Pisgah Valdez - Pisgah Brewing Co.

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Pisgah ValdezPisgah Valdez

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

203 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 346
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 179
Gots: 20 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MuenchenerKindl on 11-24-2007

This robust Coffee Stout is a mouthful of flavor! A dark, roasty grain bill stands as the backdrop for a galaxy of coffee aroma and flavor, made possible by local organic bean roasters Dynamite Roastery. A Pisgah fan favorite, Valdez is brewed bi-annually and never lasts as long as the flavor.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 203 | Hads: 346
Photo of Mauerhan
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open on dark passenger Sunday, Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark chocolate brown with a plentiful two finger foamy head sitting up top that has some good retention on it. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell is FANTASTIC! Rich chocolate and roasted sweet coffee. More rich tones come out as this bad boy warms up. Seriously this is how coffee stouts are supposed to smell.

I was expecting this to kick me in the teeth with coffee but I was surprised by the taste I got. well balanced coffee and cream with cocoa shavings. Very Nice.

Mouth is creamy and very easy to drink. As I reached the end of the glass I was a little turned off by the cloudy amount of sediment I was given even from a very gentle pour. But really that is one of the only things I wasn't big on. I would LOVE more of this. A very well done coffee stout. By all means worth a look. (864 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mikesgroove sent this bottle my way in a recent trade, so thanks go out to him for the chance to sample this beer.

The appearance is a almost black, with hues of very dark brown around the edges. Big brown head that has moderate retention but no lacing is left behind.

Smells a whole lot like coffee. For a coffee stout, I would say that is a good thing though. Lots of malty sweetness in there too. Smells pretty damn good.

Taste is of course very coffee oriented. Sweet, roasted flavors run throughout. Fresh roasted coffee with loads of sweetness are noticeable. Finishes with more coffee that makes the mouthfeel very dry.

This is a nice stout and is pretty drinkable. Great beer overall, glad I got the chance to try it. (729 characters)

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ncvbc hooked me up with this in a recent trade. thanks walter!

64oz growler. sampled april 26/08.

pours very dark brown, nearly black. not quite opaque with a bit of orange showing at the edges of the glass. a big light brown head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. lots of coffee. dark chocolate. hints of light citrus. lots of earthy character too. nice light roast, more toasty than burnt. light alcohol. solid malt base.

taste is great. can i get some beer with my coffee? this is definitely a coffee lovers dream beer. lots of coffee. dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate too. light alcohol. huge cracker and bread malt. caramel. bit of dark fruit too. nice earthy character level. fairly low bitterness level coming across mostly as coffee.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. medium large body. silky smooth.

drinkability is great. nicely balanced. lots of chocolate and coffee. i think you really need to like coffee to appreciate this one. at times the coffee does overshadow the stout beneath, but overall i'm happy with it. it reminds me of mill street coffee porter, but at a slight level above. good stuff! (1,175 characters)

Photo of jraycee
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/ black with a nice milk chocolate colored head that fades to a little ring that leaves marks down the glass at each level.
Smell is alot of mild coffee notes. Small hops bite behind the coffee, and some toffee and earthy tones.
Taste at first is all coffee. As it warms the other tastes become more apparent to me. Unsweetened chocolate, caramel roasted malts, and a hops bite that hides behind what you think is coffee bitterness.
Mouthfeel is great. This is supposed to be closer to 7.2 than 6.8, but either way it hides the alcohol almost completely for me. The caffeine makes it even more deceptively drinkable.
Overall one of the best offerings from a great brewery. There is a reason this beer is so popular among BAs, and this batch is no different. I'll review one of the bottles later. (813 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into multiple glasses.

A: Pours a deep, tarry, black. Dark espresso crema colored head on top doesn't retain for very long, but leaves a little lace behind.

S: Holy crap! This smells just like chocolate covered espresso beans. Also along for the ride is blackened malt, dark fruit, and even more coffee and chocolate.

T: See above...nothing else to say.

M: Extremely coating, much like the oil spill from its' namesake oil tanker.

D: A scarily excellent coffee stout. Whew! (504 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for opening his growler of this on DLD!

Pours a dark opaque brown, almost black, some red, thick medium brown head forms, decent lacing. Smell is coffee, oats, caramel, some chocolate, more coffee, biscuity bread coffee elixir. Taste is similar, tons of coffee and chocolate, coffee roast, big malty middle, grains and oats, big coffee finish, very smooth and very drinkable, no rough edges on this guy. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, goes down easy. Probably the last coherent review I'll get from that evening, fantastic use of coffee in this one. Thanks Russ! (608 characters)

Photo of bhalter8
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (898 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (652 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from hobbie100. Thanks Richard!

I shared this with some good friends while watching football. Good times.

A: Valdez appears deep, dark brown in color with a half inch of beige head. The head displays good retention and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Fabulous aroma, primarily of coffee, followed by roasted malt and chocolates.

T: The taste was also terrific. Valdez is all about the coffee. The flavor is robust and grand, with a variety of chocolates and roasted malt emerging behind the dominant coffee taste.

M: Smooth and creamy with a healthy level of carbonation. Well done.

D: A superb example of a coffee stout. I highly recommend Pisgah Valdez. (677 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz can picked up at Brusin Ale's Asheville, NC 4.2015. This beer is fresh.

L - Pitch black with 2 fingers of head and huge tan lace left on the top of the brew, and lacing left all over the slides of the glass

S - Java coffee! Wow..amazing

T - Coffee! For those who like. Big malty body and the coffee is fresh and blends in perfectly.

F - Full bodied. Well carbonated.

O - An incredible coffee stout for 6.2%. So much flavor. And it won't knock you out. A perfect light weight coffee stout in my opinion. Tasty as heck. (541 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good ol' review #50... shared with dkachur over an afternoon tasting...

A: Opaque black, with a monstrous head of light brown seafoam. 3 fingers worth on initial pour, which recedes fairly quickly... But very active. Explosive bubbling action going on, causing it to look like a boiling potion. Once it reaches about a finger tall, it kinda stops receding. Wonderful.

S: A full, but clean coffee aroma - smells almost more like espresso qualities. Soft, chocolate notes.

T + M: Sugared coffee - the creaminess gives it a bit of a lactose quality in some ways without that kind of flavour going on. Quite a sweet beer with the little edge of coffeebean bitterness.

D: Wonderfully drinkable with a reasonable, but somewhat notable alcohol content. Very nice. (761 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC. Poured into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: This beer looks like coffee. A nice head of froth - latte-esque, fine-bubbled, beige, tan, chocolate, creamy, milky, frothy, foamy - settles and sticks around for quite some time.

Aroma: Perhaps the most authentic freshly ground coffee smell I've ever gotten out of a beer. It's the perfect medium-to-full roast, but that's not all there is. There's sweet, milky chocolate notes, hints of

Taste: I think I detect a hint of coffee in this beer. But seriously, wow. A really great, strong earthy coffee note - no, not a note, a really great, strong earthy coffee backbone, foundation, basis. There're grassy notes, light citrus notes, and tons of roast, dirt, and light smoke. "Coffee-tastic." Pungent, too - I could smell it halfway across the room.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, oily, milky, creamy, smooth, medium-bubbled. A little too big-bodied and fluffy, perhaps, but it works well with the light, delicate nature of the taste and the low alcohol content. Not cloying, sticky, or filmy, but very clean and crisp.

Drinkability: A fantastic all-around coffee beer, and the low abv% makes it even more drinkable. It's crisp, fresh, tasty, refreshing, AND it's organic ... what's not to love? Seriously though, it's one of the most authentic smelling/tasting coffee beers I've ever had the privilege of, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys their morning coffee strong with a half cream/half sugar. Very well made and very enjoyable. (1,535 characters)

Photo of Mavajo
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Extremely interesting brew. Had on tap at Barley's Pizzeria in Asheville - pint glass serving.

The pour is near-black with a 2-finger thick brown head. The bubbles in this head are huge, which to me isn't preferable - I prefer a creamier or finer looking head. Minimal lacing. As you near the end of your glass, you can catch some brown almost garnett hues around the edges.

The nose is pure joy - HUGE coffee presence. In fact, that's almost all you can get. Perhaps there's some chocolate notes there, but this coffee aroma is powerful. Fortunately, the taste follows up the aroma to perfection - again, massive coffee notes in the taste. Unlike some other coffee-dominated beers, Valdez avoids being overly roasted or bitter. It's extremely tasty with a nice sweetness.

The mouthfeel, however, is a bit of a disappointment. It's smooth and appropriately carbonated, but much too thin. When a beer is this dark, with a taste and aroma this dominant, I want a thick body to follow up that intensity. Valdez doesn't provide that.

All in all, this is an extremely tasty brew. Although I'm disappointed by the thin body, it does make it probable that you could enjoy a number of these in one sitting. One of my favorite coffee beers to date. (1,243 characters)

Photo of unionturf
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
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! (470 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the last pint at Barley's in Asheville on Friday, reviewing from a growler.

a - pours nearly black with a two-finger tan head, decent retention, great lacing

s - intense aroma of bittersweet chocolate and espresso...chocolate covered espresso beans, dried blueberries and hints of cherry, no alcohol evident

t - espresso and dark chocolate as on the nose, bitterness and sweetness nicely balanced, mid-palate has more bitter chocolate and espresso with some blueberries thrown in, finish kind of falls off in intensity, but espresso and dark chocolate flavors linger lightly on the palate for quite awhile, along with a cola flavor, not much alcohol detectable

m - medium-bodied, a bit too light bodied for my taste, but not by much, moderate carbonation, finish is well balanced on the palate

d - pretty drinkable for a coffee stout, taste is balanced and complex, relatively easy on the palate, alcohol doesn't overwhelm at all

Excellent coffee stout all around from Pisgah. It'd be nice if they made this a regular release. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Gish
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been hearing good things about Valdez for awhile, and I finally managed to get up to Asheville to get a bottle. The beer pours a standard black with a big fluffy tan colored head. The smell is one of a kind, I was really impressed. A whiff of cream and coffee hits the nose just like if you were holding some really good java. You can definitely detect some sweetness as well.

The taste almost lives up to the smell. I initially got a hint of creaminess with the coffee and malts coming through soon after. It trails off with some bitterness, definitely an interesting taste experience. The beer is moderately carbonated, leaving a satisfying mouthfeel. As long as you love coffee one would probably have little problem drinking a few glasses of Valdez. A very flavorful beer that is not overpowering but still unique. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that at least likes coffee somewhat. (900 characters)

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip....Huge thanks to GehenHerzog for this extra.

A- Pours pitch black with a mocha colored head. The thin head creates a film that encompasses the beer's body. Not much carbonation can be seen.

S- Deep roasted espresso bean with some toffee. Roasted malt and chocolate are also at the forefront. There is no debating the dominant robust coffee character that arrest you and never let go.

T- Roasted, sweet coffee beans with a chocolaty finish. Tastes just liken it smells. Small hint of bitterness from the coffee beans. Truly amazing flavor. Just like biting into a premium espresso bean.

M- Creamy and silky smooth. Medium carbonation. Not too thick, not too light. A bit of dryness from the rich coffee notes.

D- This is fantastic drinking. Creamy, smooth delicious coffee. I'll have no problem finishing off this bomber. I just wish I had access to more. (901 characters)

Photo of Lunch
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle gifted to me a generous extra courtesy of Marine1975 during and in-person trade at Sexual Chocolate 2011, thanks Shane!

Poured in my Troegs Troegenator mug from a 22oz bottles right after arriving home from SC'11. Pours thick and creamy and it bascially black in color, looks delicious and I can smell it already. Strong coffee aroma that smells incredibly fresh. Some cocoa, coffee steal the show and I am really enjoying this already. Taste is equally as nice with coffee, espresso, cocoa, milk chocolate and hints of bitter dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is fuller than some people are of themselves on this site.

Overall this is a great beer and one that I would have on hand at all times if it were available in my area. (730 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed with Kegatron, thanks to Deuane.

Pours a semi-thick black with big coffee colored head, with a great fall leaving a nice burnt orange/tan colored head, some retention and ok lacing. Smells big of chocolate when cold, but lots of coffee otherwise, also some licorice and roasted malt scents. Tastes like a coffee-holics dream with an overload of that magic coffee bean. Creamy cappuccino, milk chocolate, espresso, and bitter fresh roasted coffee with a nice hop finish. Medium in body, creamy and smooth with good carbonation, hides alcohol well. If you like coffee stouts, this is as good as it gets, extremely drinkable. Wish it was proper to start off every morning with a pint of this! (698 characters)

Photo of myocean
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm sure I have drank more of this stuff than anyone else, except for maybe Dave and Jason. As one fine beer advocate put it "this is all I'd need to go camping!" and that sums it up! This is amazing stuff that needs to be brewed year round!!! (243 characters)

Photo of SierraGS
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Pisgah and again at Barley's (and I bought a growler for later.) It is pitch black in color with a long-lasting tan head, and it is full of aroma from freshly dark-roasted coffee beans. If I could rate aroma at a 6.5 on the scale of 1-5, I would.

On each sip, coffee flavors fill the mouth. There is very little hop bitterness, nor is there much in the way of creamy sweetness. It really is the epitome of coffee beer, balanced in such a way that it is a session beer for any coffee lover. (511 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
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! (1,773 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles pitch black in the glass with a massive three-finger tan head that shows great retention and lacing.

S: Coffee, coffee and more coffee. There is more than a hint of dark roasted malts underlying the coffee but the aroma of freshly ground coffee steals the shows in the this one.

T: The taste is also big on the coffee, but with a very slight bitterness in the finish. The dark malts are more evident than in the aroma, but the sweet roasted coffee shine through again. If you like coffee, you'll love this stuff.

M: Creamy and medium bodied mouthfeel with tons of carbonation that just leaves your mouth tingling with that cup-of-joe taste throughout.

D: If reviewing this beer as a imperial stout, it may be the most drinkable I've ever had in the style. I tend to think of it more of a stout and a half instead of a double, but it's damn fine stuff either way. Highly recommended! (994 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to unclejedi for this via trade.

A: Just about black with 2 fingers of mocha head.

S: Coffee big time. Big roasted smell balances thing out a bit but make no mistake this is a punch of coffee in the face.

T: Coffee up front. The tricky thing with coffee stouts is that they taste fake. This was a nicely balanced coffee stout. The roast balanced it out much like the nose.

M: Nice and silky. Perfect carbonation.

D: Very nice. This would be an amazing session beer. Great big beer taste in a 6.8% ABV package. Again thanks to unclejedi for this great beer. (568 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A growler shared with Deuane, ClockworkOrange and JohnnyM2002 among others.

A: The stout is a dark cola brown color, almost indistinguishable from black. The growler, despite being wrapped in electrical tape, had lost a good bit of carbonation, so little if any head arose on the multiple pours.

S: The nose is a delicious coffee aroma, a chocolate infused aroma with touches of acrid bitterness. The beer is basically coffee with touches of stout added for good measure. The aroma is tough to beat.

T: The first sip is a rich coffee blast. The java flavor in this beer is damned near the strongest that I've had (and I've had Coffee Bender, Central Waters Coffee Stout and WnB). There is little to suggest that this is a stout, the focus throughout is the deliciously bitter coffee flavor. The coffee flavor lingers long after the sip is gone. And did I mention that the stout has a strong coffee flavor?

M: The coffee flavor is strong but beyond that the taste is rather thin. There is little stout body to back up the arabica beans. A vinous finish would have sealed the deal as a beer d'ambrosia.

D: I stayed close to this growler for as long as it lasted. If you like coffee in your stout, this is a must try.

EDIT:
A second growler resulted in a much thicker, fuller head. The subtle stout flavors also became more evident through the coffee. As a result, Appearance went from 4 to 4.5 and Drinkability went from 4 to 4.5. (1,434 characters)

Pisgah Valdez from Pisgah Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.