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

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Gtreid on 07-11-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 88
Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of tpd975
4.79/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of urwithdave
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Cigar City Snifter

A- Pours jet black...the Gulf of Mexico isn't this black. A fingers worth of a mocha head that recedes quickly and leaves a thin ring around my glass. Not much lacing left.

A- A lot like the base beer in that I get tons of dark fruits,chocolate, smoke, leather, and a hint of coffee. However, this one is packed with huge notes of brandy and bourbon from the barrels. The barrels really steal the show here. The brandy has somewhat of a sweetness to it. The bourbon isn't as dominating as the brandy, but you definitely know it's there.

T- This is my second favorite BA brew that CCB had produced. The chocolate and dark fruits are the first thing that really hits me. The brandy and the bourbon are nice and warming. They play well off of each other and the flavors of the base beer do not get muddled. I'm really happy that it's not overly sweet.

M- Nice and thick all the way down. Carbonation is on the lighter side. A finish that leaves me yearning for the next sip.

D- A stout of this magnitude is definitely a sipper. You will want to crack this when you have enough time to fully enjoy it. I found that as it warmed the flavors really accelerated.

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Photo of dimenhetfield
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got from the brewery on the day of the release. The aromas I got were big and robust with hints of oaky wood, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, and barely. The carbonation was a little on the light side, but I was told that it was best served that way, but needless to say it was still an amazing beer.

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Photo of Lunch
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A massive thanks goes out to cmrillo for bringing this one out during his own 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Can’t believe I got to try this one!!! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head that subsided to virtually none quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, and vanilla. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. Even after two years this brew has really held its own in my opinion. There is still plenty of well balanced flavors and aromas going on here as well as barrel character. Just wish we would have been able to taste this with the Brandy and 4 Roses versions at the same time. But beggars can’t be choosers. Everyone should try this beer at least once in their lifetime.

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Photo of gford217
4.44/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is Marshal Zuhkov's aged in a Laird's Apple Brandy barrel and a Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel. I count myself quite lucky to have had the chance to try this brew. Poured into a CCB snifter.

A: Jet black, but with little head. What head did appear quickly fade and left no remenants of it's existance. No real lace either.

A: I get the underlying notes of the base stout, smokiness, roasted coffee, chocolate, and earthy hops. But the barrels, mmm, the barrels. Mostly bourbon, but I do get a whiff of the brandy as well.

T: Pretty hot, but nice. The brandy and buorbon barrels really play very well with Zhukov. Chocolate, coffee, charred malts, and molasses, with notes of vanilla from the barrel. It finishes clean with a hefty amount of alcohol.

M: This is just about perfect. The double barrel aging creates a smoothness I have yet to encounter in a beer. Little carbonation, heavy body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is slightly lower. The barrels and the high ABV will limit it some. Overall, I have had both the apple brandy and bourbon versions by themselves, and I think this one beats them both. Very nicely done. Skal.

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Photo of koopa
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared this 750ml bottle with friends at the Copper Mine Pub today. Less than 200 bottles available and no draft offering. Nice 750ml bottle dipped in yellow wax.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a minimal brown crown that displays minimal retention and minimal lace.

Smell: Great mix of roast malt, slightly oxidized soy sauce, and moderate bourbon.

Taste: Same as the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy and I WANT MORE!!!!

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with no head. I poured this one aggressively after hearing of a lot of flat bottles. I got a couple bubbles but pretty much zero carbonation.

S - Oak, booze, some dark fruits.

T - An initial blast of dark fruits & tobacco (wow), some bourbon/brandy though it's very subdued, chocolate. Some bitterness towards the end. Again a lot of dark fruits.

M - Full. Little to no carbonation.

Despite this being very flat it is still an amazing beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle out of a wine glass. Thanks to Casey for the hook up a long time ago...

A- pours an oily black, but looks a bit thinner than regular Zhukov. The head is a little pile of dark colored of bubbles that dissipate quickly.

S-a rich blend of semi sweet chocolate and roasted malt. I get a little oakiness, but it has no booziness at all.

T- Extremely smooth at first then explodes with flavor. The semi sweet chocolate brownie flavor hits, the barrel aging comes through mainly as some brandy/bourbon flavor after the chocolate fades. There is a light oakiness and some extremely roasted aftertaste.

M- low carbonation, but that isn't too off for the style. I was hoping this would have zhukovs body, but it was a bit thin.

O- Overall this is extremely good, and has developed very nicely. While I wish it had a bit more body, it had all the chocolate characteristics that I love about Zhukov. Would love to try this again fresh for comparison.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Sean on a random afternoon.

A - Black beer, looks pretty thick, and kind of flat. Mocha head that doesn't stick around very long. Recedes to a thin collar with minimal stick on the sides.

S - Smells very sweet, with an interesting blend of bourbon and brandy. Decent amount of roast and smoke with a lot of sweet chocolate and a little molasses.

T - Lots of barrel, sweeter brandy and oaky bourbon. A bit of char, lots of chocolate, some slightly roasted notes. Good stuff.

M - It's kind of flat, I've heard of a lot of bottle variation on this brew, but at least it isn't infected. Thick and smooth, full bodied.

O - A nice sipper, with good flavor and some fairly mellow spirits from the barrels. Would like to have this one again.

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Photo of illidurit
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/19/11 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one; thanks Mike. 2010 stamped on the front, served in a tulip side by side with the normal Marshal Zhukov.

a - Pours an almost black color, with no head or carbonation really evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and brandy. Both barrels and the roastiness really come through in the smell.

t - Tastes of molasses, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and bourbon. More vanill adn chocolate seemed to come through in the taste than the smell.

m - Med body and low carbonation. The body was very smooth and creamy, and there wasn't much heat to it.

d - A very good barrel aged RIS. I enjoy the normal Zhukov a lot and this version is even better. In the nose you can definitely smell some of both barrels and they blend together well in this one. Would love to have again and very glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was just another Tuesdaynight at my crib when Jeffo brought two monster beers to share. You da man, Jeff!

had this one right after the regular Marshal Zhukov.

Just like the regular Zhukovs:
A pour into my snifter scared the crap out of me. It's black, thick, mean. Is this dried blood? A nice one finger head leaving nice lacing on the side of the glass.

The dark roasted malts on the nose, the peaty and coffee scents are still there but this time added are Vanilla bourbon scents and some wonderfull oak and earthy notes.

As promised by the nose flavors are peaty, coffee and dark roasted malts but also a nice hoppy and chocolate bitterness. There is a slight alcohol burn I didn't detect in the base beer. The peaty notes seemed to have been amplified by the barrel

Motoroil for the mouth. It's thick and it's beautifull. It has perfect carbonation. It feels perfect for such a big stout.

Overall I might prefer the regular version. Which I tend to anyways when tried side by side. As a barrel aged beer this one of the best ones I have ever had. Do what you have to in order to get your hand on this.

Thanks Jeffo, always bringing some big ass beers.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL, yellow wax dipped bottle to CBS snifter on 1/26/12
*From notes

A: Absolute black, with a killer burgundy hue to the edges. A hard, firm pour down the center of the snifter yields no head, no lacing and zero collar.

S: It's a beautiful thing. Seeing as it's over eighteen months old, and having been properly stored for most (if not all) of it's existence, this is right where it should be. The barrel qualities have mellowed yet still present themselves in an up front manner.

T: Dark fruit brownie batter soaked in bourbon. Really, it's that good. The balance is top notch. The barrel profiles are so well integrated with the base beer it's scary. Mounds of dark, rich cocoa dance in rythm with the bourbon, as the brandy infusion adds a dried dark fruit quality to the back end. Just lovely stuff.

M: As expected, this lacks any semblance of carbonation, as this vintage of Marshal Zhukov was (poorly) known for. Happily the base body is rather dense, yet the beer is still quite oily. I will say though that all of this affords the beer a very laid back vibe, making it a true sipper.

O: What a great beer. I really needed an occasion to open this, and what better then side by side with a Bourbon Hunahpu?

CCB's Double Barrel Zhukov is such a chill, easygoing beer. It allows the imbiber to come to it, rather then throw itself upon your palate. It's in no way agressive or over the top, it's simply a wonderful achievement, and one I hope CCB brews and blends again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Sean for getting me this bottle. Shared at a tasting yesterday evening. Served alongside the base beer in a Bruery tulip.

Pour yields a near black beer with a slight mocha head that sits around for a little bit before receding to a thin collar and then eventually nothing. The nose is initially a bit muted, but with a few good swirls it roars to life. A bit of a rise in temperature helped as well, though this was opened around cellar temperature. Great notes of bourbon and brandy come through and I really enjoyed the interplay. I think the brandy took the upper hand, though the bourbon contributed. A bit of booze in there as well. While the barrel-derived aspects of the beer dominated, there was a bit of mild roast and chocolate in the background.

The flavor mixed the barrels quite well. I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. Brandy was nice and added a wonderful complexity. Chocolate was there in small amounts, along with some roast, the latter of which was particularly prevalent in the flavor. A bit of booze in there as well. Feel was thick and viscous with a bit of alcohol warmth in the swallow. Very good beer.

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Photo of mistakebythelake
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Urbancaver and the Cincinnati crew.

A very Viscous black and hints of brown that poured virtually no head or bubbles. A boozy Nose with some dark fruits. Tasted of vanilla and some smoky oak with bourbon coming through as well. It was nicely blended and balanced and definitely enjoyed how smooth it tasted. Thick and creamy moderate carbonation. Enjoyed this variation the most at our Zhukov tasting.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
4.15 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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