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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,252 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,252
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 473
Gots: 515 | FT: 8
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 (156) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,252 | Reviews: 1,039
Reviews by N3rdM3t4l:
Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into standard pint glass. served at fridge temp.

A: Black as black can be with a 2 finger dark tan head that is cloud fluffy and leaves phenomenal lacing. BEAUTIFUL.

S: Dark coffee and sweet roasted barley. Fresh smelling instead of the strong almost dank smell of most stouts. Hops come through perfectly. Best smelling beer I have encountered.

T: WOW! Opens with bittersweet chocolate then fades into that dark coffee. Sweetness from the malt washes over the palate before the back of the tongue is hit with a hefty hop bitterness. Leaves a wonderful roasty aftertaste. This is delicious.

M: At fridge temp it is medium body that is just light enough to invite you back for another drink but hefty enough to say "I'm a stout!" Smooth.

O: Great stout. Not heavy handed in any direction, superb balance. Another huge score for Deschutes. This is now tied with Ninkai's Oatis Oatmeal Stout as my new go to stout. This beer rocks.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow.

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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
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…

Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of imperialstout27
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Chuggnutt
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly different labelling that pictured. Picked this up in Colorado.

Not quite opaque black, some dark garnet highlights barely show through...and I mean barely. Voluminous head formed on the pour, three fingers worth. Reduced down to a lumpy light chocolate colored mound leaving sticky lacing spread around the glass.

Aroma is dark coffee and semisweet chocolate. Some apparent bitterness from this combination is evident. There is almost a bit of smokiness which is showing through. Very prominate smell...no holding back with this one.

Coffee and chocolate dominate again, dark roasted malts bordering on charred work through as well. Overall this leads to a bit of a bitterness. I like this combination in a stout. Some herbal type hops peak through. Very nicely done...not subdued at all, but not overwhelming. Tons of flavor for a relatively mild beer in the alcohol department.

Mouthfeel is fairly full. Not the thickest I've had. Coats the mouth well and the flavor really lingers. Low carbonation as would be expected. Makes it feel a bit creamier.

Superb drinkability. Low alcohol and lots of flavor. Mouthfeel isn't over the top so this one goes down a bit too easily. Definately one of the best standard stouts I've had to date. A must try to see how a stout should be made.

Photo of JasonA
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oil slick black. Ample finger plus of thick mocha head. Ridiculous lacing. This head isnt going anywhere.

Sweet roasted malt. Raisin, rum, maybe chocolate, maybe espresso. Some ABV.

Dry black patent malt. Deep roasted malt. Dryness, buscuit.

Little dry, almost too much dry, something missing, though not horrible. Just a little unbalanced. Maybe a tab more malt to go with dryness.

I would love more of these. There is something in the dry finish though I could use a bit more malt with, but certainly not much of a detractor. This is more than likely the best American Stout out there. So close to being perfect.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a pint glass the beer was a dark black color with a small tan head. There was a bit of lace.

Roasted malt aroma, coffee and chocolate.

The taste improved on the aroma. Espresso/chicory/burned coffee. A little bit of chocolate.

Nice mouthfeel. I liked that charred, burned sensation. Chocolate took a back seat in this beer.

Very enjoyable!

Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 10/16/11; consumed 8/26/11

W -Pours black with three finger brown head that settles to half a finger. Leaves small amount of lacing.

S - Loads of chocolate and roasted malts, along with some nice coffee and a noticeable hop presence.

T - Luxurious chocolate, mostly bittersweet with a bit of milk chocolate, and deep roasted malts. Nice bitter hop presence in the middle. Mostly roasted malt on the finish. Excellent flavor profile.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not overly thick. With lively carbonation and an earthy and bitter finish.

O - An excellent stout. Maybe too much hop presence for some, but it worked for me.

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the brewery.

While this stout doesn't compete with the massive Brooklyn Chocolate Stout or other Imperial Stouts, it is none the less a serious, huge beer. And like the Chocolate Stout, this is, IMHO, an example of an excellent beer-maker at work - one of the top US brewed stouts.
First pour reveals a completely opaque black stout with a truly massive and almost gummy head. Initial aroma is heavy on the roasted barley and alchohol (perhaps the least pleasing attribute). Initial taste is one of both cream and sugar, blending smoothly into the roasted barley, fruit and (now balanced) citric bite of the alchohol. The aftertaste begins with the appearance of a nice burnt coffee flavour and integrates the subtle hops bitterness into the sugars and cream to leave a long, lingering finish.
A very fine beer. Dramatically superior to the bottled version.

Photo of Beaver13
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best by 10/13/14. Pours dark brown black with a huge creamy light brown head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is dry chalky roast chocolate malts and some grains with a little coffee.

The flavor is burnt roast bitter chocolate malts with some coffee and a little sweetness and a fairly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation and a little watery.

Overall, some sweet chocolate and heavily roasted / burnt chocolate malts with a little coffee and a bitter burnt finish. A little too burnt for me.

Photo of alarmclock314
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Balanced and drinkable. A staple stout.

Photo of Jason
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a simple yet inviting label, purchase before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Black as night with a huge frothy rocky tan head that sticks all over.

Smell: A good whiff of roasted barley with some sweetness and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy with a malt sweetness up-front that is cut quickly by the bittering acidic burnt twang of the roasted barley which lingers for a while. Some ripe fruit and over caramelized sugar flavour make their way to the taste buds. The hop bitterness is at par with the roasted barley. Espresso/French Roast coffee flavours appear midway and fade a little with the other roasted flavours.

Notes: This a big stout ... coming a little close to knocking on the Imperial Stout's door yet still a pleasing stout to the less traveled stout drinker. Perhaps one one of the best stouts brewed in the US. The work of a schooled brewer. Alc. by Vol. 6.75%.

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours an opaque, ebony body that is as black as obsidian(of course). One finger head is cocoa brown in color, retains well, and leaves plenty of patchy lace.

Aroma is subtle, with dark chocolate, espresso, smoked almonds, and a kiss of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is creamy and nearly full bodied. Tingly carbonation works well here.

Taste has a dark roasted malt profile that is smooth and creamy. Carob, dark chocolate, creamed coffee, almond nuttiness, grainy figs, work well with a restrained PacNorthwest hop bitterness. Some burnt coffee bitterness comes on at the finish. Never overly bitter, which bumps up the drinkability.

Very well constructed, and pleasantly drinkable. Excellent for style, and no hint of the higher abv was noticed. Many thanks to waldowin for including this gem in our trade.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second PNW brew from the folks at Red Bones...
Arrived in a standard pint glass a dark chocolate color with a full finger of creamy tan head...lacing quite thick and very attractive, making it difficult to consume...yeah right.
Aroma was a masterful blend of belgian chocolate, espresso and a subtle malt sweetness.
The taste was more of the same with a very robust character that simply blew me away for the style. If my first experience with a stout was this and not Guinness, I would have been converted a long time ago. Not dry at all in the finish and no smoked flavors going on...finished very clean with a caramel/vanilla blend...no alcohol to be found during the entire pint.
Thick mouthfeel for this offering...wish I could find this one in a bottle to compare.
Quite easy to throw back a couple of these, but it was filling due to it's texture, so wouldn't have any more beyond that...either way, a definite winner.

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: huge tan head, black in body color, opaque

Smell: coffee and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt with sweet cream, expresso, and a touch of chocolate and nut

Mouthfeel: smooth, heavy bodied, low carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: An excellent stout that I could have several of--especially if I could find it around here. Nice and smooth. Sweet but not overly sweet. An excellent first experience with this brewery.

Photo of Mora2000
3.2/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.

The beer pours a deep, black color with a large nitro-induced tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolate, just as I expected. The flavor is where the nitro really takes away from the beer. I get quite a bit of chocolate and roasted malt, but the nitro thins out the mouthfeel and makes the beer taste watery. There is also a little bit of coffee in the flavor. Thin to medium, watery mouthfeel.

Hopefully I will be able to try this beer in the bottle or on regular tap so I can re-review it, since I am sure it is a better beer when not on nitro.

Photo of mattster
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 12 oz bottle and poured into Nonic Glass.

Formed nice 1/4" mocha colored head, which dissipated quickly. Brew is opaque black, some bubbles come to the top. Light lacing around edges.

Smell is of malts, slightly chocolaty and hints of coffee. Typical stout taste: a bit nutty. Hops shine through with subtle bitterness.

Although carbonation is present, mouthfeel is creamy, nice and full with a good solid finish and no unpleasant aftertaste.

All in all, a great brew.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle. Pours black with a finger's breadth of brown foam. Smells of roasted coffee. Rich coffee taste with a good bit of malt. Very easy to drink and the ABV is real reasonable so I wish I could have a few more of this brew. Reminds me of Storm King with less hops. This beer will stay on my Wants for sure. Outstanding.

Cheers.

Photo of bsp77
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown that might as well be black. Has a large brown head at first that leaves some lacing rings.

Smell: Roasted barley, coffee, molasses and just a hint of chocolate. Initial whiff seemed hoppy as well, but that did not last. While it smells very good, this is the least powerful part of the beer.

Taste: Strong, almost burnt, roasted barley with a major coffee profile, some bittersweet dark chocolate, molasses, and just a titch of licorice. Ends somewhat bitter with a burnt and hoppy bite.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, very smooth, full and creamy profile, and a dry finish. The carbonation was a little higher than expected (krausening process?) but it is not overdone and may even make the otherwise full beer more lively.

Drinkability: This is about as good as a non-Imperial American Stout can get, but I may give the edge to Bell's Kalamazoo. Deschutes really knows how to make roasted beers (this, Black Butte Porter, Black Butte XXI, Hop in the Dark) - I have yet to try Abyss but I assume it will keep this trend alive.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,252 ratings.