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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Vortex II - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Vortex IIVortex II

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

148 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 263
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 129
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 Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from Bruisin' Ales. Pours black and some white head. Aroma is pleasant roasty and malty. Taste is very sugary, this is like a milk stout, a sweet stout only somewhat better. I managed to drink the bomber, it is drinkable and pleasant enough. Some chocolate and one sip seemed coffee. This is sugar cup of coffee, and how many cups can I drink? Sorry Ashville, I have had thicker mouthfeel, creamier, more chocolate,less sweet to go gah gah on this local.Dramatically overrated. (483 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Bottled 9/2012.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice subtle smoke qualities in the aroma and flavor. (652 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
2.35/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Botteled 2009.
Probably the best infected beer I have ever had.

Look great, sparkning like hell and from there it is a sour treat with some raspberrys mixed with some cherries in coffee.
To bad this is not the what the beer is all about. (240 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bmanning for opening this up at a recent tasting.

A: Pours a very dark brown with some mahogany hues to it. Nice off-white head.

S: Nice chocolate flavors really come through alongside a bit of coffee. Good notes of slightly-burnt caramel and roasted malts.

T: Much like the smell, with some dark dates and brown sugar coming through as well.

M: Medium body with good carbonation.

D: Very nice stout. I haven't had many things from Pisgah, but I'd love to get down and visit given their reputation and the overall beer scence in Asheville. (560 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 BuckeyeNation
2.85/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Midnight black with dark copper highlights. The upper third of the glass is filled with a fluffy chunk of caramel colored foam that looks decent enough. It deflates relatively slowly and leaves an underwhelming amount of lace on the glass as it does so.

The nose is typical RIS... with one exception. There's a mild-moderate amount of tanginess that shouldn't be present in a beer of this style. Beneath the somewhat enjoyable roasted maltiness is a 'raisins soaked in lemon juice' quality that better sort itself out on the taste buds or this will be a long 22 ounces.

Vortex II is as much of a disappointment as Vortex I was. It's hard to believe that I keep getting unrepresentative beer from this brewery, but I suppose it's possible. Age should not be a factor. This bottle has to be less than one year old and should last much longer than that anyway. Just noticed the label: bottled 1/09.

With respect to sourness, what is tolerable in the nose is less tolerable on the palate. The sweetness of the malt goes toe-to-toe with the tartness of <whatever> and comes close to losing the battle. Obviously, this is not what an RIS should taste like. Hershey bars and cold coffee are the only flavor links to normalcy. It looks like the taste and drinkability scores just took another hit.

Mouthfeel is tough to sort out given the offputting quality of the beer's flavor. In the end, it's too thin for the style, although there is some amount of viscosity present. For what it's worth, the alcohol is masked exceptionally well.

It's getting harder and harder to think positive thoughts about Pisgah Brewing Company when two of their major releases (Vortex I and Vortex II) have been average and below average respectively. I'm willing to give them a few more chances, but expectations will not be high. (1,813 characters)

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 ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nearly opague, black body with a thin, fizzy tan head.

Smell: Roasty, creamy aroma of dark malts, bittersweet chocolate, and even some licorice root.

Taste: Strong, flavorful espresso with sweet, dark toffee and hunks of bakers chocolate. Its really got a raw, earthy naunce to it, especially as hints of licorice and chicory emerge on the smooth, roasty finish. I gotta say I didn't notice the alcohol and had no idea it was supposed to be dramatic 11.7%. I'm blown away!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Low carbonation. Luscious, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I know, I have within me the power to just say "no thanks, I don't think I'll have that second helping of Pisgah Vortex II", but I mean, when you're in this person's house for as long as I am, with no real breaks, and you can't go home to spend time with loved ones, and you can't play Super Castlevania for the SNES, it is awfully hard to simply turn away from the only available source of pleasure. (986 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a clear plastic cup.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his bottle!

Gotta start the Dark Lord Day festivities sometime: might as well do it while in line. With this beer. Natch. It pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, molasses, dark barbecue sauce, and light smoke. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, molasses, burnt chocolate syrup, and toasted peanuts. It's not bad, but it is a step down from the smell. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a pretty good impy stout, but the slightly meek flavors and even slightly-er weak feel hold it back from real greatness. (694 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 0z. bottle. Plain cap. Really nice label. Bottle-conditioned and organic.

Chocolate aromas rise out of the glass as you pour it, backed by notes of coffee. The body is about as black-opaque as you can get, and only a thin thread of deep mahogany brown slips out at the base of the glass. The head rises up to a two-finger thick head, and then slowly compacts. It's dark tan and frothy, with some big bubbles still showing. A short 'mountain range' of lace is formed as the head falls, but unfortunately that initial clinginess fails as it goes and you're left with a thick splashy ring that was formed at the outset and then nothing much else.

The aroma is quite "mocha java' - and quite pleasantly 'chocolate-with-a-sweet-edge', and softly coffee-ish and nutty.

The flavor follows suit, and it's also a caramelish and toffee-like with a drizzle of butter. A bit like fudge as well. Nice! The dark malt acidity keeps it from becoming a hint too sweet at the start of the mouth; and then it warms to reveal its nutty and coffee-like notes across the middle as the moderate, stiff bitterness rises. Grassy hops flitter to and fro here and there, and all of those things fall together in a kind of sloppy finish in the end that has both its sweet points and its dry points. What you're left with is lingering caramel and coffee, which is not bad, and a smattering of grassy hop flavors that give it a little bit more character and balance it a bit.

Nicely done. And organic!!! Worth trying!

Overall, I find it really interesting and enjoyable. (1,550 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2009 bottling, which I believe was supposed to be infected.

Pours black with a finger of rich dark mocha head. This maintains some thin creamy froth that dots the sides of the glass with robust swathes of lacing. The aroma has quite a bit of dark fruit going on, along with notes of roasted coffee, tangy caramel, cocoa, and light earthy citrus. This has got some flavor but they aren’t exactly blowing up in the nose.

The taste is more dark fruit and a flush of roast across the back. Chocolate sweetness hangs on the edges and I’m even getting a little bit of leftover citric fruit here, although the hops seem overall pretty faded at this point. That dark fruit flavor just dominates this and is what mostly hangs in the finish, with a tart pithiness that lingers. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a firm creaminess that expands outward into the mouth. There is maybe just a touch of warmth to this but man; this is unbelievably smooth for an 11% beer. I guess the age has done this some good.

Well if this was infected, it was one of the better infections in a beer that I tasted. I find it hard to believe that an Imperial Stout could have THAT much dark fruit character, even if some age had exacerbated that particular characteristic. But anyway, the extra tart dark fruitiness of this actually didn’t really turn me off from this as much as I thought it would, as this overall came off to me like an Imperialized version of a Cherry Stout. I do have to give respect to the smooth drinking nature of this for the size though. Just crazy. Anyway, if you have any left in the cellar, I’d say that they are actually still drinkable to a point but I know that I’ll be seeking out another vintage of this down the line to get the full Vortex II experience. (1,809 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has been staring me in the face for a while, and I finally decided to crack it. THanks to womencantsail for this one.

It pours a very dark thick and frothy head with some large bubbles in the middle popping their way at a medium pace, then slowing as the big bubbles disappear. It leaves a nice thick lacing on the sides as well. THe beer is basically pitch black, it doesn't look super thick, but very dark it is.

The nose brings lots of nice dark malts. Plenty of roasted barley, some cocoa nibs and dark chocolate, bitter super dark chocolate cocoa powder, loaded with dark chocolate actually. Some oatmeal and creamy milk chocolate. A very light sweet malt, but at the same time a dry Irish stout like aroma. A slight roasty malt bitterness, and hints of Irish yeast spicy fruit aromas. It has a very slight sour fruit aroma as well, well not quite sour, more like super over-ripe.

The taste starts with lots of dark malts, heavy dark malts. It has some black patent malt, some roasted barley, a little chocolate malt, a lot less chocolate now. Some bitter roasted malt, some earthy super concentrated dark chocolate and bakers chocolate, but not much. A slight syrupy caramel, but not much of that either. A slight rich creamy malt and chocolate, slight oatmeal. Also that over ripe fruit flavor that sometimes comes from a RIS, I'm not exactly sure where it comes from, but it's there, I actually think it's from the burnt malts. Speaking of which, some burnt malt flavors, and a burnt coffee flavor too. Some dry Irish yeast like flavors, a little but of the spicy yeast finish as well. It dries off on the finish, more so than it started which was pretty dry. It starts to almost pull the moisture from my mouth as it finishes, with a lingering sticky mouth coating syrup. More lingering roast and dark malts, and more of the slight tangy acidic fruit and burnt coffee malts.

The mouth is creamy and rich, and full bodied but not quite as much as I expected it to be, with good carbonation.

Well, it has a good drinkability for the booze, it drinks more like a 7-8%, not 11.7%, very smooth and drinkable, but the supr dry finish combined with the syrupy mouth coating makes it a little iffy.

This started off very nice, great appearance, pretty good nose, the taste started good, but then fell off quickly, too much of the burnt coffee rinds and tangy acidic fruit. Otherwise a nice beer. (2,411 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

January 2009 release acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the Little Guy 2 BIF, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large foamy beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma dark fruit, licorice, roasted malts, some chocolate, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a hearty roasted malt character followed by some flavors of licorice, dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. There’s a mild hops presence but not much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely several other beers in the style that I would choose first. (903 characters)

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

Pours black with a brown head. Nose is powdered cocoa and molasses. Flavor is molasses, rich malts, some coffee in the back. Kind of a hop spicy thing on the back as well. Feel is extremely smooth and quite thick on liquid. Carbonation actually nips a bit at the tongue. This is a very nice RIS. Not bringing loads and loads and loads of complexities. But it's deep and robust enough that I would go for it in large portions if possible. (437 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 mdfb79
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 06/09/12 notes. A 2010 vintage bottle I got in February 2011, been wanting to crack this for a while. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours an almost black brown color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like a big, great RIS.

s - Smells of roasted malts, choclate, bready malts, coffee, light dark fruits. Very nice and balanced nose; I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla, dark fruits, bitter chocolate, and cream. Again, everything is balanced and very nice.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Body is very smooth and creamy; awesome body. No heat at all; very surprised the ABV is 11.7% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this beer a lot. It looks great, has a fantastic mouthfeel, no heat at all, and is just very balanced all around. Probably not the sexiest pick since it is not barrel aged or have crazy ingredients added, but it is a great balanced RIS. I have one more 2010 bottle I will most likely be opening in the early fall as it is drinking great right now. (1,064 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A full pint served at the brewery.

Pours nearly black with a dark tan head.
Sweet aroma with only a hint of alcohol; the high ABV is also very well hidden in the flavor. Some dark fruit in the taste; more in the nose. Plenty of dark roasted malt but only mid-taste on. Good sweet-bitter balance.

M: medium-full body with medium, low carbonation.

O: recommended

(Revised and adjusted with tasting at brewery in June 2013) (424 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A non-barrel aged beer opened by Paul the day following a tasting. Beer is black and forms a decent head of medium brown bubbles that doesn't leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low but steady. Looks fine.

Aroma is sweet and kind of chocolaty. Its mildly alcoholic but its overall really nice smelling. There is a subtle roast to the aroma.

Beer is medium and unfortunately leads off with a nice alcohol bite. The sweetness of the malt cuts it short though. The following flavors are chocolate and some coffee at the back. Its good. The mouthfeel is pretty creamy and I'm pleased with it a lot. I can turn off the barrel aged comparisons quickly and say that this is not a disappointing beer at all. (716 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mikesgrove for this one.

Batch 1 from 2006

Pours a 1/2 finger of fizzy tan head. Fades down quickly. No lace. Color is a dark dark brown, basically black.

Aroma: Kind of a let down here. Light chocolate and light roasted malts. Has a musky lemon aroma. Not what I was expecting.

Taste: Very light flavored ris. Has a lemon acidic taste to it. Chocolate, but very light. A little booze. Slight coffee. Roasted malts. All so light.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and acidic. A little boozy. Full bodied with a lower level of carbonation. Leaves a smoked malt aftertaste.

Overall, I was really excited to try this beer, but I am a little bit let down. Definitily not something to let sit, which is weird for an RIS. I will try a fresh bottle and re-evaluate it. (773 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ClockworkOrange for sharing this on 12/11/10.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears nearly blak in color with with some clear brownness showing through the edges. A dark brown cap forms about a finger strong and fades quickly leaving patchy lacework on the glassware. A swirl revives the head back.

The aroma is roasty dark grains that are filled with fusel alcohol that is quite bold. The boldness of the alcohol imparts a dark fruity scent of plum before turning more chocolate-like. There is plenty ignite dark fruitiness filling the nose with a fresh grainy scent in the back that comes across somewhat nutty.

The tastenof smooth chocolate notes both roasty and bitter. A fruity flavor of plums and raisins is present as well. There is a mild touch of what seems like oxidation present that adds a nice complexity which is enjoyable. Lingering in the mouth are sone faint citrus hops as well. Overall this is a mildly sweet tasting brew.

Medium bodied with a modest level of carbonation that is prickly on the tongue but not enough to distract from the overall smooth feel. Quite drinkable overall, I wouldn't mind having this one again sometime. (1,167 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

A: This big RIS has a black body. It is opaque except for the uppermost layer of the beer, where it appears a bubbly, dark brown. A small beige head sits atop the beer, but fades very rapidly.

S: Nice aroma with scents of roasted malt, chocolate.

T: A good tasting beer, with prominent chocolate flavors. At nearly 12% abv, this beer packs a punch that it difficult to disguise. Alcohol is present from the nose to the finish, though it's a well crafted beer and overall, tastes fine - just strong.

M: Medium bodied, not as viscous or thick as I would prefer from such a high gravity beer.

D: A solid beer. I would enjoy having this again. (681 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has a really deep malt character that is quite noticeable as I pour; concentrated malt notes leaning towards umami-like richness. The beer pours with a frothy, initial three-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is almost perfectly black and does not allow any light through no matter how close to the light I hold it. Heady alcohol aromatics mix with aromas of chocolate & coffee liquors. A significant burnt fruit character reminds me of a mix of prunes, figs and brown sugar encrusted raisins that have been left for too long under a broiler. Chalky cocoa aromatics, then well toasted bread, which then moves to a soft, deeply burnt, sharp roast malt character that is only really noticed if you really dig for it. I like how rich this beer is, but without being driven by the over-the top, sharp, acidic roasted grain notes that dominate so many American interpretations of this style. At times the mix of alcohol and fruit suggest an up front note of nail polish and methanol; luckily this is not too dominant.

Not as heavy bodied as I expected, though it is still pretty rich and chewy. Incredibly rich chocolate flavors are found in this brew; these chocolate notes are a mix of Dutch cocoa, chocolate extract and milk chocolate. A distinct fruitiness is noticeable here in the flavor, while not as burnt as the aroma might have suggested I get notes of prunes and figs. The finish is sweet from both the fruit-like malt and a touch of alcohol. There is also a dusty, slightly husky, toasted grain character in the finish that lingers for quite some time. A touch of dark-roast coffee notes are noticeable just a bit in the finish, but this note plays a lesser and lesser role as the beer warms up. The prune flavors get a bit more amplified as the beer warms up and it even picks up a bit of saltiness.

This is a pretty mellow beer for such a big imperial stout. Strangely the umami-like character I noticed initially in the aroma did not show up again in this beer really, including the aroma. I really like that it is focused more on the rich malt and chocolate character than the overly roasted, burnt character that is so often found in the style. Not a bad brew, somehow it is a bit too mellow. Said another way, this brew seems to work much better near 50°F / 10°C, as it gets much warmer & loses the carbonation texture it becomes a bit boring. So my recommendation is to share this with at least four other people so you get the best of this brew (don't serve too cold though). (2,522 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
2.64/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle served in a snifter.

Pours a dark molasses brown with a large frothy mocha head that quickly dissipates with minimal lace. Tart, berry, tang, etc dominate the aroma with light cocoa and roast malt in the background. Flavor is more of the same, tart berries and mild vinegar sourness up front but not quite as strong as the aroma. From mid palate to the finish with the non infected, horrible parts of the stout. The finish is actually pleasant and long lasting with cocoa, roast malt, and dark chocolate. Bummer, this beer could have been nice. (558 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours inky black and fairly viscous, with a thin head that settles to a brown ring. Smells quite licoricy with some bitter chocolate and roasty notes in the background. Very nice flavor with lots of licorice and bitter chocolate and some vinous notes, all very nicely blended. The chocolate notes end up with some cocoa elements as the beer opens up. Very smooth, and a great pleasure to drink. I've sometimes found Pisgah hit or miss, with their bigger beers mostly being hits, and when they hit, they often hit it deep. This is no exception- a great beer. (557 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
2.58/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I’ve had this bottle in the basement for two years or so and tonight for Todd’s fortieth seemed like the prefect time to pop this one. She poured a solid black with a monstrous tan head that took forever to recede. From the first pop of the cap we are disappointed with the beer. There’s an earthy funky fruity aroma with a hint of roast that fills my nostrils. The flavor is tart and fruity with a bit of nasty funk. Medium to light body with an insane level of carbonation and a slick tart mouthfeel. Obviously there is something wrong with this bottle, and I’m quite disappointed I’ve held on to this so long. So my first Pisgah beer is infected, well that sucks. (676 characters)

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