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Vas Deferens Ale - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vas Deferens AleVas Deferens Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

118 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 18
Gots: 12 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 06-05-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by bbb099:
Photo of bbb099
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Impressive, clear reddish amber color with a foamy white head.

S - Licorice, dark fruits, and cocoa. Almost imperial stout-like.

T - Smoky roasted malt and dark fruits with an orange-finish.

M - Low carbonation, full-bodied.

O - Decent aroma and taste. The orange didn't come through as strong as I thought, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

Crazy name, disturbing label. WTF!! LOL ... we're OK now. It's a dark and heady brew. Brown sugar, medicinal phenols, bubble gum and ripe fruit make for a Belgian-like aroma. It is crisp and smooth with a bitty mouth- feel. Suggestions of chocolate, oranges, toasted bread and rum come to mind. With modest hops, the alcohol is very prevalent; lots of ripe tropical fruit in tow. Bitter orange wins over the blood orange zest. This beer is not half bad, and certainly worth a try if you can get past the label.

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee and not too much else. The flavor is toffee, leather, tobacco, wood and dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A decent beer but nothing too exciting.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an opaque reddish brown with a moderate slightly tanned head. Too cloudy to make out any visible carbonation. Not much lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Dark fruits, orange and belgian yeast all attack the nose upon first whiff. Raisin, plum or fig all come to mind. Touch of roasted malts and chocolate in there. Belgian qualities are nice.

T: As with the aroma there is a pleasant belgian tone to the flavor of this beer. The chocolate seems more pronounced, dark fruits are not too strong but flavorful. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium to full body with low-medium carbonation. The yeast gives it a good creaminess on the tongue. Finish is smooth.

Overall this beer has subtle qualities that all add up to a great finished product. May not blow you away with flavor, but this one is something that could be enjoyed all night. Love the artwork.

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A different Belgian. Aging this several months, in Tim's ideal garage helped mellow the yeasty part, leading way to the blood orange taste. Cross-style. Earthy. Very good drinkability.Not too sweet, more like a "juice not from concentrate".

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brown with a reddish hue; short-lived, soft, white head

S - bready, caramel, some alcohol

T - caramel, nutty, faint roasted, light bitter finish, some spiciness, warming alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

Not a bad beer. It's nutty and caramelly like a brown ale. The oranges don't come through for me. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the flavor. I liked this but I don't like the Belgian label. They may have used Belgian yeast but it comes across more as a brown than a BSDA. Worth a try nonetheless.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

Pours a thin head on a clear dark straw, almost red colored body.
The aroma is big dry grain, caramel and salt.
The taste has lots of caramel and grain sweetness with lemon bitterness to balance it out.
The texture is fizzy with moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable.

Photo of russpowell
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this ine from the Nashvillian (cheers John)

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of of tan head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Rich dark fruit, chocolate. All fade as this warms

T: Follows the nose, dryness, apricot, pears & cherries with a touch of oakyness up front. I start picking some candi orange notes as this warms, a touch of juicy fruit gum on the edges, along with apple skins. Finishes dry with some orange rind bitterness showing up, some cocoa powder as well

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, a bit too dry for my liking

A decent shot at the style, just didn't pull a the way together for me, still very drinkable

Was hoping for some like an acholic version of Terry's Orange Chocolate (if you know what I'm talking about)

Having read other reviews, yeah what is up with that label? Not sure what that demon is is grabbing...

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I believe that this is not going to be a rotating beer but that this is a limited one time brew. Just my belief subject to confirmation but this is part of the Caldera Kettle Series, a "Limited Small Batch Seasonal Release."

Pours a dark copper red with a yellow/white head.

Sharp smokey spice sweet cherry cola nose.

Mouthfeel is thin/medium thin with a light "elegant" carbonation. Light creamy character.

Flavors follow nose; all smokey, spice sweet cherry cola and lots of cocoa flavors. Very well balanced in that there is a hint of bitter sweet chocolate that goes to a bitter sweet chocolate finish.

Flavors do have definite undertones of the orange bitters and blood orange zest.

Nothing stands out but this beer if really welcoming and immensely drinkable; you just want to keep drinking more. A much more complex brew with loads of flavors profiles that sneak up on you. Very nice effort.

Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber with an awesome label.
Clear deep amber with razzberry and apricot highlights. A big dense tan head with decent retention. Tight sheets of lace.

Blood orange, caramel, dark candi sugar/brown sugar, toasty, spices, pie crust. Some fruity Belgian yeast esters.

Sweet toasty caramel, brown sugar and spices, pie crust. Bitter blood orange. Nice and bitter, counters the sweetness.

Smooth, no bite. Full feeling medium body. Slow med carbonation.

Very drinkable and interesting brew. Complex, lots of flavors, and very enjoyable. Hilarious name and label.

bomber enjoyed 9/12/10

Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Seriously fucked up label, yo! Love it.

Appearance. Pours a dark red-brown with a finger of thick off-white head.

Smell. Brown sugar, oranges, some dark fruits. Smells really nice actually!

Taste. Brown sugar and caramel malts, some sweet darker malt, oranges, chocolate and raisins.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, below medium very smooth carbonation.

Overall. Really surprised how enjoyable this one was. I figured it was just a novelty but it's a decent beer to say the least.

Photo of Docer
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roommates GF brought home a bottle to try... love the name, label.. etc.... let's see what we've got...

- Clear, and rather dark brown ale of sorts.. glows a touch red as well... big off-white head... leaves a bit of a ring and a subtle layer on top...

- I get some bitter hops, tangy Belgian-like yeast.. wheat or a wit quality... and green olives. I usually get a green olive smell when something is wrong.... little spice, zest, earthy...

- Esters.. fig, prune, fruit... yogurt.. spice, and some green olive... a very interesting almost iced-cream-like approach to a beer... a cream flavor exists... zesty tangy hop.... very interesting. I am also getting peanuts... lots of essence of peanut... like peanut butter.

- Medium bodied, creamy.. dry, and chewy.

- Certainly an interesting brew. Just a touch off for me though... could do without the green olive smell.. but I would love to know what they put in this... certainly pushing the envelope with this one.

Photo of n2185
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a dark mahogany with a finger of khaki head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: some slight roasted malt aromas at first followed by bubblegum and candy sugar notes. Sweet, dark fruit aromas like plums follow. Slight spices mix with faint notes of chocolate and nuts for the finish. Smells pretty nice.

T: unfortunately the flavor doesn't live up to the aroma. Spices with some roasted malt and nutty flavors up front followed by a light Belgian candy sweetness. The finish has a light smoky bitterness and alcohol burn.

M: medium-light body with medium carbonation, this beers burn and bitterness keep it from being crisp.

O: not a bad beer, though I have to say that I bought it mostly because of its name. It smells good, but that's the most it has going for it.

Photo of Immortale25
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a rubyish medium brown color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that has a reddish tint to it and doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass plus a large bubbly patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind on the glass.

S- Distinct Belgian yeast aroma with lots of candi sugar coming through and some mild roasted malt.

T- Sugary sweet malt flavor with decent spice but not as much yeast as in the nose. A bit of dark fruit but there's not much orange going on from the bitters and blood orange supposedly used in the brewing. Alcohol's pretty well concealed and the drink overall is quite smooth and pleasant.

M- A bit zesty from the spice and maybe the bitters. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the full side but not by much.

O- Decent but there are certainly better representations of the style. Also a bit disappointed in the lack of presence from the special ingredients. I admit that the only reason I went out of my way to obtain this bottle was for the label to add to my collection.

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge
S: Light aromas of dark caramel and brown sugar are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is quite sweet with lots of flavors of brown sugar. Notes of caramel malts are also present, along with slight hints of oranges towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer didn't taste much like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and didn't have much in the way of Belgian yeast or dark fruits. It seemed more like an Imperial English Brown Ale, if there was such a style.

Photo of Xul
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a translucent, deep ruby with brown highlights, capped by a finger and a half of frothy head. Retention is moderate as it settles down to a thin layer of foam and holds there.

S: Dark fruits - prunes and figs - along with some oranges and wheaty base. A strange salty, vinegary aroma not unlike green olives lurks in the background. Doesn't kill the beer, but it's a big strange.

T: Lots of dark malts, some chocolate and coffee, and a big dose of dark fruits. The oranges come through a bit but not overwhelmingly. Some light tartness near the backend. Long, sweet finish.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Bold flavors, but somewhat unbalanced...not a particularly interesting beer.

Photo of oline73
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear very dark redish amber with a finger of tan head that fades to a ring.

Smell: Malty with some fruity notes along with mild chocolate and spice.

Taste: More fruit here than in the smell. Malty and quite sweet, I'm picking up just a bit of the orange. The finish is malty and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not as much citrus and I would have expected. I would have liked more fruit to go along with everything else. I would probably pass on this one in the future.

Photo of zoso1967
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting beer with an equally interesting name. Vas Deferens pours a lovely deep reddish tinged brown with a nice, slightly tan head that has nice retention. The aroma is sweet and a bit boozy with plenty of dark sugar and fruit notes, chocolate and a bit of spice. The taste is very similar. Fruity, caramel, chocolate and slightly spicy with a bit of herbal hops. It also has a slight sour note to it and some definite orange like character. It is an interesting beer, but really not that compelling. The mouthfeel is medium with a nice finish, and it is of average drinkability for style. It is an interesting beer, but really not that compelling. Still, a well made brew with a name that makes me giggle. That has to be worth something.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber hue deep and dark with only a finger of head that quickly reduces to nothing.

S - Smells like a Belgium Brown ale with chestnuts and fruity yeasts. Maybe a mild twang of citrus bitterness.

T - Quite good the orange like zest is kind of bittering and mixes well with the typical fruity flavors of a Belgium ale. A slight touch of chocolate and brown nutty malts as well.

M - Medium and chewy yet easy to drink.

Overall totally worth the 6 dollars to try. A tasty Belgium brewed with blood orange.

Photo of rand
2.29/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber to pint glass

Pours a rich reddish-brown that, although isn't cloudy or murky, is dark enough to let little light through. It's seems to be amply carbonated, but the small head quickly dissipates leaving little lacing.

The nose is a little flat. Given the description on the bottle, I was expecting something unique and layered, but I could have mistaken this for Newcastle (sorry NC fans). You can pick up a bit of the orange, but given that the label mentions orange was added, you're smelling for it.

The flavors are a bit more pronounced than the scent, but they're perhaps less interesting. You're met with roasted malts and orange, but the flavors don't pop, at all, and they're combined with muddy, earthy tones that becomes cloyingly sweet as the sip progresses. This beer needs something else. Hops, perhaps? Perhaps not, it's simply unbalanced.

Given the wispy head, I wasn't expecting a lot of viscosity and I wasn't surprised. This is light on the tongue and not in a good way, especially for an 8% Belgian. I've noticed some 'chewy' references here - maybe I got a bad bottle? Possibly, but I'm not sure bad batches/bottles change the body much, and this is pretty damn thin for 8%

This beer clearly doesn't work and it's not something I would seek out again, but it doesn't fail - it's not the worst thing I've tried and I like what they were trying to do here. There's a template in there to work from. But if I was Caldera I would go back to the drawing board on this one.

Photo of woodychandler
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles and I have taken to enlisting aid in doing so. The real logjam comes in the form of bombers. Do not misunderstand me, I am capable of drinking the contents of a bomber by myself, but I am hesitant to do so. Bomb(er)s away!

From the bottle: "Malt beverage brewed with orange bitters and blood orange zest added"; "Caldera Kettle Series ~ Limited Small Batch Seasonal Release"; "Caldera's Vas Deferens Ale is a Belgian-style ale with a unique twist incorporating a litte snip of this and a little snip of that. This is an extremely rare release, as this ale is not meant to reproduce. If ever in Ashland, Oregon, come by and check out the Caldera Tap house, located at 31 Water Street."

What a disconcerting label! I had Justin Chlan with me on my porch and we popped the cap and got started. It was an older bottle, so I used a gentle pour aand got only some deep-tan wisps for head. Color was a deep, coppery-amber (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was really rich - bready, molasses, brown sugar, anise. I began to think of B&B Brown Bread in a CAN. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was very bready with notes of burnt caramel, orange zest, biscuit malt and light chocolate. As it wrmed, I began to get a more pronounced chocolate flavor. Finish ws dry, mostly due to a slight fusel alcohol burn. Phew!

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear garnet color with some hints of cherry red coming through. It has a creamy one finger khaki white head that reduces to a thin film across the top. The beer appears pretty still, no carbonation is seen.

S: Sweet dark fruits are the backbone which include plums and dates. Phenolic smells come through along with belgian yeast.

T: The taste is pretty much the same as the aroma with lots of dark fruits, phenolic aspects, and the belgian yeast.

M: The feel is a little disappointing as it is on the thin side and has a somewhat watery feel. It is very still with no carbonation detected.

O: This beer was just slightly above average for me. The aroma and taste weren't bad, but could use some more depth. The feel was a letdown and could use some work. I picked this one up because of the artwork, but probably won't revisit it very often.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a bottle into a beer mug. The beer pours an extremely dark brown with a foamy, light 2" head. The beer has smells of alcohol, citrus, and heavy malts, but all well blended together. The beer has a robust burst of flavors, again well blended like the smell. There are flavors of malt, sweetness, citrus/orange, and a little bit of molasses undertone. It's impressive that these bold flavors all blend so well, and the beer still manages to be smooth in mouth. There is an alcohol tinge to the flavor, and it is rather pleasant along with the rest of the beer. There is a very smooth finish, as well, and the beer is surprisingly easy to drink despite all the strong flavors and the decent ABV. Pretty decent brew, and it's unfortunate that this is a rare release. I think this could be a decent flagship beer for the brewery. If it weren't for the sticker price, I would bring home a lot of this one.

Photo of Hopswagger
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

P: Pours a dark mahogany body with khaki froth that settles to a solid mini cap. Spotted lacing.

S: Sweet and roasty dark malt aroma with cocoa, candy sugar, coffee, vanilla, clove, oak, figs, prunes. Overall smell is stale sweetness.

T/M: Starts of with syrupy sweetness of chocolate, dark fruits and then the bitter orange arrives that I missed in the nose followed by the roar of a spicy citrus liqueur. Caramel, belgian yeast and dark bread. Medium body with a small amount of carbonation. Finishes chalky with lingering coffee and orange bitters.

O: This really reminds me more of a watered down milk stout with bitter citrus added. Personally I don't like the orange addition. Not a huge fan if this but it was decent.

Photo of cvm4
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Has a deep brown body with red hues. There's a one finger off-white head.

S - Brown sugar, dark fruits, malty and powdered cocoa.

T - Caramel malt and lightly burnt brown sugar to start off. Develops into a dark fruit show with some chocolate in the middle with the orange zest showing up at the end.

M - Medium bodied with just below medium carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking, finishes wet.

O - For the price this was hard to pass up, even if it seemed a bit gimmicky. But, it's actually a decent brew, besides the messed up label art.

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Vas Deferens Ale from Caldera Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.