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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,338 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2338
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: 2,338 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer


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

12 oz bottle boured into (512) wine glass.

very dark brown, opaque, no light through it. 1/2" head fades quick, leaves ring and a couple yeasty circles on top. (May have not poured carefully enough). Too dark and not clear enough to tell about carbonation.

Nose is full of bittersweet chocolate, malts, sweet dark fruit esters. Very alluring.

Surprisingly hop forward. This wasn't detectable on the nose at all. Sweet finish of molasses and licorice. Reminds me of a relative of the BB porter.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky. Lingers with that thick hoppy stout feel.

Overall, I think I was expecting more of this one, but delightful enough. Just no.... bang!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 02:20:37 | More by LadyOfMuchBeer
Photo of BingCrosby7


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

A - Poured jet black and viscous, with a light tan head that retained its carbonation rather well. Nice looking brew.

S - malt, cocoa, roasted light coffee, lightly charred oak. The alcohol was light on the nose.

T - Roasted malt and coffee on the initial taste; very similar to the smell; light on the alcohol, which was a good thing.

M - lightly carbonated and smooth on the palate.

O - This is a very well balanced beer for the most part. The malt and charred qualities sort of overtook the nuance, but the overall effect is still rather good. Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 05:40:27 | More by BingCrosby7
Photo of alexrichman


4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle
Best by 05-12-2014

A> Obsidian's color is more or less what the name implies, a truly black brew that lets no light through. Poured into a snifter, a nice, thick 1 finger head appears and has some nice retention and lacing.

S> I get scents of chocolate/mocha, dark fruits, and a milky sweetness. This one has a really good bouquet. Nothing profound but really delicious smelling!

T> Flavor is quite different than the smell. This one is hop forward, with the malt's sweet mocha/dark fruit flavor creeping in and taking over the finish. Weird ... but nice.

M> Feels like a stout should, although on the thin side of what I would consider acceptable for the style. The carbonation level is spot on.

O> I'm rarely disappointed with beer from Deschutes and this beer is no exception. It is a good stout; very drinkable but also complex. Definitely one of the more hoppy stouts I have tried!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 01:36:23 | More by alexrichman
Photo of jamesm7485


4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very nice, a thick dark black pour with a light frothy dark tan head.

Smell is big time roasted malts a smell of coffee beans perhaps

Taste is very nice very upfront with the roasted malts

Mouthfeel is smooth but not dull like some stouts can be

Despite the darkness and abv this is easily a session beer and a regular purchase of mine, just took forever to get around to reviewing it.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 05:46:30 | More by jamesm7485
Photo of ricke49


4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great several finger head, which itself tastes nothing short of delicious. This beer in many respects is clearly relative of the more potent 'The Abyss'.

Smell: roasted malts...some chocolate

Taste: roasted flavor is predominant....but not to the exclusion of hops. If you like the roasted taste, this brew is for you.

Mouthfeel: extremely smooth

Drinkability: A wonderful stout that makes up for the fact that The Abyss is not always available - or desired (i.e. if you are looking to 'go session').

Overall this has to be one of the best values out there; often in the sub-7 dollar range for a sixer. Quality like this at that price is one of life's small pleasures.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 21:32:31 | More by ricke49
Photo of Franch

New York

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

i don't get to try stouts that are not imperial very often. this is a pretty good everyday stout. i really liked it, and at 6.4% ABV, it's certainly more feasible to drink a lot of it than say.. bell's expedition stout. the espresso taste went to the core.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 04:41:25 | More by Franch
Photo of SamuraiJack


4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the brewery.

While this stout doesn't compete with the massive Brooklyn Chocolate Stout or other Imperial Stouts, it is none the less a serious, huge beer. And like the Chocolate Stout, this is, IMHO, an example of an excellent beer-maker at work - one of the top US brewed stouts.
First pour reveals a completely opaque black stout with a truly massive and almost gummy head. Initial aroma is heavy on the roasted barley and alchohol (perhaps the least pleasing attribute). Initial taste is one of both cream and sugar, blending smoothly into the roasted barley, fruit and (now balanced) citric bite of the alchohol. The aftertaste begins with the appearance of a nice burnt coffee flavour and integrates the subtle hops bitterness into the sugars and cream to leave a long, lingering finish.
A very fine beer. Dramatically superior to the bottled version.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2003 17:32:14 | More by SamuraiJack
Photo of toweringpoo


4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first beer from Deschutes. I've heard nothing but good things for a while now but I never once saw any of their offerings at my local bars/stores. So, I was pretty excited to see this on the guest beer list at Bulldog in Ginza. It lived up to the hype.

Great looking pour. Completely opaque, silky looking beer with a thick tan head. lacing abound. Smell was nice, but not really strong. Roasty malt, coffee and just a hint of hops peeking through.
Tastes fantastic. Really powerful malt presence. Coffee, chocolate, your parents breakfast cereal. Hops are present, adding the perfect amount of bitterness and a hint of grassy fruit on the back end.
Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied. Just how I like my stouts.
Not too big not too small. This beer is really well balanced. I'd gladly drink a bunch of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 15:11:19 | More by toweringpoo
Photo of ocmpoma


4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle into my Spaten mug:

A wonderfully dark porter with very little head; just a bit of brown filming. It does leave a bit of lacing as I work my way through it. I get a strong aroma of caramel and coffee and some toffee and chocolate hints on the nose, it smells nice and dry, almost tart on the nose. A delicious aroma.

Wonderfully dry taste, but more bitter and hopped than a dry Irish stout would be. The caramel which was so strong on the nose comes through on the back end of the palate, after the coffee is done. I get some salted chocolate, and maybe even licorice, on the edges... a very complex, rich flavor. It's also very tart and bitter.

For such a bold, dry taste and nose, the mouthfeel is very light. It manages to go down smooth with a smack of tart bitterness at the end. The alcohol is completely hidden in the flavor, but given the huge flavoring I'd consider this of only average drinkability -- for a stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 03:25:27 | More by ocmpoma
Photo of MexicanSkittel


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

I really like this beer. I get it at my local shop for 5.99 a six pack, Its there best deal in the house.

Pours a viscous dark black with hints of tan bubbles which begin to create a off white light tan head, about a 1/4 inch, foam holds up for a good while, with solid rings left along the glass during consumption.

Alot of roasted malt, coffee, oak, and bittersweet chocolate on the nose.
A balance of earthiness from the coffee and sweet from the malt and chocolate on the palate create the chance for this beer to linger well after it is swallowed.
As for it's drinkability, well yea I've often told myself I'll have 1 or 2 from a six pack, and find myself with 5 or 6 empty bottles.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 21:26:34 | More by MexicanSkittel
Photo of bridgetowhophead


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

Being a NW homer, I have a soft spot for Deschutes, but I will try to be as impartial as possible in my review.

Can't dock many points for appearance. Black as the rock that it takes its name from with a frothy tan head that leaves excellent lacing. I get very rich and roasty malts in the nose with a hint of coffee. Taste is dominated by roast malt and chocolate malt, with a very smooth finish. I like to see more chocolate and coffee nuances in my stout, but for what it is, this is a damn fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 07:56:13 | More by bridgetowhophead
Photo of mrkc


3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a six pack of Obsidian Stout about a week ago, and I've been slowly working my way through it. I tried, I really did, to like it. Deschutes is generally such a great brewery, and I've been just flat-out impressed by their line almost each and every time. Almost, because this time, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall in love with this stout. It's malty odour is fine, but the taste of the hops and the burnt cocoa seem to war with each-other. each are too strong. The mouth-feel is watery, like and is acrid like a cup of coffee you left on the counter for four days. This beer is in dire need of a time-out to mellow it down just a bit, so drinking it isn't like getting beat in the face with a baseball bat.

I'm sorry, Deschutes, I really tried. It's me, not you.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 15:17:35 | More by mrkc
Photo of Armand


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

Stored slightly chilled. Perfect temp. Poured into a tulip glass. Dark chocolate color with a nice brown head that slowly dissolved. Smells of malt. Smokey with hints of chocolate and coffee. Rich taste that went down smooth. Great pairing with chocolate cheesecake.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 07:17:02 | More by Armand
Photo of Andrew644


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

A- black with a dark tan or light brown head.

S- chocoate and roasted malt smell

T- chocolate and the roasted malts blend well to create a flavor where they are both present. A hop presence is noticable but the flavor doesn't come through it is many just to balance the beer out I think.

M- smooth yet slightly crips, it is refreshing.

D- A nice stout, definately worth trying if you like stouts.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 19:15:41 | More by Andrew644
Photo of humuluslupulus8


3.18/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer was a dark brown color, almost black; light didn't pass through the glass. There was a tan head that disappeared quickly and left practically no lacing on the glass.

S: I noticed roasted malt like in a porter. There was also a faint, bitter bite- possibly from the alcohol or hops?

T: The taste was primarily bitter and dry. Unlike other bitter beers I've drank, I noticed the bitterness mostly on my palate and tongue rather than on my throat. I couldn't taste any level of sweetness; I think some sweetness would have balanced the flavor better.

M: The mouthfeel was a medium thickness, not good or bad. It seemed appropriate for the style.

D: The beer was okay overall, but I probably won't drink it too much in the future. I sort of felt about it the same way I feel about India Pale Ales: I prefer American Pale Ales or Double IPAs, but IPAs are somewhat annoying to me. APAs are mostly balanced with a slight hop bitterness, and DIPAs are very hoppy and alcoholic. But IPAs are only hoppy, which I don't really like. In a similar way, with dark beers I prefer a sweet/balanced Porter or a big, complex Russian Imperial Stout, but Stouts are often just bitter. I guess I don't like bitterness to be the foremost characteristic of a beer, I like bitterness to only have a supporting role to the flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 22:55:54 | More by humuluslupulus8
Photo of rhong187


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

thanks to Diomede for sending this!

A - poured into a Deschutes snifter, and I cannot wait to try this one. Two finger soapy head and it looks amazing. Did I mention I can't wait to try this one?

S - dark chocolate and roasted malts. I'll admit, I didn't spend much time smelling this..

T - Everything I would hoped it would be and more. Espresso and chocolate flavors hit you in the face right away, with a nice dry finish. The pinnacle of how an American stout should be...

M - well balanced and medium bodied. extremely smooth

Yet another reason why I wish Deschutes would extend distribution to the East coast. A solid stout that I would recommend to anyone. I would definitely drink this all the time if it were availble..

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 04:53:34 | More by rhong187
Photo of LaneMeyer


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

Poured from a bottle into a teku.

A - Beautiful dark murky brown/black. 1 finger tan/brown head.

S - Smoke, charcoal, barbecued wood, cacao, vanilla, brown sugar.

T - Smokey, charcoal, bitter chocolate, slightly sour.

M - Very creamy, perfect amount of carbonation, silky smooth.

O - A nice American Stout. Not overbearing, but hearty and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 06:09:15 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of corpulent


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

A glance at my doody the day after drinking 3 of these tells the whole story.

Loose brownish head.
Roasted malt and bitter in the nose.
Not sweet, but a hint of the alcohol.
Tastes of roasted coffee, bitter malt.
Chewy, but I can taste the hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 17:31:35 | More by corpulent
Photo of ELN


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


I don't buy them too often because I don't go "beer shopping". I buy beer at my local cheap supermarkets generally and there's not a great deal of stouts available.

One morning about 2 years ago I drank a 6 pack of this early one morning and watched a bunch of porn. That is my best memory of this beer. Good taste and at 6.4% a nice challenge to get these down and see how far you can go. ;)

This is basically local beer that's always available on my local shelves for like $5.50-$6.50, we may be lucky? This and Full Sail and some others are the same price because of the distibutor.

I'm giving a 4.5 on appearance/smell/taste/mouthfeel. 5 on drinkability. Really great stuff! I prefer Deschutes over Full Sail generally.

Damn good. Enjoy!

---if you like this you might want to try Henry Weinhard's Dark Lager which is seasonal. It is what Full Sail came out with last year basically. Stouty-taste in a lager. A bit interesting, still tastes like a lager but is a nice change w/ the dark bit of taste. Goes for about $10.47 a 12pk. locally.--

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 07:55:15 | More by ELN
Photo of starkmarvelo


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

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

A- pours pitch black with a loose tan head.

S- dark chocolate, some smokiness. Good coffee like flavors with a bit of sweetness to it as well.

T- again dark chocolate bitterness, big robust stout flavors. Borderline imperial. Tastes great, a lot of chocolate flavors.

M- medium to thick with pretty aggressive amount of carbonation. Still smooth though. Also as a bit of warming alcohol presence.

O- one of the best regular stouts I've had. No barrel aging, no vanilla, no extra bells and whistles. Just a superb example of beer that doesn't need to be limited to be great.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2012 16:26:57 | More by starkmarvelo
Photo of imperialstout27


4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pub glass.

A: Very, very dark - obsidian is a good name for this one. Rich tannish-beige head that came to about 2 fingers with an aggressive pour. After the head receded it maintained a nice thin layer of foam the whole time. Pretty good lacing too. Overall a great looking brew.

S: Quite aromatic, with big time bittersweet chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder. Rich and creamy smelling.

T: Very prominent roasted malts. Char/burnt toast. Dark roasted coffee plus hints of burnt caramel and bitter chocolate. A little bit of alcohol peeks through on the midpalate. The finish is quite bitter and long-lasting, and reminiscent of the aftertaste of very dark chocolate. The malt sweetness comes off as mild - subdued effectively by the hops and bitter roasted flavors.

M: Nice level of rather fine carbonation. Silky and slick. Medium bodied and perhaps a little oily. Pretty damn good beer in this department too.

D: Very drinkable stout. None of its elements are over the top, everything is well-integrated, and the flavors are bold without being fatiguing.

Overall another really killer beer from Deschutes. Every beer I've had from them has been at least above average, if not exceptional. This is a great American Stout - not dry but not sweet either. Roasty as hell, pretty bitter, dark as night, quaffable. Very, very good job.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 16:11:09 | More by imperialstout27
Photo of sabinelr


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

A moderately stout stout. Not as in-your-face as Old Rasputin; more in line with Guinness, but with more alcohol, so you get a nice mellow buzz. The taste makes you want to come back for more, although if you have been away from stout for a while you have to take a couple sips to get back in the groove. In fact, you better have self control, because you will want to drink it all up. I went driving down route 97 in Oregon a few years ago, and this brew makes me think of the volcanic region south of Bend. I imagine this tastes just like the volcanic rock would taste if you were dumb enough to eat some.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 22:23:43 | More by sabinelr
Photo of iLovehops23


3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, sticks around for a little bit. Good lacing throughout the glass. Smells of rich chocolate malt and roasted malt. Somewhat of a coffee taste as well. Taste is somewhat bitter for a stout, bit by no means too bitter. Mouthfeel is very light for a stout, seems very thin, not a bad thing, just surprising. I do get hints of the coffee I smelled, and of course large quantities of the malts I mentioned. Decent carbonation, more than some stouts I've had. I taste the slightest hint of oats, this is by no means an oatmeal stout, but I get small hints of it. Drinkability is pretty high, only because it tastes pretty darn good! I wouldn't call this a "world class" beer, but it is very, very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 06:07:08 | More by iLovehops23
Photo of jmacdaddy2008


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

First deschutes beer I have ever had.
Got a bottle in Denver from a friend along with a couple of the Abyss.
Beer poured jet black with a tan head that dissipated quickly leaving a tiny ring around the glass with bubbles
Has a good rich smell of chocolate and coffee. Let it warm a little in the snifter to see if any other smells come out...more coffee
Tastes malty with a bitter after taste might be from the coffee or hops
Decent stout very drinkable looking forward to the Abyss

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 23:57:38 | More by jmacdaddy2008
Photo of Maninthearena


4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark crema, clings to the glass like a spider.

Nose- Intense chocolate malt, undertones of hops. Mmm, roasty... Some bread crust toastedness.

Taste- Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tone more evident than in the nose. Similar to the nose, a subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.

Mouthfeel- Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. Thick and fairly creamy, but not overly so. Satiating to the max. Becomes more resin like as is mixes with saliva.

Overall- Deschutes never seems to disappoint, tastes like a dark beer brewed up in the mountains.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 01:33:26 | More by Maninthearena
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,338 ratings.