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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,334 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2334
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: 2,334 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolately mocha powder aroma. Coffee dark. Smooth, although some cookie crumbs and coconut strings mouthfeel in there. Well roasted, bittersweet and neither leaning to coffee nor chocolate. Very nicely carbonated. A very good stout but I think somewhat overated. A drop behind the Bell's stouts.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 04:25:48 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee beans, and the chocolate chip cookie dough flavors. A very mild roasty and sweet flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout that is very tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 03:45:53 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Obsidian. The liquid is a black hole that allows a few stray photons to create weak, deep garnet highlights at the base of the pint glass. The head is impressive. Light chocolate brown in color, Bighuge in size and more stiff and sticky than most. It's more craggy than rocky as it falls and leaves a great deal of spackle-like lace on the inside of my glass.

There's plenty of roastedness in the nose, but this is no one trick pony. The heavily flambed black malt is leavened by semi-sweet chocolate and glorious hops. The beer does not let me down on the palate, not even close. Obsidian oozes black malt flavor that borders on charred astringency without quite getting there.

Chocolate appears to have faded a bit, but in its place is a pleasant smokiness and a citric hoppiness. Coffee notes emerge on a finish that is increasingly bitter and parched tongue dry. The body/mouthfeel is full and smooth with very little actual chewiness.

Obsidian Stout is a classic. Amazing appearance, flavor to spare, malt and hops enough for all-comers and a body big enough to suit me; no easy task. I do believe this is Deschutes best beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 18:15:03 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

A - Poured a pitch black as night, dark oil like liquid. Huge tan head had a very very slow fade and left lots of lace all the way down the glass. Looked just like a stout should look....thick.

S - Smell was very robust, deep roasted coffee and dark german chocolate. Hints of a sugary or caramel sweetness as well.

M & T - Taste was very thick and complex. Big deep roasted flavor, almost a burnt taste to it. Lots of flavors of coffee and german dark chocolate. Cery thick feel, but not syrupy, great carbonation led to a great silk like feel. Nice big hoppy finish left a very long lingering burnt aroma, I could literally taste it for 20 mins after the last sip, very outstanding full flavor.

D - Overall this was awesome, the perfect desset beer as a good stout should always be. I found no hint at all of any alcohol, nothing but great aromas and flavors. Very robust, full of complex suprises in flavor and taste. An all around great brew. Definatly lived up to its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 22:57:39 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 23:06:57 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of secret santa: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge medium brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry coffee with some roasted malt and black chocolate is very enticing. Taste is also a well balance mix between some black chocolate, dry coffee and roasted malt. Body is full with a perfect creamy texture and good carbonation. I very much enjoyed this beer from a brewery that I am starting to learn about.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 20:03:41 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulp...Smack, smack....aaaahh....and that's how a stout should taste! Though a lot of good stout's are out there, you rarely find a flawless one...until now. Has an expected black look with a fair head and retention, but don't they all? Where this stands apart begins with the aromas, which are rich with roasted, toastedness, and chocolatey goodness. Hop aromas stay low and only add an earty character. Tastes again, rich with roasted (coffee) malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a mild malt (caramel and vanilla) sweetness. Shares mild flavors with milk stouts (lactose) and oatmeal stouts (soft sweetness) and marshmellows. Hops really don't try to dominate the beer -- This is nice for an American Stout, but unusual. The texture is a velvety creaminess--just a little piece of heaven in a glass. Finishes a well textrued and blended sweet, smooth, and warming. Not dry or sweet, just nice. ....gulp, gulp, gulp ....a moment of sadness arrives (my glass is empty).
Thanks Clvand0.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 16:40:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

On tap during my wife and I's lovely trip to Bend, OR in August 2009.

A: Pours jet black with a nice deep tan head.

S: Loads of chocolate atop a slightly sweet roasted malt base.

T: Good amount of chocolate alongside coffee and roasted malt. Nice balance between everything.

M: Medium body with lighter carbonation and a bit of a chewy nature.

D: Very nice all around. Nothing too outstanding, but a quaffable, fairly low abv dark brew, which I'm always happy to find.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2010 20:51:49 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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

Its Deschutes day at my house today.Poured a jet black with a brilliant light mocha colored crown that nver really settled,great defintion and a nice crown.Aromas of heavy roast and molasses mainly,a bit of earthiness emerges as well.Again heavy roast on the palate with a little rawness,some unsweetened bitter chocolate as well,quite dry.Easy to drink,the earthy finish is the main reason for me,no doubt a heavy roasted, and highly hopped left coast American stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 22:03:08 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

My 500th review! [insert loud, slow exhalation/fake crowd cheer here] The beer pours a verrrry slightly translucent deept brown, highlighted in dark garnet, topped by a relatively short-lived finger of light ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises deep chocolate, molasses, caramelized sugar, dark roasted malts, and a vague background sense of roasted marshmallows. The taste focuses on the roastier notes, though the molasses and newcomer and cousin maple syrup lead an attempted and vain coup on behalf of the sweeter notes. A touch of smoke finds its way into the finish. The body verges on a heavy medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth and somewhat thin feel. Overall, a more-than-solid stout, one that I could easily see myself drinking on a regular basis, if possible.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 01:34:47 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. The only interesting or eye-opening find in a small-town northern Washington state grocery store during a quick cross-border beer run.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with red cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rather creamy light brown head, which slowly settles, leaving a nice coating of webbed tree branch lace around the glass.

It smells of slightly roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, musty and creamed coffee, a twinge of fleshy citrus, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is a decent slash of toasted caramel malt, crystallized toffee, bitter dark cocoa, wet ash, dry coffee, brown sugar, a touch of warming alcohol, and earthy, dusty hops.

The carbonation is mostly quite reserved, just a soft frothiness emanating throughout, the body medium-full in weight, pretty smooth, and even somewhat creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, with only the smoky coffee notes and burgeoning hop bitterness providing a minor offset.

Cheers for the 'bigger' hop quotient - while it doesn't add a lot in the way of distinct additional flavours, it does keep this whole thing from becoming a big hot chocolate espresso mess. Obsidian is still replete with those characteristics, but with a scrappy balance that goes a long way in making me want another.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 23:38:05 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

Perfectly pitch black color, and an impressive, towering, flowering cocoa-tan head that maintains it's majesty for some time before tumbling down.

Aroma: deep, rich, roasty, bitter, and invigorating.

Taste: remarkably flavorful, mouth-filling, and complex. Warm, tingling, tantalizing. This one feels good in the mouth, and slips down remarkably easy. Puts me in mind of an oatmeal stout, but I'm not sure it is one.Long, lovely, lively finish.

A very impressive, solid, satisfying stout, this one. I find myself scratching at the roof of my brain trying to find new, further ways to describe it's excellence.
If I lived in Oregon, this would get a lot of business from me!

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2003 01:41:46 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at 515 Kitchen & Cocktails. Served in a giant snifter.

A - Beautiful looking pour of a beautiful looking beer. A few fingers of persistent tan foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind glass-coating lace. Pitch black body. Not sure what else you could expect here.

S - Lots of cocoa, light coffee, a bit of smoke, roasted and charred malts. I think the nitro has muted the smell a touch. This is on the dryer side of things, and isn't overly sweet.

T - Taste contains the same collection of flavors, but with different proportions - light smoke, roasted barley malt, touches of milk chocolate and coffee. Finishes with a combination of roasty and hop bitterness.

M - Soft body, low carbonation. Perhaps a bit thin for 6.4% but otherwise pretty much what you'd expect from a nitro pour of an American Stout.

D - With the low carbonation, smooth body, and well-hidden alcohol, this is one stout you could drink all night long. I wish the flavor and nose popped a little more, but otherwise it's very delicious.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-11-2010 15:57:15 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium-sized foamy brown head that fades slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee and roasted malt.

T: Smooth and creamy flavors of coffee and dark chocolate come out first, followed by a touch of hops. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling for a stout, this is one of those beers that can be both a good sipper and a good pounder.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 06:25:30 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Thanks to younger35 for this one...

It pours an opaque black, slight reddish chestnut against the light at the very edge. Thick and sticky collar of foam, it coats the glass in sheets. Dry bittersweet chocolate aroma, with some light roasty notes.

Tasty, slightly dry and bittersweet chocolate with a mild dose of char. Medium-bodied, with a deep earthy roast in the aftertaste. Some mild coffee comes through too, from the residual leftovers.

Overall a really nice, sessionable stout. Clean, with strong flavors, well-rounded, everything a stout should be.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 01:42:11 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick brown bubbly head that quickly drops off to a rather thin head and a little lacing. Thick black body with tiny beads of gas floating to the surface from beggining to end

Smell: Roasted grain and coffee aroma up front with alcohol and slight hints of vanilla

Taste: Rich maltiness and a grainy bitterness compete for attention at first, the an alcohol flavor. Dry with a hint of wood taste. Bitter finish on the tounge

Mouthfeel: Smooth,slick and perfectly carbonated

Good easy drinking stout

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2005 04:05:21 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades. The aroma is great. It has a rich, dry black malt scent with a roasted element that is very aromatic. The taste is good. It has a very earthy black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes smooth and rich. It is a bit dry and creamy. This is a very flavorful stout. It is uncompromising with the use of black malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good stout. It has excellent black malt flavor and a smooth finish; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 22:35:06 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guess what. I am finishing the top 100 with this unremarkable stout. Poured into a bruery tulip. Beer is black with a thick brown head of medium and small bubbles that leaves a lot if lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mild and ashy with a lot of burnt roast.

Beer is medium in body with minimal forward sweetness with nice back palate bitterness from the roasted grain. Drinkability really nice and mouthfeel ok. It's simple, one nite, relatively standard beer but quite decent.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 06:42:23 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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 zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a three-finger, mocha colored head of foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with strong coffee notes. It had a slight floral aroma, too.

T - It had a good roasted malt taste with notes of coffee and oats. There is a touch of chocolate flavor hidden underneath the sharp bitter hop bite.

M- It was sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - This is a nice stout. It has oatmeal stout-like qualities.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 03:02:27 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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

After a long weekend of tons of great beer, with EBF and volunteer brunch, and BBQ, I needed a nice night cap before I hit the sack. I figured Obsidian Stout seemed perfect for that. Unfortunately we don't get Deschutes around here, as it is quickly becoming one of my fav breweries, so I had to get this one thanks to bendretread.

A: A very nice dark rich creamy head that rises up 2 fingers and seems to stay like that for a while. The pitch black beer looks like it harbors some secrets through the crazy dark but majestic looking beer. As the head slowly disappears though drinking it leaves a nice lacing as well.

N: I could smell this as it pours, flowing out with chocolate and tons of malt. A heavy roasted malt and coffee aroma also billows from the glass. The nice dark malt with earthy charred roast adds to it, and a hint of creamy chocolate milk.

T: Starts with tons of roast actually. A heavy roasted earthy charred roast malt flavor, and with that some coffee. Then gets to some chocolate, a little bakers chocolate, and hints of creamy chocolate milk. I get some bitterness as well, combination of both charred roasted malts and a little hop taste I believe. As it warms I do get a hint of peppermint and a little fruit. Chewy malt flavors really complex-ate this beer too.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, good carbonation for the style.

F: Finishes with some more bitterness from both hops and scorched malts. It is semi dry but not too much and works well with the style. A somewhat creamy lactose sugar flavor and feel seems to stick around and come out more on the finish as most of the other beer fades. A slight coffee lingering as well.

Another great one from Deschutes. Even their everyday beers are great. Thanks again Tim and thanks Deschutes!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 03:22:10 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Date December 2006, Sampled January 2006
Pours a deep black color and is topped by a three-finger thick, light brown colored head that slowly recedes in a large bubbled mass. The aroma is dominated by roasted notes; I get notes of deeply roasted espresso, acidic notes of cold black coffee, and some sweet dark chocolate aromatics up front. The aroma is quite nice.

The taste is sharp, with a burnt acidity to it up front. This is balanced by a soft creamy mouthfeel that starts in the middle and carries through almost to the end. The finish is dominated by roasted notes quite similar to the finish of an espresso; acidity and roasted / burnt notes. For all of the roast character it is quite smooth, it is lack that burnt-husk astringency that can be found in some stouts. Having said that, the roasted acidity here is a bit too much; there needs to be a bit more something (sweet malt would do it) to balance it out. Perhaps a bit of age would do the trick as well; I have a feeling this might mellow out over 6 months or so.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 22:20:02 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that descends to a patchy cover. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, ashy, earthy.

The taste is of roasted coffee, caramel/toffee, and chocolate, some anise. Wonderful roasted malt complexity. Smokiness and a bitter bite keep sweetness well-balanced. Finishes semi-dry.

Medium-to-full bodied.

This is a lovely American stout - nice mix of dark maltiness, smokiness and bitterness.

Try this with some lightly charred grilled steak.

Another great brew from a, so far, impressive brewery! Thanks again, Bill!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 20:04:37 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

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 WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another highly anticipated brew from Geoff aka SurlyDuff, thanks man. Appearance, this one absolutely absorbs all light it fades to black as soon as the stream of carbonation bubbles rise to the top to form a huge moccha tan textured head like whipped cream it rises a good inch above the rim of my glass, awesome appearance. As the head dwindles even fine lacing is left evenly behind in an annular ring like pattern. Aroma is full of dark creamy yet mildly acidic coffee roasts, dark chocolate strong herbal hop leaf approach as well. Awesome creamy robust roasted malt layers with a fine herbal hop aroma. Flavors blend poetically, a beautiful clash of cream caramel and mild toffee liqueur with brash dark roasted malts bringing burnt toast, chocolate, and robust espresso to the mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied doesn't way you down at all drinks like a light beer easy moderate carbonation yet a bitter dry roasty finish makes it all so good velvety smooth on the palate. Drinkability is amazing the most flavorful session beer I've come across this one brings out Imperial stout like flavors with out crushing your skull beautiful beer I plan to get some more. Whether friends or liquid solutions.com thanks Matt Maples.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 18:43:51 | More by WVbeergeek
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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.