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The Dissident - Deschutes Brewery

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The DissidentThe Dissident

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1,096 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,096
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 955
Gots: 532 | FT: 49
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  11.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MisterClean on 08-19-2008

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,096 | Reviews: 449
Photo of kbutler1
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft. Sampled on 12/10/10 at Pracna on Main. Had 2 glass, the first poured into a tall pils glass a clear copper amber color with very little head. The second pour was into a snifter and did have a slight tan head. Aroma is that of sour cherries and slight acidic notes, very minimal aroma with some sweetness. Medium/light mouthfeel with slight carbonation. Slightly boozy. Cherry taste with white wine characteristics. Woody. The Brett is pretty subdued, may be interesting how time treats this. Easy drinking but with all the craziness over this in MN, I'm really note sure if it deserves the hype.

Photo of atleehammaker
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 release

For all the difficulty I've heard about finding this beer and how quickly they apparently sold out at local specialty beer stores, I was stunned to find plenty of them at my local Bevmo.

Appearance: Reddish/orange/brown color and pretty clear with not much head.

Smell: You had me at hello. The smell on this is unbelievably inviting. Sweet and sour, cherries, oak, wine. You can definitely smell the Brett.

Taste: Tastes as good as it smells. Similar flavors. Sweet/sour, cherries, oak, vinegar, wine and Brett. Finishes w/ a slight warming from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slight carbonation. I felt it would be mildly better with a bit less carbonation, but that should occur with some aging. Warm from the booze.

Drinkability: This went down much too easy for the 11% alcohol. Seems like a late night beer, but I had half of it with dinner and it went well with my herb roasted chicken, like a nice glass of wine. It went exceptionally well with the dark chocolate I had for dessert, which really brought out the sweetness and cherry flavor.

This is one of the best sour beers I've ever had...right up there with Russian River Consecration. So good that I went back to Bevmo later that night to buy more.

Photo of BDJake
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- slightly hazy reddish-brown with lively bubbles et low head retention, not perfect but very inviting

S- cranberry, sour cherry candy, and a hint of connamon and allspice

T- tart and dry, with a mouth-puckering mix of cherry, vinegar, red grapes, oakiness, a hint of toasted malt, all surrounded by a booziness that intensifies the funk- but delicious!

M- crisp, big body, finishing dry with a good dose of alcohol warmth

D- it's amazing how a beer with so many wine-like qualities can be this enjoyable, since i've never been a big wine drinker

Photo of codewarrior
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a Balloon.

Finding this beer was quite the Odyssey. Every store I went to had 1 case period, and a 1 bottle per customer limit. At one store they would only give us 1 bottle for my girlfriend and I combined (even after she pleaded that she too was a beer fanatic) ... ridiculous.

Fortunately, this is a pretty damn good beer, and seems to have been worth the journey.

L: Pours a ruddy, rustish brown orange transparent. Half-finger wispy head, carbonation looks just about right for the style.

S: Starts a light sweetness, and then the bottom drops out into a constantly evolving oldness with a touch of sour. Sour isn't brett ... I don't think.

T: A bit more shallow than the smell, but still good. Sweet up front to a tart extreme, rolling into an enveloping sourness. Heat kicks in the back and the super 10% ABV makes itself known.

F: A touch thin, but good. Opens up well. Finish is warming.

D: Doesn't stand up to the hype ... but it's real real good anyway.

Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, red wax, split and shared

2008 edition

appearance: served in my hopleaf tulip, dark garnet body, muddy hues, creamy beige lace

smell: sweet and tart cherries, oak, brown sugar, cranberry

taste: nice brown - moderate acidity, sweet dark cherry and tart red cherry, alcohol warming sensation provides an interesting twist on the style, light balsamic, strong notes from the oak. I dont have a whole lot of exposure to this style, which has minimal modern day interpretations, but i liked this a lot more than goudenband and petrus

mouthfeel: minimal tartness, prickly carbonation

drinkability: good

Photo of grittybrews
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby-amber into a pint glass with a finger of fluffy white head. Somewhat polite aroma of sour cherry and a hint of vinegar.

Fairly generous carbonation and full, light mouthfeel. Sour cherry up front with a hint of malty sweetness that develops into a more tart sourness on the lingering finish. Just a hint of the more funky notes.

Not the most complex of sour brews, but really delicious and very drinkable. I bought several bottles to age, but was lucky enough to find this on tap at the Parkway in Tacoma. Already a great beer, and I can't wait to see how it develops.

Photo of iD9
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Head forms a stark white foam. Simmers down to a pleasant, even surface across the top of the beer. No lacing. A medium bodied amber hue, with a hint of golden-orange at the very bottom of the glass. Highly carbonated.

Smell: Strong smell of yeast and bright fruits (yea, cherries). A bit acidic/chemical? I assume this is the nose on the sour component of the beer but it does bother me a bit. Remind's me of Lompoc's Memorial Braggot.

Taste: Much better than I thought it would be from my investigation thus far. A definite sweet note, followed by a tang of sour. I was expecting a ball-breaker here but this beer is much less aggressive than it plays at. The cherries are evident, but not in such a way as to be obtrusive and the sourness makes itself known without ruining the experience.

Mouthfeel: Good medium body though it does seem a bit syrupy. Not so much to ruin beer but its noticeable.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Its a bit sweet to warrant large volumes but at 10.5% that's certainly not the goal of this beer.

The way I see it there are two possibilities. Either the name doesn't fit the beer (assuming this is what the brewer was going for) or the beer didn't quiet fit the brewer's vision. I know it doesn't sound like it, but I am enjoying this beer. Not the most notable release from Deschuttes but certainly not the worst. A good, solid brew.

Photo of Doodler
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 version. Split with the wife - who picked it up for me at $10.99 at local beerstore (all sold out in a day). Wine like nose, Golden amber color with minimal head. Softly tart with oaky wine barrel, sour cherries, and a bit of brett funkiness on the palate. Similar in taste to the Deschutes St Ryan's - which had some extra brett flavors. Fruits come out as it warms up.. Can't say that it is as tart as the previous version or as sour to me. So, while muted, still a very nice cherry flavored finish. Well done and refreshing. Even the wife liked it, - so that is saying something....

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage.

What a beer! I loved it... a very nice sour brown, a bit fruitier and more sour than other browns I've had. Very pretty orange copper color, I like it a lot. Tart on the nose, but also prominently acetic as well, nice interplay between the two "sour" notes. A bit of cherries, some oak. Flavors work together really nicely, some vinegar, tart cherries, apples, light brown malts. They all come together well while still showcasing their individual lights. Dry finish, medium to full body for a sour. Overall a great drink, crisp, refreshing, sad to see it go.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a orangish color with good carbonation at first but shortly fell flat

S: Sour, wild and tart cherries mostly

T: Tart of course but its dominated by fresh, wild cherries, sour and unripe cherries, vinegar, wood, Earth

M: Tart, medium body, light booze sting and acidic

D: Good for the style and easy to drink.

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best domestically brewed barrel aged sours! It is not quite as fruity as the Flanders beers but this is the closest thing I have tasted to a true Flanders that wasn't. The nose and the palate are loaded with red and dark fruit flavors with some slight spice malts that blance out the fruity flavors. The carbonation is just perfect with a thin fizzy head and really fine bubbles that are almost champagne like. I always look forward to the release of this beer.

Photo of ElGordo
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

Body is a pretty reddish amber color, toped by a small, creamy, off-white head. Aroma is mostly tart cherries, with some lactic acid, astringency, and sour notes. Palate is deliciously complex - balanced between the sweetness of the fruit and light, airy malt and just a hint of sourness up front. The lactic sourness builds before the swallow, then takes over completely on the finish. Lively carbonation keeps the cherries dancing around the acidity. This has aged very well. I'm not a zealot for sour beer, but time has been kind to this one and it's a pleasure to drink.

Photo of Docer
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I went through hell to get this, as well as much communication w/ fellow beer bloggers and tweeters.... here I am in/near PDX and most of it went east... sucks... I got it at a bottle shop where the dude drove to Bend to buy the cases.... is it worth it? Let's see... I just got back from a bad ass tour and tasting at Cascade Brewings Barrel house... the worlds finest sours...

- Heavy pour into a short pint. Didn't seem to want to carbonate right away.... clear brown ale... fizzy quick white head... leaves a nice thin blanket of white... small ring....

- Funky brown sugar sweet and lightly tart scent... slight earth and dirty grass... hay, touch of bitter tart and junk... oak... mud... all and all its a funky oaked brew... let's see if the yeast and brett worked any magic...

- Syrupy sweet brown... rather woody and a touch sharp to the palate... some funk and woody character... certainly heavy, and contains a rather thick malt bill... tough to make such a strong sour.

- Sticky, sweet, syrupy... slightly hot but well blended enough.... heart burn...

- Yes, I am aging it rather fresh, but it took Deschutes some time to finally release this too... I am thinking it just wasn't ready enough then.... and it's still not ready now. For those that were blessed enough to have other vintages.. I am guessing this one will fall short.... The hype machine worked its magic... and I will go back to Cascade and have a better sour again.

Photo of djbreezy
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Portland pub for release day. Also bought 3 bottles for cellaring.

appearance - flat, transparent brown, carbonation only noticeable if you swish the glass

smell - cherries, faint oak, big funk

taste - tart cherries, funk/brett, alcohol

mouthfeel - light/medium body, low carbonation, oily

drinkability - flavorful but seems flat, not too sour, not ready for prime consumption yet, eager to see how the bottles do in the recommended 18 mos of aging

Photo of hawks10
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle - 2008 Vintage - Capped & waxed - Poured into a tulip...

Pours a murky brownish red, actually, my favorite crayon color, burnt sienna is a pretty good description. Three fingers of light tan head forms and recedes slowly, leaving some lacing behind...

While working to chip all the wax away, the lip of the cap bent up a little, releasing all the air...I could smell the beer very clearly from 3 feet away while still 99% unopened. Some tart dark cherries and blackberries. Musky, earthy, yeasty, funky and woody. The wild yeasts and barrels have created a wonderful smelling beer, probably the best smelling Flanders Oud Bruin I have had to date...

Slightly tangy to being with, but not nearly as tart as expected. Oak takes the forefront over the vinegar/sour cherries. Very musty and slightly dry, with just the slightest touch of sweet 'n sour...reading the other reviews, pretty much all of them describe a much more sour flavor, is mine more muted as a function of age, or maybe just an off bottle? Who knows, but I can't help but be a little let down on the taste side of this beer, especially after how appealing the nose was...

Medium bodied with a higher carb level than most other Flanders' I have had. Finishes dry and slightly acidic...

Was really looking forward to finally trying this beer, while it was still pretty good, I was a little let down by the somewhat muted flavor and lack of sour...

Photo of steve8robin
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a recent BIF. Glad to get the chance to try this one. Deschutes makes some great brews. 2008 Vintage. 22oz bottle...

A: Murky brown and ruby red blend with a thick 2 inch light tan head that fades quickly to a bubbly lace atop the brew. Very good.

S: I get smell this one as soon as I popped the cap. Smells of tart cherries and raspberries upfront. Some nice oaky characteristics with some boozy bit blended in. A sour sugary backend. Good.

T: Hmm, kind of an interesting sour. My first reaction is this is a brown ale blended with a sour. So a sour brown ale. I get some sugary breadiness upfront quickly overtaken by a tart raspberry middle. Some toffee / caramel notes hidden in the back. Good.

M: Full body with a heavy carbonation. Definitely mouth puckering, but not brutal. Leaves some sticky tart flavors on the palate Good.

D: This is a pretty easy drinker. For a sour, it's not brutally sour so it makes this one more appealing to me. Very good.

All in all, this is a good brew. I am not a sour fan, so I might not be the best judge of the style, but, this seems like a moderately sour brew. Not intense, but still very noticeably sour. Good to try at least once if you like the style.

Photo of boMD
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Back Log Rating... From a tap handle, this poured into a snifter looking foggy, reddish with an off white head that created a ring around the glass throughout the whole brew. Aroma of wine-like characters and almost lambic in nature. Really thick palate that filled and expanded nicely in the mouth. This brown style had a little more bitterness and darker malt notes than its Red counterpart, and it seemed the wild yeast really did a nice job. You could taste a hint of barley-grains in the finish.

Photo of jampics2
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22oz bottle from the first release, savored in Montego Bay, Jamaica almost 2 years after it departed the Deschutes brewery. Yeah, I brought a sour beer with me on my honeymoon. This was a great change of pace from drinking pinky-up frozen concoctions and Red Stripe.

Into a snifter (probably meant for Appleton, but, hey, at least I had some decent glassware), the beer looks a brownish orange color. There are also some red and maybe even yellow highlights around the edges. The head retention is really nice and overall the Dissident is a winner in terms of appearance.

The smell is amazing - there is a ton of brett going on, lending a wild edge to the sour cherry base. Notes of spicy oak, lemon and green apple make this deep and very intricate. There's just a touch too much wood for my liking, but it's very pleasant in adding tannins, vanillin, and mild toast. That continues to the taste. A fantastic Flanders Bruin with all the requisite flavors and some great malty grain to anchor things down. Like all things in life, personal preference plays a role in our beer reviews. This beer fits well within the style, but the oak is just a touch heavy-handed to my palate. That being said, someone who likes a lot of oakiness in their Flanders Bruin would have found a new favorite beer. And they're perfectly in the right; it's just not an exceptional smelling or tasting beer to me as that oak dominance makes some smaller notes get swept up.

The beer manages to come off as rich in my mouth, but the carbonation is a touch heavy. Still, its medium body and lack of any perceivable alcohol make it a winner. At 9%, this beer has brought a ton of vast flavors that make it rich and delicate, while the prominent sourness, wood and wild edges make it brash and bold. That duality makes the Dissident something every sour beer fan should try.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Sour beer is the future--or at least that is what the brewers and beer geeks have been telling us over the past year or so. Deschutes has thrown their hat in the ring.

Pours out a semi-thin, latte-like froth and dissipates to a thin lacing with some good retention. Clear, tarnished-brass red color, certainly lighter in color compared to other Oud Bruins. Massive and extremely expressive aroma of peppercorn, evergreen sap, anise, lemon peel, tart cherries, vanilla beans and fresh peaches. Very smooth with a fluffy creaminess on the palate. A healthy smack of tartness on the palate ends up being very rounded rather than being a flash in the pan as it feigns tart cherry and lemon zest flavors from start almost to finish. Spice flavors are light but still a little chaotic with minty, peppery and medicinal notes from the yeast and alcohol. Speaking of alcohol, the 9 percent is very deceiving, with only a warmth in the chest as the tartness seems to numb the palate and throat for the first several sips. Small, dry kernel of maltiness in the drying, faded spicy finish.

An epic beer for the sour beer lover, between the level of sourness and light yeast funk, this beer has found a perfect balance. Way too drinkable for its size: Sip and savor with care. A bottle full of beer geek joy.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Weibull for this one. 2008 Vintage. 22oz. Wine colored waxed bottle poured into a Portsmouth snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 1/2 finger fine off-white colored head with good retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish clay color. Lacing is stringy, spotty and sparse with good cling.

S: Nose is vinegary with a bit of ethanol and lactose in the mix. Musky sour cherries. Overall very fragrant and creamier than most other flanders I've come across. Appetizing.

T: Opens with a cherry/red plum. Vinegar has faded into the background with time. Rich and creamy. Caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Tart overtones but never overwhelming. Finish is muddy and tart. Aftertaste is earthy.

M: Medium bodied and appropriately carbonated. Creamy and smooth in the mouth. Just a bit abrasive going down. Finishes messy and aftertaste is sticky and filmy.

D: Probably the best offering from Deschute I've had to date. This is one of the most complex and balanced flanders that I've come across in a long while and the age has done wonders to it. Definitely worth seeking out and truly a great beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Reserve. Scintillating scarlet with topaz colored accents when backlit with sunshine. The firmly creamy golden beige crown was three fingers to start, looks wonderful, and is in the process of laying down a more than respectable array of sudsy lace.

The nose smells exactly like a well-crafted Flanders oud bruin brewed with Brettanomyces should smell. The wild yeast doesn't overpower the base beer and the Washington State cherries manage to have their say as well. This could be yet another world-class ale from Deschutes.

The Dissident was worth the wait. I'm not sure how it tasted fresh, but it's fandamntastic after sleeping in the cellar for the past 24 months. It will probably last at least that long from this point forward, if not longer. Not this bomber, though. This bomber is about to meet its fate in glorious fashion.

The acidity is not off the charts, which is always a boon to drinkability. There are some malt sugars running interference that add an underlying sweetness that one does not often experience in beer of this style. Tangy-tart-sour is still in the lead, as it should be.

This special release tastes more red than bruin (brown). That's probably because of the cherries and the fact that is was aged in Pinot Noir and Cabernet barrels. That intense vinousness and fruitiness is what puts it over the top for me. It's incredibly satisfying when great beer on paper turns into great beer in the glass. Brown bread and cherry preserves and red wine and farmhouse funk... oh my!

Warming allows what was meshing in the first few ounces to mesh even more seamlessly during the rest of the bottle. This offering is so complex that it's difficult to focus on just one aspect in any given mouthful. Best to just let it bathe the taste buds and revel in the result.

The mouthfeel isn't even close to letting down the rest of the beer. It's at least medium-full for the style and is much more lush and creamy than most. By the way, alcohol is buried without a trace.

Even though I had the foresight to buy several bottles of The Dissident back in '08, I was stupid enough to trade away all but this bottle. If I'm lucky enough to have access to the second release (scheduled for next month), that mistake will not be repeated. Bottom line: one of the best of 2010.

Photo of riored4v
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/10/10 with a properly aged 08 vintage

Poured into a tulip. Very hazy, murky, amber/brown body. Thin, tan head that faded to a faint ring.

Smell had good notes of cherry. Tart, acidic and dark fruit with cherry being the strongest. Some notes of oak. Slight maltiness with some nice funkiness. Notes of raisin.

Flavor had an appealing tartness with a nice acidic aftertaste. Good cherry flavor with some notes of caramel and oak. Presence of the yeast was also subtle, but noticeable.

Mouthfeel was medium body with a medium-high carbonation and an excellent, dry finish.

Drinkability was very good. No signs of abv

Photo of Lukafer
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

50th BA review! Thanks to Alleykatking for this one, from notes:

Pours a golden amber, with tannish head, good lacing. Smell some funk, malt and yeast. Taste sour @ the front, then gone! Followed by alcohol, some funk, malt with a sweet finish. Mouthfeel is very good, great amount of carb and a touch of dryness. Drinkability is very good, I could drink this all night, perfectly balanced, IMHO.

Photo of elliot23
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally! I had the chance to try this one. 2008 on draft.

A. Appearance is of a deep orange. Slight amber tinge to this one. Looks really nice. Small amount of head with some decent lacing.

S. Sour fruits for sure! Apricots, cherries, a little vinegar. A little nose of yeast, oak, and vanilla in there somewhere. This one is quite plethora of awesomeness.

T. Mmmm, warming. A full punch of sour cherry, funk, apricot, caramel. There is definitely some brett in there somewhere, very nice. As it warms up some vinegar and cranberry slide through.. interesting.

M. Very nice lingering flavors and tingle in the mouth. You can really feel the age with this one. Nice and crisp. Kinda dry as well.

D. I could sip this one all day long. Of course I would be slammed after 405 glasses. No notice of the alcohol until the glass is empty. Super balanced and easy to down. Can't wait for the next release.

Photo of
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Bond St. Brewpub in Bend, OR

Appearance is dark, murky brown with a large finger of head. Some lacing was present throughout.

Smell was strawberries, lemon, grapefruit. Not as much brett as I would've liked but it's definitely there.
Taste is of raspberry, straberry, sweet wine and a good amount of sour. Some funk, just enough to balance the sweetness. Very well rounded, one of the few high abv beers I would describe as refreshing.

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The Dissident from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.