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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:
2,652
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
20.98%
 
 
Wants:
1,180
Gots:
904
For Trade:
91
User Reviews
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Reviews: 550 | Ratings: 2,652
Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, obtained from Whole Foods, Sarasota, FL, over Thanksgiving break. Poured in to a 14 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a thick, oily, inky black, pretty dark viscous, at least, viscous enough to considerably slow the eruption of what ultimately turns out to be about a finger and a half of deep brown cocoa head. The colors on all this are absolutely gorgeous, but I do have to say that the head retention leaves a little to be desired, probably due to alcohol retardation - it fades to a delicate but dense-looking collar and wispy but uniform surface dusting within about 45 seconds, though it is replenished somewhat by a steady but slight stream of fine carbonation. The lacing obviously suffers a similar fate - it's runny, glittery, and clings only in dribs and drabs.

Aroma: Dutch chocolate cake, bitter and dry, topped with licorice, espresso sprinkles, and slathered in a delicious raisin and cherry glaze. Cocoa is far heavier here than in the taste, or perhaps that's merely relative to the sheer volume of earthy, toasty, dry roast that's present in the mouth. Regardless - with agitation - this is this beer's best quality.

Taste: A slight tartness is the first thing I'll note, if only because it seems the least "stout"-like of the notes this one presents. I'll presume it's not infection, largely because it is slight, but it's worth noting. The next general observation is that this is a very, very "dark" beer - it's heavily roasted, toasted, charred in places. The remainder of the notes themselves are somewhat textbook but very nice: you have your heavily toasted, earthy, French roast coffee; dark, bitter cocoa; slightly spicy anise; a slew of dark fruits (raisins mainly, which meld slightly with what faint alcohol spice and warmth is present to lend that rum raisin note); charred toast; heavily darkened toffee and molasses with most of its residual sweetness gone. Hop bitterness is faint, nearly an afterthought, or perhaps just buried well amongst all the toasted astringencies. As I hinted above, one of the most impressive things about the taste is the near complete lack of any alcohol presence, something that may be buried well amidst all the charred astringencies.

The tartness is coming through as more "cherry-like" as things warm, both jiving (mentally) with the cherry note I got in the aroma above, as well as jiving (flavor-ly) with the other dark fruits present here. Tasting more like a bitter dutch chocolate cherry cake with every minute.

Mouthfeel: That thick oily viscous appearance of the beer didn't lie when it suggested that this beer was gonna be thick and sticky, but it's not nearly as cloying as you imagine it might be - mostly because of the relative attenuation of the sugars - but also because of that tart note mentioned above, which does a bit of a job with "cleaning up" the palette, if you will. Certainly, this is also likely assisted by a fair amount of lift courtesy of some fine, dense carbonation. It thickens up as things warm, but it also gets more even, creamier, and smoother.

Drinkability: For an 11.5% abv beer, I'm nearly tempted to put this at a 4.5. I'm amazed by the lack of alcohol presence in this brew - even though you feel it once it hits, this one sneaks up on you as good as it does in any brew. Regardless of the reason, this brew is otherwise solid - flavorful, full, and somewhat balanced (though if you don't like char and heavy, heavy roast, steer clear). I also hear it's not even the best of the Cigar City RIS offerings. As it's the first I've had, however (not only my first CC RIS, my first CC! Glad to see they're getting big distribution in FL now), I'll have to go with both a "recommended" and a "I can't wait to visit my grandmother again."

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a very dark brown color head with great retention and some good lacing. Aroma is very complex with a mix of black chocolate, coffee and some nice roasted malt with loads of other complex flavors that are very hard to describe. Taste is also a very complex and enjoyable mix between some black chocolate with light lactic sugar and some coffee notes, Body is very full with great carbonation and I thought I smell a little bit of phenolic alcohol. I am glad to have tried this one and makes we want to try some more beers form this brewer.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: You can't get much prettier than this beer. A thick, black motor oil like pour with a surprising amount of mocha colored foam.

S: Pretty standard RIS aromas coming out of this one: coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, and some dark fruits.

T: The chocolate is the most prominent flavor coming out of this beer. The coffee and roasted malt provide a bit of contrast and bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A nice viscosity to it.

D: Not a bad beer. I guess my expectations were a bit high for this one, but the flavors were a bit underwhelming, unfortunately. Still a good RIS, but not the best.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, opaque color with a dark brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, whiskey like alcohol and wood. I'm the taste, dark roast coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate and alcohol. Palate coating dark chocolates with some intense citrus hops in a die hard fashion. Coffee, smoke, charcoal and earthy at that. Faint vanilla like hint. Warming booze. Full bodied feel, smooth, with an even carbonation. Overall this is a great big stout.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
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 bamadog
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this one for a while, and since I've recently moved, most of my beer is wrapped in newspapers so I've been playing a blind game of catch, grab and drink. Review is from notes taken on 7/8/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Possibly one of the most impressive RISs I've come across, this one does indeed pour like spent motor oil - just as black as black can be, and the head is almost as dark and impressive, coming in at a whopping three fingers and fading lazily down to a full and firm cap; impossible to see through, but I'm sure the carbonation is plenty full considering the amount of carb on the crack and the full head;

Smell: Lots of big and dark fruit, but I think there may be a mild infection as it's a little sour and tart in the nose; big chocolate malts and a very earthy and big roastiness; still a bit of an herbal, bitter hop presence as well, but should be expected since it's got 80 IBUs.

Taste: I think I'm right about the infection -- the tart, sour dark cherry flavor is there, but it's not major (like in the case of Abyss); the syrupy and bittersweet chocolate is there, and the burnt coffee grains play a major role in the array of flavors; also a bit of the hops linger and have a bit of an earthy and slightly citric bite to them.

Mouthfeel: Thick, chewy and gritty -- the mouth is covered with a thick and sticky coating; teeth have a gritty feel afterwards; gums and tummy are left especially warm and tingly from the bigger ABV of 11%. Along with the appearance, the mouthfeel is probably the most impressive aspect of the beer.

Overall: A really good stout, overall, but definitely a sipper and something that you only want once in a while. I probably should have saved this for a cooler night as opposed to an evening in July... in Atlanta... but I'm glad I'm drinking it in the cool confines of the air conditioning anyway.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a thick, viscous blacked out color with a layering of dark browned head. Retains for a bit, some wispy tanned film lies on top, leaving a couple spots of lacing behind.

Very roasty and warm in the nose. Plethora of dark fruits with some candied, sweet notes. A suggestion of cola. Licorice, plum, and dates. Cocoa with caramel and roasted malts. Decent flair of alcohol too.

Roasty and sweet up front. More dark fruit than I was expecting with candied dates and anise notes with a hint of plum. Dark chocolate and cocoa swirled with caramel and heavy, roasted malts. Warm booze and residual sweetness in the finish.

Very thick, viscous, almost oily feel on the tongue, decent carbonation. A really nice imperial stout, although it made me yearn for Hunahpu's.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of FEONVDNGRTSNGRNG. It was allowed to warm some before being poured into my Firestone Walker tulip.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout pours a solid black. There's almost four fingers of foam so dark that I could barely tell it apart from the beer when the lights were low. Head retention is fantastic, I actually started getting impatient waiting for it to finish fading. Lacing is left in thick webbing. The nose is wonderfully intense, with rich dark chocolate and potent espresso leading the way. There's also a noticeable molasses aroma, but it's definitely playing third wheel to the other two. The flavor still features plenty of chocolate and espresso, but the molasses is a bit more prominent here. Frankly, I think I like it better in more of a supporting role. There is a nice earthy hop flourish just in time for the finish. The body is nice and chewy, but I don't know if it's too full, or if the carbonation is just too low, but the mouthfeel definitely comes off as a bit syrupy at times. While excellent all the way across the board, Marshal Zhukov is one of the better straight up imperial stouts (no barrels and/or flavorings) that I've had in a while.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- so viscous and pitch black. A dark brown head fading to a tiny lacing.

S - roasty burnt grains. Dark bitter chocolate. Cocoa powder.

T - charcoal burnt wood. Chocolate syrup. faint black licorice ending. Sweet alcohol. hints of earthy bread and some hop floral. So sweet. Lactose?

M - possibly the thickest stout ever. So viscous d'ass heavy bodied.

O - pretty wel balanced for 11.5 abv and such a heavy body

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beergod1 for the trade!

Poured into a tulip glass. Bottle date 7/11/13

A) Dark used Motor oil, thick melted chocolate ice cream, no head expected for almost a 12%.

S) Smoked malt, espresso, and baker's chocolate, Cavendish pipe tobacco

T) Not what i expected at all. Soy sauce, beef jerky, vanilla, cavendish pipe tobacco; aftertaste dark chocolate, dark fruit, and figs.

M) Thick medium amount of carbonation.

O) I was disappointed to say the least. Too much up front, too little in the back. I do want to trade for another and cellar for a while. Even as it warmed nothing changed.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Dark as night black pour. Brown and khaki colored head with lots of lacing down the glass.

Roasted malts, coffee, licorice, some alcohol, and lots and lots of chocolate in the nose. Chocolate lovers would go crazy for this!

A chocolatey stout for sure! Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, stinging licorice, and some coffee round out this big stout. Incredibly sweet though, and that would be my only complaint. I wish the chocolate would come in its more bitter form, but sweet chocolate lovers would gladly geek out over this! (Can you believe I was lucky enough to pair this with Green Flash Double Stout chocolate brownies? Yum yummm!) Too sweet for my tastes, yet still delicious!

Rich, thick, and full mouthfeel. Decadent.

A delicious chocolate stout I can't wait to have again, though it's too sweet to become one of my favorites.

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

Kuhnhenn Winter Soltice BA/RB tasting party. Thick RIS, thick chocolate. Pours dark brown with some head. Great tasting, with some complexity beyond the bittersweet chocolate . A little chocolate in the aroma. Contained roast. Drying.Best consumed as a dessert.

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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 cvm4
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black and has a nice one finger light brown head. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts and molasses.

T - Dark chocolate overwhelms you transforming into expresso and finishing with dark fruits (plums/raisins).

M - Thick and highly carbonated. Full bodied and not ashamed of it.

O - A unique imperial stout. It's an in your face, bold imperial stout. But, the lingering sweetness throws me off.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a .750 bottle into a goblet.

Appears as dark as midnight. Pure motor oil. Super viscous with a small creamy bubbly head.

Smells very boozy... There's a sting to the nostrils. There's a trace if anise and some coffee. There might be a subtle scent of coffee underneath it all.

Tastes like dark chocolate brownies. Much less coffee and licorice in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is super thick and a mouth filler. It exits quietly and without too much if a booze burn.

Overall I'm impressed with this beer. It's a thick one and a slow sipper that carries its booze well.

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Photo of bret27
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of threewisemen

S: Roasted malt, little dark unsweetened chocolate. Not all that sweet. This stout is all business.

A; Very black. Little brn head, decent lace.

T: Same as smell, little sweetness, toffee, some warming etoh presence, but not overwhelming.

M/D: Fairly thick w/good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good for an IS.

Overall: Good but not amazing. The reason I have to give this stout serious props is because it is basically the base recipe for all their stouts, some of which are mind-blowing. Marshal Z is the backbone of this operation. He does the heavy lifting for cigar city I believe.

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Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joey and Wayne for opening a bottle to share.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue. Nice mocha head that exhibits good retention and lace.

S: Bold aromas of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Hints of citrus hops hide beneath.

T: Nice rich aroma. Bold roasted malt, bakers chocolate, and earthy slightly acidic coffee. Subtle notes of dark fruit, and a hint of molasses to provide balance. Fairly roasted and earthy.

M: On the lighter side of full bodied, rich, smooth, with great carbonation.

D: Good. I think this is one that will get even better with age.

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

from the whole foods bowery growler room.

i honestly laughed at how dark the head was on this beer. poured into a tulip, looked fantastic. great head retention, great lacing.

nose is leathery, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley.

taste is big and roasty. huge roasted barley flavor, chocolate, coffee. not very sweet. dry, roasty, slight warming alcohol note.

super thick without being sweet. really a nice beer.

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

750mL Bomber into a Snifter.

Yet another stout from the mystery stout box from 7ways. Amazing generosity.

A: Pours jet black and thick as tar (quite literally). Head materializes from beneath, half-finger, a few seconds after I finish pouring.

S: Crisp, bitter-sweet in the front, roasted malts and caramel, back fades into booze.

T: Bitter into sweet, then fading into booze. Back is far sweeter than it smells.

F: Mouth-coatingly thick. Clings to your lips on the way in. I imagine this is what drinking motor oil is like.

D: Damn good, something implacable in the mouth and nose here, but really really good.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours viscous black with no head whatsoever.

S. Chocolate malt with some sweetness, some spiciness, and a touch of smokiness.

T. Roasted chocolate malt with a touch of molasses sweetness. Roasted malt and coffee bitterness lead to a dry finish.

M. Thick and viscous with very little carbonation. Somehow this works better than the higher carbonation in Hunahpu's.

D. Very good. Doesn't stand out against a lot of the beers we've had, but a very solid beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very thick black, very oily looking and viscous. A small brown colored head forms upon pouring and reduces to a thin cap on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Tons of molasses, it really dominates the aroma. There is some chocolate mixed in, a little bit of coffee, and faint roast. Definitely know its got some alcohol in it as well.

T: The flavor is certainly still full of molasses, but to a lesser extent. The chocolate is more pronounced, with some licorice and faint dark stone fruit. The roast comes through on the finish nicely, not much alcohol presence.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming as it goes down.

O: A big stout for sure. Really over powering in terms of thickness and sweetness, great if it is the only beer you plan on drinking.

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Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a brown head and awesome retention. Great looking beer.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some dark fruit notes as well as some faint vanilla.

Taste: Quite sweet. Hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit along with the roast. Very smooth with a mildly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is mild and smooth and the finish is slick.

Overall: A bit sweet but very good. I thought everything blended together quite well. I would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to RyanSchwam for this monster. My first CCB ever!

A - pours jet, jet black. One of the blackest beers I've ever seen. Lots of head, almost a waterfall effect like Guinness. The foam is the darkest brown. Great looking beer.

S - lots of malt, some hints of anise and coffee, maybe some chocolate on the bass note. The alcohol is detectable, but not overbearing.

T - I've been into Ten Fidy lately, so I'm implicitly comparing all RISs to that right now. MZ is pretty good, but the malt overwhelms, which is a trap to which many RISs succumb. Objectively, it's delicious.

M - goes down like a dream. The alcohol makes it somewhat syrupy, but nothing significant to complain about.

O - I asked Ryan for two bottles of this one because I was going to age the one that I didn't drink, but I'm not sure there are any flavors that need substantial toning down. Good beer, I'll certainly get it again if I'm ever in Florida.

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Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated July so around 9-10 months old.

A: Jet black with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen - possibly the darkest. It's a dark dark brown head, at first it almost appears to be the same color as the beer before it washes out a little bit. Swirling the glass results in a multi-colored head. Fascinating. Huge head that appears to be very dense. Does not fade at all for the first few minutes. After about 10 minutes it has faded enough for me to take a sip. Leaves huge sheets of lacing all over the glass. Easy 5.

S: Loads of roasted malt. Bitter char, espresso and dark chocolate. Prominent molasses and toffee.

T: Heavy heavy toffee and molasses up front - almost like an english barleywine. Turns into roasted malt with coffee and chocolate in there. Roasted malt isn't as prominent as I would expect, the molasses are really strong.

M: Big and syrupy thick.

O: A big syrupy RIS. Very heavy on the molasses which almost drowns out all that wonderful roasted malt unfortunately. I would have liked to have given it better scores for taste but the flavor was less stout that I expect, and quite unbalanced I felt. Will have to age one and see how I feel.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - This is one of the most attractive beers I've ever seen. It pours a viscus oily pitch black abyss. Almost like syrup. There is a nice thin 1/4 of an inch dark dark brown head that sticks around for a bit with some nice dense and frothy bubbles. Almost like a cappuccino.

S - Starts off with tons of sweet molasses. There is some chocolate in there as well as some nice toffee and caramel. There is a heavy sweetness to the aroma. Slight roast and espresso notes with licorice in there.

T & M - Starts off with some slight roast and coffee notes that is then overwhelmed by tons of malt. The malt notes are quite intense with some caramel and toffee notes as well as very noticeable grain notes. There is quite a bit of licorice and some nice milk chocolate sweetness and slight dark chocolate bitterness and richness. There is some wood notes as the beer warms and the licorice and dark malt really wakes up as it warms. One of the most licorice-filled palette and noses I've ever had. The mouthfeel is very oily and chewy. Definitely a full bodied beer. It could use some more CO2.

O - The beer is very nice looking and has some nice aromas and well crafted flavors. My only complaint is the licorice. It doesn't seem as balanced as other RIS in that department. Other than that it has some nice roast and sweetness. Good beer.

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