Up From the Cellar – 2011 Pugachev’s Cobra from Hangar 24

I am trying to remember to pull up a beer from the cellar once a month. I feel that I need to catch back up to the amount purchased. This month, we have a 2011 beer from Hangar 24 in Redlands. This Russian Imperial Stout smells like a rum barrel and not bourbon. Initially this super dark beer is quite sweet then there is quite a burn going down the throat. There is also a strange sort of woody note tucked inside as well. Three distinct flavor stages. This beer does not let you forget it is strong but it does end very dry. For a 7 plus year old beer, it has held up. With the years this beer might be sharper with no rounded notes that might have been there earlier but still a good sipper.


Hangar 24 has been growing at a furious pace and one reason is their barrel roll series of limited beers. One of them, Pugachev’s Cobra is returning along with a celebration of all of their beers….

Celebrate the “return of winter ..and… bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout, Pugachev’s Cobra on Saturday, Dec. 8. Hangar 24 will also be marking the occasion by hosting an inaugural Barrel Aged Beer Tasting Event that day with twelve different beers to choose from for sampling.

Pugachev’s Cobra, which won gold at the 2012 California State Fair, is an intense assault on your senses. This Russian Imperial Stout, with a thick caramel head, is bursting with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, licorice and dark fruits. Flavors of chocolate-covered plum, sweet malt, bourbon and roasted coffee explode on the pallet with every sip. Pugachev’s Cobra features three different-dark roasted malts and rich maple syrup in a truly unique brewing process to create complexity and depth. Once fermented, it’s then aged for eight months in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. While Pugachev’s Cobra can be enjoyed the day it is purchased, Hangar 24 recommends cellaring the bottle for up to three years to receive the full flavor effect.

Pugachev’s Cobra gets its name from an aerial maneuver where a pilot suddenly raises the aircraft nose to near vertical before dropping back to attack mode. Pugachev’s Cobra was first released on Dec. 10, 2011 with 3,495 bottles; due to the extremely popular demand for the craft beer, Hangar 24 has increased its production for 2012 to an estimated 6,000 bottles.

Attendees of the inaugural Barrel Aged Beer Tasting Event will be able to sample six, 4oz pours of any of the following Hangar 24 Barrel Aged craft beer:

· On Draught:
o 2012 Pugachev’s Cobra
o 2011 Pugachev’s Cobra
o 2012 Hammerhead
o 2011 Pugachev’s Cobra aged in Rye Barrels
o 2011 Immelmann aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels
o 4th Anniversary Dopplesticke Alt aged in Rye Barrels

· In Bottles:
o 2012 Pugachev’s Cobra
o 2011 Pugachev’s Cobra
o 2012 Chandelle
o 2012 Hammerhead
o 2011 Humpty Bump
o 2010 Immelmann

Pugachev’s Cobra will be available for sale in 750mL bottles ($20 each, limit 6) and draught in Hangar 24’s Tasting Room in Redlands, California. Limited Southern California distribution to on- and off-premise locations will begin on Monday, Dec. 10.

Tickets are available on Dec. 8 for $25 in the Tasting Room. The first 250 participants will receive a complimentary, Hangar 24 Barrel Aged Beer taster glass. Hangar 24’s Tasting Room will be fully open on Dec. 8 and will be serving all of its craft beer styles.”

Hangar 24 + Tony’s Darts Away =

What you see in the glass is the third in the barrel roll series from Hangar 24, Pugachev’s Cobra. It was in attendance last night at Tony’s Darts Away along with a bevy of beers from Redlands.

Joe Savage & Rafael Hurtado from the brewery were in attendance too. Talking to the crowd that grew as the night progressed. (Side note – It has been good to see large turnouts for this and last night’s Library Alehouse FiftyFifty night. Especially in a holiday week)

I started with a sampler tray….From left to right, you have the winter warmer, Amarillo Pale Ale, Anja and the Helles. I was most surprised by the Helles. It was light and bubbly and filled with grain notes from start to finish. It really tasted fresh and alive. But my favorite of the tray was the Anja, a pro-am Belgian ale that had that light bubbly-ness with some fruit and spice notes and a touch of vanilla. I will order that again.

I did not partake of the Double IPA, yet. I am heading to the brewery itself on Christmas Eve to pick up a bottle or two but I did end the night with a bang. The aforementioned Pugachev. It was thick and viscous. Poured a dark black with an espresso colored head. It was maple syrup sweet at first and then some roasted notes and bourbon crept in to balance. It did not taste like 16.5% alcohol though some aging will probably smooth it out even more. I am glad I have a bottle to store away.