Posts Tagged ‘ Collage ’

Fridge Rampage

So over the past few weeks, my fridge has been sprouting new beers, half of which I have no recollection of ever buying or trading for. Turns out my friend (who also trades beer) has been slowly stocking my fridge with his extra beer every time he comes over, but doesn’t end up opening all of them. It was time for some spring cleaning!

 

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Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine: Not everyone had tried this beer yet, so we popped one open for the slackers.

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Deschutes/Hair of the Dog Collage: Still a really interesting beer, but it might suffer from having too much going on at once.

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De Garde Imperial Apricot Bu batches 1 (left) and 2 (right): Well, surprisingly, batch 1 handily won this comparison. More sour, with a riper apricot flavor than the more recent batch. We were thinking that this might be because apricots may have been better this last growing season. I’m not sure, but this is a case of, “batch 1 was better, move along”.

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Cantillon Kriek: Well, you can’t always just hoard lambic. Sometimes you have to drink it. This is doing fantastic by the way, and I wish I had more.

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De Garde Imperial Plum Bu: This is something I haven’t had yet! Nicely carbonated, with a subtle plum flavor. Of all the imperial bu variants, this one might be the easiest to drink. It’s fruity and sour, but is the least aggressive of the lot.

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WILL IT BLEND?! Yes, yes it will.

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Cantillon Fou Foune: Best beer of the night, easily. 2014 Fou Foune is a force to reckoned with. Prepare thy anus.

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Finally, a real review!

Lately I haven’t really been in the mood to do a real review of a beer, but no longer! For my first real review in a while I decided to go with a pretty epic beer, one that had received a bit of fanfare and press before being released. Let’s do a real review of Collage!

What a terrible label for a tasty beer. Shame.

Beer: Collage

Brewery: Hair of the Dog/Deschutes

Style: Strong Ale

ABV: 11.6%

Location: Portland, OR/Bend, OR

Appearance: Opaque brown with a little bit of frosty white head that clears after a minute or two.

Aroma: Cold – mostly Dissident here, with bits of pinot, wood, and sour cherries. Room temp – some sour, but much more oak, bourbon, smoke, and sweetness from Fred.

Taste: Cold – All Dissident here along with some wine barrel, really not much different from standard dissident at this temperature. Great, but there is hidden potential here. Room temp – drop dead insanity can be found here in the depth of flavor that Deschutes and Hair of the Dog managed to squeeze into a tiny 12 oz bottle. Some sourness, vanilla, bourbon, cherries, some smoke, some sweetness from the pomegranate in the Stoic compon

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Sessionable this beer is, super easy to finish a bomber

Beer Advocate Grade: A- (90)

My Grade: A

Deschutes/Hair of the Dog Collaboration Dinner at Wildwood

Also known as, “eat tons of delicious food while getting smashed on really, really tasty beer”. Monday, May 14th was the night before the release of Collage, a multi-year effort made by Deschutes Brewing and Hair of the Dog Brewery to make a collaboration beer. Hair of the Dog and Deschutes each brewed 2 beers and put them into separate barrels for two years. After spending an eternity in barrels the beers were blended to form Collage.

 

Now that you have some background information, let’s get on to the dinner that was hosted at Wildwood to celebrate the product of all of their work!

 

I missed taking a picture of the appetizer course, which was made up of spring onion, The Dissident dried cherries, truffle tremor, late harvest sauvignon blanc vinaigrette, and duck cracklins. The cherries were tasty, but I just wanted more of the truffle goat cheese and duck cracklins. If this was was a sign of things to come, it would have justified the $85 ticket price!

 

It was also paired with a beer.

This one off of Dissident was the paired with the salad. Unlike normal batches of Dissident, this one was not aged on cherries, and it was put into a pinot noir barrels for two years. Best beer of the night, with huge complexity among its tart, barnyard, fruity, and vinous notes. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the regular version, but I remember it being not as good as this version. I need to crack open one of my bottles to find out.

Oak Plank Wild Salmon – green garlic gnocchi, morels, brown butter

The gnocchi was absolutely sublime, and I don’t even like gnocchi! I think the pairing with morel mushrooms really did it for me. I had no idea what morel mushrooms were, but I want to eat them every day now. As tasty as those things were, the salmon was the most impressive dish of the night. The piece of wood that it was baked on was once part of a pinot noir barrel. It was broken down and soaked in Deschute’s Chainbreaker White IPA before being used to cook the salmon. The salmon was bordering on rare, and had the perfect consistency. I may not have ever had salmon this delicious before, and being a PNW local, that says something.

Notice how the piece of wood has a slight curvature to it from the barrel

Stoic aged in rye whiskey (Heaven Hill) – This beer was delicious. Many people didn’t like the regular version of Stoic due to it’s weird fruity characteristics. This beer was nothing like the normal beer. The fruitiness is still there, but is cut perfectly by the wood and smoke that comes from the bourbon barrel. This was my third favorite beer of the night. Reminds me a lot of Jackie O’s Kentucky Monk.

Seared Pork Belly Confit – bourbon ribollita, rainbow chard

This meal made one of my friends giggle because it was so good. Seeing a fully grown man giggle hysterically from eating what is essentially a large piece of bacon was pretty hilarious. It was funny right up until I took a bite, and started giggling in turn. It was that good. Right up there with the salmon. If I were to die that night, I would have wanted to be buried in a slab of that pork belly. That way if I ever turned into a zombie, I would wake up inside of an amazing snack.

Fred aged in Bourbon Barrels (Heaven Hill) – Really tasty, but I don’t think it should have followed up the Stoic. Too much bourbon back to back, and maybe it was for that reason why I thought this beer was the 4th best beer of the night. Tastes very similar to Bourbon Fred From the Wood, but less sweet, and way more carbonated :).

Cocoa Braised Oxtail – morel mushroom flan, crispy asparagus

Of all the tasty dishes so far, this was the least impressive. I’m not going to bother commenting more than the fact it just didn’t fit in with the other courses.

Adam aged in Oregon virgin oak barrels

As my friend Kevin put it, “it smells like a tree”. Very few beers are this oaky, its ridiculous. Served way too cold, it tasted like I was chewing oak chips that were slightly burnt for most of the glass. By the time it warmed up, it was better, but still the least favorite of the beers I had that night.

Tandoor Roasted Reister Farms Lamb Chop – brewery cured lamb bacon and new potato hash, sauteed pea vines, roasted shallot glace, black truffle aioli

Not sure if this thing ever came close to a Tandoor, or any other kind of device that generates heat. I believe that it spent some time in the same city as a tandoor, but nothing more. You can tell that it’s simply raw. Fortunately for me, I like my steaks to still be twitching, so this is perfectly fine with me. Good thing too, but it was dynamite. Soo good! I would say this was tied for 3rd best dish with the salad after the salmon and pork belly.

Oh yes. Collage….

Collage was like the Dissident when it was drank cold. Since the Dissident was my favorite beer of the night, you can guess that this was a close second due to its similarities to Dissident. Some of the fruitiness and wood of the stoic came through as well, with the flavors of Fred playing a small fiddle in the back of the room that is this beer’s flavor profile. Thankfully, I couldn’t detect any Adam. I will say that I’ve never had a beer that is really close to this beer in terms of overall flavor and whatnot. As the beer warmed up, I got more Stoic, Fred, and maybe some Adam while the Dissident played a smaller role. It was cool to taste the transition.

Pistachio cake – white chocolate-whiskey mousse, sweet cherry meringue, tart rhubarb coulis

Really tasty, but I’m not really a dessert person. I’m very jealous of someone I know who got another piece of Salmon after eating his cake. WTF so JEALOUS!!!!

Everyone at our table agreed that the Dissident was the best, followed by Collage. We were surprised when the waiter agreed to bring us more Dissident! That night was just incredible. Look how full that glass is!!!!

Surpise! Batch #1 Fred. 18 years old and still awesome.

This beer was the surprise of the night, and no one really saw it coming. This was the very first batch of Fred that Hair of the Dog ever brewed, and goes for approximately $70 for a 12 oz bottle at Hair of the Dog. So my glass of beer was essentially worth $25 or so. Despite its age, it was still an amazing beer. I would say it would fit in between Stoic and the other Fred in the rankings. What a night. One of my most memorable beer experiences I’ve ever had.

So many beer events

And so little money….

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/event/collage-beer-dinner-portland

Deschutes and Hair of the Dog are having a beer dinner to celebrate their collaboration beer, Collage, which is a blend of barrel aged Fred, Adam, Stoic, and Dissident. Check out the link to see the food and beer pairings!

Buying my ticket tomorrow!