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Peter LaFrance

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A taste of… Cinder Cone Red

Deschutes Brewery,
Bend, OR


This sample has been sitting in the back of a refrigerator for some time. The press release I found with it had a date line of February 18, 2008. It tells me that they are using something called Amarillo hops. I’m interested to taste the Amarillo hops. Also noted is that this beer is 5.4% alcohol by volume and 55 international bitterness units.
And now for the tasting notes…


Yes, I would say that this is a red colored beer. It is not quite a garnet red but it is deeper than copper. It has a quickly lacing, rocky head of rather large bubbles that doesn’t hang around for a long time.


The initial aromas sensation is of roasted malt. The second olfactory exploratory event reveals the malt is joined but just slightly by a very grassy green sensation of hop.

Mouth feel:

The mouth feel here is not quite as important as the impression that hops make on the palate.


That moment between sip and lip telegraphed ahead that there was an unusual hop flavor on its way. The senses do not lie. Unlike the typical citrus impression of “grapefruit”” the citrus impression in this particular beer is much more along the line of a Clementine. This almost-orange fruit impression remains for quite a while.


The finish begins early with this beer because it doesn’t have a great deal of body to it. The particular sensation of the Amarillo hops remains and reminds for quite a while.


I will admit that the name had me a little biased at first I have a little problem dealing with the name “red”” on an ale. Also, I can only assume that the name “Cinder Cone” is something meaningful for the people at the brewery, or is meaningful to the people of Bend, Oregon. II can’t figure it out and there was nothing in the promotional material that told me about it.

That said I find the beer to be intellectually challenging with the flavor profile that emphasizes the unique Amarillo hop flavor. This is something I find interesting considering that there is such a shortage of the flower.

After making my way halfway through this bottle of beer I suddenly had a craving for cedar plank salmon, open hearth roasted potatoes and a large bowl of field greens salad. I can only assume that it’s a side effect of the Amarillo hops.

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