One of Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewing Company’s most well known seasonal varieties has finally made it into Alberta for the first time. Cinder Cone is a Northwest style Red Ale brewed with Amarillo and Tettnang hops to a pseudo sessionable 5.3% ABV.
Cinder Cone pours out a rich, deep mahaogany with a burgundy hue throughout the body and a thick mess of beige head. The aroma is distinctively rich with toffee and caramel malts atop a toasted bread note. A hint of vanilla extract blends with light floral and spicy hops and a pinch of citrus zest. Quite mellow in the middle with light toasted caramel malts and mild sweetness. Spicy hops with a light vanilla or herbal flavour towards the finish. The finish itself has moderate hop bitterness and lingering astringency with a prominent citrus hop and light pine resins (from the Amarillo). Cinder Cone has a medium to full body with a great hop to malt balance and light carbonation. Overall, not a earth shattering brew by any means but a fantastic example of an Amber ale with lots of flavour.
The newest seasonal beer from Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon to be released to Alberta beer shelves is Twilight Ale a refreshing Summer Pale Ale. Twilight is a 5% ABV American Pale Ale brewed with Amarillo hops from the Pacific NW. Deschutes is well known and well liked for not only their bold extreme specialty brews but their line up of sessionable flagship beers including Mirror Pon Pale Ale and Inversion IPA both of which are excellent summer brews.
Twilight pours with a golden and orange brilliance with steady carbonation and a thin finger of pure white head. A nice looking Pale Ale in general with a definite orange hoppy glow. The nose has a noted sweetness with mild caramalized notes as well as a hint of grapefruit and zesty citrus fruits. Overall a rather reserved and subtle aroma lacking the big hops I look for. Gorgeous caramel malt backbone in the mid palate with a juicy zest of grapefruit and citrus hitting soon afterwards. A rather sweet flavour profile with bitterness lingering a bit into the aftertaste. Nice balance with sweet caramel malts and a solid but not overbearing hop profile. A good sessionable pale ale from Deschutes but I think I’ll stick with Mirror Pond.
Price: $15/6 pack
The newest beer from Deschutes Brewery to reach Alberta is the well lauded Hop Henge IPA an 10.6% ABV Double IPA with copious amounts of Millennium, Delta, Mosaic, Cascade, Centennial and Citra hops to 95 IBU’s. In addition, Hop Henge is brewed with a blend of Pale and Munich malts which should prove to give this beer a biscuity flavour profile. This beer was brought into Alberta with extremely limited quantities so I am grateful to try it so fresh.
Hop Henge pours a bright sparkly orange with a heavy fluffy off white head that leaves a tons of lacing on the glass. The nose has a bounty of citrus hop notes with a prominent resinous pine and overbearing grapefruit aroma. A small dose of floral and grassy hops are mostly subdued by the shock of huge citrus hops. A bit of forward sweetness on the first sip with mild caramel and toasted malts slightly calming the hop profile. Massive citrus and resinous hop notes overpower the finer and more subtle flavours leaving a heavy astringency. The bitterness lingers for quite a while but is not entirely overbearing on the palate. As I continue to taste Hop Henge a mild herbacious and floral flavour sits at the back of my palate in the aftertaste; a bit odd stylistically. Overall, a smashingly good Double IPA with a bit of uniquye twist.
Grade:90/100 Price: $10.49 (22 oz)