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Pisgah Cosmos - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah CosmosPisgah Cosmos

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

55 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 55
Hads: 77
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 7.18%
Wants: 31
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 04-02-2007

Pisgah's tribute to the Belgian tradition and our home-brewing roots, this recipe comes directly out of Dave's old homebrewing notebook. We combine the rich flavor of a Baltic porter with the subtleness of a special Belgian yeast strain, imagine bananas dipped in dark chocolate liquified in your beer glass. Honor tradition, Respect beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 77
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aggressively carbonated bottle from Bruisn' Ales. The carbonation keeps at bay the baltic Porter taste which is there and balance porter/a little sourness malted down, but a muted flavour. Decent drinkability and the alcohol is hidden.Black body with nominal head.SOrt of hits the style. (287 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown with a slight light tan head. A tad bit of lacing. Nose brings some dark fruits and roasted malt. Good notes of chocolate. The taste is dark fruits, dates, burnt sugar, some roasted malt, and a bit of alcohol. The feel is nice with the flavors playing nice with the slight alcohol tinge. Drinks quite well and is really nice overall. (374 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a nicely capped tan head that fizzes away while managing to leave a few lace patterns

Smell: Dark fruit (dates, figs and rum soaked raisins), dark chocolate. a hint of molasses and a whiff of fusel alcohol

Taste: Opens with a fruity flavor, with a building molasses and dark chocolate complexity that deepens the profile by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors balance each other well, with some coffee touches appearing at the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with overeager carbonation

Drinkability: Kudos to Pisgah for a Belgian Dark that verges on the Baltic Porter style; if they could work on the mouthfeel, it would be outstanding (699 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured black as night with a very small head that was about a half inch high. This faded quickly leaving behind a decent amount of lace, not too thick, but definalty noticeable.

S - Smell started off light, with a nice aroma of caramel and a hint of alcohol. As it warmed a nice fruit and spice like flavor started to come through, almost reminescent of a Belgian Dark, very complex yet sweet. An intresting bit of a twist.

M & T - First taste was very very sweet. Very nice full body here full of carbonation and a very nice consistency. Lots of fruity flavors could be picked up in here, grapes, pears, and hints of almost cinammon sugar. Again really came off to me as more a Belgian dark then a porter, though I would take a porter like this anyday. Very fruity and robust. Awesome drink here.

D - Overall this was fantastic. No hint at the ABV at all which was shocking. Though it did have a slight warming effect on me which I guess could be the alcohol but it was very nice. This was a definate sipper, but alot of sips would be creeping up on you. I love the stuff they brew over at Pisgah, and have not had a bad one yet. Very good stuff indeed. (1,168 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A Belgian-style Baltic Porter...interesting.Pours into a chalice a deep chocolate brown with a thinner deep beige head atop.Dark fruit and chocolate stand out in the nose along with some of the Belgian yeast almost coming of lightly weizen like with clove and faint bubble gum detected.Rich dark fruit and brown sugar flavors with a hint of "meaty" smokiness in there as well,the dark fruit really stands out with the smoke-like notes lingering in the finish.I like the fuller nearly chewy feel it fits the beer well.Now this is different...in a good way,alot of good stuff going on here. (588 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark almost black color with a relatively thin head that settled to a ring that stuck around. Pretty good lacing. The smell is good, but still a little rough. This is the best indication that it could use some more time in the bottle. There is a definite up front smell of molasses, followed by dark dried fruit and some toffee. The taste is similar to the smell, but seems more integrated, especially as its been open for a while. There are also flavors of banana, clove, raisins, and fig. Sorta like a Belgian version of a Baltic porter. The mouthfeel is a little rough, but it has good body and carbonation levels. Pretty drinkable now, this should improve in the bottle. This was my second big beer from this brewery, and I gotta say there is a big difference between their bigger beers and their sessionable beers. These high abv ones are a whole heckuva lot better. The Baptista was sublime, this one is solid. (925 characters)

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

On tap at the brewery the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer was quite complex, showing leather, funk and a hint of coffee and dark fruits. The flavor profile is impressive and showed an interesting blend of cherry, vanilla, spice and cola. Very nice, and quite the intriguing combination of flavors. On the palate, this beer was not heavy or tiring at all, and I found this to be yet another high abv. beer from Pisgah that carried its alcohol very well. The finish on this beer was smooth and spice filled, with the underlying spice countering the moderate sweetness very well. Nothing seemed to be out of preportion in this well balanced, enjoyable beer.

Very nice effort. (751 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL bottle, from February 2008.

A: The dark ale is murky, a quad like cola brown color that is opaque. Not much head though; what's there is off-white trending darker.

S: Dark candi sugars, raisins and brown sugar, along with caramel malts create a big nose. Closer inspection tells me, again, just a little too long in the cellar. Despite that, the quad-like aromas are strong enough to cover up most anything. The darker fruits stand out, I believe, over everything else.

T: The darker flavors bely a fierce beer - dark fruits, booze and candi sugars all swim around. The richness doesn't directly lead to the booziness but it comes close. Darker caramel and roasted malts add to the body. The finishing flavors are a little musty, older, but the quad underneath still packs a flavor punch. Quite complex with a lasting fruit flavor - very dark with raisins and figs in command.

M: Warming and big, small sips are the way to go. Next time around, I wouldn't hold onto this for 4 years though. (1,004 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to ThorsHammer for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy creamy tan head, getting some nice creamy sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slight roastiness, figs, plums, raisins, slight toffee, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, malts, dark fruit, and some roastiness that I've never had in a BSDA, almost like a stout, nice touch of toffee/caramel. Full body. The alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice warming effect afterwards. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, and my first from Pisgah, I also have a bottle of Baptista to try later on. Thanks Eric. (633 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained via trade with ncvbc. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged, dated February 2008.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the opaque dark brown brew. Head snow-cones above the rim before taking FOREVER to collapse like a bad souffle, with insane levels of frothy lace. Aroma is spicy yeasts and light maltiness, expected more sweetness here. Taste starts with a peek of medium malt, hits with the spicy yeast, goes a touch sour, then gets into the funk, with a dry close. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly, but soft over the tongue, and drinkability is good as well. Not as good as the appearence was pointing me at the start, but still a very nice brew. (703 characters)

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

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade with mikesgroove. Thanks Mike!
Very dark, pretty much black, with faint mahogany edges. Fizzy yellowish tan foam that settled to a ring. A little bit of spotty lacing was evident, but short-lived. Interesting aroma, a mixture of dark malts and belgian yeast character. Caramel, cocoa, fruit, raisins, alcohol, bread, figs, spicy yeast. Flavour mirrors the aroma. Fruit character was more pronounced, with lots of plum, fig, and raisin. Bitterness provided an anchor, keeping caramel sweetness in check. Chocolate notes were more subdued and alcohol stayed balanced, though it was definitely on the warm side. Finished a little peppery with lingering bread and molasses. Carbonation was quite high and provided a bit of lightness to the otherwise full body. I liked this one. It's an interesting mix of characters that really work well together. (887 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged, big thanks to grub for opening this one on NYE.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, dense colour, very light tan head which disappears very fast, no lacing, not the best looking BSDA. Smell is nice, lots of dark fruit, raisins, alcohol, biscuits, some spice, candi sugar, cranberries, a lot of sweet maltiness but pretty complex, a wide range of aromas are kicking around, some chocolate and roastiness. Taste is similar, very raisiny, caramel, brown sugar, light bit of floral, lots of fruit, sweet alcohol at the back of mouth, a lightly tart fruit finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Very drinkable a nice beer for the style. Sweeter and roastier than a BSDA should be, but still very enjoyable. Thanks for the sample Russ! (790 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, duckworths charlotte

appearance: served in an unbranded chalice, very dark - ebony body, fizzy tan head with sparse lacing

smell: figs, spice, booze, dark fruits drenched in rum

taste: potent elixir - big dark fruits, molasses, raisin, dates, rum, stick dark malts, dark cherry, vanilla, lots of belgian yeast. Quite complex but overly strong - glad to find on tap as I don't feel the need to seek out the elusive bottles anymore

mouthfeel: low carbonation, sticky and strong

overall: good (502 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during an afternoon ticking session at Pisgah! Served from tap into a shaker pint. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, and cream. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, earth, and banana hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. There was definitely a big Belgian influence going on in this one. The banana was quite evident in the nose and in the flavor. Wasn't surprised at all to find an earthy character in this one if I'm honest... This one was pretty well balanced but definitely more robust in specific aspects. Definitely worth trying if you have not already! (800 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending this my way. Consumed during the Drinking the Cellar week of '09.

Split with the wife & poured into the proper glassware, as the bottle kindly reminded us, after a nearly fatal struggle with a vicious cork. Very dark red, with a quick rising, quick falling head. Smell is unique - smells vaguely like a warm Belgian mixed with a barleywine. My wife: "If I smelled this with my eyes closed I'd expect something light".

Cosmos has one flaw that's immediately apparent, & that's the carbonation. Active to the point of Shasta, extremely distracting to the actual taste of the beer. Trying hard to plumb past the bubbles, there's a very champagne, dry-quality to the beer, vinuous, almost a berryesque, wine taste on the tongue. Feels like this has been wood-barrel aged, though I don't know if it has been. This is what I imagine a good wine would taste like if it was force-carbonated.

Very good beer. I have to knock it for the mouthfeel, but this is a unique effort & something I'm going to enjoy very much for the next thirty minutes or so. (1,081 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

huge thanks to AleWatcher for knocking off this want. enjoyed from my La Trappe chalice.

vintage February 2008

a - decaged and popped the cork...well, perhaps i shouldn't say popped the cork as it snapped in half and then i destroyed it while trying to pry it out with a cork screw. once that travesty finished (i take full blame on that one) the brew poured a deep plum with a nice creamy bubbly head that didn't hang out long but never seemed to fully go away. unfortunately had to strain the beer into a different chalice since i noticed little bits of cork in the beer.

s - boozy, but in a vinous way. as soon as i broke through the cork it almost smelled like red wine in the room. there is some good plum and dark fruit notes though. not all that sweet, more booze than sweet for the style. after the transfer/straining there was more sweet in there...smells very nice.

t - in addition to dark fruit there is a decent amount of cocoa and some roastiness. the beer is definitely oxidized as well. i probably should've drank this right when i got it, but held it for a special occasion or tasting and now am popping it as i am trying to drink some of the older bottles that i have to prevent them getting over the hill...may have missed the boat on this one a bit. not bad, but from the reviews sounds like this one was better a year or two ago.

m - still fairly creamy...and fortunately was able to eliminate the bits of cork. first glass i strained through a screen, but then the interweb taught me to rubber band a coffee filter around the neck of the bottle.

o - overall, one of my favorite styles...this is pretty good, but probably held onto for a bit too long. has a bit of a cocoa thing going on. VERY smooth and creamy for an american take on this style. enjoyable, but i bet this one was way better a year ago. (1,830 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jw347 poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as an opaque black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that shows great retention. The cap lasts throughout and leaves big clumps of lacing. The aroma is very unique and has a big chocolate malty base in the nose but with tons of sweet, tart fruit and some Belgian yeast as well. There's also a slight coffee bitterness in the smell as well. The taste starts with an interesting tart fruitiness with Belgian yeast on top of it. However, it finishes with a very porter-esque malty chocolate flavor with another fruity pop in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly full-bodied and dry with lots of carbonation. This is a truly unique brew from Pisgah and a take on the style that I've certainly never experienced. (821 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Duckworths. Very dark brown pour, ample off white head that laces the glass well.

Aroma is pretty much a dark chocolate banana. Yeast and roast.

Taste has more roast, to add a great balance to the the yeasty banana, malt and cocoa.

The lighter mid body makes this quite drinkable. Alcohol is non-existent. Another impressive organic offering, as usual for Pisgah. (375 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

This offering pays homage to the brewer's homebrew roots. It's what American brewers do best: hybrid styles. Baltic Porter meets Belgian yeast--and organic to boot.

Fizzy foam from a semi-hard pour leaves a thick tan lace after a few sips. Dark brown color lets only a little light through the edges with a garnet hue. The yeast is right in your face from the first sniff; aromas of cotton candy and bubble gum are followed by a cocoa powder maltiness. Dreamy smoothness rolls around in the full body with a deep crispness. Big-time chocolate on the palate--very dark chocolate to be more exact. The Belgian yeast throws in some herbal phenols, and the roasted character carries an undertone of char; wrap this around its very complex maltiness, and you've got a faultless balance. Modest hopping. Fruity middle-to-end with dark berries and overripe plum. Estery, but not too pushy. Finishes with a layer of mocha, staying a tad sweet.

Not knocking average-strength craft beers, but this is what should have been in North Carolina all along: a choice--even if that choice is an extreme beer. (1,128 characters)

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: deep chocolate brown in color, topped with a mocha head that shows good retention

s: lots of deep chocolate roast, hints of medium roast coffee, black figs and other leathery dark fruits, sweet burnt sugars, yeast profile of clove with some hints at banana

m: well carbonated, perhaps a bit high at first but smoothing out, with a full, slick body

t: big roasty belgian body, chocolate roast first moving towards some deeper charred barley, clovey yeast flavors with some esters, not dominant but quite obvious, fruit leather, finishes with sticky burnt sugars and a thick chocolate/coffee flavor in the back of the throat

d: not a huge fan of the belgian-roast duo, but it's a nice enough drink, and I appreciate the creativity

enjoyed from a plastic cup around a fire at the brewery on a cool late summer night (821 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2yr. old unlabeled 750ml bottle directly from brewer Dave Quinn. Shared at the Pisgah brewery on 11/28/09.

A - Poured a deep brown/blackish body with a frothy, one-plus finger burnt tan head that receded to about a quarter inch and left minimal lace around the glass.

S - Sweet berries mingle with dark fruit, giving Cosmos an almost vinous, grape-like quality. Hints of tart black cherry emerge in the background.

T - Tart and acidic dark fruit and grape character with hints of black cherries and dried fruit. There is some slight oxidization due to the age of this brew, but does not detract from my overall enjoyment at all. Some hop bitterness develops in the finish, but is very subtle.

M - Medium bodied with extremely lively carbonation that is a bit too brisk and prickly. Pretty rich and sweet, but not cloying. Finish is very dry overall.

D - A Baltic Porter... with Belgian yeast... aged and bottle conditioned for two years?! OK, sign me up. Cosmos proved to be unique and tasty taboot. Thanks for busting this one out, Dave! (1,044 characters)

Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good ol' beer sent from brent56 in some trade many moon ago - the label says bottled on Feb 2008. Thanks again Brent!

Had to use a wine opening to get the cork outa this 750ml. And the carbonation was another first - sounded like soda in the glass, crackling and foamy. The body was still well carbonated and tingly on the tongue. Dark mahogany in the Corsendonk tulip.

Very nice brew, tasty with the dark fruit and malt dominating the aroma and the quaff. Subtle hints of caramel, coffee and toffee really round out this nice frosty. No hint of any high alcohol, just an easy drinking big hitter. Sweet, but yet finishes with a nice dose of hop backbone. (657 characters)

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

An 18 month old bottle shared on 9-20-09--Thanks folks!

A-Deep, dark chestnut (cola) colored with a thick light tan head that reduced to a thin ring and left spotty lace.

S-Spicy yeast notes with a ton of dark fruits (cherry and plum) with a healthy dose of bitter dark chocolate and supporting notes of earth, dry cocoa, coffee and toasted grain.

T-Much like the aroma but even MORE complex! All of the aforementioned with a the addition of caramel sweetness. in the dry finish.

M-Medium bodied long lingering flavours with a building dry, slightly oaky, finish.

D-So complex it almost overwhelms my palate....but so interesting I want to keep drinking. Interestingly tasty, a real treat for the senses! (709 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Pisgah Brewery in Asheville, NC on 5/29/10

A - Cola-black with a thin creamy tan head, lively carbonation.

S - Belgian yeast, plums, raisins, dates, bit of coffee and chocolate.

T - Roasted malt, dates & raisins, molasses, coffee, Belgian yeast and...citrus?! Whole lot going on.

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

D - Happy with the one I had, got a bit heavy for me towards the end of the glass, but the ABV was well hidden. Overall, a complex brew that was hard to rate by "style" as it runs all over the rails. A unique and memorable brew from Pisgah. (585 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a very dark brown, bordering on black. It poured with a massive, fizzy, sticky, light tan head.

s: The nose strikes a fantastic balance between Baltic Porter and Belgian Strong Dark ale. Dark roasty malts, big cherry aromas, and something a little sour as well.

t: Things start off with sweet notes of vanilla and smooth, lightly toasted malts. Big yeasty, cherry flavors come next. The finish is dry and perfumed.

m: This has a great body and carbonation that is fizzy yet still somewhat creamy.

d: This was unique but not too far out there, I enjoyed this quite a bit. Thanks to mikesgroove for this extra from the barleywine BIF. (649 characters)

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Pisgah Cosmos from Pisgah Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.