Conflux No. 1 (Collage) | Deschutes Brewery

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Conflux No. 1 (Collage)Conflux No. 1 (Collage)

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

Added by msubulldog25 on 05-01-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 814 |  Reviews: 219
Photo of OUBrewer
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of WankelEngine
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Pours a dark but clear brown with a hint of ruby. Small, light tan head fades quickly. Nice legs of lace when I swirl it in the glass.

S: Opens with a wonderfully fruit malt aroma. Figs, raisins and cherries. There is also some sweet and sugary aromas: molasses and brown sugar. Oak and some alcohol are notable and provide contrast to the otherwise sweet beer. A slight tartness in the background.

T: Similar fruit presence as the aroma but somewhat more subdued. Molasses and other sugars are fairly prominent. Alcohol presence is fairly high but enjoyably reminiscent of bourbon. A good dose of oak and vanilla complement the alcohol. The tart aroma I picked up is now substantially more potent, and adds a great deal of depth. There are also some notes from the other types of barrels used. The finish has some red wine characteristics.

M: Surprisingly medium bodied for such a big beer. Smooth, slick and slightly sticky.

O: A delicious beer. The tart component really separates this beer from a more standard barrel aged strong ale. The alcohol provides more flavor than heat which is enjoyable as well.

 1,161 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy guacamole. Definitely the most complex beer to have ever traipsed across my tongue. My wife put it thusly: it's like a really good over-sugared whiskey sour, only it's beer.

It pours into a tulip glass nearly devoid of head (hence the 12% alcohol), w/ an odd stickiness on the glass that approximates lacing, but later leaves a crystal clear Windex shine. The aroma is flat-out strange. Like a tart dessert wine that carries an impossible-to-place savoriness that could be mistaken for turning (as in rotting) beef.

Then you get it in your mouth, and it's all over. The puckering sour screws up your salivary glands, causing the mouth to run like a stuck toilet. The syrupy mouthfeel says you're swishing a sauterne or an eiswine through your teeth, while the sweet malt and oaky-bourbon insist otherwise. In other words, the front of your tongue argues with both the middle and the back of the palate, the front saying "ack--sour white grapes!" the others saying "maple-sugar-sweet astringency!"

 1,003 characters

Photo of Ramenboi
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of HopsJunkiedotcom
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Brandywine
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep crimson. No head to speak of. Nice alcohol legs and lacing around the sides.

Smell: Sour explosion of fruits. Cherry, strawberry, raspberry and plum. Maybe some blackberry. Super fruity.

Taste: Follows the nose but with lots of different barrel characters. Bourbon comes through on the tip of the tongue, followed by a very well blended but subtle spiciness from the rye whiskey. Definitely some red wine characters at the back of the tongue, which all of the berry notes blend seamlessly into. There is also a very subtle smokiness that must come from Adam. Overall the most dominant of the beers in collaboration here is the Dissident as the sour lays the foundation. Finishes off with a nice bit of tannic dryness that helps clear the palate.

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium. Just enough carbonation to move things along.

Overall: This is just an awesome, crazy, complex beer. Really looking forward to seeing how it ages. Grab a few bottles. Have one now and cellar the rest.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, $$$$

appearance: served in my elysian chalice, dark chestnut-amber body, creamy beige lace

smell: holy aroma - Fred jumps out first, followed by the dissident. belgian candi sugars, oak, tart cherries, alcohol

taste: "collage" is an appropriate name here - really layered and complex - I have a hard time getting much Adam from this but Fred is certainly vocal. On the Deschutes side, tart cherry and oak reminds of dissident. I'm not sure I ever had the Stoic but I imagine the abrasive mix of booze and sugar is partially derived from that. Tart cherry, lots of belgian sugar, abrasive alcohol bite, yeast, lots of barrel - pinot noir, oak, bourbon

mouthfeel: big, boozy, full bodied

overall: nice stuff, outrageously priced though

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Photo of brystmar
2.07/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

"Best after 4/30/13." I'd suggest waiting even longer.

Muddy brown body, pretty ugly, and geez does that smell awful. Holy balls, keep that shit away from my nose. Note to self: don't use sherry barrels alongside anything else.

The flavor profile here is a great example of the poker term "FPS" (fancy play syndrome). There are far too many things going on here for its own good. In purely barrel terms, sherry mixing with bourbon and oak is a bad idea. On top of that, you have overly aggressive flavor profiles from multiple base beers clashing as they age. The decision to blend this many bold flavors together was a poor one.

This was my second time with Conflux #1 since its release, and my opinion of it hasn't changed. I love HotD and Deschutes, but this is an awful clusterfuck of a beer. Perfect example of FPS leading brewers awry.

 844 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown color ale with a large foamy head that disappeared quite fast. Aroma of sour notes is quite dominating with some brown sugar notes also perceptible. Taste is a weird mix between some sour and tart notes of cherries and oak (Dissident) mix in with vinous notes and some sweet caramel and malt notes. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting experiment though not something I would drink on a regular basis. I’m also wondering if I would not have preferred to drink some Fed or Adam on its own and whether this is not a waste of good beer at the end of the day.

 635 characters

Photo of SebD
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
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

Photo of DovaliHops
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, red mahogany color with a small off-white head. Scent is quite inviting. I can tell right away that this is a very complex beer. At first I get a sour/funky acidic aroma (most likely from Dissident). It quickly turns to cooked brown sugar or molasses and dark fruits. Some sweet caramel and toffee notes linger in the nose with sweet whiskey and even some sherry aromas. Some definite oak with a hint of pinot. Red and green grapes...both sour and sweet. There is a hell of a lot going on with this beer, and I love it! Taste was just what I was looking for. The complexities carry through with the flavor. Tart cherry flavors at first, followed by some familiar white and green grape flavors I got from Fred and Stoic. Although Stoic was not one of my favorite releases, I think it played a big part in this beer. Adam comes through with the malty sweetness on the back of the tongue. The dark fruits and caramel malt flavors compliment the finish on this well-crafted brew. All the different barrel aging is hard to pin-point, but there are some definite whiskey and pinot wine flavors. I'm not too familiar with sherry or dessert wine, but I definitely pick some up. Mouthfeel is full bodied, tart, and richly sweet at the same time. Drinkability is high for this sipper...clocking in at almost 12%. Not nearly as much booziness as one would expect. Overall, this is an outstanding brew that I highly recommend. Drink one now, and save one for the "best after" date. Drinkin well now, and could possibly improve, although I don't see how it could become more complex than it already is. Delicious!

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Photo of kspongeworthy
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of scottiethebody
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of allouez86
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a shifter.

Dark red in appearence. Zero head but that's what I expected.

Smell is tart cherry and caramel. Slight hints of whisky in the nose as well.

The cherries are way more subdued in the taste but there is so much happening here. Sherry, cognac, whisky, caramel. It's sweet and has many characteristics of a barlewine but every time I pinpoint a flavor something else jumps out at me and it's near impossible to classify this brew. Finishes both sweet and slightly sour.

Mouthfeel is slightly thicker than I'd anticipated. Very low carbonation levels.

A very enjoyable drinking experience. I'm very excited to have a handful in the cellar and more on the way. With a best after date of April 30, 2013, I'll definitely be editing my review later down the road.

 787 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour is a murky dark brown with a thin dark tan head. Nose has a bit of dark olive underneath with strong plum notes and a hint of acetic acid. Taste is similar, has notes of Adam underneath the sour plum and black cherry notes. A hint of an acidic twang in back on a creamy body and crisply carbonated finish.

 310 characters

Photo of Jules11788
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of gratefulbeerhead
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Glibber
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Etan
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Maine Beer Company wine glass.

A: Pours a murky brownish ruby with a decent egg shell head.

S: Vinegar, oak, clean alcohol, some muted malt and barrel notes behind (brown sugar, caramel).

T: Mild tannic sourness from Dissident, cherry juice, and plenty of Adam's unique maltiness (leather, earthy, burnt caramel). A bit of noticeable pale malt sweetness from Fred.

M: Medium to thick-bodied with very light carbonation.

O: Doesn't make my jaw drop, but it's pretty interesting and tasty.

 511 characters

Photo of ajs4bd
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Johnhaley1989
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of bum732
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Oak, some flanders red notes, slight tart cherries, some richness

L: Cloudy dark brown, little head.

T: Rich maltiness with a tart, slightly funky cherry note. Lots of wine notes with slight tannins. Low bitterness leading to additional tart cherry wood maltiness. Finishes slightly dry with some cherry-like tannins. Some bourbon as it warms.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation. Tannic. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

Not bad, an interesting beer. Not sure if everything worked together. Why they chose to blend the Stoic is bizarre. Maybe it will improve with age? Who knows.

 587 characters

Photo of jmccraney
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of beesy
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a Pumking Goblet.

A - pours a murky medium brown with a half finger of spritzy medium khaki colored head.

S - sour, tart cherries, caramel, toffee, woody, vanilla, vinegar

T - wow - lots going on in the many different barrels/casks was this aged in again? The Dissident is very apparent lending its sourness. Lots of caramel and toffee notes paired with cherries. As it warm, chocolate notes appear. The ending is slightly dry with a noticeable red wine, grape, white raisin, vanilla and barrel taste. No hop flavor or bitterness detected. Fairly smooth for 11+ ABV, most likey due to exteneded barrel aging. Cherry lingers on the palate.

M - full bodied. Gives the impression of dryness on the late palate.

D - low for me. There is a ton going on in this guy and it's slighlty confused on what it wants to be. I am trying to let it warm as I've noticed the profiles change as its warmed and breathed.

Overall, a very solid, interesting beer with lots going. I did find myself enjoying it more as it warmed and breathed. Worth the $13 price tag, I'm not so sure. Its an interesting blend of some beers that stand fantastically on their own but I think the whole fails to give a final product that is better than the sum of the parts. Glad I got to try it.

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Conflux No. 1 (Collage) from Deschutes Brewery
4.14 out of 5 based on 814 ratings.
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