Well, color us fans of the newest in Deschutes's Reserve series. We sampled the Stoic on tap, and while it definitely is Deschutes's own special take on a "quad", it's that own special take that makes this a fun beer.
It pours a nice deep amber color with a slightly golden hue and a thick head. Lacing and retention are both decent.
A quick sniff is almost a bit disappointing; the spiciness is definitely there, but there's not much more to it. Is this just another take on a Belgian?
No, thankfully not. Now, make no mistake, the spicy flavors you expect do hit the mouth, but there is a lot more depth here. Cherries flourish almost as broadly as the Dissident, though with a smoother mouthfeel, and there are wine-like qualities all around. Makes sense, seeing the ale was aged in wine casks.
This is an 11% beer, and you wouldn't know it. The deep, mildly sweet flavors hide the alcohol perfectly, to the point where you don't even think of it. That's pretty impressive and just a bit dangerous.
It's fashionable to be unimpressed by Deschutes these days, which... OK, whatever, most everybody wants to be a snob, and most everybody fails spectacularly at it. This is a great ale, and it'll hopefully hit Spokane taps (and bottles, obviously) soon. The Stoic might not quite be the Abyss, but I'll be damned if it isn't a great ale.