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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,044 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,044
Hads: 3,414
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 494
Gots: 589 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (158) | 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: 1,044 | Hads: 3,414
Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a solid mocha color head that goes into a swampy state of bubbles. Creepy and mysterious.

S- Sweet roasted barley goodness. Cocoa and intense espresso lead the way. Graham crackers and roasted nuts also make for a well presented nose.

T- Very rich. Lots of roasted grains and oatmeal character. This beer refuses to roll over and go away softly. Straight up toasted goodness. Outstanding balance of hops and dark malts.

M- Mid body bordering on full. The intense nuttiness of this one makes for a nice drinkability.

O- Just another outstanding feather in the cap of Deschutes. This brewery does it right and continues to impress me. Its a stout that is hard to beat at its price.

$7.99 for a 6 pk

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Photo of barnzy78
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle; Best By: 03/11/14
A - black colored ale with a frothy light brown head that holds excellent retention and leaves chunky lacing sown the glass
S - rich aroma of chocolate, roasted barley, creamed coffee
T - robust, baker's chocolate, french roast coffee, semi-bitter, roasted barley, ashy; excellent balance
M - creamy but a bit resiny, medium-to-full body, finishes a bit smoky with roasty bitterness lingering
O - excellent robust American stout! Instant favorite of mine for the style.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, impenetrable black the color of used oil with a rich, active three fingers of brown head that slowly, clumpily dissipates to ideal levels. Great retention; really good spindly, web-like lacing.

Really strong chocolate, caramel and coffee malt notes. A touch of smokiness and the tiniest hint of hops. Really rich and warm. Simple but with quite a few complimentary things going on.

Flat and mineraly at first. The malt flavors take a bit to come around, but they do come to dominate the finish. Dirt, burnt coffee, well-water.

Prickly and dry. Coats the old mouth with nice warm malt flavors, but isn't sticky. Medium body. Lingering, smooth finish.

Really good beer. Lovely looking (honestly it couldn't look much better), nice unified smell that gives you a hint of the taste, with a great taste that builds on the aromas in the nose. Really quality overall drinking experience. My only gripe is that the carbonation is a little overboard for how I like the style to be. It isn't bad, but I feel like some flavors could come through stronger were there less intense carbonation. On a nitro tap I could see this being divine.
Will have again; worth seeking out.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A deep inky black with just enough transparency to flash brown and red here and there, with some mocha-colored foam and an aroma of roasted barley, dark sugar, and hints of fruit and American hops (pine? But just a wee bit). Go slow with this one, it is intricate yet powerful. A sip reveals deep roasted flavors right out of the gate but there is a surprisingly clean crisp finish ... You expect this to hang there like some massive imperial and certainly the sweetness does accumulate, but there's more going on than just syrupy smoky malt. Strong acidic coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate flavors give this beer a classic stout character while some dark fruit raisin-type notes add complexity. Body is dextrinous and chewy but its easy to forget that this is a BIG beer, considering the crisp finish with aromatic hop echoes and just the right amount of sweet-sour persistence that most certainly pays off. Creamy and smooth, the alcohol lurks in there like a spectre, only the faintest hint of a boozy presence. Superb balance and carbonation level. Once you go Obsidian you may never go back.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sucked down as dessert after pub food, on tap, over 25 glorious minutes.
The pour hue is deep chocolate with a dark tan head. Blanket lacing. Just enough light goes through to evolve red highlights.
Coffee, smoke, walnut--all tightly bound and understated characterize the scent profile. There's just a whiff of hop pine both at the start of a sniff and in the clean lift of the end of a breath.
The taste profile is stylistically on point and beautifully balanced unlike the majority of these creations. Mocha and toasty nuts hold the center. There's a suggestion of berry. But it's all still beer with a nosey burst of booze and edge of pine hop bitterness on the end.
Silky start with some barley chew. Consistent cream flow. Just right for the style, but a hint of carbonation buzz would be beautiful.
This creature is blended so well and kind to the tongue. Just a dram of extra ethanol would elevate it to near perfection by lifting the nose and adding a warm edge to the flavor and feel.

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Photo of mayerale
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass from a 12oz bottle.

Deschutes doesn't normally disappoint, and the Obsidian Stout is no exception.

A: It pours a deep brown, with a think tan head. The head on my beer actually disappeared rather quickly, but at the initial pour it was fantastic looking.

S: Definitely get the roasted smell initially, but there is a subtle sweetness that cuts through it after the first hit.

T: There are a lot of flavors with this beer. It begins with the roasted barely right toward the tip of the tongue right off the bat. As with the smell, there is a sweetness of fruit that comes right on the heels of the initial bitterness. As the thick stout moves to the back of your tongue, you are definitely left with a coffee/espresso taste. It is a complex taste that will stay in your mouth for quite a while, with a clear roasted essence lingering.

M: As you would expect with a stout, it has a thick feel to it. It is very smooth.

O: This is a fantastic beer. It is highly complex and offers a lot, from a beautiful appearance, to a lot of different flavors from bitter, to sweet, to roasted coffee. This is one of the better stouts that I have had, and I definitely recommend it.

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Photo of JohnnyJam
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this in my beer refrigerator for four months and it was buried in the back and I had not reviewed it. Deschutes Black Butte Porter is always on hand and I deviated to try this. I'm glad that I did. It is so good. The date code is 9/16/13 but I will review it anyway. Did it get better?

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with the date code clearly visible (9/16/13) into a pint glass and got 2+ fingers of head.

A: Pours black and opaque. I get a huge 2+ fingers if tan head that dissipates slowly to more than just a covering on the top of my glass that lasts to the end. Huge amounts of off-white lacing from top to bottom.

S: Dark coffee, vanilla, and charcoal.

T: Charcoal, strong coffee, burnt toast, and molasses. Really complex. Finishes with the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate.

M: Medium bodied and carbonated. The carbonation is similar to an effervescence that dances on my tongue. It goes down good.

O: I really like it. It is really satisfying and tasty.

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Photo of Bosazga
4.81/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I moved to Portland OR metro area in 2003 and always loved how the pacific NW caters to stout lovers... I have drunk a lot of beer in my life (much of it bad), and though I always liked how the microbrew phenomena coincided with my achieving legal drinking age. Sadly, though, the Atlantic seaboard does not carry many dark beers, hence my equal love for IPAs... Back to the review... I'm not a beer geek, but I love well crafted things in general. Deschutes Brewing has always been great with balancing fine beer with mass production (except maybe for JubelAle) and obsidian stout has been at the top of my list for 10 years running. Equal layers of coffee, chocolate , with a slight tobacco and leathery sweetness (yes, I've tasted leather). The mouthfeel is like real maple syrup consistency with a whipped foam coffee aftertaste. Just bitter enough to remind you that bitter is a masculine taste profile. The beer is hearty like a bowl of chunky soup, without the chunks. It drinks likes meal. If you find this on nitro, get it, as it lightens the beer while adding richness. Second only to Alameda black bear on nitro, but tops on a regularly available beer of any kind. I have loved European beer for far longer, but have a difficult time justifying their cost when craft brewers like Deschutes keep it real! This is the best value of any stout on the market, folks. Enjoy it when you can.

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Photo of BierStein711
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black body, toasty tan head, smooth beer

moderate lacing

Mouthfeel thick

Taste: Chocolate, charcoal, grape, dark fruits, toffee, and burnt roast malt at the finish

Smells: booze, cocoa

Overall, this is brilliant. I'm buying a six pack very soon.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

Obsidian is an appropriate name for this beer, as it pours dark as night with a healthy glugging sound out of the bottle. A one and a half finger head forms above the beer and leaves thick lacing with a few swirls. The head persists even after several sips.

The smell hits you first with some bitterness, not of the hop variety, but more that of acidic coffee or dark chocolate, and both of these aromas are very present, as is deep roasted malt and hints of burnt toast. These aromas carry into the taste, as the palate juggles the roasted coffee and malt notes, chocolate and caramel. There's a lot going on and it's a good thing.

For the mouthfeel, the beer alternates between the dry bitterness and a creamy oatmeal-stout-like quality. It's the best of both worlds.

Overall, an outstanding beer and one I could easily drink everyday.

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Photo of CHickman
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black color with a creamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly leaving great foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of oats, coffee, toasted grains, molasses, cocoa powder, lemon zest, caramel, light floral hops, charcoal and crackers; the roasted grains and chocolate in the nose has a sweetness that is like an espresso with a hint of hops. Nice rich stout nose that means business and is near perfect for the style.

Flavor is just like the nose, with chocolate, oats, coffee, toasted grains, molasses, cocoa powder, lemon zest, caramel, light floral hops, charcoal, citrus hops, herbs, burnt crackers and a sweet smoky flavor like a coffee left over a campfire until it was burnt. Strong coffee, dark chocolate and bitter citrus hops mix for a sweet and yet bitter stout that is quite smooth and well balanced while remaining bold and full of rich flavors.

Mouthfeel is on the thin feeling side yet heavy at the same time as it slides down smooth with a medium to heavy body, average to light carbonation and a chewy bitter finish that is like a lightly hopped Starbucks coffee.

Each sip is very tasty and complex and overall this was a damn good stout that was extremely easy to drink. Dangerously drinkable due to the 6.4% ABV and a definite recommendation.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: burnt brown/onyx, finger khaki up+down head,
random patchy lacing

S: dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, nuts aroma
mild sniff of alcohol

T: sweet malt, cacao/dark chocolate, roasted coffee
mild bitter finish

M: med body, smooth/creamy with mild
bubbles on tongue

O: Overjoyed to revisit Deschutes and thrilled
they are now in Chicago area. This is just
an outstanding Stout. Will please Imp Stout, as well.
Would love to keep it in my regular rotation, especially for the Winter
months ahead. 1st Stout I have had in ages and
this crisp (55/Sunny Autumn is perfect pairing).


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Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 9/06/11. Whoops, couple years too late. Probably 3 years old overall. Lots of dust.

A: Nice black pour. Enormous and fluffy medium brown head. Great retention as it fades very slowly. Great retention ever after these years have passed. Nice.

S: Milk chocolate and malt balls. Interesting. A little bit of caramel sweetness in fact.

T: Chocolate and...malt balls again. Malt Balls, the candy. Must be a side effect of the age. Mild cocoa in the aftertaste. Showing some effects of age with a little bit of cardboardy oxidation but not horrible. This is my last one out of the 6pack from 3 years ago, alas.

M: Silky smooth and medium bodied.

O: One of the best accessible stouts out there. This one has suffered a bit from age but still quite good. Wish Deschutes distributed out here.

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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 JamesMN
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Best before 5/7/13. So a little old but nothing to worry about with this style.

Appearance: Super dark brown (basically black) and opaque with a foamy two-finger tan head that is lacing nicely.

Aroma: Charred malt with a great milk chocolate and coffee presence. Quite milky/creamy.

Taste: Big kick of bitterness to start things off with a grassy hop character. The bitterness is intensified by the charred dark malt. Nice black coffee bitterness that can almost be harsh at times. The cream from the aroma comes through as a whisper in the background. This is definitely not a balanced stout, which is both good and bad. The palate is continually bombarded with robust dark malt and a lighter hoppy character. The finish is surprisingly smooth and the aftertaste leaves solid burnt chocolate and black coffee flavor. The robustness is right where it should be for a 6.4% ABV Stout.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with a tad too much carbonation. Average drinkability but probably too much harsh malt bitterness to session.

Final Thoughts: Not my favorite of the style, but a good Stout for those looking for robust dark malt flavor. Would I drink it again? Sure, nitro-tap would probably be worth seeking out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Six pack purchased from Fleming Place Wine & Spirits in Topeka, KS. Bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Best by date of 10/14/2013.

Appearance: 2 fingers of light brown colored head. Looks thick and creamy. Black body with some reddish highlights when held up to the light. Left some great lacing. A nice cap remained while drinking the beer.

Smell: Roasted coffee beans and dark milk chocolate. Like a slice of chocolate coffee cake. Brown sugar and caramel. A bit of bitterness. Some green hops. Great nose.

Taste: Follows the nose with those roasted coffee and creamy chocolate notes. Some citrusy hop bite at the end with a bit of bitterness. Very little heat.

Mouthfeel: The lower carbonation gave it a really nice creamy mouthfeel. The body itself though seemed thinner and more "watery" than I expected.

Overall: A great looking stout. Especially impressive was the nice cap the head was reduced to. Like a cappuccino. Impressive nose with that nice, medium roasted coffee smell. I felt like the body could have been a bit more, well, "stout." It was a little too slick and thin for my liking. Though the carbonation was perfect. That aside a great American stout that would go well with most desserts. In my case a cake doughnut.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black with a low retention head.

Faint aromas of chocolate, coffee and roast.

Roast malt and grain step forward and finish with a metallic tasting hop. Not very sweet at all.

Mouthfeel all the way through is very silky, velourish and creamy.

Never had such an incredible mouthfeel fall so one dimensional. Aroma was muted and taste was off-set with a metallic taste, cold draft to even warmed up. Mehhh. Feels more like a porter or even pretty close to their Black Butte Porter. Sowwy!

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Photo of MadScientist
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a long lasting head of compact, creamy bubbles. Leave a fair amount of fine lacing on the glass.

S: A good amount of chocolate, coffee and roast in the nose with some low burnt notes. There is a low citrus hops aroma.

T: Dark malt flavors dominate the flavor as well, again bring chocolate, some bitter coffees, roast and a bit of burnt bitterness to the party. There is a low caramel sweetness in the middle. There is a low caramel sweetness that gets dried out pretty quickly. There is a moderate hops bitterness teaming up with the roast bitterness making for a beer that is moderately bitter on balance. The finish is off dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste that shows some citrus hops flavors.

M: A medium full bodied beer with a moderate amount of creaminess and a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: Outstanding aroma and flavor having all of the dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee and a a touch of burnt bitterness along with some hops bitterness. It's fairly dry with and smooth. It's pretty evident why the beer has earned so many awards.

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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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip. BB 12/23/13

Pours a pitch black with a big 2 inch or so beige head with great lacing. Smells is of roasted malts and coffee, slightly charred cocoa. Taste is big on the chocolate and malts. Typical taste for a stout, but done very well and is quite enjoyable. medium bodied with medium carbonation. good feel, not too thick or overly syrupy. it fits for the ABV. however the body is a tad light.

overall just a good american stout. nothing too special, but easy drinking and tasty. bonus points for being lower in ABV but tasting just as good as any of the 10%ers. you wont be disappointed here.

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

Pours a deep blackish-brown with a two finger cocoa head.

Smells cocoa and coffee. The dark roasted malts definitely come through.

Taste is similar to the nose, dark roast, dark chocolate, and coffee. Some bitterness comes through, though if it is from hops or the dark roasted malts I can't really tell.

Somewhat drying on the tongue.

Overall, a very solid stout. Nothing fancy or exciting here, but everything you'd expect out of a good stout.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from late 2012 poured into a snifter. Jet black pour with a fingers worth of head.
Smells of chocolate, toasted barley and coffee which dominates
Taste: medium consistency - surprised not thicker. Very smooth with a chocolate and coffee notes shining through but not as smooth as others
Overall its good, would most definitely get again but not seek it out if I can't get it locally

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Photo of Segelstrom
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured to a very nice deep, robust and rich creamy foamy head topping this very good roasted malt and black barley beer giving way to notes of coffee. A definite beer to buy again and enjoy. Very similiar to Guiness Foreign Extra but not quite the bitterness.

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Photo of ranger7
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up from Central Market on sale.
From the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy dark brown-to-black brew. Tan head sticks to glass.

S - Roasted chocolate and coffee smell.

T - Chocolate front with coffee bean bitter finish.

M - Smooth and thin. Little carbonation that lessens quickly

Summary - Pretty nice stout. I've liked some other stuff from Deschutes, but this is definitely now one of my favorites of theirs. Typically, I will enjoy a stout if it refrains from pounding me with its roasted-ness. This one has just the right amount to be enjoyable.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,044 ratings.