1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Dissident - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The DissidentThe Dissident

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

959 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 959
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 896
Gots: 429 | FT: 32
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  11.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Flanders style sour brown brewed with dark candi sugar and Oregon Montmorency cherries, aged in Pinot Noir barrels.

30 IBU

First release (9.0% ABV) - August 2008
Second release (10.5% ABV) - November 2010 (~118bbl)
Third release (11.4% ABV) - October 2012

(Beer added by: MisterClean on 08-19-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Dissident Alström Bros
Ratings: 959 | Reviews: 425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I freakin hate wax capped bottles. I have said it before and will say it again. That being said...Pours a very nice coppery/chestnut color. Decent sized head. Great cherry/fruit aroma with a touch of woody and earthiness to it. Flavor is a pleasant mix of sour fruit with some oak or general wood like flavors. Rather tart/sour but not overly so. Retains some sweetness thoughout. Decent mouthfeel-slight puckering in the finish. Great beer overall. Fantastic US version for sure. Decent beer to cellar I would think. Thanks to jtrockchalk for the Secret Santa sample.

lackenhauser, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of athensbeermaster
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew on tap at the Sacramento brew Co.
They just tapped the keg and it tasted so fresh with lush dark fruits, plums,dark cherries, and a hint of ripe granny smith apples. The mouthfeel was so rich I didn't notice the high alcohol level. The drinkabilty was very smooth.
This flanders ale was not as complex as some other beers I've tried but was a welcome treat to have with my meal. Once again Deschutes comes thru with a tasty brew!

athensbeermaster, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of WillClark
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the 22oz bottle into a couple of goblets a firm reddish brown with minimal head and a super sweet, sultry salty, sour, and savoury scent. Sipping this sublime and sensual offering, a sheer sourness stings true but sees the sunshine on the finish with a spicy and salty sheet with small swallows.

This should be read aloud with a serious lisp.

P.S. this beer is great.

WillClark, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 10/13/08. Bottle dipped in red wax. Probably one of the coolest labels I've seen in awhile.

Pours a dark amber-mahogany color with about a finger of reddish-beige head. The head slowly dropped to a thin layer, no lacing. Aroma is tart and sour, with cherry, sour apple, grapes, and a bit of fig.

Taste is very similar to the aroma. Tart, sour, fruity, malty. Cherry, green apple, grapes, other darker fruits, pepper and spices. Somewhat of a red wine flavor to it, and slight oak. No alcohol noticeable in the taste. Tastes really good.

Feel is medium-body with ample carbonation. Very, very dry finish. Drinkability is really good. It's not too sour or tart, and the alcohol is hidden really well. The bottle was empty before I knew it.

Overall, a really tasty brew. I'm no expert on the style, and I'm not a huge fan of the sour type beers, but I think this one is pretty darn good. I hope they make more beers in this style.

bkilpatr, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of SpdKilz
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While this technically isn't the bottle I traded for, (ran across some up near SF while up there for the PtY release) I want to thank BillHilly for getting me two of these bottles over Christmas. Cheers!

2010 release.

Appearance - Pours into my Delirium Tremens Tulip with a rather dark red/mahogany color. About a finger of quickly dissipating tan head is achieved with a relatively vigorous pour, that leaves minimal lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Well, let's just say while letting this warm up a bit the aromas can easily be noticed with it sitting a couple feet away. Barnyard funk, oak, loads of tart cherries, green apples, and vanilla.

Taste - Not what the nose would have led me to believe actually. Quite a bit more subdued than I had hoped (and am also hoping a couple years on this will make it that much tarter). There is a definite cherry tartness up front, melding to a nice sweet oaky, vanilla flavor in the middle, that then fades to slight hops and a tinge of alcohol. As it warms a bit more vinegar characteristics make themselves known.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy, prickly carbonation. Finishes a hint tart/vinegary/dry.

Drinkability - While I did open this beer before its "enjoy after" date, I felt the need to try it now. The alcohol is a bit too noticeable, granted, it is 10.5%. In addition, it is not as tart/acidic as I was hoping. I really feel some age on this will really let the alcohol mellow, and the Brett pick up a bit more. Can't wait to try this in about a year or so. Have four more left (may trade a couple) but I will keep at least two to see how this ages. Glad I was able to try this and get my hands on it.

SpdKilz, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of Proteus93
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Rather foggy brown, though more on the rusty red side.

S + T: Funky, peppery, hay scented, and rather citrus at the same time. Taste is about the same, withe a little fruitiness on the palate. between grape and cherry.The tartness stands out a gerat deal, but fruity notes do seem to come across a little heavy.

M + D: Medium bodied, well carbonated and semi-dry. The carbonation takes from the dryness on the palate, and it could help to be a little dryer in that sense. Overall, a well-balanced brew.. sour, rich, and intense.. Very well done.

Proteus93, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of HosP
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. Received from Scottfrie last year in one of my first trades I believe. Poured 22oz bottle into Jackie O's snifter.

A- Pours a slightly hazy ruby color. Thin white head with just a bit of lace left behind.

S- Smells a bit sweet up front. Some sourness, tartness comes in the middle towards the end. Cherry smells dot in with the sourness.

T- Not as sour as I was expecting. Nice smooth cherry tartness to at the beginning. Some earthy, oak flavors in the background. Maybe what is described as a bit of funk at the end. Still a smooth drink.

M- Medium body, lower carbonation. A little dry.

O- I very much enjoyed this beer. Not overly sour, but with the right balance of sour and fruit. Wish I had another one of these to drink! Thanks Scott for this way back when.

HosP, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of bort11
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another kidney punch from mikesgroove and the Fight Club Project Mayhem BIF.

22 oz bottle poured into an Ommegang tulip. Crisp sounding tan head that has a thin lacing. Color is a tawny brown with thin clarity.

Smell is tart and sour with a mild hint of malt sweetness. Taste is a tart puckering sour. Great wild yeast character. Very dry and crisp carbonation.

Blipped "Dissident Aggressor" by Judas Priest

bort11, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got bottles of this from some kind BA's - Chris, John, Joe, thanks a bunch! Out of my cellar and into my Duvel tulip

A: Crystal clear ruby red with some visible carbonation. A finger-thick beige head caps this beer, leaving some lace in it's wake. Exceptional clarity.

S: Wonderful vingegar sourness with some horsey funk present. While this does not smell syrupy, there's plenty of sweetness to balance things out, oak and vanilla dominate. Fruity with sour cherries on the nose. The acetobacter has had time to get a hold of this brew, yielding a sharp acidity to the nose. Pretty darned good!

T: Wow! Puckering acetic character up front with a solid vanilla and oak component to balance things out. Cherries are present with a very pleasing fruity tartness. Acetic on the finish with oak present. Tannins don't stand out but they're present, providing a counter to the vanilla sweetness and the tartness. Pretty darned good, maybe a little too acetic? But that's nitpicking, really.

M: Medium-to-light in body, moderately carbonated with a dry, tart finish.

D: At 9%, it just might be a little too strong for it's own good , but will I be one happy camper after this bottle!

**Edit 20 Oct 2012**
2012 release, 11.4% ABV.

The nose is quite vinous and sour, with a blend of tannic red wine, strong acidity and a mild funk. The cherry character is sharp as well, and almost currant-like. Some cinnamon-like spiciness is also present. A lot of fruity sweetness forms the backbone for this beer.

The palate is not that great. Dark cherries, mildly medicinal bitterness, a moderate sourness that's a blend of acetic and lactic acid, a little meaty too. There is a sweetness to this beer, again, rather medicinal and slightly artificial. Moderately funky with a strong Brett character, there's a little bit of clove and some grass/hay notes that don't necessarily work in a dark sour IMO, especially considering how fruity and vinous this beer is. The cocoa character is nice. Drying on the finish, vinous, fruity and mildly tannic with a lingering cherry pit bitterness, this beer is medium-light in body and rather highly carbonated. The alcohol is well-hidden, but ultimately, this vintage is disappointing.
4/3.5/2.5/3/3

**Edit 22 Oct 2012**
Drinking my last bottle of the 2008 vintage after the disappointment that is the 2012 vintage.

This pours a whole lot clearer, and smells and tastes a whole lot better too. Well balanced with a blend of funk that's spicy and mildly grassy (much less so than the new vintage), a mild sour cherry aroma and some vinegar and lactic acid. A mild sweetness with a little cocoa/smoke character is also present. Cherry skin character is noticeable, and I'm impressed and happy with how low the vinous notes are in the mix

The palate opens with a refreshing tartness that's a blend of red wine vinegar, cherries and a little lactic acid. Less vinous, less sweet, less fruity and less grassy than the new Dissident (and for the better), this is a well-balanced beer. Mildly spicy with some clove and a little cinnamon, this beer is mildly sweet on the finish with a nice, cleansing acidity that's bright and refreshing. Moderately carbonated, this beer feels good on the palate. Solid, good even, though it has fallen off from its peak.
4/3.5/3.5/4/3.5

DefenCorps, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer, not quite as sour and funky as the classic Belgian versions, but sharp enough and full bodied, creamy and delcious without being hot despite its 9% abv. The beer pours a classic reddish brown with a fair head that settles to a ring. The aromas are fairly light, but with some nice sour and creamy notes and a light metallic tang. Little spice. The taste exhibits some funk and tannins along with the sour tang and creaminess. Some slight spiciness throughout the taste. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel but with that sour tang and some firm tannins. Lovely to drink, this should age nicely. An impressive effort at a sour style by a brewery not known for them.

Georgiabeer, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of Donnie2112
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured into a chalice and then a champagne flute, the beer started with a light chill but has been allowed to rise to room temperature

tobacco colored and translucent with no head retention at all

very sweet on the nose, caramel with a hint of some mustiness and a slight aromas reminiscent of dark candied fruit like currants and cherries

It should be noted that this beer ought to be drunk at room temperature, it is too cloyingly sweet until it finds that sweet zone of warmth that brings out all of the nuances. Oh do they sing when you get the temperature up. And oh is it delicious, there are notes of caramel or molasses in the malts that roll into a smooth sourness it's hard to distinguished what is brett and what is sour cherry, the sour flavors make me think of green apples, cherries currants and pomegranate there is only enough of a bittering hop bitterness to help the beer to finish very clean along with a bit of peppery alcohol

Smooth, not overly oily, snappy carbonation helps this beer to pop, it reminds me of champagne a bit actually

HIGHLY refreshing and drinkable even though I'm drinking it at room temperature. This is some really interesting stuff!

Donnie2112, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark mahogany color and has a thin tan head. The nose is tart up front followed by some sweet malts and a bit of musty funk. The taste is similar. A good amount of sour fruits and big candy malts. I would like to see some more funk in both areas, however there is a unique sweetness that makes up for any loss in funk. Medium body is well carbonated. For a 9% sour, this is quite drinkable. Probably closer to a red than bruin, but still quite good. One of the better American versions of this style I've had. Probably could have used more time in the barrels

rye726, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of zhanson88
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2010 vintage poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance: The Dissident pours a very slightly hazy light brownish hue with amber and copper highlights. About a finger and a half of off-white head forms that is very fizzy, retention is not great. I let this one sit a while before trying it, and the lacing actually improved after 10 minutes of sitting due to the amount of carbonation in the beer. So basically, the retention was average at best but the lacing ends up being very nice.

Smell: Sweet and tart cherries right off of the bat, funky, grassy, and earthy. Underneath all of that is a bit of oak. This is a very complex smell.

Taste: Initial taste is a nice blend of sweet and sour cherries. A bit of funk and tartness follows. A hint of oak follows at the end. Really, this beer has a lot of tartness, but not a lot of true sourness. Still, I like it a lot.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. It drinks pretty smoothly overall, and the tartness hides the alcohol. I'd absolutely recommend this beer to anyone looking to get into sours. Or even to anyone that doesn't like them much. The sweetness of the cherries really offsets the sour.

zhanson88, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, from the BevMo Cypress, drank while watching American Pie,

A: Pours a relatively clear dark amber with a nice one finger white head initially which receded into a nice lace.

S: Brown malt predominately, with some mild acidity, Brett is evident, giving a funky cheese-like note.

T: At a cooler temperature, the dark malt and cherries predominate, the true fermented cherry taste is nice and subtle and plays off the malt and acidity well. Closer to room temperature, the Brett and wild yeast really start to come to the party, offering a soft funkiness reminiscent of a cave-aged Gruyere cheese, it is an intriguing flavour that stays with the brew on each sip. Oak and some astringent wood alkaloid is evident as well, along with a very light hint of vanilla.

M: This beer is very well structured, the acidity is there but soft enough as to not overwhelm the drink, for a complex sour it is very drinkable.

D: This is a very well made beer; I'm not surprised as this is Deschutes we're talking about here. This'll be probably the only bottle I'll have of this unless it gets released again. A very tasty Western sour, I'm glad I bought the bottle.

Halcyondays, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of panajoe
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is one amazing beer. The taste is so far from what a typical beer is, but at the same time there is no doubt that this is a beer. There are so many tastes and flavors that I can't pick anything out to describe. I drank from a bottle so I don't know what it's appearance is like. This is not just another craft beer that tastes like just hops. This is beer art. Conceptual art applied to beer. Beer taken to an extreme that makes it something else but still keeping with the primacy of what beer is. This is my favorite beer. Sadly, I have moved from the west coast and I can't find anything from Oregon. I even love the packaging, it's art also.

panajoe, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of ffejherb
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris from Ebenezer's for sharing this bomber with our table on 2/27/10.

A - Poured a hazy deep orange/copper-colored body with a quarter inch beige head that receded into a thin ring, leaving spotty lace around the glass.

S - Barnyard and band-aid notes with a moderate sourness and lots of fruity esters... and lots of Brett character.

T - Fruity and sour but not over-the-top at all. Funky sour notes mingle with a slightly tart fruity character. The Brett presence is really quite noticeable and provides a complexity that is really very enjoyable.

M - Medium body with an acidic character and not overly dry. Finish has a slight smoothness for the style, which was surprising.

D - These kinds of beers are definitely hit or miss with me, but I found this one to be quite enjoyable. All of the components worked really well together to create a balanced and drinkable brew. Thanks for sharing, Chris!

ffejherb, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Dissident, courtesy of dkachur, enjoyed at the January C'ville tasting. Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: A slightly hazed, deeply dark amber-hued body showcases minimal carbonation and a solid finger of head that has average retention - lightly tanned, and yielding a good solid sheen of foamy lace and a good collar of dense, erratic, foam. The lacing is impressive, with average to above-average coverage of the sides of the glass, all dry and sheetlike on the "non-sip" sides of the glass and (though runnier) clingy enough on the sip side.

Aroma: Oud Briun-tastic. Mildly sour and mildly sweet, showcasing both a moderate amount of acetic/lactic sweetness and a moderate amount of brown sugar, dark toffee, and caramel. It's a sweet and sour assault (probably with about twice the amount of sour as sweet, though), but with a few other complexities. The fruits bear a little more developing, discussed below.

Taste: Strong acetic and mildly lactic sourness melds expertly with a heavy, heavy toffee underpinning. The sourness is bold, a little heavy in a good way, showcasing cherries, apples, and a few surprises - kiwis, and perhaps banana. The one downside - perhaps - is that this one comes across as a little shallow at points, as if the sweetness and the sourness are disjointed in some way. Nonetheless, it's a marvelous pairing.

Mouthfeel: The best aspect of this beer. Even , smooth, wonderful, with an even amount of cleansing acidity and sweet, crisp effervescence. At its worse, it's smooth and sweet and mildly carbonation, but at its best, it's a crisp, bright, and complexly cleansing mouth. In essence, the carbonation works regardless of the flavors you're getting at that time (note: this brew got wildly different reviews during our tasting, with many people picking up flavors no one else got), and the flavor you're getting at that time can work regardless of the carbonation you get out out his brew or of how long it's sat around on the table.

Drinkability: A very well crafted brew, complex, and surprisingly balanced. I know (despite not having too many examples of it) that this is a style that's hard to pull off, and so I have to give kudos to Deschutes for putting together a great brew. 9.0% is high, but not astronomically so, and though this one came at the end of the evening for us - this was a fairly epic tasting - it was still drinkable enough that I neglected to leave any in the snifter.

CrellMoset, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer Review # 500! Best After date of 8/20/13

Appearance - Pours a hazy, somewhat dull copper with a white half finger head that displays a slight orangish hue. Fair retention, leaves behind a thick film of microbubbles on the surface, which clump ever so more around the edges. Lacing is spotty with little stick.

Smell - Sour cherries hit right off the bat. Green banana. Bubblegum. Yeast funkiness. Faint touches of oak.

Taste - Wow that's sour! Near overpowering cherry sourness upfront. Touches of funk and green banana come through once the sourness dissipates. Under-ripened plum. Sourness lessens as the beer warms, though it's still the driving force behind the brew. Lesser hints of bubblegum on the tongue than on the nose, but it definitely comes through near the end. Speaking of which, finishes sour for sure, but with a faint citrus zest bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation. Smoothly drinkable, despite the sourness. Crisp. Bone dry finish.

Overall - Well, I hope you like cherries. I do. Love 'em. This beer is right up my alley... sort of. It's very, very sour, especially at first. Okay, so I opened it 5 months before the recommended date, but that's on me. I wanted this beer to be my 500th review, and I wasn't gonna wait that long to do another beer review, damn it! Or... maybe it's on the brewery? Hey guys, maybe don't release your beer until the 'Best After' date has passed, you bastards! No, I'm kidding! I still love you Deschutes, but seriously. Okay, I'm rambling.

Obviously I'm in a festive mood. Happy 500 everybody!

TheSixthRing, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of andrenaline
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Props to joemcgrath27 for sharing this tasty brew with me.

A - Pours a murky ruby colour, thin layer of head which quickly dissipates and leaves no real lacing.

S - Musty funk, wooden oak, sour cherries.

T - Sour cherries with subtle undertones of oak. Reminiscent of a sour cherry blaster candy but the sweetness is subdued and complemented by some earthy funk. ABV is barely noticeable with the exception of a bit of heat that lingers in your chest.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - Incredibly flavourful with a high voltage ABV that goes completely undetected. A true privilege to have had the chance to enjoy it, and an even more stoked to share it with my BA bro in crime.

andrenaline, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

chickenm, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

TKEbeerman, May 04, 2013
Photo of dbossman
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Brown bourbon looking hue; virtually no head or lacing but still beautiful and pretty on par for the style

S: Tart and sour; subtle vinous and cider vinegar notes: lots of tart fruits

T: Oh man, this is tart and balanced: malty and fruity and oaky and tart and man that's good

F: Medium body; kind of sticky and thick

O: This is a darn good boozy, oaky, and tart beer

dbossman, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of Hardcore
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Hardcore, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of ChrisL24481
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

ChrisL24481, May 15, 2014
Photo of JSBILK
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

JSBILK, Jan 10, 2014
The Dissident from Deschutes Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.