Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout | Cigar City Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
95
world-class
550 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
2,652
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
20.98%
 
 
Wants:
1,180
Gots:
904
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 2,652
Photo of calcio360jrd
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh zhukov, you are still one of my top 5 fav beers.

Bottle poured into my st bernardus chalice, hell no i didn't share this with anyone else tonite!

I have read forum posts about people saying which beer is the darkest, and they sure are right when they say that it is the marshal, black as nite this one is.

Lovely roastiness off the nose of this one, little bitter chocolate smell and coffee, sounds like what i had about 14 hours before this with my breakfast.

In some ways i actually prefer the taste of the regular version of zhukov to all the other treatments for the sheer fact of how clean it is, the alcohol is there but not in the forefront, the coffee taste is very prevalent to me.

This overall is just a great, if not the best, imperial stout for my money on the market, glad i got about another dozen bottles here around the house!

 850 characters

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

Marshal zhukov 2010 Vintage

This beer looks fantastic. Pitch black with a brownish mocha colored head. The oily consistancy clings to the glass in a glossy fasion. The nose is full of milk chocolate and roasted malt. The booze is a bit present but no way near as much as the other characteristics. The taste is chocolaty, roasty, some dark fruit, and more chocolate. Deep full flavors here. Fucking fantastic. The mouthfeel is also blowing me away. Viscous oil like liquid sticks to my palate and pastes the flavors. Overall, this is a beast stout that is full bodied and massively flavored. Bravo CCB. Looking forward to this awaiting Hunahpu's

 646 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Marshal Zhokov '11 bottle with the new label poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: This is the thickest beer I have ever seen. Completely like motor oil. Basically no head on pour, but with swirl its a supreme dark brown tan color. Tons of lacing, almost like syrup. The head color is like nothing I have ever seen either. Special brew.

S: Lots of chocolate from the nose. Faint coffee, but not as pronouced as I was expecting. Some dark fruits, but mostly chocolates and roasted malts.

T: Wow, that is a smooth smooth RIS! Freakin' delicious beer. No coffee in the taste. Bitterness from the chocolate, lots of dark but some milk chocolate. Long finish. You really don't get any booze, it's completely masked.

M: Very much a full bodied beer. Mouth coated by the oil.

O: A. I really liked this one a lot. It's up there for my on the non-BA RIS that I have had. Can't wait to try the Hunahpu's and some of the BA variations of this one.

 939 characters

Photo of ryanonline
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark, pitch black with the darkest tan you can get without it just being brown in the head. huge lacing.

chocolate, espresso and a touch of resinous pine coming from the hops.

ooh, this one is thick and deep. lots of roast and char with some coffee and chocolate but a very bitter piney finish. a touch too sweet though.

the mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full bodied yet it still retains a certain smoothness, for an 11% alcohol beer, it is masked very well.

wonderful beer, could use some aging though.

 521 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black with thick, dark mocha head that fades slowly into rich, creamy rings. Sticky black legs like molasis run down the edges of the glass. Beautiful.

Bold, rich, roasted coffee punches through dark chocolate, molasis, over-ripe plums and dark cherry notes. Hints of vanilla, tobacco and licorice fade into some warm, inviting, rum fumes in the finish.

Dark chocolate and molasis balanced with roasted malts and black coffee create a background for dark fruit notes of cherry, figs, and plum. Hints of vanilla, dark cola, tobbacco and licorice. Earthy hops balance rum notes in the finish to create a complex and enjoyable beer.

Rich, syrupy, smooth and silky. Warming. Thick and sticky.

Super rich, complex, enjoyable imperial stout. Defninite warming sipper to share on a cold night.

 801 characters

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

Pours jet black with a beautiful tan/medium brown head. Awesome lacing. Smell is inviting with immediate bittersweet chocolat, coffee, and a little booze. Taste definitely delivers on these but with a dark fruit sweetness, maybe plum? Very impressive imp stout from Cigar City.

 277 characters

Photo of hmf05
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured pretty black and left a small head that quickly dissipated. The aroma was coffee, chocolate, plums, cherries, black currant, and a hint of rubbing alcohol. The taste was just like the smell. Sweet dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate dominated. Pretty smooth going down but there is a hint of alcohol. Overall, a great RIS. The alcohol taste is noticeable and probably the only thing wrong with this beer, but at 11.5% what do you expect?

 443 characters

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'11 Vintage poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip. Thanks to Cigar City for this one!

A- Pitch black, slick like oil. The head is the most beautiful dark chestnut color I've ever seen on a beer, leaves streaks of thick lacing down the glass.

S- Sweet coffee mixed with dark chocolate. Molasses. Toffee with a hint of alcohol at the end.

T- Divine. Blackstrap molasses. Bittersweet dark chocolate/cocoa nibs. Toffee, mild alcohol hidden very well. Almost tastes like blackberry on the finish.

M- Juicy and thick. I like my stouts like I like my men. Lingers on the palate for an amazing bittersweet feel on the tongue.

O- One of the greatest Imperial Stouts I've ever had, could drink this every day. Cigar City, I fucking love you

 733 characters

Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at the brewery. Review from notes.

A: thick, syrup-like look with thin lacing after the small head disappears. Not much to say about highlights - maybe a very dark brown.

S: smells of coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts and grains, some sweetness, and a faint alcohol smell as it warmed past 50.

T: mostly the same as smell, with slightly burnt sugar added.

M: deliciously smooth, with some carbonation to balance it, but it's thick. What do you expect?

O: great beer, only wish it was less expensive and more available. It was $12 or $15 at the brewery, and I have not seen it elsewhere.

 614 characters

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.

 1,126 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.08/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 10/2/11

It appears to be dated July 13th, 2011

Many thanks to PDXHops for the chance to try this

This has to be the darkest beer I've ever seen poured. It's such a thick, sludgy drizzle and almost jet black even before getting comfortable in the glass. I had to aggravate the pour after a few moments of nary a wisp of foam; by the time I was done there was about an inch and a half of hot chocolate colored foam in it's smooth "might as well be nitro" glory. The head drops to a much thinner layer. It looked like a lot of lace would catch but alas, that isn't the case. Some webbed lace does hold on the second pour.

The aroma is just as loud as the appearance, though I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing in this case. Seems like there is just too much concentration of intense aromas. Viciously burnt and scorched chocolate lead off and is had in droves. Some overly tangy roasted notes are worked in, too. I love burnt, charred and roasted qualities in beer, but this is just a bit over the top. Nips of butter toffee and burnt coffee dregs occasionally make known their presence. Has a bit of acidity that calls to mind something akin to tomato paste; oh, you've come to visit me again, tomato paste aromatics. Meh. At least there's no indication of the 11% abv.

Come sippin' time the flavors are all sorts of heavy-handed. Lots of burnt chocolate sit atop notes of coffee dregs and burnt molasses. Earthy and a tad nutty at times (though admittedly, both are hardly the focal point here). Tangy dark fruit tones, most notable is prune. Hints of raisins. While this certainly has a faint amount of sugary sweetness, it isn't disgustingly sweet. That said, it's something of a burnt mess regardless; it just doesn't fully tip the scale to burnt, sweet mess. Not that it's all that far off, though. The sugars start to take a more prominent stance as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is every bit as thick and heavy as everything else about this beer. This is a massively heavy beer. Interestingly enough, it isn't overly viscous or slick with alcohol. Once again, I'm impressed with how hot this beer isn't. Carbonation is working overtime to move this beer and succeeds without being too vigorous for the style; indeed, there is a rolling feel to the carbonation which adds a puffiness (not that this beer needs anything to bolster it's overall feel). Heck, by the end of the glass this has an almost creamy feel. Finishes roasty and tangy with a hint of cocoa but the finish is comparatively clean, considering.

I find this beer to be a toss up of some good things and bad things without ever swinging terribly far in either direction. For whatever reason, the 11% abv doesn't strike me as such; it's not hot and, to be honest, it isn't even warming. Even still, this beer is a bit much, even for me. I finished a good 3/4ths of the bottle but wanted to cut my caloric losses at that point.

 2,935 characters

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.

 697 characters

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

Poured into my snifter. This beer is huge. Its pitch black with a deep dark brown head that stays the entire time in glass. Tons of lacing. The head is clumpy and awesome. You just know this is a serious beer just by looking at it.

The nose on this once is all roasted malty goodness. Theres some mocha and coffee thrown in to for good measure.

The taste on this beer is awesome. Roasted malts with some sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses. I also get some vanilla. This beer is motor oil thick.

Overall Im glad I have a few more bottles of this laying around. It is a great beer. I enjoyed every sip from first to last. This one is world class.

 648 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.

 834 characters

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It was just another Tuesdaynight at my crib when Jeffo brought two monster beers to share. You da man, Jeff!

A pour into my snifter scared the crap out of me. It's black, thick, mean. Is this dried blood? A nice one finger head leaving nice lacing on the side of the glass.

The dark roasted malts on the nose, the peaty and coffee scents have gotten me excited to taste this beer.

Flavors are BOOM, in your face. As promised by the nose peaty, coffee and dark roasted malts but also a nice hoppy and chocolate bitterness.

Motoroil for the mouth. It's thick and it's beautifull. It has perfect carbonation. It feels perfect for such a big stout.

Thanks Jeffo for what might be one of the best stouts ever. EVER!

and you know what's really cool? Jeffo also brought over a Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov.

 803 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found a botle of Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout at my local Whole Foods in Manhattan. When did Cigar City start sending the Zhukov up here??

Appearance: Huge bottle onto my Sierra snifter. God this thing pours thick and then some! Outrageous. Pure Kuwaiti oil with a pitch-black color to match, plus an oversize head the size of a fist. Carbonation issues? This thing sure did pop out with a bang and overflowing, which is rare for an Imperial Stout... all in all, though, this looks exceptional indeed.

Smell: Booze, sweetness, chocolate powder, dark fruit, a hint of sourness.

Taste: The hops shine here, along with strong chocolate and cold-brewed coffee. Some smoke as well, very subtle. A tad of anise and a dry, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally rich, creamy and sleek/slick, with a nice hoppy/tingly feel at the end of the sip. Dry, reverberates in the mouth long after you're done. A tummy-warmer for sure!

Overall: Damn good this is! One of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever enjyoed, no doubt. From the looks to the last drop, this is truly outstanding. Worth the price of admission and then some! The alcohol is the only aspect of this beer that gets on the way of sheer enjoyment. Boozy, it requires sipping. I took over 90' to finish this...

 1,270 characters

Photo of hdelavega
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh 750 to a snifter.
Pours a deep black looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, leaves a dark tan brown head that leaves a pretty nice lacing down the glass.
The nose is rich with Carmel, toasty aromas, roasted malt, coffee, a tiny bit of booze.
First sip I get allot sweet flavors, dark sweet fruit, burnt brown sugar. I expected more coffee as the nose was full of it, there is a little coffee bitterness at the end. It's a pretty sweet stout.
Mouth feel is full, smooth, and a little sticky. The sweetness lingers for a looong time. This beer was super thick, your spit will be black for about 40min after this guy.
Overall I enjoyed it and recommend it.

 682 characters

Photo of adam42381
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 9/17/11.

Poured on draft into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark as night, completely opaque motor oil black with a 1 finger creamy dark mocha head. Perfect lacing. I don't think a stout could look any better.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, sweet malt and a touch of toffee.

Taste: Sweet malt, chocolate and molasses up front followed by coffee in the middle before ending with toasted malt and bitter hops. Aftertaste is bitter with a touch of burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, thick and creamy. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol will keep me from drinking multiples, but you could easily down more than one.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. I love it from the bottle, but the draft was just phenomenal. If you ever see it on draft, make sure you try it.

 835 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: My God. The darkest, thickest head I have ever seen. Period. Dark brown in color to almost black. Creamy, lacing beautiful as it finally recedes down the glass. It leaves a cap not unlike whipped cream to introduce you to the beer.

S: Are those hops I smell? Certainly some, mixed in with coffee. Molasses, coffee, smoke, and a ton of chocolate. No alcohol is noted at all.

T: The chocolate really dominates the beginning of this beer, followed by the molasses and smoke. At this point in my mind I'm thinking about how sweet this beer is, that was not to last. You get nailed with coffee, roastiness, and a bone dry finish.

MF: Thick, creamy, extremely heavy. Carbonated well. No hint of the 11% ABV

O: This beer is simply phenomenal. I wonder what age will do to it, but I have to figure the coffee would step back the the chocolate would take an even larger part of the beer, if not thin out a bit. Very, very good fresh.

 931 characters

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

Huge thanks to paulydeets for this extra!! Glad to finally try this. Poured into a surly darkness snifter.

A: Wow.. it looked a little flat so I poured aggressively and the reddest, black-cheery massive frothy head took over the glass and after 5 minutes of sitting has only died down a tad. What a monster looking beer.

S: Not very aromatic.. Just a tad of basic roasted malt with some sweet roast and a little beef jerkey.

T: Hm. There's a great balance of big smoke that really gets smoothed over by a honeyroast sweetness with a little bit of savory salted meat. I feel like it's a better backdrop for a great beer than a great beer in itself though. It feels like something is missing.

M: The body is great. Medium thick with a syrupy feel, a smooth foamy head and the beer leaves a tasty stick residue on the lips and throughout the mouth.

O: This beer has me interested. I'd definitely love to try variations of it, as I think that this beer could be moved around to be mind blowing, but as it is something is missing.

 1,033 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Arrives pitch black with a small, dense head the color of cocoa powder. Head dissipates to a thin film covering.
Smell is full of semisweet chocolate, malt, dark fruits, oak and wet cardboard. Very well balanced.
Taste is roasted malts, rum, dark chocolate, dark fruit. Lighter notes of oak and coffee. Very complex and well balanced.
Rich, very full-bodied. Extremely light effervescence. Thick almost to the point of being cloying but not quite getting there, thankfully. Smooth, this brew slides down your throat like liquid velvet. Unexpectedly, there was no warming from this 11% abv beer.

 594 characters

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

Thanks to Centennial for this bottle!

Poured into a snifter.

A- poured thick and viscous, almost motor oil consistency, deep black lacquer color with a two-finger cocoa-colored head that left significant lacing.

S- cherries and chocolate

T- chocolate, faint hoppiness and cherries in the front. Maltiness, dark chocolate and roasted malt in the middle. Cherries, dried fruit, dark chocolate and a hint of mandarin orange at the tail-end

m- thick with a fair amount of carbonation. Went down incredibly smooth.

O- This is a solid stout. I did get a little overzealous and try it before allowing it to warm and would not recommend drinking this too cold; it is much better at fifty degrees, or so. I would love to get some more of this sometime in the near future!

 768 characters

Photo of silentjay
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

holy shit thats a thick, dark pour. I swear its coming out in chunks. a very dark head that is the color of coffee with just one creamer added. it sticks around a bit and leaves behind wonderful lacing.

first aroma is black strap molasses backed up with tons of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some firewood, a bit of charcoal (not smoky, though). an intoxicating aroma.

a woody flavor comes out first with black strap molasses, pure cacao, burnt dark roast coffee. maybe a bit of licorice and definitely some charcoal. so rich. This beer is gonna last me all night.

one of the thickest beers I have come across. carbonation is spot on as well as it makes its presence known, but does not take away from the creaminess.

wow. Thanks to Retail1LO for sending this my way. I definitely like this one better than the Parabola I traded for it (though thats no slouch either!) gotta get my hands on more of this. As well as more Cigar City beers. Judging only by this example, they may have worked out the carbonation/quality assurance kinks they had previously.

 1,062 characters

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

Appearance:
Motor oil black stout covered by a dense brown head. Completely opaque with sticky lacing that runs slowly down the glass leaving an amber oily coating. The head was initially deep, dark brown, but lightened up with time. This is definitely a beer that you can swirl around and be mesmerized by the different images that become etched within the beer's everlasting head.

Smell:
Very strong bitterness with pungent alcohol as well. This is a stout where the alcohol potency takes over. There is a slight sweetness, but it's subtle in comparison.

Taste:
Surprisingly balanced and appropriate to drink in the 50 degree range. The alcohol is strong, but the residual bitterness leaves your taste buds stunned and begging for mercy. Rich, bold flavors make this stout more desirable than other "stouts" in its class.

Mouthfeel:
Strong bitterness and alcohol counterbalance each other, but is thinned out by ample carbonation. I really like the smooth creaminess of this beer and have no problems with the lingering bitterness. I'm happy to drink a stout that's black like coffee, but doesn't actually have any in it (so I can go to sleep after drinking). This is one of the stouts that once you've had, you'll never go back to a watered down, "lesser than" stout again.

Overall:
This is a delicious beer with strong notes of roasted coffee bean and bitter African cocoa. Very sticky and sweet while having potent bitterness and ethanol to counterbalance. When the beer is allowed to warm, it's even better with stronger sweetness and a warmer mouthfeel. This beer is worth trying, but hard to come by! I would love CCB distribution in NY!

 1,650 characters

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.

 2,241 characters

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
4.29 out of 5 based on 2,652 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe