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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
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
550
Ratings:
2,655
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
20.98%
 
 
Wants:
1,178
Gots:
905
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
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Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 2,655
Photo of tobelerone
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, enjoyed 3/12

A jet-black beer that pours like motor oil, thick and sludgy, with a big brown bubbly head that settles down slowly. Lacing is sticky; the glass looks like I had an ice cream sundae, not a beer.

Nice nose; lots of chocolate, both bitter and milk, anise, espresso, roasty malt, and a just a trace of booze.

Big and tasty, the way this style is supposed to be. It’s all here, tons of chocolately goodness, coffee and roast, just a hint of tobacco, molasses, toffee, caramel, a bit of hoppy bitterness, but just so, in the finish. Sweet, fudgy and desert-worthy; paired especially well with chocolate chip brownies for an over-the-top diabetes-inducing indulgence.

The body on this one is perfect; go big or go home. Tons of chew, thick, thick, thick, low carbonation, your lips are sticky after a sip.

I feel like this one can hang in there with almost any other example of this style. To me it was like going to San Diego and drinking fresh Pliny, Nelson, Kern River, etc. How to say which is best? They are all tremendous examples of American IPAs. Put this one up there with the KBS and the BCBS and the rest in my book. It’s like comparing Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, etc., etc. It’s not that one is better than the other, but rather, who are you in the mood for today?

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Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. This beer looks pretty impressive, appearing almost viscuous like. The nose on this beer is impressive, with considerable coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Both on the nose and palate, this is really a pretty nice beer. On the palate, the beer is moderately sweet, with chocolate, coffee, stewed prunes and dark fruit. There is also a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish, which enhances drinkability in this beer. The sweetness and light hoppy bitterness is well balanced in this beer. Mouthfeel is soft and fairly plush, with a fairly long finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but is not obtrusive or intrusive. This is really a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for opening this one, Torry. Consumed on 11/23/2009 in a snifter. Pours out black like motor oil with a thick, creamy, two finger toffee brown head. Retention is excellent and lacing is scattered. The chocolate component reminds me of a dark chocolate cake. Booze is noticeable and there's and a dash of

Zhukov's RIS opens with dark fruit (plum, grape, currant) blackstrap molasses, and a strong charred malt character. There's a dash of brown sugary sweetness and vanilla. There's a nice moderate level of black coffee, it's not dominant but evident nonetheless. The chocolate toffee.

The flavor opens with aggressive hops, alcohol, and burnt malt. Blackstrap molasses is evident, as well as a light toffee sweetness. The dark chocolate component is strong, and it reminds me a bit of a truffle. Dark fruit is subtle. The beer is pleasant thus far. Midpalate, the roast becomes overdone and the booze is too aggressive. I can't get over the strong char. The finish is dark chocolate, a strong burnt roast, and coffee. It's bitter, aggressive, acrid, and astringent.

Full bodied with an upper level of carbonation and a sticky, chewy, and syrupy mouthfeel.

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Photo of dar482
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a deep black color with very dark chocolate brown head.

The aroma is huge of sweet sweet caramel and toffee notes. Lots of licorice, a touch of smokiness, chocolate, hoppy wood character, dark fruit.

The flavor follows with a thick sticky rolling amount of bittersweet chocolate with a bit of coffee. There's then lots sweet toffee notes and then a kick of bitterness on the end that cleans the beer up. It's extremely complex as it rolls of coffee, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, and a balanced, but strong hop character. Touches of smoke, licorice, molasses.

A full, but clean and smooth mouthfeel.

One of best non-barrel aged imperial stout I've had.

Having had '13 and '12 of this, I can say I prefer it fresher. It just had more complexity and brightness to it.

The beer reminds me of Founders Imperial, but sweetness and more balanced.

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Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a jet, midnight black with a thick, dark tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee, rich, dark chocolate, toasted nuts, freshly cracked grain, raisins, molasses, and a touch of maple.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nod to chocolate malts and ripe fruit, which take over.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, syrupy, sticky, sweet, and roasty.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a a two finger frothy dark mocha/coffee colored head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Splotches of spotty lacing are left behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with hints of espresso/coffee bean, sweet milk and dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, honey as well as some subtle earthy hops. Not overly roasty with a good balance of sweet chocolate. The aroma is amazing and very complex.

Chewy viscous mouthfeel with a very prominent roasty character and tons of sweet silky chocolate maltiness. Lots of deep roasted cofee/espresso bean flavor up front and dry earthy hops with some pine character. This is countered by a silky dark and milky chocolate presence mid palate and a lot of rosted malt, molasses and burnt toast flavor. More roasty espresso and coffe bean presence in the finish. I thought that this beer would be a bit sweeter but it is very dry, bitter and roasty and the hop profile is much more dominant than I would have liked. This beer is a bit rough when fresh but I feel the flavor will improve greatly with age. ABV is very well masked. It's hard to believe it's 11%.

 1,155 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black cola body with a tan head and a roasted chocolate smell as well as coffee, some toasted/burnt malt as well. A thick, slightly smooth body with loads of coffee malt taste along with hints of toffee and bitter chocolate. Dryness eminates from the coffee malts as well as ABV peeking through, in a good way, and is a great beer to sip on.

 356 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to pint glass on 1/29/11

A: Viscous motor oil. I've never seen a beer this thick. It literally coats and leaves a trail of engine wear on the interior of the glass. Little to no head and zero lacing.

S: Black cherries on the nose. You can certainly pick up the alcohol, but it is well integrated with the black fruits and slight hints of smoke.

T: Like Joey Lawrence once said: "Whoah!" Raspberry and black cherry jam fill the mouth upon contact. I detect 70% dark cocoa nibs on the mid-palate, and Kona coffee on the finish. It really coats the tonsils and lingers for some time.

M: Like drinking heavy whipping cream or liquid butter. Massive, epic; it is right up there with Ten Fidy as being one of the thickest stouts - or beers in general - that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

O: An absolutely brilliant brew. This is the first full sized serving I've had of a Cigar City beer, and it did not dissapoint. I do wonder why it was bottled in a 750ml, as it is a much bigger serving then any one human should have in a night.

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

Poured a thick black color with good carbonation.Nose is big and malty, with lots of chocolate and bitter. Taste is rough. Malty and bitter, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits a little sourness. Booze. Mouthfeel is bitter and dry, not appealing at all. Not one I would go back to.
///
Tried again at the South Sound gathering compliments of BA Piclee. I believe original review above was due to infection. This beer was phenom. One the biggest hearty RIS I have had. Big espresso, lots of charred notes, cocoa, and I even detected some smoked meats at times.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour is deep, viscous black with a frothy white head and great lacing. Big leather, roasty, black licorice, pruney, raisins, caramelly, anise, and brown sugary aroma. Taste is deep dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, anise, black licorice, earthy, a touch of grass, leather, and char with a roasted bitter finish. Thick oily mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Rich, decadent and very smooth for 11%. Nice!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Matt for the bottle!

It pours black with a 2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is all sorts of complex; coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, sweet malt, molasses. Wow.

The taste follows suit. All the smells are there with the bottom line of this being a very malty/sweet RIS with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. Super good tasting and the alcohol is hidden pretty well.

The smoothest of mouthfeels with a better drinkability rating than it has a right to, this is simply marvelous.

 523 characters

Photo of kscaldef
2.53/5  rDev -41%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours inky black with no activity. Just a thin layer of foam on the top that very quickly dissipates to a reddish-brown ring.

S: Dominant aroma of blackstrap molasses, with some notes of vanilla, green pepper, and licorice.

T: I'm trying to pick out individual flavors, but it's just something of a muddy "dark" flavor. The biggest thing that stands out is that weird green pepper note. Cocoa powder in the aftertaste. As it warms, a bit more chocolate comes out, but there's also an acrid note that becomes more noticeable.

M: Quite astringent and drying. Virtually no carbonation. A bit cloying.

O: This beer doesn't really come together for me. It's big and bold, but in a muddled and indistinct way, and there's some peculiar notes that I find off-putting (green pepper?). Definitely not one of my top choices of the style.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. This one is a pretty thick pour. Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate notes. 

T- The taste is big and roasty with ton of roasted malt flavors with some unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and some bitterness from the hops in the warming finish. Very nice! All the flavors blend very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I can't wait to try this again with some more age on it! 

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Photo of spinrsx
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle - Thanks to lubiere for this

Appearance - Black/brown colour with a large size fizzy/frothy brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, malts, smoke, nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it isn't as syrupy feeling as I expected. I can taste lots of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and some nuts. There is also a nice amount of smoke mixed with malts. It ends with a bitter sweet aftertaste.

Overall – One of the better RIS's Ive had. Although the taste is big and bold, it's still very drinkable and well balanced. I'd love to have a few bottles of this tucked away.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a FW tulip

dark black pour with a great dark brown head. smell is extremely chocolately and malty. very aromatic. the taste is so sweet. tons of chocolate. no bitterness at all. real impressive RIS!! VERY full bodied. mild carbonation.

overall great. thanks Taylor!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 24/10/14, big cheers towards alfie for the bottle

A motor oil black before it hits the glass, two fingers of super dark foam quickly ends up as a thin film leaving no lace

S bruised plum, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate syrup, faint coffee and smoke, some licorice, more chocolate syrup, some earthy notes, smells rich

T faint spicy notes but it could be left over from some my pork chop seasoning, lots of chocolate of all sorts, no booze anywhere, more coffee then the nose but its still mellow, some molasses and more licorice, a more intense version of the nose

M very thick and syrupy, low carbonation but not flat, sticky on the lips, no booze and an intense coffee and char finish

O thick and rich, lots of chocolate and bonus points for completely hiding the booze, there's zero at every point

well put together RIS, could use some more carbonation but that's my only complaint and its a minor one

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Photo of Immortale25
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. 2014 Vintage, aged for one year.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/4 inch medium brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin ring behind.

S- Super roasty dark chocolate aroma with notes of vanilla, caramel, molasses and char. Also a considerable amount of booze smell. Also some dark fruit and port notes.

T- Big hit of char and dark chocolate with some smoky tones. Charry, nutty aftertaste with equal parts roasty/hoppy bitterness to contrast the sweetness of the residual sugars. Alcohol is very well concealed. Really good with the only flaw being a slight glassy taste.

M- Very creamy and chewy with medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- Why drink Huna when you can have a real stout? Big, bold and assertive yet smooth, refined and nuanced. Damn near everything you could ask for in a RIS.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to GeorgiaBeerGuy for this bottle and welcome to the Lehigh Valley for delivering this in person to enjoy together!

A - Pours a pitch black with a thin toffee colored lacing that's very viscous and sticky, and thick.

S - Thick aroma, molasses, caramel, vanilla, oak, cream, and chocolate.

T - Lots of oak, chocolate, molasses, some booziness, and extremely light cherry flavor.

M - Thick, full bodied, viscous, sticky, and velvet texture.

O - So glad I finally had the opportunity to try this beer!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

When you talk about the darkest, thickest sludge used motor oil stouts, this one has to be mentioned. Doesn't really form a head, but hey, its dark as night in the desert.

Aroma was a little boozy, roasty, no surprises there.

Taste was straightforward, minimal chocolate and coffee notes from the malt, relative smooth stuff. Toffee, somewhat dry yet smooth in an oatmeal kind of way.

Narwhal is better and way more affordable, not gonna be a repeat purchase.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Original review was a 75cl bottle of the 2012 vintage poured at a recent beer tasting yesterday, 7/21/2013, so about a year old. It was poured into an unlabeled snifter glass at room temperature. The updated review is a 75cl bottle of the 2013 vintage poured into a Cigar City snifter yesterday, 9/11/2013. So the updated review is a reflection of the beer when it's fresh.

The nose gives me a good bit of dark chocolate and definitely molasses, with a bit of hefty espresso in the background. I can tell that this beer is the base for the Hunahpu as I recognize some of the notes here. There is also a bit of hop presence here, kind of like in the Founders' Imperial Stout or Victory Storm King. Smells good.

The beer pretty much pours a super thick, viscous motor oil into a straight up dark brown abyss. It is opaque with a creamy mocha head that extends over a cm and slowly dissipates into nothingness, which leaves the beer a placid pool of blackness. Lacing is there in spots and falls back into the beer as I sip on it. It stains the glass brown as I swirl it, much like Hunahpu does. It's so viscous, thick and hefty. Great looking stout!

As I drink this beer, I recognize the flavours I pick out in the nose. The molasses is definitely strong here, providing a nice dose of pure sweetness that is balanced out by the bitterness of the dark chocolate and espresso notes. The finish is just so dark chocolatey and roasty, it is incredible. In my opinion, this finish is missing in the 1 year old Zhukov compared to the fresh version... in the aged version, there is a lot less espresso and the dark chocolate is really more of a lighter, non-bitter milk chocolate type of flavour. But yeah, the fresh version is very complex with so much intense flavours yet it is so well-balanced and transitions very well with each flavour I pick out. I had to remind myself that this was not aged in bourbon barrels.

The body itself is incredibly thick as I alluded to before.. typical Cigar City stout viscosity and creaminess. Such a full bodied beer, with solid carbonation that drinks so very smoothly and feels creamy. Chewy and decadent. Leaves a finish similar to bitter dark chocolate with some roast marshmallow sweetness and a dash of sweet brown sugar.

An outstanding Imperial Stout. Cigar City knows what they're doing.. well, we all knew that already. Zhukov is a strong, complex beer that will keep you warm and interested. I recommend trying this one at least once when you get the chance. Having tried a bunch of RIS's out there, I can confidently say that I prefer Marshal Zhukov to any of the acknowledged RIS heavyweights such as Darkness, Plead the Fifth, Dark Lord, Ten Fidy, Stone IRS etc. Now if Cigar City released a barrel-aged Marshall Zhukov in bottles.. the world would probably collapse on itself.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010.

Poured into a cigar city snifter.

Appearance: Midnight black bodied beer. It looks like motor oil. Medium brown head with less than a fingers worth of head.

Smell: Deep Dark chocolate and roasty coffee.

Taste: Bitter dark chocolate and a heavy malt profile that is not really sweet. Roasty almost burnt coffee notes. Mild astringency noted also. Hardcore RIS almost overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Dense full bodied beer with low carbonation. Chewy, viscous, and silky.

Overall: I was really looking forward to tring this beer when i returned from Florida a few week ago. Picked up a bottle of this at Kickback Gastropub in Jacksonville. This beer was a really well made beer, but the bitterness was almost over the top to me. Maybe a little bit of sweetness to help this beer along. Doing a side by side with Hanahpu that is the beer that is up next.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep dark black color with a nice cap of creamy mocha head, settles into a long lasting collar. Scent is filled with fantastic dark malts, bitter baking chocolate, fudge, dark roasted and freshly brewed coffee, dark pitted fruits, faint notes of vanilla and coconut. Taste follows suit, deeply layered flavor with each note standing out at particular points in the drinking experience, but none being too powerful to cover anything else up. Full bodied, thick, and coating, entire glass was left with brown tint after drinking. An excellent beer that I may have enjoyed slightly more than the aged versions - blasphemous? maybe...

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Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Isaac Newtown`s.

Appearance is a rich black color with a thin head. Its` nose has brown sugar, coffee, molasses and roast. The taste is chocolate, black licorice, more coffee and all around sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvet like, quite nice. All in all, a very good RIS from the folks down south at Cigar City.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL champagne style bomber poured into a tulip

Thanks to Jebus3513

Holy thickness. This pours like ink black motor oil. A thick dark brown head with purple hues rises to fill the glass beautifully. I can't get over how dark the color of the head is. Oily brown coating on the glass when swirled.

Intense aroma of espresso, black licorice, dark chocolate, oak, sweet sticky toffee and blackstrap molasses. I wasn't expecting this to be so sweet on the nose.

Even more intense flavors going on here. It's taking me a few sips to really wrap my head around it and give my palate a chance to acclimate.

Molasses and licorice are heavy, while sticky toffe, dark syrupy chocolate and espresso all come in equal waves. Overall, a sweet flavor profile. The roast is low. Very imbalanced and a little tough for me to handle.

Thick, full, rich body with minimal carbonation. Very smooth and luxurious. Awesome mouthfeel for such an intense stout.

This has some really good elements, but the molassess sweetness didn't resonate too well with me. A very good beer, I can appreciate that, but not one of my favorites in the style.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think it was Matt (drabmuh) that brought this yesterday. Thank you!

Jet black with a dark brown hear with great retention and thick lace, this is quite the looker. The nose is great too, plenty of roast, some pine hop aroma and bitterness along with a bit of a grainy bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and a touch of alcohol round out the nose.
The palate opens big and bitter with a burnt grain bitterness, roast, bitter chocolate and a little cream. Some licorice character is noticeable too. Roasty and bitter on the finish, this is solid. Big and full in body with low carbonation, this beer is really good, but a little bit goes a long way.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
4.29 out of 5 based on 2,655 ratings.
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