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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,988 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,988
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 433
Gots: 357 | 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:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,988 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThePaintedGrey:
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours nearly black, with just barely a trace of red highlights during the iPhone flashlight test. An admittedly gentle pour resulted in one finger of dark khaki head that retains wonderfully as a creamy cap. Good bits of lacing down the glass. This one could have benefitted from more eye candy, but that's no fault of Deschutes. Even a weak pour resulted in commendable lacing. A more aggressive pour would have surely resulted in a blanket of beige.

S: Gorgeous roasted profile. Lots of dark roast coffee beans, toasted malts, and slightly burnt caramelized sugar. A nice hint of semi-sweet chocolate underneath as well as some dark fruit.

T: Chocolate fades a little bit on the tongue, giving way to some glorious roasted coffee that tastes as fresh as the first cup of morning joe. A little bit of brown sugar underneath struggles to carry the weight of the dark bitterness, offering only a little balance. It's eventually completely pushed out of sight as a nice rush of fresh hop flavor melds with the coffee. The aftertaste is exclusively black coffee.

M: A stout that drinks almost like an imperial... Damn near full-bodied with tons of creamy smoothness to be found. Doesn't quite reach the chewiness of an imperial stout, but who's complaining? This bad boy drinks like a charm.

O: I never found Deschutes to be the most outspoken brewery around, and with beers like this, they don't have to be. Everything Deschutes has to say gets said as you take a sip of their brews, and Obsidian Stout is a perfect example of what Deschutes is all about. There's no gimmicks or arrogance here... just a divine stout from a company who knows how to brew legendary beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.79/5  rDev +14%
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 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 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 aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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 DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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 t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
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 jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of imperialstout27
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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 GBfan75
4.76/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Chuggnutt
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
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 BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of bdkucharski
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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 bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of JasonA
4.58/5  rDev +9%
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 FadetoBock
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of beaversfan12
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,988 ratings.