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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,045 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,045
Hads: 3,417
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 494
Gots: 590 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,045 | Hads: 3,417
Reviews by Bfarr:
Photo of Bfarr
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with the slightest hint of red with a big umber frothy foam with great retention and lacing.
Chocolate and roasted earthy malt aromas. Taste follows with Dark chocolate and Italian roast coffee with a nice fresh earth bittering with a light linger with a touch of alcohol. Slightly foamy mouthfeel with a gritty viscosity, in a good way.

Probably my favorite stout thus far for drinking on a regular basis. Readily available and easy drinking for when I feel like a good stout.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


I am not usually a fan of stouts. This is a extremely wonderful surprise and a absolutely WONDERFUL beer. I'm a hefe, witbeer, type of guy (but my tastes are changing, I recently tried a APA that I actually liked!)

With that being said, if you're wanting to try a stout, and are afraid to do so, this is the beer to try. It makes Guinness take like absolute trash. And I'm serious. It's like comparing Bud Light to a Belgian Trapist. A damn near perfect blend of hops and malts in this stout that is black as night. I held it up to a 100 watt bulb. ZERO light penetration. This beer is a black hole of good flavors, it sucks up all things wonderful you'd expect in a stout, and obliterates that bad.

The only thing (and this is truly minor) is its mouthfeel. I tend to like a stout a bit less "liquid"... when I think stout, I almost think I should be chewing the beer, not sipping it. My favorite beer for mouth feel is Köstritzer Schwarzbier.

If you're looking to venture out and try a stout, and you're a bit afraid to do so. Don't be afraid to try this stout. If you don't like this stout. You wont like ANY stouts.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black as night, this one is. Even the monstrous, lacing, pitting head is super-dark.

Smell – Oh, man, does this have a wonderful aroma. If you’re a stout drinker, you will love the smells coming out of this beer. The burnt, toasty malt is infused with a powerful maple/molasses mixture that’ll knock your socks off. The pure cane and raw sugars turn this into a gorgeous, deep, strong stout.

Taste – Things really smooth out in the taste. The sweetness comes out more at this point. There seems to be a fruity compliment here, maybe cherries dipped in chocolate, and something a little lighter (apricots, maybe). The burnt bread carries the day, though.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very creamy. This one is smooth, smooth, smooth, which seems to be a signature of the brewery. It is bigger than medium-bodied but not full.

Drinkability – I’ve sampled a few terrific beers from this brewery, but this one takes the cake.

Update – This was one of my earlier reviews on the site. Now having been a member for over a year and having tasted over 1,000 beers (over 100 stouts alone) I thought I would revisit this fella in 2004. I’ll be damned, this is one good stout. I stand by my initial rating. This is one of the best stout buys on the planet.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pint, on nitro, at Holy Grale, Louisville, KY

A: Deep nearly black pour; opaque; cascade effect; finger thick sandy head; creamy with good retention.

S: Roasty/nutty, mild coffee; soft chocolate notes; in fact, the nose itself is very soft, muted really, likely a result of the forced nitrogen.

T: Light roast, mild breakfast blend coffee; nutty; light powdered cocoa sweetness peaks through the middle; smooth with a touch of roasted bitterness, but not overly complex. I wonder just how much of an impact the nitrogen has on the flavor profile - like the nose, this just seems a bit muted, like the edges have been softened, almost too much.

M: Oily, slightly creamy; it is smooth, but not overly thick on the mouthfeel.

O: A solid nitro stout, if not a bit unremarkable - again, my only qualm is that the roasted/coffee/chocolate flavors don't really pop like some other stouts of the same ilk. I would be interested to see how the flavor profile changes (if at all) when served from a bottle instead of on a nitro tap - I'm guessing the nitro probably dulls the overall aroma/flavor profile. Notwithstanding that point, this is still smooth drinking and easy on the palate.

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Photo of ChugMan
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Lovely soft khaki-tan head, black body turning burgundy at its edges. Great lattice lacing throughout.
S - Clean, roasty, dark chocolate flakes, some breadyness too. Simple and inviting
T/M - The hops and roastyness combine to give the sensation of biting into a dark, moist sodabread, quite a mouthful! A surprising amount of snappy-spicyness with the lingering bitterness as well, again contributing to the bread motif but this time of a nice crackling crust. Just enough roasted sweetness to tie it all together without becoming dessert-y. Very pleasant.
O - This beer is a great example of craftsmanship that can be appreciated by newcomers and vets alike. It drinks like a meal! Likely a fantastic pairing to a hearty campfire-cooked breakfast or dinner, be it Dinty Moore or bangers n mash, and a casserole / shepherds pie might be ideal.

 849 characters

Photo of pianoguy
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle (best by 02/16/2016)

Pours a solid black body with a generous dark tan frothy head. some retention, good lacing.

Smell starts as a burnt roasted malt with a little sweet chocolate caramel, leading to a big black coffee note

Taste has less sweetness but other then that it follows the nose. Coffee, with a nice slightly bitter finish

Medium-full with a slightly creamy feel

A very tasty stout ! I like the way the taste is not overly sweet. It's like a cross between an English and an American stout. A lot of work must have gone into making this one... And at around $7 a six pack it's a great value too ! Bravo

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its Deschutes day at my house today.Poured a jet black with a brilliant light mocha colored crown that nver really settled,great defintion and a nice crown.Aromas of heavy roast and molasses mainly,a bit of earthiness emerges as well.Again heavy roast on the palate with a little rawness,some unsweetened bitter chocolate as well,quite dry.Easy to drink,the earthy finish is the main reason for me,no doubt a heavy roasted, and highly hopped left coast American stout.

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Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Feels like a nitro…how does this beer do that, I ponder as I rip into the treasure trove I just brought back, remarkably untouched by TSA, from PDX to MSN. There is a thickness and smoothness common to brewpub nitro stouts but exceedingly rare in a bottled brew. I am surprised and impressed by that. As for the rest of the beer…I am less excited.

Indeed this is a great beer but there are so many similar, in fact, virtually identical stouts out there that I can name but not give such props to. Obsidian doesn’t taste particularly better then the Great Dane’s Emerald Isle or frankly, even the Rock Bottom’s standard Irish Dry (although clearly it has a body to put either, and so many others to shame). Beyond the mouthfeel, however, I am baffled that this considered to be one of the top American beers. It seems so ordinary to me – well done, but plain none the less. Perhaps that is the point.

As for appearances, this is one fine example of a stout. It is most certainly obsidian and has an initially large light brown head that dissipates to a skim but remains for the length of the drink in its full glass clinging goodness. Carbonation is not present.

Aroma is loaded with coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Astringent.

Flavor is very full and robust with a nice rounded hop bitterness and some chocolate. Lots of black malt goodness.

Hmm…Damn it…I’m a convert. Forget what I said about this brew’s mediocrity. As it warms it just gets better and better. Forget about it. This is great stuff…and oh so drinkable. Very well done and deserving of praise. Now, I’m off to see a head shrink about my manic beer reviewing tendencies…

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Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev -5%

Had this Nitro in Maui. Very well balanced Porter, not too smokey, great head and look.
Could drink a lot of these with no problem. Very similar to their Black Butte, which seemed a tad less bitter, but both are very good.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes has not disappointed me so far. On to Obsidian.

Out of the bottle, this brew pours extremely dark for a single stout, dark, dark brown that comes so close to black. A one-finger, mocha-brown head sits atop and takes a minute to trail off. Lacing left on the glass is mildly sticky and splashy.

A deep inhale of Obsidian reveals a thick, rich milk chocolate aroma, complemented by a very mellow roastiness and a nice, round coffee aroma. A little brown sugar and molasses reside in there, too.

Well, that is probably the most well done and tastiest single stout that I've imbibed. Just the right amount of roasted malt and bitter hop flavor lands on the sides of my mouth, while a rich chocolate and molasses package lands squarely on my tongue. The finish has quite a bit of a coffee-esque bite on the whole of my palate and pairs well with the rich sweetness.

A rich, full feel lands on my palate with each sip, accompanied by a very nice bite from the roasted malt and hops. Great body, great bite.

This is a really great stout. While only 6.4% a.b.v., it has a more in common with an imperial stout than a single in terms of appearance, flavor, and feel. Very full, creamy flavor and feel. Delicious.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a long lasting head of compact, creamy bubbles. Leave a fair amount of fine lacing on the glass.

S: A good amount of chocolate, coffee and roast in the nose with some low burnt notes. There is a low citrus hops aroma.

T: Dark malt flavors dominate the flavor as well, again bring chocolate, some bitter coffees, roast and a bit of burnt bitterness to the party. There is a low caramel sweetness in the middle. There is a low caramel sweetness that gets dried out pretty quickly. There is a moderate hops bitterness teaming up with the roast bitterness making for a beer that is moderately bitter on balance. The finish is off dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste that shows some citrus hops flavors.

M: A medium full bodied beer with a moderate amount of creaminess and a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: Outstanding aroma and flavor having all of the dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee and a a touch of burnt bitterness along with some hops bitterness. It's fairly dry with and smooth. It's pretty evident why the beer has earned so many awards.

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Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of imperialstout27
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pub glass.

A: Very, very dark - obsidian is a good name for this one. Rich tannish-beige head that came to about 2 fingers with an aggressive pour. After the head receded it maintained a nice thin layer of foam the whole time. Pretty good lacing too. Overall a great looking brew.

S: Quite aromatic, with big time bittersweet chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder. Rich and creamy smelling.

T: Very prominent roasted malts. Char/burnt toast. Dark roasted coffee plus hints of burnt caramel and bitter chocolate. A little bit of alcohol peeks through on the midpalate. The finish is quite bitter and long-lasting, and reminiscent of the aftertaste of very dark chocolate. The malt sweetness comes off as mild - subdued effectively by the hops and bitter roasted flavors.

M: Nice level of rather fine carbonation. Silky and slick. Medium bodied and perhaps a little oily. Pretty damn good beer in this department too.

D: Very drinkable stout. None of its elements are over the top, everything is well-integrated, and the flavors are bold without being fatiguing.

Overall another really killer beer from Deschutes. Every beer I've had from them has been at least above average, if not exceptional. This is a great American Stout - not dry but not sweet either. Roasty as hell, pretty bitter, dark as night, quaffable. Very, very good job.

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Photo of GBfan75
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Chuggnutt
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of drewkennedy
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bdkucharski
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of MikeC144
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.