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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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

1,029 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,029
Hads: 3,361
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 489
Gots: 567 | 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 (160) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,029 | Hads: 3,361
Photo of quasimoto
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its deep black and has a light tan head that leaves a alot of lace. The aromas are a blend of chocolate, coffee roast, and some deep grain. There are no hop aromas to be found. which is good, and very easy to take. The taste is a perfect balance of the aforementioned aromas but it blends into a sweeter flavor. The chocolate dominates the other two, but it is balanced with the roasty bitterness. There is a real sweet finish, almost a caramel flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth, and doesnt dry out too bad in the end. This is one of the best American Stouts Ive ever had (569 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ordered from Liquid Solutions,served in a nonic glass from a 12oz brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap. Best by 9/07/07

Blackish brown with a dense creamy tan head several inches tall. Good retention leaving sticky lace down the glass.

Moderate malt nose,sweet carmell.peat,roasty,cocoa, with a light burnt/chard aroma and some dark fruity notes. Very easy and inviting nose.

Clean taste roasty,light chocolate,coffee nice malty taste Finishes with a nice,sharp,mouthwatering bitterness leave a chocolate mocha taste lingering. Very good balance and easy to drink.
Mouthfeel was smooth,juicy,tangy.

Remined me almost of a dark lager. Like the 3 Dechutes beers i've have all were very drinkable,every day drinkable. Would always keep some in the fridge if avalible locally. Not extreme beers very solid and all well done. (839 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via I Want That BIF from flexabull. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, forming a 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is down to a layer of film pretty quick, with ample sticky dark lace. Aroma is dark malts, with touches of hops. Taste meets the nose's indications, and more. Starts with dark grains, some bitterish coffee notes, and then closes pleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very goodm and I am glad I finally was able to check this one out. (550 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to flexabull for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete black letting no light shine through. Full two finger khaki colored head that quickly dies down. Stickiness is insanely good, all over the glass. Smell is a bit dull, not really what I expected. Mild barley and malt with a tiny bit of alcohol. Some toasted nut seems to tingle the nose as well. Taste is a pretty bold flavor of dark coffee and some roasted caramel malt as well. There's a nice hop bite on the tongue that balances this one out quite well. Very strong enjoyable aftertaste of espresso with a hint of caramel. Mouthfeel is very full bodied with a surprisingly good amount of carbonation for this style. Deschutes does an amazing job with this complex brew, represents this style very well. Pick it up if you get the chance. (830 characters)

Photo of cjhofelt
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- About a 1" thick tan head on a black body.
S- Coffee, chocolate, big roasted malts, grassy hops, and toasted aroma.
T- Follows the aroma pretty darn close. Light bitterness on tip of tongue. Pretty dry aftertaste. Coffee joins in the aftertaste also.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is pretty good. I wouldn't go crazy over it but it is a easy drinking stout. (380 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle w/ freshness date into my Caracole snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Deep black as the name obsidian implies, w/ a full rocky, 3 1/2 finger tan head. The lacing is splendid - a marvelous looking ale! 4.5

S - An abundance of richness in the roasted, malty odors. Sweet vanilla and cream w/ light graham cracker scents. 4

M - Rich, creamy, dry and spiced w/ citrus hops fully riding it to the finish. Plenty of carbonation, but still restrained enough to let the malts do their business. 4.5

T - Love the malt profile. Malt is the king of Obsidian stout. The knights of citrus hops are on guard. They are so strong and yet don't need to speak, the dominance is evident. A sweetness that is conservatively utilized- the roasted coffee taste is dominant w/ plenty of citrus to keep exquisitely balanced. 4.5

D - This is a fine west coast stout. The cocoa-like dry nature makes it one to drink more than one of at a sitting. Smooth, but interesting w/ attention given to the citric NW hop in the finish. Definitely a stout in a class of its own. Drinkable doesn't begin to describe it - you will try to lick the glass clean it is so smooth. 5

It has been since '07 since I had one of these so I thought I might update my review
enjoyed chilled from a twelve oz in a goblet.
The color is onyx opaque with thick medium tan head with very fine bead -4.25
The aroam is fruity with light hint of raisin and slight spice element with moderate cocoa scent and mild coffee with hint of citrus rind - 4.75
The feel is exemplary with mild roast and full body with moderately high carbonation with slightly full body with creamy and roasty textures overlapping and finishing bitter and dry yet still nuanced enough to elicit an inquisitive stare 4.25
This stout has always been a sort of ale that I put a pedestal as a stout fan after visiting the PNW region for the first time, but I have to say the taste still stands the test of time, unlike other 'American stouts, this still has the qualities in the flavor you expect -chocolate malt with a subtle caramel underpinning and decent amount of bitterness to finish. 4.5
This is not only a beer I am ecstatic to not have to travel to get, but is also worth waiting for. Overall I consider this extremely high in the realm of American Stouts -it is tasty yet still delivers not just in flavor but in authenticity - an American original, the best I have tasted. 5
i am so happy Deschutes has made the choice to distribute to PA, not only is it great to have beer that brought me to the craft movement, but it is still is of the same quality as when I first enjoyed it almott two decades ago. (2,654 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Ralph's Deli & Grocery, Seattle, WA

Poured a thick, super dark and opaque pitch black with a one-finger, frothy, coffee-colored head that lasted and left some sticking lacing along the glass.

The aroma was rich, smooth and very sweet. Chocolate was quite apparent, with dark and milk chocolate and powdered cocoa notes all coming through at various points. Coffee was noticeable as well, along with sweet cream and vanilla. A touch of alcohol appeared as the beer warmed.

The taste was quite different from the aroma. Huge roasted malts came through up front along with a rather bitter, mineral-like quality. Roasted coffee was noticeable mid-palate. The huge, hoppy and espresso-like finish was powerful, slightly tannic, bitter and lingering. As the beer warmed, the bitterness intensified to the point of being overwhelming.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thin and a bit over carbonated.

Overall, this beer seemed to be a bit of a disappointment. While many may be attracted to its deep, roasted flavors, I found the bitterness to be too much to handle. (1,101 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just another part of my make-your-own-6-pack from Town and Country, on to the beer:

It pours thick from the bottle into a pint glass with a beautiful contrast of black and tan. There's plenty of roasted barely in this beer, one that's very bitter from the burnt flavors. Pretty drinkable. I had this after eating some greasy pizza, and my palate welcomed the rush of roasted bitterness. (389 characters)

Photo of Reed415
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color with a small tan head

S - Extremely Nutty, Roasted Coffee, and chocolate

T - As in the nose, the taste is comprised of Roasted Coffee and Nuts, Chocolate

M - Full Bodied, Moderate Carbonation

D - Excellent. One of my favorite Stouts (268 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque black body with a 2 inch tan head, slightly transparent around the edges.

Smell: A sweet and chocolatey aroma, slightly milky and with a faint trace of alcohol.

Taste: Rich dark chocolate hits the palate first, eventually settling into a dark roasted, bitter espresso finish that lingers on the tongue long after you've taken a sip.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, mildly carbonated, just right for a strong stout. Not so thick as to make it difficult to drink, it's actually quite quaffable despite the respectable ABV and rich flavor.

A great straightforward stout, though I slightly prefer Black Butte Porter. (628 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
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… (1,666 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black with a medium tan head that stays pretty solid throughout. Smells of roasted chocolate and hint of coffee with some grainy scents as well. Taste is just great. Again, chocolate and coffee with a sweet malty flavor. Slight bit of hops present to balance this out near perfectly. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, creamy, and smooth. Medium bodied and lasting. Great drinkability as well. Easy going down and tasty to boot. Thanks goes to JohnGalt1 for the extra in a recent trade. The more I try from this brewery the more I become a fan.

9/1/07: Got another bottle from younger35 and it's just as tasty as the first! (631 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick cream head of deep tan color that last and last. The body is to dense to see any sign of carbonation.

S- This beer has big smells of chocolate malt and black roasted malt with a light hint of cream in the background. Very fresh quality to the aroma.

T- This beer has flavors of dark roasted and black roasted malts with dark chocolate malt notes in the background. There is a rich creamy flavor to the malts. The finish has a green herbaceous note with a slight chalk taste to it. The bitterness at the finish hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel that becomes more full in the finish. I think the thick head really adds to the body.

D- The bitterness is not distinctly hops and not roasted malt but a blend of the two which is interesting. Nice rich malt flavors make this a full flavored stout. (911 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jacks...
Appears a pitch black with the typical nitro head that never fades away. A thick, 1 finger, tan head of foam is retained through the entire duration. Lots of clingy lace is left around the glass.
Smell is of mocha, roasted nuts, ripe fruit, espresso, ripe fig, light pipe tobacco.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas though the richness is very subdued from the nitro-mix. A little like Young's Double Chocolate, IMO.
Mouthfeel is as smooth as can be with roasted nuts, figs, plums, and mocha standing out along the palate. It reminds me a little of an Irish car bomb minus the Jamison. (606 characters)

Photo of jaxon53
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from flexabull (thank you!).

Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Poured a thick, oily, pitch black. About one and a half fingers of tan slightly coffee brown, pillowy head formed. Had great retention. Slowly faded into a gob of sticky lace in the glass. Had a awesome nose to it. Nice roasted malts, thick chocolate aromas, fresh roasted coffee beans, and maybe a hint of vanilla. Taste was equally as pleasing. Nice roasty, toasty notes. Bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, nice malty flavors, and a small hint of black licorice. Slight alcohol noted in the mouth. Very smooth. Slightly thin in the mouth with a wonderfully full flavor to it. Maybe a little too carbonated for my liking but still damn good. Definitely very drinkable. Would love to get more of this. (794 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for sharing this bottle, its a treat!

Pours a very opaque black, red edges, thin tan head, settles to a nice ring, lace spots on the glass, looks like a stout. Smell is sweet, toffee and chocolate, some dark fruits, licorice, bit of spice, very malty, the fruitiness adds a different touch. Taste is sweet, chocolate and licorice through the middle, some roast, cherries, toffee, bit of a weak finish but nice flavours in the beginning. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, nice smooth stout. Very drinkable. Thanks Russ! (561 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer has a good jet black body with a thin mocha head that falls quickly leaving just a very thin layer.

S: This beer has a powerful chocolaty coffee aroma with bunch of roasty overtones.

T: The flavor is just like the aroma. There is a bunch of chocolate initially followed by some good coffee and roasted malt notes. This is a great tasting beer. The nice thing is about this beer is that there isn't a bunch of bitterness which is common with beers that have a bunch of chocolate with them.

M: The body on this beer is nice and full. Suits the beer very nicely.

D: This is one of the best stouts I've had. A perfect example of the style. (661 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark chocolate, slight brown head with no lacing. Smells of chocolate, bitter dark fruit, slight coffee.
Taste is chocolate up front, slightly dry bitter finish, burnt malty notes. Feels thick and slick. Pretty good if dark and bitter are what you want in a stout. (279 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as the Ace of Spades witha thick tan head that retains and laces well

Smell: Roasty aroma with coffee, charred wood and a touch of citrus

Taste: Starts out with a strong coffee flavor that is immediately joined (and overwhelmed) by a very bitter character; after the swallow, the roasted malt flavors re-emerge and blend with a hoppy bitterness to provide a long finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: If you like a full flavored stout with plenty of bitterness in the West Coast style, this one's for you

Thanks, todd1, for the experience (611 characters)

Photo of bradford
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great stout. A little hard to find at times in my area of California, so whenever I see a six pack floating around stores, I usually grab one.
Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Dark, dark brown, almost black, close to opaque. A thin, swirling head, with little retention on the ring around the edge of the glass. Smell was a little weak for me, perhaps I had a bit of an oncoming cold, but nothing spectacular here. Taste is most excellent. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, everything you would expect from a stout of this caliber. Mouthfeel is smooth, but dry, very easy going down. If it weren't for the 6-something% abv on this, I could drink this all day. Very drinkable stout and one of my favorites. I think Deschutes gets a bad rap around here because the Mirror Pond and Black Butte are the only widely availabe selections from them and they are a bit weak in all categories. But this is an excellent beer. (928 characters)

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark black with a decent tan head. The smell was roasty but subdued. The taste was also standard stout to me: roasty, no hops, good , dark, smooth.this was a nice beer but I don;t think it should be in the top 100. (252 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with B0ldfacelies.

A: The stout is quite dark, a deep brown but not quite black. The head is tan-colored and large on pour.

S: The aroma is burnt toasted, roasted malts that are dark and bitter. There is a touch of the deeper, wine-like body that comes from a double stout.

T: Roasted chocolate sums this beer up. The flavors are chocolate and burnt toast, quite roasted. The flavor is quite bitter, not hoppy bitter, but bitter from the dark roasts. The flavor finishes long, with the bitterness providing a powerful taste long after the sip is swallowed.

M: The mouthfeel is roasted, dark without going overboead like a double or imperial stout.

D: The ale is easy to drink, with strong roasted dark flavors that never destroy the taste buds. (787 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IntriqKen was kind enough to send this along as an extra in Double Trouble GIF. Thanks Ken!

Very dark, faint chestnut edges with a fluffy, dark tan head. Plenty of lacing and good head retention. Nice aroma! A mix of roast, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, biscuity malt and a hint of licorice. The flavour's top notch as well. Along with the solid roastiness, there's a lot of anise throughout. Notes of bittersweet chocolate and light fruit round things out. Moderate to low bitterness. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation and a silky texture. Great stout with a nice balance of flavours. Definitely a winner. (613 characters)

Photo of Night
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with red flecks. Big fluffy tan head leaves medium lacing. Aroma promises strong malts: chocolate, meat, pepper, and a relatively noticeable alcohol presence – not especially strong or pleasant smelling. Medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is dark roasted malts, very meaty; molasses, walnut, pork loin, and charcoal, with an undertone of acidic grassiness thrown in. A touch of soft-candy sweetness in the finish. Aftertaste is mostly neutral with a hint of bitterness and acidity. (503 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,029 ratings.