Cinder Cone Red | Deschutes Brewery

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Cinder Cone RedCinder Cone Red
Very Good
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

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 472
Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -27.5%
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 CalgaryFMC
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber snagged across the border in Montana poured into a tulip. Reddish caramel colored like weak tea, with a tall rocky peak of meringue-like resilient light beige head. Foam for miles. Aroma is equal parts caramel malts and citrus/tropical hops. There is much going on in this here red ale, bold hopping like many of the best American reds but an assertive rich toffee sweetness underneath, with hints of molasses, puffed wheat, and a cola-like brown spice. Hops go from tropical pineapple and guava to orange rind, baby aspirin, tree sap, and fresh grass with nary a bum note. Excellent Amarillo showcase. Reminds one of Rogue's best red ales but sweeter with a slightly greater depth of character, not to mention less piney (this features more of a tannic black tea vibe). Sturdy body, with a smooth and slick mouthfeel and a red IPA style hop-centric finish. The end is where the bitterness truly makes its presence known. Well-balanced, tangy, fruity, and redolent with brown sugar sweetness, yet dries the palate before all is said and done. One of my favorite Deschutes offerings to date.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Well balanced, delicious. The malt is right on the money and not too cloying like some others. The tettnang / amarillo hop combo is fantastic with aroma and flavours of flowers and mandarin oranges.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Best by date of 06.25.14.
Poured from a bomber into a tumbler on 04.22.14.

A: See through dark red. Small head with an easy pour.

S: Sweet malt, spices, toffee.

T: Toffee dominates. Caramel and spices are there too. Slight grapefruit and pine on back end.

O: This was a very well balanced and complex amber. It was in the typical Deschutes style. It had the caramel that you would expect in an amber, but it also had a nice grapefruit/pine finish that added just enough hoppiness to make it interesting.

Rating: A-

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -16.7%
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 samtrillo
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%

Pours a reddish-purple-amber with a beautiful bout of ocean white head that soon dissipates.

Nose of piney hops and citrus and some carmel malt.

The taste is of bitter lemon, toasted and caramelized malt. The pine and citrus I got from the nose has dissipated as quickly as the head. This is more of a red ale than a red IPA. There's a mineral soapiness that I could do without.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

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 StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this is back after several years or more of retirement, and i am glad it is. $3.99 per bomber is an insanely fair price for beer this good, and makes it a no brainer at the bottle shop for me. clear amber beer, honey tinted and light looking, with an enormous two inch frothy tan head that laces up as it sips, and never really settles. beautiful beer. smells fresh and quite hoppy, unique in the finish from the tettnanger hops, used here i suspect in far higher doses than they are in traditional european brew styles. its a great hop, a little limey and clean grassy summery brightness abounds. malt is dry for an amber, only mid palate sweetness in more of a round and quick fashion than normal, and then dry more like an irish red in the finish. the hops are really prominent all the way through, but some of the zesty freshness from the nose is lost to bitterness on the back end. i wish it stayed all the way through. there is also amarillo in here, which give it some more fruitiness in the finish too. really clean beer, quickly finishing and light in body for what it is. i love how light it is on the palate, but also how frothy it is, and how substantial the flavors are. deschutes should keep this one in the lineup for awhile. one of the better american reds/ambers out there.

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Photo of Dope
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by 06/24/14 (whoops)

A: Pours a beautiful ruby red (duh). Tall, frothy and airy, light brown head. Great head retention, lots of fluffy tendrils of lacing too.

S: Pretty mild aroma. A little bit herbal with a little bit of caramel and bread.

T: Much more flavorful than the aroma gives away. Nice herbal and citrusy hops up front. Toffee in the middle with bread following it up in the finish. Mild bitterness wave in the finish, with a bit of a spicy, herbal and bready combination.

M: Medium bodied, lightly dry and bitter.

O: Nice traditional red with some extra hop complexity adding some really nice flavors. Mild bitterness, this is no IPA but it's still a not an insubstantial portion of the brew. Very tasty and well balanced. Nicely done.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle purchased for $6.25 plus deposit at the 8th Street Liquor Store in New Westminster.

A: Red-brown and clear. Not a huge amount of head. A film of bubbles after a few minutes.

S: Citrus, especially grapefruit, and caramel malt.

T: Yum. Citrus, pine, and malt.

F: Smooth.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 6/24/14.

Pours a hazy reddish-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of ADZA
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper amber hue with a creamy one finger head and creamy clingy lacing as far as the eye can see subtle looking yet approachable,the smell is piney hops,fruit salad and a touch of roasted barley,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with above moderate carbonation and the tastes are subtle but the hints of fruit salad,roasted barley and a soft pine bitterness are really sessionable while still holding my interest long enough to drink the whole bottle and overall a good example of a well balanced Red Ale cheers.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A deep brown copper red body, almost ruby deep. Very dark to see through, with minimal carbonation, and a little bit of floaties. Head is off yellow and three fingers tall, good retention and swiss cheese like bubbles hanging out in the top. A big giant solid cap on this, not going anywhere.

Great nose. Simple straight forward pine and thick spruce notes. Mild caramel sweetness, with lots of pine toasty notes. Comes off a bit woody, cedar, spruce, balsam, sawdust pine goodness.

Palate has a real spicy quality. Mid palate fills with some mild toffee, and pine and spiced hot hop quality. Clove and spruce heat on the finish, with a little bit of malt toast. Simple malt caramel sweetness a bit, but without a sugar rush and letting the airy hop come forward. Mouthfeel hits a solid simple malt thickness, and letting everything go straightforward through the gullet. No thickness, no wetness, staying pale ale to roots.

Overall it's a real unique red, and love it's simplicity. Good backbone of malt and simple and subtle aromatic hop aromas and flavors that linger on the finish to match.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bottle with a best by date of 6/24/14. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler glass. It doesn't look like there are too many reviews of the 2014 rendition of this yet, although that may not matter if the recipe hasn't changed.

Appearance - Pours a rosy auburn red color with crimson highlights and just a slight bit of haze that diffuses the light as it passes through. Atop the body rests a one finger head of creamy tan microbubbles. Retention lasts for a couple minutes before settling as a generous film across the top of the liquid. Faint, sticky lacing rings the glass as I drink it down.

Smell - A decent amount of citrus and light fruit in the nose, with notes of orange zest, light grapefruit pith and hints of floral softness to cut the acidity and keep this one out of "red IPA" territory. Beneath the brighter hop notes, there is a considerable presence from caramel sweetness and bready malt.

Taste - The citrus and fruit are still here, but less overt, preferring instead to let the malt profile takeover with notes of sweet caramel and slightly toasted sugar and baking bread with just a touch of toasted crust. That said, there is still some pleasant citrus and a little bit of pine resin and grassiness to keep it from becoming boring.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation, with a slightly sweet finish with just a hint of lingering bitterness.

Overall, a solid, but not particularly remarkable amber ale. While the style isn't my favorite, there are certainly renditions that I just love. This particular take is just decent, and with the plethora of great beers, I'm not likely to reach for it a second time.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clearish ruddy copper with two fingers of tan head that takes a while to settle. Good retention; lots of doily-like lacing.

At once citrusy and malty, slight fruity esters. Quite pronounced citrus hop aroma up front with grapefruit rind, earth, lemon zest, licorice, and a caramel malt underpinning that is pretty subtle. Very nice.

Pretty dry and hoppy. Bready, musty and piney hops all at once with a lingering hint of yeast underneath and some more lingering bready flavors.

Tight and dry with a slight aftertaste and lingering finish. Medium-bodied and drinkable.

Pretty nice Amber.
It pours beautifully and maintains a nice creamy head. The nose is quite complex and really showcases the malt and hop components of the ale. However, in taste it is a bit less rounded-out. It is fairly hoppy and the malt is more masked in the taste than the smell. The finish is predictably dry and hoppy.
Drinkable and not bad (although I don't know if that makes it great in my opinion).
Might have again; a cheap, relatively easy option if you just want a decent beer some night.

Just to be sure, regardless of my ratings I looked at the style guidelines and it seems to be a textbook example.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a sampler. I went semi-aggressive on the pour and backed off a bit as the froth arose to about 1.5 inches- creamy white and leaving rings of lace down the sides. The beer is a ruddy, pale amber color with fairly low carbonation and no haze.

Floral, citrus and spicy hops are very distinctive in the nose and on the tongue, but they don't quite overwhelm the underlying malt, which tastes biscuity with some caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit undertones. Still, I wish I could taste the malt just a bit more- though warming does bring out the malt qualities a bit more. A tinge of orange bitters lingers on the tongue and is most distinctive in the burps. A tingly, frothy mouthfeel coats the tastebuds.

Like alot of west coast offerings, I think the hops mask the malt and yeast characters a little too much, and there's not much there to distinguish this from a typical west coast pale ale, other than the color and maybe a little more body. Still, it's a worthy offering and was quite reasonably priced at 3-something for a bomber.

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Photo of ssteakley
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
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 TheSixthRing
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Best by date of 06/24/14

Appearance - Pours a somewhat clear auburn red with a 2-finger off-white head. Good retention results in a broken layer of surface suds. Great lacing around the glass with excellent stick.

Smell - Moderately hoppy on the nose, exhibiting floral and citrus notes, backed by some light bready maltiness.

Taste - Good balance of the hop and malt, but neither exhibit predominant character. Soft caramel and toasty biscuit notes backed by citrus and floral hop spice. Pretty much sums it up.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with good carbonation. Smooth and drinkable with phenomenal finish, as with most Deschutes beers.

Overall - Good, but nothing outstanding. Nice balance. Entirely drinkable, but quickly forgettable. Just doesn't stand out from most ambers, and does even less to stand out from Deschutes' awesome line-up. Still, great for the price, and I wouldn't mnd buying it again if it were to become more readily available.

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Photo of rawfish
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Excited to see this beer distributed down in California.

22 oz bottle split with a house guest. Pours amber/rust with nice clarity, smooth pour nets a half finger high off-white head. Highlights of garnet and desert reds when held to the light. Decent head retention with flecks of lacing on the glass.

Caramel malt is not overly sweet, allows some bready grains to come through, nuances of red fruit and biscuits. Hops are floral and grassy, healthy amount of hops. Lacks the earthy or spicy aromas that I really enjoy in reds, still nice.

Balanced caramel malt with bread dough and there it is...a lovely soft spiciness from the malt that kicks up the light but floral and complementary grassy/juicy citrus hop profile. Malt takes over in the finish with a bit of pine to level things out.

Medium, drinkable body with good carbonation. Flavorful with an easy bitterness and alcohol is completely whisked away.

Balanced red, real nice placement between malt and hops I could stand it to be a bit more aggressive or bold. Ended up being a good choice for the company tonight do give it a try.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a: its a dark ruby red color with loads of burnt caramel/amber/purple/light brown. large 3 finger pretty solid off white head

s: sweet caramel & toffee, strawberry, sweet citrus, light candi sugar, and a fairly faint hop (Columbus?). ends with some grains, and a slight aroma of wort

t: all malts baby. caramel & oats. theres a nice sweet roasted quality that sends the slightest bitterness down the back of your tongue to balance the sweetness. picking up a hint of berries, and just a faint taste of cardboard (not really in a bad way)

m: medium, on the fuller side. no carbonation in the mouth, but you can feel it in your belly

o: another solid one from Deschutes. its not great, but there is a nice harmony between sweet and bitter in this - with sweet winning out (as i like). only criticism is the cardboard-like finish

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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 LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review notes from 2010. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange brown amber. Half finger off-white medium head that slowly dissipates leaving light lacing. Nice aroma of sweet malt and herbal hops. Flavor is mild, caramel malt with slight toasted malts, light hops. A faint, pleasant mineral component that I have always felt was reminiscent of volcanic areas, like a cinder cone. Light bodied but decent carbonation. One of my favorite low ABV ales, I'll miss it.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bend brewpub on 11.9.11

A - Arrives a nice dark orangish-amber with a tint of red. Cream color head fades rather quickly to the edges.

S - Very malty and dark fruit. Red apples.

T - Smooth dark malts, a touch of fruit, carmel.

D - A touch bitter, but is very desirable here. Average carbonation and body.

O - A very nice and drinkable brew.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark amber with a nice one inch off white head and a good amount of lace. Nice retention on the head as well. Smell was deeply hopped, with a nice pine resin aroma and a hint of light grain. My first impression was a bit light in the carbonation, and a slight slickness or oilyness to it. Big hop profile was very nicely balanced against the malted grain back. Overall this was an easily sessionable and highly enjoyable brew.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 1/29/2010. Bottle thanks to scrizzz. Pours a clear mahogany with a small white head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, light fruits, floral hops. Flavor is similar with plenty of rich caramel malt, toffee, toasted malt, and light bitter hops. Smooth and easy drinking. Overall, a pleasant amber.

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Cinder Cone Red from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 472 ratings