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Vortex II - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Vortex IIVortex II

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

244 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 244
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 131
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mikesgroove on 06-25-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vortex II Alström Bros
Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AngusOg
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

AngusOg, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -0.7%

aasher, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of WCW
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

WCW, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of mverity
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black; opaque at the center but transparent at the edges. Aroma is chocolatey and medium/deep malt. Touch of toffee as well. Taste is very chocolatey, nice bitter chocolate. Sweet malt towards the middle. Body is a bit thin for a stout, but carbonation is spot on.

mverity, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

2dogbrew, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of Axnjxn
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Axnjxn, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of jak
4/5  rDev -0.7%

jak, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

BeerDawgs, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of bauermj
4/5  rDev -0.7%

bauermj, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of RaggaD
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

RaggaD, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

kylehay2004, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle picked up in Asheville. Dated 5/13, so 6-7 months of age on it.

A - dark dark purple to black with a little rim of tan head

S - big dark fruit, I smell grapes, cherries, raisins and chocolate in there too

T - like drinking chocolate covered raisins, beautiful sweetness that's well-balanced by finishing bitterness. For being as big as it is, I can't taste too much of the alcohol, but can feel the warmth

M - this was the highlight for me, thick and creamy, the beer seems to coat the tongue and just cascade across my palate. Wow.

O - one of the best feeling RIS's I've tried. I had this beer side-by-side with the Valdez, which was also very good, but in the end I preferred this one. Very well balanced between sweet and bitter and all kinds of fruit and chocolates made this beer a great pick for a cold December night in Canada

Ivanhoes_Backpack, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

PEIhop, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of Troville1990
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Troville1990, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of bootdown21
4/5  rDev -0.7%

bootdown21, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of MacQ32
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

MacQ32, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4/5  rDev -0.7%

BlackBelt5112203, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of Ryan011235
2.78/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Delirium tulip on 2/6/12

9/11 noted on the bottle

Procured for MbpBugeye with thanks to PDXHops

A) Dark brown; almost murky with a sandy brown head of nearly one finger. Thin, wispy retention. Some drippy lace, too.

S) Peanut and earthy backwoods aromas. Cooked grains - similar to oats. Notes of cracker and unsweetened cocoa, the latter being very mild. Some dark sugar overtones. Doesn't smell sweet though. This is really weird.

T) Decent showing of roasted coffee with dry layer of burnt chocolate. Plump grain notes which I like. Nearly charred with earthy overtones. Some booze peppers the back half.

M) Medium-full body. Soft viscosity with underpinnings of grittiness. Moderately low carbonation. A little alcohol tingle. I like the feel.

O) This would make a decent year-round offering. For a limited release? Not so much.

Ryan011235, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of Broanoke
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Broanoke, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of joe1510
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
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

joe1510, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Cynic-ale, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of Greasy
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Greasy, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of Dope
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/13. Bottle 055 of 534. States 11.2% ABV.

A: Not quite pitch black pour. Good sized light brown head that fades slowly. Good retention, above-average lacing to boot. Not bad.

S: Strong whiskey. Heavy on the toffee and caramel and...is that toasted coconut? Nice. Think it's from the oak but it's definitely a nice toasted coconut aroma. This one's hot, not really getting any of the base beer. It's basically just sweet whiskey and oak with a hint of chocolate.

T: Lots of sharp whiskey up front. Biting alcohol along with toffee and caramel again. Lots of vanilla from the oak. Roasted malt is here but pretty mild. Just a sort of generic chocolate and maybe the lightest hint of coffee? Flavors are well integrated, it tastes more like a chocolate bourbon than anything (does chocolate bourbon even exist?). The finish is loaded with oak and is quite dry as a result.

M: Pretty heavy and thick. Dry in the finish.

O: Heavy barrel aging on this one. The bourbon is fairly tasty but I'm not getting a lot from the base beer. Seems weak despite the ABV. Strange since their Valdez was excellent I though. Oh well. A pretty good beer overall, it's just that the base beer can't keep up with the barrel elements and gets drowned out, leaving a bit of an unbalanced brew.

Dope, Aug 12, 2013
4/5  rDev -0.7%

WOLFGANG, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3/5  rDev -25.6%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jul 14, 2013
Vortex II from Pisgah Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.