2015 The Stoic by Deschutes Brewing

11142429_10102665592293640_5359375517951436326_oRating: 5.75/5

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.

Label:
Four Nuanced Fermentations. Aged, Sequestered, in select wine casks. Ergo a stoically brewed quad, with the spell binding complexity of its medieval ancestors.

==Introduction==
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.

Aromas:
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.

Flavors:
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.

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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.

Anime Corner:
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.

Sources:
http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/images/9/9236/9236690e/398113/above-gensokyo.jpg

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NOT the Stoic by Deschutes brewing

10169241_10101820426093480_4885748839780131857_nRating: 5.95/5

NOT the Stoic by Deschutes brewing is a 12% Belgian Quad brewed with pomegranate molasses and aged 11 months in 15% Pinot Noir oak wine barrels and 15% Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
A prized, Potent, Belgian-Styled Quad of Stirring depth & complexity.
A Virtuous return. Aged and sequestered in select oak casks. The result – A contemplatively brewed quad, created in homage to all those who doubted the original. This unrepentant rendition is definitely, NOT THE STOIC.

Malt: Pilsner, Special B, Crystal Rye
Hops: Czech Saaz
Other: Pomegranate Molasses
Barrel-Aging: 11 months in 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Rye Whiskey Barrels
___

Been waiting for this sucker for a very long time. I have never tried the original as I have never been lucky enough to find it before they stopped making it. With this release, I was not gonna miss this one up. Quadruples and Dark Belgian beers are some of my favorites and it really takes a lot to make a really bad quad, well, bad. This is highly coveted for its rarity and increasing popularity, although very limited. Get this one if you can.

Aromas:
Lots of dark fruits like dark cherries, figs, plums, cranberries, pomegranates, oak, port wine, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, marshmallows, smores, flan, pecan pie, hazelnut, walnuts, bananas, clove spice, burnt sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, chocolate notes, rye, lots of wine grapes, coconut hints, peaches and cream, apricots and apples.

Flavors:
Rich Dark cherries, dark fruits, raisins, plums, figs, currants, pomegranate, cranberry, wine grapes, oak, leather, port wine, rye bread, rye whiskey, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, burnt sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, flan, brown sugar, chocolate notes, hazelnut, pecan pie, walnut cream, bananas, clove spice, oak, peaches, apricots, apples, marshmallows, smores, molasses and cinnamon.

Aftertaste:
Lingering maple, wine grapes, pecan pie, caramel, vanilla, oak, dark fruits and molasses linger. A silky mouthfeel with no alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer still even it is pretty damn smooth. 

Overall:
One of the 5th strongest ABV quads I have ever had, Strongest being the Forgotten Island Quad (15%) and maybe Sede Vacante to some extent. A quad definitely exceeding a lot of my expectations! The blend of the whiskey barrel and wine oak barrels reminding me of what would happen scenario if we took St. Bernardus and Trois Pistoles and we aged them in Wine and Whiskey Barrels. That beer would be even crazier but for now, the possibility of such a thing is highly exemplified in NOT the Stoic. This is not your typical quadruple that is damn sure. I highly recommended!!

Anime Corner:
Flandre Scarlet from the Touhou series was used in this pairing to exemplify the craziness of the character as it relates to the beer. For fans of the character, yes, I do mean with the whole U.N. Owen was Her Name which is her theme in that crazy game. This beer is no longer the stoic. It has been tainted, corrupted and demented in darkness and complexity that it will never be the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s increase in complexity with its increase in ABV make it very dangerous as this drinks rather easily. That is the dangerous part. Just like Flandre Scarlet. Enjoy at your own damn risk, cuz trust me, you won’t want to finish her in one sitting!