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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,077 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,077
Hads: 3,569
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 522
Gots: 662 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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 (163) | 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: 1,077 | Hads: 3,569
Photo of dmgeng
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really like stouts but I bought the sampler pack for the porter and this was the last I tried. It seems I saved the best for last.

A - Black color but still slightly clear. Light brown head with coarse bubbles and nice lacing.

S - Tremendous stout aroma with the traditional malt along with caramel/chocolate/roasty tones. All of the flavors swirl together seeming to create an invitation for you to smell it some more.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer is full of malty goodness that coats the palate with the chocolate and roasted characters that I was expecting. The flavor is strong with sweetness but is balanced with the coffee/roasted/burnt character that can hint on your palate after you swallow. Light bitterness is there but the overall flavors linger and make you wish you had a bigger glass. There is really no hop character but with all of the other flavors it isn't a bad thing here.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel, definitely not as high as a RIS. Light carbonation perfect for the style. The substantial body with a more moderate ABV makes this brew a delicious finishing beer.

Overall, this is probably one of the best "standard" american stouts you can get. I could understand someone wanting an imperial over this but it is a great beer and the best part is you have no qualms drinking more than a few and enjoying it longer since it is not >10% ABV. If you like darker beers you will most likely fall in love with this one. Will try to make a clone and hope it comes out half as good as this one is.

Glass- Stout glass (looks like a compromise between a tulip and a snifter)

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

Appearance: Nice black color with good light brown head with great lacing

Smell: Good roasted malts, with some sweetness to it

Taste: Good malt sweetness, with some bitterness from roasted malts, some fruitiness, nice earthy hops, a little bit of coffee

Mouthfeel: Full body, light carbonation, very smooth and creamy

Overall: This is a fantastic brew, definitely a must try for anyone who gets the opportunity

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Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


I am not usually a fan of stouts. This is a extremely wonderful surprise and a absolutely WONDERFUL beer. I'm a hefe, witbeer, type of guy (but my tastes are changing, I recently tried a APA that I actually liked!)

With that being said, if you're wanting to try a stout, and are afraid to do so, this is the beer to try. It makes Guinness take like absolute trash. And I'm serious. It's like comparing Bud Light to a Belgian Trapist. A damn near perfect blend of hops and malts in this stout that is black as night. I held it up to a 100 watt bulb. ZERO light penetration. This beer is a black hole of good flavors, it sucks up all things wonderful you'd expect in a stout, and obliterates that bad.

The only thing (and this is truly minor) is its mouthfeel. I tend to like a stout a bit less "liquid"... when I think stout, I almost think I should be chewing the beer, not sipping it. My favorite beer for mouth feel is Köstritzer Schwarzbier.

If you're looking to venture out and try a stout, and you're a bit afraid to do so. Don't be afraid to try this stout. If you don't like this stout. You wont like ANY stouts.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a snifter, black as night and raises a persistent finger of khaki head

Smells of molasses, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and a bit of booze.

Really powerful stout considering it's not quite an RIS. Hints of dark fruit, cocoa, and finishes with an espresso note, lots of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is perfect, beautiful body and carb is perfect. Really creamy.

I expected this to be good, and was surprised by its quality. It's a perfectly crafted stout, and I wish I could drink it regularly (no distro nearby). Cheers!

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Photo of sheeley
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Incredible. Black as night with a great head and dark colored foam.
Smell: Exceptional. Notes of caramel, malts, and hazelnut. Taste/mouthfeel: Exceptional as well. Roasted malts and espresso with a rich, smooth flavor overall. I prefer this beer chilled; as it warms, it tends to become more bitter. One of my favorite beers so far.

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Photo of boogieman
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the local liquor store. Poured into my beer glass at room temperature.

Appearance: pours a rich, dark, coffee brown with a 2-finger, mocha-colored head that lasted a long time. Left exquisite lacing around the glass.
Smell: toasted malt, coffee. Light hops, and a hint of dried fruit.
Taste: Quite bitter at first, and melding into a sweetness that then turns into a rich bitter aftertaste. some hops and sweet malt. It reminds me of a mocha. Rich, dark chocolate, with a strong coffeeness. A bit of vanilla. Somewhat woodsy, and a little bit of spiced citrus. I feel like it would have been a little more appetizing and refreshing if I had drank it cold. If/when I buy it again, I'll try it chilled.
Mouthfeel- some dryness. Very rich and creamy. leaves a shortlasting pleasant filmy residue around the mouth. Light carbonation.
Overall- definitely a good stout. I had somewhat of spicy/fruity undertone that wasn't my favorite, but it melds really well with the beer.

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Photo of REGreenBTRB
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very dark with a two finger, cinnamon-y head.

Smell: A nice blend of dark chocolate and coffee/espresso, along with lots of dark, roasted malt. To me, a little more coffee/espresso than anything. I also picked up on a little caramel.

Taste: Malt! Coffee with some dark chocolate on the back end. The dark chocolate lingers for quite some time. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, very drinkable. Medium body.

Overall: This is a wonderful stout with an abundance of flavor. It is very malty, and the dark chocolate and coffee compliment it well. I'll definitely be picking up some more of these in the future. Wonderful stout.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty infamous NON-imperial stout (!), this was actually a long-time want for me, glad to see this all over the place during a road trip last month. From a 6-pack purchased...somewhere on the west coast I think. Best by date of 11/1/14.

Appearance - Black pour, tan head, good retention and some lace left.

Smell - Big but balanced unsweetened dark chocolate and roasted malt, leaning moreso towards roast/charred malt. Some coffee-ish notes and hoppiness.

Taste - Roasted malt, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, decent dose of piny hop bitterness, bits of dark fruit. Definitely a 'dark malt' bomb, probably even less sweetness than the nose, leans towards smoky.

Mouthfeel - Nice, not too hefty, highish carbonation, kinda rough with all the bitterness/roast but in a good way. Still feels like kind of a monster despite the lowish ABV.

Overall - Good stuff, though it pretty much drinks like an imperial stout. A dense and straightforward roast-forward/chocolate flavor for a lower-ABV stout done well, always nice.

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Photo of vr1000
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hints of coffee, beautiful color, smooth and creamy. Just delightful! I love the thickness, and the mouthfeel of this stout. I very much enjoyed the creaminess and the full bodied taste. This beer is highly rated for a reason, it is fantastic. Try it if you get a chance!

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow - this is a knock your socks off american stout. Pours pitch black with a brown mocha head. Smells of dark chocolate, vanilla, raisins - very nice nose on this.Rich and smooth mouth feel - velvety. Flavor follows the nose - chocolate, vanilla, oaky, rich and robust. Nice semi bitter finish balances this one out.

Overall, one of the better stouts I have had in a long time.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter. Served at cellar temp.
A-Inky black, no showing of light whatsoever. Mocha brown head, fluffy.
Ar-coffee, dark chocolate, earthyness
T-creamy chocolate immediately followed up by coffee and earthy hop bitterness, carbonation. Very well balanced. Slight booze on finish. Slight yeasty flavor
M-medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Exactly what I would expect.
Overall- perfect American stout. So well balanced. I prefer to drink this at at least 50 degrees or warmer because it adds creaminess and even more balance. My favorite beer by deschutes and my favorite stout ever. Flys off the shelf

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Photo of Furlinator
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11/01/14.

Pours opaque black. The 1 inch tan head settles to a cap and thick ring on top that leaves thick shimmering curtains of lace.

The smell is mainly coffee grounds with a hint of dark chocolate.

The taste is of bitter black coffee up front with a bitter, almost herbal, hop finish.

The texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

All the components of a solid stout are here: notes of cocoa, coffee and roasted dark malt. All combined with a bitter hop finish. Good but, not great.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best by 10/13/14. Pours dark brown black with a huge creamy light brown head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is dry chalky roast chocolate malts and some grains with a little coffee.

The flavor is burnt roast bitter chocolate malts with some coffee and a little sweetness and a fairly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation and a little watery.

Overall, some sweet chocolate and heavily roasted / burnt chocolate malts with a little coffee and a bitter burnt finish. A little too burnt for me.

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Photo of matjack85
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Jewel/Osco store in Glemdale Heights, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. A best before date is stamped on the side label.

The beer poured a very dark brown color and made a 3-finger light tan head on top which lasted several minutes and left incredible lacing.

The beer smells incredible. It's really sweet with roasted malts, sweet caramel, bittersweet chocolate, and strong coffee aromas.

It's not as sweet as the smell indicated. It's mostly dry roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and bitter coffee. Add 4 different hops to the mix and you've got a really bitter stout. It's OK, but I would have preferred it sweeter.

Medium bodied with only moderate carbonation.

Wish it tasted as good as it smelled, but it's still a decent stout.

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Photo of AmishLightning
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks: Two fingered head that stayed around a decent amount of time. Black as night as expected. The lacing that was left on the glass gave a good finish towards the end of the beer.

Scent: Semi-Sweet chocolates are the most prevalent smell. There is a hint of maltiness which adds a good balance, but I didn't notice any coffee or bittering scents at all.

Taste: This was a surprise for me because I thought the taste did not follow the smell much at all. I mostly tasted a powerful coffee with hints of very dark chocolate flavors. This was not sweet at all. The lack of sweetness did not bother me too much, but I would have liked to see some sweets at some point in the taste. Instead, the beer finished as is started with no flavor profile to change over time. This is the biggest reason I rated taste at a 4/5 instead of higher. I feel that if I wanted to have seen different flavors appear as the beer warmed up or as it sat in my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Smooth for sure with a medium body. I would have liked less carbonation but that is really nickpicking. No oily feeling afterwards, not a bad mouthfeel.

Overall: I liked this one, but I do not think that it lived up to its hype. I will have to revisit and review again some time.

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Photo of garuda
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black, tan head has decent retention and lace

Rich, vanilla sweet nose. Taste starts with vanilla, then goes into roasted malts and chocolate, finishing with noticeable bitter pine hops.

Full body, low to medium carbonation. Mostly smooth, hops are a bit abrasive in the finish and feel a little out of place.

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Photo of pkalix
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

well, dark as heck, super dark brown. no head, but it was an easy pour. I think there is a lot to lose with vigorous pours regarding taste.
smell is typical stout properties: vague chocolates and coffee, vanillas and earthiness...
thick on the palate, I get the same as in the nose. rather subdued but very standard. very decent. very surprised I haven't had this one before.
nice chocolate milk head on top after a second, more vigorous pour. very nice...
overall, very good for a standard, easy to find stout. a little heavier than I expected but very good. for standards, I really like Firestone's Velvet Merlin.... inexpensive and very good and refreshing!

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Photo of mabermud
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

With a medium pour, this appears a super dark brown beer with a thin tan head. Decent lacing, nothing to write home to mom about.

Roasted malts + coffee beans and a faint aroma of chocolate.

Even taste of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Medium body, a little creamy, but thin.

This is a solid, all-around stout. Nothing stands out, but nothing is lacking. There are a few others I would select before this stout. However, this brew has an advantage because it is readily available in the area.

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Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Obsidian Stout
Deschutes Brewery, Oregon
---from bottle to pint glass---

This is a BLACK beer. Massive tan head with good retention. Great lacing

Dark roasty malts, oats, cocoa, coffee

Sweet roasted malt, dark bitter coffee, smoooth

Super silky, sweet and bitter go to war on your tongue.

SOLID! Good on all fronts. Definitely a go-to stout!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on nitro at Draught House on 4/7/14

A-Pours black with a medium sized bubbly tan head. Excellent lacing!

S-The aroma is big on espresso with a healthy balance of chocolate. Roasted malts and licorice are present as well.

T-The taste has some sweetness in it to go along with some bitterness. Flavors of espresso and to a lesser extant chocolate remain strong. Long aftertaste of espresso.

M-Medium bodied, with a thicker texture, with softer carbonation.

O-This one doesn’t do anything to crazy. Its just very solid.

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft nitro into 5 oz sampler. Appearance is impenetrable black, beautiful rising head resembling a cappuccino. Aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, subtle hops. Flavor is dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, followed by bitter hops. Mouth feel is medium full, not font or bubbly (the nitro, I guess). Overall this is a really outstanding stout, noticeably richer in flavor than the bottled equivalent I have at home right now. Love it!

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Photo of mush
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured too cold, dilligently hand warmed.

Ar - Braised/roasted malt.
Ap - Beautiful head, obsidian body, absolutely nothing not to love.
T - Sweet, creamy delight; the absence of sourness, not at all smokey.
P - Thick cream, 'staches all around.

O - Excellent stout

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(best by 07/24/14 - poured into a proper 20 oz pint)

A: tall almost 2" head on the pour, fell down to a 1/4" cap, leaving flares of lace all around... foam is a darker brown indicative of a significant portion of roasted barley in the bill... pretty dark brown liquid with some ruby highlights

S: wicked stream of mint, herbal liqueur, and dark chocolate jets forth until the alcohol dissipates... after which, spearmint-y pine, caramelized wood, and sweetish black coffee (dark crystal ~90?) dominate the aromas... an overall hygienic sort of floral-pine character

T: definite core of strong roasted barley and bittersweet malt flavor through which a seemingly everlasting surge of spicy-peppery, citrusy hops burns... dark, bitter, vaguely syrupy chocolate clings to the palate in the aftertaste while the pungent bitterness slowly fades but doesn't quite disappear... roastiness increases with each sip, balancing the bold caramel malt presence

M: fairly medium-bodied up front with a bit of a molasses-like viscosity adding a slight slickness, filling it in... after the start, however, it dries out quickly with an acrid wash... everything stays in the first half of the palate

O: in the debate of Stout vs Porter and contrasts and similarities of each, it appears that Deschutes has made the distinction between the two (their porter being their Black Butte) by making this beer certainly damn roasty and bitter while their porter highlights more of a dynamic cereal/cakey malt foundation and more pronounced chocolaty flavor... this stout, though, is an easy and safe sell to those who haven't had it - fantastic!

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours nearly black, with just barely a trace of red highlights during the iPhone flashlight test. An admittedly gentle pour resulted in one finger of dark khaki head that retains wonderfully as a creamy cap. Good bits of lacing down the glass. This one could have benefitted from more eye candy, but that's no fault of Deschutes. Even a weak pour resulted in commendable lacing. A more aggressive pour would have surely resulted in a blanket of beige.

S: Gorgeous roasted profile. Lots of dark roast coffee beans, toasted malts, and slightly burnt caramelized sugar. A nice hint of semi-sweet chocolate underneath as well as some dark fruit.

T: Chocolate fades a little bit on the tongue, giving way to some glorious roasted coffee that tastes as fresh as the first cup of morning joe. A little bit of brown sugar underneath struggles to carry the weight of the dark bitterness, offering only a little balance. It's eventually completely pushed out of sight as a nice rush of fresh hop flavor melds with the coffee. The aftertaste is exclusively black coffee.

M: A stout that drinks almost like an imperial... Damn near full-bodied with tons of creamy smoothness to be found. Doesn't quite reach the chewiness of an imperial stout, but who's complaining? This bad boy drinks like a charm.

O: I never found Deschutes to be the most outspoken brewery around, and with beers like this, they don't have to be. Everything Deschutes has to say gets said as you take a sip of their brews, and Obsidian Stout is a perfect example of what Deschutes is all about. There's no gimmicks or arrogance here... just a divine stout from a company who knows how to brew legendary beer.

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Photo of msquared36
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is nearly pitch black with mocha foam. The foam is darker than some beers.

Coffee and roasted malt scent. Noticing a slight metallic aroma as well.

Taste is much lighter than I was expecting from the appearance and smell. Roasted malt and caramel is certainly present, but there is a refreshing hop finish.

More carbonated and thinner than most top stouts. However, it works pretty well with the refreshing finish mentioned above.

This is a little on the weak side for a stout, especially one called Obsidian. Nevertheless, it's unique and drinkable.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,077 ratings.