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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 88
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 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 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 Urbancaver
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and dark with no head at all. Very little carbonation if any. Smells a bit woody. a hint of apple and a touch of vanilla from the bourbon. Tastes very dry. Lots of sweet bourbon flavours and a nice apple underlying. Very interesting for sure but not as good as the bourbon barrel alone. Thick but the dryness hurts the overall mouthfeel and impression.

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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 BeerAndBourbon
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-motor oil with no head whatsoever
S-heavy on bourbon. Go figure with the double barrel and all
T-very sweet and smooth. Mostly bourbon with a little bit of vanilla.
M-full bodied with a nice bourbon aftertaste...
O-OK. Not really as impressed as I was expecting to be.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to billyshears for sharing!!!

Thick black with no head and that barrel aged shine to the brew. No lacing at all...the booze just kills it. A swirl of the glass leaves a soft coating of the brew which slides down like a watery syrup. The beer was definitely nicely balanced and the 2 different barrels seem to really compliment each other...the bourbon flavor is chilled quite a bit from the brandy. Very well balanced and tastes a bit like soy sauce, but really silky and smooth and extremely easy to drink.

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Photo of capra12
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at cosmicevan's with Jim, Evan and Jon.

Appearance: deep and dark jet black. No head.

Smell: ton of sweet preserved dark fruit and tons of sweet boozieness.

Taste: opens with a ton of dark and roasted malts. Tons of dark preserved prune, figs, black cherries soaked in alcohol. Tons of char and I actually got a piece of char. Hot aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied. Minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle with a few people at a tasting last week.

Poured black with a tan head. Ruby hues in the light around the edges, but the head faded rather quickly. Very interesting aroma, lots of smokiness and leather, smaller quantities of coffee and cocoa. In fact, cocoa was probably the least noticeable characteristic. A little too smoky for me. Anyway, the vanilla and oak are rather pronounced and prominent. It nearly takes over the beer and seems a touch out of place. Don't get me wrong, I love Bourbon County Stout and it's in-your-face bourbon, but this didn't work as well for some reason. There's a decent ashiness and dry leather in the finish with some dark fruits coming through as well. Finish is lengthy, coffee/burnt toast-filled, and maybe a touch of astringency as well. The alcohol, for such a big beer, is well hidden. Yet, there's something here that just doesn't completely agree with me. Oh well, it was a good experience nonetheless! Regular Marshal Zhukov is much tastier IMO.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Been saving this bottle for a special occasion, so I figured Id bust it out a tasting where meeting new local BA's. We had to pull out a kitchen knife to cut away the thick yellow wax to even get the cap off first. After getting enough removed I pulled the cap of and was a little let down that there really wasn't as much hissing from the carbonation as I would have guesses. On the pour this baby is deep deep black with almost a still presentation and no carbonation. There is absolutely no light passing through it and no yeast chunks etc. As I give a generous swirl the legs are very thick on this beer almost coats the the glass and stains it orange-red.


Hello, Brandy! The first thing I notice is the huge winy grape brandy nose followed by the vanilla and oaky undertones from the bourbon. Lots of earthiness from the barrels and tannins. Not really detecting the heat alcohol here. No hop presence what so ever.


This is smooth....very smooth. There is not even a trace of the alcohol. Grapes galore and bourbon take front and center stage. I like the brandy much better in this beer than the Angles Share series which were almost too much. In the middle I'm pulling out smoke, tobacco, and lots of chocolate and vanilla. I do wish this was a bit more carbonated though because I would bet the flavors would be delivered much better.


Overall a very solid beer and I was glad to finally enjoy it with some new BA friends. I was super pumped with the flavors and highly disappointed with the carbonation so I guess everything kind of weighs itself out. I would love to get my hands on another bottle. Another great beer from CCB

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by kbutler1 at a tasting. Thanks Kevin. Poured from a bottle into my tasting glass.

A: Pitch black motor oil. Thick as hersheys syrup. No head or lace. Although the sample was small I assume you could not acheive head or lace no matter how hard you tried.

S: Sweet boozy chocolate and black coffee. The nose is very "warm" on this one. Reminds me of good old DL.

T: The flavor was much less boozy than the nose had led me to believe. Much more roast coffee and chocolate. Mildy bitter. Just a touch of molasses and camp fire.

M: Uh.. like it would be anything other than thick and chewy. Coats the glass and my mouth. No carbonation.

D: Overall a big bold version of a very good Double Stout. 4-5oz was plenty for me. I would have trouble attacking an 8-12oz pour of this.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours thick and pitch black as motor oil. Some dark transparent bubbles popped up, but otherwise a serious thickness to this one.

(S)- Super rich. Some molasses and boozy heat. Some deep chocolate aspects coming through as well.

(T)- So rich and sweet. Tons of caramel, molasses, and layers of dark chocolate with an underlying warmth.

(M)- Slick and rich/decadent. Very sweet, but decent ABV integration. Lower carbonation level, but not bothersome.

(D)- This is a different monster, but a good one. It would be a chore to tackle a bottle with only 1 or 2 people however. It is a tad over-the-top, but sometimes that fits my mood and this was kind of a welcomed transition for the evening from sours. I would be curious what age did to this.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Thanks to cyrusthepup for his one. Cheers man! Shared with a bigger group. Pours a pitch black color with zero head. Swirling coats the glass with a soy colored film. The bourbon and brandy aroma is really nice but takes over and dominates the smell. Medium mouthfeel. Very roasty and leather. Some coffee and vanilla. Bitter aftertaste from the roast. 1 tweak away from being a truly outstanding beer. Overall, a nice beer but way too much in the way of raost and the barrels. Toned down I think this would be really nice.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to the "King of Beers" Kevin for sharing this one and for co-hosting an unforgettable night of beer and food.

Poured into a 5 oz. taster glass. Not a proper vessel for reviewing appearance, so my rating for this category is adjusted to create an accurate overall score.

Pours like motor oil. The aroma is a brandy sweetness which chocolate notes and a lot of booziness.

The flavor is very smokey with burnt toast, hazelnut, and oxidation underneath. A bit messy but not bad.

The body is medium with very low carbonation. Overall this beer didn't really mesh with my palate. It was unique but not overly impressive.

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Photo of mothman
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle via trade thanks to pantanap on RB.

Pours thick and black with minimal head and some serious legs.

The aroma is big and intense bourbon and brandy along with intense imperial stout notes - chocolate, roast, anise, and even a little soy.

The flavor is big and rich, bold and unapologetic, with bourbon, brandy, oak, dark rich chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, and licorice.

Body is full as all hell, and the beer is even a little syrupy. Low carbonation - would like to see a little more.

A big and tasty beer though overall, with loads of awesomeness making up for the slight flaws.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip.

No head. A sinister black oily body with nice legs when swirled. A few reddish brown bubbles that die down to almost nothing, but nothing that resembles foam or a head at all. No lacing, nothing to be retained.

Smells of oak and chocolate straight off the bat. Dark roast, some espresso. Also, some dark fruits. Hints of brandy and then bourbon. Some caramel and vanilla. A definite hint of alcohol. Quite vinous and port like.

Taste follows smell. Up front oak and dark fruits (sweet blueberries/blackberries mostly). Then charred malts hit hard. Also, espresso, dark chocolate, and hints of caramel and vanilla. Then brandy, a touch of apple, and bourbon. The roast is really pronounced and leaves a really smokey aftertaste akin to tar almost like after smoking a cigarette. The brandy barrel definitely makes more of an appearance than bourbon, but both are fairly subdued. Reminds me a bit of Darkness in the sense that the roasted malt presence is just a little over the top, but it's not as bad as Darkness in that department. As the beer warms I get more brandy and vinous notes. The aftertaste also starts to take on a blueberry/brownie flavor along with the lingering tobacco aftertaste alluded to above.

Mouthfeel is really thick. Almost no carbonation. Just thick and chewy really, and a bit of heat. Could have used a tad bit more carbonation, but it was good overall.

Hard to finish a whole bottle of this which is weird for me. Usually, I can easily finish a 750ml of barrel aged imperial stout. TO ALL OF YOU INTERESTED IN THIS BEER WHO HAD A PROBLEM WITH LOST ABBEY'S "FLAT" BEERS: do not bother seeking this out. Personally, I liked all of the flat abbey beers that I got (although none of them were completely flat). The appearance and mouthfeel of this beer resembles those a lot, and personally, I found this beer less enjoyable than any flat abbey beers (but that was more because of the fragrance and flavor).

If you do not find that sort of mouthfeel to be a problem, enjoy Surly Darkness, and want to try a barrel aged version of Darkness with slightly less charred malt. Then you will definitely be interested in this beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml yellow waxed bottle. 4oz. sample poured into a Founders snifter. Reviewed from notes. Shared by fbm115 and mikey711 at a tasting on 10/16/10.

A: Pours very little head with a single ring of big bubbles that hugs the edge of the glass. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is non-existant.

S: Boozy upfront and slightly sweet in the backdrop. Apple and other fruit esthers. Hop creaminess. Booze fades gradually as this one warms.

T: Smoky. Roasted malt, sweet sory sauce, chocolate, cocoa. Hop creaminess in the back that's subtlely bitter. Sweet and slightly fruity towards the end. Finish is spicy and boozy with an aftertaste of dark chocolate.

M: Medium to full bodied, very little carbonation. Oily, viscous and silky smooth going down. Heavy. Slightly hot. Finish is accented with an aftertaste that is sticky and clings to the palate.

D: Surprisingly good since I'm not a big fan of the base beer. But this one's a totally different animal. Very well balanced and the -bal aging adds a nice dimension here. Great feel and smooth and silky as they come. Worth a try if you get the chance!

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Photo of JAXSON
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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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 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 HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was shared by the ever generous Sean....A oily black pour with no carbonation, none. Strangely though there is some really nice stickly lacing, brown head all over the glass as your drink it...A super sweet aroma that does display both bourbon and brandy characters. Lots apple brandy and vanilla, chocolate cuts them both on the finish...The taste also displays both barrels, sweet chocolate, burnt coffee, lots of sweet brandy and oak.

The double barrel concept is something worth exploring more as this showed off some nice things. A huge improvement on the original MZ, worth trying for sure.

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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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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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