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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,726 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,726
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 406
Gots: 282 | FT: 10
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,726 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.83/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/14/2010:

(Bottle BB 2/4/10): Pours a dark black color body, average tan head, somewhat lasting. Dark roasty aroma, alcoholy. Some sweetness, coffee. Funky taste, coffee aftertaste. Light body, somewhat watery. Some ash, but not heavy. A bit of wildness too. Not so tasty.

jujubeast6000, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of pants678
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City.

Comes out the deepest opaque chocolate brown with a creamy beige head.

Roasted chocolate and coffee malts.

This is about the closest I've come to pure milk chocolate in a beer. Though there's a touch of cinnamon and marshmellows (s'mores!) I would not call this complex, but it's not rich either. There's a nice balance of chewy flavors that's easy to sort through with the slightest hop finish.

The Obsidian is thick for sure, but it's a stout with just the right carbonation so I wouldn't have to struggle through the middle or end. Filling, without ending my night or obliterating my palate.

pants678, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a three-finger, mocha colored head of foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with strong coffee notes. It had a slight floral aroma, too.

T - It had a good roasted malt taste with notes of coffee and oats. There is a touch of chocolate flavor hidden underneath the sharp bitter hop bite.

M- It was sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - This is a nice stout. It has oatmeal stout-like qualities.

zeff80, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After a long weekend of tons of great beer, with EBF and volunteer brunch, and BBQ, I needed a nice night cap before I hit the sack. I figured Obsidian Stout seemed perfect for that. Unfortunately we don't get Deschutes around here, as it is quickly becoming one of my fav breweries, so I had to get this one thanks to bendretread.

A: A very nice dark rich creamy head that rises up 2 fingers and seems to stay like that for a while. The pitch black beer looks like it harbors some secrets through the crazy dark but majestic looking beer. As the head slowly disappears though drinking it leaves a nice lacing as well.

N: I could smell this as it pours, flowing out with chocolate and tons of malt. A heavy roasted malt and coffee aroma also billows from the glass. The nice dark malt with earthy charred roast adds to it, and a hint of creamy chocolate milk.

T: Starts with tons of roast actually. A heavy roasted earthy charred roast malt flavor, and with that some coffee. Then gets to some chocolate, a little bakers chocolate, and hints of creamy chocolate milk. I get some bitterness as well, combination of both charred roasted malts and a little hop taste I believe. As it warms I do get a hint of peppermint and a little fruit. Chewy malt flavors really complex-ate this beer too.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, good carbonation for the style.

F: Finishes with some more bitterness from both hops and scorched malts. It is semi dry but not too much and works well with the style. A somewhat creamy lactose sugar flavor and feel seems to stick around and come out more on the finish as most of the other beer fades. A slight coffee lingering as well.

Another great one from Deschutes. Even their everyday beers are great. Thanks again Tim and thanks Deschutes!

jlindros, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of HalfFull
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glugs a solid black into a pint glass with nary a highlight to be seen, even when held to the light. Half inch of dense mocha foam settles to a thin cap and throws some random sticky lacing.

Nose is pleasant albeit a bit reaching. Roasted malts and a bit of earthy hops blend well, becoming a bit more evident with some warming.

Taste follows and adds a bit of a coarse chocolate texture with a hint of cherry and a nice full body. Nicely balanced sweetness is just enough to smooth out the roasted flavors and provide some body without getting in the way. Finish becomes a bit drier as the carbonation lessens, remaining quite drinkable.

HalfFull, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of BeanBone
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown, damn-near black body with only the barest hints of red highlights. Up top, a solid two fingers of craggy tannish head that last a long time and leave great lacing.

Aroma: A deeply toasted malt body with lots of wonderful chocolate and coffee notes. Just a hint of banana towards the end.

Flavor: A rich, bitter dark malt body with lots of milk and dark chocolate swirling throughout alongside plenty of dark-roasted coffee. This is roasty as all hell. Dark roasted barley and almost stale (in a good way) dark coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A creamy medium body with good carbonation. Dries a little in the finish.

Drinkability: About average, this is something you could down a few of on a winter's evening but probably wouldn't be chugging on a summer's day.

Verdict: Straightforward but never simple, Obsidian Stout is a winner through-and-through. It's rich and full flavored with a great balance of toasted malt, chocolate, and dark coffee--the three hallmarks of a good Stout.

BeanBone, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a DFH signature glass

A - pours a solid inch+ of tight frothy, dark khaki colored foam, already leaving a sturdy layer of lace around the glass as it slowly falls. the beer is pretty much pitch black, with a seemingly healthy amount of carbonation.

S - starts off with a huge whiff of dark roasted malts, bitter coffee, some dark milk chocolate, healthy amount of earthy hops, burnt toast...big bold and impressive.

T - whoa, starts off quite a bit sweeter than expected. some dark fruits come into play, very ripe plums, before the bitter roasted malts take over. slightly burnt coffee is present throughout. picking up healthy amounts of toasted coconut that plays nicely with some mild mlk chocolate. finishes with dark chocolate and bold earthy hops. excellent balance between sweet and bitter. lovely.

M - medium bodied and just a tad hot on the carbonation, but nothing that letting it sit for a few minutes doesnt take care of. crisp flavors but also a tad oily.

D - one of, if not my favorite American Stout. bold where it needs to be, and graceful in all the right places. has all the elements of a wonderfully crafted beer. cheers to Deschutes for this one.

Stigs, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of Kelp
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black brew poured into the glass. Slight tannish head with about two fingers. Light lacing that followed down the glass.

Heavy malts on the nose along with a bit of chocolate and espresso.

A nice roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate in the background. Ends with a hint of espresso that doesn't last long on the tongue.

A bit over carbonated for me, but a nice smooth almost silky feel across the tongue. A medium body body that seems a bit thinner than expected.

A good almost great session beer. Enjoyable, but not quite as good as I was hoping for. Definitely could enjoy as few but there are better stouts out in my area that I would drink, rather than trade for this again. Thanks Sugit.

Kelp, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of ocmpoma
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle into my Spaten mug:

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

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

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

ocmpoma, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of climax
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The black body was crowned with a mega head that was bubbly, frothy, and alive. It was almost reminiscant of bubbling lava spewing from a cauldron.

The aroma was hopped very well. Tons of floral and pine notes were met in the middle by big buttery chocolate, coffee, dark sugars and rum. Some overripe bananas and astringent flavors were subtle but evident as well.

The flavor had a lot of astringency to it. Bitter coffee and very dark chocolate mixed well with a load of hop flavors and floral and resiny notes. The sweet and bitter balance was excellent. The finish was surprisingly clean.

The body wasn't as robust as I was anticipating, but it wasn't thin by any stretch. The carbonation was mild but kept the feel lively enough as it went down. Some more substance in this category would have made this one even better.

This one was big and bold in the flavor, with good aggressive hopping. Pretty awesome stout.

climax, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of PintOHops
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Snifter

A - Nearly pitch black with a frothy mocha/tan head, about 2fingers high. Retention was okay but could be better, and lacing was splashy and broken.

S - Big dryness! Toasted malts, soft citric hop note and dark chocolate with soft coffee & an intoxicating aroma of charcoal. Very balanced with a bit of raisin, let it warm and you get some black cherry as well, very inviting!

T - Subtle coffee together with rich dark chocolate upfront & throughout, as it warmed I got some alcohol and raisin/grape/black cherry fruit notes somewhere in the middle. Finishes with big/dry burnt malts with moderately lingering bitterness, hearty, not to sweet and extremely flavorful!

M - Smooth & somewhat creamy with lite-moderate crispness, around medium-full bodied but not to full or thick.

D - Well I wasn't blown away by this beer but I did enjoy every sip of it. I really enjoyed the intoxicating aroma with an unexpected note of charcoal, and the rich/hearty flavor profile! Very drinkable for 6.4% ABV, around 2 pints for me, it doesn't get overly sweet and the alcohol is very well hidden. It's definitely worth seeking out. Cheers!

PintOHops, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of jdense
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle at buddy's house poured into too small glass 2.2.10.

Pitch black 1/2 finger tan head constrained by glass size, medium dissipation with some lacing. The nose is of roasted malt, as is the taste, along with chocolate and molasses, negligible hop presence, what is there is grassy and floral. Mouthfeel is decently carbonated and not too heavy. Very drinkable for the style. A great entry stout for those new to the style.

Edit- head is more brown than tan. Big coffee hit in the nose and the hops are very noticeable. Pretty good effervescence. This might have been a fresher bottle than first review. Bump up smell score and taste score. Not a high ABV version, but one of the tastiest stouts to be found.

jdense, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian comes out completely black with great tan head that is very well retained.

Smell is slightly tame, with dark roasted malts, vanilla and breadyness. Has a little bit of a chocolate chip cookie character to it.

Flavors are bold, yet cohesive. Heavy on the dark chocolate - very roasty and somewhat sweet. There's also a touch of smokeyness. The finish is long and slightly bitter yet smooth.

The mouthfeel might be the least impressive characteristic of Obsidian - medium-bodied for a stout with fine carbonation and just slightly more carbonated than I would prefer.

This is a long-time favorite of mine and a stout that stacks up well next to many of the Imperial/Double stouts, despite coming in at a relatively low 6.4%. Very nice stout for any time of the year. Deschutes, you are truly great.

GeezLynn, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-a dark brown liquid that barely lets a hue of red through. the head is thin and dark kahki in color. it sits around for less than a minute but leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-big nose of roasted barley, hints of dark chocolate and a touch of espresso. there is a faint note of malt sweetness at the back.

T-the taste follows the nose and is quite nice especially as just a regular stout. there is a lot of the roasted barley flavor, you get the bitter dark chocolate followed by the espresso. these fade into a more prominant, but still light, malt sweetness that gives some carmalized sugar and dark fig.

M-this has a full to medium body with a chewy feel to it. it is smooth but seems to have a lot of carbonation that burns a little as it goes down.

D-this is extremely tasty but the burning seems to take away from it. it is quite powerful for a regular stout and i would seek it out again!

cpetrone84, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of dfitch81
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Up front: in my humble opinion this is the best widely available year-round stout you can buy - regardless of price. Truly a defining example of a proper American stout.

All stouts should aspire to Obidian's appearance, i.e. impenetrable thick blackness that - even at the edges - barely yields even when put right up against a light, coupled with a lingering puffy tan head that leaves rich lacing all the way down the glass. There should be no thin-ness in a stout; the two words are antonyms, for cryin' out loud! This is a beer that understands that right out of the bottle.

Aroma is of rich roasted barley, which is to say mocha, espresso, dark chocolate etc., balanced with some hard workin' PacNW hops that have their hands full competing with such outstanding roasty goodness. Smells like walking into a premium coffee merchant's shop, only better, because its beer!

Taste intensifies and adds to the suggestions of the nose: intense chocolate and espresso, now also a hint of charcoal, while in the near ground hops do their job keeping the malt sweetness in check. These flavors, so vivid and well-orchestrated, linger on the palet long after the sip. Truly outstanding.

Wonderful silky mouthfeel rounds out the package in this world-beater. 6.4% ABV is too high to make this a session beer in the normal sense, but there is really nothing else I've found at this ABV that can compete for flavor and complexity. Hell, not many things compete with this for flavor and complexity REGARDLESS of ABV, and when you look at it that way, this looks like the closest thing possible to a sessionable Imperial Stout (if ever there could be such a thing).

This is truly one of the greats, not just in its style but in the beer world - period.

dfitch81, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely, utterly black, the color of its namesake. One finger of dark tan foam subsided to a thin coating after a couple of minutes. Looks damn good.

Smell: smooth, rich roasted aroma. The smell is deeper than just the standard coffee and chocolate descriptions -- it just smells like roastiness. Quite nice.

Taste: rich roasted flavor; like the aroma but with a lot more punch. It is slightly tanniney; if I didn't know better, I might have guessed that this thing was oaked. Hops provide just enough bitterness to edge out the malt in prominence; if anything, I'd call them floral, but they're not particularly expressive in flavor. Overall, it manages a great stout flavor and stays smooth nonetheless. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an appropriate level of carbonation. There's just enough cling to it to make sure you get that great lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: definitely one of the most drinkable richly-flavored dark beers I've ever had. Its flavor builds on the palate, so there's a cumulative effect at work here, but the flavor is just so smooth and lacking in detriments that I don't mind. A classic.

flagmantho, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of darkmaven
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intense, full-bodied nose. Lots o' vanilla, rich coffee, and chocolate. But that dry mocha, cocoa powder form of chocolate I saw on the Rogue Mocha Porter. There is a lovely, ample bitterness on the finish that reminds me of biting into a coffee bean.

This is a complex, interesting beer. A friend noted that it was more like a wine in aromatics. Meaning that smoothness of the nose, the elegance of aromas, the natural vanilla aspect.

Warming and welcoming. Drink this on a cold night.

darkmaven, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

jetblack with a dark tan sticky head. lacing is good.
caramel then chocolate and coffee aromas.
the taste is similar, but more coffee than caramel.
has a crisp mouthfeel, medium+ carbonation.
this is a good beer to enjoy during the winter months... but i'm in arizona and its sunny and 75 degrees. good nonetheless.

JordonHoltzman, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a freshness date of 02/04/10. Pours a nearly black color with a thick and frothy mocha hued foam. Retention is superb, as is the lacing. It even forms a small mesa of foam in the middle of the glass. For a non-imperialized stout, this is about as good as it gets for appearance.

Nose seems well balanced between hops and malt. Hops are grassy and even a bit minty while the malt is roasty with hints of baking cocoa. A bit of dark fruitiness pervades the nostrils as well.

Taste is very smooth with baker's chocolate maltiness leading the way. A tad roasty and toasty while the hops are more subtle than the nose indicates - still pretty bitter with a nice hop flavor. Very smooth and adequately full mouthfeel. While this is not Deschutes finest offering, it is a damn tasty stout. More please.

twiggamortis420, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black with an almost non-existant dark brown head that fades really fast. Nose is strong with roasted coffee and malt. No hops or yeast here.

Mouthfeel is very nice, rich, full, thick and creamy. Strong roasted coffee finish with a bit of a bitterness from it but not overwhelming. Carbonation is low, adds to drinkability for the style. Finish is a bit too bitter for me but it's decent.

kingcrowing, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bim bam, it doesn't look better than this. Jet black. Smell isn't overpowering, as you'll soon find, this beer hides its alcohol presence extremely well behind a wall of deep burnt malt. But whoa, there's some zippy hoppiness in there. Cascades for sure I'd guess. For sure I'd guess? Meh.

That deep taste of chococoffee never fades, it becomes even more drinkable throughout the bottle. While I've had other Deschutes stuff that at times tastes inconsistent, I've had numerous Obsidian Stout's in various forms, and never, ever has any of them been anything short of magnifique!

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Deschutes Brewpub, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a elements of roasted barley, dry coffee, dark chocolate and a touch of smoke.

The taste consisted of roasted barley, semi-sweet chocolate and charcoal.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a nice lingering bitterness.

Overall an above average stout.

plaid75, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as night, decent tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted coffee, some yeasty breadiness, some earthy hops, touch of citrus fruits, touch of chocolate. Tastes of fruity and chocolate malt with a nice coffee roastiness on the backbone. Finishes fairly sweet with a nice caramel and roasty component. Nice creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

A really fantastic beer. Everything is very well balanced with no component totally overwhelming. This is one of those rare American stouts that one can drink a lot of. Truly one of the best.

bum732, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is dark chocolate brown bordering on black. The mocha colored head reaches two inches before slowly receding to form a perfect cap on top of the beer. A smattering of lace is left around the rim.

The aroma is roast chocolate malt, espresso beans and black coffee. The hops are there but the bitterness is light.

The flavor is rich mocha coffee with hints of smoked malt and hops. Again the hops are present but the bitterness is fairly low. Which makes this beer rich and smooth.

Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

Overall a very good stout. I wish this was available in my area.

beerwolf77, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Jayli
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/28

A: This beer pours an opaque, rich, deep chocolate brown with some mahogany edges when held to the light. A one finger of light brown head caprs the beer. Head recedes rapidly leaving nice spotty lacing.

S: Nose is of coffee, toasted and roasted malts.

T: Tastes of toasted malts and milk chocolate up front. Some mild hints of baker's chocolate and burnt malts hit the middle. Finish is a touch creamy and espresso. Slight smokiness in the finish as beer warms.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy goodness with a sticky finish.

D: Nicely blended, very tasty, not very filling. This is one of the better stouts that I have had recently with a reasonable ABV. If they distributed here, it would be one I buy frequently!

Jayli, Dec 10, 2009
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,726 ratings.