Jan 31, 2017

Deschutes Collage #2

Collage #2, a collaborative effort from Deschutes Brewing and Hair of the Dog, is a unique beer. This big (14.3% ABV) strong ale isn’t your typical joint effort. The companies did not get together and craft a new brew and toss it into a barrel — they simply blended two of their own products to create it. Collage #2 is a blend of Deschutes’ The Abyss (100% aged in Pinot barrels) and The Stoic (100% aged in Pinot barrels) with Hair of the Dog’s Fred (aged in American oak and rye whiskey barrels) and Doggie Claws (100% aged in cognac barrels).

I don’t know whether to call this effort inventive or lazy, but I can say that the resulting blend is one hell of a dynamic and layered drinking experience. There is a ton going on within the beer’s dark depths and, yet, it’s not overly complicated either. A solid roastiness mixes with old wood, molasses, anise, vanilla, raisin and bourbony notes. A large amount of alcohol warmth spreads through the chest, making this beer an ideal Winter sipper.

I’ve had blended beers in the past, mostly as a means to celebrate a company’s anniversary, but I believe this is my first encounter with a collaborative blend like Collage #2. It’s a damn interesting beer that is packed with a solid strata of flavor and a big, boozy finish. This is also a beer that you probably want to share with a friend or two, on a cold Winter evening.