Welcome to the first edition of The Session (or Beer Blogging Friday, or whatever the ultimate name will be—probably "The Session"): a group blogging effort on the first Friday of each month where individual beer bloggers will post on the that month’s tasting theme, and one person compiles all the links in a "centralized" posting. Whosoever does this compiling will rotate each month, and they will select the theme.
This first month’s theme is "Not your father’s Irish stout," suggested by Stan. So I figured it’s the perfect opportunity to write about something I haven’t covered yet and keep it local: Deschutes Brewery‘s Obsidian Stout.
Obsidian has been a mainstay at Deschutes since they started in 1988, and you can usually find it on the nitro tap at the downtown brewpub in Bend, Oregon. At 6.4% alcohol by volume, it’s stronger than your session beers but doesn’t tip the scales into "Imperial" territory. Which is good, since it seems like every other brew out there these days does!
This is an exceptional stout, all around. You don’t have to take my word for it; check out the awards the brewery has garnered for it on their page, for one thing. For another, Obsidian Stout currently sits at number 88 on BeerAdvocate’s Top 100 Beers page—no mean feat.
Let’s hit my tasting notes:
Appearance: Inky coffee black, with a nice thick brown head, frothy and rocky.
Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate. Creamy and smoky.
Taste: Smooth and dark—slightly burnt astringency. Roasted grains, dark roast/espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy sweetness, burnt biscuit (good), clean hops.
Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, nice full body without being overwhelming in strength. An oily chocolate afterfeel, but very clean-feeling.
Overall: An amazing, smooth, drinkable stout, an excellent example of the style. Truly one of the best stouts I’ve had. Good thing it’s from my hometown!
On BeerAdvocate, I already discussed this beer’s placement on their top 100; it scores 91 out of 100 with 100% approval in the reviews. On RateBeer, it scores 3.8 out of 5 and is in their 96th percentile.
This is one beer that’s worth finding—if you’re not in the Western states already. If you are and you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?