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!
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?