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.
Block 15 Wandlepad
NOTES: Snifter, on tap at Block 15 Restaurant & Brewery
STYLE: Belgian Blonde
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.