Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,007 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 440
Gots: 370 | 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:
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: 3,007 | Reviews: 980 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes
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.

Photo of jwc215
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!

Photo of Mora2000
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.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -36.2%
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.

C-

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
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.

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/20/05- Purchased at Andronico's Market in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle. Poured into my Hangtown Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Black as obsidian pour with a 1/2 inch dirty brown head and very light lace.

Smell- Very roasty smell with maybe a touch of dark chocolate. You really have to get your nose in there and take a few good whiffs to detect anything.

Taste- This bad boy is one of the darkest stouts I have ever tasted. Kinda like sucking on some charcoal without the lighter fluid flavoring. Kind of a woody taste as well. You get a really quick hit of sweetness and then it turns to a nice bitter and burnt flavor. A nice amount of smoke as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit overly carbonated for a stout, but not too bad. Not really the thickness of an upper notch stout as well.

Drinkability- A very easy drinking stout. If you like your stouts dark, grab one of these.

Photo of Halcyondays
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. This brew appears black in color with a finger of creamy tan head that holds quite well across the top and leaves a webbing of lace along the glassware. Large sized bubbles rise to the surface in support of the ring of head that holds close to the edge of the glass. A swirl reforms a finger of head back to the top.

The aroma of this brew is a mixture of fresh grain and some oat-like character and sweetness. There is a bit of a mineral aspect present that blends into citrus and fruity hops. Chocolate brings up the back.

The taste of this brew is clean and roasty with a bitterness that seemingly comes from the roastiness of the grain and not the hops even though there are hop characteristics present in the nose and a bit in the flavor. It lingers in the mouth with a crisp roasty quality with a touch of minerals mixed with citrus hops. The roast imparts a flavor of coffee across the back and into the finish.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that is modestly carbonated and smooth in the feel. It is easy drinking and a fairly solid representation of the style. Nothing flashy or showy about this beer, it is just done to style and it is done well. For more than 6% abv, it is hidden quite well.

Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes has come to PA at last and naturally, The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop was the one to make this (and others) available to me.

From the bottle: "Give into the deep, dark spell as the layers unfold."; "Like the plot of some eerie mystery you can't put down."; "Created for explorers everywhere since 1988"; "Deep, robust and richly rewarding, roasted malt and black barley give way to notes of chocolate and espresso. Smooth and black as the glassy volcanic rock fields it's named for."

Once again, a heavy-handed, aggro pour caused a pseudo-cascade as three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head formed with excellent retention and everything went on hold until it settled. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Obsidian, indeed! As the initial head settled, I continued my pour and now it looked like a muffin top protruding from the glass. Will this head ever subside? The nose smelled like Devil's Food cake - rich, chocolaty, slightly smoky, underlain by a coffee-like odor. It smelled like a birthday cake that I had when I was really young, like 5 y/o, chocolate with purple icing. Dig that! I was obsessed with purple when I was really young and my cake played into it. Mouthfeel was big, dense and creamy and the chocolate cake was having espresso as a chaser. Phew. You had better really like those kinds of intense flavors in combination with one another and since I am the king of intensity, it was right up my alley. Beautiful lacing began to form as I drank so I sat back and watched it do its thing while taking a contemplative moment for myself. Finish was exceptionally smooth. I had drank down almost half of it without a second thought. At 6.4% ABV, this would be a great beer to get people interested in the style who may be put off by dark-colored beers.

Photo of corby112
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a large frothy mocha head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings and large chunks of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee bean and burnt toast. Slightly acrid smelling but the sweeter notes still come through in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry, bitter burnt malt flavor that lingers throughout into a lingering bone dry finish. Very roasted with a dominating burnt toast/espresso bean presence that overpowers the faint sweetness that lies underneath. Kind of smokey with hints of oatmeal, cocoa and toffee.

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a grey-market import in Australia. I figure at least a stout will survive better in whatever conditions we get it in.

Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a very deep brown head. Much darker than usual, with a complex and intricate lace on the inside of the glass. I love the lace, which forms in honeycomb patterns, so beautiful. Body is pleasantly thick and heavy. Looks very decent.

Nose is roasty, but soft, just giving some subtle dark notes to an otherwise oily and supple-sweet character. It's not terribly complex, but it has some pleasant aromas.

Taste is nicely roasty. For the ABV, you expect this level of char, because it doesn't have the extra body to bring it into heavy sweetness. Some ash, a bit of toast, burnt grain, with a lightness in the feel that actually aids drinkability, if it doesn't aid the palate.

Yeah, this is a nice stout, without being astounding. It's certainly good enough to be worthy of a couple of retries, and is certainly something I'd happily drink as a session brew, if I wanted something dark. I think that's the mark of a good simple stout.

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

I used to drink this all of the time out of the bottle, and I thought it was prety decent. Much better on nitro-tap, and normally I prefer regular taps over nitro but this beer really benefits from the extra creaminess imparted. Pours black with a huge creamy head and phenomenal lacing. The smell has a verylight aroma of cream and some relatively light roastiness. The flavors of light roastines, huge creaminess, lingering licorice bitterness, and touch of malty sweetness are very well integrated and balanced. Delicious. Super creamy, easy-drinking mouthfeel, somewhat light but easy going. I always thought this beer was a little overrated, having it this way changed my mind.

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass

Pours 1/4 dark tan head. Fades down quick leaving no lace. Color is a deep dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, plums, raisins, earthy hops. A big complex aroma.

Taste: Wow, this stout is interesting in the fact that the dark fruit taste really sticks out in the beginning and is so persistent throughout the taste. Then the coffee and chocolate come in with the roasted malts. The earth hops are present, but seem to lay in the background.

Mouthfeel: Not as rich as some of the stouts I have had, but fairly rich and a little smooth. The carbonation on this beer is really high. Full bodied beer. Ends with a slight dry carbonated roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good stout. Fairly drinkable with a big flavor. I don't think it would be too hard to have another one of these in the night. Give this one a shot, it's pretty good.

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Do I have a bad bottle or just not like this beer? It smelled a bit like molasses, and while there was a decent bitterness in the aftertaste, the overall flavor is nothing to brag about. Roasted coffee-like (but not really coffee flavored) grains with a bit of cocoa. I was expecting something exciting like a Shakespeare Stout, but didn't get any depth like that.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.