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RATINGS: 546   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 342   ABV: 11.4%
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Fermented for more than 18 months in isolation from the rest of the beers, The Dissident is a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor, the first wild yeast beer made by the award-winning Deschutes Brewery.

To give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste the brewery used a wild yeast strain called Brettanomyces (also known as Brett) during fermentation. Known throughout the wine world for creating earthy undertones found in many European wines, Brett is used in the beer fermentation process to create strong flavors typically associated with Belgian beers. Unlike English varieties that use traditional inoculated yeasts in the fermentation process, beers made with Brett take much longer to ferment and require additional barrel finishing time to balance the sour flavoring. In the Dissident’s case, this meant aging a portion of it in pinot and cabernet barrels for over 3 months. Another key flavor component comes from the Central Washington cherries that were added twelve months ago.

Due to the wild yeast , The Dissident required special treatment and was held in isolation under lock and key apart from the rest of the brewery’s beers to avoid any cross-contamination. A secondary bottling line was also brought in from an outside contractor to facilitate The Dissident’s bottling and insure the beer and wild yeast never touched the brewery’s machinery. With a beer this wild and truly unique, Deschutes needed a special label to alert consumers to what lay inside. The resulting image immediately sets The Dissident apart from the other Deschutes Brewery beers, even the Reserve Series beers.

The fruit and acidity in The Dissident make it ideal for pairing with a wide variety of dishes - the high acidity is perfect for cutting creamy dishes or cooling spicy ones. Because of the fruity characteristics derived from the cherries, the beer also pairs well with chocolate. Deschutes Brewery President and Founder Gary Fish recommends pairing the Dissident with “anything chocolate, the darker the better, soft cheeses like Brie and creamy dishes like spaghetti carbonara, or macaroni and cheese.”

A very limited amount of The Dissident will be available September 1st as part of the brewery’s Reserve Series in hand-waxed 22-ounce bottles...

Draft: 11% ABV
2008 Bottling: 9% ABV
2010 Bottling:10.5% ABV
2012 Bottling:11.4% ABV
30 International Bitterness Units (IBU)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DYCSoccer17 (3328) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 18, 2008
22 ounce bottle purchased at Nugget on Covell in Davis, CA. Aroma has some definite funk with some brett clearly apparent. There is also an underlying vinousness with some old leather aromas present, too. A bit of ethanol retronasally. Body is a transparent light cola color with a very very small khaki head which doesnt leave much lacing. Starts a little roasty with some caramel notes. This becomes quite a bit astringent with some sour, funky, Brett yeast flavors. Some fruity cherry-like flavors come through a little later. The late late finish is a little woody and it also contains a bit of ethanol. Pretty good stuff right here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BOLTZ7555 (2823) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 17, 2008
Crimson brown with a tight eggshell head that left lacing around the glass. Very nice carbonation percolating up from the base of the brew...releasing an very tart cherry skin aroma with the bursting of every tiny bubble that reaches the surface. Flavor isn’t as complex and funky as some, but still enjoyable and hides the 11% ABV remarkably well. Flavors of red wine, oak, cherry, plum, and even a bit of citrus. Very acidic. Will only get better with a bit of age on it.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sleeper (91) - Washington, USA - SEP 17, 2008
Pours with a fizzy head that settles to a champaign head. Looks well carbonated. Smells of cherry and looks dark reddish/slight purple. Taste is tart cherries and a little bitter. I think it will get better with age (so I will save one). The palate is very thin and carbonated. I give Deshutes a thumbs up for breaking the norm and trying something new. Hopefully they try this one again next year. I always look forward to their Reserve releases. I have to note this is my first sour ale as well so I probably haven’t developed the palate to give the most accurate review.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bitbucket (2159) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - SEP 16, 2008
Bomber at Cafe Veloce in Kirkland. Pours clear ruddy brown with a quickly fading tan head. The aroma has a lot of red wine in it, along with cherries and oak. Light body and moderate carbonation. Lightly sweet taste with a lightly tart finish. As much as I like this beer, and even though barrel aging adds complexity, ’The Dissident’ is one more example of how wine barrels work better on paper than they do in practice. Maybe in a year or so when the flavors mellow a bit and the brett has a chance to have its way? The cherries end up being an aside. On the bright side, the Dissident does a superlative job of "hiding the booze."

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Taverner (1100) - San Ramon, California, USA - SEP 15, 2008
Smooth, as smooth as Superfly. The nose is a little metallic, but this fades after the pour. The flavor and resulting nose is bananas with sourness. This does not taste 11%. This is perhaps the smoothest 11% beer I’ve ever had.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cletus (6354) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 14, 2008
Pours brown with a small pink ring of bubbles. Smells of oak, sour cherries, some funky hints, some touches of residual sugar. Taste yields lots of acidity and sourness with a hint of sweetness still there and lots of cherry tartness. Very enjoyable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
robforbes (2072) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - SEP 14, 2008
pours a clear brown with a red tint, small tan head that dissipates quickly, above average carbonation, good lacing.
smell is sour, fruit, malt, alcohol, some woodiness to it.
taste is tart, raspberry, sour malt, oak, ends dry and bitter, leaves the mouth tart.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Caskalefan (149) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - SEP 13, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 20, 2008 I’m in love with this rendition of a Flanders style Oud Bruin/Kriekbier. The color, head, and particularly the lacing are exquisite. The nose is quite refined, and redolent of sour cherries, some restrained, and even elegant banyard/horseblanket (an amazing paradox in itself) very subtle hints of baker’s chocolate, and a touch of something like pomegranite. The body is not too rich, but nicely mouthcoating, and the flavors echo the aromas, with the pinot noir, and cabernet barrel aging quite evident. There is a nice tartness, although it is somewhat muted compared to the nose...this contributes to this ale’s elegance, but restrains its wildness. Perhaps the Brett will open up with some more aging, but even if it doesn’t, I’m thrilled with how this beauty turned out, (in fact, I’m sort of hoping it doesn’t, since that might impact negatively on the refined elegance the beer has already) It’s my hands-down favorite among The Deschutes Reserve series, thusfar, and one of my favorite three beers ever (the other two being Olde Curmudgeon, and Stillenacht Reserve 1996).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 13, 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, somewhat large bubbled, initially three-finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is dark amber / plum color that shows an almost brilliantly clear, light cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite wine like as it smells of dark fruit and oak. Further inspection yields a noticeable, but light, lactic tartness that accentuates aromas of sour grapes, tart plums and fermented raisins. The oak is the most dominant part of the nose with spicy oak notes, a woody tannic sort of thing, a touch of butterscotch, and some light vanillin notes towards the finish. This actually gets fairly toasty towards the finish (a bit like lightly browned saltine crackers) that is definitely malt induced but could also be from some toasty oak influence. The fruit aromatics get a touch jam like as the beer warms up a bit too.

Fairly thick and chewy with a tart, fruitiness that sort of clings to the palate, but doesn’t provide much, if any at all, sweetness. The oak character seems to have contributed lots of tannic structure that has influenced the body and mouthfeel of this beer. this has quite a bit of berry-accented red wine like flavors to it as well as just a touch of perceived fruity sweetness. The finish has a fair amount of oak influence, but it is only one part of this beer and does not play the leading role that it did in the aroma. The tartness is actually less than it was in the aroma too, even though it was fairly light there. This has a substantial, flavorful, though somewhat soft, sour cherry flavor to it, especially as the beer warms up; both the flavorful tannic skin contributes to the flavor as does a fleshy cherry fruitiness. As it warms it also picks up some concord grape flavors as well as definitely getting more sweet.

This is a really easy drinking sour beer; it is very soft for a wild fermented beer and quite clean. The wine barrels and cherries almost seem to be more influential than the wild bugs, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. This is actually on the simplistic side for something that could have been funky and challenging; on the plus side though it is quite refined. This is fantastically drinkable, especially considering its alcohol content & I definitely like the bright fruit character that is here as well as the balance provided by the oak character.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Reid (1917) - Salem, Oregon, USA - SEP 13, 2008
Bought from Roths Vista Market,Salem,OR Bright brown beer with a tan head, thats pretty smal and bubbly,leaves goodly lace. Marvelous aroma to this one: malty,spicy, fruity( green apple and sour plooms),sour..like fresh lemon juice or good vinegar.Lovelly stuff. Tartness,semi-sweet malts compete..with a building yet gracious sourness building to coat the tongue, soor plooms aagain , and a bite of cooking apple/crab apple.Slight "barnyard" and oaky residue . Lovelly and lively on the tongue..great long lasting sourness. Overall a very nice beer. I m far from being even competent in this style..but this was most enjoyable.

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