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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,045 | Hads: 3,417
Photo of NCSUdo
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle; received from ncvbc

A: Pours a dark black under a big brown head. Brown head covers lightly through out, no lace.

S: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, sweet cream, light coffee, dark fruit.

T: Very well done sweetness settles into a roasted malt and bitterness, a little bit of coffee, maybe hint a touch of very light chocolate and even lighter smoke. Transition from start to finish is just flawless, incredible balance.

M/D: Full bodied and wow, what a smooth, full body. Carbonation does nothing but lend to a smooth, creamy, velvety body. Drinkability is top notch. It's just so damn smooth and easy drinking. By far the best of the style I've ever tasted.

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Photo of sockeye101
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hands down, one of the best, if not the best, stout I've had...this is up there with the Imperial Stouts in my mind. After a agonizingly slow pour, with the last drizzles of the 12oz bottle oozing out like oil, it left a jet black color with a dense, 2.5 finger tan head. Beautiful. Aroma is very complex with blends of sweetness, alcohol notes, roasted maltiness, coffee, chocolate, a very pleasing mixture. The taste is just as complex as the aroma, but bordering on perfection. First impression is a biting tingling on the tongue with a slight bitterness that fades into a robust earthy toasted malt with splashes of coffee, chocolate and a finishing mild bitterness. And afterall that you have an aftertaste of roasted nuttiness. As it warms it gets even more complex....excellent. Mouthfeel is good, creamy, and complete. I successfully sessioned this at a bbq recently and would recommend to anyone who likes stouts that this is about as easy drinking as it gets :)

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours an opaque pitch black.

Overall:This is a deep, robust, and richly rewarding beer. This beer has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley.. It has just the right amount of hop to cut the sweetness. Excellent beer. Cheers!

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very nice, a thick dark black pour with a light frothy dark tan head.

Smell is big time roasted malts a smell of coffee beans perhaps

Taste is very nice very upfront with the roasted malts

Mouthfeel is smooth but not dull like some stouts can be

Despite the darkness and abv this is easily a session beer and a regular purchase of mine, just took forever to get around to reviewing it.

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Photo of rembrant
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Great name,beautiful bottle,a wonderful Stout,not "Imperial" but close in many ways and more drinkable and affordable than most.
This is...alas...the last bottle of a few I brought from California when moving back east.

I looked at the other reviews after my tasting...any most are quite true. Obsidian has an abundance of subtle details and you may find a new one with each sip. I guess one could get an old or sub par bottle but most folks will find something in here they like a lot.

Look....Black Obsidian. A rich tan head,moreso than typical of a stout,lots of lacing.

Scent....Aromatic and complex,though not ultra intense. Malts + hops are present with traces of fruit,choco,coffee,hickory smoke,Dark brown sugar....

Flavor...The magic is that nearly any flavor you might expect in a Stout from an ace brewer is THERE and if you didn't catch it on this sip,just wait, it's in the next.
The Big dark roasty stuff leads,smooth, not a massive/abrasive sledgehammer but warm and intimate beer sex.
The hoppy touches come soon, with fruits,and deep woods pine,juniper,earthiness.

It all seems in harmony with a lot going on but no single element too dominant. As others note, not a high ABV,and out west,not a brew that's scarce or a budget buster. Alas,of my "Top10 USA Breweries", Deschutes is the one I can't find around here. Yet.

Mouth?feels beefy,substantial the cabonization seems delayed and comes on with the hops and a slight caramel syrup cling for a nice finish.

Drinkable? Hell...if I could GET a bottle, I'd drink it now.

Robust,not a big Alcoh slam,and I like 'em chilled a bit more than recommended for Stouts. It's got ample flavor for that.

Bell's Expedition is the best Big Stout I've found (that's not enhanced by add-ins or barrell) and Obsidian is damn close and just over half the $.

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Photo of Cowboystout
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought in a bottle and poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance - A very nice, just short of one finger head. Tan, foamy but not too foamy, very smooth looking. The color of the beer is completely black, very dark, can't see light through the beer.

Smell - Roasted smell, you can smell chocolate. Slight hoppy smell but not overpowering. Very rich aroma.

Taste - Fantastic taste. The head is foamy and rich and has a mocha taste. The taste of the beer was chocolaty as well with some coffee tinges. Flavors jump out of the glass.

Mouthfeel - Very rich, dry and extremely flavorful.

Drinkability - Great. The rich flavors coupled with the very smooth feel in your mouth makes this a beer that I would drink repeatedly. This beer will be a part of the regular rotation.

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have long enjoyed Obsidian Stout.

This beer pours a rich chocolate color with a thick frothy mocha colored head. The smell is initially dominated by a sweet chocolaty roasted malt followed by a rich coffee/espresso and ending with a tinge of warming alcohol essence in my nose. There was also a spiced and herbal aroma that was very subtle but very pleasing.

My first sip greets me with a smooth and sweet chocolate and malt combination mixed with a hoppy bitter punch that compliments the sweetness perfectly. As the flavor progresses you experience an explosion of espresso that lingers and drifts into a highly roasted bitter aftertaste with a slight dryness.

Mouthfeel was smooth yet chewey and very much full-bodied. This is not a weak beer I think the roasted barley really adds to the body of this beer.

This is a very robust and bold flavored beer. For sure one of my favorites following an afternoon on Bachelor.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, obtained on my last road trip out west. Haven't had this for ages, and can hardly wait.

once at about 50 degrees, pours black with a thick and fluffy dark tan head, sticky and slowly subsiding.
Nose is primarily of darkly roasted malts, a nice chocolatey-ness, some sweet fruity notes and a bit of alcohol. Wonderful.

Taste...oh, the taste! Just the right amount of residual sweetness - a hint of sweet that lets the grains express themselves without being under-attenuated. Smooth as hell, roasty and a slightly bitter finishing chocolate and coffee flavor...the beer is superbly balanced all around.
Mouthfeel is smooth creaminess...not too thick, not too thin...a bit sticky on my tongue.

Simply put, my favorite beer. Period. I seriously erred in only bringing back a case. I can't wait until it is available in Kansas - according to the local liquor store web site, they expect shipment in 2008! That will be a great day.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a snifter, black as night and raises a persistent finger of khaki head

Smells of molasses, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and a bit of booze.

Really powerful stout considering it's not quite an RIS. Hints of dark fruit, cocoa, and finishes with an espresso note, lots of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is perfect, beautiful body and carb is perfect. Really creamy.

I expected this to be good, and was surprised by its quality. It's a perfectly crafted stout, and I wish I could drink it regularly (no distro nearby). Cheers!

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Photo of colingaiser
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From 12 oz bottle left out of fridge for 30 min, slowly poured into a nonic pint glass

L: Beautiful deep brown molasses color with a light brown, two-finger head that disappears quickly and leaves a lot of sticky foam hanging onto the side of the glass.

S: Strong and inviting aroma with notes of molasses, brown sugar, black licorice (naturally), and a hint of lightly roasted coffee.

T: A sweet, robust combination of dark chocolate, black licorice, rich toffee, all with a slightly bready backbone; the lingering flavor is like a chocolate-covered espresso bean, roasted and chocolatey with a pleasant lingering bitterness. It’s a pretty sensational profile of flavors.

F: Medium level of carbonation with a smooth, velvety body. Allows for remarkably easy drinking for such a sturdy stout. Some might like it chewier, but this just works for me.

O: Frankly, this is one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. The flavors are bold and perfectly balanced while the beer is not too heavy or boozy. I’ve still never had even a mediocre brew from Deschutes.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with cola-colored highlights; a great initial head with tight bubbles the color of chocolate milk, eventually fades to a ring of small tan bubbles, leaving rings of lace that droop down the glass. Smells of mocha & dark fruit. Malty...

Tastes amazing: roasted goodness; black coffee with a slight char; very dark chocolate; a little nut. Exceptional mouthfeel -- big body, nice carbonation, dry cocoa finish -- and for a 6+ ABV, this is very sessionable for those who don't mind bitterness. Another feather in the cap of Deschutes, and, in my opinion, one of America's greatest stouts.

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Photo of Patrick2012
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip Glass

A: Pitch black, Thick caramel head. very nice appearance

S: Not intense, fairly light aroma. Notes of espresso.

T: Roasty coffee bean taste that is very delicious. Very good balance of maltiness and hopiness. I could put this one down in a few gulps if I was dehydrated haha

M: the coffee sticks out, it tastes like i drank a cappucino and then an ale.

O: a delicious, roasty, coffee noted stout that is very appetizing and lives a tingly sensation and you can taste it around your entire mouth

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Photo of Kemmerlin
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured very dark brown and looking black in the end absorbing all light that tries to go through it. 2 finger width head that was creamy brown in color and stuck around a long time leaving good lacing on the glass (this is the reason for the 5.0 score).

S: Smells of strong malts, slight alcohol, and chocolate which is very common for the style and is why I gave it a 4.0. Some added dimension would be nice.

T: Great taste leaving a very bittersweet chocolate aftertaste but goes in like a milk chocolatey brownies. You can taste the great use of malts and the slight hops inside as well.

M: A little heavy in the mouth but it does not affect the drinkability. There is no dry bitterness to it and everything blends very smoothly.

D: As I said before the drinkability is not affected by the heaviness and it goes down really well. The taste and smell leaves you wanting more which can be very dangerous at the bar. I really enjoyed this one and looking forward to our next meeting.

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Photo of solargoat
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint Glass.
Pitch Black, big frothy dirty head. Looks amazing. Aroma has tons of Roasted malts, hint of sweetness. Creamy, medium to full bodied, balanced, fantastic bittering. Dangerously drinkable, completely blown away by my first Descutes experience.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

No light coming through. Jet black, caky, white head with a hint of alcohol legs actually. It looks really nice.

The smell made me laugh because of happiness. It smells like super dark chocolate, slightly sweet breadiness. Smells amazing.

SO good. Holy hell. It tastes of super bitter dark chocolate, and toasted caramel malts. Super creamy on the feel, very low carbonation, but it works perfectly.

This is the closest thing to chocolate milk in the form of beer.

It could be a LITTLE more full flavored, but this is still just so damn delicious.

This has to be my favorite stout.

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Photo of PorterPig
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


A: Black as night. Beautiful tan head. Could have left more but was poured a bit too close to the rim.

S: Toasty malt and char

T: Wow. A suprising minerality that almost hits my pallet with something that verges sourness but opens up into rich malt with chocolate/espresso notes and closing with a lasting bitterness. Lively yet composed.

M: very round and buttery yet not heavy or oily. How does it remain so full yet clean? I guess the Nitro probably adds something here. I can wait to try a bottle.

O: Wow.

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Photo of Jason
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
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%.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.
Best by 12/02/12.

Appearance: Pours very dark, oily, and nearly completely black. Lots of bubbles and a huge five finger creamy tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: Fairly sweet with lots of roasted and burnt aromas. Dark roasted malts with good hints of dark and milk chocolate, coffee beans, burnt caramel, milk, cream, toffee, and a little bit of nuts. Also some molasses and a light touch of smoke. Some hops are also in the mix giving a earthy aroma. A nice robust aroma.

Taste: Very rich and roasty, with a nice hop kick to balance the sweetness. Big taste of roasted barley malts with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, chocolate milk, cream, nuts, toffee, and molasses. Nice mix of sweet chocolate flavor with some bitter roast and smoke. Nice hop presence with some earthy hops and even a little bit of citrus. A really good roasty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Creamy, and sweet to start, then finishes with a bitter roast that lingers into the aftertaste.

Overall: A really great American stout. Very big taste for a non imperial stout. Nice balancing of the sweetness and roast bitterness.

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Photo of Tricia450
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass

dark rich color dark brown almost black

light brown head one finger


rich and flavorful, roasted coffee flavor and chocolate

I would drink this again, I bought a 6 pack today and I'm anxious to taste this on tap

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Photo of hammer09
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered this beer on a recent trip to Lake Tahoe and ordered it as a pre-dinner drink.

The Obsidian Stout arrived in a 12 ounce bottle at cellar temperature and the waiter had enough sense to suggest a room temperature pint glass instead of their customary chilled glassware. The beer poured a black, almost opaque color with a 3/4 inch head which settled to a creamy 1/8 inch in a matter of minutes. This stout had a nice roasted aroma, typical of many other stout varieties. Taste was exceptional with a roasted malt flavor and a creamy, smooth, and flat character. Overall, the Obsidian Stout's qualities adhere well to the tried and true characteristics of a classic stout, but its drinkability surpasses many of it's competitors.

I have yet to see this beer offered in Chicago, but will not hesitate to order a case from my local retailer if they can fulfill a special order.

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Photo of deadbody
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good stout. Good malty taste and feel. Pours a great dark color, good head that is slow to reced, and leaves gorgeous lacing. Great mouthfeel, smooth and full, not at all watery. Goes down easy. Easy to drink, easy to savor.

Glad I bought this, and I will be picking up another 6 pack soon, another winner from Deschutes.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second brew sampled from an excellent Secret Santa hookup via AlohaC. Poured slightly chilled into my new Tommyknocker pint glass. Pitch black brew with nary a hint of redness. Very opaque with a fluffy brown head. Great retention and lacing.
Smelled just like a big slice of dark chocolate tort. It made me hungry for dessert just breathing it in. Would be an awesome beeramisu ingredient.

Its all here flavorwise. Roasted malts rule the roost, with the subsequent coffee, chocolate and licorice coming through periodically. Mildly bitter in a dark chocolate sort of way. Very delicious and chewy. Came off slightly heavy bodied. However, for some reason, it went down way too fast--happy I was given two bottles to enjoy. I see now why this one gets rated so highly.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Brewing "Obsidian Stout @ 6.4% from a 330 ml bottle 6 pack
A-pours a very dark brown/black with some subtle crimson along the glass edge with a fine cola head leaving some spotty lacing along the pint glass
S-roasted malt , black barley both very mild
T-a sweet/sour start with just enough hop bite to cut thru the sweetness , crisp finish
MF-deep robust , richly rewarding , good carbonation , full bodied
Ov-a slow sipping beer that you can linger over , over , again , again
just a bit better than Black Butte , both great beers , well done Deschutes

Cheers LampertLand

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Photo of PDXHops
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

Things start of nicely with a 2-finger light brown head that's equal parts creamy and rocky. Body is near pitch black. Retention is excellent, lacing is quite good.

Smells damned good. Plentiful dark roasted barley, dark and light chocolate, cocoa powder, fresh ground coffee, nuttiness and a hint of singed wood.

Taste starts out smooth and creamy, moderately chocolatey, but this is soon cut off by a sharp bite of dry black malt and hops. Sweetness creeps back in with some dark fruitiness and sneaky dark chocolate, but then it's chased away again by a strong espresso punch. Really well put together.

Excellent mouthfeel. Spreads like an oil slick all over the palate and down the throat, leaving a film of burnt coffee and a hint of lingering bitterness

Overall impression: A rock solid stout, sessionable yet assertive. Great stuff.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to Quinn and Emily.

A: Solid black with a large, craggy brown head. Good head retention yields very sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate cake, espresso, slightly dirty earthiness, and earthy hops with a citric edge.

T: Roasted malts rule the roost. Chocolate cake, charcoal, smoke. Sweet cola taste arises for just an instant, but is quickly overtaken by a slight acidic twang from the burnt malts. Faint plum and currant esters. Earthy hops add bitterness and a quick citric bite. Long finish divulges tastes of charcoal and woody smoke.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and creamy. Natural carbonation. Great.

D: Very high.

Notes: Very similar to their Black Butte Porter, but with more pronounced roasted malt tastes and some slight burnt malt acidity. I enjoyed this one much more than the porter. This would be a solid go-to stout for me if it were distributed here.

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