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Vortex II - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Vortex IIVortex II

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

255 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 132
Gots: 33 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Vortex II Alström Bros
Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bootdown21
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of MacQ32
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Ryan011235
2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
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.

Photo of Broanoke
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of joe1510
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
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

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Greasy
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Dope
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of WOLFGANG
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of Bcarson7287
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of farrago
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
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.)

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Ljoreilly
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of JCam9981
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of NastyNate11
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of jkane101
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of pixieskid
2.94/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Given to me by my cousin as part of a wedding present; didn't have the chance to try it while stateside so I brought it back to France. Didn't know anything about it but was happy to try it, looks as if this one is fairly well known/of interest. Unfortunately, it seems I got a bad bottle...it was a drainpour.

Pours proper stout black with a decent tan/offwhite head.

Nose, roasty and cardboard like; uh oh.

Taste; muddled roasty and chocolate, cardboard and a hint of cherries.

Mouthfeel; a little syrupy and thin but at almost 12% that is understandable.

Overall; always a bummer when this happens, I hate lugging bottles that end up having problems. Took the proper precautions I always do when traveling with beer, so seems like I just got an oxidized bottle, bummer.

Photo of Bluecane
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of blackie
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cask serving upstairs at Thirsty Monk

a: served in a short chalice, sporting only a thin ring, pure black in color

s: first aromas are dark cocoa, espresso, molasses, deep caramel, and earthy roast, sweetly aromatic but not overdone, sugary dark fruits - fig, hop aromas tend towards pine and earth, very smooth and balanced

m: carbonation on the lower end, as expected with a cask serving of course, body medium-full, silky smooth

t: immediate flavors of dark chocolate covered espresso with sweet underpinnings of dark caramel and molasses, fig, nice dark roasted malt, malt forward but certainly not too sweet, lots of complex toasted and roasted character, hop flavors of earthy pine impart a mild bitterness to the long finish

o: a tasty RIS for sure, plenty going on, in great balance between roast and sugar, and the cask serving compliments the beer well, alcohol totally hidden

Vortex II from Pisgah Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.