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

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged
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Stout - American Imperial
4.19 | pDev: 11.22%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged
Notes: Double barrel aged version of Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout for 2010. A blend of bourbon and brandy barrel aged Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout.

Limited Release: 216 bottles
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 91 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tpd975:
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tpd975 from Florida

4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled several times pre release, Thanks Joey.

A: Pours a nice rich deep black hue with a small tan head. No real retention or lace here.

S: Wonderful rich deep aromas. Tons of barrel here. The apple brandy really sticks out with notes of the oaky bourbon barrel as well. Very rich and earthy. Lots of roast, smoke, and chocolate. Coffee is there with hints of asphalt and dark fruits.

T: Not as bold as the flavor but still reallly good. Loads of barrel goodness. The rich brandy plans well off the oaky bourbon. Tons of charred malt with hints of dark fruit and booze filled chocolate candy.

M: Rich and thick, low on the carbonation when I tried it (as it was bottle conditioning). Lack of carbonation does not hurt at all though. Light carbonation is actually pretty nice here.

D: Not the most drinkable, but very sippable which is how you should rate a beer of this style.

Jul 27, 2010
More User Reviews:
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Thorpe at a recent tasting, thanks. Served along side the original base beer, might not have been the same vintage base though. Side by side, the difference was obvious, the wood character came through much better, the beer was slightly sweeter from the barrels, and there was that signature liquor component that was missing from the non-barrel aged version. The base beer felt thinner almost and more ashy than the barrel aged version as well.

Beer is black / dark brown with nearly no head, low carbonation, and no lacing.

Aroma is bitter with roast and mildly sweet, mild liquor character.

Flavor is great, lead off sweetness with a medium body, sweetness gives way to an almost vanilla and chocolate liquor flavor and carries the beer to the late palate where there is some light bitterness like bittersweet chocolate or a mild coffee.

Very enjoyable and clearly the winner between the two beers.

Mar 21, 2011
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jh1982 from Nevada

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Nov 23, 2011
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a body black as sin. Though, beyond a few bubbles produced by the pour, there's no real attempt at head formation.

Smell: Heavy, sweet-smelling aroma of chocolate cake batter, roasted malts, burnt sugars, alcohol-soaked figs and raisins, and with many a very vibrant, attractive brandy and bourbon barrel scent. My, but that does smell mighty nice.

Taste: Deep flavors of melted dark chocolate, homemade marshmallows, molasses, dark caramel, and espresso. Sturdy sweetness. Desiccated dark fruits. A bulk of charming barrel character, with scads of oak-laden bourbon and brandy contributing vanilla bean, flaked coconut, wooden dowels, and sweet, ripe apples. It's all very luscious. Plenty of alcohol warmth in this one, but, thankfully, it never forces any ganky hotness on you. Well-incorporated bitterness. Notably roasty finish with primarily the bourbon coming through at the end.

Mouthfeel: Near-full, creamy body. Low carbonation. I'd prefer a skosh more, but being the slow, thoughtful sipper that it is, I don't mind the lack of bubbles.

Drinkability: A heavy, hearty, intoxicating drink, but I persevered. Excellent, perhaps even mind-bendingly so. Sure, it's not the easiest beer to acquire, sadly, but, if you have the means and opportunity, I highly recommend it.

Sep 15, 2010
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this surprise beer.
Review from written notes.

Poured into a small snifter, it's a dense oily viscous liquid, no foam, save for a hairline thin ring around the edge. Definitely oily... glistening obsidian, still on the surface.

Aroma is somewhat mellow, woody with traces of charred roast.

Flavors are similarly rich and roasty, notes of vanilla, fudgy dark chocolate, toasted marshmallow charred in a campfire. Oily and viscous texture, with a telltale sting of distilled spirits, and mild boozy presence of alcohol in the taste as well. Surprisingly though it's smooth and pretty easy drinking, though I wouldn't want more than a small serving. Best shared with friends that dig huge stouts.

Jul 19, 2011
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Nov 22, 2011
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JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Generous bottle from John. Poured a fairly viscous black with a dark, dark mocha head. Nose was subtle roast and char, sweet brandy, heavy barrel. Hot and quite thin in the mouth, just a ton of barrel, good sweet brandy and spicy oak, moderate roast, oak char. Bitter on the back palate. The barrel was omnipresent here, the backbone of the beer couldn't stand up to it, not enough malt depth or complexity. Decent, not great by any stretch and nowhere near as good as the Brandy Hunahpus enjoyed alongside it.

Oct 14, 2010
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cjgator3 from Florida

4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Beatiful 750ml bottle with yellow wax covering the cap. Looks great! Poured into a Cigar City tulip glass. Pours a pitch dark black color with not much of a head. Just a thin ring of tan lacing.

S- The aroma is fantastic. Just like the nomal Zhukov, this one is packed with dark roasted malts. A lot of wood from the barrel aging infiltrates the nose as well. Finally, some of the heat from the alcohol is shining through.

T- The taste like the aroma is the original Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout just kicked up a little and enhanced by the barrel aging. Fantastic dark and roasty, with delicious woody notes from the barrels. The finish is warming from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel like the appearance suggests with the lack of a large head is very lightly carbonated.

D- The high ABV and extreme flavors definitely makes this one a sipper. Overall, another enjoyable release from Cigar City. Can't wait to see how this one ages after a few years!

Jul 28, 2010
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beachbum1975 from Ohio

4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The amazing generosity of Urbancaver comes again! This is beer review number # 500 for me. Yellow waxed bottle.

Pours thick and black as night. Slightly tan edges which appear clear.

I definitely get the apple and bourbon from both barrels in the nose. Heavily roasted grains, coffee and hints of black licorice. It really doesn't get any better than this.

Thick, thick, thick. Moderate carbonation in the mouthfeel Light licorice in the mix.

This is epic.

Mar 17, 2011
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Lunch from Maryland

4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought to a recent tasting by Mr. Thorpe429, thanks man!

Served side by side with regular Zhukov. Both served in Cigar City snifters, because I am a sick man and am able to do things such as this.

Pours out thick and inky black with little head or carbonation to speak of. Looks fine. Smell is exceptional and both bourbon and brandy are present along with a hefty dose of chocolate and some oak. Hints of vanilla and roast are present. Thick like "Queen Latifah" and carbonation that is about as vibrant as her sense of comedy.

Really enjoyed this and would love to somehow have this again, thanks Mike!

Mar 26, 2011
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largadeer from California

3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks, Michael.

Double Barrel Zhukov's pours an oily flat black. There's almost no carbonation, no head and no lacing, though the legs are impressive.

The aroma has a big barrel character that lends a pleasant sweetness, hinting at vanilla, caramel and toasted coconut. There's a mild scent of earthy oak, while the blackened malt and dark chocolate of Marshal Zhukov's resides beneath it all, mellowed by months in brandy and bourbon barrels.

Very layered on the palate, displaying prominent flavors of molasses, burnt malt, bitter baking chocolate and brandy-like sweetness. There are subtleties of black licorice, pepper, spicy oak and a sweet apple liqueur flavor that reminds me of Calvados. The body is full and rich with no perceptible carbonation. The bitter and burnt assault of regular Zhukov's is still present, but tamed with age and balanced by the sweetness of the barrels. This is quite good, one of the best Cigar City beers I've tried, but still not top-tier for the style.

Aug 17, 2010
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ark as night, black, inky, oily just full of everything big and mean you could possibly want out of a huge stout. Nice small tan head then rises up and settles across the top leaving a little bit of lacing and a smooth and consistent coating along the inside of the glass.

The aroma was the thins that dreams are made of. Rich coffee smacks you in the face from the first sip, but then slowly melts into a seemless mix of vanilla, rich bourbon notes, delicate sweet chocolate and rich roasted malts. Perfect in every way. I could not have imagined this actually coming across any better. Then I took the first sip and the velvety smooth, sensual and completely coating nature of it took over. Incredible amounts of coffee up from but the vanilla is starting to steal the show for me over. Really just the most thick, viscous, and wonderful full bodied stout I could have had. Rich bourbon and vanilla are all over the place here and each is simply stunning in its own right, but when combined they are perfect.

Jun 19, 2011
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HopHead84 from California

4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks Michael! The beer pours nearly flat with no head and a very dark brown body.

The nose is quite complex. Light brandy notes waft from the glass, accompanied by an appropriate level of bourbon (balanced, I'd say) and wood. Rich dark chocolate and vanilla are strong, and I note brown sugar as well. I get none of Zhukov's signature scorched malt and burnt wood notes, which is positive.

The flavor is rich dark chocolate laced with brandy and bourbon. A moderate booze heat is evident. The combination of both barrels is nice, and I detect none of the harshness of the regular Zhukov's...maybe just a dash of roasted malt, but it's mostly bourbon and brandy chocolate.

The body is full, the mouthfeel thick and creamy, and the carbonation adequate for a beer of the style. A nice beer from Cigar City, much better than Rurik's, which we tried next to this.

Sep 09, 2010
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think this was contributed by nerd or Deaconbluez - thanks to whomever it was.

A - Pours with no head, a few bubbles and the typical Zhukov's glass-coating brown film. Oily pitch black body.

S - Surprisingly sweet for a Zhukov variant, with far less astringent and burnt character. The apple brandy and bourbon barrels have done a fine job contributing notes of apple, butterscotch, vanilla, coconut, and earthy barrel. There is plenty of oak, chocolate, and roasted malt too.

T - Taste is quite a bit more mellow than I expected, with far less harshness and scorched earth than the regular version. There's a good deal of richness and depth on par with the nose with a heavy emphasis on sweet apple notes.

M - Sludgy, almost non-existent carbonation, and a roasty tannic finish. A smooth body with some alcohol heat. Needs a bit more in the way of bubbles.

D - This was quite good, and would probably be my favorite Zhukov variant if it was carbonated. I definitely couldn't down a 750ml on my own, but it'd be a nice dessert beer to share with friends.

Aug 18, 2010
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t0rin0 from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Sep 15, 2012
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jophish17 from Georgia

4/5  rDev -4.5%

Dec 23, 2011
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illidurit from California

4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of askofficerfriendly. Falls into the glass pitch black without the slightest intention of forming a head or otherwise evincing its carbonation. To say it displays legs on the glass wouldn't really capture the viscosity. Swirling endangers the glass of being permanently stained.

Aroma is vivid dark chocolate. One of the more spot-on notes I've had in beer, actually. There's roastiness there but it doesn't come within miles of the campfire juice roastiness of basic Zhukov. The barrel character is rather mellow I'd say. Bourbon Zhukov was smoother than basic Zhukov, but Double Barrel is even smoother. Almost to the point where I'd rather have some rough, ass-whipping edges to it.

Flavor is black strap molasses, dark chocolate, tar and dark fruits. Big roasted character with a smooth brandy note and some obvious oak and vanilla.

Warming, inky body, pretty syrupy. Never really noticed that the beer was pretty damn flat. There was a touch of carbonation on the palate. Didn't detract in my opinion.

A quiet dominator. Still thinking that Bourbon Zhukov is the best of the 4 variations I've had.

Sep 19, 2010
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dar482 from New York

4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark black color with a thin brown ring of a head.

The aroma has a good amount of fruits in the front. Raspberries, muddle blueberries. It's surrounded by umami, huge notes of chocolate, brownie.

The flavor follows of big roasted coffee, sharp dark chocolate, a huge fudgey notes of brownie (reminds me of Plead the Fifth) and then the alcohol arrives. The spiced rum bites throughout the experience as the beer calms in brown sugar, hints of dark cherry, vanilla. The finish continues of a lasting chocolate flavor.

The barrel is not particularly aggressive on this one except the flavor has that sharp alcohol and rum flavor at times.

Still a spectacular beer.

Feb 25, 2014
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gford217 from Georgia

4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL yellow-wax bottle from a super generous FL BA.

Pours a viscous oily black with very little carbonation - just a collection of brown bubbles around the edges. It does leave some brownish legs along the sides, almost tinting the glass a bit.

The aroma is complex and fantastic. It's all in there - bourbon, vanilla, cocoa powder, charred black malts, oak, tobacco. I mean, it's just a massive nose.

The taste doesn't disappoint either. The burnt malt character is even more dominant than in the aroma. There is bitter chocolate, espresso and dark fruits. The barrel character hits hard in the finish and the bourbon especially burns going down.

The mouthfeel is where this one falls short of excellent as it's hardly carbonated at all. I had a regular 2010 Zhukov last week and it had the same issue. It doesn't completely take away from the beer but does affect the overall impression.

This is a massive, heavily charred impy stout that has a solid but not overpowering barrel character. If the carbonation had been a bit better this one would be a world class beer. It's still an excellent beer.

Aug 15, 2010
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mothman from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours no head at all. Color is a deep black. A swirl and it leaves legs down the glass.

Aroma: A big brandy sweetness up front. It has some oak and bourbon, but I love the brandy. Some roasted malts, chocolate, and dried fruits as well. I also get some vanilla and sweetness. A nice nose to it.

Taste: Much more roast and smoked malts. A decent alcohol burn here. Brandy and bourbon blend together more here. It has a ton of peat and smoke in the finish. Some cherries, plums, and dried fruits in the middle. Oak and vanilla with a light caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Warming and roasted. A lower amount of carbonation. A full bodied beer. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, the nose was really nice, but the taste was a bit roasted and smoked which I didn't like. The nose was great though. A sipper for sure.

Oct 23, 2010
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BeerAndBourbon from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours with little to no carbonation with a black body.

S. Delicious bourbon with brandy that comes out more as the beer warms.

T. Chocolate malt, lots of brandy sweetness (not as much as the brandy barrel aged), oak, and a bit of smoke.

M. Super thick and luscious. Thins out and becomes more dry as it warms.

D. Delicious. A nice mix of the bourbon and brandy. This started as my second favorite, but went downhill as it warmed.

Mar 17, 2011
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sendsilk from Florida

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

May 17, 2013
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike! Served side by side with the regular Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout (thank you Paul).

Honestly, the Double Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout looks identical in every facet to the regular version. The beer is black with a small, beige head. The beer leaves a viscous, oily resin on the sides of the glass as it cascades downward into the abyss. Yikes!

The aroma is noticeably different, and this is where the two beers begin to separate themselves. Lots of barrel notes and complexities to sniff out, notably the combination of brandy and bourbon.

The taste brings further complexity. I found the brandy barrel aspect more prominent than bourbon barrel flavor. The beer is incredibly rich, and brings a heavy, thick, viscous, roast character. Alcohol is there, but the beer is not hot, per se. A step up from the already delicious Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout. It was a treat to try this rarity.

Mar 21, 2011
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glid02 from Georgia

4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Shep - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal parts roasted malts and brandy. Also present are deeper and slightly spicy bourbon notes in addition to dark chocolate, molasses, and vanilla.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by dark molasses. Joining in shortly thereafter are good amounts of boozy brandy and very light hints of dark fruits. Midway through the sip bourbon makes an appearance with the addition of vanilla dn light oak. The bourbon, brandy, and molasses flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness however the carbonation is very soft.

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

Overall I was surprised how robust the brandy was as it nearly overpowered the bourbon and the nuances of Zhukov, though it stopped just short of doing so. A little better balance would result in a phenomenal beer, though as it stands now it's still remarkable. Well worth a shot.

Mar 17, 2011
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.26/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks upon thanks to steelcitybrew for swapping me this bottle in a Cigar City trade. Never thought I'd get to handle this bottle: here it is. I've been saving it for a special occasion that keeps drifting towards the horizon. Enough waiting. It's going down.

Big 750ML bottle split into two glasses. Quietest of hisses when the cap pops, after using a buzz saw to cut through the three inches of yellow wax. Pour is the blackest black; bubbles are MIA, no head, no evident carbonation. The smell is all over my clothes, no lack here. Bourbon, brandy, roast fling themselves at me like groupies. Mmmm. Groupies.

Double Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov's is a beer at war with itself on the eastern front. I hate to say, but the brandy & bourbon are fighting & making me a little uncomfortable. The brandy has the upper hand & really infuses the beer. The bourbon is present only in the back of the throat, the ghost of barrels past. The charred roast so aggressive in the base beer, is quieted by the barrels & slinks into the backseat. And without that, Zhukov's is just another pretty good stout. The freight-train of the mouthfeel doesn't help, either. Half a bomber is a chore, & about ninety minutes, to get down. It didn't improve as it warmed, either.

Decent beer, but light years from the epic I was hoping for. I love - LOVE - the base beer, & this treatment brought it down like a granite balloon. Too heavy, little carbonation, & the barrels covered up its best traits. Give me the regular every day of the week.

Dec 04, 2011
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 91 ratings