Deschutes is De Shit!*

After a slow start this morning, I am regretting not bringing a notepad or camera to chronicle the majesty that was Deschutesapalooza.  However, the nice thing about not being in reporter mode, one can better enjoy the company of friends and breathe in the atmosphere around him.  Fortunately for me, this atmosphere was the now smoke-free Horse Brass, Portland’s premier beer bar.  The talented staff at the Horse Brass feature beer celebrities behind the bar, like our bartender, Travis, who appeared on the cover of Beer Advocate Magazine.

With several potent potables in which to appoint to my tongue and herald to my viscera, I somehow, after a moment of conjecture, opted for Big Red aka Double Cinder Cone.  Aged in Pinot Noir barrels, this puissant palate popper was served in an Alworth-worthy, ex officio, honest to goodness Victorian glass. 8.6% ABV and flexing 75 bittering units, the layers upon layers of caramel malt amassed a spine bulky enough to buttress the biggest of beer bellies.  As I quaffed, I recalled the Big Red commercial with its song: “That Big Red freshness gets right to ya…longer with Big Red…”

..After getting through this alco-meal, I graduated myself to a glass of Oak Aged Black Butte XX Imperial Porter.  Waves of rich complexity fit for the most repetitive RateBeer recountal of anything in the genre, this brew was everything I wanted it to be.  Brewed to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of one of Oregon’s finest breweries, the XX was to the original Black Butte what the Incredible Hulk is to Bruce Banner. Okay, maybe that last part is a bit of a stretch, but the flavors introduced by the addition of cocoa nibs and coffee as well coupled brilliantly with the boozy oaken notes created from its barrel aging were simply to die for.

Usually at the Horse Brass, I am three-and-out more than last year’s Detroit Lions, but on this event that could have very well been called the Clash of the Titans, I was finished after the placer. Thanks to the Horse Brass for serving up great beer for as long as I’ve been alive, and to Dechutes for making it for longer than I’ve been legal to drink it.  Prost!

*taken from my friend Kerry Finsand.