Conflux No. 1 (Collage) - Deschutes Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

212 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 212
Hads: 786
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 6.05%
Wants: 110
Gots: 286 | 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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Reviews: 212 | Hads: 786
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (1,658 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Deschutes Brewery branded teku glass

Pours dark amber with golden accents capped by an off white head that dissipates fairly quickly. A bit of lacing that disappears fairly quickly as well. The nose is incredibly complex, hints of vinegary sour cherries compliments of The Dissident, red wine, bourbon, caramel, cognac,, and pleasant sun-warmed oak. Caramel, toffee, hint of cocoa powder, sour cherries, bourbon and sherry notes, plum, dried fruit including apricot, dates, prunes, and raisins. Finishes with pleasant warming alcohol, caramel-covered sour cherries, and warm oak. Smooth and syrupy, higher level of carbonation, especially for a barrel-aged beer. This is a great blended beer. I'm very happy to have three more bottles in the cellar to see how a bit of age allows the four base brews to fully integrate, but this beer is already fantastic now. (895 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Crooked Stave Tulip. I waited till the "Best After Date". About 50 degrees.

Appearance- Murkey brownish/amber. Looks like Dissident mixed with Adam. I honestly can't say it looks "good".

Smell- Once again, it's a mix of Dissident and Adam. Sweet, malty, oaky, pannepot(y), berry tartness, chocolate. Smells beautiful, but absolutely all over the place.

Taste- Tart on the tongue, but then Adam and all of its Pannepot(y)/quad-like flavors come in. Big cocoa, candy sugar, oak, light booze, caramel, stone fruits. It's got it all.

Mouthfeel- Mild carbonation, very light tartness on the tongue, super light booze (surprising for the ABV), medium viscosity, medium body.

Overall- Crazy beer. Dissident and Adam foremost, but quite the interesting beer none the less. Maybe I should've saved it till winter, but beer is for drinking. (868 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +7%
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. (1,676 characters)

Photo of litheum94
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best after 4/30/12. Reviewed 6/27/12.

Pours a deep, deep red that is densely dark but shimmers in the light. One-finger tan head. Quickly fizzles out to a scant cover.
Very complex aromas of tart cherries, oak, cedar and dark fruits. Very spicy, like sandalwood. Tannic, red wine tones. Malty, old ale tones upon deep inhalation.

At first, it's really hard to even tell what's going on here, there's so many layers of flavors. The Stoic thread pops up first, with some bourbon barrel and earthy sweet Quad-like flavors. Vinous, red wine flavors pop up, with some tart cherries (Dissident). Smoke and more barrel flavors come in, with some peppery flavors (Rye from the Fred?). Rounded out with the faintest tones of dark fruit and Old Ale mouthfeel from the Adam.

Wow. There are four distinct beers here all making their presence known, and a ton of different barrel flavors. At first sip, this drinks like a clusterfuck. But then things settle down, and you see how all these threads kind of interlock together. A bold experiment between these two breweries for sure, but it works for me. Can't wait to see how this ages. (1,125 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 3/5/13 cheers Rutager for the bottle

A darkest of amber with enough clarity to see the other side under the foam, finger of light tan head quickly falls to a thin film but manages to leave lots of random lace

S sour bruin notes hit me first, all sorts of wood, confusing as all hell to be honest, fortified wine, loads of caramel, fruity berry notes, spicy earth, faint funk, a little booze, unlit ciggy tobacco, rum raisin/Christmas cake, complex to say the least. I could drink this every day of my life and even if I lived to be 108 I don't think I'd figure it out

T more booze, less bruin, still slightly sour but not as much as the nose, fruity caramel works well but its just missing just a little something the nose has going for it. still quite complex but the nose was blowing me away

M thick and syrupy with a sour note, soft carbonation, a little heat but its felt in the chest more then your throat, slight tannins and a mild numbing effect, finish is sour caramel and slightly one the lips

O Crazy strange blend that's working well on so many levels, I love a brew that confuses yet impresses at the same time, did I mention that an 11.6% beer should never go down this easy

I sniff, sip repeat, before I knew it my glass was empty. I never figured this one out but I had a great time trying, now I'm buzzed but I think I'll manage. I'm liking the "Best After Date" and I can only wonder how much its improved since last week, really though this ones worth looking for (1,523 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. It is very Hair of the Dog, which is hard to avoid I imagine since HotD is such a unique brewery producing such unique beers. Nice woody cherry tones. Very appropriate sweetness (from malts I would guess) and a thorough flavor profile that remains consistent and sweet. This is one of those beers that I want to just drink and say to hell with writing notes. (376 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy red-brown color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sour cherries with dark fruits, sweet caramelized sugars, caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with some sour cherries with some brown and caramelized sugars, caramel malts, and some vanilla. Through the middle, oak and Bourbon comes through with some raisin, date, and other dark fruits, and bit of sherry and Belgian yeast. The finish is a mix of sour cherry, vanilla, oak, caramelized sugars, dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. The sourness of the cherries comes through nicely and the rest of the beer is big and bold but balances nicely. (842 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Poured 2+ finger head. Thick lacing. Good retention. Color is very dark brown almost black.

S. Caramel malt, molasses, brown sugar, a little sour, raisins, figs. Get some oak and vanilla. Definitely has a barrel aged aroma. A little acohol heat rises up. Nice blend of quad, sour, with some barrel aging thrown in to mix everything up.

T. So lets say this takes like a quad, barleywine, sour, and a little bit of barrel aged stout all mixed into one. Needless to say a lot of flavors going on. You really get so many different flavors on one drink. As for individual flavors, caramel, molasses, raisins, dark fruit, brown sugar. Towards the end of a drink I get a bit of rye.

M. Full bodied. Low carbonation. Finishes with some sweetness along with an array of other flavors.

O. Very interesting and unique. Massive amounts of flavor going on. From the simple standpoint of a masterful blending of some amazing beers, I think this is pretty right on the money. (1,014 characters)

Photo of themind
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wham! Pinot Noir leads the pack in this BA experience. The beer is good and I would buy it again if it was available and not $12.00 bucks a 12 oz bottle. Pours a very small head, has a very random interesting aroma but the Pinot Noir is really up front. The taste is the same. Mouthfeel has a light crisp carbonation. Over all this is good.

Bottom Line: This is a interesting, good tasting brew! (396 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Argh, didnt mean to crack this now, was not really paying attention to what this was. Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear garnet hue with a soft, one finger tan head that fades to leave some sudsy clouding and sticky lacing.

S - Wonderful notes of pinot, light spicy rye, and bourbon. The smell of the barrels is just great. Light alcohol, getting a touch of orange peel and toffee.

T - Taste is pretty interesting. So many different barrels here, getting light rye, cognac, bourbon. The pinot is a bit lighter, getting more orange peel, light alcohol. Some slight caramel malts. This definitely could use some age, however, its delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is awesome for this big of a beer. Great sourness line vinegar from the pinot, its a sipper, but a very enjoyable sipper.

O - This is an excellent blending of beers here. Just delicious. Really want to see how this holds up to age. (947 characters)

Photo of kevinmkirk
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cloudy, cola brown pour with zero head, yet a modicum of lacing. The nose is very tart - cherry, raisin, wine, oak, fig, malt. The taste follows the nose identically, with the addition of a whiff of a good port. Mouthfeel is heavy with the appropriate carbonation. Very sippable, if you like the style.

My wife says, "If this beer were a movie, it would be equal parts Gary Oldman, Gary Sinise, Clint Eastwood, and Betty White. It is versatile, mysterious, simply bad ass, and kinda nutty."

I agree with my wife, though I firmly disagree with the idea that this is an "American Strong Ale," and I officially reclassify this as a sour ale. It has been written. (661 characters)

Photo of Pahn
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle split 2 ways into snifters. Thanks to BA KevSal for sending this in a recent trade!

Appearance: Careful pour yields a half inch frothy offwhite head that dissipates steadily. Pours a murky red brown with yellowish highlights and leaves a few spots of lacing.

Smell: Tartness, oak, a little acetic, some Adam-esque (dialed WAY down) maltiness.

Taste: Smooth nutty and creamy flavors up front, with lots of oak. Gets more sour midpalate through finish. Bit bitter and astringent like Dissident, but not clashing. "Not clashing," is the story of this beer; great wine barrel highlights, strong American oak influence, nutty and almost coffee and caramel like malt flavors, all working beautifully together. Easy beer to love--doesn't taste anywhere near as muddled as "We blended 4 unrelated beers and barrel aged them," would make you expect.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Hot. Pretty creamy. Sufficiently carbonated.

Overall: Love it. Greater than the sum of its parts, and it's the sum of some pretty high class parts. (1,031 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
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! (554 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium cola brown with light garnet highlights. Needs a vigorous pour to net half a finger of tan head with decent retention and spotty lacing.

Spectacular aroma off this, a collaboration of fig, raisins, rich vinous fruit, apple, pear, toffee, coffee cake, oak, vanilla, a bit of tart lemons, pine and hints of alcohol. Rich and complex aroma.

Barleywine and quad flavors off the bat, deep vinous fruit, candied dates, toffee, brown sugar and almost a cinnamon apple sweetness that runs smoothly through half the drink until flashes of lemon, vinegar and tart cherries begin to clash with oak, vanilla, bourbon and alcohol that leads to a very creamy feel though brightly tart. Dries very well. Middle of the drink is a little tough as it begin to evolve towards a sour profile, very interesting and delicious.

Mellow carbonation that is very easy to drink, medium to even a bit bodied and though the hops are gone from this brew it's ideally tart and lifts from the palate. Slight alcohol but doesn't get in the way of the complexity of this beer.

A terrific collaborative beer that is imaginative and complex. Artistic in it's making, all the barrel aging and rotating may make the flavors all mesh into one another but it's interesting to see what infinite combination flavors the drinker will be able to pull out while enjoying this brew. Sitting on this about 6 more month will make the booze fade, a sensory experience in a glass. (1,449 characters)

Photo of sureshot08
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an amber-brown color with little head or lacing.

Smell: Red wine, cherry, oak, spice, brown sugar.

Taste: Tart, some earthiness, brandy, apple cider. A lot of the Dissident character shows up in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, but remains smooth.

Overall: Very interesting beer. Both the smell and taste are great but I pick up more subtleties in the smell. I hope to see more collaborations like this in the future. (451 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep ruby, one finger barely tan head.

S-Funk, pomegranate, cherries, dark fruits, bourbon, oak, caramel.

T-Some funk from the Dissident, pomegranate, bourbon, wine/grapes, oat, sherry, some bitterness. Cherries, caramel and toffee as well.

M-Medium bodied, well carbonated.

O-A wonderful beer, hopefully some age will tone down The Dissident and let the other flavors come through a little more. (402 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium snifter: Pours a chestnut body with orange-ruby highlights under a thin but solid island of light tan foam with a little bubbly collar.

Smell is serious & complex. Starts with cherry & oak, then comes some bourbon, then some port, then some dried orange peel, then raisin & cocoa, then alcohol, then pear. And it's barely warmed up yet.

Starts kind of the same in the taste: sour cherry skin, oak, banana chip. A tart astringency like plum skin shows up, more woody barrel taste, then a big, dry red wine character. Some caramel & green apple together. Some peatiness shows up, wrapped around a sweet barleywine-like heat.

Big mouthfeel, full but not really chewy or viscous. Sips easy but has some heft on my tongue. Leaves a significant trace of its path, with some sweetness & tannic oakiness. Pleasant, soft burn from the booze.

I'm pretty impressed with how this turned out. I'd had some a year ago & it was so unwieldy, just too many things stacked too high. Can't say it 'melds' into one cohesive unit, but all the components weave in & out of each other & interplay really nicely. Doesn't 'blend' so much as 'jam'. Really well done. (1,170 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a stemmed tulip. Best after 04/30/13

(A)- Pours a deep mahogany color with subtle crimson red highlights. Produced a nice cap of off-white froth. Solid retention for the style and ABV in mind.

(S)- Ever so slight tangy vinegar sourness meets a rather wine-like dark fruit character. Oaky, with an underlying caramel sweetness. Definitely complex.

(T)- An up front red fruit-like wine vinegar tang. Quite oaky with a heavier maltiness of honey and toffee. Finishes dry.

(M)- A mellow yet smooth carbonation level. I like the playfulness this has with the underlying sweetness all the while being slightly tart and some oaky fruits.

(O)- Having had alot of experiences with Fred, i can see that beer's influence in the underlying sweet malts this has. The slight tart twang plays well with a flanders-like feel to the beer overall. The wine character really smoothes that out and fits well between the sweet and malty base and the tart dark red fruits. A shame this was so limited and expensive since it is drinking quite nicely now. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Kevlee722
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best AFTER 4/30/13. Poured in to Bruery Tulip.

A - Translucent medium to dark amber/brown colour. One finger of light brown head formed and reduced to a thin layer.

S - The Dissident aromas are evident up front - sourness and some tart cherry. Fred and Adam show up in the middle and add some earthy hops, roast and dark fruit with hints of smoke. Some Belgian yeast notes are evident in the background. Plenty of oak is present throughout. Pick up aromas from all 4 beers.

T - Dissident and Adam up front - sour at first with tart cherries, roast, smoke and some sweet toffee. A big oak flavour is present as well. The middle adds some candy sugar, dark fruit and earthy hop tones. Some dark fruit is also present in the background. The flavours of all 4 beers are integrated so well. Fred is most difficult to specifically identify but the characteristics of it are present.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light carbonation. (926 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1323rd Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12oz

2012 release
Best after 4/23/13

App- Pours out a multifacedted hue with many colors to it. A bit of burgundy. A bit of red. Has some yellows and light browns around the edges. A one finger khaki head was there and then fell to a nice 1/8" of bubbles with a bit of film on the top. A bit still and thick cordial looking.

Smell- The first smells that come wofting up to the nose are the sherry wine notes. Its fairly sweet with alot of booze stinging the nostrils. A bit of a wine like grape tannins come in from the pinot. Other than that I dont get much. Maybe some citrus like cherry? Its still really young. The barrels are very hidden on the nose.

Taste- I really pick up on the Stoic 1st. The unique combo of those flavors just comes up so quick with the sour of the Dissident. Has a malty like sour cherry note but then a strong malt flavor similar to Adam and Fred with a bit of the creamy Fred flavor and the stong Adam malt bill. Its very tasty. A bit young and sweet with ALOT of room to grow. The barrel notes are really all of over the place and hard to pick out them individually. Mostly again just the sherry.

Mouth- A very medium body with a creamy sweet mix between old ale and some flanders red such as the Dissident. Really like the taste but the feel is just super lush here. A bit of a residual malty/cherry note. A good medium carbonation and a bit of a lip smacker.

Drink- Its got a lot going on in this glass and I see good things for it. I really think the time in the bottle till next year will let it settle and mingle well. A bit powerful with the booze but still very good and again sweet. Maybe borders on cloying but thats okay. As a side note for those looking to compare it to something. JW Lees Sherry Cask. Glad I have 2 more bottles. (1,816 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (best after 4/30/2013) into a tulip. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a 1-finger khaki head, a few bubbles lazily rising from the bottom.

Aroma is sharply tart up front. Sour cherries and oak dominate, a hint of dry red wine. Sometimes the intense sourness takes on an almost overwhelming, solvent-like quality. But as it warms a bit Adam's more earthy texture comes through as a welcome counterweight.

Taste goes leaps and bounds beyond the aroma. So much going on here. I pick up the candi-sugar sweetness of Fred, the dark smoky fruitiness of Adam, the dry vinous character of The Stoic, and of course intense sour cherry notes from The Dissident. Oak and leather too. More remarkably, the taste keeps changing with each sip and even within each sip. 11.6% alcohol is completely hidden, an achievement in itself.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, bone dry. Carbonation provides an appropriately gentle bite on the finish, aftertase lingers and also seems to change over time.

Overall, as expected this is definitely an interesting, complex blend of flavors and aromas. But it still seems a little rough around the edges; I think it has ample room to mature and develop. I've got a few bottles stashed away, will let this unique blend gel for a bit and revisit it again after the "best after" date. (1,304 characters)

Photo of eclipse54
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle I picke up from the local co-op. Best after 4/30/2013 according to the label; I guess I'm early to the party for once. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a dark brown color with some darker, dirt-brown hues to it. The thin head is khaki in color, and while the main body doesn’t hang around too long, a thick ring and central patch on the surface of the liquid hang out for the extent of the drink. Wet patches of bubbles decorate the glass.

The aroma is of tart cherries, sherry, caramel, acidic grape, some plum and date, some faintly toasted sugar, and vague hints of oak and chocolate. The nose is complex, but Dissident forward; while it smells great, the acidic fruits seem to swamp out some of the other scents.

Tones of vanilla, oak, and toffee lead in the flavor, while tart cherry, grape, plum and date come out immediately afterward. Undertones of caramel, faint milk chocolate, smooth molasses, and bourbon make an appearance near the end, and there’s a bit of sherry and faint ethanol on the finish. There are certainly flavors I’m missing here, but this is one complex beast.

Mouthfeel is superb, with a nice velvety start, acidic and slightly thinner middle, and a crisp, dry finish. The oak really makes a play at the end here, lending itself to a ultimate dryness. A thin veil of the caramel and sugary fruits caosts the palate, but dissolves quickly and doesn’t linger any longer than is welcome.

Overall, this is one unique beer. The ""strong ale"" category does not prepare you for what's in the bottle, and seems only to serve as a catch ale label for this concoction. The Dissident really does seem to be the dominant brew in the blend, perhaps only because the tart fruits contrast so well with the rest of the component beers. Elements of all, however, can be found. I'm happy to have some more cellared away, as I have high hopes for how this one will develop. Already, I'm quite impressed with how well the ethanol is hidden... Can I feel it as I near the end of my glass? Yes. Does it taste like an 11.6% brute? Not at all. (2,090 characters)

Photo of SebD
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice murky brown/amber color to it. It has a nice beige head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of toffee, caramel, vanilla, cherries and oak.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet toffee and caramel along with some vanilla, cherries, red wine notes and woody oak.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. (536 characters)

Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.