Pisgah Cosmos | Pisgah Brewing Co.

very good
56 Reviews
Pisgah CosmosPisgah Cosmos

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pisgah's tribute to the Belgian tradition and our home-brewing roots, this recipe comes directly out of Dave's old homebrewing notebook. We combine the rich flavor of a Baltic porter with the subtleness of a special Belgian yeast strain, imagine bananas dipped in dark chocolate liquified in your beer glass. Honor tradition, Respect beer.

Added by mikesgroove on 04-02-2007

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 80
Photo of babyhobbes
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark dark reddish brown with a tall creamy tan-colored head. Smells rather musty. Taste is laid-back, somewhat bitter, with a yeasty sourness. It's just okay. I guess it's worth a try, but I doubt I'd get it again.

Thanks Mikesgroove for this beer!!

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Photo of m1ked
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as an extra! from the growling at the moon from Mikesgrove. Congrats on lil MG, and thanks for the brew.

A- Poured into a Delirium tulip, about 2 inches of liquid and 3 inches of cracklin, foamy head. I could hear it like rice krispies. Eventually cripied away leaving behind a surprisingly small amount of lacing. Liquid is black until you hold it up to the light revealing dark coffee brown edges.

S- Sweetness of figs and raisins, light coffee, brandy-ish etoh weaving throughout. Touch of milk chocolate/semi-sweet mix.

T- Starts off very mild. Mild raisins, weak chocolate and coffee, with an odd metallic twang to it. Fades into a coffee aftertaste....the best part for me. I have to admit, I had anticipated more.

M- Thin, watery body. After that huge head on the pour and all the noise it made...there wasn't much carbonation to be had.

D- To look at and smell this beer, I thought I was in for an epic beer. Overall, not a bad beer by any means, but....I had expected more. Maybe it's me and my expectations. Nonetheless, i appreciate the opportunity to try a new beer. thanks again MG.

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Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending this my way. Consumed during the Drinking the Cellar week of '09.

Split with the wife & poured into the proper glassware, as the bottle kindly reminded us, after a nearly fatal struggle with a vicious cork. Very dark red, with a quick rising, quick falling head. Smell is unique - smells vaguely like a warm Belgian mixed with a barleywine. My wife: "If I smelled this with my eyes closed I'd expect something light".

Cosmos has one flaw that's immediately apparent, & that's the carbonation. Active to the point of Shasta, extremely distracting to the actual taste of the beer. Trying hard to plumb past the bubbles, there's a very champagne, dry-quality to the beer, vinuous, almost a berryesque, wine taste on the tongue. Feels like this has been wood-barrel aged, though I don't know if it has been. This is what I imagine a good wine would taste like if it was force-carbonated.

Very good beer. I have to knock it for the mouthfeel, but this is a unique effort & something I'm going to enjoy very much for the next thirty minutes or so.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Major thanks to atsprings for the share...

Body pours a gorgeous mahogany-black hue that lets in a little ruby red when held up to the light. Head is dark khaki with hints of tan, and fills the glass effortlessly upon pouring. Be careful with this one, don't pour too vigoroursly. Head retention is top notch, thanks in part to the corked bottle. Aroma is a bit discordant, considering the description of the beer (paraphrased) "a baltic porter home-brew accident with belgian yeast".

The belgian yeast is evident in both taste and aroma. Not many "porter-ish" notes pull through, but the yeast adds a chewy, spicy zest. A bit of musk and light chocolate is all that keeps Cosmos in the baltic porter style range. Mouthfeel is overly carbonated at first, but mellows within an hour to a thick, boozy-rich body. I can't say this is a beer I'd try again (or buy), although my friend, Adam, swears it's better on tap.

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Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL bottle, from February 2008.

A: The dark ale is murky, a quad like cola brown color that is opaque. Not much head though; what's there is off-white trending darker.

S: Dark candi sugars, raisins and brown sugar, along with caramel malts create a big nose. Closer inspection tells me, again, just a little too long in the cellar. Despite that, the quad-like aromas are strong enough to cover up most anything. The darker fruits stand out, I believe, over everything else.

T: The darker flavors bely a fierce beer - dark fruits, booze and candi sugars all swim around. The richness doesn't directly lead to the booziness but it comes close. Darker caramel and roasted malts add to the body. The finishing flavors are a little musty, older, but the quad underneath still packs a flavor punch. Quite complex with a lasting fruit flavor - very dark with raisins and figs in command.

M: Warming and big, small sips are the way to go. Next time around, I wouldn't hold onto this for 4 years though.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

A - Black, cola brown with a fizzy soda like 3 finger bubbly head tan head.

S - Dates and raisins, hint of coffee, milk chocolate, sweet malt and a touch of spicy belgian yeast.

T - Dark fruits, flat cola, milk chocolate, spicy belgian yeast and a lingering dry malty/grainy taste.

M - Slightly thin and highly carbonated, fizzy on the tongue.

D - Definite Baltic Porter flavors/aromas with a nice touch from the Belgian yeast.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Belgian strong ale that pours a deep amber with a nice mocha cap. The sweetness is a bit overpowering, loads of brown sugar and bubblegum; beneath that lies some dark fruit and a hint of smoke. The nose smacks of cola and - guess what? - more sugar. Crazy sweet brew that's a bit over the top - but it's a pleasant sipper nonetheless, on this rain soaked Sunday in North Carolina.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

huge thanks to AleWatcher for knocking off this want. enjoyed from my La Trappe chalice.

vintage February 2008

a - decaged and popped the cork...well, perhaps i shouldn't say popped the cork as it snapped in half and then i destroyed it while trying to pry it out with a cork screw. once that travesty finished (i take full blame on that one) the brew poured a deep plum with a nice creamy bubbly head that didn't hang out long but never seemed to fully go away. unfortunately had to strain the beer into a different chalice since i noticed little bits of cork in the beer.

s - boozy, but in a vinous way. as soon as i broke through the cork it almost smelled like red wine in the room. there is some good plum and dark fruit notes though. not all that sweet, more booze than sweet for the style. after the transfer/straining there was more sweet in there...smells very nice.

t - in addition to dark fruit there is a decent amount of cocoa and some roastiness. the beer is definitely oxidized as well. i probably should've drank this right when i got it, but held it for a special occasion or tasting and now am popping it as i am trying to drink some of the older bottles that i have to prevent them getting over the hill...may have missed the boat on this one a bit. not bad, but from the reviews sounds like this one was better a year or two ago.

m - still fairly creamy...and fortunately was able to eliminate the bits of cork. first glass i strained through a screen, but then the interweb taught me to rubber band a coffee filter around the neck of the bottle.

o - overall, one of my favorite styles...this is pretty good, but probably held onto for a bit too long. has a bit of a cocoa thing going on. VERY smooth and creamy for an american take on this style. enjoyable, but i bet this one was way better a year ago.

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Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aggressively carbonated bottle from Bruisn' Ales. The carbonation keeps at bay the baltic Porter taste which is there and balance porter/a little sourness malted down, but a muted flavour. Decent drinkability and the alcohol is hidden.Black body with nominal head.SOrt of hits the style.

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Photo of gford217
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jw347 poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in as an opaque black in the glass with a huge rocky tan head that shows great retention. The cap lasts throughout and leaves big clumps of lacing. The aroma is very unique and has a big chocolate malty base in the nose but with tons of sweet, tart fruit and some Belgian yeast as well. There's also a slight coffee bitterness in the smell as well. The taste starts with an interesting tart fruitiness with Belgian yeast on top of it. However, it finishes with a very porter-esque malty chocolate flavor with another fruity pop in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly full-bodied and dry with lots of carbonation. This is a truly unique brew from Pisgah and a take on the style that I've certainly never experienced.

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Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Pisgah Brewery in Asheville, NC on 5/29/10

A - Cola-black with a thin creamy tan head, lively carbonation.

S - Belgian yeast, plums, raisins, dates, bit of coffee and chocolate.

T - Roasted malt, dates & raisins, molasses, coffee, Belgian yeast and...citrus?! Whole lot going on.

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation.

D - Happy with the one I had, got a bit heavy for me towards the end of the glass, but the ABV was well hidden. Overall, a complex brew that was hard to rate by "style" as it runs all over the rails. A unique and memorable brew from Pisgah.

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Photo of Sponan
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a goblet. More head than beer to begin. Head fades quickly without a lot of lacing. Is this a little thin?

S- Hit with raisin/date immediately followed by coffee with maybe a hint of chocolate..

T- Less flavorful than expected based on the aroma. Flavor mirrors the smell, starting with the raisin and fading to a bready chocolate finish. Almost like the malty finish of a porter competing with the breadiness of some belgians.

M- This beer is a little thin for either style, baltic or belgian. Watery in the mouth.

D- The appearance and smell had me expecting more. Interesting hybrid, and the alcohol is well hidden. Not a bad beer, but nothing stood out for me. Give it a try if you are looking for something a little different.

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Photo of younger35
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this brew from Mikesgroove in this years Black Booty BIF. I've enjoyed all the beers I've had from Pisgah and expect nothing less for this Baltic Porter with a special Belgian yeast strain. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

February 2008 on label.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a nice two finger creamy light tan head. The head sticks around forever leaving plenty of rich sticky lacing. Every single one of Pisgah's brews manages to look terrific.
Smell- Lots of rich dark fruits including raisins, plums, figs and even hints of dark cherries. The yeast is slightly spicy and earthy on top of the lightly toffee base. Definitely a bit of milky chocolate on top of some light malt balls. Not bad but it's a bit unassertive.
Taste- Label says "with the subtleness of a special yeast strain". Subtle my ass! The yeast seems to dominate. It's sort of earthy with a mushroom cap dirtiness and a very light balsamic acidity (seriously). Slightly toasty with a whole grain like maltiness and a very slight sweetness that is sort of molasses like. Some dark fruits (mostly prune) before the beer finish slightly citric with the lightest bit of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- Just a tad lighter than I like it but I still put it well above medium. A very sharp carbonation that does seem to fit the beer quite well though.
Drinkability- I'm a full two glasses through this beer and I'm not 100% sure my exact feelings. The yeast is a bit much and it can get semi cloying toward the bottom of your second glass. But it is different and interesting. Worth a shot for sure I spose! Thanks much for your generosity Mike!

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Another Pisgah brew courtesy of mikesgroove, thanks man, keep 'em comin!

750 mL cork and caged bottle poured into a chalice.

Mmm, more organic goodness.

Pours a complete black with a big two finger fluffy tan head that remains for quite a while. A spotty wall of stickiness holds on to the sides of the glass, this is a very nice lookin' beer. Light cocoa and molasses up front in the nose with a sweet caramel backbone. Bready aromas with brown sugar and hint of booze as well. Taste begins with a rush of alcohol followed by a good amount of yeast and roasted nuts. Coffee grinds, licorice, and some oak on the tongue as well. Aftertaste is a bit spicy with some raisons and fig. The feel to this beer truly amazing. So soft, smooth, and silky with a light-medium body and tingly carbonation. Unfortunately the alcohol presence takes away from the drinkability. The pillowy mouthfeel with this is by far the most enjoyable of the characteristics. I wish I had a bottle to age, I bet this would be to die for in a few years. Thanks so much Mike for giving me the opportunity to try this unique beer. I have Baptista left, and hopefully more coming my way in the future :) Keep up the good work Pisgah!!

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Photo of Overlord
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mikesgroove for hooking me up with a wonderful assortment of PISGAH! Thanks mikesgroove.

Pours a dark brown that when held to the light shines with ruddy amber glints. Well carbonated, almost champagne-esque in its bubbliness. Very interesting.

As it warmed up, I detected hints of belgian yeast, dark fruit strongly, and a bit of molasses in the nose. Taste was pretty exotic. This is one of the most unique brews I can ever remember having. I read the label maybe five times. Baltic Porter my ass.

The backing is pure caramel malt, molasses, and dark fruit, but hanging over it all are little pinpricks of strange mutant flavors. Wait, there's a bit of belgian yeast! No, maybe it's a spicy nuttiness! Holy shit, is that a sweet berry or sweet citrus note I detect?!? AAAHHH *head explodes*

Very hard to beer to rate. Certainly interesting to drink, though it did exhaust the palate after a while. I could easily see some folks thinking the mouthfeel is too much, that it's too lively, but I thought it livened up the complexity of the beer (even though it was inappropriate for the style).

Doubt I'll have a chance to try it again.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle Corked & Caged > Chimay & Postel chalice's

(February '08 on lable) This is a stunning looking graphic on the lable USDA Organic.

"We all drink down steam"...

The cork explodes out of the bottle with a gentle push and the dark brown liquid just starts rushing out and creates a massive, uncontrolable 3" bubbly, foamy, tan-mocha colored head in both glasses. Smooth and fluffy on top, bubbly and active just beneath.

The aroma has light chocolate, tangy, fermented grapes, walnuts, dark red berries, mild coffee. The aroma is pretty mild but complex.

The flavor is chocolate covered grapes and cherries right off, spicey and tangy yeast adds comlexity and depth. The body is pretty light and active, crisp feeling and never too thick. The hops are earthy and semi-bitter with a great balance amoungst the rest of the ellements. The heat is very warming, not sharp or harsh, just warming. Later, your left with bitter, tart chocolate and fruits, slightly over-carboanted and explosive at room temp.

I love the willingness to mix a wonderful stlye like Baltic Porter and add an agressive Abbey yeast strain. Gutsy.

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Photo of farrago
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an extremely thin head which struggles to cover the surface and then quickly does not, small random splotches for lacing with no stickiness. The liquid is black in spite of being obviously squeaky clean and unblemished, you do get the transparency along the more orange colored rims, hardly any visible bubbles. The nose has a medicinal, witch hazel quality to match the heavy coffee roast element, chocolaty, cherry syrup, sweet enough that the yeasts get a bit cloaked, more nutty by turns, after a little warming the banana notes gain strength, overall kind of like a German chocolate cake. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied with most of its heft expended through the attack, fizzles out by the end. That said, plenty of intensity to the mocha, cola bean, vanilla to café au lait flavors, has more fizziness than expected, prevents a full-on creaminess, Plum, cherry to raisin fruit, more concentrated and sugary than juicy. Starts to get some ginger, cinnamon spice going but something like quinine balances it out. Overall, tastes like a baked good, you want it with dessert. High drinkability.

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Photo of chaz410
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer at the AMAZING new Duckworths Grill and Taproom in Charlotte NC.
Pours a near black amber brown body with a quarter finger slightly brown head.
Smells of toasted malt, funky belgian yeast, raisen, slight cherry and some tinny, grassy hops.
Taste of tons of roasted malts, toasted grains that lend toward the biscuit malts as well. There's a slight chocolate and caramel hybrid sweetness. There is a mix of funky, tart belgian yeast finish along with a little booze as well as some dry toasted maltiness.
Very smooth mouthfeel that finishes almost dry and doesn't linger.
For the style and ABV I could see having several of these so I consider it fairly drinkable.
Go Go Go Go Duckworths!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Deuane at least a year ago. Thanks D! 750ml corked bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Cosmos appears a deep chestnut color with a good two fingers of creamy ecru foam. Nose and flavor consist of dark fruits such as cherries, milk and dark chocolate, hints of coffee, mocha, prune, dark toasted bread grains, good amount of caramel sweetness. Medium to full bodied with adequate carbonation. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, duckworths charlotte

appearance: served in an unbranded chalice, very dark - ebony body, fizzy tan head with sparse lacing

smell: figs, spice, booze, dark fruits drenched in rum

taste: potent elixir - big dark fruits, molasses, raisin, dates, rum, stick dark malts, dark cherry, vanilla, lots of belgian yeast. Quite complex but overly strong - glad to find on tap as I don't feel the need to seek out the elusive bottles anymore

mouthfeel: low carbonation, sticky and strong

overall: good

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Photo of atsprings
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to try this one over a year ago on draft at the brewery and loved it, and was looking forward to trying it again. Poured into a tulip glass a nice almost opaque black with a nice tan head. The aroma had some Baltic porter characteristics, but also possessed dried fruits and the obligatory yeast. The taste was good, just not what I remember, the beer was also more carbonated this time around. The taste had an interesting blend of chocolate, fruits and spice and opened up as it warmed. The beer was somewhat crisp once the carbonation died down, but nowhere near as smooth as it had been at the brewery. The alcohol was present, but somewhat hidden. This is certainly a special beer, just not all I remembered it to be.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large light brown head that recedes slowly and laces well. Nice strong belgian yeast aroma, sweet toffee and a touch of caramel, spice and a bit of tannic red wine aroma as well. Taste shows some soft sweet breadiness, a bit of green apple honey and lemon, with a dry grassy, nutty chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body, full and creamy carbonation, a bit of tingle on the tongue and a quite dry finish with a little alcohol warmth. The feel of this beer is very nice, the blend of the dryness in the finish with the slightly tart green apple flavor and an earhty, nutty coffee and woodiness is a great combination of flavors and feel and a great transition from the silky and creamy feel mid taste. Thanks Walter for the opportunity. Will gae the other bottle in the cellar and see how it develops.

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

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

This offering pays homage to the brewer's homebrew roots. It's what American brewers do best: hybrid styles. Baltic Porter meets Belgian yeast--and organic to boot.

Fizzy foam from a semi-hard pour leaves a thick tan lace after a few sips. Dark brown color lets only a little light through the edges with a garnet hue. The yeast is right in your face from the first sniff; aromas of cotton candy and bubble gum are followed by a cocoa powder maltiness. Dreamy smoothness rolls around in the full body with a deep crispness. Big-time chocolate on the palate--very dark chocolate to be more exact. The Belgian yeast throws in some herbal phenols, and the roasted character carries an undertone of char; wrap this around its very complex maltiness, and you've got a faultless balance. Modest hopping. Fruity middle-to-end with dark berries and overripe plum. Estery, but not too pushy. Finishes with a layer of mocha, staying a tad sweet.

Not knocking average-strength craft beers, but this is what should have been in North Carolina all along: a choice--even if that choice is an extreme beer.

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

a: deep chocolate brown in color, topped with a mocha head that shows good retention

s: lots of deep chocolate roast, hints of medium roast coffee, black figs and other leathery dark fruits, sweet burnt sugars, yeast profile of clove with some hints at banana

m: well carbonated, perhaps a bit high at first but smoothing out, with a full, slick body

t: big roasty belgian body, chocolate roast first moving towards some deeper charred barley, clovey yeast flavors with some esters, not dominant but quite obvious, fruit leather, finishes with sticky burnt sugars and a thick chocolate/coffee flavor in the back of the throat

d: not a huge fan of the belgian-roast duo, but it's a nice enough drink, and I appreciate the creativity

enjoyed from a plastic cup around a fire at the brewery on a cool late summer night

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

Poured a dark almost black color with a relatively thin head that settled to a ring that stuck around. Pretty good lacing. The smell is good, but still a little rough. This is the best indication that it could use some more time in the bottle. There is a definite up front smell of molasses, followed by dark dried fruit and some toffee. The taste is similar to the smell, but seems more integrated, especially as its been open for a while. There are also flavors of banana, clove, raisins, and fig. Sorta like a Belgian version of a Baltic porter. The mouthfeel is a little rough, but it has good body and carbonation levels. Pretty drinkable now, this should improve in the bottle. This was my second big beer from this brewery, and I gotta say there is a big difference between their bigger beers and their sessionable beers. These high abv ones are a whole heckuva lot better. The Baptista was sublime, this one is solid.

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Pisgah Cosmos from Pisgah Brewing Co.
4.01 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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