Pisgah Cosmos | Pisgah Brewing Co.

Pisgah CosmosPisgah Cosmos
Liked This Beer
4.01 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of bhalter8
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Eric at Pisgah, who hooked me up with this bottle to taste tonight. Pours an ink black with a solid, 2 finger, tan head. As it slowly recedes the head leaves amazing lacing around the glass. The smell is 100% contrary to the look, the smell must come from the belgian yeast that was used, because it has that crisp belgian scent, and not the dark malty scent the look would suggest. The taste is amazingly complex, the sweet chocolate malt contradicts the crisp belgian style yeast, but in an amazing way. I am absolutely awestruck by the taste, it is crisp upfront, but mellows to a chocolate sweet rather quickly. It is still a bit crisp in your mouth, but since it is such a blend of styles, I guess that should be expected. A wonderful taste, but tough to drink whole lot of. I am thrilled to have had a bottle, and cannot say enough about the blended taste

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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 grub
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ncvbc hooked me up with this one. thanks walter!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. february 2008 vintage. sampled dec 31/08.

pours deep brown and mostly opaque with a small loose cola-like light brown head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. dark and milk chocolate. touch of coffee. whole wheat bread. biscuit. cracker. toasty and slightly roasty, with a bit of a belgian twist on things. bit of dark friut. touch of smoke.

taste is great. dark and milk chocolate. toasted multi-grain bread. cracker. some nice dark fruit too. bit of smoke. touch of roast. bit of coffee with cream. the flavour and aroma match very well with the bottle description - a baltic porter brewed with a belgian yeast strain. the usual baltic character is all there, tempered with the fruit and yeast of a belgian yeast strain.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-high carbonation. the carbonation is a bit high for a baltic porter, but works in this baltic-belgian hybrid.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, an interesting flavour blend. this one hides its alcohol well and has no trouble keeping your interest clear through the end of the glass. i wish i had another bottle!

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Photo of Viggo
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged, big thanks to grub for opening this one on NYE.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, dense colour, very light tan head which disappears very fast, no lacing, not the best looking BSDA. Smell is nice, lots of dark fruit, raisins, alcohol, biscuits, some spice, candi sugar, cranberries, a lot of sweet maltiness but pretty complex, a wide range of aromas are kicking around, some chocolate and roastiness. Taste is similar, very raisiny, caramel, brown sugar, light bit of floral, lots of fruit, sweet alcohol at the back of mouth, a lightly tart fruit finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Very drinkable a nice beer for the style. Sweeter and roastier than a BSDA should be, but still very enjoyable. Thanks for the sample Russ!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml undated bottle at 58 degrees.

Pours almost opaque black with barely translucent crimson edging. A hard pour released barely a quarter inch of fizzling cola head. The soda-like foam dissapated immediately to reveal a placid surface with zero lacework.

Aromatics lead off with raisins, grape jam, and sweet malt. Hints of cherries, cloves, and dark chocolate follow through. The low carbonation level keeps the nose fairly subdued.

Medium bodied and creamy, with a crisp edge. Tacky and sticky.

Caramel, dark chocolate, yeasty phenols, raisins, and grape jam start the palate. Dark fruit and rum, anise, and sugar-dusted figs follow through.

Finishes with rum-soaked raisins, scorched caramel, warming alcohol, and some faint nougat.

This beer holds a lot of promise, and I'm not sure what happened to it. The cola-like fizzle out of head screams "Stale!", but it drinks fairly complex.

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Photo of corey0212
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with mikesgroove!

First off, I could stare at the label on this bottle all damn day...

Pours a dark cola-brown, with a big fizzy mocha colored head, fades somewhat slowly into a 1/4" layer of foam on top of the beer, some nice patches of lace. Lots of cocoa on the nose, some fig, some chocolate covered cherries. Taste follows right along, the cherry taste has a tart/sour quality to it, and I get some faint espresso flavors as well. Pretty actively carbonated, on the heavy side of medium-bodied. This is a fantastic beer, well worth trying to track one of these down.

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Photo of joepais
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikesgroove for this extra he's a beer Karma God

Bottle poured into a Chalice produced a good two fingers worth of tam head that just stayed around for the whole beer. The body of this brew was jet black in color

Aromas of Belgian yeasts and roasted grains some grape sourness in there as well. It gets better as it warms up for sure

Flavors are great reminds me more of a Baltic than a strong dark, big roasted mats with some nice sourness in there from the yeast quite delicious really enjoyed it
Good carbonation and good medium to full mouthfeel.

Thanks so much Mike for giving me the opportunity to try this unique beer. A great brew to enjoy the last of summer. Very drinkable, I would drink it again. looking forward to trying more Pisgah

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Photo of DIM
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a very dark brown, bordering on black. It poured with a massive, fizzy, sticky, light tan head.

s: The nose strikes a fantastic balance between Baltic Porter and Belgian Strong Dark ale. Dark roasty malts, big cherry aromas, and something a little sour as well.

t: Things start off with sweet notes of vanilla and smooth, lightly toasted malts. Big yeasty, cherry flavors come next. The finish is dry and perfumed.

m: This has a great body and carbonation that is fizzy yet still somewhat creamy.

d: This was unique but not too far out there, I enjoyed this quite a bit. Thanks to mikesgroove for this extra from the barleywine BIF.

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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 rkuhnel
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shaun and Angie for bringing this one all the way from North Carolina. From a Corked and Caged bottle this opened with a nice pop, and poured a very dark color with a big creamy head and thick lacing. Very attractive for a dark beer. Nose was of ripe fruit and sour yeast, and interesting combination. Mouthfeel carbonated and a little fizzy. Flavor is very complex, with coffee, chocolate, ripe fruit, burnt wood, and something sour. Finish is sour. Alcohol shows in the finish as well. A very different and interesting beer.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to mikesgroove for the chance to try this neat brew via trade! I'm left thinking of the old commercials - you got peanut butter in my chocolate, you got chocolate in my peanut butter. Fade to Yum.

yeah, ok, a little insight to my TV history. What's it got to do with the beer? Well, I'll tell you. Take a traditional baltic porter, dry it up a bit, referment it with a belgian yeast and bottle.

Net, net - an intriguing take on a style worth trying if you get the chance.

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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 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 aubuc1
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber in to a wine glass.

Pours black with a two finger tan head.

Smells like wine with malt. Very enticing.

Sweet fruity taste followed with real malt backbone.

Very carbonated and light feel in the mouth.

Heavy taste, but the carbonation moves it away very quickly.

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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 wcudwight
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Typical Pisgah corked and caged bottle. Large "POP" when I popped the cork. Fog rises out of the bottle as thick as the fog coming up Black Mtn on I-40. Black coffee in color with a large mocha colored head that is very rich in texture. Head hold well and leaves behind spotty sticky lace.
Mocha aroma mixed with a Belgian spiciness. Very unique.
Ohh a Baltic Porter with Belgian yeast. I like it very much. Both flavors are present but the beer doesn't lean more to one style or the other. Instead the Baltic Porter recipe and the Belgian yeast strain form a very unique and complex flavor profile that's unlike anything that I've ever had. Oh yeah, it's also very good. Rich coffee flavors but more of a sweet coffee. Kind of like a mocha. Dark fruits. Raisins, dates, plums with a hint of bannana. A touch of bourbon flavoring or subsitute any rich liquer for bourbon. Also has some hints of a milk stout. Very complex yet all of the flavors are very soft.
The mouthfeel is yet another suprise. Given the bold appearance and the complexity of the flavors I'd expect this beer to have a big bold mouthfeel. But it's soft and silky and kind of fluffy for the rest or the characteristics of the beer.
Drinkability is expceptional and I firmly believe that Pisgah brewery is the best little brewery that no one knows about.
It's organic to boot!!!

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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 ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained via trade with ncvbc. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged, dated February 2008.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head over the opaque dark brown brew. Head snow-cones above the rim before taking FOREVER to collapse like a bad souffle, with insane levels of frothy lace. Aroma is spicy yeasts and light maltiness, expected more sweetness here. Taste starts with a peek of medium malt, hits with the spicy yeast, goes a touch sour, then gets into the funk, with a dry close. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly, but soft over the tongue, and drinkability is good as well. Not as good as the appearence was pointing me at the start, but still a very nice brew.

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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 pwoods
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejedi and kkipple for the bottles.

750ml brown corked/caged bottle, poured into a tulip. No dating.

A: Pours a deep dark murky brown, cloudy. Nice 2 fingers worth of khaki colored 'Belgian' head in the snifter, holds nicely. Lots of lacing to start then falls off just a bit.

S: Nice caramel-y malts with the yeast and alcohol of a BSDA. Roasts malts with light cola syrup and grapes show it's baltic porter influence.

T/M: Definitely has the malt bill of a BSDA and BP mix. Very complex; loads of dried and fresh juicy dark fruits, some defined grape and flat syrupy cola, super sweet caramel and even a touch of weak fresh coffee. Hops are light but add to the esters and balance such a complex malt bill. Belgian yeast enhances the mou thfeel as well as the carbonation. Body is around medium.

D: Great brew but I must say, I'm slightly disappointed... I love BP's and I guess I was almost expecting just that. It's a good twist, though. With 9.5%, you'll drink it slow, or at least try.

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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 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 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 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 DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade with mikesgroove. Thanks Mike!
Very dark, pretty much black, with faint mahogany edges. Fizzy yellowish tan foam that settled to a ring. A little bit of spotty lacing was evident, but short-lived. Interesting aroma, a mixture of dark malts and belgian yeast character. Caramel, cocoa, fruit, raisins, alcohol, bread, figs, spicy yeast. Flavour mirrors the aroma. Fruit character was more pronounced, with lots of plum, fig, and raisin. Bitterness provided an anchor, keeping caramel sweetness in check. Chocolate notes were more subdued and alcohol stayed balanced, though it was definitely on the warm side. Finished a little peppery with lingering bread and molasses. Carbonation was quite high and provided a bit of lightness to the otherwise full body. I liked this one. It's an interesting mix of characters that really work well together.

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Pisgah Cosmos from Pisgah Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 82.5% out of 100 with 80 ratings
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