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Pisgah Valdez - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah ValdezPisgah Valdez

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

296 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 296
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 176
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: 296 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated December 2009 courtesy of Robert. Thanks for the opportunity!

Pours a dark brown. Head dissipates almost immediately leaving a thin ring along the edges.

Smell is mostly coffee with a touch of chocolate and caramel. Not robust and in your face, but still present for being nearly a year and half old.

Coffee is front and center. Caramel and roast provide support. Easy drinking and rather simplistic. This isn't a dig on the beer, it's just an easy drinking coffee stout with no real bells and whistles. Robert was kind enough to send a 2010 as well, so I'll have to do a comparison at some point.

A bit thin and slightly watery, which seems to me a problem for many coffee stouts. Overall, this was a nice light coffee stout that didn't overwhelm me after a long run.

BarrytheBear, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of n2185
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with about a finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: There are some roasted malt and chocolate aromas in there, but mostly it's just coffee. Full-bodied, rich, dark-roasted coffee.

T: Very similar to the aroma, this beer is just bursting with rich, dark-roasted coffee flavors. There are touches of roasted malt and chocolate, but mostly coffee. The finish is surprisingly smooth and not bitter.

M: Medium-thick body with low-medium carbonation, this beer is thick and creamy.

D: This beer goes down very easily. It's a pretty simple beer, tasting more like a glass of high quality iced coffee with carbonation than a beer. Very straight-forward, but very good as well.

n2185, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chawk for hooking this one up. Served at our Night of Fedor tasting with the Chicago Crew.

A - Black beer with a brown head. Decent lacing, pretty nice looking brew.

S - Rich coffee on this, very strong aroma profile for a something that is less than 7% abv. Good roasted note with a little bit of burnt cocoa.

T - Roasted malts, awesome coffee profile. This is really how a coffee beer should be done. Great bitterness combined with a sweetness from the burnt cocoa. Great beer all around.

M - Full bodied, nice dose of carbonation for the style.

D - So good, could drink tons of it. Would love to have this beer again and highly recommend it to others.

AgentZero, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of dgugliuzza
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

dgugliuzza, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from January 2009.

Pours opaque black with mahogany edging and a tight beige head. A partial skim coat and roped lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, coffee grounds, bitter chocolate, and Oreo shells. A hint of char and smoke follow through.

Medium bodied with a slight chew. Thinnish for the style. The mouthfeel is soft and a bit creamy.

Brownie bits with espresso and chocolate malt start the palate. Medium roast coffee steps forward as well as bakers chocolate and a hint of Kahlua.

Finishes with shades of coffee, chocolate, and a bit of char.

Tasty enough, but I'm left wanting more of everything. The coffee character is a bit meekish and the stout base is rather average.

brewandbbq, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of CooperEllis
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a trade w/ trev1179
22oz into DFH snifter, celler temp.

Deep dark brown on the edge of black, solid color with sligh feathering of color on the edges where it mixes with the bubbles. Slight head, thing lacing, both a bright tan.

Aroma is nice, light, some acrid coffee notes but otherwise pleasant with malt and coffee dominating, slight milk chocolate as well.

The flavor isn't long on malt, but there is some roasted malt some coffee and a touch of bitter chocolate. The taste alone isn't much to stand on, but the combination of the taste with a light but still creamy mouthfeel makes this more drinkable than the sum of those two characteristics.

Very light for a double stout, I wish the abv was slightly lower because I think this would become a frequently sought out 'toss in' in trades or coveted extra. As is, I'll be happy every time I see one show up.

(103rd)

CooperEllis, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Nate, drank from my Hill Farmstead glass... Dark brown with a nice light tan head, good retention and lacing... The aroma is tons of fresh coffee, has the Intelligentsia of HBI... The taste is equally nice, good light coffee but its fresh. Super easy to drink.

jrallen34, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Onenote81 for sending me a second bottle - definitely helped me confirm my feelings about the first. Thanks!

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown with one finger of dirty tan head that quickly dissolves into a dirty halo.

Smell -- Espresso, cocoa, soft caramels, and mild woodsmoke. Very inviting.

Taste -- Roast malt, gas station coffee, cocoa, and toffee. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes much more apparent, akin to drinking a Black Russian. Lingering flavor of stale coffee.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full body with an abundance of sharp, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability -- Not bad, though a bit uninspired. The coffee fade is apparent, the carbonation is on the sharp side, and for the abv it tastes too boozy. While I'm glad I got to try it, this one didn't live up to its reputation.

yeahnatenelson, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to injuredreserve for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice black color, nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy light tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/coffee notes, with some nice licorice/vanilla notes. The taste is really nice, malty, very nice chocolate/coffee notes, and some nice sweetness from the vanilla note. Medium body, has a nice creamyness to this Imp. Stout. Very Drinkable, a nice surprise.

Wasatch, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Psycohops for sharing on 1/22/11.

This bomber was dated Jan '09 and it was poured into a snifter. It appears a dark brown color with lighter brown around the edges. A finger of big bubbly head appears and slowly recedes. Quite a creamy looking head that leaves plenty of lace about the glass. A swirl revived more than a finger of head.

The smell of this brew is coffee mostly with some citrus bean and earthy components. A little bit of musty grain is evident along with a characteristic that seems quite nutty.

The taste is citrusy from seemingly a combination of hops and coffee beans. A light twangy aspect of alcohol is evident along with a musty grain flavor. Roasty with chocolate and coffee throughout. A note of slight oxidation is present.

This is a medium bodied brew with an aggressive level of carbonation that is fizzy, bubbly and prickly on the tongue. Overall quite earthy and drinkable. There is seemingly no indication of alcohol in this brew. For a coffee offering that was 2 years old, I was impressed that it didn't seem to drop out much. I wonder if coffee character that drops out in some brews is the product of different means of adding the coffee that was brewed or aging over beans. Regardless, I'd like to try this one fresh to have a comparison.

stakem, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of GehenHerzog
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, purchased at Bruisin' Ales (Asheville) poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter

A- Pours a deep brown with a 1/2 inch tan beige head that doesn't stick around long but leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Coffee, coffee, coffee and a little roasted chocolate malt.

T- The strongest coffee tasting beer I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. The coffee flavor is right on the edge of being perfect and overpowering but stays on the side of perfect. The coffee bitterness is more noticeable than any hop bitterness present.

M- Extremely smooth and creamy. Nearly perfect carbonation

D- Not a huge a beer in terms of ABV but the alcohol is very well hidden. It goes down smooth with no burn and the flavors keep you coming back for more.

This was a wonderful example of a coffee stout. The coffee is prominent in this beer and it seems as if you could drink it for breakfast. A great offering from Pisgah Brewing.

GehenHerzog, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of jpro
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz bomber at Peabody's in Boone. Poured into a standard shaker pint...

A: Near pitch black, maybe some dark brown in there; forms a nice, one-finger, thick, dark mocha head; leaves a few strands of lace and there's virtually no retention after a few minutes.

S: Smells pretty darn scrumptious; rich, rich coffee aroma with some caramel and toffee; maybe some sweet malts a la malted milk / Whoppers, too.

T: HUGE coffee! Wow! Super duper roasted malts; leaves a lasting burnt malt bitterness... this coffee bitter dominated any hop bite... crazy.

M: Near full-bodied and creamy... nice.

D: Enjoyable, yet more of a beer to savor; coffee is almost overpowering on this one! This is the biggest coffee stout I've had!

jpro, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of UnDeadly
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Glass stein

Appearance - Pitch black, with a tan head that foamed easily. Generous carbonation maintains the head for some time, though lacing was minimal.

Smell - Toasted coffee almost exclusively, with muted notes of earth and biscuits.

Taste - Coffee notes come in quickly, and then fade to a semi-dry, toasty finish. Nothing remarkable really.

Mouth Feel - Overcarbonated for the style, and too dry/astringent. Body feels thin and unremarkable.

Drinkability - Price wasn't horrible, $6.50 I think, and it's a local brew which is always good to support. ABV keeps it drinkable as well.

Really not impressed, to the point that I will actually try this beer again just in case something is off in my palette. It's priced right, and I do enjoy supporting a local brewery, especially one as innovative as Pisgah. Their Vortex II was excellent, and this one was rather boring.

UnDeadly, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Huhzubendah, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by the other Matt recently. Thanks other Matt, this was a medium list want of mine.

Beer is black and opaque with a thin tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Head has moderate retention to it.

Aroma is roasty, mildly sweet and uncomplex. Smells like a big stout.

MMMM....sweet stout. Beer is medium in body and fills out the palate nice, coating the mouth with a strong feeling of sweetness with some chocolate flavors and some moderate bitterness at the finish. Coffee and roast are distinctive in the finish. I was surprised how sweet and chocolaty this beer was. A very nice beer overall.

drabmuh, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for providing this bottle.

Pours near black with a good mocha head and a bit of a thin cap as it makes its way down the glass. The nose is really full of chocolate with a good amount of roast and coffee there as well. The chocolate really rips through everything else and is quite enjoyable. The taste is the same. There is some roast and coffee in the background, but there is a diverse array of chocolate types coming through. Milk, semi-sweet, and dark all seem to make their way into the mix. Pretty full, rich body. Really an enjoyable drinking experience. Thanks again, fellow Mid-Atlantic Bears fan.

Thorpe429, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of nlmartin
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blind Bomber #2 Firing this one off live. The beer started out cold and was poured into an Imperial Pint glass. The beer will be allowed to warm to a desirable temperature. After about 20 minutes of wait time sip wait sip wait some more the beer is ready to go!

A- 3.5 The body of the beer is almost straight black. The head didnt last long at all and resolved to a thin ring of lightly creamed coffee coloration. No lacing to speak of on my glass.

S 3.5 The aroma is of darkly roasted coffee. A bit sweet and a bit chared.

T 3.5 Dark roasted lightly sweetened coffee. The char on the finish keeps the sweetness in check. Not bad but want a little something more.

M / D 3 / 3.5 The body of the beer is just shy of medium the carbonation levels are low but I think this is a good thing for this beer. The beer was easy to drink. A bit one dimensional on the coffee. Not a bad stout but think I might pass this one up.

Reveal: This beer was a want. Pisgah Valdez going to have to go out on a limb on this one and state its lacking a bit to be an Imperial Stout. Thanks Sholland119 for sending this beer my way!

nlmartin, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a thick tan head that is slow to reduce.

Has a nice roasted coffee smell, with a fair mount of malt as well. Mild chocolate notes as well.

Well balanced, with decent coffee taste, chocolate nibs, and oats. Mild bitterness midway that fades as it is swallowed.

Medium bodied, mild bitterness; pleasant.

Highly drinkable, my only disappointment is that I cannot find this locally.

TheHoppiest, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured into a New Belgium glass a dark brown color with a nice 1 finger tan head that settles to form a coaster. Roasted coffee, malts, tobacco, and leather dominate the nose. Medium mouthfeel. pretty velvety. Slightly sweet flavor soon gives way to a nice roasted coffee flavor that linger on for a while. Not the best coffee stout I have had but not bad either.

kbutler1, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to stoutfiend27 for providing this bottle for a recent tasting that we had.

Poured into a tulip, which was my weapon of choice for the day, the beer is a fully opaque black that is capped by a fluffy and creamy hot chocolate-colored head. It is well retained and produces significant lacing in a cobweb-like pattern.

The smell is dominated by natural coffee notes. Too often, I feel, coffee stouts are augmented by cheap imitation coffee flavor. Not so with Valdez. A natural coffee and roast inundate the nose. The taste brings on more of the same, with the notable addition of caramel to the dessert-like medley. There is also a hint of chocolate that comes through in the finish.

Creamy and full-bodied, this beer does not disappoint. It lived up to the expectations I had based on the little that I had heard about it. A very solid coffee stout, and if not for its relative difficulty to procure, could be one of my go-tos for the style.

NittanyBeerFan, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into a snifter. Thanks to Kevin for bringing this back from Pisgah. I've wanted to try this for a while.

Is it named for the coffee maker or the oil tanker?  Maybe both!  Valdez is a pitch black beer with a dark tan head. It has good retention considering its a coffee stout (I find it's really hard to get the foam to stick due to the oil from the coffee beans unless you are Surly, but Coffee Bender is a freak of nature); we are left with a ring and film with spotty lace after a while.  A swirl reawakens the head.   

Valdez smells prominently of coffee, really rich and strong coffee. Some earthy character is reflected in the grounds, but this is super fresh and pleasant not stale. A bit of caramel sweetness, chocolate and just a hint of creamy vanilla compliment and round out an excellent nose.    

Valdez is full of great coffee through and through. Some dark French roast espresso reaches a peak of bitterness then sweet chocolate, vanilla, and caramel come in the picture.  The powerful tasting experience finishes with lingering swetness and a touch of lingering coffee bitterness.  While this is well above average, it falls short of the top tier - simply put, I just would like more roast from the malt. Otherwise, the coffee and sweet malt are nice and this is very good!    

This beer is a touch thin but nice overall. It has medium body with medium to heavy carb for a stout. For a 6.5% stout, this is probably acceptable but for the 'Imperial/Double' style I expect more creaminess. The finish is sweet and bitter and a touch dry. Overall, Pisgah Vortex is an excellent beer. I had a growler basically to myself with just a touch of help from the wife and it never got to be a chore.  A great coffee beer - straight-up, no gimmicks, very expressive and very pleasant.  Now there are three famous Valdez's - Juan, Exxon, and Pisgah!    

jampics2, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of cwalexander
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

C02 Nitrogen mix tap system falling down the glass as the as the beer becomes still with a 2in-2.5in head settles. Aromas of roasted chocolate and fresh brewed coffee the head stayed around .5-1in the whole way down. smooth mouth hints of almost burnt toast with a touch of sweetness like drinking the best cold coffee on the hottest day of summer

cwalexander, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of blackie
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brewed with beans from Dynamite Roasting - also of Black Mountain and definitely worthy of a visit

a: standard pint glass, pitch black with great retention and lace

s: absolutely loaded with vivid, fresh medium-roast coffee aromas, with dark roasted chocolate providing an underpinning, seriously like taking a bag of fresh-ground to the face, but not without the chocolate/burnt sugar body to support, the coffee clearly overpowers the malt while benefiting greatly from the full, rich support it provides, love it

m: body in the lighter side of full, low-medium carbonation, creamy and smooth

t: the high reviews this beer gets are the truth, coffee flavors unlike any other - fresh medium roast free from any harsh side, big chocolate and roasted malt body, moving from smooth chocolate to big char in the finish, rating simply as an impy stout this would be a kick lower since it's so tilted towards pure coffee, but rating as a coffee beer makes for an easy 5

d: a fantastic coffee beer, with one of the better fresh coffee characters I've found

full pint at Barley's, Asheville

blackie, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Not quite sure how 6.8% ABV justifies the "imperial" designation, but whatever.

4.0 A: Light black in color if that makes any sense. Two fingers of frothy light brown head with not quite average retention and not really any lacing.

5.0 S: Awesome! I had no idea this was a coffee stout. Given that, I'm bumping the appearance from a 3.5 to a 4 since I know how coffee does a number on head retention. Perfect coffee aroma - in my face, yet not overbearing. Instead of being balance with sweetness, there's more roastiness behind it in the form of roasted barley. As it warms, semi-sweet chocolate and rich caramel come out. Excellent.

3.0 T: I'm loving the coffee in the taste, but it's much more one dimensional than the nose. There just isn't enough of anything else to balance the powerful coffee. This is understandable given my qualms with the mouthfeel. The coffee covers up whatever else is in there.

2.5 M: Light body. With a thicker body this one would have been a lot better. The extra residual sugar would also have balanced out the coffee taste. Carbonation is a bit higher than I'd like as well, but that is trivial compared to the body problem.

3.0 D: This beer could be fabulous if they upped the mouthfeel to a medium or thicker body. Although I love the strong coffee flavor, it needs some strong malts to supplement it.

DavoleBomb, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of chinchill
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strongly flavored coffee stout. Sampled at the brewery.

A- very dark black pour with a tan head. Exceptionally durable beige head.

S - coffee! [4.25]

T- Stronger coffee flavor than any of the few other coffee stouts or porters I've sampled. Somewhat lacking in complexity: imagine a very fine stout + a cold expresso. Excellent sweet/bitter balance.

M: smooth [4.25]

D - an excellent brew best imbibed slowly in many small sips.

{revisited at brewery in Sept. 2012 -- high ratings generally confirmed, but felt it was a tad over carbonated this time}

chinchill, Sep 14, 2010
Pisgah Valdez from Pisgah Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.