Thursday, September 8, 2011

DESCHUTES & BOULEVARD “CONFLUX SERIES NO. 2”

First, I panicked and almost started to cry a little – because I thought I’d missed “Conflux Series No. 1”. Turns out there never was such a beast. No, DESCHUTES BREWING and BOULEVARD BREWING have a pretty interesting concept going here. They jointly came up with a “recipe” for a Belgian-style white IPA, then each went off to their own brewhouses and made it. It’s a collaboration, sure, but only on paper. The results are now out in two different bottles, with each brewer taking a respective lead. DESCHUTES’ brewed version is “CONFLUX NO. 2”, which we’re discussing presently, and Kansas City’s BOULEVARD’s brewed version is called “COLLABORATION No. 2”.

There’s some hype-y hyperbole about this being a style that’s never been brewed before, and I’m guessing there may be some truth to that. CONFLUX NO. 2 is essentially a witbier with hops. It pours a cloudy yellow, and initially gave a strong wheat taste – far more than IPA. Lots of tongue-lingering tang. The more I drank it and “considered” it, the more its characteristics changed. I started to taste the traditional orange peel and coriander that you’ll get in a witbier. As it warmed, I tasted lemon, fairly strongly in fact. And I could even start to characterize it as “hoppy” with some imagination. Beer Advocate calls it a Belgian IPA, because that’s a style we’re now familiar with. I say it’s another example of the subtle experimental tweaks given to so many beers by creative brewers these days that make them well worth hunting down. 7.5/10.

2 comments:

Barleywhiner said...

Have you tried the Boulevard version? It has less hops and more citrus. I thought they were both tasty. I never really worry too much about categories with Belgian style beers. I just judge them on a purely hedonistic guideline, "Do I like drinking it or not?"

Jay H. said...

Barleywhiner, I like your approach. But when I write about these things I need to fill the paragraph, so I something mutter on about meaningless things like "style". I'll work to evolve my thinking a bit.