Vortex I
Pisgah Brewing Co.

Vortex IVortex I
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #2,305
Ranked #7,122
4.04 | pDev: 11.63%
Pisgah Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States
Vortex IVortex I
Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 185 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz 2013 bottle served in a lager glass.
The clear body looks like honey, and there are suggestions of honey in both the aroma and the flavor. The aroma, however, is dominantly and strongly floral. The flavor has some citrus and herbal notes from the hops in addition to the floral ones. A relatively low bitterness (moderate) makes this very drinkable (aged) DIPA.
The high ABV is partially hidden.

Jan 05, 2016
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CHADMC3 from Connecticut

4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber brown body beneath the rich tan head which dissolves somewhat quickly but leaves a constant ring of lacing floating atop the body and clinging to the glass.

Wow, those are some fresh pungent hops as this was bottled on 9/30/13. Primarily consisting of pine and herbal or floral aromas. Its like the a lumberjack and a florist decided to brew a beer together. Burried in there as well is a nice biscuit or bread like malt which I am assuming has to be a pretty decent helping to off-set this hop monster.

The floral and pine hops just coat the palate through and through and similar to the aroma the biscuit like malt is sitting in the background, yet pleasantly apparent.

This is a tongue buckler all the way with a medium to fuller body and medium carbonation leading up to the robust bitter finish.

This is really a huge beer as the heartier hop profile backed by the generous organic malts packs into this chewy brew. Huge character, well put together and tons to tease the senses.

Nov 18, 2013
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oberon from North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/24/13.An Imperial IPA per label, as well as 9.2%ABV..Pours into an oversized wine glass a dull burnt orange infuse golden with a tightly formed white head atop.Aromas of caramel malts and tropical fruit-like hops,not much bitterness detected.A wave of tropical fruits coats the mouth on every sip of this beer,Iam not sure if I have had a beer with such a tropical element.Mango,peach,and overripe pineapple are dominant over top of a mildy sweet caramel base,the alcohol is there but not in your face.A great DIPA from Black Mountain,Iam gonna visit the brewery here in a few weeks,lookin forward to it.

Nov 16, 2013
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Omnium from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber > Chimay Glass

A - Pours a hazed amber color, half a finger of off white head, little lacing
S - Lots of unusual aroma, some oak, pine, pepper, some light grapefruit, very complex
T -Very woody and oak like, biscuit malt, caramels, rye, pepper, pine bitterness.
M - Sticky and lightly sweet.
O - Very complex, which I like, lots of really nice oak flavor, some good bitterness in part of a good hop portion.

Nov 05, 2013
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/20/13

Pours cloudy orange with some sediment. One finger white frothy head that has mediocre retention.

Smell is hop forward. Dominated by notes of pine with a little orange rind. Malt is mildly sweet and grainy but barley no taxable through all the hops.

Taste has lots of piney herbal notes and some moderate bitterness. Malt is light and grainy.

Mouthfeel is good, high carbonation and a medium to light body. Bitterness is mild but not as crazy as the bottle said.

Overall this was a decent ipa. Not mind blowing however It is mind blowing that the alcohol is not detectable what what so ever at 9.2%

Oct 04, 2013
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bomber into teku glass. 8/20/13 bottling date.

pours a hazy yellow color with a nice head. smell is of caramel and hops and a bunch of other aromas I can't identify. taste is very sweet up front and then very bitter with grapefruit and pine. hoppy but not too hoppy. weird mix honestly. average drinkability. medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall its interesting. form your own opinion about this one.

Aug 28, 2013
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BlackBelt5112203 from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip at cellar temperature.

L – Hazy medium amber color with a 1-finger cream-colored, bubbly head. Pretty nice retention with spots of lace.

S – Caramel malt with a nice bouquet of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and resinous pine hops. There’s a bit of booze in here, too, but not in an off-putting way.

T – It starts off sweet with bready, caramel malt and then the hops come roaring in with orange and pineapple bittersweetness, followed by grapefruit and resinous pine. The deep resinous flavor gives off a touch of an oniony character, but I’m not opposed to that at all. Very balanced for a DIPA.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied, decent carbonation, a sticky, creamy, and chewy mouthfeel, and a mildly sweet, very bitter, and very dry finish. Dry and bitter hops with mostly grapefruit and pine notes linger for a while. There’s a bit of throat-warmth from the alcohol, but not nearly as much as you would think from a beer of this magnitude.

O – This is a nice DIPA. I’m not going to lie, I expected a bit more of a hop-bomb from Pisgah, but I should’ve known better. Each of their brews that I’ve had has been so beautifully crafted and well-balanced (including their single IPA) that it only made sense that their DIPA would be the same way. Even though the label says DIPA, I may have to lean a bit more toward the BA designation of “strong ale” as this drinks similarly to a barleywine. Still, it’s nicely drinkable and very tasty. Solid beer from Pisgah.

Jul 27, 2013
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd say this is a double IPA rather than an American Strong, but whatever. Very decent beer with an especially appealing hop profile- well rounded with some citrus, pine, earth, and a pleasant waxy note. Fairly big and brooding, but not thick at all, and with an almost woody finish. There's also a meaty note that's fairly interesting. Not much aroma, looks fairly nice, though. A solid beer.

Jul 12, 2013
Photo of charlzm
charlzm from California

2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Consumed on draft on September 2nd, 2012 at Barley's Taproom, Asheville, NC. Reviewed from notes.

Deep burnished copper color with a very fine head of off-white froth.

No aroma to speak of.

Very thick, sweet herbal flavor, somewhat like cherry cough syrup. The flavor goes on forever. Bitterness not as noticeable as promised (at over 100 IBUs, if the brewery is to be believed) though there is a lot of wet, earthy, floral hop stuff going on for hours in the aftertaste. A bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel is a little on the flat side and not especially thick.

Not sure what they were going for with this beer, but it's a real challenge to drink even a small-ish pour of this one. I have had much bigger beers that drink smaller than this one.

May 10, 2013
Photo of jifigz
jifigz from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Commis for the trade and hooking me up with this one.

The appearance is a dark and deep orange with rich color. The head is slightly off white and lingers for a while, even though it was rather small. The aroma is pretty mild, but this beer is rather cold. It would have a greater aroma, and I would enjoy it more, if it was a little warmer. The taste is rich with spicy and herbal hops. The initial taste is of a honey like malt sweetness which quickly gives way to some hops and a little alcohol bite. The finish is hop flavor and bitterness. The MF is fairly dry and light bodied compared to other "Strong Ales" but very enjoyable. The lighter body makes it seem much more enjoyable on a hot day.

Jul 27, 2012
Photo of Wolfpack2005
Wolfpack2005 from North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured an amber/orange color that is somewhat hazy. Minimal amount of head that didn't linger very long.

S-Not as strong on the nose as I was expecting but, picking up a sweet caramel malt and brown sugar smell with a faint hop aroma.

T-The sweetness of caramel/toffee malts is the first taste to make itself known. Also detecting dark fruit and oak notes as well. Then leads into a light piney hops flavor that balances the sweet malts nicely. Finishing with a mild alcohol taste too, especially as it begins to warm up.

M-A medium body with low carbonation that make this beer pretty smooth.

O-This is a great hybrid beer that falls somewhere in between an Imperial IPA and barleywine. Despite living only 3.5 hours from the brewery this is the first chance I've had to sample there beer, I will definitely be seeking their beers out in the future.

Jul 24, 2012
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark amber/orange color with a two finger frothy white head that has pretty good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic lacing left behind.

Citrus and floral hop aroma with hints of pine, grapefruit, orange peel and pineapple. Subtle malt backbone with Graham and biscuit.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with a blast of bitter and sweet hops up front that linger throughout into a dry finish. Lots of floral and citrus hop flavor with hints of mango, pineapple and grapefruit as well as some pine needle and a spicy, grassy character. Nice malt backbone that provides balance without overpowering. Hints of caramel, biscuit and Graham cracker. Wellmbalanced and pretty quaffable.

Nov 01, 2011
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35 from New York

4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date: 06/12/2011
Vintage: 2009
Glass: DFH Chalice
Type: 22oz. Bottle

Pours a light brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat white head that produces light lacing. Aromas of caramel, toffee, oak, some dark fruits, and a touch of pine. The taste was caramel/toffee up front, leading into oak, and finishing w/ hop bitterness and basement mustiness. Medium bodied and creamy/lush as all Pisgah brews are. Pretty easy to drink, but will definately kick you in the rear end.

Overall, very good, but not what I expected at all. I realize I did not drink this fresh by any means, but stylistically this is without a doubt an American Barleywine.

Jun 26, 2011
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Tripphop from Virginia

3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good looking beer. Reddish orange color with good clarity. Head is generous, an off white color. Fine carbonation sits around the edges through the whole drink. Aromas are stale and unappealing, smells like old musty hops. Taste is redeeming, loads of carmal malt and a distinct styling to the Pisgah lineup. Finish is bright and bitter with resinous hops and the Pisgah yeast doughiness.
A good beer, but I prefer their IPA's and stouts.

May 16, 2011
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very aromatic beer: A strong citrus presence along with malt, pine and alcohol.

T: Tasted of citrus (lemon), malt in the finish, pine, and a little hops. The alcohol is there, front and center, as well. A complex and forceful flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An interesting and drinkable beer.

May 07, 2011
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345 from Iowa

4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is 9.8% and was picked up at the brewery by my parents last week.

Pours a rusty orange color with a half inch of off white head. Minimal lacing.

Smells like citrus and pine hops, bread, caramel, and a plum like smell.

Taste is of pine right up front, but opens to a citrus and juicy malt character and finish is pine. Very inviting for another sip.

Mouthfeel is rather thick but a good amount of carbonation.

Overall its good, seems like a style hybrid- American Strong Ale tends to be a total hybrid anyway.

Apr 25, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I have to say that I will try to be as unbiased as possible. And I will, but this is one of those beers that tastes so damn good due to circumstances. Nearing the end of a week of college campus visits for my daughter, this is a place I really need to be. Try to find Pisgah brewing and you will understand how great it is to finally be sitting with one of their fine beers. The place is so hidden it’s funny. To add to this, about 2 years ago I was sent a bottle of this beer by a great beer trader (BHalter8) and the bottle was sadly infected. I had heard a lot about this and really wanted to try it.
FINALLY, I’ve had the chance and it’s a great beer.

They call this a triple IPA at the bar or a BIG Imperial IPA, I see it listed here as a Strong Ale. What’s funny is that it reminded me a lot of a barleywine. I think this defies style a bit, but it’s very good.

Thin white head that fades rather quickly. A cloudy brown/amber colored beer. No lacing.

Aroma is of deep fruity malt with a whiff of elevated ABV. Nice sweetness and a citrus almost orange peel aroma.

The flavor continues to remind me of some nice barleywines. Layers of malt flavor mixed with caramel, lots of fruit and some pine notes. The abv is well hidden here despite the whiff in the aroma. Quite a bit going on. The sweet fruity flavors are almost tropical but in no way too sweet.

The smallest amount of carbonation just adds life to the flavor.

I am so happy that I finally had a chance to enjoy this beer. Thanks Ben for introducing me to Pisgah. Glad I finally had the chance.

Apr 22, 2011
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trappistlover from Arizona

3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle courtesy of BgThang!). This one is 9.8% abv. Pours hazy copper color with off-white head. Nice, active carbonation. Aroma has spicy hops that is paired with something that is honeylike. There’s also a bit of cardboard. Taste is bitter with a sweet malt backbone along with a little diacetyl presence. Medium bodied with slick texture. Finish is dry and bitter. This one is probably past its prime, but its still pretty good and alcohol is well hidden.

Apr 18, 2011
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ncfranklin from Alabama

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

On-Tap at the brewery.

A: Translucent orange. Finger tall off white head leaves a nice lacing coat.

S: Sweeter orange, almost sugary bubblegum.

T: Right after the smell. A gummy sweetness mixed with some notes of orange and grapefruit. Well balanced, not very bitter.

M: Medium body with a nice tacky quality that clings to the gums.

D: A dangerously drinkable big beer. Balance of sugar and citrus flavors is well accomplished.

Mar 30, 2011
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wcudwight from North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber colored with a big fluffy head. Hmmmm smells more like a barleywine than a DIPA. Lot's of alcohol in the aroma. Flavor follows the aroma. Big bold flavorful beer but it's not going to appeal to the hopheads as much as I thought. While a good beer this one is not the hop bomb I was expecting. With that said the bottle went down much faster as usual.

Mar 25, 2011
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babaracas from Florida

4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pisgah in a shaker pint. Hazy dark orange, one finger white head and spotty lacing. Smell: apple, tropical fruit, sweet, earthy, leafy, big toffee backbone. Taste: caramelized sugar, dessert bread, red delicious apple, lemon rind, grapefruit, trademark Pisgah earthiness. Pretty sure the bartender said this was a DIPA and I wrote down Barleywine in my notes. ASA works. Medium-plus bodied, sugary.

Mar 21, 2011
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thagr81us from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured red-orange with a one finger bone white head that remained throughout. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earthy hops, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, earthy hops, caramel, dark chocolate, and citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. As always from Pisgah you get the big earthy flavors. On this one the earthy flavor tied in very well with the other flavors presents and definitely kept you palate alert at all times. Can't say that there is much missing on this one. A must try for any hop-head out there.

Feb 07, 2011
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morimech from Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with two fingers of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Pine hop aroma with a huge dose of caramel. The malt bill seems to be large enough to support the hops. The flavor lacks the hop flavor I was expecting. But the hop bitterness is all there. In the end it is an extremely bitter caramel malt beer. Thick and chewy body with a bit more carbonation than I typically enjoy with such a body. A big, bitter beer that lacks the good qualities I expect with the bitterness.

Feb 04, 2011
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark amber with about a finger of off-white head. The head quickly recedes into a ring with decent lacing.

S: some caramel malt up front followed by lots of pine and resin.

T: similar to the smell, there are some caramel malts up front with a lot of piny hops to follow. The hops provide a nice, resiny kick.

M: medium body and carbonation that nicely compliments the pine and resin flavors.

D: pretty drinkable for such a big, hoppy beer. More like a hoppy barleywine or DIPA.

Feb 04, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk from Vermont

3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmrillo and Hodgin for this extra! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a murky brown/amber with some thin tan head. Nose is fairly muted with some pale caramel malt and something like orange zest and something medicinal.

Palate is fat and juicy with hop oil, but not overly bitter. Reminds me alot of Midwestern IPAs. Pale caramel malt, lime oil, some wet earth, and a yellow grapefruit note on the finish.

At first, I dug this beer, but as it warmed up some strange flavors came out. Triple Pale Ale confused me a little too, wasn't sure if I was getting a Belgian Triple Pale Ale or a big fat juicy Pale Ale. it's the latter for sure, and worth a go.

Dec 10, 2010
Vortex I from Pisgah Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 185 ratings