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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,348 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2348
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: 2,348 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 05:42:47 | More by PDXHops
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smacks! This was on nitro-tap at Vine St. Pub in Denver, CO. This place has Mountain Sun house beers with guest taps...a nice mix.

Pours a black, rich beer. Nitro gives the foamy white head a nice completeness and contrast to the body. Much like the famous Guinness pour. Head stays throughout at 1 finger.

Coffee aroma, dark chocolate and roasted bread. Lovely.
Coffee aroma settles a bit in the taste. More dark chocolate comes out towards the end. Dark fruits blended well (some plum, prune, raisin).
Darn smooth. Very easy drinking. A touch sharp in the middle.
very nice nitro version

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-12-2009 21:32:03 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 23:00:02 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Tricia450


4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 00:07:20 | More by Tricia450
Photo of MattyG85


4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 06:33:57 | More by MattyG85
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 21:06:08 | More by LampertLand
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 06:04:24 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of jbsteiny


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 06:15:42 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of Kemmerlin


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 23:15:04 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of jamesm7485


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 05:46:30 | More by jamesm7485
Photo of solargoat


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 02:42:33 | More by solargoat
Photo of deadbody


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 13:23:22 | More by deadbody
Photo of PorterPig


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-08-2012 03:55:24 | More by PorterPig
Photo of Patrick2012


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 22:22:40 | More by Patrick2012
Photo of Boilermaker88


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got home a bit early and got to making dinner by myself. I decided to pop an Obsidian Stout into my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass to fortify myself while putting something together. Obsidian Stout has an appearance that does its name proud: a black color akin to midnight in a cave topped by a two finger chocolate head that looked spread on with a knife. Large quantities of thick lace graced the sides of the glass.
A couple of sniffs revealed a bounty of roasted malt, baker's chocolate, espresso coffee, and a slight floral hops note. A few sips and a longer pull brought forth a host of welcome tastes: bittersweet chocolate, strong, bitter coffee, a well-defined roasted maltiness, and a restrained hops presence in the finish. All these flavors swirl around with a velvety smooth, full feel.
Before I knew it, that pint was gone. Silky smooth, finely balanced between chocolatey sweetness and coffee bitterness, Obsidian Stout is so very easy to drink. Glad I purchased a six-pack as this brew has surpassed Kalamazoo Stout as my favorite stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2003 17:02:51 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of sockeye101


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
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 :)

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2006 20:46:26 | More by sockeye101
Photo of NCSUdo


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 01:10:10 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of Cowboystout


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 02:29:48 | More by Cowboystout
Photo of rembrant


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
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 $.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 17:42:34 | More by rembrant
Photo of sweemzander


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by 01/21/2011. Thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and near pitch black with the tiniest hints of burnt sienna. Produced a great fluffy brown head with great retention. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A good dry roasted backbone with hints of baked bread, molasses, raisin, and the tiniest hint at caramel.

(T)- A righteous roasted profile with a subtle nutty dryness. Bits of molasses, cocoa, raisin, bread, and subtle caramel sweetness.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but has just enough dryness and mellow sweetness to balance it out nicely.

(D)- A superb stout. Has the flavor to back it up and rival some Russian Imperial Stouts out there. A great drinker and just damn tasty. If this was distributed by me, this would always be in my fridge for those brisk fall/winter days. Perhaps THE best American Stout I have had.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 19:12:15 | More by sweemzander
Photo of chicagobeerriot


4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is as good as it gets for the style:

Pours espresso brown with a beautifully thick, rocky, mocha-colored head.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spot-on medium-low carbonation.

On both the nose and the taste buds, rich coffee and molasses are layered on full multigrain biscuit backbone. It's not enough to have "a lot of flavor;" a beer must have those flavors in proper proportion. Obsidian delivers on both counts spectacularly.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 00:26:09 | More by chicagobeerriot
Photo of corey0212


4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another tasty beer from raiser as part of the New Trader BIF Redux!!

Pours a midnight black, with some faint brownish highlights, foamy mocha colored head fading very slowly, with just a few spots of lacing left in the glass. Lots of milk chocolate in the nose, faint coffee, and nice burnt/charred edges. Taste follows right along, just the perfect amount of sweetness, nothing overly bitter. Creamy mouthfeel, medium level of carbonation. This is just plain delicious, and drinkability is completely off the map. Extremely impressive stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 01:46:36 | More by corey0212
Photo of COBeerBuff


4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at LiquorMart in Boulder, CO in March...

Appearance: Pours like the darkest time of night. Completely opaque. No light comes through at all. Not even the slight sliver. A nice light brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of glorious lacing. Pretty!!!

Smell: Roasted chocolate malts, some hints of coffee and vanilla, some caramels mixed in, but mostly chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Mmmm, malty, heavenly goodness. The smoothness is a bit overwhelming in such a good way. The coffee taste lingers on the back of the tongue, but as quickly as the smooth came, it went and it begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: I believe I already said it's smooth. The chocolate malts shine here and create a very rich, very smooth stout.

Drinkability: At 6.4% ABV, this might be a slightly more sessionable stout. The richness and the complexity of the taste profile challenge you to drink just one. If I had more in the fridge, there would be more going down the hatch tonight. Oh well! All in all, this is one hell of an American Stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 23:55:03 | More by COBeerBuff
Photo of NefariousR


4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours an intensely dark brown; absolutely no light is passing through here. There is a foamy, tan head of about an inch that mostly dissipated after about three minutes. Left a lacy webbing down the glass.

S - Strong roasted coffee, with some notes of sweet molasses.

T - The roast taste comes through strongly, with an after-taste of sweet malt that sticks to the throat. Almost no perceived bitterness. Quite delicious.

M - Medium-thick, with light carbonation washing over the tongue and throat.

D - A recent discovery for me, and one of my new favorite stouts. I could drink these all night, quite an accomplishment given the moderately high ABV of 6.4% -- getting close to Imperial Stout ranges. Highly reccommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 21:28:22 | More by NefariousR
Photo of natemort13


4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head that sticks around forever (so far at least...). Head is super clingy on the glass.

Notes of strong coffee and dark roasted malts on the nose. Dark chocolate too.

Taste is an incredibly smooth chocolate and coffee stout. The roasted malt comes off as creamy and smooth on my palate. Finish is mildly bitter (similar to the aftertaste of a sip of weak coffee).

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied but not really sticky like you might expect from such a stout. Really smooths out the roasted coffee flavor.

Overall it's an excellent stout. Picked up a Black Butte XXIII with the Obsidian six pack. Really looking forward to it but that one's gonna age for a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 03:32:33 | More by natemort13
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,348 ratings.