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Geek Up, It’s Time for Deschutes’ Reserve Series

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Sour!

Written by our in-house cellar dweller, Timperial Stout.

When it comes to big, specialty releases that make waves on a national level, the Northwest is painfully lacking.  Washington state, more specifically, pretty much has none.  We don’t have a Dark Lord or a Black Tuesday or a Kate the Great or a Sexual Chocolate

I can’t think of a single time that I rushed out to the bottle shop for a WA release.  I have rushed out to bars to catch WA beers while they were on draft, but that is such a fleeting pursuit.  I want to be able to add a bottle to the cellar and age it and show it off and pretend that I’m cool that I have a crazy barrel-aged imperial stout that’s 4 years old and nearly impossible to get.  I have low self-esteem so if I don’t have an impressive cellar I have nothing.

But seriously, why can’t Washington brewers do this for me.  I guess I do have that Black Raven wheat wine that they made for Malt and Vine‘s anniversary.  Oh yeah, and those Pike Entires.  Both are wax-dipped and shit, totally impressive.  Well, whatever…I want more.

Our neighbors to the south are doing a little bit better than us on this front, but it’s by no means a landslide.  Hair of the Dog and Cascade bottles are pretty sweet trophies to show off.  I’ve got a New Old Lompoc Oak Aged Dopplebock down in my cellar.  Pretty cool huh?  I know.

The ultimate bottled prizes in the PNW come from Deschutes in Bend, OR.  I know you know what they are.  I know you are jealous of my ’07 Abyss.  Your best bet to rival me in supremacy is to camp outside of your local bottle shop tonight, and every subsequent night until more bottle of The Dissident hit Western Washington (if we are so lucky).  Then do the same thing in mid-December for The Abyss.  Buy as many as they will allow, drink one of each on New Years and hide the rest in the deepest recesses of your cellar.  In 15 years when your first-born turns twentyfun, make his/her first ‘legal’ beer be one of paramount class.

The following information is from the Deschutes Brewery website via Beernews.org:

The Dissident
Friday, November 19th
We are super excited to officially announce the release of The Dissident, our sour brown ale brewed with Washington cherries, that takes 18 plus months to reach near perfection. A limited amount of bottles will go on sale at both Brew Pubs and our Tasting Room on Friday, November 19th at 11 am. Fans will be able to pick up six bottles of this beloved brew at a time.

The Abyss
Wednesday, December 1st
The wait is finally over for the fifth release of The Abyss, our imperial stout brewed with molasses and licorice aged in bourbon and oak wine barrels. Join us at our Brew Pubs on December 1st as we tap the first kegs and make the 2010 bottles available for you to add to your collection.

…Also of note, here is information on those two beers and other upcoming releases as it was received this morning from a brewery representative…

The Dissident

When: End of November

What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)

Finally…. perfection. After nearly two years aging in isolation, the 2010 Dissident has reached its pinnacle. Deschutes Brewery’s only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus “critters” (a technical brewing term) create a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor. To make things even more interesting, whole Central Washington cherries – pits, stems and all were also added to the mix. The result? A beer that’s anything but conventional.

Where: Very limited available in most states where Deschutes is sold

Beer Geek Information:

10.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

The Abyss

When: Mid-December

What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)

The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.

2010 marks the fifth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout rated the 4th best beer on planet earth by BeerAdvocate.com.

Where: Available in most states where Deschutes is sold

Beer Geek Information:

~11% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

65 IBUs

Oh you got the Abyss down there? Impressive!

Thanksgiving Gut: The Brew of the Day

November 27, 2009 1 comment

We had a heck of a spread - including this wonderful Treblehook.

We have arisen from the ashes of Thanksgiving this morning to find about 12 lbs of turkey remaining (YES!) and about 5 lbs of gut remaining (Damn.). But the Beer Blotter festivities were for the record books, and the friends and family attendance was quite pleased with the food…..and more importantly the grog.

The list from last night is long. The Blotter had 18 bottles and 3 kegs up for tasting among its guests. But amongst all that beauty, a few stood tall. Utilizing a moderate budget, we were able to find a few great beers that earn recognition this morning.

(1) Red Hook Treblehook

This beer is produced on a limited basis during the early fall and winter months, generally right in time for GABF. We had this beer out at the brewery in Woodinville, WA back in October  – and we were floored. Wanting to get a more up close and personal look, we added a bottle to the Thanksgiving list.

Notes from the Brewery:

“Treblehook is vigorously hopped and patiently aged with aromatic malt and spicy hop notes.  Smooth and complex, this beer is carefully brewed by hand with sublte caramel, toffee and chocolate notes”

Style: Barley Wine

ABV: 10.1%

Malts: Pale, Caramel, Special Aromatic, Flaked Barley, Black, Melenodin

Hops: Cascade, Palisades, Chinook, Simcoe

Bitterness Units: 52 IBU

Original Gravity: 22

Brewed Since: 2007

Shelf Life: 365 days

Awards: Gold Medal 2008 Great American Beer Festival, Silver Medal 2009 Great American Beer Festival

Cellaring: Can be cellared for up to 3 years

The bitterness rating might be an undershoot. This beer is hoppy and has the typical floral and spiced citrus flavorings of the Simcoe hop. The hop/malt balance of this beer is very interesting – in a very good way. The beer allows both the floral hop and caramel malt flavors exist independently, not muddling either taste.

This beer is very similar to Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven. The difference is complexity and finish. The Treblehook finish is pleasing – adding molasses smoothness to the end of the glass.

This is a GABF favorite. In 2008, it took gold. This year it followed up with a silver. We can see why everyone seems to like it.

 

(2) Deschutes Abyss 2009

No need for introduction on this bad boy. This is a perpetual 100 on Rate Beer and a repeat medal winner at GABF. This Stout is legendary and probably the best of the NW (Sorry Walking Man Cherry Stout). This year’s version is the 4th release and does not offer any changes – which is a very good thing.

Notes from the Brewery:

“The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 marks the fourth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout. Limited availability in wax-dipped 22-ounce bottles and on draft at a few select establishments.”

“The Abyss was one of those beers I didn’t want to end. I was totally blown away – this is precious stuff.” Christian DeBenedetti, beer writer and Men’s Journal contributor”

Click here for a thorough review of The Abyss by James ‘Dr. Fermento’ Roberts!

Silver Medal, Imperial Stout
2008 European Beer Star Awards

Gold Medal, Imperial Stout
2007 Great American Beer Festival

Best Beer Above 7%, International Champion Beer & Supreme Champion
2007 International Beer Challenge

#1 Best Stouts & Porters
2007 Men’s Journal October Issue

Gold Medal, Strong Ales
2007 California Brewer’s Festival

Gold Medal, Stout Category
2007 San Diego County Fair

Gold Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 North American Beer Awards

Gold Medal, Strong Ale Category
2007 West Coast Brew Fest

Bronze Medal, Imperial Stout Category
2007 Australian International Beer Awards

Food Pairings: Caramelized Onions and Abyss Infused Cream Cheese on Pepper Crackers

We will agree with all of the award organizations above, this beer simply cannot be beat. Abyss stands alongside elite Imperial Stouts like Three Floyd’s Dark Lord, Bells Expedition and Alesmith Speedway Stout. Deschutes is able to keep up this quality even though it is producing a larger volume on a larger scale.

This year’s version is very appealing, tasting almost identical to the 2008 version. We saved the Abyss until desert, right after the pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate mousse and butterscotch chow mein – oh yes. It went amazingly well with the butterscotch and chocolate flavors present in our desserts.

(3) Diamond Knot Ho-Ho

We are still awaiting the few shipments of Great Lakes Christmas Ale which is on its way. So we decided to grab Diamond Knot’s Ho-Ho and Corsendonk’s Christmas Ale. None of us were very impressed with the Corsendonk offering, and an unwilling member (me) was hesitant to crack his bottle of Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws. Diamond Knot’s offering was impressive and added to the holiday essence.

Notes from the Brewery:

A robust, ‘Winter Warmer’ Ale, ruby brown in color with a slightly sweet, fruity nose. Very hoppy, yet balanced with a residual sweetness.”

7.7% ABV

60 IBUs

 

This Christmas beer has a great hop nose and finish. It is very sweet, but not syrupy in any way. The beer has a wonderful light citrus spice while having the perfect x-mas ale body. I suggest grabbing one of these bottles and drinking it pre-meal.


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