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
Reviews by Ghenna:
Photo of Ghenna
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy amber with off white head. Dies down quickly but has stuck around the top of the beer for the last 20 minutes.
Nose: wood and vinegar, bit of citrus.

Initial taste is mild caramel malt sweetness, fruit follows, then chocolate cherries at the end. Wood is present through the sip. There is a bit of sour at the top and a generally mild acidity, but it's presence in the beer is mostly in the smell. MF is lighter than I expected, especially considering the Matt and Fred.

This is an amazing beer. When I first tried it (ten minutes out of the fridge) I was a little put off, especially considering that it was 1$/ounce. Once it warms up though it really shines. I'm really looking forward to seeing how those bugs work on the sugars in the beer after a few years. Might snag another bottle to add to the one I currently have in the cellar.

More User Reviews:
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 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 oberon
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a stemmed glass a deep tawny brown with a tinge of amber,a sticky half finger light beige head atop.Sour cherry and caramel in the nose with a bit of hay.The palate is hit with a sour almost lactic note along with some mild chocolate,Iam not a sherry fan, the sour/lactic tones win out.Wow that was unexpected with it's out of the mainstream flavors here.I admit the sourness hit me sideways.

Photo of Beaver13
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best after 4/30/13, bought 5/17/12. Pours hazy reddish amber with a small creamy off white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is some oxidized sherry with some fruity oak and alcohol.

The flavor is figgy vinous fruits, vanilla, oak and some strong alcohol and slight oxidation. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, aging helped this one. A nice flavorful aged beer - tastes like an older English barleywine.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown with thin cream colored cap.

Smell: Tart cherries, vinegar, oak, rye, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, etc., etc.

Taste: Uh, no idea how to describe this. Definitely cherries, vinegar and loads of barrel aging. There seems to be a sickly sweet malt backbone of overripe fruits and toffee. What else - leather, figs, rye, pomegranate, cider. No hops to speak of.

Feel: Thick, chewy body with moderately low carbonation. The body seems a little thick for a beer that is tart. Warming, but less than expected.

Overall: This is a huge mess. However, the vortex of flavors are pretty intoxicating. As others have said, Dissident dominates the aroma and taste, but the feel is more Old Ale like. Seems like the balance could have been better, but glad I tried this.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Label says best after 4/30/13.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and cloudy brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A very big aroma of barrel and tart fruits. Big barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, wood,and some rye. Lots of fruit and wine like scents including hints of tart cherries, apple, grapes, and dark fruits including raisins, plum, and fig. Some molasses and brown sugar. Big malt presence with hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Some alcohol. Smell is sweet and tart but far from cloying. A very complex aroma that comes together very well.

Taste: As big, complex, and tasty as it smells. The barrel aging shines upfront with a taste of bourbon whiskey, wood, oak, vanilla, and rye. A big complex fruit blend that is sour and wine like. Notes of tart cherries, apples, grapes, pear, and dark raisins, plums, and fig. Sweet brown sugar and a little molasses. Soft malts with some notes of sweet caramel, toffee, and light biscuit. Some alcohol can be tasted. Tastes sweet but it is also fairly drying and balanced. A very complex taste with lots of subtle notes that are easy to miss. Very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and somewhat slick. Actually fairly smooth considering how big and complex it is. A little alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A really good mix of big beers here. The big flavors blend well and avoid becoming a cloying mess. Very well done.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Belgian flute from a twelve-ounce bottle.

The appearance here isn't remarkable, but it's still a good looking beer. The head is thin and khaki-colored and there's plenty of sticky lace around the glass. Below the head is an opaque, auburn and dark brown liquid that resembles a port.

Interestingly enough, Conflux smells very much like a port, with peppery, oaken, dark fruit notes. There's lots of plum and date in there. I get a bit of fruit cake as well, plus sour cherries and other tartness.

Having smelled so much goodness, I was looking forward to the taste of this beer, but I found it to be a bit of a disappointment. The beer is very port-like, which alone is fine, but the sour cherries don't mix very well with this, creating an odd taste. The pepper and oak are there, as is some potent booze, all of which, again seem to pull the beer in different directions.

As I mention above, the beer is a bit harsh to drink. There are so many different tastes and feels hitting my tongue that the beer seems to be a mess. It's somewhat of an assault on the tongue.

I had very high expectations for Conflux and this beer has some very interesting aspects, especially the port flavor, but I found the beer a challenge to drink.

Photo of mudbug
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 oz. bottle into a wine goblet with an aggressive pour results in a one inch off white bubbly head that falls quickly into a thin cap, very little lacing noted.
Aroma is moderate and complex, you need to take time with this one. If you are familiar with the base beers you will pick up the nuances of them, for me it was the Stoic fruit that was forefront. Otherwise it's a miasma of stone fruit, wood, and berries with caramel syrup.
Taste is a game changer tangy sour cherries, drying rye whiskey,puckering lemon rind, Oak. deep malt sweetness. WOW!
This is so good now, even before the best by date, I will edit this in a year with the next tasting for sure, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of fives

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, $$$$

appearance: served in my elysian chalice, dark chestnut-amber body, creamy beige lace

smell: holy aroma - Fred jumps out first, followed by the dissident. belgian candi sugars, oak, tart cherries, alcohol

taste: "collage" is an appropriate name here - really layered and complex - I have a hard time getting much Adam from this but Fred is certainly vocal. On the Deschutes side, tart cherry and oak reminds of dissident. I'm not sure I ever had the Stoic but I imagine the abrasive mix of booze and sugar is partially derived from that. Tart cherry, lots of belgian sugar, abrasive alcohol bite, yeast, lots of barrel - pinot noir, oak, bourbon

mouthfeel: big, boozy, full bodied

overall: nice stuff, outrageously priced though

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 Skull40
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a dark copper color and a head that dissipated fairly quickly.

The taste was very elaborate. I picked up tastes that were sour, malty and slightly bitter. I couldn't detect the alcohol. There are notes of caramel, bread and dark fruits.

The mouth feel had a chalkiness and earthiness to it.

Overall, I really liked this. It was challenging and quite fun to try and pull out the myriad elements of the taste. I felt that one bottle really wasn't enough to find all of the tastes, but it was enough to thoroughly enjoy.

Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best after 4/30/13, never gonna be able to wait that long. Why release beer before it's ready?

Pours an effervescent brown with a finger of tan head. Above average head retention & minimal lacing

S: Booze, pine, dates, a bit of oakyness

T: Piney, medicinal with grapefruit & grassyness. Grapefruit & pineapple as this warms, some figgyness & pears with a bit of brett tartness, also some boozeyness. Finishes with with sourwood honey, cherry tartness/dryness & lemongrass; this just got better as this warmed

MF: Slick, slight carbonation, plus boozey warmth

Drinks pretty easy, boozeyness is fairly well hidden, this might age well, still not perfect by no means...

Photo of DonDirkA
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy reddish color with a one finger white head that fades to just a thin film. The nose is definitely from barrel aging. Heavy oak, vanilla, tart cherry and sour grape weave caramel, toffee, almonds, plums, figs, other wood notes like cedar and birch, dark fruit, slight banana, clove, cardamom, and heavy scents of sherry. Super complex, there are probably 1000 scents I'm missing. The taste is oak and sour cherry, vanilla, grape, apple, dates, figs, dark fruit, booze, toasted almonds, rich caramel, port, grape juice, smoke and a bit of chocolate. This beer is insane. The "Best After" date is 4/30/2013, I can't wait til my other one gets past that. Maybe I'll pick up one more so I can do one year and two. Beauty. Its like a blend of a sour, a stout and a brown all barrel aged in sherry oak casks and bourbon barrels.

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 d2daj
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cafe Veloce' Kirkland, WA
Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip
Label best after 4/30/13, but Waitress noted they were out of Supplication and said I would enjoy this.

Appearance: gorgeous rich color, deep cherry color surrounded by lines of ambers

Smell: wafts of a dark cherry cordial just popped open or warmed plum tart, light fruity with notes of kick your arse bourbon scent

Taste: wow, what an amazing and dynamic flavor. (to plagiarize from another review) suprising on all fronts-sweet fruit, bourbon woody notes combined with nostril goodness. Flat feel on the tongue combined with scent and then flavor bursts of sour, sweet, more subtle on the sour. Very balanced. Teeter totter of goodness.

Mouth: subtle carbonation, smooth and pleasant

Overall: Boom pow bang up surprise- its a limited offering so not offended at $15 price tag. What a find and pleasure. Real pleaser for one who seeks a complicated menagerie of flavors.

Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to micstache for this one as an extra in a recent trade! Served from bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip (proper!). Poured red-brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart cherry, wood, vanilla, fruit, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart cherry, fruit, wood, vanilla, dark chocolate, and caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. There was a huge amount going on here if I am honest. My palate actually almost found it quite overwhelming as I had no clue what the Hell was going on at some points during my glass. Granted there were a lot of nice aspects going on at the same time, but they just seemed to be crammed in with a bunch of other things going on. Worth trying if you get the chance, but that’s about it if you were to ask me.

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 bum732
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Oak, some flanders red notes, slight tart cherries, some richness

L: Cloudy dark brown, little head.

T: Rich maltiness with a tart, slightly funky cherry note. Lots of wine notes with slight tannins. Low bitterness leading to additional tart cherry wood maltiness. Finishes slightly dry with some cherry-like tannins. Some bourbon as it warms.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation. Tannic. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

Not bad, an interesting beer. Not sure if everything worked together. Why they chose to blend the Stoic is bizarre. Maybe it will improve with age? Who knows.

Photo of Kevlee722
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip, a deep burgundy with lighter ruby highlights around the edges. Bottle says best after 4/30/13, but I'm too curious... Nice creamy head with lace sticking to the glass. Lacto on the nose, dissident leads the way in the aroma. A faint scent of bourbon and pinot show up from the barrel aging , more caramel and cherries. Taste is much like the dissident with a bit more sweetness and light hops. Pinot, bourbon and sherry play on the palate in the finish. Very tasty with just a hint of alcohol burn on the back end which is nice and dry. Carbonation and mouthfeel are spot on, medium thick but not chewy. Very drinkable for such a big beer.
An awesome collaboration from two awesome breweries. This will be interesting to revisit with a year or two on the bottle.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

- Collabration with Hair of the Dog. Aged in distilled spirit & wine oak barrel.

A: Garnet red pour is dark in the glass with a creamy, dark tan head that was moderately lasting. Micro-effervesce creeps up along the walls while the lacing is sturdy and frothy in stickage.

S: Whiskey barrel woodiness, dry alcohol, dry black olives on the nose.

T: Strong whiskey and dark malt, semi-sweetness, black olives, sweet dark fruit, plums, figs, dry gin, tarragon spicing with a spicy bite of dark fruit-alcohol laced barrel woodiness coming on the close. Toasted dry oak and dark caramel sweetness, smooth and silky, dark earthy campfire minearality with some reminces of charred wood.

M: Good carbonation gives this some fizzle for strong dark ale. Chewy dark fruit, full body, nice alcohol warmth all the way down, chewy, chewy, chewy.

O: Outstanding, simply put, great complexity, spicy, dark, sweet with great alcohol contribution. Must try.

Photo of TWStandley
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my KTG Snifter.

Appeared a dark red, slightly cloudy color with some orange tints. A two finger white head dissipated quickly.

Smelled sweet and tangy, could definitely detect some of the wine notes. Fruity.

Delicious taste. Perfect balance of tang, tartness, sweetness, alcohol, and maltiness. Tastes somewhat like a Barley-wine.

Mouth feel is nice. Would like a bit more body to it but the tangyness and slight carbonation go well.

Overall what a surprise. Wasn't sure what to expect but this was absolutely delicious. Wish I had more!

Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick review from written notes, served in a rounded tumbler glass.
Thanks to Dad for this one! Best after 4/30/13, just a couple days short... close enough.

Dark brownish orange color, creamy offwhite foam that has a soft surface texture, and leaves behind a finely textured collar of lace.

Woody barrel aroma that seems to have a bit of fortitude and complexity, but also slightly muddled. A typical "barrel aged aroma", if that makes any sense (wood, tobacco, leather).

Rich malty flavors, slightly sweet with a tangy tart back end from the Dissident in the mix. Dried red currants, tobacco, oak staves. Medium to full bodied with lighter carbonation and palate-coating viscosity. Heavy barrel presence from start to finish. The blend is interesting, and will only continue to develop. Another year might soften the alcohol a little. Overall interesting and worth a try, a good cellar candidate.

Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a lightly, rich hazy caramel-amber with just a skim of off-white head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Nice sour cherry ...like pie filling, some caramel, bourbon, sweet red wine, wood, vanilla, and some light funkyness. Sweet, sour and pretty complex.

Taste. Sour cherry juice (the quality organic shit), sweet caramel, lots of bitter woody flavours, some red wine. A bit of booze is there. Again, pretty complex.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full bodied, medium-low carbomation. Just a bit warm.

Overall. Interesting mix of flavours going on in this one, but seems slightly rough to me in alcohol and almost a battle of aggressive flavours. I'll look forward to trying it again in a while.

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