Cinder Cone Red | Deschutes Brewery

very good
226 Reviews
Cinder Cone RedCinder Cone Red

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Available: January 2010 only in Oregon, Western Washington and Hawaii
IBUs: 55

Added by Bierman9 on 10-07-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 466
Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Brown glass bomber purchased earlier tonight and served cold into a tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as a red ale per the label Cost was $3.99 USD. Expectations are high given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half finger wide head. Retention is nice - about 3-4 minutes. White colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and fullness. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Deep amber-red. Translucent. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good looking red ale. Not unique or special, but absolutely appealing.

AROMA: Caramel, toasted amber malts, some breadiness, and some floral hop character. Cream. A very pleasant inviting aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol, off-notes or yeast character is detectable.

TASTE: Underwhelming. Predictably, amber malts dominate. There's a floral hop profile that fails to showcase the amarillo mentioned on the label. Has some caramel and toastiness, but ill enough to satisfy the conventions of the style.

Balanced? Not really. It takes a sharp left turn into red apple skin territory for no real reason, and the malt backbone is inadequate. More toastiness is needed. Average depth, duration and intensity of flavour.

I do like it for what it is, but there's no real subtlety, intricacy/complexity, or nuance to speak of. It doesn't even meet the conventions of the style, and obviously fails to exceed them. Meh.

TEXTURE: Smooth, lightly dry, a biteen cidery, crisp like fruit skin, overcarbonated, and annoyingly thin. Lacks sufficient body. Has an off barleywine-esque feel on the palate. Gushed. There's some creaminess. Needs to be more assertive overall.

Not oily, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

A severely problematic texture which actively undermines the taste. Needs serious work. Deschutes did this?

OVERALL: Drinkable, sure, and passable at $3.99 a bottle. But it's far from a good red ale and I definitely wouldn't get it again - even though it features my favourite hop (amarillo). Hides its ABV nicely, but the quality just isn't there. I'm a bit surprised Deschutes released this.


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Photo of Crosling
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper color. Wispy white topping of suspended particles clung together. Subtle nose of caramel malt and slightly lemony/citrusy Amarillo and spicy Tettnang. Taste begins by illustrating the caramel malts initially, then levels off and begins to develop a touch of roast on the finish. Meanwhile, the hops seem to be unusually mellow. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t like this at all. The malt flavor is very amateurish (and yes, I am aware that I am speaking of Deschutes here), almost like beginner homebrew and the Amarillo and Tettnang combination needs to either be amped up substancially or switched out for hops more powerful and more fitting for the style, like Centennial or Chinook.

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Photo of ScottishStoutMan
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured 1 finger head from 22 oz bottle, red/dark copper in colour. Pretty highly carbonated. Not much of a nose; a little bit of pine if anything, and maybe a hint of barley, malt, and caramel. Those aromas are not very prominent however.

On the taste, the hops and caramel are most prominent. Toffee comes through as well on the 3rd or 4th swig, Carbonation lingers on the tongue a lot longer than I expected, perhaps neutralising some of the other flavours.

Overall, it's a pleasant beer, but the carbonation makes it a bit heavier than your typical red ought to be. I only bought the bottle a week ago, and the sell-by date is about a week from the date I'm drinking it, so that likely has affected the carbonation and balance of flavours. I'd be interested in drinking this beer off the tap to get a better sense of what it's supposed to be like.

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Photo of mghotbi
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear reddish copper with a creamy head. A tremendous amount of lacing all over the glass.

Nose predominantly hoppy and piney with a trace of grain alcohol. Crisp mouthfeel with ample carbonation.

Taste is quite hoppy with long lingering piney, resinous bitterness. Minimal malt sweetness in this one. Alcohols quite prominent late, which is surprising for a relatively low ABV offering. Bitterness really overwhelms without an adequate counterbalancing malt profile.

I was a bit disappointed by this one, given Deschutes other offerings, which are often spectacular. A bit unbalanced - not my favorite amber ale.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deschutes is one of my favorite staple breweries but this selection was not for me. Pours a gorgeous amber/rust river red with a nice tan head that dissapates into the glass. Lacing is great, frothy foam will stick to the glass as you partake in this creation. The smell is very wildernessy/trees/pines, very earthy. Rear has hints of cherries and citrus. A nice spice kick is there as well. The taste is bitter, not the bitter I like (trust me I like bitter IPA's, just didn't do it. The forest pine hints are here in the taste, a little to earthy for my tastes. A dry tone just wasn't what I wanted. Alcohol is detected in the rear of the sip. A medium bodied dry ale that while many will love I'm sure, just wasn't what I was looking for on this particular day.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one probably didn't receive due justice because of the medium served. Tried this at Hops On Equinox 06 and served in a 6oz pilsner sampler.
Red Amber in color and 1/4" head.

Nose- of a mild hoppiness.

Taste- almost pine nutty, similar to, yes pine nuts but probably just the hops. The later taste of burnt wood, almost charred.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light.

Yes I would recommend this as a casual drinker on a nice summer afternoon.

Elbows Up,

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Photo of ccrida
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draught at the Portland Public House in an imperial pint, Cinder Cone is a dark, hazy amber with small, tight off-white head.

Smell is light (served cold), grassy, herbal hops, bit of malt as it warms.

Taste is lightly toasted malt, caramel, some plasticy phenols and minty hop bite with a bitter finish. The one is too astringent for my taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp, with a medium body.

Drinkability is average for me, it was just too bitter and grainy. I like me ambers with a sweeter, richer malt backbone and more hop flavor and aroma.

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Photo of benito
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I stopped by the Deschutes booth at the recent Big Beers festival in Vail, the brewery rep mentioned that their upcoming seasonal--Cinder Cone Red--just didn't sell very well. I realized that I had never had it and figured I would do my part to give their sales a boost.

This beer is amber to light brown in color with a small head that dissipates and lingers as a thin layer above the brew. It's citrusy smell is its best attribute--the bouquet has a nice mix of fruit and bread. Unfortunately, the rest of this beer is ho-hum. It shows a gentle and well-balanced malt-hop mix in the flavor that is so restrained that it almost comes across as flavorless; the juicy bite at the end is quite welcome. At least it's not offensive.

Deschutes makes many better beers than this one, and there are plenty of other, better ambers on the market. Maybe this one doesn't jump off the shelves for a reason.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I really enjoy the Deschutes beers so I thought I would give this one a try. The orange color and creamy head look good so far. I can’t smell much but my sense of smell has been shot for a couple weeks so, whatever. The taste reminds me of a more subdued Hop Trip. I loved the Hop Trip but this one seems like a watered down version but then again, what do I know? Very sessionable due to the low alcohol and easy-going taste. Not bad, but I prefer the Hop Trip.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While it poured an amber with red hues with little foam and very little lace, the smell was of hops and malts. The taste was of malts and hop's with a hint of a citrus nature. Although a bitter dry finish, it was a nice red ale. But, a little like "Mirror Pond Ale", but not as bitter.

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Photo of rye726
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a nice redish brown and holds a middling beige head. The nose is fairly basic of mild malts and some fruity hops. The taste is light but well balanced. It is definately malt dominant. Average body goes down fine. A good, but over priced, session beer from Deschutes.

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Photo of Moose90
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a reddish but bright pale amber hue into the glass. There is a rocky off-white colored head that forms and leaves behind some solid rings of lace with each sip.

S — Smell is malty, rich, sweet, grainy, little bit of a hop balance, but not much. Focused on malt, grainy, crackery, lightly sweet.

T — Much like the nose there is a resounding sweetness of toasted malts and grains, balanced against a lightly bitter hop profile.

M — Medium-Full bodied, fairly light and thin though.

O — OK overall, not my favorite in the style, but if there were no other better options I'd still order it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Gorgeous big foam in the tall Timmermans goblet. Color is a copper-tinted amber. Sudsy and mouthfilling.

Some pale malt to start, with a modest sweet zing. Then the bitter bite sets its teeth. It's like sucking on rubber bands and aspirin. Thin and harsh overall. So well made except for-- oops-- the flavor.

This has to be one of the most bitter Red Ales I've ever tried to drink. I just don't get this. It lacks the hoppy complexity of an IPA and goes straight to the bitterness receptor. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Hallam's Wine in La Conner, Wash.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Pours copper with a fading head.
Nose shows sweet malt, pine, cardboard-like oxidised malt notes.
Flavours include citrus and sweet slightly richer malt. Again, seems a little oxidised.
Carbonation is too high.

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Photo of ssteakley
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

TheSixthRing pretty much nailed it, this is the 4th Red ale I have tried and it is not near as good as the first three so it just didn't fire on all cylinders. If there is a better choice why buy this one? That being said it is still a good beer and since we are short on those in Texas I would advise the Brewery to ship it all there and they will sell every last drop they can produce.

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Photo of
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle. Missed a bit on this one, best before 5/3/07.

Clear copper colored fluid. Topped with a large, rocky, ivory colored head. Decent lacing as I drank.

Smell was very malty and sweet. I picked up caramel, but it was toffee according to the bottle. Earthy.

Taste moved in a different direction. Touch of citrus, mainly at the finish. Bitter more than sweet, overall. Biscuity in the middle.

Light to medium body, seems thinner than it should be. Carbonation, while fine, was perceived as low to medium. Based on the head formed during the pour, I would have expected more. Rather dry.

OK, but not my favorite from this brewery. Easy to drink. Based on other reds, seems a touch too bitter for style.

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Photo of Floydster
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased at Walnut Liquorette for two dollars

3 months after its best before date, but still hoppy

Poured into my Three Philosophers glass with a medium amber red color that had an orange tint, the head was about 1/2 inch and was white and soapy, not much retention or lacing

Smell had lots of toffee, some hoppiness, biscuit-like aromas, bread, grain, and caramel malt

Taste was suprisingly full of hops after a whole year, dry beginning with an even dryer finish, nice toffee flavor throughout, did not enjoy the somewhat sour finish that took place once the beer had warmed a little bit, very chewy, did not have much of a malt profile which is odd for an amber, would be better on a hot day rather than a cold winter night, nice hop character and bitterness overall

Body was pretty weak on this one and it was overly carbonated in my opinion, taste did not last long either

Could probably drink a six pack of this mainly because of the low alcohol percentage and the fact that it is not filling at all, faily smooth and goes down easy, more of a session/summer brew

Last of the four seasonal Deschutes beers and I needed to try, not bad but not outstanding, recommend trying one time but nothing that you need to go out and by a case of, not a bad amber ale overall

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks, smells, and tastes like your typical, solid, flagship red ale. A bit of a violent pour leads to a rather large head that retains very well and laces even better. The deep amber body of the beer translates in a very malty nose, with just a touch of balancing hops bitterness. The caramel malt in the scent is converted directly on to the palate for a solidly malty backbone of red ale flavor. Little to no hops bitterness balances the flavor of this beer, but that's ok because the semisweet, and just a touch peaty, malts are so delicious. This beer drinks very easily and smoothly on the whole.

Overall, I'm not sure what to say; this is your standard red ale from a very high quality brewery. Does this beer provide an instantly recognizable flavor or experience? No. But does this beer offer a solid flavor that is pretty delicious and easy to enjoy? Heck yes.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: deep copper (beautious!), good clarity, nice fluffy tan head w/ good retention and excellent lacing

Aroma: sweet caramelly malt base topped with a rich continental hop aroma, a touch or raisins and diacetyl

Flavor: kicks off with a semi-sweet malt front embraced by a pert woody hop flavor, a touch of oakiness peaks out jut before the closing bitterness comes in, semi-dry finish, caramel aftertaste

Mouthfeel: chewy, medium-full melanoidin body, fine carbonation fairly astringent (felt on teeth)

Overall Impression: Bend, OR must have some pretty hard water or they're dumping in a fair amount of minerals because the ESB, IPA, and this one are noticeably astringent. Just shy of off-putting.

Unfortunately, due to internal political machinations in this great brewery, we may see the quality of their beers take a sharp decline.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego

Pours a very dark hazy red with a thick and dense slightly off-white head. Flavorful malt taste with some sweet florals and a hint of hops. Minimal aroma but medium-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation. Nothing spectacular but a good session beer especially with food.

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Photo of kdoc8
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a deep red-golden color and starts with a thick white bubbly head, which fades quickly. Very little lacing present. a red. I know that's not has a very faint scent of hops but not much else in terms of smell. Kind of a bland taste, not much hops or malt detected at all. It has a bit of a yeasty-bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 26, 2007. 12 Oz Bottle. A touch of caramelized malt amongst a flow of tangerine and persimmon floral hop quality. Reserved, yet fragrant. Pours a percolating deep amber, with brandy edges and a rocky soap of aged ivory. A touch of chill haze. Flavor is a middle ground, matching mediocre average malt character with a fresh bite of lime peel and resin. A few tannic raisins and a nip of creamy dig deeper, while Tettnang brighten a dusty backend. A touch of meatiness. Palate smacks out with some higher fruits, a touch fusely. A fairly standard red ale, with decent drinkability, a good bit of cleaniless, but not much mystique.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Substantial depth to the red hues that come out in the pour, yet, plenty of clarity despite being a darker red. Nice 1" head on it, good lacing, good retention. Aroma, like a spicier, hoppier red ale. Really brings out the caramel more than most reds, like a hybrid caramel ipa and red ale in the aroma.

Taste, delivers good hop notes. Mild citrus notes, average bitterness. Kind of a complex thing, leather, dark fruit notes even at times. Way more interesting than the average red ale out there. Maybe even a little toffee to this one.

More interesting than your average red, a decent beer in a great breweries portfolio. For whatever reason, I rarely see it anymore.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Town & Country Liquor, on to the beer:

Slghtly murky orange amber color in my pint glass, the head sticks well together on top and is thick. Great retention. Some hop oils and hop leaves in the aroma, thin maltiness. The taste is an improvement over the least you can taste the maltiness. Toasted and fruity at the begining. Some tea-like hops fasten the beer up together. Not an overpowering flavor. Light-medium body, no pesky carbonation, and easy to session.

An easy going ale from Deschutes. This might be a good one to introduce to a newbie.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

That type of red with lots of gleaming clarity to it, a full inch of head, off white, the lacing was uniform, the retention was tight. Aroma came off like a hoppy red ale.

The beer thankfully emphasized the hops and caramel more than the red malts of yesteryear. Some earthiness to it. Definitely a better direction than the standard red ales. No peat. or not much.

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Cinder Cone Red from Deschutes Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 466 ratings.
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