Two more new releases from our good friends at Deschutes (and many more Deschutes brews in the hopper to write about). These two are seasonal-release bottlings that, while fancier than the brewery’s year-round ales, are less complex than some of Deschutes’ more exotic concoctions. They are however much easier to track down than those very limited releases (which can vanish from stores in as little as two weeks).
Deschutes Cinder Cone Red is an (obviously) red ale inspired by the slopes of Mt. Bachelor. A melange of hops and barleys, it’s a very rounded brew, refreshing but with enough bitterness to create complexity. A distinctly orange citrus finish is intriguing but not overly sweet or cloying. Definitely a winning example of this style. 5.4% abv. A-
Deschutes Red Chair NWPA (2010) — not an Imperial Pale Ale, a Northwest Pale Ale — uses seven varieties of malt in its preparation, giving it a dessert-like quality and a round sweetness that engages in a credible battle with its moderate bitterness. Stronger in alcohol (6.4%), it’s got a more velvety texture that makes one think even more of port or sherry as it goes down. Definitely not an IPA (it was branded an IPA last year but has since been reclassified), but something all to its own. B-
$NA / deschutesbrewery.com