RATINGS: 209   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76/5   EST. CALORIES: 351   ABV: 11.7%
Treat yourself to the first of the Vortex series to be offered in a bottle. The strongest Pisgah beer to date, this Russian Imperial Stout would make any 18th century Czar proud

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boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - SEP 11, 2007
Very thin tan head, quickly and fully diminishing. The body is very dark brown with multi-hued reds(crimson, chestnut) and opaque, clearly bottle conditioned. The appearance is very average but for multiple subtle underlying coloration schemes. A well-crafted roasted grain profile skips forth in the nose. Chocolate covered nuttiness is the foremost element in a standard and reclusive aroma. Sweet, succulent espresso follows. Alcohol, in an ethanol and Rhum styled presentation, is strong and unbridled. Roasted grain is full, comforting and seems well-suited for a biting-cold wintery night. Herbal hops are moderate, as well as tobacco and smoked wood hints. The flavor develops an incredible lack of malt depth. A stark shortage of bitterness and roastiness is neither a contrast of a moderately diminutive aroma, nor a surprise. Coffee notes envelope chocolate, now swamped by staunch lactic acidity. Sweetness is medium to medium-high, bitterness low, astringency low to mild and medicinal and herbal. The finish is smooth, very slowly drying from evident alcohol and mild roasted malt. The mouthfeel is softly and sparsely carbonated, has gaping watery pockets with oils swimming at a quickened pace across the palate, and is medium to medium-full bodied and wavering from one end of this short spectrum to the other. Very smooth and easy to drink, but with a total scarcity of substantial body throughout or depth of character. Therefore, average.

SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - SEP 10, 2007
Courtesy jayg. Black with dark brown edges. Small tan cap mostly disappears. Roasty and bittersweet coffee and dark chocolate, light dose of bitter hops. Medium/full body, balanced carbonation, very drinkable. Not very complex but easy to drink. Good brew.

kp (10882) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
Date: 03/30/2007
Mode: Draft
Source: Barley’s, NC

black, fine beige head, solid drippy lace, huge creamy body, sweet milk chocolate aroma with light roasted coffee character, rich chocolate flavor, good balance between dark chocolate bitterness and milk chocolate sweetness, light hop flavor and bitterness keeps the balance, another incredable chocolate imperial stout from the mountains of North Carolina

Aroma: 8/10; Appearance: 8/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 17/20
Rating: 4.1/5.0
Drinkability: 9/10
Score: ***+/4

BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 25, 2007
Bottle provided by Jeff (zathrus13) and served in my Expedition snifter: Shows a deep brown near opaque hue with a fading fizzy tan head which left a small ring of bubbles and a light coating upon the glassware. The nose detected heavy sweet malts (toast, chocolate, rye, smoke), plum, starfruit, hint of coffee and tobacco esters, some grassy and herbal hop vapours and a bit of phenolic activity.

The taste starts equally sweet malty and fruity overtone with a base of rich semi-sweet chocolate. The midesection opens up some coffee bitterness and a dash of smoke. The finish is part warming alcohol and part dry wood.

The mouth feel is medium-bodied and oily with a moderate warming trend that increased as I drank the bottle. Honestly I wish this was a tad thicker to support the alcohol found within. A solid brew indeed from an up and coming brewery. A few minor tweaks and this could be killer. Worth a seek-out for any stoutie.

00cobraR (1103) - Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - AUG 7, 2007
Rating # 700. This is a damn fine beer. Pours out a deep black color with a thick bown head. Brew is very thick, very close to burnt motor oil. Aroma is deep choco color with huge roasted malts to it. Flavor is semi sweet choco with lots of caramel sweetness. I really like this brew.

WeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 4, 2007
Bomber via trade with JMichael, thanks dude. Pours black with a thin than layer of head with some swirling islands in the middle. The nose is very malty and rich with bits of coffee, caramel, chocolate and some roastiness in those malts. Taste is sweet, malty and restrained, the alc is nicely hidden and the brew tastes great but I wish the taste extended a bit further. That said its a pretty damn good impy.

hopscotch (11160) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 30, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2012 Bottle… O-Town Throwdown Part Deux… Pitch black ale with a small, creamy, beige head. The aroma is a rich, malty blend of chocolate, caramel and toffee with a good dose of diacetyl. The flavor leans on the burnt, bitter side of balance. Lots of dark, unsweetened chocolate and caramel with a waft of campfire smoke and a hint of oxidation. Full-bodied and silky with lively carbonation. Sweet, warming finish. Thank you, DragonStout and jayg, for sharing the bottles!

OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - JUL 30, 2007
Bottle at Columbus tasting 8 - Pours black with a short tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and a little bit of plum. Flavor is chocolate, lots of roasted malts, some of that dark fruit, raisin and plum in particular. Sweet and smooth throughout and an easy drinker for a big stout but the alcohol heat detracts from the brew in my opinion. Still very good though.

ganache (5953) - New Jersey, USA - JUL 29, 2007
My 500th US brew. Bottle. Huge roast and slightly toasty nose, overripe red fruits with gobs of sticky malt, some coffee, and chocolate. Some overpowering alcohol heft. Just a hair short of complete pitch black, th smallest touch of ruby with a diminishing light brown head. Taste is likewise huge, though unfortunately dominated by alcohol. Sticky malt, extremely dry with the ring of coffee, toast and roast in the fore wirth more of that sticky red fruit. Body is thicker than medium but not quite full; smooth mf is very creamy, adds a familiar dimension to the coffee bitterness. Aftertaste is predictably dry, warming, and somewhat sticky; bitterness combined with exiting fruit makes me want to raise another glass to my lips. On the whole, an exceptional if nontraditional impy, but I’d be surprised if this stayed near the Top 50.

rayg1 (593) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - JUL 29, 2007
This was a bottle supplied by Ross during our little tasting and actually the beer that I was the most excited about all night. Pours out a huge black that seems to absorb all color around it and then from the darkness an eruption of brown bubbles. Aroma is very roasted malts and coffee with some bitter chocolate and a slight fruitiness to it, quite a surprise. Ross said it reminded him of Bezerker but I haven’t tried that yet so I can only say that the fruit was noted and welcomed. Taste is thick and velvet on the tounge again the deep roasted flavor attacks your senses with coffee in the background finishes slightly sweet before the hops take over for the tail end of the sip. Good stuff Pisgah!!!

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