“Fool!” cried the hunchback. “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia,’ but only slightly less well known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!'”

Well no one told Georgy Zhukov. Not only did he get involved, but he won several Asian land wars utilizing toughness, discipline, and dramatic advances in modern armoured warfare.

The most decorated not-General in the history of the Russian Empire, Russian Federation, and the Soviet Union, Marshal Zhukov utilized ‘underwater bridges’* that interspersed experienced soldiers with green regiments. He was awarded “Hero of the Soviet Union”; a title held previously by a bunch of Russians and later by Dolph Lundgren. A lot of Commies won this award, but very few got it multiple times, as is the case with full-blown AIDS. Also, Castro won it, and the first Mongolian Cosmonaut. And five French guys.

*We have no idea what this means. Take it up with Wikipedia.

He survived Joseph Stalin’s Great Purge of the Red Army command in 1937–39. Slow golf clap…

Cigar City chose to immortalize the  hero by naming a stout after him. And not just any stout- Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout is the lynchpin behind CC’s North American campaign. Recently named the #4 brewer in the world (!) by a quick look at their top brews reveal that the Marshal is due for another medal of valor. Again, these are the BEST BEERS IN THE WORLD:

  • #2 Zhukov’s Final Push (This stout aged on the world’s most expensive coffee, that being coffee berries eaten and shat out by the Asian Palm Civet. Can the world just end, already?)
  • #10 Brandy Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (Zhukov’s w/ Peruvian Cacao Nibs, Ancho and Pasilla Chiles, Madagascar vanilla beans and threshold-levels of cinnamon. Stored for awhile in a container that previously held over-fermented wine.)
  • #12 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (Same as above, without the wine barrel part.)
  • #34 Bourbon Barrel Aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (Same as above, but stored in American Whiskey containers.)
  • #42 Brandy Barrel Aged Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout (Same as above, without all the spice nonsense, plus some over-fermented wine barrel storage.)
  • #47 Marshal Zhukov’s Double Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (Same as above, without some of it, but doubled.)

So how hard is it to produce six of the top 50 beers in the world? Really hard. Or, slightly easier if you build a rock-solid foundation such as Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout and then store it in various compartments, chock it full of exotic adjuncts, give it awesome monikers, and every once in awhile let a rodent shit in it.

But down to brass tacks… Herr Hordeum and Slouch Sixpack are mortal enemies, but also blood relatives. Mama Sixpack tried to coerce the two to “spend more time together” by offering to send additional Cigar City brews if we reviewed one over Skype… so here it is. Please use overnight delivery on those beers, Mrs. Sixpack. No need to scrimp.

NOTES: Slow pour into a Cigar City snifter. ‘cause thats how its done.

MEATBALL THE CAT REVIEWING THIS BEER: Here and more importantly here.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 11.5%


Slouch: I’m in a darkened room… like the kind of place you would decide to conduct a waterboarding. So it’s black.

Hordeum: I’m in a bright room lit with a combination of “warm white” and “kitchen and bath” flourescent bulbs. It’s still black.


Slouch: The head evaporated more quickly than the ethics of Homeland Security interviewers… basically it’s gone.

Hordeum: Yeah, like it was never there in the first place.


Slouch: Ummm.. Fuck no.

Hordeum: Unlike the Commander, the General wears no lacing.


Slouch: Coffee, chocolate, maybe some vanilla. Yum. Russian vanilla. What do I look like, a fucking expert? Go smell it yourself.

Hordeum: Earthy, too. Lets revisit this after a couple glasses when we don’t care what we are writing anymore.

Slouch: I don’t care now, but OK.


Slouch: I’m a little biased; I’ve been examining the value of the Imperial Stout… just released their Best Beers of 2011. 13 of the top 20 beers in the world based upon their ratings are Imperial Stouts. I look at it from a “Moneyball” aspect. Are these beers being overvalued? As a style it has the highest boundaries for Original Gravity, Alcohol by Volume, International Bitterness Units, etc. Granted, it’s my favorite style. It’s also the best.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the MZIS. It’s awesome. Thick and syrupy, with stone fruits, cocoa, and molasses, this is a kick-ass example of the style. But then again, I can’t remember the last bad Imperial Stout I’ve sampled. What’s a beer blogger to do?

Hordeum: I gave my love a cherry / That had no stone / I gave my love a chicken / That had no bones / I gave my love a story / That had no end / I gave my… [grabs the empty bottle of Zhukov’s and smashes it against the wall] Sorry.

Like its namesake, this beer kicks the living shit out of anything German, Japanese, or Mongolian. Intense flavors meld together for the common good of the beer. The thick, viscous texture re-distributes the flavors all over my taste buds- even the ones that don’t do shit.


Slouch: Zhukov sent ciphered telegram No. 4976 to commanders of the Leningrad Front and Baltic Navy, announcing that families of soldiers captured by the Germans and returned prisoners would be shot.

Hordeum: American General Dwight D.Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander in the West, was a great admirer of Zhukov. Pound a bottle of Zhukov for Ike!!!

We award this beerski…

4 hops


  1. If given the option, you should probably expect worse.

    Apologies if this dual tasting note lacks the homoerotic edge of the Commander/ Mashtun variety.

  2. I must say, I have absolutely no idea WTF the first half of this post has to do with anything, and almost stopped reading. But luckily I persevered, and found the much-more-entertaining review. I look forward to future Slouch/Hordeum contributions!

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