Thursday, September 15, 2011

Deschutes The Stoic review

Deschutes The StoicOregon is calling me, I can feel it. I found a recent offering from Deschutes Brewery called Deschutes The Stoic - a "prized, potent Belgian-styled Quad of Stirring Depth & complexity". At least that's what the label claims.

The Stoic is part of the Reserve Series that spawned such beers as The Abyss, Jubel 2010, The Dissident and Black Butte XX Porter. Most special brews I've tasted from Deschutes have been dark brews. Nice change to try a lighter and funkier brew. Solid 11% ABV and a mild 20 IBUs. Just 1/3rd of this beer was aged in oak barrels - part in rye whiskey and other oaked wine. There was a "best by" date on the label (08/04/12) that was about a year out so at least I knew this bottle was fresh.

Appearance: The Stoic poured an amber to rusty orange color. It reminded me of dark apple cider. At first pour (cold) absolutely no head appeared. Zip, nada. On the second pour (warmer), I got a nice 1 finger near white head (pictured above). Some sediment was evident on each pour, otherwise it was nearly clear. Still, there was a decent amount of carbonation in this beer.

Aroma: Here was The Stoic's distinctive character - it's aroma. It reminded me of tart tropical fruits, exotic spice (aka Belgian yeast) and sweet honey. There was also a hint of oak. Couldn't pick out whiskey, but there was a hint of the wine barrel. It was hard to pick up on the oak characteristics, especially when cold.

Glass of Deschutes The StoicTaste: I recalled the familiar pomegranate taste from another beer I've had (FCB Pomegranate Wheat). It's a slightly bitter fruit, yet deceptively sweet. This beer was medium bodied, had a rich Belgian yeast flavor (spice) and a nice light maltiness. While The Stoic is a strong ABV beer, the alcohol wasn't the dominant factor here. There was a bit of a bite up front from the fruit and the yeast, but finished smooth, slightly bitter and a bit bubbly.

Overall: This beer reminded me of other fine Belgian Quad I've had, yet fell a bit short of hitting a home run like a Trappist. Oak aging can be tricky and at least here it did not detract from the overall experience. While I have liked pomegranates, it wasn't my favorite flavor in a beer. It's best in small quantities, yet I found myself able to finish the entire bottle easily.

The Stoic drank like a high priced import and had a bit more fruit and sweetness than other quads. As in many other beers, the experience changes as it warms. While cold, The Stoic can be a bit masking, but then the flavor came out nicely as it warmed. I wasn't quite sure about this beer at first, but later on I grew to really enjoy it.

Deschutes is one of those breweries I wished was located in Colorado because I'd end up spending a lot more time with them. As it is, I seem to end up enjoying just about everything that they put out. It's a nice problem to have. I enjoyed this beer, but have had more enjoyable pours from Deschutes in their other Reserve Series beers. Still, this was a quality brew. Thumbs up.

Pouring a Deschutes The Stoic: (Cold)

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Related articles:
- Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale review.
- Deschutes The Abyss review.
- Deschutes Black Butte XX review.
- Deschutes 19th Anniversary Golden Ale review.

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