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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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

1,030 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,030
Hads: 3,365
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 488
Gots: 570 | 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 (152) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,030 | Hads: 3,365
Photo of mush
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured too cold, dilligently hand warmed.

Ar - Braised/roasted malt.
Ap - Beautiful head, obsidian body, absolutely nothing not to love.
T - Sweet, creamy delight; the absence of sourness, not at all smokey.
P - Thick cream, 'staches all around.

O - Excellent stout (267 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(best by 07/24/14 - poured into a proper 20 oz pint)

A: tall almost 2" head on the pour, fell down to a 1/4" cap, leaving flares of lace all around... foam is a darker brown indicative of a significant portion of roasted barley in the bill... pretty dark brown liquid with some ruby highlights

S: wicked stream of mint, herbal liqueur, and dark chocolate jets forth until the alcohol dissipates... after which, spearmint-y pine, caramelized wood, and sweetish black coffee (dark crystal ~90?) dominate the aromas... an overall hygienic sort of floral-pine character

T: definite core of strong roasted barley and bittersweet malt flavor through which a seemingly everlasting surge of spicy-peppery, citrusy hops burns... dark, bitter, vaguely syrupy chocolate clings to the palate in the aftertaste while the pungent bitterness slowly fades but doesn't quite disappear... roastiness increases with each sip, balancing the bold caramel malt presence

M: fairly medium-bodied up front with a bit of a molasses-like viscosity adding a slight slickness, filling it in... after the start, however, it dries out quickly with an acrid wash... everything stays in the first half of the palate

O: in the debate of Stout vs Porter and contrasts and similarities of each, it appears that Deschutes has made the distinction between the two (their porter being their Black Butte) by making this beer certainly damn roasty and bitter while their porter highlights more of a dynamic cereal/cakey malt foundation and more pronounced chocolaty flavor... this stout, though, is an easy and safe sell to those who haven't had it - fantastic! (1,626 characters)

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (1,712 characters)

Photo of msquared36
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is nearly pitch black with mocha foam. The foam is darker than some beers.

Coffee and roasted malt scent. Noticing a slight metallic aroma as well.

Taste is much lighter than I was expecting from the appearance and smell. Roasted malt and caramel is certainly present, but there is a refreshing hop finish.

More carbonated and thinner than most top stouts. However, it works pretty well with the refreshing finish mentioned above.

This is a little on the weak side for a stout, especially one called Obsidian. Nevertheless, it's unique and drinkable. (564 characters)

Photo of MrBoz21
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky black - opaque. Thick, creamy brown head that settles down to ice cream float. Thick, sticky lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malt, grainy and a bit of ash. Light chocolate and faint faint hops.

Taste: Sweet roast and vanilla chocolate. Very little bitterness.

Mouth: Creamy and thick. Not really slick. Malty.

Overall: Very balanced and tasty. Sweet. (357 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blind tasted alongside Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout and Sierra Nevada Stout.

A - Patchy carpet of mocha head lingers. Good retention.

S - Burned caramel, alongside peat and char.

T - Follows the nose but without the sweetness of caramel. Char and peat predominate.

M - Thick and velvety.

O - Well-constructed. Literally a stout beer.

Ranked Obsidian the highest, with Barney Flats second, and SN Stout slightly behind in third. (432 characters)

Photo of KornWallace
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Location: Whole Foods Erdenheim, PA
Glassware: Delirium Tremens Tulip
Appearance: Pours Black with a light brown head. Light carbonation through and through.
Aromatics: Very sweet chocolates, some bitters.
Flavor: Lots of chocolates sweet and bitter. Hops come as the beer warms. The alcohol wraps itself on the young along with a very smooth mouthfeel. (355 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes has come to PA at last and naturally, The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop was the one to make this (and others) available to me.

From the bottle: "Give into the deep, dark spell as the layers unfold."; "Like the plot of some eerie mystery you can't put down."; "Created for explorers everywhere since 1988"; "Deep, robust and richly rewarding, roasted malt and black barley give way to notes of chocolate and espresso. Smooth and black as the glassy volcanic rock fields it's named for."

Once again, a heavy-handed, aggro pour caused a pseudo-cascade as three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head formed with excellent retention and everything went on hold until it settled. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Obsidian, indeed! As the initial head settled, I continued my pour and now it looked like a muffin top protruding from the glass. Will this head ever subside? The nose smelled like Devil's Food cake - rich, chocolaty, slightly smoky, underlain by a coffee-like odor. It smelled like a birthday cake that I had when I was really young, like 5 y/o, chocolate with purple icing. Dig that! I was obsessed with purple when I was really young and my cake played into it. Mouthfeel was big, dense and creamy and the chocolate cake was having espresso as a chaser. Phew. You had better really like those kinds of intense flavors in combination with one another and since I am the king of intensity, it was right up my alley. Beautiful lacing began to form as I drank so I sat back and watched it do its thing while taking a contemplative moment for myself. Finish was exceptionally smooth. I had drank down almost half of it without a second thought. At 6.4% ABV, this would be a great beer to get people interested in the style who may be put off by dark-colored beers. (1,818 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BubalooBrewMaster for this one.

12oz bottle with a Best Before date of 08/08/14. Pours a black color with a half inch of brown head. Some lacing. The aroma is chocolatey with some roasted malts, cola, and espresso. The taste is chocolate syrup, roasty malts, earth and espresso. More chocolate and espresso towards the end with a bitter, roasty espresso finish. Slightly thick mouthfeel with a good deal of carbonation. This is an easy drinking stout with lots of chocolate and espresso flavor. Overall, worth seeking out. (533 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Black as used motor oil. Dense, tan, foamy head. Big stickage. Handsome.

Smell - Chocolate. Booze.

Taste - Chocolate. Espresso. Malt. Alcohol. A bit sweet. The afore-mentioned flavors are prominent but the hops play an important role, too.

Mouth - Fizzy. Bitter. Wow!

Overall - This is one big, ballsy brew. Delicious! Not for the timid. Like Sierra Nevada, Deschutes can do no wrong. (456 characters)

Photo of phoenixrises64
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark creme, When done the glass looks like it was wrapped in Grandma's doily.
Nose - Intense chocolate. Like their Porter, it woke the Dog up, and he came sniffing at the glass.
Taste - Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tones more evident than in the nose. A subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.
Mouth feel - Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. (539 characters)

Photo of Maninthearena
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark crema, clings to the glass like a spider.

Nose- Intense chocolate malt, undertones of hops. Mmm, roasty... Some bread crust toastedness.

Taste- Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tone more evident than in the nose. Similar to the nose, a subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.

Mouthfeel- Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. Thick and fairly creamy, but not overly so. Satiating to the max. Becomes more resin like as is mixes with saliva.

Overall- Deschutes never seems to disappoint, tastes like a dark beer brewed up in the mountains. (736 characters)

Photo of Scrylol
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. (464 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
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! (346 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (1,238 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Totally black body, creamy tan head whose lacing coats the glass. Head is so thick the individual bubbles aren't even apparent- looks like a tan blanket. The line between body and head is stark, clear, and beautiful. In 92 reviews, this is my first 'perfect' rating ever. No carbonation visible through its opaqueness.

S: Faint, but some cream, milk chocolate, and dark malts come through. Clean, almost floral.

T: Also disappointingly faint. Chocolate, smoke, cream, dark malt, all balanced but on a low level. Something a little off-putting is in there too. Still, it has a fairly long finish. Overall sweet.

M: Rich, full bodied, creamy. Enjoyable to me, but on the verge of being flat.

O: Strong in everything but aroma and taste. Even besides the meek nature of those components, the flavors just didn't stand out to me. A picture of it could be considered fine art, but beyond that, I have a few other favorite milk stouts to which I'll be returning instead. (972 characters)

Photo of JohnParadee
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Deep, dark color with beautiful, thick, brown head which slowly dissipated to thin band of bubbles. Great retention and lacing. And the nose! Inviting scent of dark roasted chocolate portends something truly special. And yet, on the palate, the taste was startlingly thin and disappointing. I was expecting something much warmer and seductive, but instead found the taste to be bitter, thin, and sadly cheap (like somebody poured Miller Lite in my stout). Not sure I'll finish the six pack. Sniffle, sniffle... (554 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Redish brown only when poured, otherwise black, with a medium brown head.

S: Bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt in the nose, as well as some molasses.

T: Big dark chocolate and molasses, decent amount of roasted malt and a touch of black coffee. A bit sweet.

M: Medium-full bodied, and a bit over carbonated, but not so much so that it really matters.

O: One of my favorite stouts. Definitely worth a try. (434 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black with a large light brown head that faded very slow and leaves a heavy lace
S-Roasted malt with some vanilla and dark chocolate
T-Coffee taste with a nice bitterness that gives you a nice coffee aftertaste that stays with you til the finish
M-medium carbonation and medium body
O-outstanding beer I picked up in Texas. Cannot wait to try the other beers from Deschutes Brewery (383 characters)

Photo of bmwats
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, brown head. Settles slowly, leaving a thin blanket of foam remaining on the surface, dry residue on the glass, and a thick ring around the rim. Persistent spider web lacing.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, black licorice. Woody and nutty.

T: Bitter roasted coffee beans. Black licorice is somewhat prominent.

M: Bitter and biting. Hearty and earthy. Dry finish. Almost a little boozy.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice bubbly head, remaining foam, persistent spiderweb lacing. Nose is char roasted coffee, chocolate, and licorice. Bitter coffee beans and licorice are mostly outstanding. Overall, this is a really good quaff. (732 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served from a bottle into a pint glass 1/5/14

Pours deep dark black with 1/4 inch light brown foam. Bubbles remain as it settles. Rich chocolate coffee nose. Taste is a delicious roasted blend of chocolate malt and espresso beans. Touch of sweetness. Fades into a hearty bitter. Smooth, dry, delicious. (303 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From Jim's. BB 4/14.

A - three finger tan head over jet black body. Lacing moderate but all in all a treat.

S - roast malts and coffee in the main.

T - on the money, integrated, with coffee and choc to the fore, but well balanced. Roasts do not dominate.

M - nice and smooth. Low medium carbonation, velvety.

O - a real surprise, from a blind buy. Well made beer. (368 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The Obsidian Stout is quite nice. The beer poured an opaque black with ecru lacing that is leaving some lace. The scent carries roast, coffee and a touch of peat. The taste has caramel, chocolate, roast and coffee. The mouthfeel is medium un body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great session stout. I will definitely keep this one on the radar screen. (363 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz to a pint glass, best by 3/18/14

Pours black with about a finger of khaki colored foam. Not any transparency when held to a lamp, shades of brown on the sides and bottom though. Head receded sorta quick, lacing is okay

Smells of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, vanilla, and a little bit of alcohol. Not super complex by any means, but a solid smelling stout

Taste is strong coffee and dark chocolate malts, cherry and dark fruits, vanilla, and heavy smoke on the finish. Comes together well

Medium/thick body, dry and sticky finish. Really bitter, alcohol concealed well

Overall nothing fanatical, but a solid stout (645 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slick and jet black with a thin and tempting layer of a mixture of dark brown and creamy beige foam.

Old coffee grounds, dark chocolate, roast, and some very subtle fruitiness.

The coffee comes out much better in the flavor than in aroma, roasted chocolate malts, dark fruit notes are still apparent but subtle, some slight smokiness.

Heavy-bodied, light-medium carbonation, slick, slightly chewy, hefty.

Overall, this is hands down one of my favorite American Stouts. Solid all around. (496 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,030 ratings.