Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

Coming in at Number 6 on the Clean out the Fridge Countdown Part Deux is another brew from the Deschutes crew: Deschutes Obsidian Stout (for Deschutes' history, see my Black Butte Porter review). This beer, like so many from Bend's first brewery, is named after a nearby landmark, specifically the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, located 13 miles south of Bend, which contains one of the world's largest obsidian flows (over 700 acres), called the Big Obsidian Flow. According to Deschutes' head brewer Brett Porter, Obsidian Stout has a solid following amongst beer drinkers, and is brewed using whole-flower hops, which means that the hops are not in pellet-form and allegedly give off a better aroma and flavor. They must be doing something right, because it has won a myriad of awards over the past decade. If you can, try it at their brewpub; it is served in nitrogenized form, where nitrogen and CO2 are infused into the beer to give it a smoother, creamier taste. (Cascades Volcano Observatory website, Deschutes Obsidian Stout website, phone call with Brett Porter)

Here come the stats:

Deschutes Obsidian Stout
BREWERY: Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR, USA
STYLE: Stout
CALORIES/SERVING: 220 per 12 oz. bottle
ABV: 6.4%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 16° Plato (1065.84)
MALTS: wheat, black barley, roasted barley, carapils, munich, higher-colored British caramel
HOPS: Nugget Willamette northern brewer
SERVING TEMPERATURE: Either room temperature or cold (in the fridge for 1 hour prior to drinking)
FOODS TO PAIR WITH: Chocolate, red meat, shellfish, oysters
AWARDS: A ton...

I got the calories, IBUs, ABV, and awards from the Deschutes Obsidian Stout website. The rest came from a phone conversation with head brewer Brett Porter on February 18, 2008. (Another cool guy who called me in the early evening on a holiday to answer my questions. I really appreciated the time he took for some Reno beer blogger.)

Like many stouts I've had, this one poured thick and black, with no light visible on the other side. Despite my best efforts to keep the foamy tan-colored head within the confines of the glass, it almost overflowed. A strong smell of roasted coffee and dark chocolate emitted from the beer, including, I think, a slight hint of smoked wood. The taste was a hoppy roasted coffee with a little carbonation, but it transformed into a strong hoppy finish. The beer was very velvety, and I really wish that I had some chocolate on-hand.

This beer has a lot more flavor than your average Guinness stout. Pick one up at a nearby retailer, or stop by their brewpub the next time you're in Bend (soon to expand to Portland).


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your words fit true to this great stout---Obsidian Stout. I am in the direct process of indulging at evening--this well crafted beer.Just drinking this wonderful product---makes me feel sorry for all Bud drinkers within the USA---believing they have 'made the touchdown'!!!!