Vas Deferens Ale | Caldera Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
128 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
Vas Deferens AleVas Deferens Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
calderabrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Halcyondays on 06-05-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
128
Reviews:
59
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
14
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A different Belgian. Aging this several months, in Tim's ideal garage helped mellow the yeasty part, leading way to the blood orange taste. Cross-style. Earthy. Very good drinkability.Not too sweet, more like a "juice not from concentrate".

 240 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I believe that this is not going to be a rotating beer but that this is a limited one time brew. Just my belief subject to confirmation but this is part of the Caldera Kettle Series, a "Limited Small Batch Seasonal Release."

Pours a dark copper red with a yellow/white head.

Sharp smokey spice sweet cherry cola nose.

Mouthfeel is thin/medium thin with a light "elegant" carbonation. Light creamy character.

Flavors follow nose; all smokey, spice sweet cherry cola and lots of cocoa flavors. Very well balanced in that there is a hint of bitter sweet chocolate that goes to a bitter sweet chocolate finish.

Flavors do have definite undertones of the orange bitters and blood orange zest.

Nothing stands out but this beer if really welcoming and immensely drinkable; you just want to keep drinking more. A much more complex brew with loads of flavors profiles that sneak up on you. Very nice effort.

 909 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had to get this one for the name, Grabbed a bottle when I came across it at the store. The pour was a murky orange brown color with a fluffy tan colored head on it. The smell of Belgian yeast was prominent, along with some citrusy aromas and earth too. The taste of the beer had some sweet notes up front with the fruits and brown sugars that might be in there. The finish was a little on the dry and spicy side. The mouthfeel I thought was just a little thin. Overall the beer was worth the try for sure. I would probably buy this one again in the fututre.

 557 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge
S: Light aromas of dark caramel and brown sugar are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is quite sweet with lots of flavors of brown sugar. Notes of caramel malts are also present, along with slight hints of oranges towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer didn't taste much like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and didn't have much in the way of Belgian yeast or dark fruits. It seemed more like an Imperial English Brown Ale, if there was such a style.

 735 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear russet color with a rocky head that leaves a fair amount of lacing

Smell: Brown bread, chocolate powder and orange

Taste: Tastes as it smells, with the bread and chocolate forward and the orange developing by mid-palate; adds some caramel sweetness, after the swallow though the finish has an odd, phenolic character

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: Let's be honest, here - as a BSDA it is a pretty weak effort but I still rather enjoyed the beer; call it an English Brown with a twist and I would be inclined to rate it higher

 581 characters

Photo of oline73
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear very dark redish amber with a finger of tan head that fades to a ring.

Smell: Malty with some fruity notes along with mild chocolate and spice.

Taste: More fruit here than in the smell. Malty and quite sweet, I'm picking up just a bit of the orange. The finish is malty and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not as much citrus and I would have expected. I would have liked more fruit to go along with everything else. I would probably pass on this one in the future.

 586 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of russpowell
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this ine from the Nashvillian (cheers John)

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of of tan head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Rich dark fruit, chocolate. All fade as this warms

T: Follows the nose, dryness, apricot, pears & cherries with a touch of oakyness up front. I start picking some candi orange notes as this warms, a touch of juicy fruit gum on the edges, along with apple skins. Finishes dry with some orange rind bitterness showing up, some cocoa powder as well

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, a bit too dry for my liking

A decent shot at the style, just didn't pull a the way together for me, still very drinkable

Was hoping for some like an acholic version of Terry's Orange Chocolate (if you know what I'm talking about)

Having read other reviews, yeah what is up with that label? Not sure what that demon is is grabbing...

 870 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pecan shell dark brown that becomes burnt orange and dark cherry red with backlighting. Appropriate color for a BSDA. The good looking lid of golden khaki is not Belgianesque... nor was it expected to be. Thick streamers of sudsy lace means no real negatives.

I'm not getting much in the way of Belgian yeast esters in the nose, which makes me think the brewers used dark candi sugar, but not Belgian yeast, and called it a day. Not getting the blood orange zest either, just some dark malts.

Vas Deferens Ale is the first Caldera brew that I haven't enjoyed immensely. While it isn't bad beer, it's a sorry excuse for a BSDA no matter how you slice it. The flavor profile does not fit the style, not least because there still isn't much contribution from the yeast... which is what should be driving this car.

Specifics include toasted pumpernickel, medium-dark fruit, black tea, black pepper and a modicum of citrus zest. That last one isn't immediately recognizable as orange, blood or otherwise. Warming brings a bit more boldness and definition, which is enough to tilt the score in an upward direction. Good sweet-bitter balance and skilled alcohol masking help too.

Since nothing else about this brew is Belgianesque, it would unfair to ask the mouthfeel to be. It has neither the medium-full creaminess, the expansiveness, nor the hang-on that it needs to earn the 4.0.

Unless you have a passing familiarity with human anatomy and physiology, it's probably best that you don't know what the singing devil on the rather disturbing label is being showered with. Hey Caldera, in the interests of gender equality, how about giving us Fallopian Tube Flanders Red Ale next?

 1,680 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles and I have taken to enlisting aid in doing so. The real logjam comes in the form of bombers. Do not misunderstand me, I am capable of drinking the contents of a bomber by myself, but I am hesitant to do so. Bomb(er)s away!

From the bottle: "Malt beverage brewed with orange bitters and blood orange zest added"; "Caldera Kettle Series ~ Limited Small Batch Seasonal Release"; "Caldera's Vas Deferens Ale is a Belgian-style ale with a unique twist incorporating a litte snip of this and a little snip of that. This is an extremely rare release, as this ale is not meant to reproduce. If ever in Ashland, Oregon, come by and check out the Caldera Tap house, located at 31 Water Street."

What a disconcerting label! I had Justin Chlan with me on my porch and we popped the cap and got started. It was an older bottle, so I used a gentle pour aand got only some deep-tan wisps for head. Color was a deep, coppery-amber (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was really rich - bready, molasses, brown sugar, anise. I began to think of B&B Brown Bread in a CAN. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was very bready with notes of burnt caramel, orange zest, biscuit malt and light chocolate. As it wrmed, I began to get a more pronounced chocolate flavor. Finish ws dry, mostly due to a slight fusel alcohol burn. Phew!

 1,407 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brown with a reddish hue; short-lived, soft, white head

S - bready, caramel, some alcohol

T - caramel, nutty, faint roasted, light bitter finish, some spiciness, warming alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

Not a bad beer. It's nutty and caramelly like a brown ale. The oranges don't come through for me. The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract from the flavor. I liked this but I don't like the Belgian label. They may have used Belgian yeast but it comes across more as a brown than a BSDA. Worth a try nonetheless.

 553 characters

Photo of malfunxion
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from a bottle into a beer mug. The beer pours an extremely dark brown with a foamy, light 2" head. The beer has smells of alcohol, citrus, and heavy malts, but all well blended together. The beer has a robust burst of flavors, again well blended like the smell. There are flavors of malt, sweetness, citrus/orange, and a little bit of molasses undertone. It's impressive that these bold flavors all blend so well, and the beer still manages to be smooth in mouth. There is an alcohol tinge to the flavor, and it is rather pleasant along with the rest of the beer. There is a very smooth finish, as well, and the beer is surprisingly easy to drink despite all the strong flavors and the decent ABV. Pretty decent brew, and it's unfortunate that this is a rare release. I think this could be a decent flagship beer for the brewery. If it weren't for the sticker price, I would bring home a lot of this one.

 916 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee and not too much else. The flavor is toffee, leather, tobacco, wood and dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A decent beer but nothing too exciting.

 296 characters

Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Eziel
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Vas Deferens Ale from Caldera Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 128 ratings.
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