Pisgah Cosmos | Pisgah Brewing Co.

very good
80 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -25.2%

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 KAF
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

 1,004 characters

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.

 380 characters

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.

 1,830 characters

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.

 287 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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 Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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

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.

 585 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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 zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jak
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of ADTaber
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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