The Deschutes Barrel Tasting was a hell of a lot of fun. Good beers, good people, good times. Outside of almost running over Paul’s foot, it was a flawless evening. I’d say that out of all the beers, the favorites had to be the Nitro Bourbon Porter, the French Oak Mirror Pond, and The Abyss. Every beer was excellent, but these three really shined brightly.
The French Oak Mirror Pond was an amazingly balanced beer that showcased all the subtleties that barrel-aging a beer can give. Great hop flavor from the dry-hopping, excellent woody notes from the oak, and the combination seemed to draw out the malt flavor more than you get in a regular Mirror Pond.
The Nitro Bourbon Porter was too easy to drink. Excellent roasty notes butting up against the sweet bourbon flavor. The velvety mouthfeel from the Nitro presentation made the beer surprisingly refreshing despite the big flavors present in the beer.
And what needs to be said about The Abyss that hasn’t already been said. It rocks. Big roast, warming alcohol, big hop, wood, bourbon, balance … all up in your face!
If you didn’t make the event this year, plan for next year. It sold out for a reason, people. This is, by far, the best beer event they put on in the Mountain Room. If you did make it, I hope you pounded the water when you got home.