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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,561 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,561
Reviews: 946
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 385
Gots: 234 | FT: 10
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,561 | Reviews: 946 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
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 westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -4.8%

11-14-2011 19:53:15 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

01-15-2012 20:22:09 | More by nickfl
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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 RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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 MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a simple yet inviting label, purchase before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Black as night with a huge frothy rocky tan head that sticks all over.

Smell: A good whiff of roasted barley with some sweetness and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy with a malt sweetness up-front that is cut quickly by the bittering acidic burnt twang of the roasted barley which lingers for a while. Some ripe fruit and over caramelized sugar flavour make their way to the taste buds. The hop bitterness is at par with the roasted barley. Espresso/French Roast coffee flavours appear midway and fade a little with the other roasted flavours.

Notes: This a big stout ... coming a little close to knocking on the Imperial Stout's door yet still a pleasing stout to the less traveled stout drinker. Perhaps one one of the best stouts brewed in the US. The work of a schooled brewer. Alc. by Vol. 6.75%.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2002 14:37:44 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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 russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
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 Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev 0%
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 drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
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 WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
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
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.64/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 04:53:50 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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 WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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 Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -25%
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 Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.8%
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
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SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev -4.8%

01-23-2013 04:57:57 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +6%
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 mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 6/5/10 notes. Had at SAVOR in DC.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee.

t - Taste follows the nose; lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Hints of dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth.

d - A nice stout. Great chocolate smell and taste, would try again.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 04:08:19 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oxford Suites hotel in Portland. Really dark stuff. It's a Guiness black color, but a very different kind of brew. Some beige foam in the pint shaker. Spritzy mouthfeel. Some blackened grain flavors along with the warm, roasted malt. The sweet malt a thoroughly mellow base with the charred barley providing a pleasant balance.

This seems like a pedestrian dark beer at first sip, but it grows on you. Extremely drinkable with a lot of fat malty flavors. I'll have to get a six of the bottles. This seems like a flavorful, easy to drink brew to have around.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 04:47:00 | More by mactrail
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
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 +3.1%
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 Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +19%

11-23-2011 00:53:17 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR,

A: Pours a dark opaque black, with a thick, tan head, very appealing, I like the way this stout looks.

S: Dark roasted malts, burnt sugar, and a bit of coffee.

T: Burnt, very burnt, this is probably the bitterest stout I have ever had, in response to the roasted malts. There is a hint of black cherry flavour as well, very tasty.

M: Smooth, thick, well carbonated for a stout, no trace of the 6.40% alcohol, very rich for its alcohol content.

D: A great American stout, I could drink this all day, one of Deschutes best beers, better than their porter, which is also pretty good, an American classic.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 04:29:10 | More by Halcyondays
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,561 ratings.