Pisgah Baptista | Pisgah Brewing Co.

very good
64 Reviews
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Pisgah BaptistaPisgah Baptista

Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 12-19-2006

For Trade:
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 85
Photo of mothman
2.35/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours about a finger of white head. Color is a hazed golden yellow.

Aroma: A fairly sweet nose coming from this one. Some orange peel spice and other fruits. Maybe pears and dried red apples. Some yeasty flavors showing.

Taste: The taste is incredibly sweet, too sweet. It is so sugary. Has some of the flavors from the nose, but it's hard to pick them out over the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy stickiness. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with more sweetness.

Overall, I didn't really like this beer because of how overly sweet it was. It just wasn't enjoyable. Not for me.

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Photo of marvin213
2.61/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A little on the light side, it's easy to see thru the light brown liquid. The base is a caramel-coated green apple, and that's pretty cool! I suppose one big hit here involves the insufficient Belgian yeast. As others have noted, it's a little on the sweet side. The bready maltiness is subtle at best. It is indeed overboard on the sweet side. I don't wholly grasp all the chemistry involved, but what if more (better?) Belgian yeast were to eat up on this caramel candy even more? Would we have a higher ABV, spicier BSDA...or might we end up with more of an English barleywine? Pisgah can absolutely offer up some dope ass beers--and this one's okay--but it's a relative miss from them.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.86/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. I have had this one cellared for a while and it was time to bring it out for a tasting! Poured a clear copper yellow color, somewhat like applejuice, with a fluffy whitehead. Ok, so far so good as the look is nice. Sweet aroma of white fruit (apple and pear) with very minimal hop notes. Medium mouthfeel with carbonation. Wow, this is a very sweet beer. Minimal belgian flavors but very syrupy sweet apple, pear, and white grape. Overall, a let down as the sweetness of this was almost too much to keep drinking.

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Photo of Floydster
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle acquired in a trade with tprokop7, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this brew, split with my friend Drake tonight during the Hornets' devastating loss, poured into a Guinness pub glass

A-Golden orange that was a little on the yellow side, head was white, pretty foamy, and almost an inch, did not stick around long, weak retention, only a few spots of lacing, at least it did not gush all over the place when opened

S-Excuse me if any of these sound weird, but my nostrils were going crazy with this one, blueberry muffins, apples, honey, lemon juice, faint hoppiness, dark fruits and other berries, orange peel, Belgian yeast, variety of spices, dark sugar, and earthy accents

T-Taste started off with a nice standard Belgian sweetness, then came some sweet malt and sugar in the middle, finish had hot alcohol and more sweetness in it, the bad parts being the sugar, overly sweet fruit, and booze became prominent as the liquid warmed, hops were barely even noticeable at any time, needed to more balanced and weaker for its flavor to be more enjoyable, the aftertaste was almost too much to handle and I definitely drank a big glass of water after finishing my glass of this, overpowering flavor

M-Boozy, sweet, and fruity mouthfeel, needed more carbonation and was rather syrupy at times, body was medium but fuller than most Belgian pales, taste lingered long even when you did not want it to, stinging tongue sensation towards the end

D-Could have never finished this bottle by myself, ABV is too high first of all, then the sweetness is heavy on the stomach, does not go down easy and expected it to be a lot smoother, too much alcohol in the taste

Have been hearing a lot of hype about Pisgah lately and wanted to try one of their beers, this is my first experience with this brewery, just not impressed with this brew, hopefully their stouts are better than this and worth all the fuss, thank goodness I did not trade any great beers for this stuff, would not drink again because of availability, price, and overall enjoyment, could go either way on a recommendation but if you are curious, it never hurts

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

Everyone should have a chance to try a creation like Baptista--plus, it's organic, so what have you got to lose?

Dark golden-amber color displays perfect clarity as scores of bubbles rush to the top. Full crowning of head with a fine beaded lacing from its high level of carbonation. Aromas of raw sugarcane, ripe peach, apricot and a kiss of black pepper. Smooth and creamy, with a thick body where the carbonation slowly rolls off the palate. Malt flavors range from bready to almost cake-like; a little on the sweet side to start but with enough hops to balance. A little phenolic, but more herbal/medicinal than bubble gum. Alcohol is noticeable and warming, with faint rum, vanilla and peachy notes. Finishes with a lingering alcohol and a drying maltiness.

This is a sipper for sure, and certainly a beer that will become more interesting if cellared. For a pairing, try ripe figs with a creamy bleu cheese.

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Photo of wedge
3.22/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Winter 2007

Pours a bright and clear orange color with a disappointingly small, fizzling head for something named after the Flemish chemist who first distinguished gases like CO2 from air. Aromas of apple and white wine...sweet candied fruit esters and a bit of yeast. The much welcomed presence of pale malt enters the picture with the first sip. Spiced apple, honey, and candied fruit make up the majority of flavors, finishing with a touch of sweet breadiness. The honeyed quality builds as it warms in both smell and taste. There is definitely more balance in the flavor overall. Medium-plus body, slick, with fine carbonation.

I feel like I've been harsh on this one, but it just doesn't measure up to the deliciousness of other examples of the style. This strikes me as raw and one-dimensional...which admittedly lessens as it approaches room temperature. I got a little buzz going at least...

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Photo of augustgarage
3.24/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to (I think) mikesgroove for this one! Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. 2007 vintage...

Unique color - a moderately cloudy persian orange body, with a milky ring of froth. Not much of a head, but superior retention for the ABV and age. Delicate sandy lacing.

Deeply funky vinous aroma with rose hips, melon, cork and vanilla in the background. Floral, estery, and unique.

Very strange palate entry - big waves of bubble-gum, cotton candy, and a hint of citrus. Very mild spicy hops and a background of clean malt try but fail to balance out the sugars which are only kept from being undrinkable thanks to the complexity of the yeast. Some spice throughout (can't place them, maybe cardamom?), and a candy-coated finish.

Rich almost syrupy mouth-feel with decent carbonation.

Spices and sweetness add some interesting flavor and aroma, but they substantially overwhelm the base ingredients. A well preserved but weird beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.24/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle from 2007.

Pours hazy gold with zero head. A whisp on the surface was all that got kicked up and a placid surface with zero lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with raw sugar, honey, cloves, and booze-soaked apricot. Bubblegum, biscuit malt, and cotton candy follow through.

Medium bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel. Tacky and slick.

Sugar-dusted apricots, boozy fusels, and crushed cloves start the palate. Quite sweet with plenty of fruit and honey. A decent bitterness tries to balance but fails.

Finishes with lingering sugar syrup, spicy yeast, booze, and a hint of menthol.

Yikes, really not warming up to this one. Kind of a sweet, fruity tonic.

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Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Happy Earth Day. A bottle that is at least two, if not three, years old. In a goblet.

A: The pale ale is appropriately named, a lighter golden color that sparkles in its transparency. Wispy bands of head are all that remain from the initial pour.

S: Sweet caramel, overpoweringly so; I fear that this beer didn't last until 2019 as promised on the label. Residual sweetness, thank you Belgian yeast, adds some diversity to the nose.

T: Not entirely gone, although that caramelly flavor is building in intensity. Light fruits, think white grapes and apples, come from the yeast. The ale is still well carbonated, the zesty heat of the bubbles coming through in each sip. The ale loses all sweetness by the finish, a dry landscape left behind. I can taste the tripel-like spice and strength combination; it peeps through the caramel flavors sporadically.

M: Just a little long in the tooth here, too much caramel for its own good. I'll be visiting Pisgah in less than four weeks; I'll be looking for a re-try.

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Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Atlantic Ale meeting. I found this overated, also funky, apple juice. Thin mouthfeel. Some soapy head and lacing. Some spiciness, high alcohol noticeable, lemon peel astringency, a dash of pepper, and the barnyard odour, and just didn't go down that well.

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Photo of ChemistBrewer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got two of these from Bruisin Ales on two separate ocasions.

A: Poured a dark straw color almost orange. Good head that did not fade too much.

S: Very complex aroma. Sweet, sour, earthy all at the same time. Def could tell its a belgian. No real over bearing alcohol aroma.

T: Pretty good. Def had a good deal of cadi sugar in it which I could have done without. Other than that it was good. No taste of alcohol only when it hit the back of your throat could you tell it was higher in ABV.

M: Nice silky feel can feel the bubbles in your mouth!

D: I rated this high not because I could drink a lot of it but because it was a pleasant well balanced beer dispite the load of sugar.

Overall a good beer. Could have def done without the candi sugar it was pretty overpowering. I will leave the second one in the basement and drink it in a few years maybe that will cut down on the sweetness.

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Photo of morimech
3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage Winter 2007

Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that quickly settled to a thin skim of suds. Minimal spotty lacing is left on the glass. As I get deeper into the bottle more of the yeast gets stirred up and the beer gets cloudy. Aroma is that of white wine. Remarkable how much like white wine this smells like. The alcohol is also detected. The taste is more like a beer. The malt and the candied sugar makes an appearance. A little bit of a cider flavor. Finishes dry with the alcohol not really dominating despite the high ABV. Medium in body and adequately carbonated. Feels as good as any of the style. Has some good qualities but overall it falls short of the elite of the style. Worth a try.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter 2007 release acquired from mikesgroove, courtesy of the Little Guy 2 BIF so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains apple, Belgian yeast, light caramelized malts, honey, some spice, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, spices and apples. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. A significant alcohol sting comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, there are some better beers in the style, but this is a solid beer with sipping on for a while.

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Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Joey, the big cheese at Cigar City Brewing provided this one.

A: Pours a cloudy starw color with a thin white head at the edges. The retention is good and lace spotty.

S: . The aroma shows a very light citrus aroma with hints of orange, candied sugar, cake, and subtle hints of yeast.

T: Nice spice in this one. Nice blast of citrus as well. Nice candy sweetness that lingers from the middle to the finish.

M: Somewhat dry finish, yet smooth and well balanced.

D: Pretty good. This is a xmas brew that drinks very well in the middle of the summer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle from Winter 2007 with a Best Before date of 12/2019.

Appearance: Pours an orange-yellow body with a goodly-sized, white head.

Smell: A fragrant sweet and spicy aroma with vivid notes of candi sugar dosed fruits, aged spices, and good, wholesome booze -- particularly, a notable whiff of white wine.

Taste: Sugary sweet, lightly honeyish taste of pale malts and a heavy-handed inclusion of toothsome Belgian candi sugar. Almost instantaneously fruity, with rich, succulent tastes of apricot, peach, banana, strawberry, orange peel, and even pear. Why, it's a veritable buffet of fruit flavors! Splash of white wine. Toss in a few chunks of bubblegum. Earthy hops with some slight bitterness. Sprinkling of dusty spices, dried herbs, and, maybe, a quarter teaspoon of white pepper. Finishes rather sweet and rapturously warming with some lingering ripe fruit and spice hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-plus, somewhat lively carbonation.

Drinkability: Ole Janny Bap would be pleased there's ample carbonation to lighten up the proceedings, steer clear of a cloying nature, and even aid drinkability. Sure, at nearly 12% ABV, the alcohol presence is, well, present, but not heinously overbearing, thankfully. Another fine release from Pisgah -- now when the hell am I going to get to try that Valdez?

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Photo of joepais
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I shared this one with a few friends thanks to Santa Deuane. Pored into a Portsmouth tulip glass not to much of a white head appeared and it quickly fell away to a sparse lace. The body of the brew was a clear yellow in color.

Aromas were very reminiscent of a Triple I got some apricot fruitiness with some spice but not what I expected for a Christmas spice at all it was hard to put my finger on it. This brew is big but you get no alcohol in the nose at all

Again it reminded me of a spiced triple in flavors as well. No warmth from the alcohol came thru but it was bottled in 07 so it may have something to do with it. Sweet and fruity not to much bitter and a medium feel to the mouth with no carbonation which made it a little syrupy.

An enjoyable Belgian clone not what I expected from a noel but good none the less in my book. At almost 12% not tasting the alcohol made it very drinkable

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Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting. 2008 bottle.

a - Pours a golden murky color with 1 inch of white head.

s - Smells of sour fruit, sugar, and fruity malts.

t - Tastes of citrus fruits, tropical fruits, malts, and sugar again.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy too drink.

d - A pretty nice beer. Some nice sour and citrus fruits in the smell and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pisgah Baptista, on tap at Barley's Taproom and Pizzeria, Asheville, NC. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: A darker, less bubbly Solstice. Arrives a hazed golden amber, deep-looking, with less carbonation, though what is present is oh-so fine and incredibly lazy - you can tell this one is thick. Head was mostly gone by the time it came to the table, but there were off-white rings of solid lace, sticky, meringue-like. The lacing is interesting-looking - it's "big," but thin.

Aroma: Very spicy and intense. The spice itself is neutral, peppery, as if the dimension is there without contributing much. The sweet fruityness comprises the other half of this one, with pear and apricot-like esters dominating. A fairly decent volume of alcohol spice emerges as it warms.

Taste: Wow. The alcohol isn't as well-hidden here as I'd like, but that's ok - this one has enough other stuff going on to make up for it. That is to say, it's one big fruity bitch. Rum-soaked pears, bananas flambe minus the fire, and apple skins comprise a majority of what I'm getting, and it's all crisp and relatively dry. Pleasant and decently complex, though not groundbreaking.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy and crisp, but a little uneven because of just how big the effervescence is. Body isn't as thick as you'd imagine, which is nice, and it does even out as it warms. Give it time to warm up.

Drinkability: A solid brew, though not my favorite from Pisgah. Alcohol on this one's a little high and not as well hidden as I'd like. Everything is perfectly pleasant, though not quite enough to make up for the EtOH. Not that it's not a good beer - it is, and it's worth a try - it's just not my favorite.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty, slightly hazy, peach color in the glass with a white head that melts to a sticky ring.

Aromas of sweet citrus, tobacco, bubblegum, spices, biscuit yeast.

Flavor is lightly sweet oranges, bubblegum, lots of white pepper, and assorted spices such as cardomon, etc. Not overpowering but definitely present.

Aftertaste is bitter orange. Bubblegum also comes through in the aftertaste. Lots of alcohol warmth as would be expected.


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Photo of Vancer
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer received from Brentk56 in a good trade, thanks guy!

Poured a hazy orange, with a thin but sturdy sticky white head - not bad considering this baby packs a 11.5% wallop. And best by June of.. 2012!! WOW,

Nice whiff of the candied sugar fruit I the aroma, and the quaff packages it up nicely with a strong backbone of candy apples, that have been soaking in a brandy barrel. Good ol' Belgium yeast also come a' knocking.

Boozy, but not overpowering. A true sipper beer, so grab your tulip/snifter glass as the label recommends.

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Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers of bone white, super-delicate foam, as active as a beehive, causing it to disintegrate swiftly, a few fluffy streaks of lacing left behind. Translucent, semi-hazy liquid, mostly a copper orange which fades to a metallic yellow at the rims, few visible bubbles. Fruit-driven nose of concentrated, dried fruit in style apricot, pear, peach, nectarine, banana fruit with sweet cinnamon and clove spice, orange marmalade, honey and cane sugar, pastry dough, wisely eschews weight for lift in your nostrils. Medium-bodied yet with great traction across the palate, never heavy but has an insistent medium-firm grip. Broad fruit spectrum of pineapple, papaya, banana, nectarine, melon, apricot, pear, all with a caramelized brown sugar, honey and cotton candy coating. The cinnamon, nutmeg spice as well as spiced orange keep the overall feel light and bouncy. Even with its admirable grip, the carbonation whipped up sufficiently to create a musk, if not perfume, in the mouth. There's a kind of sugary innocence about the brew, however, the sweetness does begin to tire you out after some time. (December 2009 bottling)

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Photo of uturn
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml caged & corked bottle poured into a vintage Westmalle Trappistebier chalice.

This bottle is dated Dec 2009.

A: As the cork was pulled out of the bottle a load "pop" was heard. The beer poured a hazy golden color with a one finger head which dissipated very quickly leaving a very minimal lacing on the glass.

S: The nose was sweet, with hints of bubble gum and cloves as well as orange peel.

T: The taste starts off sweet with bubble gum and candi sugar, and then I got some spices and pepper along with dried dark fruits and it finished more on the dry side.

M: This had a medium to thick mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation level and a very enjoyable warmth from the alcohol.

This beer was definitely a sipper. As it warmed up, the alcohol become more apparent in a very good way, which made me slow down to enjoy this beauty. I only hope they make this one again.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for the trade

Pours a clear orange/yellow with little head that dissappears quick. The nose is nice spice and dark fruit. Taste follows the nose with a good amount of belgian spice and yeast flavor with good fruit taste, but not as deep or dark as I prefer for this style. The finish is very smooth and peppery with some hints of apple. spices dominate here, reminds me (taste not color) of maudite.The mouthfeel is just a bit thin, but thicker than I had expected by the look of this brew. Great drinkability as the abv does not show up whatsoever. Good beer, one of the best organics I have ever had for sure. Props to mike for the trade.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brentk56 for the trade. Interesting, an organic Belgian strong. Dated 12/07, drink by 12/2019.

Pours a clear blond with a fluffly white head. The aroma has a hint of vinegar, like white wine, along with sweet bread. The flavor is mellow, no hint of booze, with light spices like white pepper and corriander. There's a both hints of lemon peel and candi, but not a lot of fruit really. This Belgian focused on the phenols, and while the flavor isn't the most complex, the spices and flavors present are excellent. I should also add the drinkability bordered on dangerous. At first sip I couldn't tell this was nearly 12%. Kudos to Pisgah.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this fine brew in a trade with Mikesgroove, thanks for all the great brews.

Faded golden body. Somewhere between a cloudy yellow and a tarnished gold. Fluffy white head that dies quickly and leaves only tiny bits of lacing behind.

Lots of spiciness in the nose. Also various fruits, a little bit of pepperiness.

Lots of spice comes through in the nose. Very sweet, but not in a sickening way. Apples and a little bit of a sourdough quality. Just a tiny bit boozy in the finish. Medium to full bodied, almost something to chew on.

Dinkability gets high marks here because this beer is not only tasty, but extremely easy to drink for the 11.5% ABV it carries. Wonder if this ages well?

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Pisgah Baptista from Pisgah Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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