Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout | Cigar City Brewing

BA SCORE
95
world-class
558 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:
558
Ratings:
2,684
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
9.56%
 
 
Wants:
1,187
Gots:
917
For Trade:
99
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 558 | Ratings: 2,684
Photo of costanzo_mike
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a silky black color with a dark brown head, lingers for a short while then dissipates. Some lacing on the glass as it drinks down. Molasses, espresso, toffee on the nose. Bright molasses flavor at the front of the taste, finishes very clean with rich espresso. Mouthfeel is smooth, very light carbonation. This is excellent, really enjoyed it.

 349 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 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.

 654 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a small snifter.

Appears jet black, with the darkest head i've ever seen, dark chocolate brown. Great lacing. Huge roasty aroma.

Taste is amazing, powerful flavors of espresso, dark cocoa, and molasses. But its not overwhelming. Thick and viscous.

Overall, the best I've had from Cigar City, and definitely a top tier Imperial Stout.

 353 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gotta give the Marshal another try. Last bottle was 100% flat. 2011-2012 winter version.

A- Pitch black doom into a pint glass with an extremely dark head. Cap is silky like whipped cream and retains very well. Big patches of lace all down the glass.

S- Chocolate drizzled raisins lead the way for me. Also big molasses and roast malts. Seems fairly straightforward.

T- Massive flavor of chocolate and cherries like a really sticky, fudge browny. Big notes of molasses syrup, coffee beans, caramel, and roast cracked grains. Seriously like a dessert in liquid form. Lots of sweetness.

MF- One of the thickest and biggest beers I have ever imbibed. Lower end carbonation does great justice compared to a horrifying flat version. Some alcohol heat and bitterness.

This beer is a BEAST, very thick and like a sweet dessert. Just a bit too sweet for me but I cant hate too hard. Brownies in the liquid phase.

 909 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes on 4.20.11

25.4oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A - Dark-deep brown in color, almost black with a slight head that is dark brown and only forms on the eges.

S - Slight coffee and lots of toffee.

T - Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and toffee.

D - Little carbonation, but thick and mouth coating.

 317 characters

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

This might be the darkest, thickest pour I've ever seen, head, carbonation missing from it, but with a beer of such style, who cares? No lace to it, no head to it. Aroma is very easy going. Aroma is pretty faint, chocolate, ever so slight booze.

Taste, a sipper for sure, thick, chewy, not a lot of any component jumping out other than chewiness. No coffee, a decent amount of chocolate. Don't taste any vanilla or wood. Just tons and tons of roasted malt, maybe some oatmeal to round all this out into a tasty concoction. If I could pick this up for $10 all the time, you can bet it would be always on hand.

 609 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 release. Thanks to my friend, Matt, for cracking this open for us!
L - pitch black with a tall chocolatey brown head
S - boozy and rich with chocolate, coffee, roasted barley
T - dark chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, fairly sweet and boozy
F - full bodied and creamy
O - upper echelon RIS. Really solid stuff from a brewery I wish was distributed to IL. Glad I had the chance to try this!

 395 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to moose3285 for throwing this into a friggin' incredible box of Cigar City brews that arrived not long ago. Mike, you are on my list of people to speak up for when judgment day rolls around.

Pours black. Thick black, like the lakes around here, which are so ready to freeze at the first solid cold snap. The head is sunburnt tan, really wild reddish tint to it. Purty. The smell is divine, heavy on the chocolate & malts, hold the hops. Bonus points for the both the cool bottle as well as the historical figure...gives my old History Minor a little goose.

Marshal Zhukov would have been thrilled to learn he's been reincarnated as this brew. Wow. This bastard has depth like the Mariana Trench. Roasted, firethrower-tarred malts are all over the place, but there's a warm coffee element, balanced out by a smattering of chocolate applause, & a sweet sling of hoppy nip at the end. All of which melds into a single chorus of happy.

The balance on this monster is remarkable. None of the tastes or apparent ingredients outweights any of the others, & all seem to insist on complementing one another rather than playing Soviet & Capitalist. Rich, creamy, warming. Really, words fail me.

This beer is borderline perfect. I am delighted to unexpectedly have another one in the basement (thanks mully) which I will hold onto for a while. Although I cannot see how aging this would make it any better.

 1,411 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Agent Zero.

Super excited to try this after many other CCB successes, but this really let me down....Pours dark brown with a medium tan head that is gone in a microsecond if its shows its head at all, which on two of the three pours it didn't...Aroma is light chocolate, mildly sweet but plain and boring...The taste is also light malt to start then a very ashy bitter coffee finish. Just very blah for a stout.

Nothing worth securing, an above average beer, but a clearly below average RIS.

 500 characters

Photo of claspada
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ GingerMan NYC. Pours a dark dark dark brown (pretty much black) with a crazy thick inch of dark brown foam/head which leaves a boat ton of sticky brown lacing.

Aromas of extreme dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark bitter chocolate. As it warms I get some sweet dark molasses and a little smoke in the background. Some hefty espresso emerges and begins to dominate it continues to warm.

The taste is initially astringent dark roasty malts and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted charred malts are also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Some sweeter milk chocolate emerges as it warms but the roasted, bitter, astringent malts are a bit too dominant and a taste I am slowly beginning to dislike in my beers.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full bodied for sure. Chewy in an understatement here. Extremely thick, syrupy, viscous and mouth-coating. Much more carbonation than I experienced in last year's bottled version which had some carbonation issues I recall reading somewhere.

Overall this is a good tasting beer but the heavy chewiness in the body and roasted bitter, charred malt flavors are just too dominant for my tastes. I would prefer some more balanced milk chocolate flavors but I guess that is more the American Stout category as opposed to the RIS category here. Better than I remember, but my small sample at the bar was enough as I would struggle to finish the 750ml that this is typically bottled in. Maybe I am just over the Russian Imperial Stout category or my tastes have just shifted away from enjoying these huge chewy beast beers.

 1,591 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep black, two finger creamy deep brown head with some lacing.

S-Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and molasses.

T-Roasted coffee notes dominate, some chocolate, good deal of molasses, some bitterness.

M-Medium to heavy, very creamy but not much carbonation.

O-Not as sweet as some RISs I've had but the roasty and coffee flavors are great. Now to track down a Hunaphu.

 374 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thank you to Willandperry and Maximum12 for hooking me up with a bottle of this. Great traders.

Appearance. Pours very thick and black. Topped with two fingers of pretty dark brown head. Very rich looking beverage here.

Smell, Molasses and booze, dark malts and some chocolate and espresso.

Taste. Smokey dark malts, burnt sugar, dark chocolate and molasses. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low smooth carbonation.

Overall. Exactly what I like in the style. Very well made beer.

 489 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage...

A: Pours a completely opaque black with two full fingers of dark mocha head. It was a pretty vigerous pour, and the head keep growing. I have to say that the foam looks incredibly creamy, and that it takes forever to settle. There is a serious amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: I'm picking up on a big raisin note, as well as burnt toast, roasted malt, caramel, and bitter dark chocolate. The raisins and stone fruits are pretty dominating, but not to the point of one dimensional.

T: I get raisin and plums right up front, that then mix with the burnt toast and roasted malt. The flavors transition into caramel as it envelops the palate. The finish is caramel, chocolate and more raisin. The burnt toast seems to linger long after I've downed a sip.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer is silky smooth. The flavor transitions are really pleasant and I'm left wanting more with each and every sip.

O: This is a really solid russian imperial stout. I don't know if I could drink a whole bottle of this in one sitting, but it's delicious. I've loved come of CCB's beers and I've hated some of their beers. This one is in the former, rather than the later.

 1,170 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. I've had this for over a year - I'd guess this is a 2013 version.

Appearance: Pours black with a nice deep, dark tan/brown head of a couple fingers that lingers for a while before leaving a black and brown layering atop the beer. (4.75)

Smell: Big roasted coffee, dark chocolate, toasted malts, licorice, dark fruits. Big, bitter and sweet stout flavors. This is not a subtle aroma. (4.5)

Taste: Soy sauce, dark chocolate, licorice, toasted malts, marshmallow, bitter coffee. The taste is sweeter than the aroma lets on. Still, quite drinkable and tasty - huge flavor. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a thick, creamy body. Finish is a bit harsh and bitter - not bad though. (4)

Overall: This is a big stout with a huge amount of both bitter and sweet. I wouldn't exactly call it balanced but it packs a ton of flavor and is fairly drinkable. An enjoyable, big experience. (4.25)

 955 characters

Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours blacker than black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head is one of the darkest I can remember seeing and settles into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of deeply roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms the malt aromas sweeten considerably and hints of molasses waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with an acrid character kick things off and are joined midway through the sip by unsweetened chocolate flavors. The ending is solidly bitter and holds slight notes of coffee. As with the smell the flavor profile sweetens a good deal once it warms a bit, with the roasted malt flavors losing acridity and dark molasses flavors permeating throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass, and the second one, and could have had a few more.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one right out of the bottle, but once it has a chance to warm it gains complexity and comes into its own. Worth a shot.

 1,098 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Brewed 31 August 2012.

A: The darkest head I've ever seen. Dark chocolate brown, creamy, with good retention. The beer is black and opaque and viscous.

S: Booze, licorice, bittersweet chocolate. Strong, but not obviously complex. A hint of metal.

T/M: Soft, smooth, and thin. Not what I was expecting. I would say the mouthfeel is flat, but that's not quite right, because it's also velvety-creamy. The flavours are muddled. It's strongly malty, with hints of fruit (date? coconut?) and roasted barley and bittersweet milk chocolate and blackstrap molasses. Still, it's incoherent and I get the distinct feeling that it's not living up to its potential.

O: A nice RIS that's so smooth it goes down perilously easy, but it could perhaps stand a touch of carbonation or hop spice to accent the different, darker flavours that are (not) bubbling under the pitch-like surface.

EDIT: 20 October 2016
On tap at Rattle n Hum West, I feel identically. A bit more licorice in the taste maybe.

 1,039 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Good Time's pub with a steak sandwhich. Brew arrived in a tulip-ish glass (same as the DFH signature without a logo). Brew was gorgeous with the normal deep dark ominous black and a tall finger and a half deep tan (almost brown) head. Brew smelled of chocolate and roasted malts. Tasted even better than I remembered and left a nice little buzz. Aside from the nose, nice hints of vanilla and cream. Smooth and creamy, but rather rich and thick.

 459 characters

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

Pours like motor oil with a nice mocha head. Smells of chocolate syrup, roasty notes. Taste is extremely sweet and very chocolaty, then mellows into bitter roast and ashiness. Thick and viscous as with all CCB stouts...man this is big. Espresso bitter finish. Mild carbonation keeps this thing thick. Good stuff.

 312 characters

Photo of mynie
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage on tap at The Answer brewery.

Very peat-heavy. Roasty, savory, quite nice.

Pours opaque black with thick body and medium fizz.

Smells almost smoked, with heavy nodes of charred barely and only a little bit of fruit complexities to sweeten be things up. Tastes very much like it smells; charred, meaty, with a lightly sweet and alcoholic finish.

 362 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.

Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.

Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.

Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.

Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season.

 1,510 characters

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.

 799 characters

Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a trip to Orlando in Sept. 2010.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Blacker than black body but no head at all. Kind of plops into the glass. Very viscous as it leaves a film on the glass as it's tilted.

Smell: Dark chocolate, bit sweet, robust coffee. Not as strong as i would have expected but still pleasant.

Taste: Hazelnut, layer of roasted coffee, long finish. Flavor is gradual, builds up in the middle. Molasses cookies, lingering coffee flavor. Not as complex as ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Real thick yet retains a slick smooth feel. A bit syrupy.

Overall: Real good but still haven't found one that tops DL.

 675 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a jet black liquid, thick and viscous. The head is dark mocha in color. It is tight and creamy, a few bubbles on top spread out. The head is so thick, the retention is very good and the lace covers the glass and doesn't fall at all.

S-the nose is fairly big, it has a lot of sweetness in the back with some lighter roasted qualities in the front. Roasted malts, lots of burnt coffee and some dark bitter chocolate. smokey malts, notes of soy sauce and ash, malty sweetness in the back.

T-fallows the nose, roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate. Soy sauce takes over, sweetness in the back, dark fruity goodness, plums and raisins.

M-this is quite thick and creamy, full bodied, pretty darn big. Very smooth on the palate, a little heavy, nicely carbonated, holds throughout. Somewhat dry in the very back from some of the bitter chocolate and hops

D-huge RIS, great flavors and complexity, everything really works well. Lots of chocolate and very rich brew. Enough roasted maltiness to hold up with a good balance of sweetness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Durge
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque black brew with a decent brown head and lots of lacing. The aroma is full of deep nut coffee and buttery toast, somewhat mild but heavenly. The flavor brings thick molasses grassy hop that finishes with an ashy smoke. Unreal. Thick with minor carbonation and tart apricot highlights. Charcoal works it's way to the top with fruity overtones of watermelon and apricot with lots of buttery edges. Reasonably drinkable for such a sturdy brew but naturally a bit too much alcohol for proper sessioning. The feel is smooth and invites slow but steady enjoyment. This was one of the better Imperial stouts I've had the pleasure of drinking. Cigar City has thoroughly impressed me thus far.

 700 characters

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
4.29 out of 5 based on 2,684 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe