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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 104 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of cpinto6
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of CaptinRedBeard
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of Retsinis
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -31.4%

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.

 829 characters

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


 817 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade. Thanks man. Just barely opens the growler. Been sitting in my fridge the whole time waiting for a good oportunity. Poured into my cigar city snifter. Pours soo thick. Maybe the thickest I've seen. At first I was worried there was no carb but the two glasses I poured for my brother and my roomate had a nice dark tan head. No real lacing though on any of the glasses.

Aroma is amazing. Never had those aromas in a beer before. It's got a strong green apple aroma from the apple brandy. Nice roasty and caramel notes in the background.

Taste is the same. You get that apple brandy at first and then a nice caramel flavor then to a nice roastyness and oak and then finishes with the apple brandy again every time you move your tinge around after you swallow. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is so thick. A sipper for sure. Glad I shared it with friends. Nice carb for a growler.

Overall an awesome beer I'm glad I got to try. Gunna have to look for more next year.

 976 characters

Photo of Enish266
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by the perpetually generous johndoe8. Poured from growler into RR -tion goblet.

Pours a near impenetrable black-brown with zero head. A quick swirl coats the glass nicely and is reminiscent of the regular Zhukov.

Oh how I love the nose of a impeccably barrel-aged beer. One of the best Brandy noses I have inhaled in a while and vaguely reminiscent of the Matt that I had later in the evening.

Not a let down at all from the nose. The first sip envelops the tongue with sweetness and vanilla. Not cloying. Brandy is present throughout the whole consumption. Roast and chocolate are present in the backbone. Finishes exactly as I would like it: with no heat and with flavor that goes on and on.

Minimal carbonation but could have used a touch more. I was my understanding that the growler may have leaked in transit and could be the reason for this. Definitely very thick and viscous.

A pleasure to drink. One of a kind and would gladly have this again (or one of the other variations).

 998 characters

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.

 1,733 characters

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.

 494 characters

Photo of calcio360jrd
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District for Cigar City/TBC takeover night.

This was by far the hit of the evening, the keg was tapped out barely an hour after firt pour. Pour was black as night and thick as hell when coming from the tap. The smell was intoxicating, u got a real hit of the apple brandy barrel aging right at the beginning. The taste was just as wonderful, the complex flavors of a RIStoudt along with the barrel aging were fantastic on the palette. Glad i got 2 pours before the keg kicked. Recommend this to anybody if you get the chance to try it, fantastic!

 564 characters

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.

 711 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32oz growler shipped to me from beer advocate yesac. consumed mostly on DLD, but again in the privacy of my own home later that evening. drank out of my stone IRS snifter.

A- the pour is a thick looking opaque black body with a very small dark brown colored head. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing that i pick out of the nose is the brandy and alcohol in general. its strong, but not overpowering. after that i get lots of dark roasted malts and dark chocolate. the barrel makes itself known by adding a little bit of vanilla to the mix. the vanilla from the oak mixed with the chocolate makes for a very inviting scent.

T- the taste starts out with the dark roasted malts that i could smell. after that i get hit in the face with apple brandy and booze. vanilla from the oak barrel imparts some sweet vanilla notes. lots of chocolate (milk and dark) also adds to the sweetness. more chocolate and lots of coffee at the end.

M- the body is very much full. almost chewy. im told that the base beer is thicker. wow. the alcohol warming is strong and reminds me to sip and savor this. the carbonation is really low which adds alot here. very nice.

O- this was one of the best beers i had at dark lord day. i very much hope to have it again sometime soon. a little under the radar for a barrel aged stout from cigar city. check this one out if you get the chance. its very easy to drink and i could see myself getting into trouble with the whole growler.

 1,509 characters

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

 1,391 characters

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.

 1,097 characters

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!

 1,315 characters

Photo of muskabeatz
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Sendsilk for this one!

Poured from a 32oz. CCB growler into my Portsmouth tulip.

A- This is THE darkest beer I have ever seen, touched, held in my hand, drank, you name it...the darkest EVER. Many times I've seen a khaki or brown head come to rest on top of an imperial stout similar to this; however, the head on this beast is a dark, burnt brown, nearly the color potting soil. Jesus. This is love at first sight.

S- After reading prior reviews, the aroma was a bit more subtle than I had built it up to be in my imagination. Lots of oak initially, along with a rich brandy presence, and green apples in the background. All of these marry with the tremendous malt presence that adds a noticable roastiness into the mix as well. I find the aroma slightly underwhelming simply because I was expecting a bit more apple out of it.

T- Wow. This beer presents to the drinker all the most wonderful flavors to be had in life: fresh apple pie, sweet brandy, heavy malt presence, all linked together by brownies and baker's chocolate in the finish. Absolutely outstanding.

M- Heavenly. The Zhukov's varieties are just about as thick as they come in terms of viscosity, and this one sits damn near the top. It is uncompromisingly thick and syrupy, with just enough carbonation to come in and save the day. For me, it doesn't get much better than this.

O- Overall, Brandy Zhukov's is up there as one of my favorite beers ever. While the aromas were just shy of meeting my expectation, this is a beer I would NEVER turn down. I was happy to split this growler with three of my good friends, and we all decided that this brew fell just short of the greatness that is Hunahpu's. In the end I'm eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to try this, and can only hope to have it again in the future.

 1,811 characters

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.

 1,055 characters

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.

 1,209 characters

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.

 654 characters

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a heavy dark black motor oil like with a heavy tan head.

S- Smell of Apple and oak to the nose.

T- Taste of oak flavors and brandy with hints of chocolate notes and burnt coffee. Oh so good.

M- Very smooth and creamy with Alot of killer flavors.

D- Very good stuff. Thank you Captinredbeard ..n


 319 characters

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.

 932 characters

Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to CaptinRedBeard for securing this 32oz growler at the recent Hunahpu release and for bringing this back to share with me on 3/24/11.

Poured into a sniffer this brew appears a thick viscous coloration of black. When held to the light there is no light penetrating, not even around the edges, there is no lighter browness. A finger's worth of very dark brown head forms and recedes leaving spotty lacework on the glass. A light swirl revives the cap back to a finger which again recedes hanging close to the edges of the glass.

The smell of this brew is of tart green apples upfront. There is a prominent amount of tingly fusel booze throughout. Notes of dark chocolate provides a rich dark roasted quality to the brew mixed with a raw oak smell that developes more as the beer warms.

The taste is boozy and very roasty with a thick chocolate bitterness reminiscent of 90% cacao. More flavors of coffee come forward along with a tart green apple fruitiness. There is a solid foundation of heavily kilned malt throughout this brew that imparts a flavor of char that lingers in the mouth. There is a light touch of must across the back mixed with licorice and raw oak flavors. Very deep and enjoyable all together.

This is a full bodied brew with a light to modest amount of carbonation. A good blends of flavors with a big booze flavor and warmth that packs quite a kick. This apple brandy barrel experience was quite different from the hunahpu experience I had which makes me believe it is a different type or treatment of the barrel. I was very glad to get to try this brew, it is certainly one to share as there is a lot going on in this brute. Thanks again Corey!

*Update 4/2/11
Got to try this brew a second time care of SamuelJackson45 who also got a growler care of Corey. Quite a different experience as far as the apple inclusion inside this beer. It is significantly more bold than the sampling we had a week prior. The apple inclusion is a very bold scent of apple cores. I think Leon dry appled his growler...

 2,037 characters

Photo of Infernal75
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 32oz growler, thanks go out to muskabeatz for sharing this with me.

The group of us were all rather worried, holding our collective breath really as this one was opened because the bottle was sticky out of the shipping package and it had clearly leaked some... Much to our delight the beer didn't seem to have been adversely effected at all!

A: Holy smokes, this beer was rich and dark, truly giving the description "motor oil" a work out, coated with just a tiny bit of the darkest foam I've ever seen, this beer is a pretty, pretty, looking stout!

S: The initial assault on the nostrils is pure apple, fresh, crisp, ripe from the farm. But that's not it, it seems to warm into a sweeter hybrid between apple pie and fudge brownies, really a uniquely delicious aroma with just a hint of woodiness trailing. The only negative for me was that I caught a whiff of alcoholic fumes that kept this away from perfection.

T: The taste matches the smell pretty well, The apple seems to be some kind of blend between washington and bit of granny smith tartness. The apple mixes with some dark chocolate evenly smoothed out with the brandy. Maybe the clearest trace of Zhukov's present in this beer, I caught a little dark fruit, almost a darker cherry flavor in the tail end. As it warms up you get a little alcohol hotness, only a tiny bit boozy as it warms. This monster leaves a barrel-aged dark chocolate sort of bitterness in your mouth that lets you know you've got a quality stout. Wow, what a unique, delicious stout!

M: Mouthfeel, I'll be brief, THICK. Could use a tiny bit more carbonation, but given the age of the growler and the leaking concerns we faced, I was really pleased with the carbonation level relative to the style.

O: Wow, the sum of this beer's parts is a fantastically mind-blowingly dark Russian Imperial Stout. The taste is well-crafted and doesn't seem forced, somehow the apple, while tart, mixes well with the chocolaty sweet barrel-aged stout characteristic you expect from something akin to Bourbon County. A wonderful treat.

 2,070 characters

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