Conflux No. 1 (Collage) - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 720 | Reviews: 205 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
4/5 rDev -3.6%
Collage is the first of Deschutes' Conflux brewery collaboration series, but is actually premiering second. Conflux No. 2, a White IPA made with Boulevard Brewing of Kansas City, hit shelves in July 2011. Collage was brewed first but took some additional time to age and blend -- two years and more than 100 rounds of mixing and sampling, according to brewers. It's made up of two beers from each brewery: Hair of the Dog Adam, Hair of the Dog Fred, Deschutes The Dissident and Deschutes The Stoic. To make Collage, the Dissident and Adam were placed in oak barrels that had formerly held Oregon pinot noir. The Stoic was aged in rye whiskey barrels, while Fred was aged in bourbon barrels.
Poured into a tulip or snifter, Collage is the color of rosewood, clear but dark, topped with a finger of feathery khaki foam. The nose is a dance between two partners: the Stoic and the Dissident, which lend aromas of white grapes, biting balsamic and a touch of green apple. Oak is huge here, fresh and untoasted. Deeper inspection reveals weird stuff -- pencil shavings and the lightest hint of leather.
Were I given beer-naming privileges, I might have gone with Mosaic. It's like an image crafted of smaller images -- discernible and enjoyable as a whole, but easily broken into its contributing parts when you focus on them. Here's the Stoic, lending vinous oak, white wine and green apple; there's the Dissident with dark vinegar and cherries. Adam contributes savory leather and dark fruits, while bourbon-aged Fred delivers toffee, vanilla, grapefruit pith and bitterness. There's no getting around the alcohol flavor, but it works well here.
With the combined strength of these brews and the hefty alcohol content they carry, you'd expect an equally hefty body, but this isn't the case. The liquid's actually rather delicate, peppered with just a bit of silky carbonation and pretty well-hidden alcohol. The combination makes the brew surprisingly light and drinkable -- it goes down far more easily than the ABV should allow.
Collage's combination of beers and aging platforms makes for a very interesting sensory experience -- though if I'm being honest, I expected a little more. I think this is too heavy on the Stoic and needs more Adam and bourbon. The bottle advises that it'll taste best a year from now, so we'll see how I feel about it after the malts have had some time to mature and the souring yeast takes more hold.
Bottle with a best after date of 4-30-13, enjoyed 5-22-13.
The aroma, once packed with green oak, biting balsamic and tart apples, has become smoother, sweeter and more savory. Leather, vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, dark cherries. Damn fine.
Bourbon has come more into the fore, which is exactly what I was waiting for. The flavors are better-blended and harder to pick apart. Musky leather is nice and big; smoky oak and morello cherries are as well.
07-29-2014 05:14:49 | More by Phelps
More User Reviews:
3.8/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
12-19-2013 00:06:24 | More by oberon
3.85/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
02-09-2014 05:07:02 | More by Beaver13
4/5 rDev -3.6%
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.
06-06-2012 22:04:22 | More by bsp77
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
11-30-2012 07:22:13 | More by MattyG85
Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 720 ratings.