Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout | Cigar City Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
533 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 | website

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:
533
Ratings:
2,560
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
9.81%
 
 
Wants:
1,188
Gots:
859
For Trade:
82
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 533 | Ratings: 2,560
Photo of headbucket
3.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Summer 2010 release.

A: Very dark black, very hard pour creates a minimal dark brown head that lasts for a very short time. No lacing left around the glass and barely any bubbles around the rim of the glass after the initial head dies.

S: sweet. dark,sugary smell, a bit of dark chocolate and bitterness that either goes along with the dark chocolate or is a coffee like scent, a little bit of dark fruit in there too, and a bit of alcohol smell as well.

T: Overpoweringly sweet. The sweetness is too much for me to be able to enjoy any of the other flavors that may be present in the beer. Mostly very dark sweet chocolate, some raisins or dark fruit mixed in, molasses, and just a touch of bitterness. Slight bitterness akin to dark chocolate and coffee on the aftertaste. I think i enjoy the aftertaste of the beer much more than the initial flavor.

M: Thick and syrupy. Not really any carbonation present. Neither of which is automatically a bad thing, but the sweetness of the taste combined with the syrupy consistency of the beer isn't too appealing.

O: A bit of a disappointment for me, overly sweet and this sweetness is too prominent in the flavor profile for me. I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time. This is from the batch that I had heard there were carbonation issues with some of the bottles, and it seems like this could be a bottle affected by it(although never having had this beer before I cannot be sure). I don't know if I drank this a few months earlier if the sweetness wouldn't have been as intense, of if the carbonation may have been slightly higher, but I wish I would have tried it earlier. Not a terrible beer, but I wish I had about 6 ounces of it and not the 2/3rds of a bottle that I do. Would like to try again sometime to see if the over sweetness that I am getting out of this beer and lack of carbonation are a fluke, or if that is just how this beer is. That being said, it really doesn't taste like 11% and I am soldiering on and putting it down a little quicker than most other beers of this strength, maybe just because I want to move on to something else.

 2,128 characters

Photo of Kelly88
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into my Bruery Tulip.

A- ominous black with a spartan head that barely appears as bubbles on top of the bitous brew.Ruby highlights the very outer rims and minimal lace remains.

S- bitter chocolate stings the nostrils. Coffee is competing with sweet fruit at the end. Strong and pungent, really nice

T- very rich and sweet, Like rum or bourbon is covering angel food cake. Coffee is taking over the finish and really adds wonderful balance to this brew. Decadent and subtle at once, truly a great beer.

M- full and creamy. Nice flavor twang at the end to give the beer some substance. Really how I like my stouts, heavy and smooth.

Overall one of the most flavorful stouts I have ever had. Sweet flavors make for a delicious beer that delivers in lots of ways. The only gripe I have is the appearance. Definitely will be searching for more of this beer

 876 characters

Photo of cpmichael
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter. Bottle was about 1.5 years old.

A: Pours a super dark black. With about 1 inch of mocha foam.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a sweet vanilla character.

T: Bitter/Baker's chocolate, on the malty side, and a hint of coffee, less than the nose suggested. Something seems a little off balance with this one.

M/D: Rich and carbonated. This is a pretty thick beer, it was very drinkable, but it seemed like something was missing in the taste.

 487 characters

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as black can be with a thin tan head. Pretty standard for a RIS. Decent lacing, just above average in this dept.

S - Slightly better than average, so I'll call this good. Both dark and sweet chocolate. Funny, you don't usually get that combo. Vanilla and coffee. Again, standard for the style. Pretty nice surprise of sweetness in there though..

T - Pretty awesome taste. I wasn't expecting this much flavor. Roasted Malts are obvious right off the bat. The Sweet chocolate is present first, and then the bitterness from the dark chocolate is there too. Must be a few different roasts to make this complex of a flavor. Some woodiness in there too. Pleasantly surprised.

M - Thick and full. Lots of body, but maybe a hint too much carb for the style. Alcohol is hidden well, but not completely.

O - Glad I got a few of these when I did. Hope they become available again as I'll buy up a bunch more. Great stout that makes for a great time.

 953 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter during the mandate tasting with Zapps and R Moe Nay.

Small head which comes alive a little bit with a very rough pour. Roasted malt, caramel, coffee and chocolate in the nose. Alcohol hits a bit more with the taste as well as the characteristics of the nose. Pretty smooth, a tad thin to be picky, and a little heat. Drinks very well and is another solid stout from Cigar City.

 400 characters

Photo of morimech
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dense black color in a very viscous fluid. Just a thin head forms and quickly settles. Moderate amount of spotty lcaing is left on the glass.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of bitter chocolate, black licorice, coffee, and some clean alcohol.

Taste wise this is one of the best RIS's I have had. Not too sweet (Dark Lord) and not to bitter (Darkness, Storm King), but just a ton of black roasted malt goodness. Notes of bitter chocolate, French roast coffee, licorice, dark molassas, and just a hint of smokiness. The alcohol is evident and helps cleanse the palate.

Lacks suitable carbonation. Just a little bit more carbonation to help the smells and tastes pop, this would be one of the world's great beers. Very thick and heavy body.

Just one minor trouble spot in the design of this otherwise exceptional beer.

 824 characters

Photo of youradhere
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours muddy black with dark tan/brown head. Thick lacing is left behind and forms a moving crust to the glass. Smell is cocoa, chocolate, sweet malt, berries, and what I can only describe as licorice-like. Taste is chocolate, bitter coffee, roast malt, truffle. Carbonation is medium, mouthfeel is creamy without being thick, if that is possible- almost a too thin of a body here, sort of light and airy. No alcohol presence, and drinks smooth. There is some flavor that keeps popping up here, that I can't quite put my finger on, and it is driving me nuts. Very good beer overall, and I would seek this one out to try again some day.

 634 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 358 characters

Photo of EkimGram
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured form 25.4oz bottle into large snifter. Extremely dark, purely opaque. Looks thick, syrupy, and oily. Extremely thin head forms for just a moment post-pour.

Smell: Sweet toffee, coffee, and chocolate - exactly how the bottle describes it.

Taste: Not as intense as I had expected, very mild actually. Sweet chocolate and espresso. Roasted malts as well.

Mouthfeel: Very balanced, creamy, and silky. Almost no bite whatsoever. Lots of sticky, sweet residue around and in the mouth & lips.

Drinkability: By far, the most drinkable Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had. It is a very sweet brew, which is not particularly my favourite. It looks and feels excellent, though.

 690 characters

Photo of wspscott
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
(no date)

A: Pours completely black, wife said looks like molasses, I think it looks like motor oil, thick/viscous looking, no head at all, almost looked flat.
S: Burnt sugar/very dark caramel, molasses, a hint of dark fruitiness as it warms.
T: Lots of roasted malts combined with dark caramel malts leads to a bittersweet combination. As it warms, I get a hint of licorice. No noticeable hops.
M: A huge amount of residual sugars makes for a creamy, round mouthfeel. A very low level of carbonation, just enough to provide a slight tingle.
D: Very much a sippin' beer, an excellent night cap, but very hard to imagine having a 2nd pour. Highly recommended for anyone who likes over the top RISs.

 730 characters

Photo of vince4953529
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 cc. purchased from an online store; slightly chilled bottle, poured into my Stone IRS glass.

Color is black, extremely black actually, I could imagine this was going to be a very dignified and authoritative imperial stout.

This a thick, syrupy, and creamy stout. The initial wave of taste felt very sweet, actually too sweet. I struggled a bit with the intense molasses sweetness.

I love myself a big raging imperial stout, but this is way too sweet, but I love the thick mouthfeel though.

A bit of a chore for me to finish the whole bottle, took me about two hours actually.

 586 characters

Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 mL bottle served at room temperature. Poured into one of my Portsmouth Brewery tulip glasses.

Appearance: Midnight black color with an almost equally dark, one finger head with unimpressive retention. Near the end of my glass, I noticed there was a touch of thick dark sludge at the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: Baker's fudge and espresso notes really are dominant. Some earthy, leathery notes blend nicely in the background. A touch of herbal pine notes as well.

Taste: Big dark chocolate and fudge notes hit first. Nice balance of bitter and sweet notes. The earthy and rustic tones really become noticable in the middle. A touch of leather and wood are definitely there. Finish is bitter espresso. really nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Definitely this beer's biggest weakness in my opinion. Medium to full bodied, but with little to no carbonation. Leaves a nice thick coating, but the lack of carbonation is noticable and is a detriment.

Drinkability: I finished the bottle by myself, but this is definitely one that would have benefited from splitting. The ABV does not overwhelm though.

Overall, a really nice, balanced impressive stout. I loved the blend of flavors and the balance. The one negative was the lack of carbonation and it did not hurt it as much as I thought it would. I will definitely seek this out again. This batch was definitely near its peak in terms of age in my opinion.

 1,415 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick, viscous, and flat. No head. No lacing. The liquid itself is a glossy black.

S: Sweet raisin and roasted malts.

T: A sweet and rich blend of chocolate, raisins, molasses, and dark malts. A bit acidic.

M: Thick, flat, and syrupy, yet still manages to finish with an odd thinness.

D: The lack of carbonation greatly distracted from this beer and I simply could not enjoy it. I would hesitate to even call it a sipper as it offered little to invite you back for another sip.

 487 characters

Photo of mistakebythelake
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle drank at Big Bad Stout Tasting out of a snifter.

Pours a Jet black with hints of red around the edges of beer. No head whatsoever remind me of coffee with no bubbles. Smeels of slight tobacco and roasted malts nothing else really going on. I did like the slitty smoky taste and roosted malts with a bit of a coffee finish. I did like the fact Zuhkov was very thick, rich and creamy. Definitely a sipper for me. I preferred this RIS then his offspring Hunaphu's.

 474 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Darkness Snifter

This beer poured pretty darn flat, which I must say is not impressive off of the bat from a beer that I've been so excited to try. The aromatics I got were coffee, smoke and bourbon. The flavors were vastly improved on the aromatic, to which I blame the lack of head. It was a sweet tasting beer with chocolate, grape, smoke and caramel all combined into a very tasty melange. The mouthfeel probably was helped by the lack of head, because this beer went down very smooth and very creamy. The drinkability of this beer was good, I would hope that not all the bottles were with as little carbonation as was this one.

 645 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 2-26-2011

A - dark black body with some purple light through the edges. No foam of any sort.

S - woody dry chocolate, bitter earthy notes.

T - smoky, dry, bittersweet dark chocolate.

M - robust and smooth, little to no carbonation

D - not bad. Tastes good, isn't too overpowering.

 297 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 463 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Part of the most epic stout tasting ever. This one from beer and bourbon

A-dark black with no head what so ever. Not even a little
S-some roast malts but not much else, and this is even very slight
T-very subtle tastes but mellow and delicious. Roast and a slight coffee aftertaste.
M- thick on the palate. Very smooth
D-crazy drinkable. Wow.

 343 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black. No head what so ever. One bubble actually. Vry thick. Smells malty and sweet. Tastes fairly nondescript. Just a ton of malty sweetness. Some light fruitiness on the tongue. Lots of earthiness own the tongue a bit of roast. Very basic but solid. Thick mouthfeel but not very well carbonated.

 309 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to DmanGTR for this brew!

A: It pours like solid black glass, no light can escape this. I am pretty sure the amount of light in the room when down when I poured it since it is absorbing so much of it. It pours thick, and when swirled in the glass it leaves the glass a dark molasses brown. There is no head at all on this, but just a swirl of dark color that collects in a ring on the edges of the glass. Man does it look nice.

S: Very rich and sweet. Notes of burnt caramel and brown sugar, black licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee cake. Perhaps a bit of dark chocolate or coffee in the finish, but the sweetness is really powerful.

T: Sweet chocolate comes out first, followed by licorice, and a nice roasted flavor. The sweetness and the dry roastiness form a bit of a ying and yang balance. And while the flavor isn't as complex as the aroma, it still tastes nice. Malty, roasty, with a touch of coffee in the finish.

M: Thick mouthfeel, like drinking creamy smooth oil. The carbonation is very low, and helps create that silky feel.

D: Tasty as hell, this is something that could be enjoyed with some nice aged cheese, or maybe a cigar. This is a sipping beer that will for sure sneak up on you. Wonderful.

 1,244 characters

Photo of gwguest
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle with no visible batch or freshness dating into a Bruery tulip.

A vigerous pour yields a very scant milk chocolate brown foam on top of an opaque black body. Foam is gone in a flash. A quick swirl causes a thin motor oil-like stain on the side of the glass. I've never seen a beer leave quite such a residue behind. Interesting. It's not particularly appetizing, but interesting.

The aroma is a very harmonious blend of anise / licorice, molasses, dark dark chocolate and minimal roast. The are hints of a brown sugar sweetness in the nose which really perks up the beer and adds some fantastic complexity.

Flavors in the beer are quite intense and mirror the nose in many ways. There is a touch more coffee and toffee taste than I get in the aroma, but I think the toffee taste is what may be suggesting brown sugar in the aroma. The roast level is a smidgen higher, but not nearly as baking as other beers in this style.

The mouth feel is identical to what I imagine the glass would feel. Thick, coating with just a thin suggestion of carbonation. This is borderline flat, but I would venture to say that this is how the brewer intended. It has carbonation, but it is simply on the low end for the style. Personally, I would prefer a bit more of the scrubbing action, but no points off for where it is.

Drinkability, for an 11.5% beer, is a tick above. The slick mouth feel and intensity of flavors make it difficult to have very much, but the abv is undetectable. It's not cloyingly sweet and doesn't sit in the stomach like a rock. Nicely done.

Overall, Zhukov is a beer like no other that I have tried. It is far from my favorite, but it is definitely worth a try. I can see this being some BAs absolute favorite beer ever. It is very well-crafted, but it won't score a ton of points with everyone. Nice work from Cigar City.

 1,868 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to readbaron for sending this bottle my way! Split and shared with ClarkPinnock [First installment of "A Beer Observed."]. Poured my allotment into a chalice.

The pour on this beer is one of the thickest I have ever seen. This slowly glugs out of the bottle. I can tell there is lower carbonation as there is no head to this at all. I didn't see a wisp of lace until the final few ounces from the bottle. Still, this is one evil-looking brew, and I dig it. The nose is potent with sharp twangs of vinous grapes, molasses, espresso, booze, chocolate. A plethora of aromatic tones.

The body, though low in carbonation, is still pleasant. So smooth and creamy. This is really thick stuff! I'd like a bit more bubble play, but this is alright. If this beer were any less "big," I'd have more of a complaint. The flavor profile mirrors the nose quite. Lots of dark chocolate, wine, mild booziness, licorice, and heavily roasted coffee beans. I lowered the drink-ability on this one, as the alcohol burn just gets to me after awhile, and this is more pronounced as this beer warms. Still, this was one heck of a weekend-starter. Great beer to sip by the fire, or as CP enjoyed it, with a pipe.

 1,202 characters

Photo of PaculiarBrews
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours thick and very black.
I am not going to comment very much on this one because alot of other people have already said my thoughts. I will say that it is the best Imperial Stout I have ever had. I was only able to find 1 bottle. If you have a chance to buy or trade for a bottle of this, I cannot recommend it enough. Your taste buds will thank you.

~Peculiar

 364 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to pittsky for the opportunity to try this.

A: Marshal Zhukov pours out of the bottle like oil that's a couple of thousand miles past due. Very dark and well carbonated..glad it's not from the flat batch. Chocolate colored head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Big nose. Chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted malt, raisins. Just what you want an RIS to smell like. Very inviting.

T: Everything from the nose is there. Molasses and chocolate are the most dominate flavors to me. Nice complex taste.

M: Thick, rich and coats the mouth, leaving a nice chocolate aftertaste.

D: Alcohol never shows itself at any point..not in the nose or taste. Drinks very well.

From this point forward, when someone asks what is my favorite RIS, this will be part of the conversation.

 777 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

**Updated notes - 11-2-12
Was fortunate enough to have cbutova provide another bottle of this, which was amply carbonated, improving the appearance and mouthfeel a good amount. A super thick dark brown head with red tints retained well and left good lace, crazy head on this one. Like stated in the original review, it's tasty but extremely sweet, thick and rich- fudge, dark cherries and molasses take over the palate. I imagine it drinking best as a ~5 oz. dessert beer, it can get overbearing quickly.

(original scores/review - 2/3.5/3.5/2.5/2)
Thanks to cbutova for sharing this 750ml. I wasn't positive at the time of tasting this, but I just confirmed that this is the base beer for Hunaphu's, which I enjoyed last year.

Opens with a small hiss, but the pour is not too promising carbonation-wise. Pours black as black with no head, just slight bubbles that quickly form a thin tan ring. Ugly sediment at the bottom. Stains the glass something evil.

First impression in the smell is a big spiciness, soy sauce and licorice. Very sweet, tons of molasses. Oddly, really no expected stoutness (roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, etc)

Big, thick, sweet chocolate fudge, molasses, licorice. Smoky a bit on the finish. Dark cherries also very noticeable which adds to the extreme sweetness. Not getting much coffee.

Barely carbonated. Super thick, oily. Sweetness is cloying from the get-go. Alcohol is very-well hidden but this beer still feels so huge. Smoky ashiness lingers on the palate.

The uber-low carbonation didn't help, but damn this was one huge, sweet, tolling beer. The flavors are decent but found this to be too sweet. I enjoyed Hunahpu's alot more, but now I really gotta try it again knowing this is the base beer...

 1,738 characters

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 533 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe