses present. Has a nice bitter effect at the end. Warming alcohol finishes it off.

M – Thick and creamy. It totally coats your mouth from corner to corner. Viscous is the word. Nice.

O – Excellent stout. Its got a great complex taste. Leaves you wanting more. Was an easy drinker considering the ABV. Glad I bought a few of these.

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Photo of zachary80
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, great lacing, very good head that fades but stays stronger than normal.

Smells fairly average for an imperial stout.

Taste is heavy roast - a little rough but still pleasing.

Very heavy mouthfeel - one of the heaviest, and fits well with the flavor.

Overall a great beer but not my favorite IS.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this CCB brew. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pretty freaking nice. Absolute clear separation between the body and head. Poured a dark black color...almost like the color of an infinite abyss. Zero visibility. Produced three fingers with of cocoa, tan colored head. Stellar head retention and some lacing as consumed.

S- A very nice aroma indeed. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. While this dominated, I could pick up a nice subtle layer of sweetness underneath...almost like molasses.

T- Bittering, chocolate malts and slight fruit character upfront that quickly transitions into a roasted, charred flavor. Finishes with a tad bit of creamy, sweetness and a decent amount of heat.

M- Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Wished this was a little more viscous.

D- With the level of bitterness upfront, and then the heavy charred flavors and big alcohol heat on the back end, my one glass became a pretty big chore to put down.

Overall, this is only my second beer from CCB, but I have not been impressed whatsoever. It was dressed for the part and had a pretty decent aroma, but just really fell apart in the other three areas. Hopefully they can prove me wrong down the road.

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Photo of Anthony1
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all. Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable. Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation.

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Photo of azorie
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is outside of the UK, this is best example of a prefect RIS, there is IN FLORIDA.

rich creamy sweet, dark chocolate taste, just heaven... really the rest is just for the eyes.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks Kevin for sharing this.

A- Pours a thick dark black body, ½ finger tan chocolate head, nice lacing, very opaque, decent carbonation.
S-The aroma is very nice, cocoa, dark malts, vanilla, some brown sugar, big roasted notes, coffee, caramel.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma, cocoa, chocolate, hints of vanilla, brown sugar, nice roasted coffee comes out as well, caramel, slight dark fruits (cherries, plums) dark malts.
M- Big mouth feel, thick body, well carbonated, smooth drinking.
O- This beer was enjoyable, I have yet to come across a CCB beer that was a disappointment, I would love to revisit this beer some time down the road.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the most opaque, motor oil pour I have ever seen. This tastes like liquid fudge. Flavor is a blend of bitter dark chocolate and espresso. Mouthfeel is motor oil thick, which was foreshadowed by the pour. A really good RIS.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Richard H..), unknown vintage (2013?), poured into a BBA snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes

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Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beast of a beer all around.This is up there with Ten Fidy,Speedway stout...and any top non barrel aged beer.this one can compete with the best of them.Would love to try the BA version.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
4.29 out of 5 based on 2,627 ratings.
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