The reason casual beer drinkers may not know about the Deschutes Reserve Series is not simply due to ignorance or lack of desire to know necessarily, but that these Reserve Series bottles are as hard to spot as a Boa in the wild (which I have also been known to search for, though with perhaps a little more apprehension). A person practically needs to queue up at the door the night before to get a bottle.
One of the relatively easier to find Reserve Series beers is The Abyss, one of my all-time favorite imperial bourbon-barrel beauties. I discovered The Abyss for the first time in 2008, a year after it's first seasonal release, and drank the entire 11% bottle myself it was so delicious. If you can get your hands on one, I would recommend aging it for at least two years because it brings out incredible complexity that is, sadly, lost drinking it in the first year. In fact - just get an entire case, and then you can drink one now and save the rest. Get a case every year, and you can do a vertical tasting of different years later on. This is a truly amazing experience.
Another Deschutes Reserve Series bottle that is even harder to find is The Dissident, a Flanders-style Oud Bruin (sour brown ale) which is a blend of beers aged in pinot noir and cabernet barrels for eighteen months. This is a beer that, in my opinion, rates right up there in complexity with Westvleteren 12 (acclaimed as the Best Beer in the World by many) or Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien, which you may have tried for a whopping $12 a glass at The Puckerfest recently (totally worth it, by the way). Some of you might be thinking I'm sacrilegious right now, but just try aging this one for a year or more, and then tell me I'm lying! And on top of that - instead of paying $12 a glass (or taking a trip to Belgium to beg from the monks), you only need to spend about $15 for a bottle.
The Dissident - Deschutes first incredibly-successful attempt at a sour beer - is now being followed by a second: The Green Monster, just released. I wish I could tell you how it is, but being unemployed now...well...OH THE TEMPTATION!!! You'll just have to tell me how it is. But hurry, because it's probably already gone!
Donate to my beer fund (email@example.com), or simply read about Green Monster below. Cheers!
"GREEN MONSTER The upcoming release of this unique beast was mentioned in the last issue of The Bitter Truth and we're back to tell you that Green Monster has officially been unleashed. This sour beer spent 39 long months in Oregon Pinot barrels while it metamorphosed into something delightful and delicious. Given the alchemy of this mistake turned into gold, less than 1000 cases of 22 oz bottles were produced. You can hunt down a few bottles at our pubs and tasting room NOW or take your chances finding it at a specialty bottle shop near you."
RESERVE SERIES 7.3% Alc. By Vol.