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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,342 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2342
Reviews: 935
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%

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)
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Ratings: 2,342 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Scrylol

Alberta (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger mocha colored head, bubbly, bit of lacing on the glass. Pure black body, looks pretty good.

Sweet milk chocolate, bit of cocoa, caramel, toffee and malty notes on the nose.

Hints of dark chocolate and coffee on the tongue, backed by slight leafy/earthy hop notes. Bit of caramel malty flavor to it. Leaves a dry bitter aftertaste.

Silky smooth body for the mouthfeel, complimented by a nice amount of carbonation.

A nice stout by Deschutes.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 08:25:10 | More by Scrylol
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, black and black. Definitely smooth in character, although its mouthfeel is similar to an imperial stout. And yet there's no real alcohol burn, either. Incredibly roasty body under one of the darkest brown heads I've seen in a beer. Probably just one will do ya.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 15:28:55 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of RedHaze


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of bditty187.

Pours a dark black with a faint touches of ruby highlights around the edges. This has a frothy one finger head that settles slowly to a thin cap and ring that leaves some substantial lace behind.

Smell; there's bits of chocolate and coffee, and roasted malts. Overall I'd say the aroma is fairly subdued for a stout.

Taste; roasted malts dominate upfront with some nice touches of chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of a sweet fruitiness that developes as the beer warms I can't quite place. At first I was a bit disappointed with the flavor of this beer, but the seond half of the glass made a much better impression once this warmed up a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with plenty of carbonation. For a stout this is pretty darn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 01:10:17 | More by RedHaze
Photo of zdk9


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Black, not a great head, though I was drinking from a strangly sized goblet that I wouldn't chose for a stout (damn restaurants!). About half a finger of cocoa colored head, leaves very little lacing.

S- Roasted barley husks, slight bit of coffee, and after some warming, I can get a nice sweet orange citrus.

T- The taste really brings to mind cherries, there not really chocolate covered, or liquor filled, but just delicious cherry juice flavor. There is also some decent coffee grounds flavor. I'm liking the flavor, though I was expecting something more powerful.

M- Thinner than expected- and more importantly thinner than a stout should be- and more importantly, thinner than this stout with this flavor should be. I would really love some more creaminess to accompany the bitter roastedness of the beer.

D- Good flavor, but could use a powerboost. This is almost a session stout- the right flavors with not a lot of alcohol and fairly drinkable- granted it's a little high in alcohol for that, but hopefully that gives you a good idea of how the beer tastes.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 05:45:17 | More by zdk9
Photo of mugglesandhops


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in trade. Thanks Ben(Madhomebrewer)

I like most everything I have drank from Deschutes so I wasn't worried about this one. It pours Black into the glass with a big frothy head with good lacing as the pint got lower. Smells roasty, milk chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, and a little doughy. Taste faintly of bitter coffee and some chocolate. Full Bodied, creamy. Good beer

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 16:33:57 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of jnn4v


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown, with ample, foamy tan head
S: smelled wonderful as I poured, but quickly tapered off. Coffee is the dominant note, but molasses, dark chocolate and maybe some dates are evident as well.
T: fresh coffee hits the palate immediately and continues right on through the aftertaste. Moderately sweet mid-mouth, and pervasively enjoyable.
M: perhaps a new standard-bearer for "smooth" in a non-nitro non-imperial. Very good texture.
D: I started it thinking how sessionable it was, bit before I even finished, I had to second guess that. I really enjoyed one, but would move on to something else after.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 03:51:31 | More by jnn4v
Photo of chumba526


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears almost black. With a small light brown head.

Smells slightly toasty slightly caramel like, and slightly vanilla like.

Tastes much like the smell. There is a slight coffee taste, a nice mild caramel taste, a light vanilla taste and a slight hoppy bitterness. It has quite a nice flavor. The balance of the flavors is pretty good.

The carbonation is around medium. I think the beer would be better if the carbonation added creaminess to the stout.

Drinkability is pretty good I could drink a few of these beers.
Not the best stout out there but a pretty good one. Above average. I would like the beer to be a bit smoother but it is a damn good stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 02:55:24 | More by chumba526
Photo of HosP


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice extra from scottfrie. Thanks!

A- Pours jet black. No light passes through this beer. Small tan head that left little lacing down the glass.

S- Big notes of coffee and chocolate. Has a roasted aroma to it. Got a little alcohol smell as well.

T- Like the smell. Chocolate taste at first. Followed closely by roasted coffee flavors. Nice taste like a big stout should have! Got more of an alcohol taste at the end than I would have expected though, but didn't detract to much from the flavors.

M- Full body with little carbonation. A little dry at the end but not to bad.

D- Good drinking stout. Nothing fancy, but very solid. Had been drinking lighter beers this week so it was a great change up. One of the better stouts I've had.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 21:04:19 | More by HosP
Photo of scottfrie


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with a thick, dense, dark-brown head that slowly faded into a thin film and collar that left faint rings of thin lace around the glass.
S: Creamy notes of melted chocolate ice-cream with light hops and maybe a touch of licorice.
T: Very smooth and soft flavors of melted milk chocolate with hints of molasses. The finish has a pleasant dark chocolate bitterness to it, and there is an overall creamy quality to the flavors. Aftertaste is full of dark roasted malt that boarder on roasted coffee flavors and is surprisingly bitter for a stout.
M: Extremely smooth with a medium body and very creamy mouthfeel. There is maybe the slightest suggestion of alcohol in the finish as this beer warms.
D: Super drinkable and delicious. I like how this beer isn't overly full of coffee or chocolate flavors, but rather perfectly balanced between them. Very creamy. This one is a tad more bitter than most, but delicious none the less.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 03:59:31 | More by scottfrie
Photo of rashbash22


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- pours black with lacing around the rim of the glass

S- coffee, chocolate, ripe fruits, hops

T- sweet coffee chocolate taste in the beginning with a dry bitter finish

M- pretty thin with the same feel to guinness somewhat

O- definitely worth a try but I think sierra nevada still makes a better stout

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 08:16:31 | More by rashbash22
Photo of tut2528


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: extremely deep brown in color, with a tan colored head. About 1-2 fingers worth of head formation. Enormous lacing, big foamy retention. Head stays solid even past the 1 minute mark.

S: strong espresso and coffee notes, I get a touch of chocolatey sweetness and a slight touch of slight hops. Definitely smells quite lighter than I expected.

T: again, I get a nice balance of espresso and coffee grounds with a nice creamy yet hoppy finish. The malt backbone sits in along with an ever so slight nutty aspect.

M: medium bodied, high carbonation, nothing too crazy.

O: overall, this is my 1st Deschutes offering. I thought it was a nice beer all the way around. I was definitely hoping for more creaminess or a vanilla finish because of such a strong espresso taste, but regardless, this is a nice beer all the way around.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 03:05:52 | More by tut2528
Photo of MaximalC


3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with an abundant cap of craggy, beige foam. The retention is excellent, as the froth morphs into a network of variegated crevasses. Broad swaths of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer descends. The aroma is quite roasty, with hints of dark chocolate and salted caramel.

The taste matches the aroma, with the borderline astringent, burnt malt serving as the foundation for the flavor profile. Limited complexity is afforded by notes of semi-sweet chocolate and earthy, herbal hops that meld with the bitterness of the roast. There's also a wet, metallic flavor that's slightly off-putting, though not especially noticeable. Dark chocolate rides the roasty wave into the finish. The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth, almost to the point of being too loose, but this makes for exceptional drinkability. The lively carbonation lends some nice texture and facilitates an almost airy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is an excellent session stout that beats the pants off of Guinness and comparable offerings. It's flavorful without becoming cloying (albeit not especially complex) and highly drinkable on account of the smooth, airy mouthfeel. I've not tried anything else by Deschutes thus far, but this was a good start.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:13:35 | More by MaximalC
Photo of MCain04


3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into DFH goblet best by 03/14

A dark brown, near-black pour with an espresso thick creamy head with great retention and lacing.

Some coffee and dark chocolate on the nose, a little bit of roasted malts, tobacco.

Taste is similar to the nose with notes of bitter coffee, cacao, heavier tobacco, acidic, bitter, a little watery.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and a little brash, could be smoother. Medium bodied. Mild dry finish.

Overall, an enjoyable stout for a good price. I do think I prefer FW Velvet Merlin though, for the stronger flavor profile and better mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 14:53:55 | More by MCain04
Photo of jtfest


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like 40 weight -- a beautiful thick, dark brown, with a small but creamy brown head to match. Smelled like malted coffee, but not as strong as I expected (or would have liked). Thick mouthfeel that actually felt 'heavier' than other beers to me -- like my tongue was getting a workout just bearing the weight and pushing it back into my throat. Rich roasted flavor with hints of hickory. Very enjoyable for a dessert beer or treat, and taste-wise I could drink a few, but I think I'd either get full or a tired tongue before I drank too many.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2004 04:45:22 | More by jtfest
Photo of ecoboy

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label description of this stout implies that it is a good stout choice for both stout fan and stout newbie. Really??? The 6.7% abv is the high end of stouts in my experience, and this ain't no nitro Murphy's (which I tried in the same go-round of tastings, and I would consider more appropriate for those unfamiliar with the style.)

A thin reddish brown head resulted from my pour. Obsidian is good as a jumping-off point for color, jet black it is, but with some surprising tan sediment in suspension. A little bottle conditioning intended?

Nose is not as redolent of alcohol as expected; it's actually a fairly light aroma of rich roasted chocolate and chocolate cake.

Some of the Sam Smith's Imperial Stout "oiliness" in the mouthfeel. Taste is big and powerfully alcoholic; rich chocolate and coffee are here. Beginning stout drinkers drink this? Really??? I see this as more of a "nitro can stouts are for wimps" selective drinker's taste.

Bituminous Stout might be more appropriate.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 19:04:30 | More by ecoboy
Photo of jwilli7122


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours your stout-typical opaque brownish black with a monster rocky tan head made of a combination of humongous and tiny bubbles.
smells like alchohol, loud dark fruit, and roasted malts.
taste is hop spiced dark fruit - grapes and plums especially- and chalky bittersweet chocolate...notes of alchohol...roasty finish but not as big as in many stouts.
mouthfeel is dry and fairly thin with some alchoholic warmth.

this is very fruity for a stout. I'm not real big on fruit flavors, but if you are, you will like this.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 00:42:23 | More by jwilli7122
Photo of mntlover


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black sparce highlights around the edges a nice 2 finger chocolate head that falls slowly and laces well.

Aroma is light roasted malts some chocolate, coffee and hops riding on the malt. Overall a stout smell but a little subduded.

Taste again is a little light for a stout, but good coffee roastiness that moves into nice hop flavors some nice pine flavors and lingering bitterness. There is some light bakers chocolate thru out. The flavor is good thru out just seems a litlle different.

Mouthfeel seems a little light for a stout not so much in body but in the feel. Nice carbonation level just the right amount of zest.

Drinkability is good nice coffee flavors and nice lingering hop flavors. Thanks to BCG BIF and babydoc for this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 12:18:54 | More by mntlover
Photo of cjhofelt


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque and black, the aptly named Obsidian stout wears a nice, rocky brown head after an aggressive pour. The head fades to a thick and creamy film that leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

The smell is mostly caramel and toffee.

The taste is delicious. Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel all come through. There is a slight hint of the alcohol in the finish. This is a real dessert beer.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. At 6.4% ABV, maybe a bit too drinkable , if you know what I mean.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2007 06:49:24 | More by cjhofelt
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a roasty chocolaty affair with some dried fruit and a touch of hop aroma for good measure. Taste follows the smell, but lingers with a bit of ash in the finish. Full body, creamy texture, ample carbonation. If not for the ash in the finish I'd love this beer. As is its still good, just not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 00:32:38 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of wonderbread23

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black but not completely opaque or viscous. 1 finger head which quickly disappeared leaving little lacing. A slight reddish hue at the glasses edge.

Aroma: Chocolate, sweet malt, a touch of molasses, and some cola notes.

Flavor: Bitter coffee, roasted barley, balanced by a nice malt background. Smoky burnt flavor with some underlying alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Good balance of sweetness and bitterness. Medium body w/ medium-long finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout. Rich enough to satisfy without making it too over-bearing. I'll have to try it on nitro sometime.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 23:28:19 | More by wonderbread23
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of three Deschutes offerings that I tasted on an Arizona vacation...and my least favorite of the three. Then again I am a lover of stouts and tend to be pretty particular when reviewing them so take this with a grain of salt. No, don't put salt in your beer, that would be silly...or a gose, but not if you salt a stout. What would you call a salted stout? Disgusting. Anywho...

If you've read many of my reviews of stouts and porters you'll notice that I never call any of them black...because they're not. Neither is this one, but it does come as close to black as any beer-like fluid I have seen. This would have given it high marks for appearance if it had not been for the overwhelmingly disappointing head. It's mocha in color but if you blink it's gone...almost entirely! Not at all acceptable in a stout and I know that the glass was not the culprit. No soap had been used, only steaming hot water, and it had been air-dried.

It smells like a standard stout with nothing to make it stand out. Lots of roasted sweetness in this but only a slight hint of coffee with no chocolate tones or other aromas to round it out.

The taste is different than most stouts as the bitterness seems to come more from hops than from the roasted malts. Underneath the toasted flavors I got a hint of orange in the aftertaste, which further supports my supposition that there are more hops here than typical for a stout. Interesting.

It comes off as a tad bit watery, similar to a milk stout in mouthfeel than a full-on stout, and not an especially good milk stout at that. I know this is not an imperial, but I want more body from a stout, otherwise I'd drink more porters.

The thinness of the body does make this very drinkable and although I panned the mouthfeel I did down this pretty darn quickly, however I was in no rush to open another but found myself wanting something different.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 14:15:28 | More by Naugros
Photo of codewarrior

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a snifter.

"Obsidian Stout gets its inspiration from one o the world's largest obsidian flows at Newsberry Volcano - just a few miles south of the brewery."

-- from the bottle

L: Deep black, but transparent around the edges, 1 finger of head. Looks about average for a stout.

S: Wonderfully bittersweet and crisp. Simple and single-mided with a clean and crisp finish. Touch of coffee and the tiniest bit of sweetness in the back.

T: Starts slow and sweet, building into a burnt-coffee middle, then descends slowly back into sweetness. Touch of burning bitterness in the back, but decent balance overall.

F: Smooth and creamy, not too thin. Bit boozy feeling for only 6.4% ... not unwelcome.

D: Enjoyable for the bitter side of stout-land. Well conceived and executed.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 23:38:41 | More by codewarrior
Photo of bosox941827

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz dated bottle, poured cold into an imperial pint glass; allowed to warm as I tasted it.
A - Wow; black but with as dark a red highlight as you can imagine. Pours like syrup; an opaque, black-red velvet. Fantastic looking.
S - Black licorice, toasted oatmeal, beets(!), chocolate malts.
T - Taste is a bit thin compared to the nose; roasted and chocolate malts come in a bit late, along with some molasses, a drying hops characteristic, that isn't really a flavor but more of a feel. Nice, long finish though, that does yield a bit of complexity; getting a bit of roasted coffee at the end as well.
M - Smooth, but with a tongue-drying, subtle hop finish, not unlike Guinness.
D - Could probably do a few of these; the 6.4% (for a stout) could sneak up on you.
Overall a very good stout and one of the best looking beers I've seen.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 00:46:11 | More by bosox941827
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a grey-market import in Australia. I figure at least a stout will survive better in whatever conditions we get it in.

Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a very deep brown head. Much darker than usual, with a complex and intricate lace on the inside of the glass. I love the lace, which forms in honeycomb patterns, so beautiful. Body is pleasantly thick and heavy. Looks very decent.

Nose is roasty, but soft, just giving some subtle dark notes to an otherwise oily and supple-sweet character. It's not terribly complex, but it has some pleasant aromas.

Taste is nicely roasty. For the ABV, you expect this level of char, because it doesn't have the extra body to bring it into heavy sweetness. Some ash, a bit of toast, burnt grain, with a lightness in the feel that actually aids drinkability, if it doesn't aid the palate.

Yeah, this is a nice stout, without being astounding. It's certainly good enough to be worthy of a couple of retries, and is certainly something I'd happily drink as a session brew, if I wanted something dark. I think that's the mark of a good simple stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 07:44:22 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of quaybr


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a pint glass, temp mid-50s.

Beautiful brown head produces moderate lacing and sits atop a dark brown (nearing black) ale. Made me want to jump right in!

Sweet and slightly roasty, toasty aroma. Smell lingers quite pleasantly. Hops play into very subtle resiny undertones.

Smells lead into similar taste. A nice balance of malts, leaving the palate feel very cared about. A little roasted, a little toasted, a little chocolatey. A very pleasant aftertaste rests in the bitters on the back of the tongue. A deep, robust flavor but nothing overwhelms the ol' taste buds.

A smooth and moderately-thick & creamy feel is present through the entire beer, even as carbonation dwindles. It treats all portion of the tongue equally.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer a lot. A beer that wanted only to be sipped, yet left me thinking about having another.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 04:20:27 | More by quaybr
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,342 ratings.