I have a couple of friends who constantly haze me about my love of Belgian beers. It’s probably because I made the mistake of taking them to Brouwer’s in Seattle and immediately ordered a large Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus – a sour raspberry ale that make your lips pucker like Mick Jagger – for all to share. After their looks of “how could you do that to me?!” fell off their faces, I became branded as the one who loved “Flambic Labiales”. I have some very creative friends. 😐
So these same people found themselves at the pub yesterday, and called me saying that they were pouring a Belgian that they thought I would love. It was a sour brown, and they thought it was pretty good. I had traded emails with Larry at the brewery in the past, and he had let me know that they were doing a sour brown for their reserve series. Since Deschutes regularly uses the pub as a proving ground for recipes as they’re being formulated, I figured this might be a preview of what they’re going for with Dissident.
I bellied up to the bar, and ordered the sour brown (can’t remember the moniker under which they were pouring it). They pulled the handle, and it blew! Sucks. Luckily, someone at the pub went to the back and said that I had hurried down to try it. They didn’t have any more, but they gave me the foam that poured out when they put the next beer on. After it settled, I had a good 3-4 oz … enough to get a sense. The color, aroma, and flavor were great. I’m not usually a fan of the Belgian stabs I’ve had at Deschutes, but if the final product is like what I had last night, I’ll be so happy (and so slapping down some money for a case or two). Great flavor … exactly in the ballpark of a sour brown. It is a bit rough around the edges, but that’s to be expected. My understanding is that this beer was straight out of the tank. I was told it is going to go through some time on wood and some blending as well before it is ready. With what I had last night as a base, this will indeed worthy of the Reserve Series pedigree.
So I was done with my teaser beer, and was ready for a full beer. I looked up to see what replaced the blown Sour Brown keg … it was the Coffee Double Black which is an Imperial version of their Black Butte Porter. I was told that this would be the next in their series of Anniversary bottlings in celebration of their 20th. Epic win! Two reserve series teasers in a row! What I had last night didn’t have much head on it, but damn was it tasty … sweet, roasty, warming alcohol. Very nice.
What a way to end a Monday! Looking forward to the release party guys!