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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,332 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2332
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: 2,332 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of reebtaerG


4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on nitro at Draught House on 4/7/14

A-Pours black with a medium sized bubbly tan head. Excellent lacing!

S-The aroma is big on espresso with a healthy balance of chocolate. Roasted malts and licorice are present as well.

T-The taste has some sweetness in it to go along with some bitterness. Flavors of espresso and to a lesser extant chocolate remain strong. Long aftertaste of espresso.

M-Medium bodied, with a thicker texture, with softer carbonation.

O-This one doesn’t do anything to crazy. Its just very solid.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-14-2014 16:31:34 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Dsimenson


4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft nitro into 5 oz sampler. Appearance is impenetrable black, beautiful rising head resembling a cappuccino. Aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, subtle hops. Flavor is dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, followed by bitter hops. Mouth feel is medium full, not font or bubbly (the nitro, I guess). Overall this is a really outstanding stout, noticeably richer in flavor than the bottled equivalent I have at home right now. Love it!

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-11-2014 22:59:22 | More by Dsimenson
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

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-10-2014 22:44:54 | More by mush
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-27-2014 22:44:06 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
Photo of Bosazga


4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I moved to Portland OR metro area in 2003 and always loved how the pacific NW caters to stout lovers... I have drunk a lot of beer in my life (much of it bad), and though I always liked how the microbrew phenomena coincided with my achieving legal drinking age. Sadly, though, the Atlantic seaboard does not carry many dark beers, hence my equal love for IPAs... Back to the review... I'm not a beer geek, but I love well crafted things in general. Deschutes Brewing has always been great with balancing fine beer with mass production (except maybe for JubelAle) and obsidian stout has been at the top of my list for 10 years running. Equal layers of coffee, chocolate , with a slight tobacco and leathery sweetness (yes, I've tasted leather). The mouthfeel is like real maple syrup consistency with a whipped foam coffee aftertaste. Just bitter enough to remind you that bitter is a masculine taste profile. The beer is hearty like a bowl of chunky soup, without the chunks. It drinks likes meal. If you find this on nitro, get it, as it lightens the beer while adding richness. Second only to Alameda black bear on nitro, but tops on a regularly available beer of any kind. I have loved European beer for far longer, but have a difficult time justifying their cost when craft brewers like Deschutes keep it real! This is the best value of any stout on the market, folks. Enjoy it when you can.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-11-2013 19:26:59 | More by Bosazga
Photo of EagleTalon


4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a creamy beige head and deep ruby black color. Aroma is smoky, roasty, espresso-like with hints of vanilla and earthy hops. Flavor is roasted barley, toasted malts, vanilla esters and a balance of hop flavors and bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium heavy with creamy nitro goodness. Top notch stuff. Must have again. I was about to give up on stouts until Obsidian arrived at the table.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-25-2013 02:09:33 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of McStagger


4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at dfw airport.

A: one finger nitro cream head. Stellar retention. Mocha colored head. Fork, opaque brown. Stellar lacing as well.

S: dark roasted malt slam. Darkened fruit, bitter chicory and liquid smoke.

T: alcohol heat is present o n the finish and accentuates the dark fruit. Still mainly a smoke / coffee monster. Long, bitter finish that is equal parts charred grain and hoppy deliciousness.

M: the best part of anything nitro related. Exceptionally creamy. Huge mouth feel.

O: not a stout to mess with. Big flavor and a welcome respite during my cross country travel.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-02-2013 19:05:11 | More by McStagger
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours creamy and black. Velvety texture. Head is comprised of a half-inch patty of calm cream. The head lasts forever and laces the whole glass...thanks nitro-tap.

S-A well rounded aroma. A bit lactic but also quite roasty. Dried chocolate powder. Vanilla and hints if char. I am picking up an impressive addition of piney hops. It even smells creamy.

T-The flavor is excellent. Frothy latte with a big shot of espresso. Milk chocolate and vanilla milkshake. Then I get some burnt malt. It finishes with a supremely pleasant green grass hop wave.

M-Nitro-tap. Enough said.

O/D-Superb mouthfeel and just a great non-imperial Stout. Could drink this for days on end; especially when the weather is a bit chilly. Excellent intro into Deschutes.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-02-2013 16:44:41 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of FosterJM


4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1708th Review on BA
Nitro tap to tulip

@Original Gravity Publick House, San Jose, CA

App- A medium dense brown with some darker edges and a center as well. A huge three finger tan/white head with great cling. Looked like the American Guinness.

Smell- This was a lot like an Oreo just in the liquid form. This was creamy and grainy but yet smooth and balanced with some vanilla and chocolate notes.

Taste- This was a good beer. I still think I should have a bottle of the regular to compare this too. The roasts notes are a bit pronounced for me and have a slight granular and vanilla/chocolate similar to the nose.

Mouth- A solid medium creamy body with a medium/low carbonation. A bit of a toasty residual flavor with some bakers chocolate.

Drink- It's a classic stout, bitter, chocolatey and grainy. One of the classics. Good beer. Would have again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-23-2013 04:41:18 | More by FosterJM
Photo of kojevergas


2.68/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on nitro-draught into a New Belgium goblet at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica, California. Cost was $4.00 USD plus tax. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given the serving type, brewery, and style - all of which I love.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice tan colour, good cream, slick smooth nicely thick foam, and excellent retention. Colour is a solid nontransparent black.

Sm: Roasted barley, cream, milk, and chocolate. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy cream is dominant, an effect of the nitro no doubt. Some underlying chocolate and rather tame roasted barley. I liked it better out of the bottle; it's a bit stale here. Dark malts form the foundation. Poorly balanced on nitro. The increased cream attacks the balance. I'm disappointed. It's not bad, but it's far from good. A bit simple and not subtle.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, and wet. A touch too thin. Very undercarbonated. Complements the flavour profile only moderately.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Best from the bottle methinks. I wouldn't bother with it again on nitro-draught, but it might do better on-draught.


Serving type: nitro-tap

05-20-2012 21:36:17 | More by kojevergas
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I'll step out and say that this is the first time I've had a stout off of a nitro line that was this good. Spicy almost oat tones on this one. Very hearty, yet not overly thick malt tones that make up the backbone of this stout. Very consistent and very well executed. This should be a standard for stouts.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-14-2012 07:32:33 | More by RblWthACoz
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 Heavenisbeer


4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Rogue in SF.

A: Eerily reminiscent of a Guinness Draught actually (which is the one saving grace of a Guinness, i.e. the look). The nitrous obv has much to do with this.

S: Chocolate espresso with a slight vanilla kick.

T: Burnt chocolate malts, slight espresso hints, and a smooth vanilla end.

M: Creamy and dry.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-06-2012 00:29:05 | More by Heavenisbeer
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served nitro-tap in a pint glass

A- Obsidian, the name says it all. Just a few light highlights in this hazy dark storm of a beer. Chocolate two finger head with great head retention and great lacing.

S - Delightful roasted malt with nice chocolate and hop pine balance.

T - Chocolate and smokiness as first follow by coffee bitterness in the back palate and a little dry. Tastes just slightly watery in the end, but well balanced overall.

M - Creamy, full bodied, good carbonation. Almost perfect.

O - Excellent stout, would be the best beer at many breweries. Just wish I would have drank this before, and not after The Abyss because that is one tough act to follow. Would get this beer anytime.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-30-2012 16:54:45 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of StonedTrippin


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

one of the best stouts out, period. pours the thickest creamiest black coffe color with a frothy mocha head an inch and a half tall. milkshake texture. smells rich and roasty, and even a little bitter. flavor is great, some deep espresso notes, but nothing overpowering. again a slight bitterness in the finish. mouthfeel is gold, thick and creamy without being heavy. this is extremely sessionable. everything is in perfect poportion here, i imagine the nitrotap makes this one even better than its bottled version. silky buttery glory on this stout. as good as it gets

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-26-2012 17:52:29 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of unclepedro


4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, I know that I'm rating this pretty highly, but this is definitely my favorite stout, and probably my favorite beer at the moment. I had it on nitro at Westwood Brewco on several occasions in the fall of 2011 and it's just really phenomonal.

A: One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen. Thick, smooth, coffee-colored head with a mesmerizing cascade as it settles. Dark, dark beer.

S: Malty, sweet, bitter. Like smelling tiramisu or a cold mocha.

T: Out of this world. It sweet, malty, but with a slight bitterness that makes your mouth water. I'm not sure if there's coffee in it, but there's something about it that has a delicious coffee-like effect on the flavor.

M: Smooth. So smooth. Almost desserty, but not quite. Which is good because it's not overwhelming.

O: Probably my favorite beer at the moment. I don't think I could pass this up if it was on the menu.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-09-2012 18:05:55 | More by unclepedro
Photo of BenHesk12


4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian Stout can be considered a hidden treasure. At $8 for a six pack, this beer is inexpensive, widely available, and spot on for the style of an American stout. For this review, I was served on nitro-tap from a local bar in San Francisco's North Beach. This beer is a delight start to finish with lasting chocolate and coffee flavors, a creamy, delicate mouthfeel (partly due to the nitro), and overall a balance of alcohol and stouty flavors that leaves little to be desired. While not extremely complex or fancy, this beer is enjoyable on a special level.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-08-2012 08:07:02 | More by BenHesk12
Photo of MsRif


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

Had on-tap at Deschutes in Portland, OR. Poured a deep, dark brown (almost black) with mahogany on the peripheral. Very nice creamy tan head that retained well, leaving beautiful lacing throughout the glass. Had an aroma of dark chocolate, roasty malts, molasses...dry, roasty but there is a touch of sweetness as well. Taste was pretty big cocoa, roasty/smoky malts and sweet malts/molasses.

Heavy mouthfeel...chewy. Definitely best saved for the end of a session. Overall a good representation of the style, and quite enjoyable. Recommended.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-29-2011 16:00:42 | More by MsRif
Photo of dbmernin83


4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with an off-white nitro head.
Aroma dampened but there's a faint roasted coffee and chocolate on the nose.
Holy shit! An unexpected whallop of chocolate, roasted coffee followed by a nice hop bitterness. This is one of the most flavorful regular American stouts I've ever had, especially on nitro.
It's on nitrogen, what do you think?
This is a fantastic stout that I will seek out again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-14-2011 03:24:53 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of Mora2000


3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.

The beer pours a deep, black color with a large nitro-induced tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolate, just as I expected. The flavor is where the nitro really takes away from the beer. I get quite a bit of chocolate and roasted malt, but the nitro thins out the mouthfeel and makes the beer taste watery. There is also a little bit of coffee in the flavor. Thin to medium, watery mouthfeel.

Hopefully I will be able to try this beer in the bottle or on regular tap so I can re-review it, since I am sure it is a better beer when not on nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-17-2011 18:57:22 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Kegatron


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

On nitro-tap @ the Deschutes Brewery & Public House (Portland, OR) on 9/5/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black in the glass, with a finger of thick and creamy looking mocha colored head. This sticks around with a ½ finger of richness, which just drenches the sides of the glass with thick and sticky lacing. The aroma just smells delicious, with smoky burnt grains, bittersweet chocolate, and then a dash of tangier caramel. Some green citric character mixes in to, with maybe a touch of light floral tones hanging on the edges as well. The chocolate and roast are the main components of this though and they do their job well here in the nose.

The taste is heavy with chocolate, which mingles with green citrus flavors and roasted malt to really give off a deep roasted twang on the palate. Like the nose, this put a lot of emphasis on that dark chocolate here character here, with those hops and roast lingering in the finish with burnt tones and some leftover notes of bitter rind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just unbelievably smooth and creamy feeling here on nitro, which gives this lightness on the palate that the depth and robustness of the flavors here would suggest otherwise. I mean this just drinks effortlessly for a 6% beer. Just a tremendous overall nitro feel to this.

This was already an extremely well done American Stout in my eyes to begin with but here on nitro @ the Portland Brewpub, it was just heavenly. The smoothness and richness of the flavors in this glass just did it for me and I wouldn’t hesitate for an instant to try it again this way. What a treat!

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-03-2011 17:12:40 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Retail1LO


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

Serving type: 16 oz nitro into a pint glass

Haven't had this since Philly Beer Week. Just as good as I remembered it being. Starts off with a fingers width crown that quickly dissipates while leaving more than enough evidence of it's former presence. Chocolat, toffee nose. Nice smoothe mouthfeel with the usual suspects regarding flavors you'd expect from this type of stout. A fine example of what makes Deschutes a premier stout brewer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-02-2011 18:29:48 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of Rifugium


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

First had: on nitro-tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured into a pint glass jet black with a small, dense, tan nitro head. Very clean aroma, infused with espresso and roasty malts. Roasty, roasty taste, coffee, dark chocoate, more roastiness, almost burnt, but not quite. Silky and uh, roasty, with a coffee-bitter dry finish. Full body and quite drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-10-2011 13:19:34 | More by Rifugium
Photo of UpToMeBeer


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

Wow. This is the creamiest, thickest, chewiest nitro-stout I've had. It is a sheer joy to savor in the mouth after admiring a one-inch thick head and decent lacing. Don't let the full-bodied character intimidate you if that's a danger... This is a very drinkable, pleasant beer.

Smell-wise, it's rather standard with hints of chocolate and coffee. It tastes like stouts of similar quality; the thing that sets it apart are the body and creaminess. A definite advantage I had, even here in Colorado, was getting served on nitro (thank you Taps, in Fort Collins).

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-07-2011 02:00:52 | More by UpToMeBeer
Photo of scottyg354


5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No need to get into details, this is by far one of the best looking, best smelling, tastiest, smoothest Stouts I've had. Wish I was back out in San Francisco were this would be a staple in my fridge. Unfortunately, it's not available in PA or at least in my area.

This is one awesome brew.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-01-2011 17:28:03 | More by scottyg354
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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,332 ratings.