Thursday, October 7, 2010

Deschutes Cinder Cone Red Review

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery | Beer: Cinder Cone Red
Style: American Red Ale | ABV: 5.4% | IBUs: 55
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Deschutes Cinder Cone RedHere we have another case of a review that is way too late for its own good. I was checking out the Deschutes site looking for information on this beer and it turns out it was retired earlier this year. D'oh!

Anyway, Cinder Cone Red was brewed from 2003 through 2010 as Deschutes' spring seasonal. A Red Ale, it was named after northern slope of Mt. Bachelor turns red as the snow starts to melt in the spring. Very clever.

As for ingredients, the backbone was built with Northwest Two-Row Pale, Caramel, Dextrin Black Barley malts and it was hopped with a mix of Cascade, Amarillo, Simco, and Tettnanger hops varieties. It was an interesting mix of hops and malt, one which Deschutes claimed to "captivate thirsty palates with its toffee-like flavor, intense citrus aroma and defined bitterness"

Let's hop in the Delorean and take a taste, shall we?

Appearance: Pours an ever-so-slightly hazy, rich orange-brown body with a solid two fingers of off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy and floral hops over a sweet caramel malt base. This smells great.

Taste: Lots of hops right off the bat. They're citrusy, juicy, a little spicy, and decently bitter for the style. The Amarillo and Tettnang combination is just brilliant here. Underneath, plenty of lightly-roasted caramel malt in the backbone. This is certainly a well-hopped Red, but it's still well-balanced. The aftertaste is nicely bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is a little fuller than medium and the carbonation is nice and smooth. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Tasty with a mild alcohol content, this makes for a brilliant session brew.

Verdict: Cinder Cone Red was a real hit. I loved the combination of hops, and the rest of the beer wasn't too shabby either. It seems odd to me that a beer this tasty and sessionable was a seasonal, it seems like the kind of beer that would have flown off the shelves year-round. I'll really miss this one.

Grade: A

Note: While the review above is being posted in October 2010, the tasting notes contained within were taken when the beer was fresh in May 2009.

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