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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,057 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,057
Hads: 3,484
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 513
Gots: 618 | FT: 6
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 (161) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,057 | Hads: 3,484
Photo of spoony
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From a 355 ml bottle (best by June 21, 2015) to a tulip. Reviewed from notes dated March 25, 2015.

A-The beer pours with a dense, pillowy head of mocha-colored foam. Retention is good and there is some lacing left behind. The beer is black and opaque. Nice.

S-The aroma suggest dark chocolate with a mild, bitter twang of roast coffee and char. I also smell some anise, dark fruit, and a bit of roasted barley.

T-The taste is similar. Bitterness is subdued with lots of chocolate flavor here. There is some mild roasted grain character, some dark, a touch of fruity sweetness, and a smooth espresso-like finish.

M-The feel is lighter than I would expect for the style, but the beer drinks well. Carbonation is moderate.

O-This is a tasty stout that I should drink more of. The bitterness levels are just right for me.... It looks good, smells good, and tastes good. If I had to knock it, I would say that the mouthfeel is a little thin.

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Photo of Cath
3.19/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No specific scent pulling through. Picking up mostly on burnt coffee bean. Leaves a bitter malty aftertaste that lingers for a few extra seconds. Meh.

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Photo of takusan1000
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Obsidian is the standard I use for stouts. Midnight black tan lacing, complex dark roasted aroma. The taste is absurdly good, with bitter dark roasted malt and dark chocolate sweetness predominant, anise, rum-soaked berries, and a healthy taste of bittering hops that do not bite. It's a bitter brew, not for those expecting Guinness or stouts of that ilk, but the bitter is elegantly balanced by a complex flavor profile. Moderate mouthfeel. Overall one of my all-time favorites in this style and in beers in general.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nice deep black with big dark tan head
Smell: dark fruit, floral, roasty
Taste: roasty espresso and a little dark chocolate, very restrained sweetness - not as rich as expected. Moderate herbal hops. On the dry side. Opens up a lot as it warms - highly recommend serving at cellar temp.
Feel: smooth with medium body
Overall: The first time I had this a few months ago I remember thinking it was thin and lacking flavor compared to what I expect from a stout. After seeing the BA rating I figured I must have been missing something, or maybe I got a bad sample. Despite the very inviting presentation and a good balance I still found it to be lacking richness and flavor. In every other respect it is an excellent stout, and it is very drinkable - I will happily drink more of these. The Deschutes Black Butte Porter is more exemplary of its style in my opinion.

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

Appearance: Deep black, with a thick head of tan foamy carbonation. Lovely, ornate lacing.

Aroma: Rich, bittersweet cocoa and chocolate. Stunning and full-on.

Taste: Rich, roasty chocolate up front, with some pronounced charred, burnt wood accents. I get a bittersweet, warming finish. A strong, sturdy, and perfectly-executed stout that packs tons of complexity and flavors into every sip. Wonderful and an ideal example. Deschutes are masters of the dark-roast ale, and Obsidian more than proves it.

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Photo of Norvelljeff
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look is black with a faint brown edge.
Smell is cocoa
Taste up front very kind of sweet maybe a little tart. Back end is not much a little roast taste in the very back of the mouth corners.
Feel not too slimy.
Overall-Good beer that leaves a little zip on the end of your tongue.

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just returned to this after trying it about a year ago. It is much better than I had remembered (my palate has changed too). I always thought of it as a good stout but I think this is one of the best "easy to get" stouts on the market. Year-round and available in most states.
L- Inky black body with a khaki head on it, head didn't stick around for too long and not a lot of lacing.
S- Coffee, dark chocolate, burnt barley grain, marshmallow and I get a little bit of dark fruit.
T- Big black coffee, semi-sweet dark chocolate, creamy marshmallow sweetness to balance out the bitterness, dark fruit and because I have marshmallows on my mind the sweet toasted barley is coming off like graham crackers.
F- Thick but not a sludgy body, a decent amount carbonation for the style (would love to try this on nitro!)
O- A top notch stout. Huge value, and a stellar representation of a bold american stout.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Jet black and totally opaque. Generous 1.5 finger, rocky, tan head retains well and leaves near perfect sticky lacing rings.

Smell - Nice coffee and cocoa notes coming in right away, roasty/nutty malts, licorice/fruity sweetness, earthy grassiness

Taste - Much like nose, but with a nice little hop bite on the end. Coffee/cocoa roastiness throughout, a touch of charred malt bitterness, a bit nutty, nice presence of fruity yeast esters, slight earthy/grassy hop nip on the end cleans, balances, and adds some mild bitterness in the offdry finish.

Feel - Creamy smooth and well carbonated medium-full body. Thick and rich feel, yet avoids feeling heavy. Doesn't exactly feel "sessionable", but that's not what it's going for anyway.

Overall - What a kickass stout, and for an insane value to boot ($7.50 a sixer for me). As you can see from my review, I think this beer rocks on all levels, and there just isn't much more to say about it than that.

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

12oz bottle best by 5/13/15 poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a creamy two-finger tan head
S: Coffee, cocoa, chocolate malt, a bit of burnt malt
T: Malt-focused, particularly chocolate malt. The other notes of the nose come through as well
M: Full-bodied, smooth
O: As everyone below has mentioned, this nails the stout style

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Photo of skiking70
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorites, from over twenty years ago. Finally got to have it again on a ski trip this winter and it didn't disappoint, it was as good as I remembered.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - by looking at it I think it's a nitro from the look. Dark as night with a tan head.
Smell - sweet dark chocolate espresso smell
Taste - dark rich coffee dark chocolate taste
Feel - creamy and goes Down smooth
Overall - great coffee creamy stout

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as the dead of night, you will not see light through it. A nice creamy 2 fingers of brown head. It is fairly persistent and leaves a sticky lace.

Aroma: Coffee, malt, chocolate, caramel.

Taste: Espresso coffee, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt. Moderately bitter with a dry finish.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied, creamy and slick. It sticks with you for a while.

Overall: This a great beer for a cold night. If you are a stout lover this a great beer anytime.

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Photo of MNJR
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Delicious stout, very balanced flavor, not one note (coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasty malt, etc). like many stouts. Only the right flavors are in here, and blended in sweet harmony. Just enjoy this one and be grateful it exists.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is decent. The aroma is not overpowering. Mainly roasted malts and dark chocolate. There is a mild coffee aroma there as well. Dark roasted taste with coffee like hop and a smooth chocolate taste. Very good beer. Very smooth. Nice chocolate aftertaste.

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

Aggressive pour into pint glass. A: pitch blackt yielding two finger light brown head that leaves thick lacing throughout the full drink. S: bread and dark fruit with hints of caramel and malt. T: dark fruit, chocolate and caramel notes, malt, and hints of bread with an aftertaste of dark fruit and bitter hops. F: smooth, and very milky. O: great beer. I would drink this year round, but definitely accents the winter season.

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Photo of Pukstopper
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a deep black color into a 20oz mug. Very good head and lacing. Wonderful and subtle malt flavors. A very nice and drinkable Stout One of the best

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Photo of MartyMaltose
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle.) My favorite of all beers commonly available in a 6-pack at standard Pacific Northwest grocery stores. Every superlative cited by other reviewers here is accurate. Deschutes does a great job with most everything they make, but this is particularly genius. It's a lot like the great Imperial stouts but without the in-your-face alcohol.

Had this on tap recently too, and I'd have to rate that experience as very close to perfection.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours "obsidian" black with a nice full finger mocha head, really sticky on the sides of the glass.
Rich roasted barley smell with a smokey edge, dark chocolate, burnt toffee, roasted coffee bean, light caramel. Some dark licorice and a really really faint whiff of citrus.
Wow, what a great taste! Rich roasted malts, grainy, bready, with a really authentic smokiness, feels like nice bread that's been left on a countryside bakestone for a few minutes too long. Nice chocolate to go with it, sweet with caramel and light toffee, a tiny bit fresh with some lemon zest, reeeaaally subtle. Hint of vanilla, dark licorice and burnt wood. Heavily roasted finish, but not ashy (as they usually are), which is really nice.
Long finish, the rich roasted malts heading to the aftertaste, with some coffee bean hints and cocoa. Medium body, smooth carbonation.
Wow, what a wonderful stout, just so damn tasty and rich in flavor!

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Photo of stratusjeans
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tall pilsner glass.

A: Looks pretty black. Almost 2 inch medium tan head. Velvet foam. I don't think it was quite as velvety as Black Butte Porter but it's close.

S: Dark roastedness. Smells like a basement but the basement of a huge castle that is aired out often. Just a nice cave-y smell that I'm liking.

T: The taste really envelopes your mouth. Nice strong dark flavors. A little bit of leather, good amount of coffee, and a hint of dark fruit like fig or date.

M: Mild carbonation. Long lingering flavor. Hits heavier but lightens up pretty quickly without fading away.

O: I haven't had this in a while and I had forgotten how much I liked it. Very good beer to have on hand and I'm glad I have easy access to it.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pitch black. Obsidian is a good name for this. Nice tan head. Smells of roasted coffee. Tastes like smokey roasted coffee. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Great stout in a 6 pack.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours jet black with a finger and a half of dark coffee colored head. Nice whispy lacing on the glass.
S - Milky vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso coffee and a hint of caramel if you search for it. T - Lightly roasted malts up front with a lightly sweet coffee note followed by bitter dark chocolate which resides on the palate for an extended period of time. Ends with a slightly sour carbonation bite. Body is a little on the thin side for a stout, but the ABV is too.
O - A decent stout.
V - Medium.

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Photo of colingaiser
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From 12 oz bottle left out of fridge for 30 min, slowly poured into a nonic pint glass

L: Beautiful deep brown molasses color with a light brown, two-finger head that disappears quickly and leaves a lot of sticky foam hanging onto the side of the glass.

S: Strong and inviting aroma with notes of molasses, brown sugar, black licorice (naturally), and a hint of lightly roasted coffee.

T: A sweet, robust combination of dark chocolate, black licorice, rich toffee, all with a slightly bready backbone; the lingering flavor is like a chocolate-covered espresso bean, roasted and chocolatey with a pleasant lingering bitterness. It’s a pretty sensational profile of flavors.

F: Medium level of carbonation with a smooth, velvety body. Allows for remarkably easy drinking for such a sturdy stout. Some might like it chewier, but this just works for me.

O: Frankly, this is one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. The flavors are bold and perfectly balanced while the beer is not too heavy or boozy. I’ve still never had even a mediocre brew from Deschutes.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.29/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Got a bottle of this at a tiny shop in Honolulu. While the smell and look were on point, the taste was just too bitter for me. It left a nasty burned chocolate flavor in my mouth, wasn't a fan of it. I'd be willing to try it on tap, but for now, it's a no go for me.

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Photo of plaidowl
3.19/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

My tastes are usually more along the lines of hefeweizens and lagers, so take that into consideration here. I am always looking at expanding my repertoire and I've always been interested in stouts.
Popping a bottle of Obsidian open, as with most beers, I first notice the head. It is thick but it's the color that's more notable, a kind of really light umber tone, capping the impenetrably black body. It's smooth and I noticed a relatively low amount of carbonation in my glass. The flavor is primarily roasted malts, with the usual notes of coffee and cocoa (more than a straight chocolate). As one reviewer noted, there is a bit of a char to the flavor, especially in the aftertaste. Overall, I can see this as an easy-drinking stout; it almost seems a bit too thin, but I do like its cleanliness.

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Photo of nizzle8287
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Black/brown highlights, big khaki head with beautiful lacing all the way around
Smell: Sweet... if-it-tastes-as-good-as-it-smells delicious
Taste: Awesome creamy blend of cocoa, black coffee and light toffee
Feel: Full bodied with medium to high carbonation, alcohol makes it feel bigger than it is
Overall: Amazing stout, PERIOD

Served at 55-60 F in a tulip

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,057 ratings.