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Conflux No. 1 (Collage) - Deschutes Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

737 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 737
Reviews: 205
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 112
Gots: 278 | FT: 31
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:
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)

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 05-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 737 | Reviews: 205 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Phelps, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of khargro2
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

khargro2, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of blackpoolmatt
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

blackpoolmatt, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of 22Blue
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

22Blue, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

BeerFMAndy, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of BroadStBrewing
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

BroadStBrewing, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Danny1217
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Danny1217, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.23/5  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.

ThePaintedGrey, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of deNerval
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

deNerval, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Lehighace06
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Lehighace06, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of jackmax
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

jackmax, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of tclipse
4/5  rDev -3.8%

tclipse, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Jeckel
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Jeckel, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of waddellc2
4/5  rDev -3.8%

waddellc2, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

KAF, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of miggs3030
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

miggs3030, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

DoubleSimcoe, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of daron7
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

daron7, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

fo1ksguitar, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of sammyg832
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

sammyg832, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of M-Fox24
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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

M-Fox24, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of JamLand
4/5  rDev -3.8%

JamLand, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of marchoftheclouds
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

marchoftheclouds, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

JohnnyHopps, Jun 14, 2014
Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 737 ratings.