Bitter taste of Fall
Deschutes Brewery’s initial foray into the seasonal winter ale returns to welcome in the change of seasons. It combines strong malts, yeasts, and hops to yield a brew which simply embodies hoar on the leaves, a flannel on your back, and a pile of wood freshly split.
On the pour, the head rises, creamy, thick, lightly tan with a mildly bitter finish. It’s not resistant and cake-like but retains a pleasantly tangible structure. The contrast between the color of the beer itself with its dark, reddish amber and the head catches the eye for a moment.
The aroma of this beer embodies fall, thick leaf piles in a kaleidoscope of reds and orange, mild caramel notes like a roasting squash or pumpkin, and a slight sweet tartness akin to a gooseberry.
The first sip bites at the tongue like a first breath on a frosty morning, only to melt into a pleasant, cool bitterness close to roasted nuts. No spices jump to hold your taste buds in thrall, the body of the beer warms with a smooth roasted blend of cool air, wood smoke, and crackle of carbonation. The finish is equally as pleasant, just a delicate pick up like a major chord on an acoustic guitar, leaving only pleasant warmth and the sensation of having sipped something real.
The beauty of this beer is its perfect compliment of the season without becoming a “spicebomb.” The flavor conjures fall in its essence, a pure and natural expression of the season.
This beer can strongly be paired with roasted vegetables and minimally spiced meats.
Umami flavors will compliment as well, so beer snobs and ramen lovers can both enjoy.
Bravely Done, Deschutes.
Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR, U.S.
Color – 7/10
Bitterness – 6/10
Overall – 7.5/10