The Return of The Dissident

The Dissident bottling at Deschutes Brewery in Bend

By Tyffany DeGray

Sour fans, the wait is over. For only the second time, Deschutes Brewery is set to release the Dissident, their distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale, on November 19th. This very limited release has been much anticipated since 2008 when the Dissident first hit the market. Currently, the Dissident is the only sour beer bottled by the Bend brewery and expectations are very high for the this release. The Dissident was bottled early this week on a rented bottling line to avoid the spread of Brettanomyces throughout the brewery and filling equipment. The 2010 Dissident is tart, funky, acidic, oaky and endlessly complex but only time will tell what this wild brew will become.

A few comments from Deschutes Brewery’s Brew Master Larry Sidor:

Deschutes Brewmaster Larry SidorThe total quantity packaged was about 20% less than the 2008 batch. Why? Because it’s perfect! We produced much more, but we released only what was ready. The way it worked was the brewers met in our tasting room and tasted all the tanks and wood barrels of 2010 Dissident in progress. After a few hours of tasting (yes it was a tough day at work), we arrived at the blend that we felt was worthy. It was a few barrels shy of the volume we had been telling our customers we were going to release, but we felt our customers will be happier in the long run.

What makes this batch of Dissident special? Toasted French Oak! We used more new French oak that in the previous batch. Also, due to a communication error, our farmer from the Royal Slope area of Washington, thought he was doing me a favor by removing the stems this year. Thank goodness he didn’t remove the pits! The next batch will have the stems!

The Dissident
I love this batch of Dissident, whether I like it more or less than the previous batch, only time will tell. We lost a bit of the Brettanomyces character due to “bottle shock” but it will return in a few months. The cherries are grand; the acidity is a bit low for me currently (over the top if you ask some folks) and the increased oak adds a little more complexity. The 2008 batch of Dissident has increased in acidity by about 30% over the last couple of years in the bottle, so ask me in a couple of years what I think of 2010 Dissident.

The Dissident bottling at Deschutes Brewery in Bend
Bottle sales and tapping of the 2010 The Dissident will begin at 11AM on November 19, 2010 at the Portland Pub and sour beer paired dinner specials will be offered that evening as well.

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