Vortex II - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Vortex IIVortex II

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

148 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 263
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 130
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 06-25-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 263
Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh, was finally able to get myself a bottle of the 2nd Vortex release. So thrilled to get this. Pisgah has to be my favorite localbrewery by far and they never seem to disapoint. Was able to get one of the misfit bottles with the upseide down label,LOL. Now onto the beer.

Poured a deep dark as night, engine oil black with a thick tan head that relinquished its grip on the glass only to be replaced by sticky gooey brown lace for the remainder of the session. Aroma was very pleasant, albeit I thought it would have been a bit more overpowering. Lots of chocolate and carmel tones with a hint of roasted coffee were reasily apparent, and even more so as it warmed.
First impresion on taste, was wow this was smooth. Coming at me at 11.7% if I did not know that coming in I never would have picked up on it. Lots of caramel and choclate were noticable, and the slight warming from the alcohol did manage to sneak up on me, but a hot one this was definatly not. Not the thickest feeling RIS but it really wasnt necassary as the flavor profile was big enough. Nice dry finish left me looking for more.
Overall this was excellent, and easily my second favorite offering from the boys, only outdone by Vortex 1, but thats only cause I am a hophed by hert. This is a fine brew and I can only hope the release some more as it could be the one that puts them on the map for sure! (1,375 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with a thin tan head. There was barely a pop on the opening of the cap.

S: DAMN!! Nice and sweet with great coffee and chocolate notes. Dark fruit, maybe plum, is in the background.

T: GODDAMN!! This is perfect. Smooth as silk. Chocolate and coffee, but no real fruit in the flavor. Crazy good.

M: So smooth. No alcohol present.

D: I could drink this all day. I would be wrecked but so very happy. (414 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
4.85/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a special moment for me. Not only because I'm drinking away the sorrows of Georgia losing to South Carolina this evening but because on a good note this is an amazing brew from my home state. I feel this balances my emotions between sorrow and triumph. The victory of defeat. Yep, Georgia lost tonight. They probably won't take down the SEC and my buddy from high school Ryan Succop put a dagger in our backs but what the hell, I just opened the Vortex II from Pisgah. I've read the reviews, I've seen the hype, and I'm ready to see if this brew lives up to it.

The pour. Black as night. A somewhat thin and tan head. Medium carbonation at first but lowering. I believe this beer is excited to get in my mouth.

First, though...the smell. Hmm, this one has similarities with a fellow in-state RIS, the Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck. The distinctive quality that relates the two being the licorice that is abundant. Big roasted malts are also here in the smell. I pick up a nice dark coffee aroma and sweet, dark chocolate. Yummy.

Taste is exceptional. Mostly big and roasted coffee flavors with the dark chocolate again. Sweet and dark flavors abound here. The licorice is present again but on a smaller scale. This is great stuff. It's honestly a (big) step above Expedition Stout, which is (was) my present (past) favorite within the style. I'm truly amazed by this beer. Needless to say, it's ORGANIC!

Ideal mouthfeel. Holy crap. Pretty full. Creamy. Velvet. Silk. Slick. Slightest alcohol burn. Unbelievable.

WTF...this is 11.7%? Most drinkable RIS I've had to date with ease. Bear Republic's RIS was my former most drinkable, though after drinking this, even though it's about 3% more content, it's more drinkable.

My second and last bottle...I'm still in shock with this beer. Not an in-state bias or anything but this could be the greatest beer I've ever had along with Speedway Stout, regardless of score. It does an amazing job of concealing it's high ABV while providing an unbelievable amount of complexity. I could have three bombers of this in one evening if the supply was larger. Pisgah, you guys are amazing! I just listened to a recent PodCast with you guys and I can only pray that you start the can/bottle line soon enough. Cans from Pisgah? That would be the greatest miracle over here (and anywhere else that can grab some) for quite some time! (2,374 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap at the brewery, this beer is about 4-5 months old at this point.

Pours black with a brown head that recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of chocolate covered cherries with good amounts of dark fruits - figs and plums, with roasted malt aromas lurking in the background.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Dark chocolate and a myriad of fruit flavors up front are backed up by thick roasted malt flavors. The fruit flavors are very well integrated and done such that the roasted malt and chocolate flavors still serve as a robust backbone.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a great thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I could drink this all day, regardless of whether or not that's a good idea.

Overall I enjoyed this much more the second time around. The flavors are better melded and more developed and the alcohol is barely noticeable. Definitely worth a shot. (930 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black in color with a creamy tan colored head. Lace sticks to the sides of the glass in sheets.
Wonderful aroma of bakers chocolate and rich dark fruits.
The flavor leans heavily to dark fruits and has less roasted flavors than others of the style. I usually prefer my RISs to be heavily roasted, but I LOVE this one. Raisins, prunes, dates and blackberries. The blackberry flavor is pretty noticable and really makes this one stand out over a crowded and highly competitive RIS style. There's just enough roast and coffee to compliment the dark fruit and brown sugar flavors. This is one delicious beer and it's organic to boot.
Mouthfeel is good. It's rich, creamy, and smooth. I wish it was a bit fuller though.
11.7%? You have to be kidding me. There is no hint of that amount of alcohol. This one drinks as easy as an Oatmeal Porter.
Another fine beer from Pisgah! (869 characters)

Photo of taylorhamrick
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights straight from the bottle. In the glass it is pitch black, shiny with a huge brown head. The bubbles are loose and start to fall back moderately quickly, leaving some decent lacing. The smell is initially CO2, but then I get this deep, dark sweetness, mixed in with a light roast barley, coffee. There's also a tiny bit of esters with some dark fruits, vanilla, plums, tamarind. A very pleasant smell, but a bit subdued, if it were stronger, this would have everything in the smell. The taste is exceptional. Upfront, this has an intense profound, dark sweetness. I get loads of dark fruit, mixed with some caramel flavor on top, vanilla and plums like I said before, a tiny bit estery. A little bit of that great roasted taste, actually quite enough if you look for it. The yeast characteris really something too, a bit of the american ale, and a hint of some dark belgian ale yeast, bready and thick, with plenty of maltiness. Not a single off flavor, no burnt taste, no dryness, and the best part is that there isn't an overabundance of black malt, so it isn't too oily I barely detect the alcohol, but it warms my stomach up once its down. This strikes an amazing balance between the depth of flavor, sweetness, and high alcohol, it's like Sam Smith's version, but intensified and boosted up in alcohol. The sweetness gives it an amazingly thick and viscous feel. The carbonation is spot on. I just feels creamy and wonderful. This one is really, really a joy to drink. Nothing here that turns me off, and the alcohol of course can get you, but really on the great end of RIS drinkability. really a very great and classic interpretation on the style (1,692 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mad ups to marvin213 for supplying "the goods." I sampled a little bit of this at DLD and said it was nearly as good as Dark Lord and that it was a shame that it was so unknown. That was after I hadn't had any DL in over a year, mind, and once that vanilla bean goodness passed my lips I repented my blasphemy and swore to make things right with a proper review.

First of all, that's an awesome bottle right there. I smoked enough pot in high school to know the difference between good blacklight poster art and bad blacklight poster art. This is the good stuff. Maybe not sound in a hoity-toity artschool sense but really fun to look at while you're under the influence.

Pours nearly as good as Dark Lord. Dark, opaque blackness with a small and quickly dissolving head. Inky.

Smells rich, smooth, and wooden. Vinous tartness like a bright red wine, a surprising dose of west coast hops, and the comfortable burn of alcohol.

Tastes beery. That's a strange thing to say, I know, but usually RISes taste like wine or fruit or fire. This tastes like beer malt. That moves into a wine dark middle of fire and stout grain and it ends with a sour hoppiness that sticks in your mouth like gum on a shoe.

Nice. Underrated. Well worth seeking out. (1,247 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing RIS.
Poured black as used motor oil with that dark amber glow that used motor oil will have. Very, very thin head that disappears very quickly.

Aromas of dark roasted malt, dark bakers chocolate, dark vinous fruits with maybe some dark cherries. Alcohol isn't noticeable in the nose.

Flavor is intensely RIS. Dark sweetly roasted malts, deep, rich, Belgium chocolates, again, vinous fruits, black cherry and then finishing to black liquorice.

Aftertaste of liquorice and unsweetened chocolate with a definite chocolate warming as you swallow.

Absolutely delicious. (587 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to mikesgrooge for this fine brew.

Midnight black as this brew crawls out of the bottle settling in the glass letting absolutely no light through when held to light. Head is a quick fading inch and a half of carmel brown colored foam. Nose is wonderful with lots of rich coco, electric carmalixed malt and alchol soaked dark chocolate covered cherries. Smokey, creamy chocolate notes drinc the taste buds completely. As the beer warms more of a dark fruit complex develops. Along with the fruit a nice hop character is present on the backside of the palate adding balance to the smokey sweetness. Mouthfeel is rich, slightly thick and screams for the next mouthfull. This is an exceptional Imperial stout, well made all around. It is a shame more people cant try this one. A very sippable, drinkable brew. (820 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany with a a finger of peach/brown colored head. Nice viscosity to this; good head retention & average lacing

S: Some coffee & dark fruit, plus chocolate once warm. Nose gets better as it warms

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, much dryness & a whisper of boozey warmth up front. Mocha & dryness dominate as this warms along with cherry, a touch of raisin & figs& even a bit of grape jelly?? Finishes dry with much dark fruit, rich dark chocolate & a kiss of molasses, brown sugar, & iron

MF: Chewy with moderate carbonation, some stickyness

Drinks a tad slow, due the complexity & but only just a touch. Another good big beer from Pisgah! Sure wish I'd bought a few more bottles of this when I was back in NC. This one I would probably would drink at above cellar temp if I get another bottle (802 characters)

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch Black - no light cast through - decent head retention for a RIS

Smell: Tobacco, Brown Sugar, Malt, Chocolate

Taste: Tobacco, Chocolate, expresso, coffee, vanilla bean, roasted nut, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: smooth, soft, tannic

Drinkability: very smooth and drinkable - I probably couldn't have more than one. Great beer to share with friends. Amazing. I highly recommend. (392 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black beautiful pint of this truly awesome treat. A rich dark brown ½ inch head with heavy lacing filled my pint glass. Strong smells of rich coffee and deep roasted malt.

Tastes like heaven with a mouth feel that can only be described as a coffee-mocha milk shake. This beer tastes so good you just want to leave it in you mouth. The 11.7% is very well hidden by the God like taste. It is not until the second beer that you realize...wow, that beer has a punch. What a punch it is!

I have not had the opportunity to try FFF Dark Lord, but RIS is my favorite style and this is beyond a doubt the best RIS I have ever had. And for someone who has LOVED beer since the 7th grade, this maybe the best beer I have ever had! (737 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid dark pour, with a moderate tan head, serious legs on the edge, and definite lacing.

S - First big hit is brownie batter, followed by the strong burn of alcohol, and hints of both herbal hop notes and savory soy umami. Lovely.

T - Front is sweet and full of dark chocolate flavor. The middle brings roast flavors, which turn toward bitterness in the close.

M - Brisk carbonation and full, lush feeling. Mild drying in the close.

O - Great nose and flavor, excellent RIS with delicious chocolate core. (516 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rocky head that sticks well and leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Espresso, dark chocolate, tobacco and licorice

Taste: Opens with an incredibly dense, licorice and dark fruit filled chocolate flavor that builds, in a fruity direction, by mid-palate; after the swallow, the dark fruit intensity is joined by some hoppy bitterness that lingers for quite some time

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous; withe moderate carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet on the way down

Drinkability: Still a bit young (drink by 2018!) but the alcoholic warmth should fade somewhat as it ages; nevertheless, quite an accomplishment (665 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin but consistent head, maybe half a finger tops and that disappears swiftly, actually leaves behind more lacing than you’d expect, broad streaks which then slide off the glass. Following the script the liquid is blacker than coal, fully opaque and only near the surface can you discern the active bubbles, mild orange aura to it too. The nose is like getting smacked in the face with a German chocolate cake and then doused in coffee, caramel, butterscotch, and sweet nuts, some black licorice too and definitely on the boozy side of things, any cherry or plum fruit scents buried under the chocolate, the herbal hops must themselves be strong to be as noticeable as they are. Full-bodied, it would be suffocating were it not for the aggressive carbonation which pulls off quite the feat in lifting it and creating a sense of motion. More licorice, toffee, butterscotch, molasses, coconut, dark chocolate and Brazil nuts, its sweetness masks a lot of the underlying textural dryness. It does get clingy and sticks to the mouth pores, this in spite of the overall smokiness which is massive. The fruit remains mainly plum and cherry but also some date and fig too, not really prune. Packs some wallop and you feel the alcohol halfway through the bomber, more balanced when well chilled than closer to room temperature. Relentless. (I believe this was bottled December 2012 if I read the date above the bar code correctly.) (1,434 characters)

Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer at Peabody's in Boone, NC. The appearance is dark with little foam if any but that is ok. The smell is good and fresh and is full of Chocolate, Malts, Hops, & alittle spice. The taste was awesome, full of fresh robust flavor: hops,.chocolate, a little coffee, and a hint of.spice. The mouthfeel is excellent with full flavor and a hint of alcohol. It tool nearly and hour to finish the 22oz bottle. Overall this is a grear beer and I will be getting more of this beer when I get back to Boone in August. (522 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another one of those beers that I would never have the opportunity to try if it wasn't for the generous BA trading community. The man himself, mikesgroove, hooked me up with this rare treat. Valdez blew me away, let's see how this one rates.

22 oz. bomber allowed to warm up a bit and then poured into a nonic.

"We all drink downstream"

Pours an onyx black with a one finger dark tan head that dies down to a thin frothy layer. Some webbing is left behind on the sides of the glass, but not as much as I was hoping for. Smell is rich brownie batter, grandma's molasses cookies, and a hint of alcohol. Rich dark fruits and coffee grinds find their way in the nose as well. Complex malt backbone, such a delight to whiff. The fact that this beer is organic and smells this good just amazes me. Sweet brown sugar and roasted grains up front with a smooth molasses middle. Raisins and smoked nuts on the tongue with a boozy dark cocoa powder aftertaste. Not as full in the mouth as most RIS, but still pretty big. A creamy warming feel as well. The alcohol is present, but I still can't believe it's 11.7%. I would take Valdez over this in a heartbeat, but Vortex II is still one hell of a beer...AND IT'S ORGANIC!! We need more breweries like Pisgah in this country. Thanks again Mike, two more are still waiting for me :)

edit: coffee flavors really came out as it warmed. (1,375 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Date: 06/11/2010
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2009
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

*Want to thank the generous BA TimmyP for hooking me up with this bottle in a trade. Timmy is the man!

Poured a midnight black in color w/ a 1 finger tan head, that left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Nose was of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a touch of smokiness. The taste was fabulous! Tasted roasted chocolate, molasses, and maple syrup up front, and a finish of espresso and mild hop bite. This brew was perfectly balanced between sweetness and bitter finish, which prevented it from becoming cloying. The mouthfeel was rich and pretty full bodied, but adequate carbonation prevented it from being too filling. Could not detect a hint of the 11.20% ABV, and finished the 22oz. bottle with ease and was left yearning for more.

Overall, I have to say this is one of the best non-BA brews I have had the pleasure of drinking this year! Timmy, where are you? I need more! (977 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to an amazingly generous dmeadows for this one.

Pours a deep jet black, impenetrable to light. A nice fizzy head forms, but reduces to about two fingers and turns into ice cream. Lacing is pretty good.

Nose is promising during the pre-game. Full of dark roasted malt, some slight coffee. Some defenite chocolate and a little dose of dark fruits. Roasted malt and chocolate are dominant though, and give hope to the fans.

Whoa! Pisgah has won another game. Huge roasted malt profile dominates right off the bat. A slight smidge of dark fruit hints just afterwards, but roasted malt quickly grabs possession of the ball again. Chocolate then throws the alley oop as the roasted malt dunks in your eye towards the finish. A little bit of alcohol drains a couple from the free throw line on right before the buzzer. A tiny bit of overcarbonation fouls on the reach but is nowhere near as bad as the abrasive carbonation they had in the Valdez game. Alcohol and roasted malt are carried of the court by chocolate during the aftertaste.

The game leaves pisgah fans with a viscous mouthfeel of victory. Very slight overcarbonation again, but he is lost as the fans rush the court. A bit of dryness on the finish.

This game goes down very nicely, as it should have for Vortex. 11.7% was the spread, but it was more like 8% by the time the game was over. Couldn't beleive it.

Overall, one of the better games of the year. Much better than the valdez game, but hopefully the second bottling will bring valdez up to the heels of vortex II. A very drinkable beer of this magnitude, and beautiful balance of chocolate and roasted malt flavors combine for a sick triple double, and leave the fans wanting more and more and more. You will want a replay of this one. Great Beer. (1,775 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle split and shared with a friend. Chilled and poured into two Sierra Nevada tulips. I have heard that bottles of this may be infected, so my fingers are definitely crossed.

Appearance: Dark brown to midnight black in color. Pours a nice one finger, brown head that sticks to the glass nicely.

Aroma: Roasted coffee beans and smooth milk chocolate dominate. Some nice backing of molasses and dark fruits. Very sweet and nice. No hints of sour cherry at all.

Taste: Big sweet chocolate really takes over. Lots of roasted coffee and molasses in there as well. Really sweet, borders on cloying, but just bitter enough. Caramel and dark fruit round out the flavor. Definitely appears tis bottle is just fine and drinking awesome.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and very creamy. Carbonation is on the low side, but still extremely drinkable.

Overall, a really tasty, chocolately stout that definitely filled my expectations. Glad to see this bottle was not infected. Really delicious and complex. I would definitely give this a shot again. (1,073 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber

This long awaited RIS comes from the most generous jraycee, thanks again Justin! Vortex II is a black hole of a beer. No matter how far the glass tilts there's no light allowed through the jet black body. The mocha head crept up to one finger and gradually fell to a thin cap with a collar that stayed a bit higher. The little bit of foam covering the body has a crazy swirling effect to it that's mesmerizing.

The nose on this beer is insane! Each time I stick my nose in the glass all I can think of is roasted marshmallows. When I finally make it past the roasted marshmallows I get an array of aromas; molasses, cocoa, dark fruits and dark chocolate all in that order. I can't pull my nose from the glass. There's an anise note in the back that comes forward as this RIS warms. Smells delicious to me!

Every aspect of the aroma comes together flawlessly in the flavor. Roasty malts get things moving while all those components from the aroma mesh together like it was meant to be. Molasses, dark chocolate, rich fudge, cocoa powder and dark fruits all come along in one degree or the other. There's no way I can forget about the roasted marshmallow, they're in here too. This is a special RIS with an incredible depth of flavor.

Pisgah nailed the carbonation on this one. The body has a heavy feel to it and the carbonation is lively enough to keep it from being stagnant while still staying soft. The carbonation practically massages the tongue. I couldn't ask for much more.

Drinkability is off the charts. I could see the size of this beer getting me in serious trouble if I had more than a bomber available. This is one of those "dangerously drinkable" beers and that's not found often in huge RISs.

I simply can't get enough of Vortex II. This is a stout to be reckoned with and one not to miss. I would love to have a case of this sitting in my basement. Thanks for the hookup Justin!

Reviewed: 5/8/09 (1,931 characters)

Photo of younger35
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from scthaden about 10 months back. This will be my second Pisgah brew and I enjoyed the first (Valdez). Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Best before 2/2018 on side. Whew, popped this gem just in the knick of time...

Appearance- Pours jet black as coffee with a small half finger light tan head even with a fairly aggressive pour. A thin spotty cap is left with a fairly thin collar that is still able to leave specks of random lacing throughout.
Smell- Fairly roasted but not to the point of charred with a big milky chocolate nose. Brown sugar and caramel mix with the light vapors of alcohol to give an almost brandy like nose. Licorice and dark espresso are light and earthy and sweet. A tinge of something fruity like dark cherries is also perceivable.
Taste- Starts with a lightly sweet milky creaminess that is full of raw cocoa and dark roasted malts. Loads of sweet caramel and dark molasses mix with dark fruits such as over ripened raisins and prunes. Some coffee is present but more in the nose than taste. Towards the end a sharp bitter kick joins the party with light herbal hop bite. More chocolate and caramel and a touch of alcohol linger on in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- Not the biggest bodied stout I've ever had but it's just big enough to keep me happy. It is nice and creamy and silky smooth though with quite a bit of light tingly carbonation and the slightest of warming.
Drinkability- I think any beer over 8-9% ABV it's hard to call them 'drinkable'. This brew is sitting at 11.7% and is VERY drinkable. I like to sip on my brews while watching the ol' boob tube and review them. This one went down remarkable fast and it's amazing to me that all these Pisgah brews are Organic. I ain't no dirty hippy but from the few organic brews I've had, they haven't been very good. This one is incredibly good and well done. Really glad to have tried this tasty treat, thanks Shannon! (1,920 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to alewatcher for hooking it up! Been looking forward to this one. Served in my Southampton oversized snifter.

a - poured a shiny dark brown but settled much darker in the glass with a crazy amount of fizzy looking bubbling all along the glass and the surface. The head was gone before the bubbling on the glass side. Lacing was also very slick and not RIS like.

s - as soon as the bottle opened the smell jumped from the bottle. Deep chocolate, dark fruit, and very nicely roasted malts. Big and bold. Very appealing.

t - wow, that is fantastically delicious. The chocolate is big and bold and dominates. The other flavors are there, but this beer should be called hershey since it is THAT chocolatey. Some dark fruit in the background.

m - super thick and rich without being sludgy or too much. Leaves a soft alc tingle and a chocolatey coating in my mouth. Silky.

o - overall this is a bit one dimensional by being a chocolate bomb, but it is so damn tasty. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but I love this beer. Really worth seeking out in my opinion. I absolutely loved this one. ISO more. (1,109 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (labeled 11.2%) into a Brooklyn snifter a nice opaque jet black with a decent tan head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a wonderful blend of abundant roasted malt, a just opened container of Hershey's cocoa and freshly ground coffee. The taste is an incredible blend of cocoa and roasted malts with a touch of dried fruits. The beer is remarkably smooth and the alcohol is very well hidden, it still provides warmth, but you'd never guess it's over 11%. This is a truly amazing Imperial Stout, considering how much I love the Vortex I, this one certainly a worthy follow-up. Hey, Pisgah, any plans for a Vortex III? Maybe a dopplebock, Imperial Pilsner or even better an Imperial Red? (737 characters)

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super damn black-as-night pour into a Duvel tulip. Honeycomb looking mocha foamy head. Lots of activity going on here...like the tulip is breathing lava while slowly dissipating into the liquid. Nice glowing mocha ring mid-glass...quite nice looking.
Touch of smoke detected in the aroma, citrus hops, maytag blue, chocolate dipped strawberries. Intoxicating.
Sticky sweetness in the front. Rock candy...fruity? Hoppy too...really nice. Blackberry, plum flavor surrounding the hops. Creamy sweet mouthfeel. Touch of roasty bitter in the back, with a hit of smoke. All delicately put together, very nice and super easy drinking. (627 characters)

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Vortex II from Pisgah Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.