Believe it or not, the holidays are passed us. Gone are the days of scanning the aisles for the last can of pumpkin filling, or stuffing, or worse the turkey. Gone are the day’s of fighting the lines at the mall for a parking spot (well almost) and now you can relax for the coming of 2011.
However, this wouldn’t be another opinion filled write up from this admittedly laxed (due to holiday illness) writer, without a slight history lesson on an often avoid beer style, Oud Bruin.
Commonly called the Flanders Brown, this style originated in the Flemish region of Belgium. Translated, the beer’s name means Old Brown, which refers to the long, aging process that the beer experiences, before the beer is kegged (sometimes after a year has passed). While it rests in its second home the ale continues to age before its bottled, wherein the beer is allowed to age for another few months, before finally getting into your greedy hands.
However, what most people don’t know is that while the beer is aging the yeast and bacteria continues to chew through as much sugar as it can get it hands on, which of course turns the beer (for lack of a better word) sour. It is worth noting that most Flanders Browns do not rest in oak, but instead shun the barrel for more traditional accommodations.
With that said we couldn’t wait any longer and decided we had to crack open our rare (received) bottle of Deschutes’ Dissident 2010 for ourselves to try.
First off, it should be noted that much like the rest of Deschutes’ Reserve Series beers, this not only has a suggested cellaring age (or “Best After” date) but also a wax neck, which so far has shown many that you don’t need a cork finish to keep the outside elements out.
Dissident as we said is an Oud Bruin that pours burgundy when resting in the glass, although maybe our eyes were playing tricks on us, but we also detected a slight hint of purple throughout its strong clarity. As the beer rests in the glass, an initially strong off-white (almost pink) foamy head forms at the top, before it quickly recedes leaving a wreath of lace inside the diameter of the glass. As the beer slowly goes down its worth noting that hardly any lace forms.
Taking a strong sniff, one cannot help but pick up a pungent (almost moldy cheese) aroma, mixed with crushed fermented dark fruit, and even some sour apple (lemon, orange).
Sipping we detect an initially oaked character before fading by a medium tart sensation (apples, cherries?) that lingers on our taste buds. There is some noticeable elements of burnt sugar, but they are too faint to really notice. Overall the beer has a medium to strong weight to it, as it rests on the tongue. Additionally there seems to be some slight cloying, before the sensation of a medium burn is felt along the throats and resting in the stomach.
For those of you who are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our 2010 The Dissident, wait no more. After almost 2 years in isolation our distinctive sour brown ale has finally been bottled. Our only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus impart its characteristic sour taste. Lavished with whole western Washington cherries - pits, stems and all – (which, by the way, our brewmaster picks out personally during family vacations, to the tune of much eye-rolling from his children). It’s our wildest, most expensively pampered beer.
As with all of our Reserve Series beers, we recommend drinking one now and saving a bottle to drink a year from now. These beers only get better with age if they are cellared properly. That's why we put a "Best After" date on the bottle.
You Should Try This. This award winning Oud Bruin (Old Brown) has once again proved that youth in a beer is a great thing, for those willing to stash a few away. If you are feeling a bit peckish, you might consider some bitter cheeses (blue, groirere)
Originally slated to be released in late October, this late bloomer arrived on draft and in bottles late November. Unfortunately once the beer was ready for consumption, there wasn't quite as much as hoped. So with that said, if you see it, buy it. If you see two, buy one to try now and one to save for next year! Either way, Deschutes The Dissident is definitely a beer that is nice fresh but definitely is worth your wait.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
As an added bonus we decided to perform a comparison of the two year old Dissident 2008.
Deschutes Dissident 2008, Is A Should Enjoy
Unlike it’s younger more brash sibling, the Dissident 2008 has demonstrated that good things come to those that wait. The first striking element of this two year old oud bruin, is that it pours clear but instead produces a burgundy color. The head that is produced (much like 2010) is initially off-white, but strong, before it recedes but it does leave small specs of lace inside the glass.
When one takes a whiff of this beer they are immediately taken aback at least we were, as we picked up an herbal character (mint?) along with a nice mellow citrus and dark fruit character. Sipping this, we were first greeted by an initial sour character (almost like cooked rhubarb) along with crushed cherries halfway, before it finished slightly milky with a minor element of sour cherries. Overall weight was medium to strong while there was still some noticeable cloying and a bit of alcohol.
You Should Enjoy This. If you were one of the passionate people who picked up a bottle of this and managed to avoid drinking it in 2009, when they announced “No Dissident”, then you will be rewarded to know this is a good time to open this up.
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.