BLOCK 15 WANDLEPAD

On a recent trip through Oregon’s Willamette Valley I found myself with a little extra time, and couldn’t resist making a quick side trip to the Block 15 Brewery in Corvallis.  Stuck between Portland and Eugene (and a few miles off of I-5), Corvallis doesn’t often get a lot of attention as a beer Mecca, but between Block 15, Flat Tail, and the burgeoning Oregon Trail Brewing crew it deserves some attention.  I’d first come across Block 15’s beer back in December at a winter brewfest in Portland, and very much enjoyed their Figgy Pudding (their winter offering, a strong ale brewed with molasses, conditioned with figs, and spiced with cinnamon and cloves).  This time around I decided to go with something a bit lighter, and was not at all disappointed.

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Block 15 Wandlepad

NOTES: Snifter, on tap at Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery

STYLE: Belgian Blonde

ABV: 6.4%

APPEARANCE: Hazy apricot

HEAD: Solid three fingers of fluffy white cloud, fading fairly quickly to a very thin layer that lasted throughout.

LACING: Beautiful, tenacious lacing.

NOSE: Honey, a touch of funk, even less spice, and a tiny pilsnery tang.

TASTE: This comes across initially as a great pilsner, but turns a bit more complex after the initial impression with a slightly deeper malt profile than I expected.  It’s not sweet, and it’s not roasty, and it’s not even malt-forward.  It’s just that the golden malt is right there in the middle.  The Belgian funk is definitely present in the middle as well, and there’s a surprising hop bitterness on the very tail end of the finish that makes this a really nicely balanced beer. 

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a slightly more robust body than I expected, and the medium-heavy carbonation ensures that you get all the nose and flavor throughout, and that the last half stands up just as well as the first.

DRINKABILITY: Honestly, I could have sat outside in the sun and drank this all day.  Alas, I’m a responsible driver, and was a fair distance from home, so I didn’t drink ALL day.  Though in fairness you can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning.  Anyway, 3.5 hops for this great beer from an up-and-coming brewery in up-and-coming Corvallis, OR.  Keep an eye on these guys.

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5 comments

  1. Sounds like a cool brewery. Check out there “Extended Cellaring Program”:

    The Golden Canary- A Wild Golden ale. A Blend of barrels ranging from 6-21 months. Barrels to include Mysticgold, golden base, Pedio & Lacto.

    Illusions- A Belgian Black Ale, cellared in Pinot Noir Barrels with wild yeast and bacteria.

    Enchanted- Inspired by Belgian Oud Bruins, though uniquely an American Wild. A deep silky brown ale Barrel aged in bourbon casks with Lactobacillus & Brettanomyces for 6-15 months. (Fall 2011)

    Oud Friek- Enchanted aged with whole locally grown tart cherries.

    Imagine,- A Belgian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels, and cellared for 9-20 months. 15%alc/vol 11/11/11

    Ferme de la Ville, Provision Farmhouse ale blend of young and old Pinot Noir barrel aged beer.

    La Ferme de Demons Black farmhouse ale matured in Bourbon, Pinot Noir, and Oregon Oak barrels with two types of Brettanomyces. Blended with a touch of Oregon tart cherries.

    Red Fox- Inspired by the sour red ales of Flanders. Our wild red is open fermented with our own blend of brewer’s yeast, brettanomyes, and lactobacillus. The beer is then matured in 2nd run brandy barrels.

    Wonka’s Wit- Belgian style wheat ale spiced with orange peel and corriander. Barrel matured in Pinnot Noir Barrels with brett, lacto, & Pedio.

    Prickly Wit- Wonka’s Wit barrel maturing with Prickly pear fruit.

    Blueberry Haze German style Berliner Weisse in Syrah Port barrels with blueberries.

    Super Nebula, The Lost Barrels Imperial stout brewed with a touch of molasses. Matured in very special Buffalo Trace “Lost Barrels”, 1989,1991, & 1993. Additionally matured on fresh roasted cocoa Nibs.

    Lambic, Lambic inspired ale, brewed with unmalted wheat, pilsner malts, and aged hops. 100% barrel fermented with wild yeast and bacteria blend from a classic Belgian Lambic Brewery.

  2. They have this list above the bar, along with a schedule for what’s coming out when. I’ll definitely be visiting again! I want to snag some Imagine and Super Nebula for sure.

  3. Next time whip out the camera phone and get some pics.

  4. “Super Nebula” makes me want to brew an entire line of 70’s funk-inspired beers with names like that. Of course with the labels I have in mind, I’d have Candice Alstrom coming down on my head.

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