Pozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial Stout | Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.

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Pozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial StoutPozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial Stout
101 Ratings
Pozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial StoutPozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 12-23-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 |  Reviews: 86
Reviews by Estarrio:
Photo of Estarrio
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the look of swing tops. Truth be told, I bought this bottle because it had a cool name, a nifty logo and a swing top! I've decided to try my first Pennichuck brew on one of the last (hopefully) wintry nights of the year.

Visually, this is a gorgeous brew. This bewitching brew poured a midnight black with just a slight touch of translucence. A medium coffee colored head resulted from a vigorous pour. The head gives way to fine, viscous, sand-like lacings.

Roasted malt, burnt sugar, molasses, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and subtle cherry ester aromas temper a boozy quality in the aroma.

Much like the aroma, the taste includes sweet roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, burnt sugar, molasses, coffee, vanilla and some sweet cherry flavor. There is touch of astringency in the slightly bitter finish. Again, the booziness is notable but not overpowering.

Thick, viscous mouthfeel with light carbonation, this is a sipping beer.

Overall, this is a solid RIS. This bottle was marked 2006 and I suspect that a couple years of proper cellaring would go a long way.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JasonA
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dont know how the appearance could improve. Thick oil slick black pour. Dense mocha settling, lacing, head. Quite the staying power. Was worried when I popped since didnt hear any fizz for a 1L bottle.

Something co2-ish in the smell. Needs a moment and some swirls. Deep dark roasted, yet sweet, malt. Yummy. Rum rasin soaked fruit. Some bakers chocolate.

Boom, dark bakers chocolate, espresso up in ya grill. Awesome. Some bittering Stoutish finish, biscuit. Abv is there, but only complimentary. Simply perfect bonding of malt to ABV. Would love to give a 5 here, but the chocolate/espresso could be a bit more.

Drying chocolate, like cocoa powder on the mouth, though good. Awesome thick, almost syrupy body. Borders that Bells Expedition syrup-y line perfect. Also +.5 to drinkability due to awesome reusable flip top bottle.

Will rebuy this again ... quickly.

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Photo of elinash
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One liter swingtop bottle. Highly recommended by my friends. I've never heard of the brewery and I'm really excited to try something new- especially an aged Russian Imperial Stout.

Pours almost like old engine oil. About 1" head formed and dissolved to form a ring. Carbonation seems fine- very tight bubbles lending a soft and less effervescent effect on the palate.

The taste is very rich and chocolaty with vanilla overtones. Coffee comes off naturally, though to my palate there isn't any overt coffee except in the finish. Extremely bitter and dry in the finish, this beer almost requires food for me. It stays balanced, though and the finish lingers with complex flavors and deep bitterness.

Highly recommended, but I think that for the style it could be denser and softer on the palate. More of a silken quality would be nice. Now that I'm finished with the beer it's appearance has become very flat- like a 3 day old coke. It still tastes pretty good though. A good introduction to Pennichuck Brewing.

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

An impressive bottle: 1 liter swingtop. Poured into a snifter, the beer was a very black color with a smallish tan head and a bit of lacing. I thought the aroma was mostly chocolate, but also detected some bourbon and raisin. A pleasant aroma. Chocolate and coffee taste, bitter like espresso. The alcohol was noticeable, to me perhaps a little too noticeable, but this was still a very good beer.

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Photo of tigg924
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1 inch head and black

Smell: chocolate, vanilla, and malt

Taste: chocolate, cream, toffee, and malt--a wonderful combination

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet, and thick

Drinkability: An awesome RIS. Sweet and powerful. A great drink to sit down and sip on a cold day. Will most certainly look for this again.

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

1.5L bottle poured into a sampling glass - one of the last bottles around before they're completely gone!

Pours a very dark black with light dark black almost coffee like color with no head and just a tinge of lacing.

Taste is very strong in coffee. Chocolate on the finish and a strong toasty/roasty malt. It's an awesome beer and it's too bad their closing!

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Photo of boatshoes
3.36/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Amsterdam Alehouse in Manhattan when meeting up with BA and old buddy Charlatansin on a recent trip to New York. My understanding is this beer is best on tap, as many of the bottles got infected due to poor quality control. Lucky me I guess!

Appearance- Comes off the tap the usual opaque RIS black with a minimal cap of thin head that dies back immediately to a ring. A touch of lacing as I drink.

Smell- Roasted malt and burnt coffee overwhelm here. Nice smells but very two-dimensional on the nose. I really don't pick up on much else despite trying for awhile.

Taste- Again, two-dimensional for me. Lots of roasted malt and espresso/burnt coffee flavors. I don't find a whole lot to be going on other than these two flavors. They are nice and well integrated however, just used to more complexity.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel is quite substantial and solid with an appropriately minimal level of carbonation. However, the drinkability really takes a hit for me given the lack of complexity for the style. If this were five or six percent and a porter, I would probably love it.

Overall, for me this is a fairly average RIS at best. Good, well integrated flavors but lacking in interesting flavor profile. Worth a try if it is on tap but only in the event that it is the only RIS.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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

Pours a deep black amber with a smallish off white head that melts quickly to a mere faint ring of off white foam.

Aroma is fairly typical roasted coffee and espresso, but lacking any hops bitterness on the end. An interesting alcohol aroma enters into the aromas.

Flavor is again, roasted smooth espresso, some chocolates, dark stewed fruits, more milk chocolate and then more coffee. A tiny bit of licorice also makes itself known in the taste. Again, none of the hop bitterness I am used to finding in an American Imperial stout.

This one is very drinkable...very smooth...very surprising and can creep up on you since it's alcohol is totally unnoticable.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pozharnik = fireman (2006)

AP: totally opaque, as i look into the glass all i can see is a reflection of myself in the otherwise pitch-black color. Many small bubbles can be seen on the outer edge of the glass struggling to make their way to the top but somehow manage to create and retain a 2" thick and bubbly mocha-colored head, eventually the head retains to nothing more than a scattered layer of mocha foam.

Nose: Deep, rich chocolate malt with syrup, espresso and creamy vanilla, peanut butter, alcohol heat and roasted nuts. Very complex and aromatic overall.

flavor: The Malt flavor is a deep roasted, rich and sweet complexity that features chocolate, big espresso and coffee notes wich turns into a dry , bitter and earthy hop ending. The balance is decent with it's sweet chocolate malt and bitter coffee flavors mostly dominating. The alcohol heat is medium for this brew and is felt easily. Age this one for a while!

Feel: Full body, thick appearance but the feel is a bit thin and light for it's style...not as hefty or thick as some. again, aging will do wonders here.

DA: highly drinkable stout...i guessed an ABV % of 10.5. One word: Cellar.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 litre bottle, obtained in trade. Expresso coffee is intrinsic, and its in the aroma. Very nice lacing on the black body with mocha covering. Dry for an RIS and also medium rather than fuller mouthfeel for the style. Vanilla is there, and it helps to make up for a lack of carbonation. Dry biter chocolate.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not opaque but a dark color that when in the glass is surly black. An offwhite head sits on top and refuses to dissipate for several minutes.
Lots of vanilla, some coffee, prunes and dark berries dominate.
Lots of berries. A slightly sour, dark fruit flavor is most prevalent in the middle of the experience. With vanilla upfront and a slight roasted coffee flavor and alcohol in the finish.
A full body that is not extremely but well carbonated.
A good RIS that I will seek out again in the future and would employ others to do the same.

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


Pennichuck's Pozharnik pours the typical black body and frothy dark tan head of an Imperial stout. The head retention is fair, and it leaves tiny spots and splashes of lace behind.

The nose is a bit restrained for the style, but expresses black coffee with sugar, and a bit of caramelish malt.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body. There's a dextrinous edge to it, but it's not really full enough to call it more than medium-full. Soft, gently bristling carbonation lends it a smooth, viscous feel.

The flavor runs the full gamut of chocolate, coffee, caramel nougat, toffee, nuts, some mild dark fruit... but it's all somewhat restrained - this isn't a punch-you-in-the-face beer, it's much more elegant! The coffee really comes out in the finish though, lingering softly, as it never becomes acidic, and the delicate roastiness reminds you that you've got another sip waiting without grating on your palate. The alcohol is well-cloaked; and the bitterness is perfectly balanced. Smooth from start to finish!

This is one of those beers that will catch you off-guard. It appears to be easy drinking, yet it's got some strength behind it. Nicely done!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.8/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured out of a growler into a sample glass.

A: dark amber with almost no head and no lacing on the glass. I was surprised this didn't seem to pour heavy and thick like other RISs at all and there was too much carbonation for the slight head.

S: molasses, dark fruit, and roasty chocolate.

T: opens with roasted but subdued chocolate flavor, with a slight dark fruit coming in towards the middle. Finished with roasted malts and a slight alcoholic twinge.

M: Light to medium bodied, again, I thought this was way too carbonated and therefore much more coarse than I liked.

D: I wouldn't have this again though I was curious to try it. Not one of my favorite RISs.

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Photo of mangledorf
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. That's a good word to describe the first sip of this coffee extravaganza beer. What a delight t have a beer which used coffee as its essence rather than its novelty. A truly delightful smell of malt and espresso with a strong rich taste.
Beware of the 8% punch this beer packs because although that's not much by imperial stout standards, it's easy to keep sipping on these just like a morning cup of joe.

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Photo of beerman999999
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Franchise
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering pours a onyx black with no light penetrating through that leaves a thick tan head. The aroma is coffee, roasted nuts, spicy herbal hops, molasses, vanilla, biscuit, very complex nose. The taste starts sweet upfront of caramel, coffee, molasses, fresh hoppy bitterness that plays on the tongue. Can a stout be refreshing like a lager on a hot day? As suppose to a sipper most stouts are, because that is what I'm getting roasted smoothness. The finish is suttle with these flavors but lasting which make this a nice offering.

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

A vintage 2006 bottle.

Nice and dark, the stout has a kiss of bourbon, a vanilla sweetness that accentuates a mild roasted body. The barrel aging doesn't impart much strength, resulting in a very pleasant drink.


Thanks to sulldaddy for this 1 L swingtop bottle. Shared with ksak and AnnieK.

A: The stout is dark, a pitch black wonder in my Troegenator mug. An off-white, tannish head measured nearly a finger and a half and is trying to lace as it recedes. It isn't doin' so hot.

S: Coffee and chocolate dominate, dark and well roasted with a sweet milky touch. Bourbon is present, albeit faintly so. A stale beer aroma lingers under the surface, rather strong at points.

T: The stout hardly seems like a 10% behemoth. The roasted stout has a lactic sweetness with semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Mild coffee mingles with the dark flavors. A sour element lingers with each sip, sitting where the bourbon should be. I had this on tap a few months back and much preferred that to the bottle. I'll hold out hope for the other '08 (as well as '06 and '07) that I've got in the cellar.

M: The mouthfeel starts out like a good stout, full and thick. The middle of the sip takes a turn downward with the stale flavors. Too bad.

D: The stout starts off well only to trail off. I want more bourbon from a stout that sells itself as including some barrel in it.

4-Sep-09 - 4, 3.5, 3.5, 3, 3 = 3.50

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of imperial stouts in general so I was real exited to try this beer when I saw this at Julio's in Westboro.

Overall a pretty good beer.

Poured well. There was a nice head at first. Dark and strong with a distinct coffee smell and taste. This went own real well.

Two things I noticed and liked about this beer. It was in a container that had a stopper on top. I have only tried a beer this cap with a few German Beers and I was surprised how well the beer kept with the stopper top (I'm sure there is some technical name for it). Also it was bigger that your typical 750 bottle. It ended up being 3 beers.

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4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A vigorous pour only produces an inch and a half of fuzzy light brown head with nice retention. Body is totally opaque black letting no light through. Nose has some zesty almost funky malty notes infused with some coco and anise. Enters the mouth very creamy and nicely mouth filling. Some coco and burnt malt dance on the back of the tongue. The burnt malt almost turns ashey and a bit dry as it warms, this is not bad though. Some black licorice notes arrive also. Overall coffee tones are throughout and syrupy sweet on the back of the tongue. Shows vanilla presence as you drink. Mouthfeel is very complex and enjoyable. Wonderfully drinkable.

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Photo of altgeeky1
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Wine Society in Nashua, NH (about 5 miles from the brewery). The label clearly states that they label their bottles to encourage cellaring, but there was no actual date anywhere on the label or glass. Pours thick, deep black with head the color of creamed coffee. Head has a very short half-life, with audible fizz as it collapses into a thin lace and low carbonation. Waves of vanilla, some chocolate and coffee also, come at you during the pour even with the bottle at arms length. Tastes delicious, heavily malty sweet, creamy smooth, with some alcohol and a fair bit of hops to balance out the sweetness and heavy body. This is a very drinkable beer and perfect for the weather this time of year.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks goes out to Bill for bringing this one to me. I was thrilled to be able to pop open this one liter swing top last evening. It had been a rough day and this one hit the spot for sure. Served at cellar temperature and poured into a snifter. Consumed on 08/30/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich dark chocolate color being presented in front of me. Smallish, whispy tan head then came up over the top and settled down gradually over the top, never fully fading, but offering a very nice glimpse of the overall presentation. Rich looking side glass alce coming down over the top,

The aroma was tons of rich, decadent, dark coffee. Huge nots of french roast expresso, hints of chocolate, roasted malts and a touch of vanilla. THis was astrong and very complex beer for sure. The flavor was more the same, rich notes of dark coffee, roasted with hints of vaniilla. Lots of cocoa notes, some light sweet molasses. THis was a homerun for me. Great feel, with a gorgeous carbonation profile. Easily a sipper, but by the time I was done i did not know if I was more buzzed from the ABV or the coffee!

Overall this was a top notch beer, one of the best I have had in a long time. I would have no issues with trying this one again any day. Definitly one of the best coffee stouts I have had in some time. Thanks again bill, cannot wait to try the brewers reserve!

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Photo of Amalak
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What an outstanding beer. This Russian Imperial Stout is very well balanced. A lot of time the coffee will shoot through and almost be sour. This had balance.

A somewhat pricey beer at $8--compared to the $5/6 at the bar--but worth it for the high quality.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


appearance - Nice black color with a decent size head.

smell - Roasted coffee, chocolate, and some hops.

taste - Nice balance of coffee malts up front and some hops present at the finish.

mouthfeel - medium body.

drinkability - Good, Good, Good, have to pick more of these up. Bought one at a bar on my bachelor party, had one on new years, and can I just get a case of this?

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Photo of erosier
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep black color with a tall and thick brown colored head that sticks around for a long time before settling to a ring around the beer.
S: The smell is of deep roasted malts, some coffee tones as well as a bit of chocolate and vinous fruits.
T: The taste follows the nose pretty well. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, a bit of caramel, and a slight hint of vinous fruits.
M: Very smooth, thick, and warming with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty Drinkable as I could finish the liter it came in.

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Pozharnik Espresso Russian Imperial Stout from Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 101 ratings