Deschutes Big Rig

Reviewed by on July 18, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

  • Origin: Bend, OR, US

  • Rated On: July 18, 2016

  • Best Before: October 28, 2016

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Extra Special Bitter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

It is always nice to see a new version of this under-represented style appear before me.  Very rural late summertime imagery depicted on the label – at least it is for this scribe, who grew up in the midst of such contraptions about this time of year!

This 22oz bottle pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of splattered snow rime lace in places around the glass as things slowly and evenly sink away.

It smells of semi-sweet, bready and doughy caramel malt, lightly biscuity toffee, some estery florals, and laid-back leafy, herbal, and piney green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and doughy caramel malt, gritty toffee, white pepper dust, muted orange and lemon citrus notes, and more plain floral, weedy, and pine-fresh hoppiness.  The bubbles are pretty tame in their gently-rendered frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and mostly smooth, maybe a touch of hop intransigence going off the reservation here.  It finishes off-dry, the caramel/toffee malt holding tight, while the lingering hops start to exhibit more of their spicy inherencies.

Overall, Big Rig turns out to be a so-so iteration of this venerable English pub style – nice and malty, sure, but that expected (and mostly AWOL) biscuity character really needs to attend night school to shore up its credits, or something.  At any rate, pretty easy to drink, if you’re ‘stuck’ in the aforementioned establishment and need a quaff that approximates at least a modicum of Old World charm.

Brady White

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