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Spent the week in Portland again and some locals were kind enough to take me to Deschutes Brewpub. I’d had had both Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter on previous trips, so I knew I was a fan. I started with a seasonal, the Cinder Cone Red. Most reds can be a bit much for me, but the Cinder Cone is smooth and malty. The brewery describes the beer as having a toffee flavor, which I found distinct but subtle. Each of Deschutes’ Brewpubs make their own exclusive experimental brews. I ordered the sampler to get a taste of the temporary menu:

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Gluten Free Golden Ale
A sorghum and brown rice recipe that comes off too thin and disparate in flavor. The bitterness lacks sharpness. I’m glad to see the offering, but hope they can improve the balance and overall effect.

Mirror Mirror
Part of the reserve series, this is an interesting take on the well-known Mirror Pond Pale Ale “doubled up to barley wine strength.” It certainly has a musty sweetness to it, but far more drinkable than the Mirror Mirror 2005.

Mirror Mirror 2005
Same recipe as the Mirror Mirror, but aged and therefore far more dense. This is a full-on barley wine set up in a variety of wooden barrels, including American Oak, Pinot, Port & Bourbon. This is a slow drinker.

Streaking the Quad, Bachelor Bitter, Pilsner #005
All three of these more conventional, but high quality brews are exclusives at the Portland brewpub. The Quad, however, is already missing from the menu after my return.

Our little crew stopped by Rogue (map) for a nightcap. I had the Juniper Pale Ale, which is made with juniper berries, same as their gin made next door. A touch heavy on the florals, but still smooth and appropriately unchallenging for a pale. It was a great finish.

Portland is always good beer hunting.