Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - 4 Roses Bourbon Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

33 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - 4 Roses Bourbon Barrel AgedMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - 4 Roses Bourbon 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 03-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 55
Photo of DaveJanssen
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/3 32 ounce growler in red wine glass. The growler leaked slightly but it doesn't seem to have affected the beer. As usual, thanks to footstones. Reviewed 3/21/2011

Ar: Heavu chocolate, alcohol, rich full caramel, very light solvent character to the alcohol, very sweet, mild bourbon, mild esters, bourbon more mild in aroma than in taste

Ap: Dark brown low head, good retention, dark black, super viscous, super dark head one of the darkest beers i've had

T: Rich and full, chocolate, heavy caramel, syrupy sweet, molasses, toasted nuts, very rich sweetness, mild esters, date, mild bourbon, a very smooth and cohesive beer, very well balanced, smooth roast, prune, alcohol, like drinking dark chocolate mousse, very smooth roast, intense, char character increases with warmth, very intense

M: Full and sweet but not cloying, super thick, viscous and creamy, low carbonation, char balances sweetness

O: Great, sweetness smoothes out the char character, unique, combines the best characters of other epic stouts such as BCBS and Abyss

 1,040 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler into a tulip glass. HUGE thanks go to Stakem for splitting this Cigar City rarity with me!

Pours black as an oil slick in the glass, with a thin head of burnt and angry looking reddish colored foam. This retains mostly with some thin and creamy edging, which leaves back some light sudsy froth and brown oily goo that slowly creeps down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of chocolate, vanilla, sticky feeling molasses, roasted coffee, and burnt wood. There is maybe a bit too much stiff alcohol warmth that starts to emerge as this warms. I’m digging the flavors a lot here in the nose but the heat starts to interfere a bit too much with this at some points.

The is rich and decadent on the palate, with notes of sugary chocolate fudge, vanilla sweetness, tangy molasses, and smoky burnt coffee character across the back. Charred oak hangs on the edges of the profile and lingers with some strength in the finish with a deep tannic dryness. Man, this just drenches the mouth with sticky sweetness and I really like how the bourbon makes a quick appearance upon each sip but then quickly integrates back into the other flavors. The mouthfeel has a huge full bodiedness to it, with an initial creaminess to the carbonation that then gives way to a slick chewiness that holds all of that hefty sweetness. The bourbon itself adds some warmth to this but it’s that big ABV that does most of the work here, adding additional notes of sweetness and spice to the complexity of the profiles, while also giving this some heady strength in the mouth.

Despite the issues with hotness in the nose, this is one of the better barrel-aged beers that I’ve had so far this year. Just a ton of rich and complex barrel and Stout flavors to this, with a beefy alcohol warmth that held it all together. This was a real treat. Thanks again for sharing this one Adam.

 1,877 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a tasting... Finally getting around to typing up my notes from my iphone.

Shared by klshanks. Served a snifter.

This beer is dark. Dark red with some brown hues to it. But it is oily and thick-- it stains my glass with it's dark fucking oiliness. Minimal head, and no real lacing, but this thing has got LEGS. This is like Tina Turner...

The nose is fantastic. Chocolate, little vanilla, nice big bourbon, a roasty good all-around stoutiness. The flavor is great-- sweet on the finish with little hints of dark fruits. The bourbony booze is sweet and warming. Chocolate with lots of oak sprinkled with vanilla. Very nice.

The body is pretty full and slightly gritty. Really low carbonation... A touch more would help it to be more creamy feeling.

Overall, a very nice beer. CC needs to up their production-- make it easier for us to get these!

 860 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.92/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mikey for randomly pulling out a little nub-nosed growler of this. Pour is black with a faint impression of a mocha foam head that is probably just a result of the pour. Nose is fairly soft in relation to some of the other Zhukov variations, easily the most refined of the bunch. Malt, light barrel, some bourbon heat on the finish. An almost apple sweetness, probably the nature of the barrel. Though certainly barrel-driven this at least has a decent backbone that melded well with the barrel. Sweet and a touch spicy. Pretty good stuff.

 553 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I had this at hoppymeal's big tasting shindig, but I held off on posting my review because I was looking forward to trying this again at DLD. However, by the time Sean opened this I think I was passed out in the car, so I'm just going to have to go from my notes. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a thin crust of dark red foam that settles to a thin ring. Pitch black body, with the signature Cigar City glass-coating brown film.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso, roasted and charred malts. Very barrel and spirit forward.

T - Char, tar, dark chocolate. Extremely roasty, with perhaps a bit too much burnt ash flavor for my liking. As it warms it gets a bit sweeter and balanced. Less overt whiskey, and the oak is obscured by the intense roasted grains.

M - Smooth full body, lower carbonation, sticky and viscous, with some barrel tannins in the finish. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden considering the ABV.

D - I like it significantly more than regular Zhukov, particularly in the aroma. The barrel-aging cuts some of the scorched earth flavor of which I'm not a huge fan. A very solid barrel-aged imperial stout that I would gladly have again.

 1,178 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours black as crude, blacker actually, and is capped with a crimson-umber froth. Legs are everywhere.

S - The nose is outrageously decadent - huge notes of chocolate, toffee and vanilla - roll through in spades. Intermingled are impressions of world-class booziness, spicy cayenne notes, caramel, hazelnut, cafe mocha and, of course, heavily roasted grain.

T - The sweetly boozy oak barrel is so forward in the profile, it is astonishing. And yet it is far from overpowering; the whiskey is ultra-smooth and imparts flavor that is, dare I say, quite understated. Vanilla, buttery rum, oak, chocolate, caramel-toffee, burnt coffee and a host of other delicious nuances round out the flavor dynamic. The strengths of the base Zhukov are greatly enhanced by the barrel treatment.

M - Feels silky and near-perfect.

O - Just about as good as a -bal gets, in my opinion.

 873 characters

Photo of stakem
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you goes out to CaptinRedBeard for hooking me up with this 32oz growler from the Hunahpu release. I can't thank you enough Corey... honestly I appreciate the consideration. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears completely black with no indications of any light being able to penetrate. 2 fingers worth of thick frothy dark brown head appear and retain very well atop this brew. As the cap slowly recedes, it leaves patches of finger-like lacing. A light swirl revives more of the dark brown head to the surface.

The smell of this brew is down right freaking fantastic. A huge bouquet of bourbon and barrel aged goodness hits the nose right upfront with accents of oakiness and sweet notes of vanilla. The dark maltiness of this brew includes scents of chocolate and coffee with a touch of mustiness before more of the alcohol comes forward with dark fruit characteristics somewhat like raisins. Before taking my first sip I am absolutely salivating. As the brew warms, the bourbon comes out even more with a tang character that is quite enjoyable. The alcohol hits the nose with quite a bit of force that is mildly solvent-like. More smells of the brew reveal some depth and layers of woodsy character that is somewhat like a spicy cedar but not quite.

The taste of this brew is dark and super roasty with a bitterness like strong coffee and bitter chocolate that coats the entire inside of your mouth with a layering of roasted grains. There is a bold display of whiskey tang to this brew before the onset of woodsy flavors. The alcohol is big and bold in this brew. An already strong base beer is seemingly exaggerated with it's alcohol inclusion by the bourbon contribution. However, even with it's bold flavor and warming factor of alcohol it is very enjoyable and mixes well with the other flavors of this brew. The aftertaste of this brew is caught somewhere inbetween toasted malt going towards charcoal with a bright tang to the alcohol that just brings it all together with a hint of licorice. A woodsy flavor lingers inside the mouth that is reminiscent of a spicy type of cedar instead of oak. (if that makes any sense?)

This is a full bodied brew with a thick creamy smooth feel despite it's modest amount of carbonation. I cannot get over how slick this brew feels in the mouth despite it's modest amount of carbonation. It is a very deep and complex offering that is a brute of a brew that is super enjoyable and easy drinking all at the same time. Quite a bitter sweet experience overall, I was loving every sip and eager to take more but as my glass emptied I left me wishing I had more.

 2,620 characters

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a reddish coffee colored head.

Aroma hits with deeply dark roasted malts. Charred, ashy oak, mollasses, cocoa, milk chocolate, vanillin and bourbon maple syrup.

Bitter chocolate is dominant in the taste. Followed by espresso, charcoal, ashy bitter roasted grains. A creamy vanilla flavor smooths everything out and highlights the bourbon. Even underneath all that I'm finding dark fruits (carmelized dates and raisins). Alcohol is slightly noticeable on the tongue but could be the sting from the bourbon. This is like a 70-80% dark chocolate bar. Just enough of that sweet vanilla to give your tongue a break from the intense dark fruits and bitterness.

Heavy viscosity with a medium carbonation for a stout this big. The growler held in the CO2 pretty well.

 779 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Kevin at a recent tasting.

Appearance -- Shares nearly every visual characteristic with motor oil - black, viscous, coats a glass like crazy. The beer looks nearly still.

Smell -- Sticky dark fruit, dark chocolate, oaky vanilla, caramel, rich bourbon sweetness. Aroma is massive.

Taste -- Dark chocolate, figs, roast malt, coffee, caramel, as well as gentle bourbon sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Thick, chewy, nearly still. Very much uncarbonated. Don't get me wrong, I like a creamy imperial stout, but this is far too little for a beer this full-bodied.

Drinkability -- Rich, decadent imperial stout - just the way I like it. However, the near Angel's Share-level of carbonation brings this one down for me. All in all, I'd gladly have this again. Delicious stuff.

 787 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Huge thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this growler; thanks a lot Brad! Huge fan of the normal Zhukov

a - Pours a black color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Tiny bit of head lasts throughout drinking the beer, looks great.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malts. Very nice, thought the bourbon is a bit strong.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak, cream, and roasted malts. I thought the bourbon was not as strong as in the nose, and the taste was more balanced. Taste is amazing and a step up from the nose.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Very thick and creamy, great for a big RIS.

o - Overall this is a fantastic beer, probably best at the tasting for me. The taste was very complex and balanced, and it had a great mouthfeel. They took at already great beer and made it even better in my opinion; would love to try this one again sometime.

 942 characters

Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Shared at Dak's Final Four Tasting. Labeled as Four Roses Zhukov. Pours dark brown with khaki head. Coats the glass beautifully. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla and caramel. Taste is sweet with some bitterness. Medium bodied. A very nice beer. Growler fill.

 252 characters

Photo of muttyd
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jcartamdg for this growler.

*reviewed from notes*

Pours with a pitch-black body, big brown/tan foamy head. Sticks all over the glass. Aroma is of burnt wood, roasted malts, subtle vanilla/bourbon. Flavor is similar to the nose: roasty, bourbony, and bitter-sweet chocolate. Bitter chocolate malt finish. Creamy body, well carbonated for being almost 1 month old (growler). Really enjoyed this beer.

 414 characters

Photo of glid02
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of Grant via Shep, thanks to both!

Pours black with a half-finger dark brown head - Zhukov and all of it's incarnations remains one of the darker beers I've seen. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving decent lacing and heavy legs.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with large amounts of vanilla and butterscotch. Also present are hints of dark chocolate and molasses.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts roasted malt and molasses flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by boozy dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of vanilla and hints of butterscotch. The bourbon, roasted malt, and molasses flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

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

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

Overall I was a fan of this beer and I think the barrel aging accentuated the beers better qualities and improved the final product. A very nice beer that's worth a shot if you see it around.

 1,119 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this one at a DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a very deep brown color with a thin light tan head that sticks around for a bit along with a few legs. The nose is fantastic from the start. I like this quite a bit more than the bourbon version I had on tap at the Hunahpu's release in 2010. Really great integration of the bourbon with the underlying beer here. Nice notes of oak and vanilla plus some chocolate and roast, all coming together very, very well. The same can be said of the flavor, where the 4 Roses and the Zhukov's come together incredibly well. Mouthfeel is full and rich with a nice undertone of booze. Great beer. Absolutely fantastic.

 706 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an Efes tulip. Clear, oily lacing slides down the glass. Quickly fading almost mahogany colored head. Virtually black body. Aroma is dominated by coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, alcohol, and whisky. Incredible. Taste also dominated by coffee and chocolate first. Interesting how you can smell the alcohol but not really taste it. Really smoothed out across the tongue while thick and viscous feeling. A really unique treatment to an already amazing stout. Pleasure to experience it.

 496 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks Urbancaver

from notes

A - dark body with a dark brown head which settles to a thick ring.

S - oaky, vanilla, roasty chocolate, dry rawhide.

T - sweet heat, oaky, well balanced with the nose, some spicy chocolate, a touch of cherries.

M - huge body and super smooth, great mouthfeel.

O (D) - decent beer, fails to "wow" me, but its good

 349 characters

Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Shep for bringing this one back from Tampa.

Pours completely black, like an oil slick, leaving a brown film along the glass after each swirl. There is a tiny mocha head that recedes quickly leaving oily legs.

Aroma is huge and really bourbon-forward with the barrel character showing up right of the bat with bourbon, vanilla and oak. There is also cocoa powder, heavily roasted black malts, coffee and a hint of tobacco.

The taste is slightly less bourbony with the dark chocolate and malts coming through more prominently. The finish is oaky, dry with a little bit of smoke and tobacco. More roast and less sweetness than the aroma.

The mouthfeel is unbelievable, completely decadent. Full bodied with a low, soft carbonation which just completely coats the mouth after each sip.

After my experiences with the fairly flat bottles of Zhukov and DBA Zhukov, this one really impressed me. I can't wait to try the Brandy Zhukov as this one sets a very high bar. Wonderful beer.

 995 characters

Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Hunahpu's Day 2011.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with only faint hints of lighter color when held to a light and a two finger frothy dark mocha head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sporadic spots and streaks of lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a great balance of silky smoked roasted malt and sweet bourbon mash. Lots of cocoa, hazelnut, caramel, toffee and toasted almond. Nice barrel character with plenty of bourbon sweetness, oak and vanilla but the chocolate maltiness isn't overpowered.

Medium bodied with a blast of sweet boozy bourbon up front that lingers throughout and overtakes the other flavors. I'm not the biggest fan of the base beer but I would still like to taste it. The bourbon flavor is excellent but there is only a faint smokey/roasted chocolate malt presence. Subtle hints of cocoa, toffee, hazelnut and oatmeal. Pretty good but a bit to boozy and bourbon heavy.

 944 characters

Photo of MrFootstones
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like motor oil as it glugs out of the 32oz CCB growler. It has the darkest chocolate brown head and blackest body I have ever witnessed. It even leaves a dark brown leggy coating on the red wine glass when swirled. A seriously impressive beer to behold.

Charred oak, vanilla, baker's chocolate, burnt caramel, and slight booze. Very roast heavy.

Very heavy on the roast. Smoky charred oak on the finish. Oaky vanilla, chocolaty rich Guatemalan coffee. Definite bourbon flavor. Very chocolaty. Sweet, but balanced by the smoky roast character.

This beer has one bodacious body! So rich, oily, viscous, and heavy. Despite having leaked during shipping, I would guess little to no carbonation was lost, as the carbonation works only to enhance this voluptuous beast.

This was a great beer. It was pretty heavy on the roasted grain and oaky char, but the body and other rich flavors really made it work.

 909 characters

Photo of scottyshades
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Tryst in Delray Beach

A: Scary ass pour...pitch black, thick as oil - sheets of beer coat the glass, big brown cap.

S: Bourbon (but very well balanced, not hot or boozy), oak/wet wood, lots of vanilla, amazingly complex. Light underlying sweetness (not Hunaphu sweet though) + fudge and cocoa

T: More bourbon than the nose, but still kept balanced, big fudge and chocolate, cocoa, bitterness. Very well rounded and the flavors all play off each other well.

MF: Monster body on this - one of the thicker stouts I've had, carbonation was spot on considering the growler pour a few days after

Notes: Glad to have tried this one! Wish I sampled the brandy version as well.

 685 characters

Photo of henway
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to ShadesOfGray. Had this out of a growler. Pours dark silky black. Leaves a nice brownish tan head which subsides quickly. Smells of caramel, coffee, and wood. Taste is well balanced bourbon, nice vanilla, and strong coffee, stronger than I expected. Goes down with a sweet creamy finish. Overall very good.

 319 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night. 32 oz growler freshly flown in from the source in Florida!

Pours nearly black with a nice ring of halo - dark brown to reddish hue.

Smells great. Sweet mix of caramel, vanilla and wood.

To me there is much more coffee in this version, compared to the regular imperial stout. The wood from the barrel is quite nice. Very creamy and enjoyable. If this wasn't so rare, I'd drink it more often.

Great mouthfeel. Moderately high carbonation and thick, velvet-like qualities.

 573 characters

Photo of polisanl
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at CCB, Hunahpu release day.

Almost black with nice tan head. So much going on here. One of the best treats on the Hunah release day. Smells amazing with hints of bourbon and a sweet coconut-vanilla tone. Very strong creamy and sweet coconut buttery taste to it. Bourbon tones follow the finish nicely. Hard to think it's not overwhelming with all the different layers to this. Great job with this one. Thick and full bodied. So smooth. Definite sipper, dessert or after dinner drink. Outstanding overall.

 513 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a good amount of dark brown head. the prettiest of all of the variations. The aroma is a bit lacking. some nice buttery bourbon but fairly subtle. Tastes great though!

Notes compared to the others:
The Bourbon was aged in four roses barrels but the bourbon flavours in the Bourbon Zhukov's don't really "match" per say the profile of the bourbon itself. There is a nice solid bourbon profile but its fairly generic.

 438 characters

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

32 oz growler shared by Urbancaver, thanks Cam!

Pours a dark black brown with a fast fading. Head and residual lacing on the outside of the snifter. A nice bourbon, toffee, chocolate and dark fruits on the nose. I tasted a lot of coffee bourbon and fruit. The mouthfeel was pretty thick and I felt this had the best carbonation out of the 4 varities of Zhukov's we tasted. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and it paired nicely with some Four Roses Bourbon.

 459 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - 4 Roses Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
4.42 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.