1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pisgah Valdez - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah ValdezPisgah Valdez

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

309 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 179
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mikesgroove on 12-02-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bung
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Almost black pour with a tan head. Not a lot of lacing. Aroma is roasty, coffee and malt, more coffee. Mouthfeel it a little thin, but still medium bodied. Taste has coffee and bakers chocolate all around. Nice roast coffee/espresso finish. A very pleasant coffee stout and drinkable with a low abv for an Imperial. As much as I mentioned coffee it is by no means overdone. Worth trying it you can get your hands on it.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into my Duvel glass, pours a slick dark brown to black, a whopping head of tan foam, sitting around forever, with great big bunches off lacing. Lovely. Aroma has nice dark chocolate notes, coffee grounds, mostly coffee, and thats pretty much it. Simply but effective.

Taste is a bit more diverse, some roasted malt entering the mix, maybe a bit of hop, maybe some cream, but its mostly coffee delight, much like the nose. Again, simple, but delicious. The mouth is smooth, full body, the lightest of carbonation, a nice finish. In all, I did a lot of searching for this one, and it isn't a home run hitter, but it is a fine beer.

Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with a tan, thick, two-finger head of foam.

S - This had great java aroma like a great cup o' joe. Some burnt toast aromas, too.

T - It tasted of dark coffee with great roasted malt flavor. It has a nice bitter grassiness.

M - It was soft and smooth. It seemed a little light bodied for an Imperial Stout.

D - This is a great coffee stout. I am not a coffee drinker but I love this brew.

Photo of bhalter8
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am starting to think Pisgah can do no wrong for me. I loved this beer on tap, and had waited to sit down with a bottle to review it. Spot on pour, jet black with a huge 2+ finger, tan head. Decent lacing left from the frothy head receding. The aroma is quite possible the most pungent (but in a very good way) coffee aroma I have ever encountered in a beer. Not quite as robust in flavor (but its not supposed to be I assume, it is not an IS or RIS). The coffee flavor is exceptional, but not quite as strong as the smell would lead one to believe. Some nice malty sweetness helps balance out the bitter coffee flavor. Little light and fizzy in the mouthfeel for my preference in stouts. In the end, a very nice coffee stout. I'd love to see Pisgah take this to the next level and make "Valdez Plus", they are on the right path for sure, just a bit more robust character would complete it for me.

Photo of CoolJosh
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very generously shared by treyrab at one of our rare tastings in February.

Pours an average black with some lighter brown see-through around the edges. A nice khaki highly carbonated head. Looks alright, I guess similar to that of a coffee stout.

This beer smells very similar to founders breakfast stout. Very airy, with a lot of bitter coffee. A little bit salty. Some bitter roasts but not many to speak of.

Very thin and way too carbonated which is really throwing me off. Not complex by any means but I've come to expect that with coffee stouts (not dissing the style). Tons of bitter coffee and some oats but that's hindered due to the carbonation. If I were to sit this down in the morning and drink a carbonated black cup of coffee, this is what I'd drink.

I don't know if this style is misclassified, but this beer is far from an imperial stout.

Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's nothing quite like an Imperial Stout on a 65 degree day in Carlsbad under a 90 degree heat lamp. It's a strange experience, but I wouldn't recommend it. I felt as though my life's blood was being drained from my body, one ounce at a time. Thankfully I had this Pisgah beer to sustain me or I fear I might not have made it. Thanks a lot to Mike for my first Pisgah beer. To be perfectly honest, I've never traded for a beer from this brewery because the name of the brewery has subconsciously irritated me. I'm happy to finally try it though.

Pours nearly black with a one inch, light brown head. The head has good retention and leaves a smattering of lacing as it recedes.

The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee with some cocoa. It smells quite nice. A low level of alcohol is noticeable. The taste is much like the aroma, centered on dark chocolate and coffee. Though I'm not an avid fan of coffee dominated stouts, this is quite good. There's a medium level of bitterness to the beer, but the hops have really no say in the rich flavor. No alcohol is noticeable, and considering the low percentage (imperial stout?) it's not surprising.

Full bodied with a nice level of carbonation.

Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This will be a day long remembered. Enjoyed this brew with some generous BA'ers.

Poured a muted brown, big tan head. Pretty big head, actually, even when split three ways.

Smells like milk chocolate and coffee ... not really bitter coffee, or espresso, etc., just straight up roasted coffee. Maybe a bit of roasted malt in the aroma.

Taste is primarily coffee, with some roasted malt, and maybe a splash of coffee. This is a fairly straightforward beer. If there's anything unusual about it, it's the lively, well carbonated mouthfeel.

Thanks mikesgroove for the PISGAH!

Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark ass pour, mocha head, thick, reduces to disk.

S - Lots of coffee and cocoa.

T - SO MUCH flavor. Hits all the buttons, but maybe a little bit unbalanced and too sweet.

M - Yes, cloying, at least a little.

D - Except for the unbalancing problem, pretty darned good!

Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove & ncvbc who offered me up bottles of this during the winter. Happy to try any coffee-upped stout, especially one with such a good rep. This one was bottled in September 2008. Bring me coffee!

Valdez is black, & very bubbly with a significant head on him. Smell is aggressively coffee as soon as the cork pops. Intersestingly, once it settles into the tulip, the nose simmers down quite a bit.

This is what coffee should taste like for those of us who don't dig it! The coffee taste is there, & fairly pronouned, but isn't drowning the baby beer behind it. The carbonation creates a definite bubbling in the mouth...other than that, I can't pick out anything in particular. It's just good. Weird. There's a solid body behind it of, well, something. And it's a good one.

All in all a very good beer. This one comes off as a beer that could be extreme, but's not, & that's just fine. Fits it's style alright.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber brought back from the source

a-blackish brown with a nice 1/2" espresso colored head that lingered for a while

s- ummm coffee but what were u expecting? this is a true coffee stout lovers dream as far as nose

t- ummm more coffee and what a wonderful coffee this is is...if it were available for me to brew in the morning i would have it everyday....this is by far the best coffee stout i have ever had...i think it tops breakfast stout if you are looking for coffee

m-this is def not a double/imperial stout it is a stout and has perfect mouthfeel for the style

d-i love it...i truly do...i like my coffee stouts in tenure and i wouldnt want to ruin it by drinking too many of these

this beer is excellent in all aspects....great job by pisgah

Photo of lackenhauser
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first sample from this brewery. Pours a deep black color with a huge, huge head. Almsot seems infected by the overcarbonation but I tend to think it is just the beer itself. Head has to be 2 inches thick. Ok aroma-the coffe smell is offset by a somewhat metallic and oxidized tinge. Solid roasted malt and coffee flavors dominate. Sort of grainy. Decent mouthfeel-finish is rather dry actually. A decent enough beer. Lacks whatever is needed to push it over the top.

Photo of rayjay
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try my first brew from these guys. I have been known to dabble in organic beers so lets check them out. Poured into a DFH stemmed goblet, my new favorite glass thanks to my awesome fiancee.

Pull out the cork and BANG! One proudly carbonated beer that makes the perfect cap of tight foam, nice black beer. Looking good so far!

Absolutely reeks of coffee dust. Some roasted grain in there somewhere too...talk about a coffee bomb. Very well made aroma.

Tons of coffee on the pallet. Low bitterness and a rather dry finish. Nutty malt characteristics, interesting that pale malt is one of the primary flavors, sort of showing up the sweet and bitter roasted malts. A very good stout but a bit of a let down from the killer aroma. A bit of a jalapeño flavor in the background that I'm digging.

Too much carbonation makes the body seem too light, and makes the beer feel "prickly" and taste like you burned your mouth earlier in the day. Perhaps over-pitched in the bottle.

Drinkability remains above average since the beer is so interesting, but is definitely a bit hampered by the dryness and over-carbonation. Certainly a fine beer though.

Photo of scifan
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I opened this thing it let out a loud hiss of carbonation then beer started coming out of the bottle I had to get this into my Pisgah pint glass pronto. Pours black with a light brown head. Smells like COFFEE!!! A big strong cup of java, there are some nice sweet maltiness in there as well, but not much. Taste just like it smells lots and lots of coffee goodness then some nice sweet malts to help balance it out. This one of the more intense coffee brews I've had. If you're looking for coffee then look no further than this one. The carbonation is a little much I like my stouts a little smoother and creamier.

Photo of craytonic
3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: looks and pours like a cup of joe with about a 2.5" head.

Smell: Fresh coffee with sugar and a little milk.

Taste: Same as the smell, plus a hint of dark rum.

Mouthfeel: Much lighter than I would expect in an Imperial Stout

Drinkability: Low, unless you love coffee beers, then add a point to each category.

I can't give a very good score for watery coffee, particularly since others (peche mortel, sexual chocolate) are so much better.

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pisgah week, part 2,from Bruisin' Ales. Pours choclate brown and thickish looking with big chocolate head. Aroma is coffee, and chocolate. There is a lot of coffee in the taste, I am not a coffee drinker but appreciated what it was, and a stout very well integrated with coffee. Of course on the thicker mouthfeel side though still smooth, not a sipper. Like a 1.5 stout not a RIS.

Photo of Damian
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Drank from a 750 mL/1 Pint 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with mikesgroove

The beer poured an absolute pitch black with a small, frothy, coffee-colored head that faded to a thick collar. Large drops of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was simply amazing. Coffee, coffee and more coffee. Freshly ground coffee beans, to be precise. Sweet, rich and super smooth. Some milk chocolate and vanilla notes came through as well. Usually I do not like one-dimensionality in beers, but in this case it worked.

Like the aroma, the flavor was dominated by coffee. This time, freshly brewed coffee. Super smooth, creamy and rich. Dark chocolate was also noticeable. Semi-sweet. Moderately roasty. Vanilla notes appeared as well, along with a touch of sweet cream. Some leafy hops came through on the semi-dry, roasty finish.

The mouthfeel was the only chink in this beer's armor. At only 6.8% ABV, I was not expecting this beer to be as full bodied as its higher alcohol counterparts, but I never thought it would be quite this thin. The liquid was far too light, fizzy and spritzy for any type of stout, never mind a double.

While the mouthfeel was less than ideal, drinkability was simply off the charts. I cannot remember the last time I had a beer that was so flavorful and still so quaffable. The moderate 6.8% ABV was hardly detectable.

With such a low alcohol content, I am uncertain as to why this beer is listed as a double stout. It seemed more like a full-flavored, coffee stout. In any case, this is an outstanding brew, albeit very coffee-centric. Definitely one of the tastiest stouts I have tried in a while and probably the most drinkable example of the style I have yet to sample. Finally, an organic beer that deserves some praise!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Mike, for a hand-delivered treat! January 2009 bottling

A: We have a rather massive gusher, resulting in a black beer with an overwhelmingly large dark brown head. Retention isn't all that hot, but this beer looks good allasame

S: Coffee. Freshly brewed, mellow and complex. Cold pressed? Some chocolate is present in the back, lending a decadent note to this beer. Pleasant roastiness. Quite awesome, really. As pronounced as the coffee is, there's enough going on behind it to keep this beer interesting.

T: Tastes like coffee. Just pure coffee. I usually dislike one-dimensional beers but this is one crazy good cuppa. Beautiful medium roast coffee with a little bit of chocolate. As a stout, this isn't all that great, but as a beer? Great. Finishes dry, long and bitter

M: Light with soft carbonation and a finish that's brilliant, this one's awesome. The pure coffee bitterness is netherworldly

D: This bomber is going in about 20 minutes, which isn't a great sign for me.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for this bottle...I finally got around to drinking this.

Pours a highly carbonated black colored liquid that has a dark red hue when thinned out into light. Lacing is not present, but small pieces of what would be a lacing trail slightly. Smells like bourbon with an almost sour note that I think comes from the roastiness meeting the bourbon. Almost light bodied, it feels highly attenuated with such carbonation and lighter feeling body.

It's fairly dry and seemingly higher in alcohol than what's presented on the label. The sourness of the bourbon meets the roastiness and right away a lot of flavor seems to be released from the palate due to the carbonation. The slightly sweeter bourbon does make an appearance after swallowing starting the aftertaste off nicely.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and light, making the overall drinkability go down slightly judging by mouthfeel alone.

Photo of unionturf
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Pisgah 3/13/09

Being a huge fan of Founders BS I was looking forward to this. It pours with a nice 1" head and is pitch black. Smell is all coffee all the time and I like it! Taste is a very nice coffee roasted malt taste and is perfectly balanced. Mouthfeel is very good and a little dry, it's a fairly drinkable IS and I happily finished a 22oz bottle in about an hour sipping it after it warmed a bit.

Pisgah has proven again they are a SOLID brewery!

Photo of glid02
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC - if I were smarter I would've picked up more than one.

Pours pitch black with a two-finger dark tan head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of creamy roasted coffee with hints of roasted malts in the background. A smell of things to come.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more complex. Roasted coffee flavors kick things off, with roasted malts coming in shortly. Near the end of the sip there's a good deal of dark chocolate that appears right before the mildly bitter, mildly dry ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with mild carbonation that makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I could have finished this a lot quicker but I've been forcing myself to slow down and smell the malts.

Overall this is a very well done coffee stout that's definitely worth a shot.

Photo of taylorhamrick
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out shiny pitch black with an absolutely huge light brown head with loose clingy bubbles. The head sticks around and leaves some good lacing. Really a beauty. I couldn't ask for anything more. The smell is filled with coffee and carbonation initially. Once the head dies back, there's a distinct sweetness, caramelly like cola. There's a lot of nice smells for a big stout. The taste is great. The coffee is somewhat subdued, but just a perfect compliment to the beer. There's a good backbone of chocolate sweetness with some cola notes. The roasted character really shines through, with coffee and roast barley, with a tiny bit of the slickness that black patent lends. I was really surprised at how much fullness there is without any oatmeal in the base. There's plenty of body and the coffee makes it pleasant, with a good carbonation level. Could be more chewy, but I can really appreciate this one. God, I drained every sip with zeal. I mean, this should be the beer that everyone shoots for when they throw coffee in. Oatmeal might make it a masterpiece, though I really love it as is. I wish I had more, and I wish everyone could try it. I feel privileged to have been in Asheville when this one was coming out.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick creme head. Nose is coffee, yes. I have been trying a lot of coffee beers lately it seems. This one seems fresher than most. Nice robust coffee. Thick and well bodied. This is purely a coffee beer. Feel is smooth on liquid and a bit vibrant on carbonation. If you want a coffee beer, this is a good one to go for. Great to try.

Photo of hitokiri
4.95/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pisgah is extremely hard to find, even when you live less than an hour from the brewery.

I kept hoping to find a bottle of this somewhere, but ended up finding it on tap at Barley's in Asheville.

Served in a pint glass, this was one nice looking beer. A very dark black color with a dark brown head about two fingers thick. The head lasted for a good while, but the best thing was the lacing. This had perhaps the best lacing I have seen leaving a stained glass-like curtain down the entire glass all the way to the last drop.

The smell was of a very nice roasted coffee (it is brewed with coffee from a local roaster) and sweet chocolate. Maybe a bit of nuttiness in there.

The taste was great, very balanced. You could definitely taste the coffee, but it was not like some other RISs that are brewed with coffee where it tastes like a strong coffee served black. There was not much hops, but that was O.K., since I like more roasted flavors from a stout. The bitterness seemed to come from the coffee and roasted malts. I found it really balanced between sweetness and bitterness, like a coffee with a lot of cream and sugar. The sweetness was not cloying and the bitterness not overpowering. Lot's of chocolate as well.

Mouthfeel was pretty normal for a RIS, I would say better than most.

Drinkability is dangerously high. To quote Beerfest: "I want to brush my teeth with it!". I could have spent my whole day in Asheville just drinking this one beer.

Definitely made up for missing Sexual Chocolate! This has been the best RIS I have ever had.

Photo of kasper
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Corked, caged bottle brewed in September 2008, consumed September 2008.

A: Hershey chocolate brown with a thick two finger frothy head the color of wet sand. Sheets of lacing peel down the glass.

S: Yeah, lots of fresh brewed bitter sweet black coffee. Espresso. Bit of chocolate. Almost as if inhaling finely ground coffee beans.

T: Lot of the nose on the taste. Palette is completely flushed with the taste of cold spend coffee and espresso. Coffee taste is raw, and natural, much on the bitter end.

M: Medium bodied with tingly, almost champagne-like carbonation.

D: A quality brew if you appreciate the taste of wet, natural coffee grounds. It could use a bit more sweetness. Overall, one of the lighter stouts you'd find in a corked, caged bottle.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a simply beautiful dark brownish/black - like root beer only a couple shades darker. A full rich 2 finger caramel colored head tops the beer and just does not recede. Super thick lacing completely covers the glass. Smells of perfectly roasted high quality coffee beans dominate the nose. I am in no rush to taste this beer as the aroma alone is especially captivating. First sip is a coffee rush that would satisfy most anyone standing in line at Starbucks. Like the aroma, the tastes screams perfectly deep-roasted high quality oily beans. A bunch of dark chocolate bleeds thru. The mouthfeel, like everything else about this beer is phenomenal.

Pisgah Valdez from Pisgah Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.