Conflux Series 2: Collage
Deschutes Brewery

Conflux Series 2: CollageConflux Series 2: Collage
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Strong Ale
ABV:
14.3%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 8.84%
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
156
From:
Deschutes Brewery
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  25
Gots
  56
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Conflux Series 2: CollageConflux Series 2: Collage
Notes: This second version magically blends:
The Abyss (100% aged in Pinot barrels)
The Stoic (100% aged in Pinot barrels)
Hair of the Dog’s Fred (aged in American oak and rye whiskey barrels)
Doggie Claws (100% aged in cognac barrels).
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 156 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

holy cow, what a blend! this is a monster of a beer, a combination of monsters really, and its complex and delicious, but make sure you have a couple of friends around who can hang, as this is about a sturdy as they come, the definition of a slow sipper! deep burgundy color to it, all kinds of viscosity, and some froth around the edges too, showing signs of life. its aroma is insane, i get a whole ton of red wine, fusel alcohol, and malt complexity, with some brown sugar and molasses sweetness, heavy grape and oak tannins, and cool layers of baked blackberry, black cherry, and vanilla. at first i start trying to pick apart the threads in here and identify their contributions individually, being quite familiar with most of them, and i do get some nice dark abyss roasted grain, some english malt and cognac character from the doggie claws, and the grapey pop and belgian essence of the stoic, but i quickly conclude that the total is far more than the sum of its parts, even though that sum is astronomical on its own, there is a synergy here that really is the whole point of this, and i decide to just roll with it, not dissect it too much, and just enjoy the complexity, which is basically unrivaled. a ton of wine on this, and lots of alcohol too, i like that in a beer like this, its big but its mellow too somehow, all the wood i guess. layers of stewed fruit, cinnamon, coffee cake, brandy, red apple, molasses, maple syrup, rye spice, and figs. i absolutely love it, and there is just a touch of acidity here almost helping it swallow clean, at least for what it is. huge body, like wet cement on the palate, but so smooth and long, its a delight to drink, opens up amazingly well with some temperature, and really is worth seeking out, an intelligent and delicious offering, as special as beer gets as far as i am concerned. a treat to share with new friends!

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Photo of marchoftheclouds
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m love Deschutes Abyss and I’m a huge fan of Hair of the Dog. I can say without reservation if I could only have beer from one brewery the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even have to ponder that question. HotD Fred from the Woods.

Magically blends? Absolutely!

I’ve had all four beers. My daughter brought me back two cases of Abyss after a road trip to Portland and I’ve had Fred on tap at HotD and the others in bombers. This is an incredible combination of individually excellent beers.

It looks great (not a biggie for me), it smells divine, it’s taste is almost unparalleled and I feel good!

Oh, the MOUTHfeel ... yeah, thick and chewy.

This is an incredible beer, especially after cellaring for approximately three years.

I wish I had more.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes/Hair Of The Dog Collage 2 (2016), 14.3% ABV. Pours dark brown with a half-finger beige head. Nose is wine, chocolate, bourbon, and dark fruit. Taste follows plus tobacco and oak, quite sweet, only slightly bitter. Very chocolate/cocoa forward. Being based on Abyss and three other BA beers of several styles, this is quite complex and expected to reveal other flavors upon warming. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

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bbtkd from South Dakota, Jan 13, 2019
Photo of BEERdedCharmer
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally enjoyed this beer I got back in 2016.
Served in a snifter glass.
Opened up to flavors of vanilla, smoke, tobacco and a hint of raisin.
Perfect pairing with a great cigar at the end of the night.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours dark brown with a thin off white head head. Very light lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, raisins and cognac.

T - The taste is brown sugar, caramel, plums, raisins, dark cherries, vanilla, oak and cognac.

M - Mdium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Great beer with so many different flavors going on. Delicious and definetly worth the price.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Nov 04, 2018
Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown with some mahogany highlights topped by a finger of light tan head which quickly fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Really interesting nose on this one. Tons of wood to get through. Nice fruitiness with some chocolate and caramel. It almost smells like pine needles and pine tar. Nice vanilla note along with some roasted malt as well.
T: Taste is fairly woody before the fruit and spice kicks in. Nice roasted malts and chocolate along with some caramel and vanilla. Slight cocoa powder and some definite red fruits that are slightly jammy. Really nice woodspice that reminds me more of a wine than beer. On the swallow we get cocoa powder, currants, roasted malts, and some drying oak.
M: This is a full bodied beer with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but it is definitely adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this beer is tricky. Really complex flavors that are tough to decipher. Well integrated and combined but definitely a challenging drink. It definitely rewards the experience and the alcohol is well hidden. I'd say this one is drinking well right now but this could probably go a little longer and not lose anything. This beer may be a little too woody for some people but I'm definitely enjoying it.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, Oct 20, 2018
Photo of tigg924
3.69/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy, dark brown in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is sandalwood, raisin, and rum. Heavy bodied, low carbonation and sweet. Makes for a solid and complex strong ale. I prefer others in the style, but this is good.

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tigg924 from Massachusetts, Sep 01, 2018
Photo of woemad
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz wax tipped bomber purchased, I believe, at the Yoke's on Foothills Drive nearly two years ago. Bottled on August 1, 2016. Unlike most of their waxed bottles, this was super easy to get the cap off. I'm all in favor of that trend continuing.

Poured into a Selkirk Abbey Belgian-style glass, this was the color of mahogany going in, but assumed a nearly black color once occupying said glass. Decent sized, khaki colored head for such a high alcohol beer.

Initially, the nose was entirely dominated by the barrels it was aged in. Big, woodsy, vanilla oak notes, with a bit of molasses and brown sugar thrown in.

Whoa! Sweet but complex,.with some booze thrown into the bargain. Lots of descriptors can be used for what this tastes like: toffee covered cherries, prunes, bourbon, pipe tobacco, smoke, even a little coffee. Surprisingly, for spending a couple years waiting after bottling, there's still a remarkable amount of alcohol "heat" to this. There's also a very tiny hint of sourness way in the background.

Full bodied, with a creamy, velvety mouthfeel.

Wow. Whole lotta flavor going on here. This would make an excellent dessert beer, or a nightcap on a cold winter's night. So, in the spirit of "Fuck it - I could die tomorrow," I'm drinking it during what thus far has been an exceptionally hot August.... Seriously,.if you happen to find this somehow still on a shelf somewhere, grab it. Judging by how it's tasting, you could even sit on it another year or two.

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woemad from Washington, Aug 13, 2018
Photo of scottfrie
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter. Bottled 8/1/16.

A: Pours a deep ruddy mahogany with a finger of dense dark tan/light brown head that slowly faded into a wispy film and bubbly collar. A few streaks of soapy lace were left down the glass.
S: Musty, fruity, and complex nose with tons of dark fruits, sherry, pinot barrel, tobacco, oxidization, and tons of vanilla and warming alcohol. I get hints of currents, dates, leather and mild spice.
T: Boozy and musty notes of dark fruits, caramel, and red wine. I get notes of whiskey, cognac, sherry, leather and vanilla. Hints of chocolate, tobacco, and sticky melted caramel sauce in the finish, with lingering notes of warming booze and sticky malt and musty olde ale-type flavors.
M: Full body, creamy and velvety carbonation, warming, slight spicy mouthfeel, and a dose of warming alcohol.
O: I was skeptical at first but this is a very complex and integrated blend of flavors. All muddled together with the age reminds me of a strong barrel aged olde ale. Vanilla, red wine, and sticky sweet flavors dominate. A delicious sipper.

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scottfrie from California, Jul 23, 2018
Photo of stortore
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottled 8/1/16, had 6/23/17.

Pours a hazy, dark ruby, with a short head and some spotty lacing. Aromas of cognac, wine, malt, figs, dates, grapes, plums, raisins, some whiskey- more as it warms , a little yeast. Man, this is one of the best smelling beers ever. Tastes similar to the nose- wine, cognac, malt, whiskey, figs, grapes, dates, plums, light brown sugar. Tastes great. So smooth, fairly creamy, a terrific full body, an excellent level of carbonation.

Just incredible. This is the best collaboration beer I’ve ever had, and it’s pretty high on the overall list, too. So much flavor and especially, aroma. Wish I bought two...

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stortore from Illinois, Feb 16, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 8/1/16

A- pours a deep brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that has short retention

S- bold and complex notes, to be expected from the variety of styles and barrels used in the blend. Initial notes of dark grape, black licorice, date & fig & cognac barrel. Undertones of tobacco, leather, caramel, chocolate, wet oak, black currant, Belgian candied sugar and peppery yeast. Each beer seems to be contributing to the nose

T- the complexity go the flavor continues to follow the nose. Initial impressing is some vinous notes of red wine, along with black currant & fig. Mid-palate brings out some cognac notes, along with pipe tobacco, licorice & wet oaky whiskey. The finish brings out sweet notes of caramel & plumb, lingers of spicy yeast, wood & more vinous red wine

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish, alcohol hidden pretty well

O- the layers of complexity continue to evolve as the beer warms up, delicious

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Jan 04, 2018
Photo of brenn79
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle- Pours dark cola brown with zero transparency and a small light tan head that reduces quickly leaving a collar. Aroma is cocoa, strong barrel notes, oak, bourbon, toffee, vanilla, raisin, caramel, the list goes on and on, it's a bit rough honestly. The taste is bourbon, caramel, oak is strong again, vanilla, toffee, very similar to the aroma, only better, very smooth, creamy, Firestone Barrel beer good here.

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brenn79 from Idaho, Sep 02, 2017
Photo of BSiegs
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby to brown in color. Two fingers of light tan foam that recede to a think ring around the edge of the glass. Little lacing. The aroma is massively complex. Dark fruits, caramel, cherries, oak, whiskey, fruity esters. Like a boozy piece of candy. The taste follows what the aroma promises. Exact same notes, beautifully complex and rich. Full bodied, low-moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet, boozy finish. Delightful beer.

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BSiegs from Illinois, Aug 26, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

**
08/16/17

Bottle to snifter. (bottle date:8/1/16)

LOOK: dark brown, little head,
AROMA: cherry, apple, grape, red wine, oak,scotch, brown sugar,
TASTE: cherry, rum, sugar, red wine.
FEEL: full bodied, low carbonation,

Very tasty. Nice collaboration. Very sweet. Could use a bit more stout.

**

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q33jeff from New Jersey, Aug 16, 2017
Photo of wmartin
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome!

Bottle dated 8/1/16. Aroma and taste are practically identical.

I'm not always a big fan of barrel-aged products, and many of the world's best beers are not barrel aged, and some barrel-aged items are not as good as the non-barrel-aged versions, but, damn this is good!

14.5% ABV, strong wood flavors, and a good imperial stout malty background make this beer. I would not say it is profoundly complex beer, but the combo of malt, alcohol, and wood is so good, that who cares about complexity.

I would say that the high ABV leads to not being able to drink the whole 22 oz. bottle at one time, unless you weigh 300 lbs. Share it with a friend, or keep half the bottle in the fridge overnight.

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wmartin from North Carolina, May 29, 2017
Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark mahogany, off white head, light ruby tones
S: Brown sugar, fig, dates, caramel, milk chocolate, hint of roast, vanilla, tobacco, red wine, charred oak
T: Fig, brown sugar, raisin, bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, alcohol, dates, chocolate, tobacco, molasses, rich, red wine
M: Medium with lower carbonation
O: Very complex and rich in flavor and aroma. More unique than other barrel aged beers of the style

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Rimbimhoot from Illinois, May 27, 2017
Photo of TBoneJones
4.11/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear brown-mahogany-reddish color. Color looks terrific.
Smell is malty chocolate nibs/ cocoa powder and bourbon barrel. Caramel and vanilla lingers.
Taste is big boozy molasses and bourbon-soaked cocoa and fig, with oak notes. Interesting and strong.
Feels medium and a bit syrupy, with medium carbonation. End note imparts a nutty/ dark syrup-laden alcohol burn.
Good beer for slow-sipping. A strong ale, like the style it follows.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce wax capped bottle, bottled on 8/1/16. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours very dark brown with some ruby red tinges, along with about an inch light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and sweet, the brew smells like molasses, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit (red grapes/wine, plums), oak and some whiskey. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some roasted malt, cognac and dark bready flavors too. It's mostly sweet tasting but not overpoweringly so. Not quite as boozy as I expected for being 14.3% ABV. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and a bit syrupy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was pretty good, definitely worth picking up! $20.99 a bomber.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer.
Pours a lovely dep black with minimal head, the barest hint of red. The smell is incredible, so much going on. Vanilla, dark fruits, cocoa, caramel. The taste is sweet malts forward, vanilla, caramel, a lot of oak, bourbon. Medium bodied with a somewhat syrupy consistency and well hidden abv. A thoroughly enjoyable and complex beer – as a relative novice – I lack the vocabulary to describe how awesome this beer is.
A little pricey – but I totally recommend picking up a bottle of this and experiencing the deliciousness. In my limited experience – a comparable (and cheaper) beer may be Clown Shoes Bluegrass Billionaire – the body is thinner, but they capture many of the notes.
I get this whenever I see it -solid beer!

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ThaneMcC from Germany, Apr 15, 2017
Photo of HattedClassic
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a nice creamy eggshell white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a very nice looking brown color that is clear and contains a nice slightly reddish hue to it.

The smell is pretty good. It's a fairly complex mix of the different beers and has more than a few layers to it. The strongest note seems to be the cognac from the Hair of the Dog brewery along with a bit of alcohol. The next strong notes are sweet milk chocolate and caramel note from The Abyss. Underneath those notes, the rye whiskey comes out a little bit and there is also a slight smokiness as well.

The taste is fairly good. The notes present resemble the smell but with different intensities. The milk chocolate and caramel notes from The Abyss are a bit stronger while the cognac is a bit weaker and the rye whiskey is a lot more subtle and is barely there. The oak is a bit stronger while the pinot notes finally make a faint appearance.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body but feels a bit thin (probably due to the barrel aging) and slightly syrupy. the carbonation is extremely light but enough to give some texture.

Overall, this was definitely an interesting and complex beer given how many different ones were used in the brewing of this one. The complexity definitely shows in the taste and smell but still manages to exhibit the best parts of the different beers without creating a hot mess which this could have become. This was definitely a good one for people who like strong ales but you can live without it.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with no head or lace. The aroma doesn't strike me as sour and more as just dark fruits like plums and there is some booze. The beer is smooth, oaky, heavy, balances sweetness from dark fruits like plums/figs with a sugary/vanilla aspect with clean finish. The sour aspects of the beer are toned down in this beer but the fruit and wine-like flavors are evident and seem to pop up here and there.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Apr 08, 2017
Photo of darktronica
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vinous, brandy-like, and with moderate notes of whiskey and barrel oak. This is quite a melange of spirits, betraying its high ABV and blended lineage. Other reviews give an adequate rundown of the flavor profile, but suffice to say, this is a very successful experiment. Despite its high price, I would definitely recommend giving this a shot if you enjoy highly complex ales and appreciate a variety of sources for barrels. As I've alluded to at the start, this is a showcase for the influences lent by previous barrel inhabitants; somehow, despite the blend, each origin remains distinct and appreciable. Extremely skillful.

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Photo of brandonwnw
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewed in August 2016 and consumed in February 2017. Look - Dark amber of a strong ale. Lighter than expected given the inclusion of Abyss in the blend. Smell - Intoxicating. The smell of different liquor barrels is delicious and unique. Taste - Wow, this is unlike anything I have ever drank that calls itself beer. It tastes a lot like a mixed drink with cognac and bourbon, which could be a decent substitute after I run out of this beer. Feel - A bit thin and bubbly. I'm drinking this over two days and the second day after capping for a night feels much better as it has lost some of the bubbly bite. Overall - An amazing drink worth experiencing. The price is steep but if you like barreled beers this is a must try. Again, it doesn't really taste like beer per say, but it is delicious.

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brandonwnw from Washington, Feb 25, 2017
Photo of MasterSki
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Binny's. Pricey stuff. Shared this with Evelyn at Things to Do Too: Electric Boogaloo. Served in a tasting snifter. Finished up the bottle two days later.

A - Pours with a thin crust of tan foam that settles to a ring and a few wisps. Deep chestnut brown body with great clarity when held to the light.

S - It's so interesting to pick out the different threads in this beer. My initial impression was heavy cognac, but as it warms I get more of the bourbon. That being said, I feel like the Hair of the Dog beers overwhelm the Deschutes ones - Abyss and Stoic push it a bit darker than Doggie Claws and Fred, but it very much drinks like a barrel-aged barleywine than a Quad, stout, or Belgian pale. Nice rye, caramel, and chocolate notes.

T - The flavor has a bit more vinous acidity and fruity quad notes; not as sweet and treacly as the aroma. I'm getting grape notes in the finish, and more on the Pinot side of things. Alcohol is a bit better restrained as well, with less oaky bourbon punch. As it warms I get more candi sugar quad flavors and cognac in the finish.

M - Medium-full body; perhaps a tiny bit thin for 14.3%. Low carbonation, creamy texture, with a dry and tannic finish. Surprisingly well-hidden booze here; just a bit of warming.

D - Really nice brew; reminds me of the better Firestone Walker anniversary brews a bit. Definitely a sipper though - split this four ways and still had some to drink the next day.

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MasterSki from Ontario (Canada), Feb 14, 2017
Photo of floyd_pugman
3.01/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nose of molasses, raisin, wood, and roasted malt. Palate starts off with chocolate fudge and then flavors of hop resin come in and, for me, ruin the beer. Ends with dark fruits, caramel, and vanilla, but my palate is shot at this point. Mouthfeel is uneven, starting out full and finishing thin. To each his/her own, but I’m not enjoying this beer at all.

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floyd_pugman from California, Feb 08, 2017
Conflux Series 2: Collage from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 156 ratings