Deschutes Brewery‘s Green Monster is a new sour release from the brewery who’s most famous sour, The Dissident, has long been a highly sought after item amongst fans of wild beers. In the past, Deschutes has only produced the one sour beer. Despite its popularity and success, they haven’t really focused on this segment of the market. This, however, is changing as Deschutes adds in more production space at a separate facility so they can manage their sour program away from their main brewing center in Bend, OR.
The story on Green Monster is that they had a batch of, what I’m guessing was Green Lakes Organic Amber Ale, that didn’t turn out right. Instead of dumping it, they decided to put it into Oregon Pinot Noir barrels for 39 months and infect it with Brettanomyces (to learn more about Brett and other wild bugs, you can read my post about the subject here). At this point, they started referring to the messed up batch by the nickname of the “Green Monster.” The name stuck and that’s what they decided to call it officially.
I realize I’m opening this beer early, Deschutes as a “Best AFTER” date of 9/2014 on the bottle. I was too excited to wait that long, plus I’m going to put another bottle down to see how it develops.
Appearance: Brown, hazy, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Toffee, vinegar, malt vinegar, sour cherry, raisins, rum, oak.
Taste: Tart and sour, toffee, sherry and balsamic vinegar, spicy, oaky and tannic.
Overall Impression: Wow, another great sour from Deschutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the heavier malt characteristics which reminded me of some of the better Flemish Browns, but with the more intense woodiness of a Flemish Red. I’m excited to see more beers in this vein from the venerable brewery in Bend. Their main line of products is great and reliable, but their special releases continue to shine. This beer is worth the hunt, but try to be patient and let it sit. It could definitely use a bit more time in the bottle to continue its integration.
Availability: Highly limited, grab it if you see it.