Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged
BA SCORE
4.37/5
Outstanding
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
104
pDev:
11.21%
 
 
Wants:
121
Gots:
4
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 104
Reviews by Avagadro:
Photo of Avagadro
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review has been transcribed from notes taken at the 2011 Hunahpu release.

A: Incredibly viscous, deep black, and topped off with a dark chocolate head.

S: Great bouquet, saturated with chocolate, apples, and creme brulee.

T: Raisin, brown sugar, and rum are delicately blended in this brew.

M: Medium body is accented by an oily texture and a sticky finish.

O: Not as good as the Four Roses Zhukov, but tasty nonetheless. Definitely worth a shot if you're ever able to find the stuff.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Brad, thanks! Beer is black with nearly no head, no lacing, low retention and low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, brandy, nice roast.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet with the liquor and the malt on the front palate. The beer falls a little flat at the end but overall it is an excellent barrel aged stout. I'd have this again.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -8.5%

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

I had this on tap at the Cigar City taproom. This was dark brown/black, completely opaque, with very little head (probably due to the 11.5% ABV). Initially sweet, after the first whiff I can tell that the beer has strong brandy notes. Reminds me of several great barrel aged beer aromas (OADL, 110K+OT I tried at 2009 DLD).

The beer was delicious and a little less boozy than expected, sweet and rich, roasted malts and a little smoke. Thicker than your usual barrel aged beer, I'd love to try the standard Marshal Zhukov's sometime to see how thick it is. Creamy and mouthcoating, lovely.

This was hands down the best beer I tried at CC, better than Hunahpu's (also on tap), just an extremely well made beer aged to what seemed like perfection in a brandy barrel. Also, one of the best names for an RIS that I've heard, nearly as good a name as Old Rasputin.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours solid black, no head, no lace. Looks ominous.
Smells of so many things, sweet caramel, coffee, chocolate, hint of booze, dates, and the brandy really comes through.
Taste is dark as hell, rich and thick of coffee grounds, brandy, sweet and yet bitter chocolate. This thing lingers in the back of the throat with hints of bitter coffee grounds....not coffee.
It slides down your throat like cough syrup and coats the glass the same way. It's still on the glass between sips. No carbonation at all and it doesn't need any.
This is a fantastic stout which pulled all the goodness out of the brandy barrel. I really hope to try more of this series.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a snifter

This bad boy sits a sinister ink black in the glass. A true motor oil type of body when swirled. A thin dark khaki cap rises and falls quickly, leaving some sporadic bubbles along the edges. The nose is extremely bold and robust. Huge roasted malt, brandy, oak, molasses, licorice, vanilla, and dark Belgian chocolate. On the palate, it follows the nose. Huge roast notes up front, before sticky toffee, licorice, and molasses through the middle. Brandy notes all over the place with vanilla and chocolate presenting in the finish. Whoa boy. I can't get over just how bold this beer is. I wasn't the biggest fan of the regular Zhukov but this beer is phenomenal. I got a huge char presence in the regular Zhukov that seems to be much more subdued and tolerable in this guy. Definitely one of the most in your face beers I have ever had. Big, thick, full body with low carbonation. Lingering roast and brandy just never seems to go away.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of macrosmatic
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at the release at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black with a small tan head. No visible carbonation. Don't know where to put observations about consistency, but this is thick and sticky to the touch.

S: Brandy, alcohol, chocolate, coffee.

T: Everything you would expect from the aroma, but has some sweet caramely flavor also.

M: Thick, sweet, sticky. Alcohol presence is high, punch you in the mouth high.

O: Excellent, and I think the barrel aging helps this beer develop more (and interesting) characteristics. Certainly is a sipping beer!

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Photo of tpd975
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hunahpus release.

A: It's a Cigar City stout. Dark Evil and awesome when it comes to appearence.

S: Wonderful barrel aromas right from the start. Tons of brandy and woody oak. Very bold roast boardering on char. Notes of espresso and deep earthy chocolate.

T: Very much like the aroma but the barrel helps this one really stand out. Very roasted with strong chocolate. Hints of earthy char and coffee. Big big barrel notes but in such a good way. Oak and pure Brandy goodness.

M: Very full in body, smooth rich, great.

D: About as drinkable or should I say sippable as a beer this big can be.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night. 32 oz growler freshly flown in from the source in Florida!

Pours nearly black with a nice ring of halo - dark brown to reddish hue.

Smells of great, fresh apples first and foremost. Very nice, like fresh apples. I can't get over how nice the nose is on this one.

The apple carries over into the flavor. Very interesting, indeed. It's like an apple Imperial stout! Mouth feel is VERY heavy and coating.

VERY unique!

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Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nick3 shared this fine tick. Thanks!

Appearance: The pour is pitch black, and in the glass it's incredibly viscous and completely opaque. The head is dark brown and quickly recedes to a collar. Slick oily residue clings to the glass when the beer is swirled.

Smell: the nose has an absolutely massive apple brandy character, to the point where it's hard to pick up the base beer. Sweet red apple and caramelized sugar completely overwhelm the dark malt base of Zhukov, but it's really enjoyable in a one-dimensional way.

Taste/mouthfeel: Sweet apple brandy is again dominant, but Zhukov's comes through a bit more than it does on the nose. Ripe red apple, chocolate, black licorice, caramel and molasses hit the tongue in waves. The body is incredibly thick, carbonation low. Mildly boozy and tannic in the finish, and surprisingly dry given the initial sweetness. The barrel character is so strong that there isn't much left beyond it, but it's enjoyable for exactly that reason. Unique stuff.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sharing this at Stakem's tasting on 4/2! Poured from the growler into a snifter.

A black like used motor-oil appearance with not one iota of light can pass through. There is look that just yells viscosity and a ring of beads that are dark brown and don't stick. The smell is so full of brandy -big brandy barrel aroma Jeez!the smell is pungent and fragrant with an almost dessert-like smell, yet vinous and fruity. It lives up to theBrandy barrel name. The feel is rich, thick, roasted and subtly sweet with enough carbonation, yet it still seems 'chewy' and coats the mouth.

The flavor is slightly astringent w/ woody flavor and lots of brandy w/ subtle burnt toast and toffee flavor with tinges of light creamy caramel and subtle smokiness and spiced elements in the finish which is strong and dry. I found this to be agreat brew overall. If you want to have an Brandy barrel aged stout I would say start here! This has lots of barrel flavor and used as an ingredient it really works -as a barrel aged beer should be.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sharing this medicine jar growler at Stakem's tasting on 4/2/11.

A - Emerged from the medicine jar as a pure black liquid with a burnt golden brown ring of foam that reduced to some patchy retention and lacing.

S - Whoa! Intense alcohol notes and a big whiff of brandy character, followed by lots of wood and apples. However, the apple character is much more tart that I was anticipating. As the liquid warmed up a bit, the tart green apple presence really opened up and took center stage.

T - Where to start? First sip elicits smoke, tar, tobacco, whiskey, oak/wood and an intense green apple character that is really displayed quite prominently in the finish. While there is a hint of alcohol warmth in the finish, it doesn't come close to suggesting an 11.5% ABV tag. The tartness of the apples works amazingly well with the brandy character and all of the other complexities found within.

M - Full-bodied with a viscous, oily texture and smooth yet sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild. Finishes with a hint of tartness and some earthy hop bitterness. Not too sweet at all.

D - Very different than the Laird's Apple Brandy Barrel Hunahpu's, but equally as awesome. Cigar City manages to consistently blow me away with their amazing beers, and this one is no exception!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

dark, black as night this one poured with a tremendous fury. Evil looking and thick as oil it came at me . Small two finger head settled down and coated the sides with sticky chocolate colored lacing that let me know I was in for it.

As I reach in and take a whiff it hits me like a ton of bricks. Deep aroma of roasted malts, huge brandy notes , vanilla, molasses, tons of rich oak and lots of sugary and boozy touches. Hard to explain, just soo complex I dont know where to begin. Warming just confuses me more as the profile seems neverending. Each sip is like liquid god for me. Deep roasted notes, coffee, light licorice, brandy, boozy flavor that seems to dominate early on but fade as it starts to warm. Vanilla, and oak, chocolate, rich decadent notes of toffee and never ending complexity welcome me and wont let me go.

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Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another 32oz growler from Shep, a seriously generous dude.

Pours pitch black with a nice active mocha head that leaves decent lacing and shows stubborn retention given it's coming out of a growler.

The aroma is heavy on the apple brandy. In fact, I can definitely smell the red apple rinds and booze from the brandy. There is a roasted malt and dark chocolate presence underneath with some other dark fruits, like raisins.

The taste is more of the same with the initial apple brandy character dominating for a while though the chocolate, tobacco and leather of the underlying Zhukov comes through increasingly as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full bodied and decadent, like most of the CCB imperial stouts. Really good carbonation for a growler.

Another impressive brew from CCB though I do think it's a notch below the 4 Roses version. The apple brandy is very unique and there's no doubt it's the dominant character in this one.

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Photo of wchris21
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of hooliganlife
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap @ DLD

jet black, thick, oily, with a bit of cream colored head.

on the nose, sweet fruity bourbon and roasted malt.

flavor was bold all around. some charry roasted malt. brandy was a bit heavy, but very fruit like. added a whole level of flavor to this stout. a bit sweet, some booze.

fairly smooth, very thick, some burn and bite from booze.

very good, not sure i could drink 12oz's in less than an hour though.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours black with a foamy coffee colored head that sits pretty on top of the brew.

S. Smells of beautiful apple brandy with chocolate.

T. Chocolate with lots of apple brandy.

M. Tons of body with a thick mouth coating feel.

D. This one grew on me. I liked it quite a lot by the end of the glass.

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Photo of birchstick
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton to cpinto6 for this beauty.

Super thick pitch black oily heavy motor oil with thick legs, light head covering darker head.

Nose apple brandy is dominant, dark roasts, black patent, dark chocolate, fluffy oats and nougat like, bits of dark fruit, caramel, light vanilla, light bitter earthy hop

Taste starts rich, thick, smooth oats, roasty, dark choc, milk choc, light pepper, some apple brandy, woody ethers, some fruity taste like green apple, lighter earthy hops, light bitter roasted malts, sticky and a little sweet, chewy malts, light vanilla, coffee grinds, finishes with a thick mouth coating, lots of dark malts and chocolate, woody ethers, light minerality, light booze.

Mouth is fairly thick, creamy rich smooth, mouth coating, decent carb for the style.

Good, apple brandy adds some different feel and flavors compared to the original, and the brandy has a sharp contrast, and adds some woody ethers, made it lighter on the hops and malts even, booze is actually not bad.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a brown head. The aroma is oak with some roasted malt, soy sauce and chocolate. The flavor is oak, smoke, chocolate and soy. Oily, thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Really happy I got to try this beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

The beer is black with a thin, oily beige head that leaves an oily residue on the glass. The aroma offers a strong brandy presence, along with oak and roast notes. Big, bold flavor. Thick body with low carbonation. Lots of brandy presence. Palate coating. Very tasty.

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Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Grant via Shep – thanks to both!

Pours black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing and thick legs.

Smells of heavy dark chocolate and molasses backed by booze-soaked green apples. Also present are hints of roasted malts.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Smooth roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off before being joined by well-integrated apple brandy flavors. Midway through the sip the beer sweetens with the addition of molasses. Very light hints of oak work their way into things near the end of the sip, smoothing over the molasses flavors and carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It’s got a very nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I’m not sure how I feel about the brandy treatment of this beer, I can easily say that I preferred the Four Roses bourbon version. Still, an interesting treatment to an already distinctive beer that’s well worth a shot.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.56/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a sluggish black with almost no carbonation leaving a dirty white ring on the adge with light lacing

S: Rich cocoa, a big whiff of brandy, wood Earthiness and blend of dark fruits and coffee beans

T: Starts with a big deep chocolate, roastiness and brandy plus some old wood and Earthiness which slowly transitions to coffee, dark fruit with the brandy, smokey leather and cocoa still sitting ont he palate. The finish is a bit sweet, rather dry with some light bitterness and booze from like acetone or something

M: Big and thick but flat as a board

O: Good despite being super low on carbonation, the odd booziness.

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Photo of claaark13
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 104 ratings