Pisgah Valdez | Pisgah Brewing Co.

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Pisgah ValdezPisgah Valdez

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This robust Coffee Stout is a mouthful of flavor! A dark, roasty grain bill stands as the backdrop for a galaxy of coffee aroma and flavor, made possible by local organic bean roasters Dynamite Roastery. A Pisgah fan favorite, Valdez is brewed bi-annually and never lasts as long as the flavor.

Added by MuenchenerKindl on 11-24-2007

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Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 374
Photo of plaid75
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewery.

Poured a deep black hue with a wisp of off white foam.

The smell featured a pure full blown coffee grounds.

The taste consisted of a strong bitter black coffee with elements of charcoal.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side of the style.

If you like coffee you'll enjoy this beer. A bit thin on the mouthfeel however.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer quite awhile ago and I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. Thanks very much to Brickstoredave and RustyDiamond for the chance to try it. I'm a big fan of the bigger beers from Pisgah, and this beer doesn't disappoint. It's very good. That being said, It's not my absolute favorite RIS, or even coffee stout, but it is very nice.

Pours black with fairly light carbonation and head- I'll chalk that up to the growler. The aroma is all coffee, coffee, coffee, with just a touch of dry malt in the background to support the coffee. This is very much a black coffee tasting stout- no cream here to lighten the experience. As much as I like that, I think a little creaminess brings out more of the chocolate notes found in coffee and balances some of the acids and tannins. The flavor has some of those nice chocolate and earthy characteristics of a good cup of Sumatra, and obviously good quality coffee was used. I'm always amazed at coffee and chocolate stouts that skimp on the quality of these additions- they should be the best available. There is a slight burst of acidity at the finish that I ould have wanted to see a bit tempered, but overall more flavors of laser like coffee. A bit of a one-note wonder, but what a nice note! Very smooth and drinkable and the coffee flavors are huge, but the overall body could be a bit more robust and the flavors could be a bit more varied, otherwise its another success from this great brewery.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's nothing quite like an Imperial Stout on a 65 degree day in Carlsbad under a 90 degree heat lamp. It's a strange experience, but I wouldn't recommend it. I felt as though my life's blood was being drained from my body, one ounce at a time. Thankfully I had this Pisgah beer to sustain me or I fear I might not have made it. Thanks a lot to Mike for my first Pisgah beer. To be perfectly honest, I've never traded for a beer from this brewery because the name of the brewery has subconsciously irritated me. I'm happy to finally try it though.

Pours nearly black with a one inch, light brown head. The head has good retention and leaves a smattering of lacing as it recedes.

The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee with some cocoa. It smells quite nice. A low level of alcohol is noticeable. The taste is much like the aroma, centered on dark chocolate and coffee. Though I'm not an avid fan of coffee dominated stouts, this is quite good. There's a medium level of bitterness to the beer, but the hops have really no say in the rich flavor. No alcohol is noticeable, and considering the low percentage (imperial stout?) it's not surprising.

Full bodied with a nice level of carbonation.

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Photo of corby112
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with faint mahogany edges and a one finger beige head that immediately fades into a thin ring.  Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.  
Rosted coffee bean aroma with lots of dark roasted malt and coffee presence. Gourmet coffee is prominent with a nice roastiness without smelling overdone or burnt.  Hints of hazelnut, toffee, chocolate and toast.  Slight liactic cream presence.  

Medium bodied with a blast of smooth, deep roasted coffee that dominates the flavor but never becomes overpowering, abrasive, acrid or burnt.  Hints of hazelnut and toffee as well as some bittersweet dark chocolate and a slight lactic creaminess that balances things out while adding to the palate.  Perfectly balanced and extremely quaffable.  One of the best coffee beer I've had.  

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for hooking me up.

Poured a deep, deep brown with a massive tannish head and great carbonation. Nose is chocolate, coffee, grains. Taste is is very similar to most organic brews, with a big earthiness, grain, coffee, chocolate. Mouthfeel is nice and coating but lacking a bit on the coffee department and not that creamy.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black cocoa color with a tan head that boils away after a bit. There is a few tiny bubbles that glide up the side of the glass.

S- The ground coffee has a light breakfast roast quality with some earthy oat note in the finish.

T- The ground coffee has a slightly tart note and a fruity ester quality in the coffee's finish. There is a vegital capsicum flavor without any heat in the finish. A light inky hint lingers on the lips. As the beer warms there is a soft mellow black malt quality that comes through in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz that scrubs the finish and no real alcohol.

O- This beer has some nice mellow coffee flavors but not much stout support and it finishes a bit vegital. As the beer warms the coffee takes on a bit of a stale quality.

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Photo of akorsak
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A growler shared with Deuane, ClockworkOrange and JohnnyM2002 among others.

A: The stout is a dark cola brown color, almost indistinguishable from black. The growler, despite being wrapped in electrical tape, had lost a good bit of carbonation, so little if any head arose on the multiple pours.

S: The nose is a delicious coffee aroma, a chocolate infused aroma with touches of acrid bitterness. The beer is basically coffee with touches of stout added for good measure. The aroma is tough to beat.

T: The first sip is a rich coffee blast. The java flavor in this beer is damned near the strongest that I've had (and I've had Coffee Bender, Central Waters Coffee Stout and WnB). There is little to suggest that this is a stout, the focus throughout is the deliciously bitter coffee flavor. The coffee flavor lingers long after the sip is gone. And did I mention that the stout has a strong coffee flavor?

M: The coffee flavor is strong but beyond that the taste is rather thin. There is little stout body to back up the arabica beans. A vinous finish would have sealed the deal as a beer d'ambrosia.

D: I stayed close to this growler for as long as it lasted. If you like coffee in your stout, this is a must try.

A second growler resulted in a much thicker, fuller head. The subtle stout flavors also became more evident through the coffee. As a result, Appearance went from 4 to 4.5 and Drinkability went from 4 to 4.5.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a solidly good / surprising coffee stout as I received it as an extra in a trade. Nothing special or amazing, just a good satisfying coffee stout.

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Photo of barczar
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm guessing this is the same beer. Canned 6.2 percent. Not really an imperial.

Notes of fresh roasted coffee and nutty malt are evident as soon as the can opens. Lightly sweet chocolate and coffee grounds add depth. There may be a touch of acrid/metallic character there. Chocolate is fairly prevalent, but coffee definitely dominates the aroma. Body is fairly rich and extremely smooth.

Flavor follows suit, with a backbone of lightly sweet chocolate becoming modestly bitter and fairly coffee forward mid palate, carrying into a roasty finish. Very high quality coffee flavor, and balances well with the specialty malt sweetness.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Big earthy coffee aroma and some likewise earthy yeast. Almost has a Belgian characteristic to it like Chocolatized Vortex

T- Moderately bitter roasted coffee flavor with a bit more of that yeast element coming through. Sweetness is mild as is the alcohol presence. Very drinkable. Once the palate acclimates, the stout side becomes more apparent with the coffee being more of an afterthought. Caramel aftertaste.

M- Not as creamy as I was hoping. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- I had this about 9 months ago on draft and was blown away by it. Now, it's good, but not really what I remember. I heard there was a slight recipe change before they started canning it to make the ABV lower but I see no separate listing with a different ABV. Oh well, still good stuff.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one recently from mikesgroove. Thanks!
Pretty much black, can't see through it even held up to the light. Longlasting, creamy brown cap. Lots of sticky lacing. Looks great! Tons of roast and coffee in the aroma, along with notes of toffee, lots of malt, and faint grassy hops. Moderate hop bitterness with some grassy, spicy presence. Fairly sweet, a little fruity up front, roast and coffee throughout. Dry cocoa. A little more than medium bodied with decent carbonation, mild alcohol warmth, and very dry. Pretty good overall. A little too dry, but still tasty.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Mike, for a hand-delivered treat! January 2009 bottling

A: We have a rather massive gusher, resulting in a black beer with an overwhelmingly large dark brown head. Retention isn't all that hot, but this beer looks good allasame

S: Coffee. Freshly brewed, mellow and complex. Cold pressed? Some chocolate is present in the back, lending a decadent note to this beer. Pleasant roastiness. Quite awesome, really. As pronounced as the coffee is, there's enough going on behind it to keep this beer interesting.

T: Tastes like coffee. Just pure coffee. I usually dislike one-dimensional beers but this is one crazy good cuppa. Beautiful medium roast coffee with a little bit of chocolate. As a stout, this isn't all that great, but as a beer? Great. Finishes dry, long and bitter

M: Light with soft carbonation and a finish that's brilliant, this one's awesome. The pure coffee bitterness is netherworldly

D: This bomber is going in about 20 minutes, which isn't a great sign for me.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for opening his growler of this on DLD!

Pours a dark opaque brown, almost black, some red, thick medium brown head forms, decent lacing. Smell is coffee, oats, caramel, some chocolate, more coffee, biscuity bread coffee elixir. Taste is similar, tons of coffee and chocolate, coffee roast, big malty middle, grains and oats, big coffee finish, very smooth and very drinkable, no rough edges on this guy. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, goes down easy. Probably the last coherent review I'll get from that evening, fantastic use of coffee in this one. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of Bung
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Almost black pour with a tan head. Not a lot of lacing. Aroma is roasty, coffee and malt, more coffee. Mouthfeel it a little thin, but still medium bodied. Taste has coffee and bakers chocolate all around. Nice roast coffee/espresso finish. A very pleasant coffee stout and drinkable with a low abv for an Imperial. As much as I mentioned coffee it is by no means overdone. Worth trying it you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by Nate, drank from my Hill Farmstead glass... Dark brown with a nice light tan head, good retention and lacing... The aroma is tons of fresh coffee, has the Intelligentsia of HBI... The taste is equally nice, good light coffee but its fresh. Super easy to drink.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a Pisgah bomber, in my possession since DLD this year, capped not corked. The label shows it's organic which doesn't really matter to me at all. The beer was dark brown chocolate color with a thick off-white foam that lasted forever. I figured the coffee aroma/taste would be lost in this old bottle but it came through nicely. The java smell is actually complementary to some malts that are more sweet than roasted in character, together the malts and coffee come off very close to Founders Breakfast Stout. Same with the taste, I found this to taste a bit like an aged FBS (which is a good thing, I've had some old FBS that was better than the new stuff). The body is on the thick side which suits the style, overall a very fine coffee stout that I'd love to get again.

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Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC - if I were smarter I would've picked up more than one.

Pours pitch black with a two-finger dark tan head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of creamy roasted coffee with hints of roasted malts in the background. A smell of things to come.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more complex. Roasted coffee flavors kick things off, with roasted malts coming in shortly. Near the end of the sip there's a good deal of dark chocolate that appears right before the mildly bitter, mildly dry ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with mild carbonation that makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I could have finished this a lot quicker but I've been forcing myself to slow down and smell the malts.

Overall this is a very well done coffee stout that's definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove & ncvbc who offered me up bottles of this during the winter. Happy to try any coffee-upped stout, especially one with such a good rep. This one was bottled in September 2008. Bring me coffee!

Valdez is black, & very bubbly with a significant head on him. Smell is aggressively coffee as soon as the cork pops. Intersestingly, once it settles into the tulip, the nose simmers down quite a bit.

This is what coffee should taste like for those of us who don't dig it! The coffee taste is there, & fairly pronouned, but isn't drowning the baby beer behind it. The carbonation creates a definite bubbling in the mouth...other than that, I can't pick out anything in particular. It's just good. Weird. There's a solid body behind it of, well, something. And it's a good one.

All in all a very good beer. This one comes off as a beer that could be extreme, but's not, & that's just fine. Fits it's style alright.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed a few times in the past 2 weeks, both on-tap and bottled

Classification as a Double Stout is quite misleading. The bottled version is over-carbonated and may be confused as *gasp* infected. It just isn't right - fruity and tangy with a metallic finish. On-draft, its an iced coffee overload and is really a nice beer. Unfortunately, the most recent bottling doesn't translate and I was really quite embarrassed to open this for people not familiar with Pisgah.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into snifter - big thanks to CarolinaKevin for this

Pours an opaque black color with a froth of heavily tanned head. Some cloudy retention and a few spots of lacing left behind.

Wonderful scents of coffee beans and roasted warmth. Tones of dark malts, chocolate, and nuttiness. Practically no alcohol scent, a light touch of hops.

Eruption of roasted bean coffee flavor right up front. Nutty and sweet with chocolate and a light touch of molasses. Faint hint of caramel and vanilla as well. Layers of dark malts with roasted warmth. Faint hoppiness towards the finish with more coffee flavor.

Fuller body, higher carbonation, pretty smooth but prickly on the tongue. Really delicious coffee profile on this one, both in the nose and flavor - I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comes out of the tap a deep, opaque sable barely a kitten whisker above solid black with a fine-bubbled tan head. Rich, smoky aroma has strong chocolate and quality coffee tones and screams DRINK ME!!! to anybody who appreciates good stouts. Flavor is strongly like high-quality roast coffee with tones of unsweet chocolate, caramel and burnt wood plus a hint of molasses. Full-bodied texture has a strong, persistent tingle and leaves a smoky mocha finish. A must!!!

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Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured pitch black with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of coffee, with a little cream and vanilla.
T: It tasted like strong coffee, with a bit of dark chocolate and cream and sugary vanilla. It had a lasting bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. A bit too light.
D: This was up there with Peche Mortel and Brunch Weasel for super strong coffee beers. Very nice scent and taste, but the body was sort of weak. Easy enough to drink anyway, as long as you like coffee. Nice beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

big thanks to hopsleroy for hitting this long time want. enjoyed from a mother earth brewing snifter.

a - poured a watery black that settled into the glass deep and ominous with a tan mocha bubbly head that bubbled away quickly.

s - YUM! gourmet coffee. a fine roast. some chocolate. really just dominated by a really nice gourmet coffee smell. smells fantastic.

t - again, HUGE coffee notes. this is not for the faint of heart. big roast and some hints of bakers chocolate...some nice sweetness. i'm a fan.

m - slightly watery. almost tastes like a watered down coffee. carbonation is soft, body has some porter like char.

o - overall, i'm a BIG fan of this one. it is huge for coffee, but a bit watered down, but still works. not sure what vintage this is, but it doesn't taste anything like what some of the bad reviews boast so there might be bottle variation or even some batch variation? i couldn't have dug this one more.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during an afternoon ticking session at Pisgah! Served from tap into a sampler imperial pint. Poured a massively dark brown (basically black) with a half finger khaki-colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and coffee. The flavor was of sweet malt, coffee, and earth. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Three words though: HOLY CHRIST COFFEE! In all honesty, I don't drink coffee but if I were to start I would use this as a gateway for sure as I'm sure it would work. I would plan to share this one with coffee drinking friends as a gateway for them into craft beer. Still quite nice, but the coffee most definitely covered up a lot of the subtlies that were probably present in this brew.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chawk for hooking this one up. Served at our Night of Fedor tasting with the Chicago Crew.

A - Black beer with a brown head. Decent lacing, pretty nice looking brew.

S - Rich coffee on this, very strong aroma profile for a something that is less than 7% abv. Good roasted note with a little bit of burnt cocoa.

T - Roasted malts, awesome coffee profile. This is really how a coffee beer should be done. Great bitterness combined with a sweetness from the burnt cocoa. Great beer all around.

M - Full bodied, nice dose of carbonation for the style.

D - So good, could drink tons of it. Would love to have this beer again and highly recommend it to others.

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Pisgah Valdez from Pisgah Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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