Hangar 24 Craft Brewing - Pugachev’s Cobra – 2018 Vintage
- ABV: 13%
- Bottle Size: 500-ml
- Serving Temperature: 54° F
- Suggested Glassware: Globe Snifter, Stemless Teku Glass, or Tulip Glass
Next in this potent lineup of limited releases from Hangar 24 Craft Brewery is the 2018 vintage of Pugachev’s Cobra. It combines the same types of malt and maple syrup in their unique brewing process as the 2017 version, but comes in at a slightly lower 13% ABV.
The 2018 Pugachev’s Cobra pours a similary deep, opaque brown to black as the 2017 vintage, but retains its tan colored head for a longer time, even leaving a scattered bit of lacing behind after each sip. The aromas come in with a bit of muted concentration at first, but open pleasantly with a swirl of the glass. Roasted malt aromas abound as we lean in to the top of our glass, with dark cocoa and coffee coming up to the forefront followed by deep maple syrup notes. Vanilla and barrel char join the party shortly thereafter with depth and character that developed over the last 5+ years of cellar aging. The dried fruit components we encountered in the 2017 vintage head in a different direction here and touch on dried red cherries and lightly tart dried cranberries with dark fruit playing a supporting role. Hints of chocolate pastry and some baking spice notes surface as the beer warms slightly.
Upon first sip of the 2018 Pugachev’s Cobra we’re immediately reminded of its eight months of aging in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. Our palates are warmly greeted by a velvety blanket of dark cocoa and vanilla with an inviting bitterness that balances the maple syrup sweetness. Luxurious dark coffee flavors come next and are followed by molasses, caramel, roasted tree nuts, and barrel char. The toast of the oak comes across as bruleed brown sugar with a hint of smoke and spice. Dried red and black fruit come in from the edges to round out the flavors and allow the hints of bitterness to linger a bit. The 2018 Pugachev’s Cobra is full bodied with a round and smooth mouthfeel. The finish is long and lingering, but not as bourbon driven as the 2017.
Like the 2017 vintage, the 2018 Pugachev’s Cobra has a potent ABV level and should continue to age gracefully in your cellar for years to come—but it’s drinking great right now. For food pairings: we’d work with the core chocolate, caramel, and vanilla notes and stick to cocoa rubbed pulled pork bbq and French Silk Pie for dessert.
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