Deschutes Brewery produces two beers that can vie for the title of “spring seasonal”: Buzzsaw Brown and Cinder Cone Red. Buzzsaw Brown, however, shows up from January to March so to my mind it isn’t the spring beer (though it’s not really a “late winter beer” either). No, Cinder Cone Red has that distinction.
Located on the northern slope of Mt. Bachelor, the Cinder Cone was also known as “Red Hill” due to its reddish color that is revealed as the seasons change, the weather warms and the snow melts. It’s spring. Time to get outside.
At 5.4% alcohol by volume, Cinder Cone is eminently drinkable. You can read my review of last year’s version, where I notice that entirely by coincidence, I use the word “interplay” in the “Taste” portion of my notes both times.
Appearance: A nice clear reddish-amber-brown color with a thick, clotted-cream-white head. Good lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell: Clean, mild citrus, spicy. A touch roasty over sweet malts.
Taste: Interplay of toasty biscuit with slightly roasted grains followed by crisp grassy hop bitterness that’s spicy and herbal. Malty and delicious.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied with a light presence that’s crisp and refreshing. Pleasant lingering hop bitterness at the back of the tongue.
Overall: Always a classic, one of my favorite Deschutes seasonals. Excellent and expertly brewed.