My notes from the tasting are littered with things like, "Holy crap, this is sour!" Indeed, The Dissident packs a tart whallop so potent that you can smell it. I really want to compare the nose to sour apples or sour cherries, and on the palate I could not really get past the potent acidity to find any other flavors. As the beer warmed up a little, I started to pick out a few malty notes here and there, but I was pretty much overwhelmed. I love the bottle, but I'm not sure I would get very excited about trying The Dissident again unless it was paired with some sort of really hearty, strong food that could stand up to its peculiar character.
However, some good came from the tasting. After The Dissident, we opened up a bottle of Rodenbach to get a good comparison. Rodenbach is downright drinkable in comparison. Its level of sourness is high, but seems rather mild next to the Deschutes brew. I found a whole new level of appreciation for Flanders brown ale this way, and though it still is not climbing to the top of my list, I shan't be afraid to sample it again in the future.