Cinder Cone Red is one of the popular seasonals from Deschutes Brewery, and I’m (finally!) posting my review of it from the promotional bottles I received from the Brewery last month. This year’s version is sporting a new label, even.
Ironically, Lew Bryson reviewed this beer today as well. Sadly, he doesn’t care for it overly much:
But after it came a heavy-handed rush of caramel malt, accompanied by a grainy, husky dryness — an addition of roasted barley is probably the source — that could have been an asset if it had been less insistent. It was almost enough to make me angry; this beautiful promise crushed by an overplayed hand.
I’m sorry to hear that. For my money, this is exemplary of the Northwest Red style we’ve come to love here out west; big hops with that twangy, caramel-roast malt character that leaves you dry. Myself, I liked it.
Appearance: Deep, amber brown—less red, more dirty penny copper. Creamy thick off-white head.
Smell: Nicely hoppy in the nose—spicy Amarillo punctuated by a caramel-sweet base.
Taste: Roast grain notes with crisp, dry hoppy bitterness right up front. Interplay of sweet crystal malts and herbal, spicy hops… tasty hop showcase without being over-hopped.
Mouthfeel: Dry, medium body with a crisp dry finish.
Overall: This is a classic Northwest ale, quite drinkable and a big local favorite.