The Stoic - Deschutes Brewery

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The StoicThe Stoic

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very good

606 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 606
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 70
Gots: 195 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 08-03-2011

'Brewed with pomegranate with 16.5% being aged in oak wine barrels and 16.5% being aged in oak rye whiskey barrels'

20 IBU

August 2011 - Released in 22 oz. bottles and draught.
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Ratings: 606 | Reviews: 231
Reviews by Blanco:
More User Reviews:
Photo of txbrewer
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Apple juice with an off white head. No sediment in the bottle and it was quite clear in the glass.

S - Malty sweet, easy on the hops and bitterness.

T - Malty,raisins??, mild hop and an almost fruity note. Even though the bottle says 11 % ABV, it does not come through in the taste.

M - Light carbonation lets the malty sweetness linger with a very mild hop finish.

D - Yes, quite so. They should make plenty more of this.

A third of this was barrel aged (half wine and half rye) and I am guessing that is where the fruity and raisin taste is coming from. Quite nice for the malt and hop balance in this one. Picked this up at Whole Foods so I may have to go back and grab a couple more bottles.

UPDATE- Read some other reviews and something is off. Seems that some people got the cloudy with and without the yeast - mine was clear with nothing remaining in the bottle at all???

Photo of Beaver13
2.14/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle. Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a medium creamy white head that goes to a thin film and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sugary caramel malts, banana and cloves, some grassy hops and quite a bit of plasticky alcohol.

The flavor is very sweet sugary malts with some fruitiness, and a bit of slightly burnt bitter alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation, slightly watery.

Overall, it's a bit of a mess. Way too cloying and alcoholic. I'll take a St Bernardus anytime over this.

Photo of Mora2000
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tannish head. The aroma is full of nuts and toffee. I seem to remember the Hazelnut Brown Nectar from Rogue tasting similar to this beer, but it has been a long time since I have had it. The flavor is full of caramel and toffee malt with some cocoa and nuttyness. There is a cream flavor to the beer as well. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Nice, but not worth the price.

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful, rich orange with moderate white head and light lacing bubbles. Oh no, it isn't as dark as most "Quads". Give me a break.

Smell: Banana, clove, oak and some light spiciness. Fairly sweet aroma but some tart undertones.

Taste: Tastes about halfway between a Tripel and a Quad, but with some light wine-like and tart undertones. Banana, fleshy fruit and toast supply the somewhat sweet base, which is only halfway balanced by clove and light spicy notes. Slightly tart from the Pomegranate molasses, with a lingering Chardonnay-like oak finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a sweet finish and just a hint of tartness. Hard to tell if the body is a little too light or a little too chewy. Quite warming.

Overall: Ugh, where to begin? Some of the negative reviews here are ridiculous. People are criticizing this for not being a true Quad, which isn't even a real style. Gulden Draak has great reviews despite having the temerity to call themselves a "Dark Tripel", and that is an established style, by freaking monks no less. Not saying Gulden Draak should be criticized, just that Deschutes should not be dragged through the mud for making a "Light Quad". Anyway, this beer is not a home run because the mouthfeel is a little off and it could use a little more tartness and/or dryness. Despite that, this is a boldly flavored beer that is quite enjoyable. Deschutes - continue to try new things and fuck the naysayers.

Note: Deschutes should not have put a "Best By" date on the beer that is one year out. Really limits multiple bottle purchases and makes it seem as if the beer has no chance at developing further with age.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thanks to youradhere for this bottle!

22oz waxed and capped bottle at about fridge temp poured into a snifter. best before 8/4/12

pours out kind of a deep golden color, IMO way to light for a Quad. nice frothy white head, maybe 2 fingers. decent lacing and retention.

a big yeasty bubblegum smell rules almost the whole aroma. slightly fruity, but definatly no pomegrante, or any presence of barrel aging.

follows the aroma, lots of bubblegummy yeast, phenolic, and lots of fruity esters. but again, doesnt appear to taste barrel aged or brewed with pomegrante.

medium to full in body, adequate carbonation.

overall, pretty disappointed.when i heard deschutes, a very well respected brewery in my eyes, was making a barrel aged quad with pomegrante, i was thinking delicious. but i was disappointed. the untrained eye could fool this for a really strong basic saison. i would avoid this.

Photo of bravejoejoe
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - a amber golden color not much of a head
S - not much of a smell here.
T- alcohol, pepper, fall spices, there is some sweetness there also but I think I woul expect that due to such a large grain bill
M - carbonation is very present.
Not to familiar with quads but it is decent, just not my favorite style of beer.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by date: 8/4/2012
Batch: H

Poured into a Chimay Chalice a golden orange. Odd for the style. Nice one finger white head that disapated quicly. Bare minimal lacing. Scent is strong of raisins and grapefruit. Taste is strong of grapes, either a grape flavor from the wine barrels or the raisin flavor that goes with a Quad. There is also a vanilla note from the oak barrels that is noticiable in the after taste. The mouthfeel has a correct body weight for the style, and the carbonation is suprisingly high for it's age and being barrel aged. One quarter of my chalice has gone by and it's still producing a large amount of bubbles.

Overall, it's an odd Quad. The wine barrels are still noticeable. But I can't find any whiskey except for what is questionably a whisky burn way beyond the after taste of my palette.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in fancy wax covered bottle served in pint glass

A - Opaque dull amber with 1.5 finger khaki head with minimal retention and good lacing

S - Banana esters and sweet malt, clove

T - Woo this is a spicy, tangy lady. Most of the action in the side palate with tobacco and clove coming first to mind then sweet caramel banana malty esters to follow. End is sweet as an apricot. Booze never really pokes out to say hello. I'm not refined enough to taste the pomegranate, but do taste citrus, more orange than pomegranate. A bit of rye at the finish and some oak wine notes, the barrels really add a lot. Pretty sour.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - Really unique spicy quad, quite enjoyable. Spicy and fruity.

Photo of Sammy1184
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's my favorite drink. The hue of it hummed. The body is not too sweet, chewy but subtly dry. Wonderful phenols from the yeast... I miss this drink

Photo of quirkzoo
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this beer before but it still surprised me how light it pours, gold, with just a touch of orange and a very small white head that recedes quickly. The aroma is very sweet, lots of complex fruity belgian yeast esters, lots of berries, overripe strawberries, blueberries, slightly acidic smelling but not in a sour way. Some definite light caramel maltiness in the background and a touch of oaky tannins. The taste is nice, similar to the aroma but slightly more muted, not as bright. Very light bitterness, just enough to balance the high notes of the flavor. The mouthfeel is nice, very smooth, especially for 11%. Overall a friend shared a bottle of this a while back and I decided to pick up a bottle for myself, not quite as good as the top level Belgian quads but a very decent American attempt at the style.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass (I'm not complaining, that's more beer).

Arrives with a quarter finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissipates. Carbonation is visible and constant through a transparent, copper-colored body. 4.25

Floral, date and plum heavy, caramelly and sweet. Thick with a syrupy aroma. 4.25

Flavor is a continuation of the nose but with a surprising hop presence and a taste of jelly and bread. It's flavors are fruity, granola-like and caramelly with a touch of spice. There seem to be some barrel-qualities (oak and rye mostly) but they're light. 4

The floral presence is pronounced as is the malt and some sort of subtly spicy ingredient. If this beer is high ABV it's not drinking as such. 4

It's got a unique quad flavor that's pretty damn enjoyable although it takes some adjusting to.

Photo of mudbug
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the waxed bomber into a large wine glass results in a brilliant amber body capped by a thin head that dissipates pretty quickly, small bubbles continue up through the body for the entire glass.
Aroma is interesting and unique, I'm getting some clove, fresh bread, yeast (Belgian) astringency like fresh laid linoleum overall appealing.
Taste is, well, unexpected, unique, don't think I've ever had a beer quite like this, it's sweet, up front with a nice yeasty back, I guess it's the rye barrels that give it a kind of spicy twang, maybe it's the pomegranate, whatever, It's a unique brew that stands on it's own.
11% doesn't show itself at all, rather refreshing more than heavy.
Don't know what to call this beast except tasty, it will be interesting to update this one after a year or so in the cellar.

Photo of GilGarp
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber with black wax stamped with Best by date of 8/4/12.

Served cool into a chalice, the first thing that strikes me is the color. Very light in color, much closer to a tripel than a quad. A slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thin layer of short-lived head.

The label on The Stoic is more confusing that anything to me. The words prized, potent, depth, and complexity on the front. Some blurb about 4 fermentations, different types of barrels, stoicly brewed, and a medieval ancestor? Ridiculousness...

Aroma is a pleasant combination of oak aging vanilla character, Belgian yeast spice notes, and a hint of pomegranate.

Flavor is surprisingly sweet and light. Malts must have been kept on the lighter side with no roast or even caramel/toffee to speak of here. Obviously a lot of malt was used to get 11% but it doesn't have much depth in that department. It does, however, allow the different aging processes to show through better. The oak is prevalent with hints of the previous contents. Fruity, spicy, and perfumey.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and nicely carbonated. Balance is towards the sweet side and the alcohol is very well disquised.

Overall an interesting beer but it seems misleading to call it a quad. True Belgian quads share little, if anything, in common with this Oregonian version. Throw it in the 'American Strong Ale' category and leave it at that.

To end on a positive, I think it's very easy drinking for such a strong beer. Bring this to Thanksgiving and serve next to wine. I bet the family would find it an interesting counterpoint.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good beer, but not your father’s quad. Rather mid yellow with big lasting head, lace. Sweet, and some tartness from the pomegranate. Overall I get more berry than pomegranate.Complex, sweet dominates but it is not cloying. Smooth mouthfeel and good drinkability. Thanks Presario.

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, Naked City

appearance: served in an unbranded goblet - maybe a 10oz pour. lifeless clear copper syrup

smell: strong alcohol presence - white grape, spice, clove, yeast

taste: Certainly not true to style - overly sweet with copious amounts of banana, pear, and grape. Clove and allspice clash with fierce burning alcohol. Unsuccessful.

mouthfeel: sweet, syrupy

overall: Not great - glad I didnt drop $14 on a bomber to confirm this

Photo of Swillbur
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been on this beer for months waiting for it to come out! I had no reason to drink tonight other then to try a beer from one of my 3 favorite breweries. It pours a clear amber color??? I like my quads dark, never had one i could read through. The smells: Belgian yeast is huge, i get the Pomegrante, maybe some red wine. The smell is off the charts! When i bring this beer to my lips i get a revalation of great tastes: Both the oak wine and the rye whiskey both shine through nice, the fruits are there too. This isn't your papas quad but it is a damn good beer!

Photo of russpowell
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best 08/04/12

Pours amber with a finger of cream colored head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Cherries, oakyness, vanillas

T: Follows the nose, a touch of Chardonnay & sourness up front. A touch of vanilla & oak, cherry tartness & some raisin as this warms, a touch of warming booze as well there's a bit of pineapple & grapefruit showing up as well. Finishes with much tropical fruityness, some citrus bitterness, Chardonnay dryness

MF: Fairly chewy with slight carbonation & dryness

A super solid quad with a barrel aged twist. I would buy this again & age it just to see how that rolls

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy copper orange, thumb of head dissipated to a thin covering, lots of suspended floaties
S - fruity aromas of banana and tropicals, mild spice notes with some graininess
T - big tart tangy fruit flavours up front, a tropical fruitiness brings out the pomegranate infusion, mild touch of rye and woodiness from the barrel again, very unique
M - medium body with a slight creaminess, gives way to a tartness leaving a puckering feel, with the big ABV very well hidden
O - a very unique quad in terms of flavour mixing, the addition of fruits and different barrel aging is a nice touch, a must try

Photo of doverhills
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 22 oz bottle slightly chilled in the fridge from the cellar and poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. Enjoyed the first half with some Borderlands and am now focusing more intently on the characteristics of the second half while listening to Flogging Molly's Drunken Lullabies - makes me think of Vegas. Am also considering in this review my first pour of the beer at the Portland brew pub on the day of the bottle release.

A- Pours much lighter than I expected. Does not look like the quad I thought it'd be, but excusing anticipations, it shines a very pleasant caramel. Head is minimal and fades quickly.

S- I guess I smell bananas and clove. I want there to be pomegranate but I think that's because I read about its existence. It's here that I decide to abandon my expectation of a typical quad, while admitting the fact that I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the style; I have tried some of the best examples as far as BA ratings go. There's also some spice/pepper.

T- Forgetting my anticipation of a typical quad, this is very nice. It has some of the Deschutes characteristic I can always identify and enjoy. If this was labeled something else, I think I could enjoy it fully without faulty expectation. It's a very pleasant beer to drink, especially considering the current Summer heat. I do get the sweetness I can attribute to pomegranate in the taste. I'd have no problem drinking this in multiple conditions, but it's hard to imagine the exact circumstances that I'd prefer this over something else, as good as it is.

M- This is pretty light. Again citing my expectations, I was hoping for something fuller and deeper, along the lines of a Rochefort or a Westy. There wasn't much depth to this beer, although there was complexity. I wanted, and expected, more from a Deschutes Reserve series.

O- This is a good beer. I want to drink more and have purchased several bottles without disappointment. But, I don't get the same sense of pleasure I've had from other Reserve Series beers. I think the brewer could do better. If I don't consider the style as "quad" I find this to be a very enjoyable beer. Rating this as a quad, I find it lacking, but still worth seeking out and drinking.

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

Appearance: Beautiful amber color with a fairly small white head.

Smell: Bready Belgian yeast notes and fruity overtones.

Taste: The bready Belgian yeast notes and fruity overtones in the nose are present in the taste. The wine and whiskey notes from the barrel aging make a slight appearance in the finish. The very last remnant is slightly dry.

Mouth-feel: Body is on the Medium side with a modest level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer, but does not fit the profile of a traditional quadrupel. I knew what it was prior to my review, having had it on tap, but people who are expecting a traditional quad will be put off by this. My scores are a compromise, I like this beer and will pick it up again, but label it as a Belgian Strong Pale ale or something more fitting and my scores would be higher. Still I like this one.

Photo of hopsbreath
2/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drank at the Portland Deschutes Pub for lunch.

A: Center of the clear gold spectrum with a finger of snow white foam on top. This looks very pale and nothing like any Quad I've ever seen. Minimal legs and minimal lacing. 2/5

S: Light banana, booze, and some non-specific fruitiness. The depth is lacking and my interest is waning. 2/5

T: Obscure fruits including banana, mildly sweet, a touch of wood. The lack of alcohol presence in a beer of this size is rarely missed but I'm wishing it was here this time if only to give a little complexity. This is startlingly bland for a beer trying to fit in a style known for complexity. Where are the big fruits and flavorful sugars? This just seems like a simple/non-offensive grain bill with some Belgian yeast tossed in. The description has a bunch of good buzz words and sounds thoughtfully planned, but what I'm tasting seems uninspired. 2/5

M: This falls into the gray area at the upper side of thin and the lower side of moderate. Any thinner, and I'm calling this a Belgian Trippel (it might be more appropriate to fit it in there anyway). High carbonation makes this finish cleanly and dry. 2/5

O: Sometimes, I'm a little more lenient on rating a beer if I enjoy it regardless of the style placed on it by the beer drinking public. Deschutes pigeon-holed themselves though by calling this a Quad in the first place. Admittedly I'm not very experienced in the Quad style. I can think of at least one other beer lover who is more versed and would "know best". I have however tried some of the higher rated Quads available in America. They all typically share similar characteristics; deep layers of complexity, big fruits, heavy sugars, and an unabashed booziness. This literally shares none of those attributes. From top to bottom, I can't think of a better definition for "not impressed". It's not offensive, but it's definitely not up to my expectations for the style. Easily the most forgettable and weakest of the Deschutes Reserve Series so far. 2/5

Photo of morimech
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brass colored with one finger of head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is fruity with vinous qualities. I also pick up some banana. Strong yeast aromas. There is some pomegranate in there as well. Alcohol is well hidden.

Interesting flavor. Has a tart fruit flavor upfront and evolves to a dry, yeasty finish. Pomegranate can be tasted but does not play a large part in the flavor besides the tartness. More warmth than flavor from the alcohol. I am not tasting any barrel aging going on. Some nice whiskey qualities would of melded well with what is already going on, but I totally miss it here.

Medium body with carbonation that quickly diminished. Felt a little lifeless in the second half of the glass.

Not a completely successful beer. Has some really good things going on but failed to excite me overall. Maybe Deschutes should take some pointers from their buddies at Boulevard on how to barrel-age Belgian styles.

Photo of stormywaters
4.75/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Suprised how light and clear this looks for a quad. I am used to thick dark quads and this is definitely more belgian to me.

a little bit of spices, a lot of carbonation, and almost a cidery type taste. Very delicious beer, one to stock up on for sure.

The 11% is hidden very well and easy to drink, i could get carried away on this one really quick.

Overall this really is an excellent beer, easily in my top 10.

Photo of hobojon
2.76/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Bend pub.

Appearance: filtered and very clear. amber with cherry red highlights. minimal foam and no lacing.

Smell: alcohol, band-aids, and cherry cough syrup. some belgian yeast ester. banana and pear. sweet and syrupy with some cherry/sweet fruit aroma. the alcohol is masked well.

Taste: very disappointing. this is not a quad. this is a poor attempt at anything close to Rochefort 10, Westy 12, St B 12 or Koningshoeven. It is too sweet, not dark enough (in malt and dark fruit flavor), and the yeast character is poor. I get some subtle -bal character but it is in the background adding complexity to the fruity cherry notes (I'm guessing this is from the Pomegranate). It is full flavored, but tastes like a bad Belgian homebrew.

Mouthfeel: this was on draft... so I wasn't expecting high carb. med carb, sweet and full. lingering alcohol. not dry and drinkable like most quads. too sweet.

Overall: I am surprised that they say this took 5 years to create on the label. The color was the first indication that it would not be like the Trappist quads I have come to love. The Pomegranate is too much on top of the already sweet beer. The yeast doesn't give me the spicy or fruity character I want. I am very disappointed with this beer, but maybe my expectations are wrong.

Photo of Docer
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a clear new copper penny color. Big fat finger of fizzy white head.. has settled to a large lace making ring, and thin light fluffy pillow above the fluids. Seems rather bubbly like a sparkling wine.

Smell: (4.0)
- The smell is fantastic. Large copious amounts of clove, and Belgian-like banana yeast. Very bready, lightly sweet, and spicy. Light citrus notes, grassy hops, roasted honey, and crispy currants. Not bad. A little sweet smelling, and perhaps green.

Taste: (4.0)
- Seems like a quad to me. Fruity sweet candies, Belgian sugars perhaps, bright currants and pomegranate do shine with an acidic quality. They do however sit in front of what many may know as a golden Belgian quad. It is there, but it is subtle behind the tweaks, and complex creation. I rather like it, and think it could turn out even better after about 6 months. Just a touch too acidic currently, but really does have the good qualities of a fine quad. I get maybe just a touch of oak and rye bittering, but not enough. Guessing a larger % of barrel blended would have been better.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- It's a tad thin, as a quad should be. A little more towards the light bodied side, while a tad syrupy. It is finely carbonated, and I am sure would remain so, if not more so over a little time. Little sticky sweet, and wateringly acidic.

Overall: (3.5)
- It's a great brew. But it does in fact fall short for me, compared to their other 'Reserve' series beers. It is also off the beaten path for them as a brewer as well. I am more impressed with rare brews like their sour saison compared to this. It's not one to cellar for over a year, and it is also not a beer to rave about, and include into the hype machine. But overall I sense the solid quad backing, and like the steps taken to create such a complex, and unique brew. I would love to try it again in another 8 months or so.

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The Stoic from Deschutes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 606 ratings.