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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: 3,479
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
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: 3,479
Photo of RenzoD
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Very good stout.
Cappaccino appearance. Poured into the glass like sweet black oil. Leaving a nice looking coffee foam head. Doesnt have that ashtray aftertaste that so many stouts can have. Perfect initial taste. Follows through with a medium roast flavor. It's a beautiful beer.

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Photo of Umbra
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via a secret santa with mwompus.
Poured an inky, opaque black with a thick two fingered dark tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Mochachino aroma, with maybe some alcohol soaked fruits as well.
Creamy choco coffee flavor with a finishing of bitter hops, cocoa, spiciness.
Mouthfeel was medium, with a creamy felling.
Extremely drinkable stout, especially with the ABV not blowing you off your seat.

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Photo of starkmarvelo
4.42/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of jakon
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best before date of 12-7-7.

Pours pitch black with an impressive mocha colored head which displays excellent retention and leaves webs of sticky lacing in its wake. The aroma is of roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee mingle with overpowered hops. Don't know how else to describe it, but there's a crayon-like aroma in there as well. Taste is lightly sweet at first and then turns deeply bitter. Especially in the back. The bitterness of the coffee flavor and hops combine to create an overall bitterness that hits you from all angles. There's also an earthy wood-like flavor in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Abrasiveness builds on the tongue as you dig deeper into the glass. This has been a longtime standby that I will continue to revisit as long as the fine folks at Deschutes keep sending it through the bottling line. A classic.

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

Beer Thirty Tasting - thanks younger35 for providing this one.

Two finger mocha head. Aroma of chocolate and coffee. Taste is well balanced. Smooth. Creamy...very nice mouthfeel. If this was local to me I could see making it a go to beer. Good stout.

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Photo of Bcant
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an extremely well balanced stout. It looks good too. Pours almost back with a medium brown head that lasted to the end, leaving a touch of lacing on the side of my pint glass on the way down. Smell is mostly of dark chocolate but is rather delicate, almost too slight, but still very nice. The taste starts with strong coca notes but seamlessly transitions through toasty malts to an excellent dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is very round, smooth, and chewy. The carbonation level is just right. This stout is very complex but not at all difficult to drink. None of the flavors are overpowering and with a very velvety mouthfeel the first pint begs a second.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to Faro for this one.

Smell is pretty off, not very good, but thats the least of my concerns.

Taste is quite robust, and I mean robust. Huge malt and dark chocolate flavors, not to mention this brew is hopped up more than Dudley Moore in "10." This one should be listed as a Robust Stout, just to warn you of what your about to imbibe. Solid structure, a great beer.

Overall, this beer surprised me, I was not looking for such a complicated and masterful brew, One of the best stouts I've had in a while.

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Photo of Kelly88
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Snifter. Huge thanks go out to stxOOlax (Jacob) for such an amazing extra

A- very dark color of... Obsidian. nice mocha head that is leaving some sporadic lacing on the glass. Just a classic looking stout.

S- again very classic stout smells. Dark fruit like plums and raisins. Cherries and chocolate coffee are rounding out the waft.

T- starts out tart and sweet that is followed by huge roast. Bitter chocolate adds complexity to the finish. A nice bitter end to a great brew

M- a little on the light side for a stout but enjoyable none the less. carbonation is a bit high as well. Leaves some room for improvement but feel is not a total put off.

Overall this beer is great. Classic stout but a top quality classic stout. Huge dark fruits and roasty characteristics that are in harmony and deliver nice flavors. Mouthfeel is a little weak but the other aspects take up the slack. Great 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 Gump
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My label is tan, not blue.
I've heard that Obsidian Stout is very good, so I had my Dad bring some back from his visit to Seattle.
Carbonation is evident from the open.

Deep, rich, black pour with a dark head that overtakes the glass. It takes awhile for this one to settle down. Stiff dense head, like is was whipped into shape.

Coffee, maple syrup and moss-like earthy aromas. (Hey, this might make good breakfast beer:)

The dry bitterness is rounded out by a creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of katybee
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful beer, full of flavor and character.

deep dark brown in color, true to the type it is totally opaque, with a 1" big, rich, cocoa tan head when poured, and lots of residual lacing.

There is no unusual smell to speak of, neither over the glass or after the pour emptied. Although if it is there, it is only lightly hoppy.

the flavor is wonderful roasted malts. I didn't detect any real coffee or chocolate notes, and no excessive sweetness. There is some light hops, and a slightly bitter dry aspect, that while it can be savored and rolled over the tongue, it is more of a pounder beer, rather than a sipper. Very different from the average lager. Solid flavor, not too much alternative aspects, just straight on toasted malt.

medium bodied, very smooth but not excessively creamy, with little if any carbonation tickle.

Highly drinkable when first poured, it did seem to lose a little of the flavor character and became slightly hoppy sour when flattened to room temp, but nothing really to complain about-- just not as sweet as some barelywine type ales.

Overall a straight-on great stout, very true to it's pedigree type, and the slightly higher alcohol content packs more punch than an average lager...just not as memorable as some of the other more flavored varietals--such as Lagunitas cappuccino stout.

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Photo of rembrant
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Great name,beautiful bottle,a wonderful Stout,not "Imperial" but close in many ways and more drinkable and affordable than most.
This is...alas...the last bottle of a few I brought from California when moving back east.

I looked at the other reviews after my tasting...any most are quite true. Obsidian has an abundance of subtle details and you may find a new one with each sip. I guess one could get an old or sub par bottle but most folks will find something in here they like a lot.

Look....Black Obsidian. A rich tan head,moreso than typical of a stout,lots of lacing.

Scent....Aromatic and complex,though not ultra intense. Malts + hops are present with traces of fruit,choco,coffee,hickory smoke,Dark brown sugar....

Flavor...The magic is that nearly any flavor you might expect in a Stout from an ace brewer is THERE and if you didn't catch it on this sip,just wait, it's in the next.
The Big dark roasty stuff leads,smooth, not a massive/abrasive sledgehammer but warm and intimate beer sex.
The hoppy touches come soon, with fruits,and deep woods pine,juniper,earthiness.

It all seems in harmony with a lot going on but no single element too dominant. As others note, not a high ABV,and out west,not a brew that's scarce or a budget buster. Alas,of my "Top10 USA Breweries", Deschutes is the one I can't find around here. Yet.

Mouth?feels beefy,substantial the cabonization seems delayed and comes on with the hops and a slight caramel syrup cling for a nice finish.

Drinkable? Hell...if I could GET a bottle, I'd drink it now.

Robust,not a big Alcoh slam,and I like 'em chilled a bit more than recommended for Stouts. It's got ample flavor for that.

Bell's Expedition is the best Big Stout I've found (that's not enhanced by add-ins or barrell) and Obsidian is damn close and just over half the $.

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Photo of ricke49
4.63/5  rDev +10%
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.

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

Purchased at LiquorMart in Boulder, CO in March...

Appearance: Pours like the darkest time of night. Completely opaque. No light comes through at all. Not even the slight sliver. A nice light brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of glorious lacing. Pretty!!!

Smell: Roasted chocolate malts, some hints of coffee and vanilla, some caramels mixed in, but mostly chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Mmmm, malty, heavenly goodness. The smoothness is a bit overwhelming in such a good way. The coffee taste lingers on the back of the tongue, but as quickly as the smooth came, it went and it begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: I believe I already said it's smooth. The chocolate malts shine here and create a very rich, very smooth stout.

Drinkability: At 6.4% ABV, this might be a slightly more sessionable stout. The richness and the complexity of the taste profile challenge you to drink just one. If I had more in the fridge, there would be more going down the hatch tonight. Oh well! All in all, this is one hell of an American Stout.

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

P: 12 oz. Squat brown bottle, best by 01/12/08 is stamped on the label, 6.4% Alc. by Vol.

A: Dark India ink pour with a thick-burnt dark sugar foam head that dissipates to a thin cover and enough lacing for three beers.

S: Sweet brown sugar, roasted malt, and thin alcohol vapors at the end of the nose.

T: Starts with a slightly thin roasted malt, bitter espresso and then slowly dissolves into a very slight sweet finish.

M: Gives the entire mouth a workout, in a good way! This one is a sipper to be enjoyed as it lowers in temperature.

D: Could do one or two at a sitting I am classifying this as a great nightcap drink to be savored rather than an all out session.

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Photo of tylerprince
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pitch black with a one-finger head. Poor head retention and no lacing. It looks like others have had a better looking pour...perhaps I have this beer a little too much TLC.

S: Roasted malt and coffee primarily, undertones of chocolate. Alcohol twang at the end.

T: Roasted malts with hints of coffee and chocolate, pleasant bitter coffee and alcohol finish. Tasted better with each sip.

M: Medium body, quite creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

O: A very satisfying stout, airing towards an imperial. I'll stick to the Green Flash double, but this one comes in at a not too distant second.

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Photo of jtfest
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like 40 weight -- a beautiful thick, dark brown, with a small but creamy brown head to match. Smelled like malted coffee, but not as strong as I expected (or would have liked). Thick mouthfeel that actually felt 'heavier' than other beers to me -- like my tongue was getting a workout just bearing the weight and pushing it back into my throat. Rich roasted flavor with hints of hickory. Very enjoyable for a dessert beer or treat, and taste-wise I could drink a few, but I think I'd either get full or a tired tongue before I drank too many.

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Photo of brian44556
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Bell's Pint Glass. Best by date is 3/23/11. It has been refrigerated at about 45 degrees since I received so I think it will be just fine.

Poured a pitch black with a frothy, chocolate head. The head floated on top of the beer for a very long time. Great lacing left around the sides of the glass. Smell notes of strong espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. Wow....great coffee taste, Hersey Kiss flavored chocolate, with a backbone of peanut butter. Mouthful is crisp, carbonation is spot on, but the beer seems to be a little on the thin side, but every other aspect of the beer makes up for it. Overall an amazing American Stout. Can't remember who sent this as an extra, but I owe them one! It is a shame we can't purchase Deschutes around here or this would be a staple beer in the fridge.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Clear laser marked date best buy 8/26/06.

Pitch black in color, with an amazingly frothy, mocha colored head, about 3/4 of an inch in height. Decent retention, leaving a good amount of delicate lacing. Mostly smells of dark chocolate, espresso, hints of dark fruits and some sort of musty smell. Tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Quite delicious! A good balance of hops and malts, finishes clean. Very creamy and smooth, and not too heavy. This is a pretty awesome beer. Super easy too drink and very refreshing. A great example of an American stout. I hope I can trade for more of this. Seek this one out!!!!

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Photo of bradford
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great stout. A little hard to find at times in my area of California, so whenever I see a six pack floating around stores, I usually grab one.
Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Dark, dark brown, almost black, close to opaque. A thin, swirling head, with little retention on the ring around the edge of the glass. Smell was a little weak for me, perhaps I had a bit of an oncoming cold, but nothing spectacular here. Taste is most excellent. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, everything you would expect from a stout of this caliber. Mouthfeel is smooth, but dry, very easy going down. If it weren't for the 6-something% abv on this, I could drink this all day. Very drinkable stout and one of my favorites. I think Deschutes gets a bad rap around here because the Mirror Pond and Black Butte are the only widely availabe selections from them and they are a bit weak in all categories. But this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of zacharius
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out black like the devil's heart with a frothy tan head. Smell is of chocolate and caramel malty goodness. Taste is hearty with a dry coffeelike roasted malt taste underpinned with a bit of sweetness from crystal malt. Hop character takes back burner but in balance and typical for the style. Neverending dry roasted malt aftertaste. Silky mouthfeel but not too heavy in body. Good alcohol content but presence is masked. This beer is very drinkable but still puts hair on your balls.

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

Appearance: pours pitch black with a sizable, lingering tan head.

Smell: roasted barley and malts were easily detectable. Mild coffee scents were present as well.

Taste: the full-bodied malty construction of this beer is built in to compliment the roasted complexity throughout the finish. Chocolate and subdued hops are evident.

Mouthfeel: I percieved the mouthfeel to be somewhat similar to an Irish stout. Creamy and frothy, but with more weight and viscosity.

Overall: A brilliant beer. Highly recommended.

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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 WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

08.26.14. Best by date.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.06.14.

A: Completely opaque black. 1/2 finger head.

S: Cocoa, chocolate, roasty malt. Some sweetness too.

T: Roasty malt, chocolate.

M: Creamy smooth.

O: I poured some of this over ice cream and it was very good. On its own, this did not have any weird hop bitterness, which I can't stand in a stout. The roasted malt kept the sweetness in check. It is an excellent example of the style.

Rating: A-

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