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
104 Ratings
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gtreid on 01-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of hopsbreath
1.54/5  rDev -64.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Thanks to CoastieSimon for hooking me up with a 32oz growler of this as an EXTRA! The man could have traded it for quite the array of tasty rare beer but really showed his generosity sending it to my corner of the world. Shared at a tasting hosted by ramnuts. Fellow BA’s ChaseT, black13, MADhombrewer, Witchsbrew, TulipSnifter also helped me drink this. Thanks guys.

A: Oily dark brown with extreme viscosity. Leggy walnut brown stained glass upon the swirl. Very dark brown head turns flat fairly quick. Looks just like Marshal Zhukov so far, and that’s a good thing. 5

S: Acetone invasion! Oh no… I really do hate that smell in my beer but typically I only find it in sours. It’s very unwelcome here. Some apples and cocoa can be found behind the acetone upon closer examination, but it’s already failed in my book. 1/5

T: Following the nose… No more explanation needed. 1/5

M: Thinner than the base beer, which might be the thickest beer I’ve yet to drink, but not by much. 4/5

O: Do I really have to explain my score here? I love the Zhukov base and Hunahpu's. It would make sense that this should have been an amazing beer. Unfortunately it wasn't. Ramnuts insisted he's "had worse". He also stated "in Russia, Marshal Zhukov drinks you!" Well said Frank. I certainly felt a little palate raped after drinking through the three ounces needed to write the review. 1/5

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Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of jampics2
3.51/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice pour from a 32oz growler courtesy of Crizay - so cool of you to bring this out to the tasting at Paul and Tim's bonfire party. Consumed from my Great Lakes snifter.

How could any beer with the Marshal Zhukov's base appear to be bad? There's just no way - we're talking about perhaps a quinnesential Russian Imperial Stout - black as night with unrivaled density. There's a bit less head and lace here than the non-barrel aged version, but this is still very impressive looking.

The smell is intriguing, but not without some pretty substantial flaws. While the base beer has deep notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, burned coffee beans and a hint of dark fruit, this is basically comprised of apple brandy and Acetaldehyde. While intriguing (I could not stop smelling this, partly to savor the unique addition of the spirit and partly searching for the base beer), this really decimates the base instead of enhancing.

The taste is also just really strange. I just don't believe this combination of RIS and apple brandy barrel was a good choice for anything other than experimentation. The booze and apple dominates and washes out the goodness of the stout underneath. While the fantastic Four Roses version ehnanced the roasty notes of Zhukov, this just really seems to complicate and confuse things. Maybe this was a good change of pace, but I just struggle to understand why these barrels smothered all the intricate flavors - no oak, vanilla or any of the wood I like in my wood aged beers.

The mouthfeel was back on track with huge viscosity, although this did feel a touch less viscous than the original and the Four Roses versions. Overall, this wasn't a bad beer, but the Four Roses version kills it. Kills it dead.

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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 ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared at DLD by Jason.

A - Black beer with a small tan head that didn't stick around for long and left a few random spots on the sides.

S - Lot of brandy on this one. MZ is something I have always thought is pretty sweet, and it actually matches up pretty well with the Lairds on this particular brew. Smells like it might have a bit of heat.

T - Lots of brandy, little bit of barrel goodness, and some underlying base beer in the form of chocolate and roasted malts. It's good, but a bit boozy.

M - Smooth, low carbonation, pretty full bodied.

O - Pretty good, wish we could see Lairds Apple Brandy on more stuff. Good, not spectactular, but would definitely drink again if I had the opportunity.

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Photo of corby112
3.87/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chcolate brown color with lighter golden brown edges and a two finger head that slowly fades into a lasting cap that leaves sporadc lacing.

Sweet brandy aroma with light fruit notes, alcohol and leathery malt. Hints of toffee, caramel, leather and dark fruit, especially raisin, plum, date and fig.

Slightly chewy medium body with tight carbonation and slight oxidization.  Lots of earthy leathery malt with caramel, toffee, nut, dark fruit notes and slight alcohol wamth.  Slightly spicy and buttery with a slight dry finish.  Sweet but alcohol is relatively well masked.    

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Photo of BZero007
3.88/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received from J2Brew2, Thank you sir!
Shared at a DC area BA tasting, I believe a little over a week from the release.

Came in the Cigar Gity's 32 oz Growler with a label on it refering it as the Brandy Zhukoz. Cap on this thing is a bit tricky and recomend taping any of there growlers that are sent.

Pours a syrupy black color in to the glass with a bit of head forming in the glass. Head is a extreme dark brown color and crumples down with in a few minutes. The aroma is of a roasty dark chocolate aroma is very present. In the background pushing through you have apples and brandy. All the smells are easily picked up and very nice. Taste was of a extremly roasty dark chocolate with a candy apple background. The brandy taste was little non other than the apple flavor in the fore front. The body on this brew was bit too much for me personally. The body was extremly thick and was not enjoyable to drink. It seemed to have the body of something you would use as a syrup instead.

Overall I am very happy with getting to try this concotion. If you have a chance it is a very interesting brew and would recomend trying it out.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Devil's Den for their 4th annual Bella Vista beer bash for beer week. In a Tulip glass.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Brandy Barrel Aged looks very black. It's a stout so that much is apparent. The body is thick as hell. It basically looks like Dark Lord 08 with the oil like appearance and just goop, but not quite to that DL level. Not much foam. The smell is very roasty, with a whole lot of barrel character. Some smoke with chocolate. I cant help but to pick up some alcohol with warming. Taste is very barrel forward with a nice roasty finish with some smoke and char, wood, apple brandy. Flavorful and big in body. This one is just thick with minimal carbonation. A bit hot and the barrel sticks around in the finish. This is a big beer for big people so 5oz's would have been plenty for me.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
3.99/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32 oz growler split three ways into red wine glasses. Reviewed 21 March 2011. Thanks bra.

Ar. Strong apple, alcohol, fruit way out of balance with the base beer. it is hard to get past that, good aroma but it is apple dominated

Ap: Smooth creamy dark brown head, great retention, dark black, speckling of lace

T: Strong apple, overripe apple, apple enhances the char/smoke, chocolate, stout nuances overwhelmed by apple, very good but way out of balance, nice lingering chocolate, oak in finish, sweet dark character, base beer increases in strength with warmth

M: Low carbonation (slightly higher than the 4 roses), thick and viscous, smooth, roast balances sweetness

O: Apples way out of balance, the beer is good but the apple overwhelms the greatness in the base beer, i feel like it could be much better


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Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at 2nd Annual Hunahpu's Release.

A - Pours back, small tan head which dissipates to some film on top and some spotty lacing along the sides. Not much trace left of the head and it's basically a black hole in a glass.

S - Huge Laird's Apple Brandy right up front. Way more then the Laird's Hunahpu's that I've previously ticked. The Brandy really overpowers the base beer. Some chocolate and oak notes, but man, the alcohol is very evident here.

T - Once again, a huge Laird's Apple Brady bomb with some Zhukov follow behind. I think this one was a little too hot up front for me to really enjoy as much as the 4 Roses version.

M - Full, rich and thick, light carbonation (if any), creamy/oak finish.

D - This one was a little to hot for me, although others around me appreciated the Apple Brandy notes more then I did. I liked it, jus did love it. Would try again...I mean, will. Growler on the way!

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Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -8.5%

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

Tried this fantastic treat at the Hunahpu's Release Party (CCB). The aroma was nice and mellow but very full . . . lot of subtleties. Noticed vanilla, dark fruit, some alcohol and butterscotch right up front on the nose. Upon tasting, a lot of these aromas were confirmed, specially got the vanilla (more so, IMO, than in the bourbon version) right up front. Also got some oak and the heat from the alcohol intensified a bit , but did not overpower or undermine the flavor. This is the perfect beer to sip with a good cigar on a cool evening.

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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 xnicknj
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den

Pours an inky blackness with a faint, almost non-existent head. Ring of tanned film sits on top, leaving a few spots of lacing.

A crushing barrel character erupts from the nose, jam-packed with brandy, vanilla and booze. Hints of chocolate and dark malt sweetness with plenty of warmth. Oaky and warm with some roastyness.

Pretty aggressive up front with brandy, oak and hints of leather. Chocolate and vanilla bleed through the booze, blending well with the warmth. Tremendously burly backbone with thick layers of roasted dark malt. Finishes with a nice spike of brandy barrel and alcohol.

Insanely thick body - like one of the thicker beers I've ever had. Milder carbonation, sticky and heavy on the tongue. This is a tasty spin on Zhukov's - I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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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 MrFootstones
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The 32oz CCB growler opens with a small hiss, and pours much like the Four Roses version, which is to say "dark black" (if there is such a thing), looking quite like motor oil as it glugs into the glass. Darkest head and body I recall having seen.

As I opened it and as I noted the appearance, the heavy apple brandy aroma has been assaulting my nostrils. Let's go in for a closer sniff... Someone I work with makes apple jack and this reminds me of it. Not having had Laird's before I feel like I get a good idea of it here, as the apple spirits character is nigh unmistakable after trying the bourbon variant. Almost all I get is the barrel character, at least without it having warmed substantially.

The taste starts out much like the aroma. So much apple brandy character it's ridiculous. Not until the finish does the base beer become noticeable in the taste. Apple flavored candy to start. Really nothing else. The finish sees the oak barrels coming through, as well as the heavily roasted base beer. Very delicious, but overpowering flavors were relinquished by the barrel. Some chocolate and vanilla emerge mid palate as it warms.

Mouthfeel is just epic in MZ. So viscous, chewy, rich, and decadent. CCB knows how to make a stout.

This was a great beer, but it seems the barrels really took over. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily, but I guess it's new. I don't blink an eye when I drink a beer overpowered by a bourbon barrel. This was a very interesting and different beer and it was a pleasure to try it.

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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 sisuspeed
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the growler Dave!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Motor oil black with almost no head. There's a little bit of extremely dark-tan film, but no lacing left behind. I love how dark this is.

The nose is filled with juicy green apples. Wow, lots of apple. Caramel, wood and a bit of alcohol heat. A touch of earthy dark chocolate and plum makes it's way through as well. The barrels are strong with this one. Good, but a little one-dimensional.

Dark chocolate laced with green apples on the tongue. Caramel, apple skin and vanilla. Booze soaked oak. I wasn't quite sure about this one at first, but it really starts to grow on you after awhile. Lots of apple brandy barrel.

Mouthfeel is smooth, chewy and viscous. Unfortunately, there is very little carbonation, even for this style, which hurts the feel a bit. Nice warming alcohol, but not overdone. A few more bubbles and this would be perfect.

Overall, this is a solid beer. Lots of apple brandy. I love the caramel and vanilla notes that start to shine through as the beer warms up. The -bals could probably be toned down a bit, but it's still enjoyable as is. I'd love to see this in bottles some day. Really glad I got a chance to try it.

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

32 oz growler shared by Urbancaver with some other Cincinnati BA's.

Poured a black brown with very litlle head and tiny bubbles on the outside of the glass. Wow this smelled of red apples and almost replicated Lairds Apple Brandy smell. Tastes of smokiness and dry brandy with some other fruits as well. Very very thick mouthfeel and dry on the back palate. Different then all the other treatments that were opened and as this warmed up I started to like it a bit more.

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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