Conflux No. 1 (Collage) - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Conflux No. 1 (Collage)Conflux No. 1 (Collage)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

784 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 784
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 110
Gots: 283 | FT: 33
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 05-01-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Deschutes Brewery and Hair of The Dog Brewing Company join forces to weave The Dissident and The Stoic and Fred and Adam into an artistic collage of cask-aging alchemy.

Barrel Aging: Rye Whiskey, Cognac, Sherry, Pinot Noir, Bourbon, new American Oak, and new Oregon Oak

Released in May 2012 (12 oz. bottles)
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Ratings: 784 | Reviews: 216
Photo of user785335
2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Hard to finish. Different strokes for different folks. Not for me.

Photo of riotontheroad
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is just so much going on here.

Photo of FalconOne
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the most complex and interesting beers that I have ever tasted. It is a fantastic layer upon layer of incredible richness of aroma and flavor. A truly wonderful beer that one should seek out and enjoy!

Photo of adapt313
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the most deeply layered and complex beers I've ever tasted. Masterfully blended and better than the sum of its parts. All four beers that went into this were present and distinguishable. Huge wine barrel and rye whiskey aromas combine with caramel, vanilla, and tobacco yet still manages to finish tannic and dry. The inclusion of the dissident in the blend really rounded everything out and counters all of the big, sweet flavors with a tanic, tart, and dry finish. Thick, heavy, and relatively low carbonation. This has so much going on yet blends so seamlessly together. Very impressed.

Photo of maputnam25
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Really interesting beer. I bought this in 2013, and aged it for two years at the brewer's recommendation before this tasting. Terms we threw out: pinot noir, stone fruit, brown sugar, tannins, tobacco, cherry. Not quite like any beer I've ever had. Enjoyed alongside the Chinese takeout we happened to have.

Photo of drpimento
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer. Appearance is just ok with a smallish light tan head that soon settles to a ring and island with a bit of lace and a hazy dark amber color. Aroma is a very volatile mix of raisins, prunes, dates, figs, sherry, brandy, toffee, black pepper and a suggestion of peaches. Flavor's somewhat similar to nose, starts out a bit sweet and finishes in the back of the mouth with a long lasting tang. Excellent body. A beer to be shared and sipped. Well done, brewmasters!

Photo of mtomlins
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to LuBiere (RB) for sharing!

Poured a reddish-brown in color with a thin, fleating head. It has a big, boozy nose, toasted malt, caramel, fruity/cherry notes, Brett and barrel. On the palate, lots of sweet malt, cherry fruitiness but a bit musty, tart, some oak...very complex and having a hard time describing. A bit thick/oily for the mouthfeel, but not overly so. A really interesting beer that challanges ones palate.

Photo of bhoffman_5
2.16/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Very boozy. Not very palatable. Closer to liquor than beer

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

the wine barrels really shine through. a little too carbonated.

Photo of Phocion
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle dated "Best After" 4/30/13. Poured into a tulip with a dark brown color and mahogony highlights. Small foamy beige head with moderate retention that settles into a thin crown and moderate lacing.

Aroma is massive and very complex. Huge barrel flavors abound. Dark cherry tartness combines with a big rye whiskey aroma. Woody. Vinous and a bit of cream/oloroso sherry-like sweetness and nuttiness which also imparts just a touch of oxidized character. A bit of brown sugar and vanilla.

Flavor is just as complex as the nose. Heavy BDSA-like candi sugar dark fruits combine with a pinot noir-like cherry, presumably from the barrels. Light sherry-like oxidation. Tart and very mildly acidic flavors cut through the heavy sweetness. Whiskey flavors linger but don't overpower. Slightly dry, earthy, woody finish. Alcohol flavors surprisingly muted considering the whopping ABV.

Heavy body and relatively low carbonation. Thick, chewy mouthfeel, but not cloying. No astringency. Very warming alcoholic feeling.

Wow, this beer has a lot going on. A blend of four big beers isn't enough, so Deschutes just had to stick it in multiple barrels. Currently it's drinking very well, with all the barrel and beer flavors blending very smoothly. Sweet, dry, and tart flavors all combine to give it a phenomenal balance for such a complex and big beer. Sherry, bourbon, rye, and pinot noir barrels are all noticeable but none overpowering. This was definitely a treat.

Photo of LouZ
1.89/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured 12/26/14 from a 12oz bottle. Color is deep copper, almost brown, with a sliver of head and light bubbles. Smell is not overly strong, but I'm getting a hint of barleywine and whiskey. Taste hits me like a punch to the face: little at first, but then you get slight whiskey that develops into a wine flavor; definite booze punch that is tronger here than in some others I've had with as much or more ABV. There is an alcohol burn here. This beer finishes very tart, sour; which ruins it for me. This is not my style, and I did not do enough research to determine this is what I was getting. Feel was fine; carbonation was still strong with a dry finish. Sours just are not my deal, but I imagine those who enjoy them will love this.

Photo of BrewChatKen
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Aroma was huge and complex, there was raisin, plum, strawberry, cherry, grapes, wine, whiskey, booze, a sour vinegar element and oak. The color was interesting as well, it poured a hazy deep amber, almost brown, color with very little head, typically indicative of a sour. Lo and behold it was quite tart on the palate, I know there was a sour beer involved and wine barrel aging, and I really liked that. Also got raisin, plum, blackberry, pomegranate, wine, cherries, whiskey/bourbon and wood. There's was a nice sweetness running through it in addition to the sourness, and some earthiness. It was full bodied, but also crisp and tart. All in all I thought this was an incredible beer with a lot of depth and complexity. Glad I was able to try it and can't wait to see what other craziness comes out of this conflux series in the future. Cheers!

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The coup de grace of our Conflux No. 1 tasting, we enjoyed this out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a "best after" date of 4/30/13. Even though I've had this beer before, it will be interesting to see if I can pick out the various components from the blended beers--Fred, Adam, Stoic, Dissident. Poured into an old fashioned glass.

Appearance (4.25) - I really expected this one to look a bit muddled with the various styles being included, but it pours a gorgeous chestnut hue of brown with some reddish tints and a tiny bit of haze, but less haze than I expected. Atop the body sits a finger of ecru foam that shows moderate retention before fizzling away to a ringlet and spots of film on the surface. Lacing is subdued and faint.

Smell (4.25) - Here is where I start to recognize the various notes of the beers I just drank. There are notes of both light and dark fruits, also a hint of pomegranate tartness that pairs up well with the balsamic acidity to balance the richer notes of leather and dried tobacco that peek through from the Adam. I really didn't expect to be able to detect components of each beer so distinctly, but here we are. So far this is a massive success.

Taste (4.5) - Much like the smell, the component beers are each well-represented, with none really overpowering the others. Here, the fruitiness becomes a little more distinct, with notes of golden raisin and dried fig, as well as some black plum. I don't get the pomegranate as much at this phase, but there is a semi-sweet tartness on the finish that provides just a touch of bite. Any more and it would ruin the more savory and sweet elements of the taste, but as it is, it's just a point of subtle interest. There are earthy undertones and wet bark going on here as well, and just hints of bitterness that somehow help to balance out all the disparate components.

Mouthfeel (4.0) - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation, with a slightly creamy feel and just a pinch of puckering on the tongue.

Overall (4.25), this is one of the oddest and most interesting (in a good way) beers I've ever had. While it's far from the first blended beer I've sampled, I think it may be the first where the beers used were so stylistically stratified. A golden strong ale, an old ale, a quad and an oud bruin aren't a combination that I would have imagined myself. Then throwing it into seven different barrels... crazy. In some ways, it's amazing that it turned out as well as it did--with so many elements, there were many places along the way where something could have gone very wrong. Cheers to HOTD and Deschutes for showing ambition and kudos to them for it paying off. I will certainly buy this beer anytime I run across it sitting on a shelf, even if it's $10 for 12 oz.

Photo of Admbmb92
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ordered a bottle at HoTD tasting room. Poured into a tulip, best after date 4-30-13. Enjoyed 8-3-14 :)
A- pours a reddish brown color. No head but some foam and bubbles.
S- cherry, dark fruit, cranberry, brown sugar, chocolate
T- the dissident has definitely taken over with a nice tart finish. I predominately taste The Dissident and The Stoic with Adam and Fred complimenting those flavors with vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit, sweet fruit, orange, brown sugar, perfect tart finish, and booze that warms up as it goes down. Very very smooth for such high abv.
O- absolutely incredible blend by two very different but world class breweries. You can easily make out every beer and the barrel age notes. Well done

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
11.6% ABV, Best After 4/30/13

A - Ruby mahogany in color, Collage pours with great clarity and a surprisingly stable off-white head that leaves a ring of Swiss cheese-like suds on the beer but little in the way of lace left on the glass.

S - The huge mess of barrel-aging this beer went through goes a long way in the nose, leading the sense of smell down a winding path of glorious confusion and complexity. Rye spice tickles the nose with sharpness while Sherry fruit and red grape skin tug in a different direction, leaning towards distressed leather. The malty body furthers the complexity with more dark fruit preserves spread over toasted wheat English muffin and sprinkled with brown sugar. With ever whiff I feel I've barely scratched the surface.

T - Despite the deep and frankly intimidating complexity of the aroma, this first edition of the Conflux Series yields a far more simple flavor. Nuances of rye whiskey and bourbon alcohol skim the surface of the tongue, giving way a bready malt beer that finishes with lingering virgin oak notes.

M - Warming alcohol dries out the tongue which leaves a certain thinness on the palate despite the beer's clearly malty heft; a good balancing act that's not overlooked.

O - At first,Collage, the first release in Deschutes and Hair of the Dog's Conflux Series, smells like a barrel-aged mess, flooding the olfactory with too many directions but, as the beer warms and more and more sniffs are taken, it really comes together nicely. It's obviously had some time on it between it's release and my enjoyment but the alcohol is mellow and flavor profile is fantastic.

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.22/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottled poured into imperial pint glass.

Bottled in May 2012, consuming in July 2014.

A: Pours a slightly opaque mahogany with some organic honey tinges around the edges. Even with a moderate pour, little to no head was formed. Lack of a head = lack of any lacing. The beer's coloring, however, is gorgeous.

S: An strong whiskey aroma upfront with some hints of oak or cedar wood and bitter grapes. Alcohol is clearly apparent, considering this one smells almost exclusively of whiskey.

T: First sip was far too cold and really seemed to mask a lot of the flavors, giving this a strong, pungent oak-aged whiskey flavor. It's starting to warm up now and the flavors are slightly more pleasant. In addition to heavy whiskey notes, I'm tasting some malty sweetness, in the direction of honey and light brown sugar or molasses. The middle is an extremely tart fruit medley, red and white grapes, cherries, perhaps a bit of plum, leading well into the finish. The lingering flavor is mildly boozy with a lot of woody flavors—oak and some cedar almost.

M: Probably the best aspect of the brew here... A solid medium body with a very subdued carbonation makes this extremely smooth. Slides across the palate nicely and feels wonderful in the mouth.

O: I don't love this beer, and prior to letting it warm up beyond cellar temperature, I didn't even like it. A little bit of patience with this keeps it out of drain pour territory. The flavors are super complex and clearly an example of the artistic prowess of both parties involved; however, I'm open about my dislike towards whiskey and bourbon, and given that both of which are very dominant in the flavor profile, I found myself less than pleased with this. Would have liked to try it fresh, though.

Photo of M-Fox24
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Collaboration worth capitalizing on:

A: Has an elusive tan/off-white head, and would say has a hazy/murky amber color to it; red wine essence if you will

S: Fairly complex considering all the varieties that went into this guy: caramel, fruit, cherry, grapes, raisins, malt and oak

T: Malty sweet then sour: fruit, grapes, cherries, vanilla, toasted oak and bourbon, brown sugar and even slightly Smokey. The intricacies of this collaboration present a nice warming aftertaste

M: A medium/full body and a comforting level of carbonation

O: A fairly well balanced, and complex beer by the authors Deschutes and Hair of the Dog…..when the cap comes off, the novel begins

Photo of marchoftheclouds
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by date of 4-30-2013 ... ENJOYED and reviewed on 6-22-2014

A - Murky, burgundy color

S - I first noticed cherry and light notes of malt

A - Pours a murky, dark burgundy with almost no head or lacing

T - COMPLEX ... Sometimes I taste individual elements of the Hair of the Dog beers and sometimes I taste a new beer with tart fruit. This is a beautifully balanced beer.

M - Just right for this perfect blend of four beers. I've had all four beers and they are expertly blended.

O- It has to be hard to blend beers together to complement each other without overwhelming each other. I keep thinking I like this as is and wanting the individual element, especially Fred!

If I had the choice between the individual beers and this outstanding combination, I'd prefer the individual beers, but I loved what they did here.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The appearance was a dark copper color with no head.

Smell - From the aroma, you can well this was aged in wine barrels. It is like a quality sweet wine.

Taste - At the from, the grapes of the wine barrel aging dominate. But then, you can tell this is an American strong ale. The malts bend toward the sweeter parts of the palate, but then shift toward sour in the after taste. It is sticky like butterscotch, but has the elements of wine. Without question, the aftertaste is warming.

Mouthfeel - I beer coats the tongue allows the sourness of the grapes to dance on the tongue long after each swallow. The carbonation is low, with the thickness being appropriate for the style.

Overall - It would seem the aging would not work for the style, but I like is a lot. Since I did not have it fresh, I can not vouch for what aging did. Aging rarely harms a beer like this.

Photo of brentk56
3.05/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Pours a murky chestnut with a craggy cap that fritters away quickly leaving a few dots behind

Smell: Interesting combination of sweet caramel, vanilla, coconut and vinous red wine barrels

Taste: On the tip of the tongue, the caramel, coconut, vanilla and Bourbon tones marry nicely; would that I could keep it on the tip with my sweet taste receptors as once the beer spreads over the rest of the tongue, the sour vinous character moves to the fore, battling with and vanquishing the sweeter tone; the finish is tart, but not in a good way

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation but a puckery aspect

Overall: I have sometimes wondered what would happen if you took a taste out of the dump bucket at a gala tasting of barleywines, stouts and sours - well I don't have to wonder any more; this could be my biggest beer disappointment ever as I had high hopes after aging this in my cellar for a couple of years

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass. Best after date of 04/30/13, though it was released in 05/12. Having only had Adam out of all the different beers blended I’m not sure what to expect…

A: A down the side pour produced a finger of fizzy off white head which reduced itself to a cap after a couple minutes. Murky reddish brown body. Rich sudsy lacing.

S: Lots going on in the nose. Upfront there’s a cheesy lactic tartness, oaky bourbon soaked wood, smoaky/toasted oak, red wine tannis, maraschino cherries, and a leathery malt backbone. Smells like the label would have you think, a hodgepodge off all kinds of beers aged in different barrels.

T: Starts off with a sweet maltyness not unlike a quad aged in bourbon barrels, follows through into a Flanders Red cherry tartness/wine barrel, and finishes with a more leathery malt and toasted oak note. Cheesy yogurt lingers on your tongue for a while. There’s a smoky wood note that hangs around for a bit in the sides of your tongue.

M: Full mouthfeel with low carbonation. Moderate barrel warmth. It would have been nice to see a higher carbonation to make some of the notes stand out more.

Overall: A beer with a story to tell. As mentioned, this taste like the label would have you think: a blend of different beers aged in different barrels. From what I can tell, it goes Stoic, Dissident, and then Adam. Some stand out notes from the barrels are the bourbon barrels in the nose, tart wine barrels in the middle, and a nice toasted oak in the finish. In short, while it was a bit expensive (understandably so), I’d say it’s worth a try at least once as there’s plenty going here. It’d be great to see Deschutes do this every year with a new brewery (hint hint). I’d love to try this again in the future, and wish this wasn’t my only bottle.

*When the beer warmed up, a spicy acetone type scent appeared in the nose.

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

Bottle from trade. Best after 4/30/13 poured on 4/14/14. Thanks! Pours murky brown with a small creamy khaki head on top. Sour apples, caramel, oak, bourbon, toffee, red wine, booze. Bourbon caramel cherry green apples here? Quite a flavor here. There is definitely a dark sourness from the Deschutes brews, and yet plenty of Fred and nutty figgy toffee caramel remains. Vanilla and bourbon are mellow and accent the many flavors here. Definitely a dry oak presence to finish and some vinous and sherry notes to boot. Big full sticky mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. My taste buds are so confused. What a weird combination of beers, yet enjoyable. Like a sour barrel aged English barleywine, except way better than that sounds.

Photo of morimech
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Murky dark reddish amber with one finger of head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Quite a bit of lacing is left down the glass during consumption. Looks pretty good for a high ABV beer.

My immediate impression upon smelling this beer was that of a red wine such as a pinot noir. Fruity vinous notes to go along with oak, leather, caramel, earth, and dates. The alcohol is also prevalent in the aroma.

Tastes a lot like red wine as well. Vinous flavors along with a strong oak component. Secondary flavors of caramel, dates, and toffee. The flavors do not blend together all that well unfortunately. Alcohol makes itself known with flavor and warmth, but the time in the bottle must of calmed things down a bit. Slightly tart and sweet finish.

Big body with a well matched carbonation. Smoothly textured but stops short of being creamy.

A lot of interesting things going on in this beer but it does not exactly work well together.

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown with a half inch of dense light tan head that fades to a small pool and well established collar. not a lot of lacing
S: It smells like the dissident has taken over. I'm getting some sour cherry, some nice oakyness, a slight bourbon and some malty sweetness
T: tartness up front with some nice bourbon notes, a bit of oakyness, some borderline paint thinner flavors , a bit of caramel malt. swallow brings a bit more tart cherry, some vanilla, and a little caramel
M: lighter side of medium on the mouth with good carbonation that is just slightly prickly and a drying finish
O: For a blend of beers it's pretty good, as far as the style I think it missed the mark. I'm digging the tartness but the dissident has become the dominant beer in this blend.

Photo of woodychandler
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have NO idea where this might have come from, but it sure is intriguing!

From the bottle: "A Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company artistic expression"; "Conflux No. 1: Malt Beverage aged in distilled spirit and wine oak barrels"; "Deschutes Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company join forces to weave The Dissident and The Stoic and Fred and Adam into an artistic collage of cask-aging alchemy. Damn, beer is fun."

It strikes me that this is a collaboration in the same way that "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" was a collaboration. Naughty, naughty! Hopefully, this is not also a cop-out at the end.

I began with a gentle pour, but it was murky from the jump, so I amped it up and got a brief finger if light-tan head for my troubles. I could not help but smell it as it poured into my glass. Dried, dark fruits came immediately to mind and when I leaned in, I got a whiff of leather, red wine, and simple alcohol heat. My bottle was marked "Best After: 4/30/13" and even nearly a year past that date, it could have been aged even further. Color was a slightly murky, not quite opaque, but not hazy, either, soppery-brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with ruby highlights. Mouthfeel was full and viscous, like a dollop of beer on my tongue more than a draught. Jesus! The heat was immediate, followed by a vinous red wine taste, then bourbon-like coconut and the dried, dark fruits of the nose. Wow! Warming, I began to get the leatheriness that I had sensed on the nose, Phew! Finish would not disavow me of the belief that, if I closed my eyes, I was drinking wine. I just kept coming back to a rich, red wine flavor that when coupled with its high ABV made for a much more intense beer than I usually like. Conflux Collage collaboration?!? More like Conflagration! I am a beer neo-hippie in that I will try anything once, but one may be more than enough for me in this case. I feel badly as I am sure that a lot of effort went into this, but it is just too much.

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Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.