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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
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedge
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

September 2008

Black with a slight sliver of brown at the bottom of the glass. Tall, loosely foamy brown head. Coffee, milk, and sugar aromas upfront with some chocolaty roastiness. Roasted coffee and cream flavors...sweet and tasty...but there's no depth. Take away the coffee and would this be a quality stout? Medium bodied and way too carbonated for the style. A slight bit of warming in the throat which is confusing considering the low ABV.

I love coffee, I love coffee stouts...this one was disappointing. Not anything remotely close to an Imperial Stout either, though I don't think it's supposed to be. Maybe it's just this batch, but this beer is highly overrated.

Photo of tastybeer
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark but not completely opaque brew. Dark chocolate brown in color topped by a medium brown orange tinted head. The head, comprised of medium bubbles densely packed together is large at first and fades to a foamy 1/4 inch. Lace is sparse. Aroma reminds me more of a milk (+ coffee) stout. Creamy, lactic, bakers chocolate, roast coffee, nuts, very light flowery hops, and a bunch of caramel maltiness. In the taste the roast coffee becomes more dominant than the chocolate and this still seems to have a lot of lactic qualities. Body is medium and the carbonation is appropriate. Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit slick. Drinkability is decent.

Photo of tpd975
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good Morning from Tampa. The Fed Ex guy rang the door bell nice and early on this Saturday morning to deliver a wonderful package from unclejedi. Ah, Pisagh Valdez a brew I have been after since last year. It's morning, it's a coffee stout what the hell. I put one bottle away and threw the other in the fridge for a quick slight drop in temp.

A: Poured into my St Feuillien chalice. The the head towers quickly to over one finger. It is made of millions of tiny creamed espresso bubbles. The drink itself is very black. The name Valdez seems fitting for this one. The retention is nice with a nice solid cap hanging around for quite sometime. Slight lace noted.

S: Talk about a morning pick me up. I have already had my coffee this morning, but let me tell you this one has more aroma than my normal cup of gourmet chocolate infused joe. Tons of nice fresh roasted coffee teems from the glass. Light hints of cream along with a hint of milky chocolate. Make no mistake about it coffee is what this one is all about though.

T: Mmmm, wish I had started my day with this rather than the real thing. Bold fresh roasted chocolate with just a hint of cocoa. I buy some premium chocolate coffee and this tastes better than the real thing. Behind the coffee and chocolate is just a bit of sweet cream, and a touch of darkened brown sugar. Coffee + Chocolate + Cream = Happiness!

M: Light for the style and somewhat thin. This is not necessarily bad though as it allowed me to put down the whole 750 ml myself rather easily.

D: See above. Very tasty and dangerously drinkable.

Wow thanks unclejedi. What a wonderful brew. I am glad I have another to share with the local tasting group.

Photo of barrelman
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears clear and black with the darkest head I've seen on a stout. Smells like an Irish Coffee, missing only the more vanilla notes. Tastes nutty with mildly roasted coffee shining through. Very dry. A little harsh in the end and would benefit from a little aging. This is a great beer that deserves it's place in the top 10 IS's. Well done.

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

750ml bottle from mikesgroove, thanks Mike! Bottled in September '08.

Appearance: Into a wide-mouthed goblet, no coffee mug on hand unfortunately. A pitch black body with two fingers of dark tan foam. Head retention is great, leaving rings of lace as my glass empties. Great looking stuff.

Smell: Smells like a bag of freshly roasted coffee. There's a bit of roasted malt in there as well, but not much gets past the coffee aroma. I might be getting a hint of caramel as it warms, but maybe I'm trying too hard.

Taste & mouthfeel: Coffee. Pretty much just coffee. This doesn't so much taste like a coffee stout as it tastes like a cup of coffee with a little beer in it. Malt is faintly present, but this is very dry stuff. Fortunately for this beer it's got a great coffee character, like a freshly brewed shot of espresso, not overly bitter or acidic. The coffee flavor even lingers on throughout the dry finish, it's the first thing tasted and also the last. Is it one-dimensional? Maybe. Is it good? Definitely. I'm sure some people won't enjoy this, it really depends on how much you enjoy coffee. As for myself, I could drink a ton of this stuff and not get sick of it.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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

This is the second time I've had this beer. The first time was out of a two week old growler and THAT was awesome.

This sample exhibited more head...three fingers worth. Slow to subside, it eventually came down to a creamy coffee film with some mild lacing down the glass.

Smell was very definitely java but I also get a good dose of cocoa out of this. Very enticing.

Taste was more coffee and dark chocolate along with some vanilla and wood.

Mouthfeel starts out a little prickly but as the beer warms and mellows, it mellows to a creaminess that isn't initially expected.

Drinkability is very nice as as this beer is not too big. It's a very enjoyable 750ml of jo.

Photo of kkipple
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After all the hype I thought I'd better throw in my two bits. Fresh outta Pisgah in new 750ml bottle form, I grabbed a few of these the day they hit shelves in Asheville and drank one a few days later.

A. The bottle disgorges a fat, 2 finger tall frothy tan head and a jet-black, opaque brew. Looks like, well, coffee. You'll tire of hearing that word by the end of the review, trust me. Over time the head subsides down to a few centimeters and leaves a few tidbits of lace behind. Lots of white yeast globs settle to the bottom of my glass. A bottle conditioned coffee stout?
Yes please!

S. Just... coffee. Rich, yet restrained and non-acidic coffee. Char, earth, cocoa, roasted malt and java. Some malt sweetness comes through but this is coffee all the way. Intense and clean, this is a real winner.

T. Coffee delight. Sweet and roasty and dare I say, mellow. Exceptionally well done, but rather one-note. If you like your morning joe you'll LOVE this.

M. Fantastic. Zesty, fluffy carbonation tingles the tongue and the lush beer fills the mouth with creamy bubbles. The finish is pure mocha and lingers long. Simply outstanding!

D. Quite high for what it is. Valdez is light (at only 6.8%) and avoids the harsh espresso / burnt roast character that many coffee Imperial stouts boast. Instead, this is a flavorful, yet medium bodied coffee stout that remains terribly drinkable. Reminded me a great deal of Allagash Black in that it was purposely subdued to great effect.

Valdez is another hit from the mad brewers at Pisgah. This is one of the best coffee beers I've had, ever. Seek it out if you're a devotee of the noble bean!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have to make note here of the bottle from Batch number three that I was able to enjoy a few times already in the last couple of days. THis maybe my all time favorite beer. Just has literally everything you could ask for and more. Rich decadent looking dessert, deep dark chcolate color with a towering head of fine tan. Slight reduction with time still elaves a copious amount of spider like side glass lace and lots of rocky crown.

The aroma is simply wonderful. A drop dead, drag out coffee knockout. Rich notes of sweet coffee are just all over this. It really is the best of both worlds here. Nice touches of sweet molasses in the finish that starts to become bitter and leaves you with more coffee then beer taste as you go through.

Having had the chance now to try this one each time it comes out from various different sources, I am thrilled to see this one go back to the roots. THis is like liquid heaven to me. I would honestly take this over pretty much any other beer I have ever had, and the fact that it is now bottled, just makes it even easier. Kudos to Dave and Jason for this one again, I know they get sick of hearing it from me, but this one is my crack. This is the reason I drink beer.

Photo of goindownsouth
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikesgroove for allowing me to take part in this bomber.

Jet black in colour, effervescent head that died quickly with essentially no lacing throughout. Aromas strong of roasted coffee and some malt tones. Not much else. The coffee flavor was pretty dominant. Not a bad thing. But there really was little else. Slight roasted flavor to play with the coffee notes, but not much else.

A decent brew, overall.

Photo of Sponan
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing based on notes from a prior tasting.

A - Black with a fair head spoiled by overfilling. Retention is good.

S - Overpowering coffee/espresso. Hard to get much else, although some chocolate and berry appears as it warms.

T - Very similar to iced coffee. Not much else is apparent. The bitterness is well balanced.

M - Carbonation is good, but I like my stouts thicker. This one is a bit thin.

D - Pretty easy to drink for a stout, seems a little light on the ABV for an 'Imperial', aiding the drinkability a bit. The balance aids as well.

This definitely has more 'coffee' to it than most other stouts I have had. This is good, but strikes me as a one trick pony kind of beer. Personally I would prefer a little more complexity.

Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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!

Photo of grub
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Photo of
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler at DLD, courtesy of NFLMVP - Thanks!

Poured a dark brown/black. Modest, brown colored head.

Coffee hit me first, coupled with roast. Not much in the way of sweet in the nose of this one. Maybe a hint of caramel.

More bitter than sweet, as a product of the coffee and roast. Hopping is pretty minimal, maybe a bit of grass. As with smell, not much sweet came through for me, just a bit of toffee. Looked for fruit, but didn't find much.

Mouthfeel was medium, felt kinda thin. Carbonation was low. Dry.

Good flavor, particularly if you like coffee. Thinner than I expected, especially with a name like Valdez. Pretty good stout, but better ones out there if you are looking for the coffee variety.

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

I had this beer quite awhile ago and I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. Thanks very much to Brickstoredave and RustyDiamond for the chance to try it. I'm a big fan of the bigger beers from Pisgah, and this beer doesn't disappoint. It's very good. That being said, It's not my absolute favorite RIS, or even coffee stout, but it is very nice.

Pours black with fairly light carbonation and head- I'll chalk that up to the growler. The aroma is all coffee, coffee, coffee, with just a touch of dry malt in the background to support the coffee. This is very much a black coffee tasting stout- no cream here to lighten the experience. As much as I like that, I think a little creaminess brings out more of the chocolate notes found in coffee and balances some of the acids and tannins. The flavor has some of those nice chocolate and earthy characteristics of a good cup of Sumatra, and obviously good quality coffee was used. I'm always amazed at coffee and chocolate stouts that skimp on the quality of these additions- they should be the best available. There is a slight burst of acidity at the finish that I ould have wanted to see a bit tempered, but overall more flavors of laser like coffee. A bit of a one-note wonder, but what a nice note! Very smooth and drinkable and the coffee flavors are huge, but the overall body could be a bit more robust and the flavors could be a bit more varied, otherwise its another success from this great brewery.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for this growler.

64 oz. of goodness poured into a nonic.

Wow, who likes coffee? Pours a midnight black with a huge three finger brown head that stays and stays. Nice webbing left on the sides of the glass. Smell is sweet caramel, espresso, and coffee grinds. Definitely a sweet smelling coffee beer for sure, but by far one of the most enjoyable. This is organic? Taste is actually pretty different from the smell. More of a bitter coffee flavor up front with cocoa and cane sugar. Gets sweeter towards the end with a caramel malt and coffee ice cream sweetness. But really, this is organic? Creamy mouth with the slightest hop sting. Dry in the aftertaste with some smokey notes. Wow, this beer is complex with many different flavor levels. Fortunately I was able to share the wealth with a buddy of mine and he agreed with me on how good this beer really is. Mike, thank you so much for the opportunity to try this beer. I can't believe I have three of their bottles right now just waiting to be enjoyed. This beer is amazing, plain and simple. They really need to bottle this next time around.

Photo of myocean
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
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!!!

Photo of WeisGuy
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much is owed to atsprings for the share.
Growler poured into a brandy snifter.

A semi-vigorous pour forms a voluminous head, two inches off the dark body and excellently retained. Head color is a tan-custard hue, and the foamy mass looks solid enough to pluck out of the snifter and throw it across the room. Body is pitch black and opaque, although some transparency is evident when the snifter is tipped and held up to the light. The aroma is equally as enticing, packed with notes of fresh-baked cookie dough, gingerbread, caramel-infused coffee, and fresh ground coffee beans.

Valdez lives up to its name, as it coats the palate with an oily-thick, utterly creamy body that requires substantial chewing with every sip. The flavor is like lukewarm, creamy coffee that has been deliciously fermented. Hazlenut roast rounds out the malt profile, while a perfect bitter coffee bite leaves a lasting impression. The drinkability of Valdez is superior for its style. The complexiy and flavor are almost unparalled (although Big Boss' Coffee Stout runs a close second), and as the beer warms it becomes increasingly delicious. A must try for beer-lovers everywhere.

Photo of atsprings
4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice jet black with a decent tan head that diminishes to a lasting thin layer. Aroma is dominated by fresh ground coffee, just a hint of chocolate tries to poke through, but really cannot surpass the coffee at all. The taste is a coffee lovers dream. As others had said in their reviews, it's almost hard to tell that this is beer. The mouth has a great dryness and is very smooth with only a slight alcohol presence. This is an absolutely spectacular beer, another great one from the guys at Pisgah.

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

Kinda light for a stout in appearance. Thin white head. The nose is intense coffee. Starbucks. Hard to believe this is beer. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied at best. Tastes like coffee, with a roasty bitter finish. Fascinating for what it is, but almost difficult to compare against other stouts. Unique for sure.

Photo of akorsak
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of Enola
4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutly outstanding. A nice deep black with a tan head. The smell is like a pot of fresh coffee brewing. The taste is like a gourmet blend from the downtown coffee house. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability os wonderfull as well. This beer continues Pisgah's upward swing in NC brewing. The next time I have this brew I may add a litte cream and sugar. Great job Pisgah!!

Photo of HopDerek
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

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