When I took a trip to Oregon last October I made sure to stop at the Deschutes brewpub in Bend for some dinner and drinks. While there I picked up a bottle of their collaboration with Boulevard Brewing: CONFLUX NO. 2. Ever since then it’s sat on the shelf in my “beer cellar” just waiting for me to consume it. Now that I have, I really wish I would have grabbed more bottles of this one-off brew.
Conflux No. 2 is a Belgian IPA made in collaboration between Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery and Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing (bottled 11/10/11). It has 49 IBUs and 7.3% ABV.
Conflux No. 2 pours a honey/lemonade color with tangerine highlights. Bubbles congregate near the surface, just underneath the bubbly two inches of white foam. Head fades to a foamy topper along the edges. Lacing splashes the sides as the beer disappears.
If this is your first time hearing of the Belgian IPA style then you might assume that the nose would have piney hops and clove and bubblegum scents. And in this case you would be absolutely correct. Hints of chocolate wafers and lemon are also present, along with a grassy hop aroma that appears as it warms. A very interesting and flavorful nose.
And just like the nose, the flavor is spot on. The initial sip essentially tastes like pine flavored bubblegum. Banana, lemon, and pale malts are also noticeable and distinct. There is a Shandy-like zestiness and sweetness. Grassy hops once again pop up at the end to even out the sweetness and bring the beer back to square one.
Mouthfeel is light and drying. The IPA side of the beer appears and leaves a stickiness behind. There is also a crispness that I attributed to the carbonation that is so apparent in the look.
Conflux No. 2 is one of the first Belgian IPAs I’ve had that truly lives up to its name. The flavors that are traditional to each style (bubblegum and pine) are represented, and done so properly. If only this wasn’t a one time only beer…
Overall: 8.5 out of 10
As a BELGIAN IPA: 9 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Stone CALI-BELGIQUE, Terrapin MONK’S REVENGE, Clown Shoes TRAMP STAMP