LyndaNova (532) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 7, 2007
Cold 12oz bottle: Pours a dark cola color with dark tan bubbles, mostly around the edges, with some lacing. Aroma is of roasted malts and dark fruit with notes of coffee and chocolate. Taste is of roasted malts and coffee with subtle grassy hops. Watery texture and ample carbonation. Ending is of roasted malts, notes of dark fruit and chocolate, and some alcohol burn. GarrettB (1601) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 7, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 14, 2007 Here’s a stout that can wake you up in the morning just as well as it can wake up your taste buds in the evening. The namesake is abundantly appropriate. The text on the side of the label cites an Obsidian flow near the brewery as the inspiration for the beer, and I have to heartily agree with the idea. Holding this up to the light was a lesson in futility. Only the reflection of the light off the glass produced any color. Beyond the aquarium pane is a beer in total darkness. It’s subterranean in its closure to light, like a gaping fissure that consumes whatever falls into it without so much as a “plink”. The only safeguard keeping me from falling in was a papyrus colored safety raft of a head, replete with honeycombing and thick lacing. Had that not been there I’m sure to have been mesmerized by the warping blackness and fallen in to a certain doom of indefinite temporal stasis. Whole plantations worth of coffee gush out of the glass, choking my nose with an aroma I’d likely only find at a coffee refinement plant. It’s huge, bold and sassy. A dollop of dark honey whips and tames the beast a bit, giving the children something to enjoy, and a cursory handful of peat matures it a bit for more discerning beer connoisseurs. I also noticed some molasses at play, as well as a sweet but savory Hoisin sauce element, and maybe something like plum or plum wine. My culinary expertise is limited when it comes to China, leaving me woefully unprepared to identify plum in all its gustatory greatness. Despite these dripping, drooping flavors the body is very light and sporadic. It leaps to the tongue with exuberance, spreading the good word of coffee and chocolate. Then it fizzles like a firecracker as the sparks get dimmer and the whistles get softer, until it finally halts with a small wisp of smoke. The final pop is a return to the peat in the aroma. For the flavor profile it is an extremely strange dance, at first wildly assertive and then suddenly exhausted. It ends not with a bang, but a whimper, so to speak. Part of me wants to drink it really fast to keep up a circuit of intense flavor, while another part of me wants to sip it slowly and savor the quiet and smooth aftertaste. That evidences the stylistic aptitude of this Obsidian Stout, which for the price is an excellent bargain, especially considering the company it would probably keep on the same shelf at the store. I’m glad to know that there’s a dark beer unafraid to throw off its draconian palate to bust some moves and really engage the drinker. DavidP (1748) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 5, 2007
Bottle. Black body under a dense tan head leaving even coats of foam on the glass. Great aroma - a complex mix of acidic roast malt, plum, and smoked fish. Whereas the aroma gave you a balanced dose of roast and base sweetness the flavor focuses on roast malts. However it’s not like munching on a handful of special roast - it has a certain mellowed out charcoal thing lacking a big acidic punch. That fades away after the start exposing the underlying plum/raisin base which carries into the finish but not without lingering charcoal dust. Medium mouthfeel. I’m really enjoying this stout because it’s not another f’ing dry stout - it strives for balance between sweetness and roast and does well at it. duffman462 (175) - Gainesville, Florida, USA - JAN 3, 2007
Roasty and black as night. Some nice hopping adds to the complexity, and makes for a nice ending to a long day at work. hayduke (5217) - Eureka, California, USA - DEC 23, 2006
Poured black with a tan head that was so dark it was almost brown. Head lasted a long time and left goo lacing. Nose of chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is rich and creamuy, and flavors contain burn malts and some hopts. Nice bitter finish. Great stout.
shigadeyo (3739) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 20, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2007 Sampled on 11/29/2006 at the November meeting of the Junedale Beer Klub. Brought by nordstrum...
Murky dark brown color with a light brown head. Not much in the aroma and the flavor was fruity and yeasty. Is had a slightly dry finish. Rating: 6 3 5 3 12 = 2.9.
This was one of the stouts that I was really looking forward to trying, but was pretty disappointed. However, I have a fresh bottle in the cellar that kenb sent to me, so I am really looking forward to trying this beer again and hopefully having a better tasting experience with it... --
UPDATE (12/22/2006): I decided to get around to trying the bottle that bitbucket sent to me sooner rather than later... Color in the glass is black (actual color of the beer when held up to the light is a clear, very dark mahogany color). Th initial pour produces a very large, dense, whipped cream-like head that is tan in color. It slowly collapses, but leaves a small residual head that has good lacing. The aroma is roasted malt and semi-sweet chocolate morsels. The flavor is robust and is roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and a little bit of some char/burnt taste. The long roasty finish also has a burnt quality to it with a moderate amoung of bitterness to balance out this beer. A nice, bitter, dark/semi-sweet chocolate flavor lingers. This beer is medium to full bodied and has a nice silky smooth feel to it. This bottle of Deschutes Obsidian Stout was much better then my first tasting experience and I am quite pleased. This beer has lived up, if not exceeded, my original expectations. New rating: 8 4 8 4 17 = 4.1. Thanks again go to Ken for sending a bottle of this tasty black brew to me! bhensonb (15237) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 18, 2006
Aroma of tasted malt, a little coffee, and maybe a hint of chocolate. Guiness color and a vigorous dark tan head. Beautiful. Starts with coffee. Quickly followed by very smooth toasted malt. Then a bit of bitter follows. I’d call this well balanced. The finish is a nice toasted malt with bitter along the sides of the tongue. Excellent. Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - NOV 30, 2006
Brownish/black body with no head. Sharp aroma, alcohol and dark fruit. Malts, hops and chocolate dominate the flavor. Smooth ending. Zimmo (57) - Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA - NOV 29, 2006
12 oz bottle. Pours black with a slow forming head that starts off brown, finishes creamy tan almost guiness like. Sweet aroma, like freshly cut hay. Strong raosted coffee and malt flavors. Silky feel. Really good stout. maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - NOV 29, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 16, 2009 Bottle on 11/30/2008 at the 3rd Annual Richmond Industry Gathering. Dark brown body with ruby highlights. Big roasted malt and dry grain aroma with big toasty notes. Big roast and yeast flavor and some toasty notes. Medium full body wtih moderately low carbonation. 7/4/8/4/14 - 3.8
11/29/2006: Sampled at the Richmond Beer Industry Gathering 2006. Dark black body with a small light brown head. Sweet coffee aroma. Sweet coffee flavor with some mild bitter in the end. 8/5/8/3/15 - 3.9