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Conflux No. 1 (Collage) - Deschutes Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

765 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 765
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 112
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: 765 | Reviews: 210 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

VINTAGE NOTES
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BrewChatKen
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

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 +4.1%
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 oberon
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
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 SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of dimitrov
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bulldogg915
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of oteixeira
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of biclinoe
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Beaver13
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
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 Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of chossboss
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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 bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of warmbier804
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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 sourdog
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 765 ratings.