Friday, February 11, 2011

Deschutes The Dissident

I drank a 22 oz bomber of Deschutes' The Dissident last night, a beer that I hadn't tried before.  The Dissident is a Flanders Oud Bruin, or a tart brown ale.  I have had several sours lately and like their unique flavor, but I am no means an expert in this expansive style.  The Dissident is brewed with cherries, which kind of gave it a sweet and sour characteristic.  The beer poured clear, with a copper color, imparted with a red hue from the cherries.  There was just a wisp of foam and no lacing.   The Dissident is the biggest sour I have tried, weighing in at 10.5% abv.  You could detect the alcohol throughout, but it never dominated.  It is a bigger beer than it drinks, which is important to know if you ever have it on draft.

You immediately taste The Dissident's sour yeast, which flows directly into a sweetness from the cherries, and finally to a subtle hop bitterness for balance.  The Dissident is a mild sour.  I did not detect a specific cherry flavor, but you can't help but notice the sugars from the fruit.  For such a big beer, the mouthful was markedly thin.   The mild finish was marked by alcohol and yeast.  I am always amazed when a brewer can mask such high alcohol in a beer.  That's a true testament to Deschutes' skill.

I thought The Dissident a very good beer, but I would not call it great.  Deschutes only brews it once a year, which should keep its cult following high.  I was expecting a more sour, tart beer.   I need to try more beers in this style.  I have had and really liked Ommegang's Zuur, and want to get The Lost Abbey's Red Poppy.   I will be searching out The Dissident this fall.

(The Dissident's label has a restrained coolness to it, but I don't get the meaning of the black crows.)

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