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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,801 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,801
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 412
Gots: 303 | FT: 9
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,801 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsanford
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a jet black with a 1/2 inch head of creamy mocha foam that doesn't really budge. Leaves a bit of sticky lacing on the glass when swirled.
S - Classic Stout aromas of dark roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a huge black cherry component. Honestly, this kinda reminds me of a cherry cordial, sweet and creamy with a maraschino cherry aroma.
T - More bitter, dark roasted malt, espresso, and chocolate, with a definite nougat sweetness and more cherry-type flavors, again the cherry cordial comparison works nicely. Very rich, yet balanced and drinkable.
M - Medium-bodied with a fairly full mouth-feel and lowish carbonation.
O - Solidly drinkable Stout, right on the edge of Imperial Stout. Nice cherry cordial flavors provide a unique flavor combination. I'd probably get this often if it was available to me.

jsanford, Apr 22, 2011
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.

stakem, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always been an old standby of mine, about time I reviewed it.

Pours inky black with complete opacity and a bustling three-finger head that is rocky, milky, and very light. Mahogany in color, it retains very well and leaves lace absolutely everywhere. Beautiful beer.

Roasted malt is slightly chocolately and has a touch of coffee, while a woodiness gives more complexity to the nose. Nuts and some dark fruit round it out. Really well balanced and engrossing aroma.

The taste is a phenomenal blend of roast malts, fruits and nuts, a charred finish, chocolate, and coffee. There is a bit of everything, and it's all at the right times. It starts lightly hoppy, with even a tiny bit of citrus being noticeable, but then moves to woody, nuttiness that is soft but firm. Dark fruit swoops in for a quick cameo, before a burnt, slightly bitter finish with lingering light coffee notes. Chocolate is drizzled on top from time to time adding its own flavor.

Mouthfeel is not thick or sticky, but rather a simple medium/full bodied blend of smoothness and slickness. The beer flows effortlessly and the dry finish is great. Perhaps could use a bit more weight, but it's fine as is. Drinkability is really outstanding for such a strongly flavored stout. Abv of only 6.4% is crazy for how much taste they managed to pack into this, and the dry finish is always an aid to keeping sips great the whole way through.

This is just an awesome beer, and I'd say its the perfect example of an American Stout. The fact that it's year-round and affordable is just a massive cherry on top. Living in an area where the Deschutes lineup is sold in every store is awesome.

madvermin, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of Kelly88
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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

Kelly88, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of BlastBeats
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

BlastBeats, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black like the night, with a thin tan layer lacing the pint along the top...very dark

S - roasty, malty nose with hints of chocolate, coffee...eyes closed - definite stout!

T - Smooth & malty.. Dark roasted flavors with hints of vanilla and coffee....

M - Smooth, rolls off the tongue

O - great stout. I'd drink it again!

vande, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of Tricia450
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass

dark rich color dark brown almost black

light brown head one finger


rich and flavorful, roasted coffee flavor and chocolate

I would drink this again, I bought a 6 pack today and I'm anxious to taste this on tap

Tricia450, Apr 13, 2011
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.

corby112, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Azurescens
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with best before date of 9/19/11, poured into snifter, reviewed on 4/6/11

A: This isn't called obsidian for nothing. Pours jet black with fluffy tan head that fades into a thin film which leaves lots of nice lacing around glass. Can barely make out a dark brown shade when tilted in the light.

S: Smells great! Lots of dark malt and roasted barley hits the nose with notes of coffee and some chocolate. A touch of dark fruit, alcohol and the slightest apple smell in there as well. No real hop aroma to speak of, no complaints over here.

T: Delicious, sweet and roasty from the malt with enough hops to balance it out perfectly.Very smooth and finishes with hints of chocolate and a touch of coffee, awesome.

M: Nice medium body, smooth from start to finish. Good carbonation level for a stout, just enough to leave a slight tingle on my tongue.

O: For an off the shelf stout this just about as good as it gets around here. Delicious, great roasty taste and nice body. Drinkability is awesome for the 6.4% ABV. This is as flavorful as most imperial stouts, just not as thick. I could easily go through a 6 pack of this if I felt like it. Deschutes really nailed it with this one!

Azurescens, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is as good as it gets for the style:

Pours espresso brown with a beautifully thick, rocky, mocha-colored head.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spot-on medium-low carbonation.

On both the nose and the taste buds, rich coffee and molasses are layered on full multigrain biscuit backbone. It's not enough to have "a lot of flavor;" a beer must have those flavors in proper proportion. Obsidian delivers on both counts spectacularly.

chicagobeerriot, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of Marty30
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to black13 for this extra!Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass at cellar temp,around 52 degrees.

A. Very dark black body, I see some dark ruby in the pour. Two finger khaki head that dissapates rather quickly. Leaves good lacing all over the glass.

S. Lots of roasted malts here from the get go,also getting some brown sugar,coffee grinds and some chocolate.

T. Big roasted malt notes and bitter chocolate. I get some nuttiness and light hints of vanilla cake batter with some hop bitterness in the end.

M. Mouth is a little thin,I would say medium. good carbonation.

Overall this is a good brew that I would like to get more of.It it a great substitute if you don't want that big imperial stout sometimes.

Marty30, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of iLovehops23
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

iLovehops23, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle generously provided as an extra by yuriruley, thanks Nate!

A - The beer pours a solid black, all encapsulating with only slight chocolate highlights that arise when taking a sip. There is a 2-fingered head resting on top, with pretty good retention lasting several minutes. There is also some fantastic lacing on this beer with foam clinging constantly to every glass surface it touches.

S - The smell is interesting, as it almost gives the impression of smokey malts, like burning lava that the bottle so accurately describes. Something about it reminds me of a subtle version of some of the infected Short's beers I've had recently, but luckily more tame and not sour, just the burnt quality I guess. Otherwise its mostly sweet, with some subdued aromas of hours-old coffee and bittersweet chocolate. It also has a quality similar to cat piss as I can best describe...

T - As in the nose, the first thing I get in this taste is charred oats or something similarly smokey. It's not approaching rauchbier territory, but it does give a similar impression. What's cool is that it almost immediately transitions into a more sweeter taste and lends itself well to the chocolate that's more prominent here. Not getting a whole lot of coffee here. Finish is moderately long with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty damn smooth and leaves a nice feel in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. A solid beer that incorporates a slight char quality nicely, but there's something amiss in the nose that I'm not completely comfortable with. As smell plays a big part in the taste, it detracted a bit from that as well.

nhindian, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of rawfish
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour into an Odell tulip glass yields a two finger mocha colored head rising above a near black body. The slightest tinge of mahogany runs along the sides of the glass. Head has incredible retention which forms a halo when subsiding resulting in nice lacing.

Aroma is of bold roasted malts some grain and oats, with a backing of chocolate and more earthy hops. Some fruity characteristics from the yeast.

Bold blackened malt followed by citrus hoppiness. The coffee taste here lasts throughout the drink only to bitter even further with the earthy and lemon tart citrus hops on the back end. Leaves a parched throat kind of dryness, charred, even a bit metallic.

Creamy smooth but the drying feeling come more from the taste than the actual liquid. Good heft and carbonation.

Nice looking stout with a pleasant smell but the taste is big bold coffee without much complexity and ends rather harsh, astringent and dry. Good offering by Deschutes but I'll take the porter when I want something dark.

rawfish, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of azdback
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink this every day but never do review. I'm turning over a new leaf and I'm am gonna start reviewing everything I drink.

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Black (like it's name) no light penetrates this at all. Very slight brown edges. Two finger head of light brown maybe cappuccino in appearance. Beautiful lace all the way to the end.

The smell is very yummy. Coffee, chocolate malt bomb. Some type of tart fruit like maybe cherry. No alcohol. Perfect for the style.

Well the taste is a lot like the smell but more. Coffee and chocolate very prevalent. Deep roasty flavor. The tart fruit isn't really there. This is for sure The Abyss's baby cousin.

Mouthfeel is great for this style. Stays all the way through. Pretty chewy but not RIS chewy. Frothy feel just like the head.

Since I drink at least 3 or 4 of these a night I have to give a perfect score on this one. The 6.4% might catch up to you in the morning but you'll never guess it while they are going down.

Overall I would say this is my favorite beer of all time. With the amount I have had, the availability, the price, the uses (we use these to mellow the pallet between IPA's), and I usually drink them out of the bottle, so taking them to a party or gathering is easy because you don't need a glass. You can't go wrong. Highly recommended!!!

azdback, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque deep sable with not much head. Rich, oily aroma has firm coffee and chocolate tones - very inviting. Sweet, coffee-ish flavor has hints of chocolate and licorice and a bit of hops. Smooth, barely fizzy texture still leaves a persistent tingle.

Cyberkedi, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of hiku7
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a tulip glass.

A - Pours the color of coffee with a big bold tan-brown head. As the head dissipates, a medium thick lacing sticks to the glass all the way down.

S - Caramel and molasses and other things dark, roasted, and delicious.

T - Caramel and coffee flavors up front with a mild hoppy finish that really balances the initial flavors. There is a tiny spiciness that comes through the carbonation on the tongue.

M - Smooth and creamy, with a mildly fizzy carbonation to finish every swig.

D - Pretty good. Even though I've been working my way slowly through a six pack over the winter, I wouldn't turn down a second or third in one night.

Very enjoyable stout.

hiku7, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of cyrock1
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a 1/2 inch tan head.

Smell: Caramel, roasted malt and chocolate. Maybe a little soy sauce in the background.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate and black coffee, with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with mild hops on the finish.

Drinkability: The chocolate lingers nicely, a well structured beer.

cyrock1, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of chilly460
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear shiny black , with a one finger tan head. Very creamy head and the body is honey colored on the edges.

S: I get some medium roasted malts, coffee, and dry cocoa in this one. Very clean smelling, plenty of punch, nice.

T: Enjoyed this, roasted malt and coffee are at the forefront. I get some smoke as well. It's a dry taste, not unlike an Irish stout.

M: Creamy, could use a little more body body not bad, carbonation was about right.

D: Could drink this all day long, very nice.

chilly460, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 03/23/11 printed on bottle. Enjoyed on 03/02/11. Really looking forward to another one from Deschutes.

A - Looks great. Big tan two finger head that leaves great lacing as I drink. Pitch black and opaque, no light whatsoever gets through even around the edges.

S - The aroma holds some roasted malts, chocolate, and a light hoppiness. Also a faint coffee smell to it as well.

T - Nice mixture between some roasted malts and sweet chocolate flavor. Good coffee and hop bitterness in the background. Finish is pretty dry, with a lingering milky chocolate/coffee flavor.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied, the carbonation may be a little high. Quite drinkable, delicious beer.

Another good one from Deschutes, only my second offering from them. Looking forward to more!

Janderson91, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of harrymel
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a local of mine, and for some reason, I can't even remember what it tastes like. Shame on me!
Best by: 7/25/11

A: Pours a black coffee with a hint more darkness and has only limited translucency. Single finger light latte head dissipates leaving a medium sheet of the same. Spots of lacing.

S: Roasty, oaty, coffee, grains, malts, light earthy hops. Hints of fruity yeast. Somewhat sandy scent. Very nice. Not quite Kalamazoo stout, but very good.

T: Taste matches the nose, very good. Only diff would be that here is a good bittering component I didn't anticipate. I really like this as a stout. As it warms, it gets better too. Absolutely one of the finer examples I've had.

M: Creamy and smooth beer. Mouth velvet. Lower carbonation, long resonance. Again, very nice. Lovely.

D: I think I might make this part of my regular lineup. It's just outstanding as a stout. I wonder why they've never made (to my knowledge), an imperial of this one.

harrymel, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of axeman9182
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a "Best by" date of 4/7/11. Much thanks to KevSal for sending this along. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Obsidian pours pitch black, with a massive, 3.5 finger foamy cap. The head is a bit light, closer to off white than tan or caramel. Retention is solid, and lacing is above average. There are rings of foam left around the glass from the head's semi-slow descent. There's a heavy general roast presence in the nose, along with some tobacco and a little bit of dark chocolate. The tobacco fades out, and dark chocolate steps up a bit in the front of my palate, a noticeable improvement. The hop bite mid sip is enough to be noticed, but only just, and gives way to a pleasant earthy finish. The mouthfeel is easily the highlight of this beer. Body is absolutely perfect, full and creamy without getting too big for for its britches and approaching imperial level viscosity. At the same time the carbonation is enough to thwart any syrupy sensation and let the hops peek through, while remaining true to the beer's malty nature. Obsidian Stout is a solid beer from Deschutes, but nothing earth shattering.

axeman9182, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of zeledonia
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice very dark brown (almost black) with about ½ finger of coffee-colored head. Smell is minimal, mostly coffee roasted malt. Taste is quite nice, heavy on the coffee, but well-rounded with medium complexity; a nice shot of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is great, appropriately heavy and creamy with a nice light carbonation. Generally a very good, above average stout, but not amazing.

zeledonia, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of n2185
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with about a finger of light tan head that quickly recedes into little more than a thin ring with almost no lacing.

S: Some smokey, roasted malts up front followed by sweetened cocoa powder. There's a very dry character to the chocolate aroma, reminding me more of hot chocolate powder than of whole chocolate.

T: Similar to the aroma, the roasted malts come first followed by a bit of sweetened chocolate flavor. The finish is of bitter, almost burnt, coffee.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, but with a bit of a watery feel to it rather than being creamy like I prefer.

D: Goes down fairly smooth, though the lighter body and slight burnt coffee aftertaste keep it from being extremely drinkable.

Overall, not a bad stout, but not much stands out about it either.

n2185, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black, finger of nice mocha head with solid retention and leaving some fine sticky lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate and honey, touch of vanilla, and a nice espresso finish with the faintest bitterness.

T - The milk chocolate flavours are dominant with a dark cocoa finish, the espresso comes through on the tongue as it warms, and lingers with a bitter leafy hop. This stuff is delicious.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness. Not chewy or overly thick. Very impressed.

D - At 6.4% I could drink this stuff all night. Perfect for a cold winter afternoon, or for any occasion where you're looking for a full flavoured stout that won't bog you down with complexity.

andrenaline, Feb 21, 2011
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,801 ratings.