7.5

Deschutes Not the Stoic Review

Drink Reviews Deschutes
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Deschutes Not the Stoic Review

Limited-release beer—the stuff of brewer experimentation and the holy grail of discovery for many a beer aficionado—can develop a ghost-like presence. Coveted bottles hit the shelves and tap lines in those places lucky enough to know the right distributor, only to vanish a few weeks or days—or even hours—after it first appeared. Occasionally, a lucky scavenger can find a dusty bottle lingering on some back shelf of a less-explored liquor store, but that’s the exception that proves the rule: some beer is just too damn rare.

Such is the case of the Stoic, a Belgian quad released by Deschutes, a product of four nuanced fermentations, then aged in rye whiskey and wine bottles. It was unveiled in 2011—only to be swallowed up in the black hole of beer, never to be seen again.

Thankfully, the famed brewery has revived this Belgian quad with their new Not the Stoic release, which boasts ingredients like candy sugar, beet and date sugars, and pomegranate molasses, then rested in Pinot Noir and rye whiskey barrels for 11 months until the flavors grew to their complex apex.

Part of the brewery’s Reserve Series of limited-edition beers, Not the Stoic pours a dense ruby color with a burst of sweetness on the nose—as you’d expect from such sugar-centric ingredients. That sweetness comes in strong on the first and subsequent sips, though it’s less cloying than you’d anticipate, thanks in no small part to the use of Czech Saas hops. The booziness (a heavy 12%) doesn’t hide either, with a mouthfeel that almost feels syrup-like. The wood-aging provides a nice hint of tannins to compliment the dark fruit notes, the oakiness becoming more pronounced as the beer warms.

As with most of the Reserve Series, Not the Stoic comes with a “Best Served After” date. So if you can’t find one, maybe one of your beer-hoarding friends in a different state might’ve found one and put it to rest for a few months—waiting, perhaps, for you to visit and suggest that you pop it open.

Brewery: Deschutes
City: Bend, Ore.
Style: Belgian Quad
ABV: 12%