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Pisgah Valdez - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah ValdezPisgah Valdez

Educational use only; do not reuse.

203 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 203
Hads: 350
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 183
Gots: 20 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 203 | Hads: 350
Photo of PatronWizard
2.56/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sought this out in trade and finally got it. Let it sit for a day or two and couldn't wait anymore.

So it's a very nice looking beer. Black as can be with a huge beige head that never quite dies.

Smell is of straight coffee.

Taste just like ground coffee. I imagine. Nothing more. And not a coffee I'm particularly fond of at that.

Bitter coffee. Dry as dirt. This beer actually removes moisture from your mouth. An absolute chore to drink. A pathetic 6.8% ABV. If I'm gonna work this damn hard to put down 750ml I want a kick in the ass to go with it. No such kick here. The more I drank, the more I came to hate this beer and wish it would die. Maybe not that bad, but I am severely disappointed.

I clicked on the link describing the style to see what else was 'similar.' Wake-n-bake and Founders Breakfast showed up, which are both completely lovable beers. I just don't get this one. How can it be so highly acclaimed? I'm busting my ass here to finish it. My wife even dumped her customary 4oz taster back into my glass. I think the worst thing is the dry coffee flavor leaving a dry coffee mouthfeel that can't be alleviated with another dry ass sip.

Overall: overhyped

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Photo of rudylaw
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another gem from MasterSki, sampled at the CE release. Hey, my GTOM taster is filled again... let's drink!

Pours a blackish tone with some brownish, ruby highlights. We have a solid tan head here.

Even though this is a 2008 bottle, I'm still getting tons of coffee in the nose. Very aromatic. Roasty, chocolatey goodness.

Same notes on the tongue, with some oatmeal perhaps, but this is really thin. Not a prototypical RIS by any stretch. The coffee is faded a bit, and we agree we'd like to try this one fresh for a proper rating in the future. Doesn't seem too complex. Straightforward coffee stout. Almost over-carbonated. I liked it a bit more at the beginning, but got bored with it at the end.

My second Pisgah beer, and while still quality, I'm not really keen on going out of my way for a third.

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Photo of CBlack85
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte.

Beer is completely black with just a trace of a tan head. What little head was there dissipates quickly and leaves no trace behind.

The nose is of straight coffee, with just a hint of chocolate as it warms.

The taste, much like the smell, is that of coffe. There is a little more chocolate present in the taste than in the smell, but the coffee is dominant. Very robust and flavorful, you can tell that the coffee used during brewing is very good on its own. Medium bodied, slightly more carbination than I expected, but not enough to distract you from the beautiful flavors of this well brewed beer.

Very nice, the guys at Pisgah really know what they are doing...

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Photo of charlesw
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful offblack with tiny dark tan bubbles in a medium high head. Good lasting power on that head.

Smells a lot of dryer chocolates - cocoa powder.

There's more going on than just the chocolate. Light, a little hop tang, the chocolate, of course, but not as a bitter dry one. Hints of coffee.

Light in the mouth for a double. More like a coffee or chocolate porter given the alcohol and body.

Decent and light and easy enough for drinking on warmer days. Rich enough for drinking on cooler days. Not bad!

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Photo of angelmonster
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black body, head is a tan color. Head retention is average and so is lacing.

Smell is similar to cold brewed coffee. Notes of green coffee beans, oil, and fresh roasted, charred beans are prevalent. This smells like I stepped into a roastery. Slight notes of chocolate are present, hops and alcohol aren't detected.

Taste is big on coffee, acidic and slightly bitter. Getting some green herbaceous notes also. Biscuit malts are in the mix along with charred oak. Beer ends with a hint of chocolate, alcohol and hops are light.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Unfortunately head died quickly, leaving something to be desired. Beer leaves a slight astringency in the aftertaste.

Overall this was a very tasty coffee stout. In your face coffee flavors, no chocolate, caramel, vanilla/bourbon to mask it. A bit on the bitter spectrum of coffee but I can appreciate the raw flavors which is becoming rarer these days.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of brewdude1982
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 4.0 this beer has a very light translucence and a deep dark hue
S: 4.5 has an amazing aroma of dark chocolate and cinnamon
T: 4.0 surprisingly hopper than I expected. Very bitter on the end.
MF: 3.0 kind of flat for my taste overall, the body is not as deep as I expected.
O: 3.5 I could have one of these as an ender in an evening but would definitely crash your pallet if an opener. Great smell.

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Photo of jorrx003
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An incredible drink for any coffee enthusiast. Looked gloriously black with a brown head. Smelled strongly of the most delicious coffee. This beer tasted like an iced coffee with alcohol added, amazing, it blew me away. I wish it had just a slightly fuller body but other than that minuscule detail I found this beer to be absolutely amazing and everything I could ever want in a coffee stout

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Photo of CJS
1.48/5  rDev -64.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A Looks like a average brew. Creamy head that sticks to the glass.

S Smells stoutish with much roasted coffee aroma.

T Extremely bitter and over carbonated. Most coffee I've ever had in a beer. Raw chocolate undertone with slight creaminess. And a tart sour finish that just doesn't belong.

M Too bitter to really enjoy.

O I would almost think it is infected from the sourness, but their is still a balanced flavor setting in this off flavored cocktail. Could not finish a glass.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dear friend of mine picked up a growler of Valdez while visiting the brewery two weeks ago. She raved about it, and although my curiosity was roused I put it aside until I had time to drink and think. It was well worth it! This may be the best coffee stout I've ever had.

The growler made a dynamic "poof" as I turned the cap. It poured pitch black into my Pisgah pint glass (also provided by my dear friend). The one-finger head was beautiful; it was dark brown and very dense. One deep inhalation picks up aromas of freshly ground coffee beans and dark, dark malts. There's also an extremely mild fruity ester present, but it takes a very deep sniff to detect it. Flavors of espresso attack the tongue with the first mouthful. The aforementioned sweetness is there as well, but it soon dissipates into a nice, mellow dark coffee center. The finish is a bit hoppy, which balances well with the other flavors. What I really appreciate is the decent malt backbone this version of the coffee stout has; I had another local version of this style just a few weeks ago, and, although it was quite nice, there was too much coffee and not enough balancing malts. This is a far cry better. Well done, Pisgah! I hope to drop by and refill my growler soon!

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Photo of GehenHerzog
4.79/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz into a Pisgah pint glass.

No bottled on date. Bottle says 6.5% abv.

Pours pitch black with the smallest sliver of ruby highlighting. A tiny bit of tan froth on top, but no real head to speak of.

Aroma is straight coffee. Roasty and a little sweet. It is one dimensional, but it is one of the best smelling coffe beers I've had.

Taste is bitter coffee, borderlining on burnt. I'd like a little more complexity here, but it's still pleasent.

The mouth is something of a letdown. It is more along the lines of an American Stout, way too thin for a double. Of course, the abv isn't all that imperial either, so the category kinda confuses me.

Drinkability is nice. The bitterness does linger, forcing you to take it slow to avoid palate fatigue, but its still a very very good coffe stout. It is almost reminiscent of Terrapin/Left Hand's Depth Charge, but not nearly as sweet. I'd love to see this one as a true Imperial at 10% or so.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown / black color. Nearly opaque. Hints of a head on top, but not much. Seems to be carbonated.

S: Week-old coffee, chocolate, molasses, and whipped cream.

T: Coffee, coffee grinds, dark malty sweetness (sort of like molasses minus the bitterness), and a hint of creaminess (but only relatively minor).

M: Good level of carbonation. More carbonated than an imperial stout would be, but seems appropriate for its genre. Medium-sized bubbles.

O: Good overall beer. I enjoyed the flavors, and most of all, it's a mellow and easy-to-consume beer, which is very rare for a coffee-centric stout.

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Photo of cbros
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type- 22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A-This beer pours a standard pitch black with a two finger tan lace that leaves the beer sooner rather than later. The leftover lace leaves some decent clingto the glass that does stick around until the very end.

S- I am getting a strong hint of chocolate in the underlining notes of this beer. There is also the ever present roasted malt and prominent coffee notes as well.

T- There is a nice mellow roasted malt/coffee taste that starts the taste. It pretty much stays consistent throughout the whole beer. Overall a pretty good tasting Double Imperial Stout. Definately easy to drink.

I have had this beer on tap at the brewery and from the little notes I wrote down this bottled beer is pretty close to the tap version. For a bottled beer this is a very good version and certainly one that I would have again.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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.


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Photo of mikeyv35
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Date: 06/21/2011
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2010
Glass: Sweetwater Tulip

Pours a jet black in color w/ a 1 finger tan head that produces nice sticky lacing. Aromas of coffee beans, roasted malts, chocolate, and subtle vanilla. The flavor starts w/ initial chocolate sweetness, leading into smooth coffee, and finishes w/ mild vanilla and ever so slight hop bitterness. Medium bodied and finishes dry. I could drink this brew all day especially w/ the lower end ABV.

Overall, this is one of my favorite brews out of the South region and the best coffee stout coming out of the South hands down. The brew is extremely flavorful, but yet very drinkable, just fantastic stuff!

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Photo of urwithdave
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Courtesy of TimmyP's life is good LIF. Shared this at the 110k release.

A- pours near black in color. There is two fingers wroth of a tan head. Decent retention. Not a lot of lacing though.

A- the BIGGEST coffee aroma I have ever gotten from a brew. Seriously, u could smell it from across the table. Espresso and coffee beans all the way.

T- well let's just say the nose isn't off. Just a huge burst of coffee and roasted malts. There is a slight hint of chocolate, but this is ALL about the coffee. Not overly bitter either. Its nice and smooth. If u aren't a coffee fan, don't bother.

M- this is where this one let me down. It was wayyy to thin. It was also too carbonated. These are my only real knocks on the brew.

D- if it wasn't for the mouthfeel I would rate this a 5 for sure. I still really enjoyed this brew and I would seek it out again in the future. A very solid coffee beer.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enormous head that is just a shade lighter than brown. Almost completely opaque in color. Really beautiful beer. Smells of fresh coffee and dark chocolate, as well as some vanilla, and maybe even some cherry.

Coffee dominates the taste. Sipping it is like sipping an espresso shot. Some bitterness comes through. The coffee overpowers any chocolate flavors that may try to come through. The aftertaste is sweet and pleasant, though. Full bodied and very thick mouthfeel. Nice to sip, but hard to get through the whole thing.

I haven't tried too many coffee stouts, but this one really stood out to me. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to mikesgroove for sending me this 750mL bottle in a trade recently.

A: Pours dark black with a TON and I wish I could stress it more...a TON of khaki colored head (seriously looked like a beer float but no ice cream) and laced the glass a lot as it settled.

S: The dominant smell is chocolate, then roasted malts and coffee in the background...not complex or anything, but smells absolutely delicious and I hope the taste is similar

T: Roasted malts come out way more in the taste, then the coffee and chocolate are in the background this time.

M: I think far too much of the carbonation went out in the pour on this because what's left is a little more thin than I would expect. I even poured carefully so I dunno how to fix this. I get hints of creaminess when the carbonation stands out.

D: Because it's a little thin I could probably drink more than some creamy beers, but the flavor isn't really anything special to me unfortunately. Not really any alcohol picked up which is good. It tastes just like the majority of imperial stouts do. Now, that isn't all bad, because imperial stouts taste good, this just doesn't stand out above other examples of the style.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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

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Photo of ncfranklin
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a tulip.

A: Impenetrably black. Even holding this to the light, this rejects all temptation to give a hint of color. Small half finger tan head recedes quickly.

S: Big coffee dominates. Some chocolate to the nose as well, with toasty malt.

T: Not as powerful on the coffee as the nose would suggest. Lots of chocolate and toasted malt pour through. Sweet mostly, till a nice coffee layer comes in on the finish.

M: Very smooth till swallow where a light dryness comes in with the coffee flavor. Quite nice combination.

D: A very abundantly flavorful stout at such a small ABV%. Finishing the bomber was not a problem. Really enjoyed this stout, though at $9 for the 22oz it is not something I'd get often.

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Photo of Azurescens
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/27/11

A: Pours black with dark tan head and moderate retention. The head fades to a collar and leaves some lacing around glass.

S: Smooth freshly roasted coffee up front with dark malt and a hint of chocolate lingering behind the huge coffee aroma. Lots and lots of coffee, if I were to take a blind sniff of this I would definitely think this was a cup of coffee instead of a beer.

T: Bitter roasted coffee dominates the taste with dark malts and some hops and alcohol barely coming through all of the coffee. Long lingering taste of freshly brewed coffee after each sip.

M: Nice medium body with a bit more carbonation than I would really like in a stout.

O: If you want lots of coffee in your stout, this is the beer to go for. Pretty drinkable for a 6.8% ABV brew. Some more body and less carbonation would do wonders for this beer. Still great none the less.

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