2015 The Stoic by Deschutes Brewing is a 10.9% ABV Belgian Quadrupel/Strong Dark Ale brewed with Pomegranates with 16.5% aged in oak wine barrels and 16.5% aged in Oak Rye Whiskey Barrels.
Four Nuanced Fermentations. Aged, Sequestered, in select wine casks. Ergo a stoically brewed quad, with the spell binding complexity of its medieval ancestors.
Brewed every 4 years, there is a debate going on whether this is a Quadrupel or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Despite the debate, many brewers know that the key to great Belgians is in the Belgian Candy sugars. What I believe makes a good Belgian Strong as a home brewer is basically experimentation. The fact is, experimentation is the biggest form to brew a strong complex beer. The fact that you are using a Belgian strain of yeast in your experiment is what set it aside from a quad. Put it this way. If you intended to brew a basic quad, a great deal of different grains and and lots of Belgian candi sugars would go in your brew. If you add extras, it may deviate into a Belgian Strong. Even, then, this is is still a Quadrupel. You know why? The base beer is the start enforcing “Belgian Candi sugar sweetness” throughout its entirety. If that is the case, then a Belgian Strong goes beyond this type of sweetness possibly incorporating something else. The confusing part is when a basic quad starts to taste similar to a Belgian Strong. For that instance, you may also have to look at its stronger roots whether it deviates away from the Belgian Candi or not. It is a complicated matter but even beer should not be complicated, so cheers.
Rich dark fruits, pomegranates, bananas, clove spice, dragon fruit, passion fruit. Mango hints, leather, molasses, flan, phenolic notes, stone fruit peaches, apricots, pear, brown sugar, Belgian Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, citrus, maple syrup, walnuts, almond milk, rye bread, leather notes, waffle cone and honey.
Rich Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, lychee fruit mango hints, Rich dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, blueberries, c figs, flan, port wine notes, Rich dragon fruit, passion fruit, pomegranates, pomegranates, marshmallows, coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bananas, clove spice, oak, whiskey hints, flan, molasses, brown sugar, rich Belgian Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, citrus, maple syrup, walnuts, almond milk, rye bread, leather notes, waffle cone, honey, lavender, floral notes, peppercorn and sweetened condensed milk.
Lots of rich dark fruits, oak, wine, bourbon, some stone fruit and exotic fruits, Belgian Tripel and Dubbel notes, floral notes, and pomegranate tartness. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Crimson Clear body, smooth, creamy and crisp mouth feel, easy to moderate drinkability despite the ABV. What’s going on here?? Danger for sure.
All and all, to me this is a quad because it started out as quad. The fact that it added the whole barrel aging aspect is the extra part which goes into the Belgian Strong Dark Ale area. The fact is, if the beer was already “super complex to begin with leaning away from Belgian Candi sugars” then this is your Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Trois Pistoles, for example, is not a quad since it already had those port wine notes even before anything else would be added which was not.
Tenshi Hinanawi from the Touhou project series was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair something similar like I did with Flandre Scarlet in the aspect of overlooking the planet as total bad assery. While the Stoic (unlike NOT the Stoic) reserves its place as not tainted by evil but still holy and powerful showcasing every aspect of delicious complexity with every sip. The colors pair those flavors in terms of the colors of the ingredients.