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Pisgah Cosmos - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah CosmosPisgah Cosmos

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

69 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 32
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: mikesgroove on 04-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of chaz410
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer at the AMAZING new Duckworths Grill and Taproom in Charlotte NC.
Pours a near black amber brown body with a quarter finger slightly brown head.
Smells of toasted malt, funky belgian yeast, raisen, slight cherry and some tinny, grassy hops.
Taste of tons of roasted malts, toasted grains that lend toward the biscuit malts as well. There's a slight chocolate and caramel hybrid sweetness. There is a mix of funky, tart belgian yeast finish along with a little booze as well as some dry toasted maltiness.
Very smooth mouthfeel that finishes almost dry and doesn't linger.
For the style and ABV I could see having several of these so I consider it fairly drinkable.
Go Go Go Go Duckworths!

Photo of devilben02
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have now had the good fortune to try this beer on multiple occasions, once fresh at the brewery and once with a buddy who was so generous in sharing his two-year old bottle. Both times, it was a pleasant experience, but the aged bottle was one of the better beers I have ever had.

Essentially, it is everything it promises to be and more. Poured in the glass, it is dark and brooding with a thin, lingering, creamy head. The aroma is exactly what I expected based on the description on the bottle: chocolate and dark roasted malt sweetness of a Baltic Porter but with the Belgian yeast adding a little something different. The flavor is a bit more skewed towards the chocolate flavors but with that yeasty tang underneath. The combination is something like a quad that used more roasted malts than usual, but with a candy-sweet finish develops as the beer warms. There's nothing particularly different or interesting about the mouthfeel other than the fact that alcohol was quite mellowed after two years on the shelf, with no hint of the 9.5%.

It's probably a good thing that I don't get out to Asheville often and Pisgah does not distribute out my way, because otherwise I may be tempted to shell out the premium price to always have a bottle of this around. Superb stuff.

Photo of Bung
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of maximum12
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of Deuane
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Deuane at least a year ago. Thanks D! 750ml corked bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Cosmos appears a deep chestnut color with a good two fingers of creamy ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of dark fruits such as cherries, milk and dark chocolate, hints of coffee, mocha, prune, dark toasted bread grains, good amount of caramel sweetness. Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Tasty stuff.

Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mikesgroove for hooking me up with a wonderful assortment of PISGAH! Thanks mikesgroove.

Pours a dark brown that when held to the light shines with ruddy amber glints. Well carbonated, almost champagne-esque in its bubbliness. Very interesting.

As it warmed up, I detected hints of belgian yeast, dark fruit strongly, and a bit of molasses in the nose. Taste was pretty exotic. This is one of the most unique brews I can ever remember having. I read the label maybe five times. Baltic Porter my ass.

The backing is pure caramel malt, molasses, and dark fruit, but hanging over it all are little pinpricks of strange mutant flavors. Wait, there's a bit of belgian yeast! No, maybe it's a spicy nuttiness! Holy shit, is that a sweet berry or sweet citrus note I detect?!? AAAHHH *head explodes*

Very hard to beer to rate. Certainly interesting to drink, though it did exhaust the palate after a while. I could easily see some folks thinking the mouthfeel is too much, that it's too lively, but I thought it livened up the complexity of the beer (even though it was inappropriate for the style).

Doubt I'll have a chance to try it again.

Photo of bhalter8
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Eric at Pisgah, who hooked me up with this bottle to taste tonight. Pours an ink black with a solid, 2 finger, tan head. As it slowly recedes the head leaves amazing lacing around the glass. The smell is 100% contrary to the look, the smell must come from the belgian yeast that was used, because it has that crisp belgian scent, and not the dark malty scent the look would suggest. The taste is amazingly complex, the sweet chocolate malt contradicts the crisp belgian style yeast, but in an amazing way. I am absolutely awestruck by the taste, it is crisp upfront, but mellows to a chocolate sweet rather quickly. It is still a bit crisp in your mouth, but since it is such a blend of styles, I guess that should be expected. A wonderful taste, but tough to drink whole lot of. I am thrilled to have had a bottle, and cannot say enough about the blended taste

Photo of younger35
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew from Mikesgroove in this years Black Booty BIF. I've enjoyed all the beers I've had from Pisgah and expect nothing less for this Baltic Porter with a special Belgian yeast strain. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

February 2008 on label.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice two finger creamy light tan head. The head sticks around forever leaving plenty of rich sticky lacing. Every single one of Pisgah's brews manages to look terrific.
Smell- Lots of rich dark fruits including raisins, plums, figs and even hints of dark cherries. The yeast is slightly spicy and earthy on top of the lightly toffee base. Definitely a bit of milky chocolate on top of some light malt balls. Not bad but it's a bit unassertive.
Taste- Label says "with the subtleness of a special yeast strain". Subtle my ass! The yeast seems to dominate. It's sort of earthy with a mushroom cap dirtiness and a very light balsamic acidity (seriously). Slightly toasty with a whole grain like maltiness and a very slight sweetness that is sort of molasses like. Some dark fruits (mostly prune) before the beer finish slightly citric with the lightest bit of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Just a tad lighter than I like it but I still put it well above medium. A very sharp carbonation that does seem to fit the beer quite well though.
Drinkability- I'm a full two glasses through this beer and I'm not 100% sure my exact feelings. The yeast is a bit much and it can get semi cloying toward the bottom of your second glass. But it is different and interesting. Worth a shot for sure I spose! Thanks much for your generosity Mike!

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ncvbc hooked me up with this one. thanks walter!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. february 2008 vintage. sampled dec 31/08.

pours deep brown and mostly opaque with a small loose cola-like light brown head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. dark and milk chocolate. touch of coffee. whole wheat bread. biscuit. cracker. toasty and slightly roasty, with a bit of a belgian twist on things. bit of dark friut. touch of smoke.

taste is great. dark and milk chocolate. toasted multi-grain bread. cracker. some nice dark fruit too. bit of smoke. touch of roast. bit of coffee with cream. the flavour and aroma match very well with the bottle description - a baltic porter brewed with a belgian yeast strain. the usual baltic character is all there, tempered with the fruit and yeast of a belgian yeast strain.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-high carbonation. the carbonation is a bit high for a baltic porter, but works in this baltic-belgian hybrid.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, an interesting flavour blend. this one hides its alcohol well and has no trouble keeping your interest clear through the end of the glass. i wish i had another bottle!

Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml undated bottle at 58 degrees.

Pours almost opaque black with barely translucent crimson edging. A hard pour released barely a quarter inch of fizzling cola head. The soda-like foam dissapated immediately to reveal a placid surface with zero lacework.

Aromatics lead off with raisins, grape jam, and sweet malt. Hints of cherries, cloves, and dark chocolate follow through. The low carbonation level keeps the nose fairly subdued.

Medium bodied and creamy, with a crisp edge. Tacky and sticky.

Caramel, dark chocolate, yeasty phenols, raisins, and grape jam start the palate. Dark fruit and rum, anise, and sugar-dusted figs follow through.

Finishes with rum-soaked raisins, scorched caramel, warming alcohol, and some faint nougat.

This beer holds a lot of promise, and I'm not sure what happened to it. The cola-like fizzle out of head screams "Stale!", but it drinks fairly complex.

Photo of corey0212
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with mikesgroove!

First off, I could stare at the label on this bottle all damn day...

Pours a dark cola-brown, with a big fizzy mocha colored head, fades somewhat slowly into a 1/4" layer of foam on top of the beer, some nice patches of lace. Lots of cocoa on the nose, some fig, some chocolate covered cherries. Taste follows right along, the cherry taste has a tart/sour quality to it, and I get some faint espresso flavors as well. Pretty actively carbonated, on the heavy side of medium-bodied. This is a fantastic beer, well worth trying to track one of these down.

Photo of joepais
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikesgroove for this extra he's a beer Karma God

Bottle poured into a Chalice produced a good two fingers worth of tam head that just stayed around for the whole beer. The body of this brew was jet black in color

Aromas of Belgian yeasts and roasted grains some grape sourness in there as well. It gets better as it warms up for sure

Flavors are great reminds me more of a Baltic than a strong dark, big roasted mats with some nice sourness in there from the yeast quite delicious really enjoyed it
Good carbonation and good medium to full mouthfeel.

Thanks so much Mike for giving me the opportunity to try this unique beer. A great brew to enjoy the last of summer. Very drinkable, I would drink it again. looking forward to trying more Pisgah

Photo of DIM
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shaun and Angie for bringing this one all the way from North Carolina. From a Corked and Caged bottle this opened with a nice pop, and poured a very dark color with a big creamy head and thick lacing. Very attractive for a dark beer. Nose was of ripe fruit and sour yeast, and interesting combination. Mouthfeel carbonated and a little fizzy. Flavor is very complex, with coffee, chocolate, ripe fruit, burnt wood, and something sour. Finish is sour. Alcohol shows in the finish as well. A very different and interesting beer.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to mikesgroove for the chance to try this neat brew via trade! I'm left thinking of the old commercials - you got peanut butter in my chocolate, you got chocolate in my peanut butter. Fade to Yum.

yeah, ok, a little insight to my TV history. What's it got to do with the beer? Well, I'll tell you. Take a traditional baltic porter, dry it up a bit, referment it with a belgian yeast and bottle.

Net, net - an intriguing take on a style worth trying if you get the chance.

Pisgah Cosmos from Pisgah Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.