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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,989 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,989
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 435
Gots: 358 | 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:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,989 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black with a beautiful thick tan head that last a long time, with great lacing.

Smell – Chocolate, roasted malt, smokiness, along with some coffee and molasses.

Taste – The taste has the same description as the smell - nice.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated, creamy, good mouthfeel for a stout, though I'd prefer just a little more alcohol.

Drinkability – This is a very drinkable beer. My wife drank my entire bottle as I was trying to review it, and I had to pour another for myself. Goes down really easy. I agree with the Bros - I rate this higher than The Abyss.

Photo of silentjay
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours obsidian black (thought that was fitting) with a huge dark mocha head that recedes rather quickly but leaves tremendous lacing.

cocoa, roasted malts, coffee, more cocoa. some vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, and chocolate milk.

starts with roasted (almost smoky) malts and bitter coffee with some bitter cocoa that is sweetened up real quick with some lighter malts, some slight hoppiness comes in to play before it ends with a cocoa powder chalkiness.

kinda lighter bodied than I expected and would like, but its still above medium and the carbonation is soft.

pretty damn good stout that I would drink a LOT of if it were available around here. very easy drinking and pretty flavorful.

Photo of Gushue3
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Diomede for this lovely should be want as an extra.

A- Pours dark brown from the bottle and a nice 1+ finger chocolate head forms. The body is very dark brown that borders on black. The head retention is something else ans is now foamy and starting to leave lots of lacing. probably about a half inch of thick forthy head left and I'm about to dive in.

S- Sweet malts and roasty-ness are the most obvious scents I'm getting with some mild hops and chocolate as well.

T- Big roasty coffee with some bittering hops take the front with some sweet malt and subtle chocolate. Nice combo of tastes.

M- the feel is a little thicker than medium and has smaller carbonation.

O- nice medium percent ABV stout. I wouldnt mind a few more of these

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

I got this beer with an in person trade with a BA. Last thiursday i decided to drink some dark beers and this was the second one i drank. Here we go!

Poured in my Struise glass this beer looks perfect. Derp deep very depp darkbrown fluid with the most wonderfull lightbrown head, tine bubbles all over the place.

For the rest i can say this is a good beer, no more no less. There is a nice coffee like laste and smell and the feel is a bit too thin, more alcohol would boost this one into the A+ league.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the blue dog.
Appears quite black with a rocky tall head that dense and lingers for a long while. Looks to be about average carbonation. Lots of sticky lacing to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is rich and robust with roasted malts and esspresso hints of molasses comes through too.

Taste is of rich roasted malts and black coffee.
Some hop bitterness comes through to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Slides down nicely.

This was a good stout with lots of flavor.
My second from the folks at Deschutes, and there proving to be a worthy brewery in my opinion.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 bottle with a best by date of 11/29/11. Purchased in late June while the wife and I spent a week in the Rockies. My personal history with this beer goes way back to the early-mid nineties when I discovered her while living in Montana. If memory serves, this is one of the first stouts I remember truly enjoying. The price and abv didn't hurt. My rediscovery in June lead us to drinking this, along with Odell IPA, around the campfire at night. So glad our paths converged again.

Pours a dark brown with a healthy mocha foam that pools in clumps and large bubbles and settles to a consistent and appetizing cover. Each sip throws a light web of lacing. Retention is nice.

A very roast driven stout: predominantly grape along with cream addled coffee, a whiff of milk chocolate, and leafy hops that lay the smack on me sniffer.

The nose keeps its promises here. No real surprises beyond the faint metallic note throughout the middle. Finishes with a long and drawn out bitterness as the hops smack down on the palate.

On the lighter end in body and above average in carbonation. Overall, if this beer could achieve a bit more of a charred character to counteract the grape roastiness, this might be a real gem. As is, it’s a pleasant reminder of good time passed and an enjoyable trip down memory lane.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Almost pitch black in color with red hues when held up to the light. Head is tan and magnificent, it seems to last forever. There is also tons of lacing going on. Fantastic looking stout.

S - Nose is full of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, smoke, floral hops, earthy grains. Very complex nose.

T - Delicious. Up front you get some lightly roasted malts and toasted coffee. Then it moves into a smoky middle with some nice floral tones and some soft earth characters. Finish is a bitter with a lingering roasted flavor.

M - Mouth feel is soft a bit chewy and well carbonated.

O - Damn fine stuff I must say. Ranks up there with the best. Hopefully they start distributing this stuff down my way.

Photo of Bockrules
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a dark, used motor oil black with a creamy, dense, two-finger dark tan head. Head stays intact nearly to the bottom of the glass. Leaves behind an intricate web of lacing.

S - Big smell of chocolate malt, plum and earthy hops.

T - Big and chocolaty upfront. The body strikes a great balance between chocolate malty flavors and earthy hops with some dark fruit and carmalized sugar notes in the background. More hop presence as the beer passes over the back of the tongue followed by a bitter chocolate and carmalized sugar finish.

M - Thick bodied with moderate carbonation. I found the beer to be substantially creamy, but nearly as satisfying as Black Butte.

Given that this beer's sister, Black Butte porter, has the highest ranking of all the beers I've reviewed this far, I had high expectations for this beer. They were met. While obsidian doesn't push the envelope too much and the mouthfeel can't quite match Black Butte, it is one hell of a beer. Despite being over two years old, this stout remained delicious and had substantial head retention and lacing. At around $6.50 for a sixth of this in Oregon, it is the perfect camping beer during my annual northwest roadtrip and the geologist in me can't help but love the name.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: lots of chocolate, coffee

taste: very complex and lots of dark rasted flavors.

mouthfeel: full bodied

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine. a perfect exmaple of an american stout

Photo of cosmonick
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an English Pint Glass

Appearance: Poured pitch black with a medium sized, fizzy brown head.

Aroma: Malty with a strong scent of molasses and bitter chocolate.

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee and a very slight bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and watery with medium carbonation.

Overall: I have drank so many Imperial Stouts lately, that the lessor flavor of a "single" was immediately noticeable. That's not a critique, as I realize this is par for the style. The light body and medium flavor makes this a very enjoyable and drinkable stout.

Eis Igian,

Photo of lanamj
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a tulip.

A- The color lives up to the name, it pours a nice obsidian black with a thin tan head the dissipates into a light lacing around the glass. It does appear a little thin but still a wonderful color.

S- Roasted malts and chocolate dominate the nose. I also get some plum and coffee.

T- Roasted malts and coffee appear on the front end and molasses and bittering hops linger towards the end. Some chocolate and date throughout.

M- A little thin and overly carbonated. Not what i would want for the style but as it warms up it calms down some. I like the way this beer is easy going down though, but sometimes i prefer a challenge when it comes to stouts.

O- Being from Oregon i drank this beer a many times. Now that i got a hold of some years later when i have had the opportunity to try more complex stouts i would say it was a little disappointing. Although still a great beer just not as good as i remember.

Photo of brian44556
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of endincolorado
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is pretty much obsidian black with a huge tan head like the froth on a cup of hot cocoa. Lacing is abundant and inviting. Head retention is solid.

Roasty cocoa in the aroma, toasted walnuts- flavors come together to remind me of a chewy, nutty brownie. Faint coffee, little noticeable hops.

Flavor is drier than expected. Slightly bitter, black coffee with a faint orange rind. Bittersweet cocoa comes out more when aerated.

Medium-light body, could be fuller. Adequate carbonation.

Overall, a nice, semi-dry flavorful stout that I would by again.

Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, small but firm head.

Smell: Fruity, then coffee.

Taste: Nice chocolate & coffee flavors. Not much of the dark fruits that show up in the smell. A little bitterness in the finish.

Drinkability: A solid stout, I could have a few in a sitting.

A very nice stout from Deschutes here. Not too sweet and not too bitter, very well balanced. A good choice if you're looking for something a little higher octane than Guinness but don't want to go the imperial route.

Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 10/16/11; consumed 8/26/11

W -Pours black with three finger brown head that settles to half a finger. Leaves small amount of lacing.

S - Loads of chocolate and roasted malts, along with some nice coffee and a noticeable hop presence.

T - Luxurious chocolate, mostly bittersweet with a bit of milk chocolate, and deep roasted malts. Nice bitter hop presence in the middle. Mostly roasted malt on the finish. Excellent flavor profile.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not overly thick. With lively carbonation and an earthy and bitter finish.

O - An excellent stout. Maybe too much hop presence for some, but it worked for me.

Photo of lwillitz
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - pitch black under a thick, frothy, sticky, dark tan head; how a beer should look!

S - bittersweet smell; roasted malt, coffee, lactic presence

T - coffee and chocolate lead into bitter barley and hops; metal and smoke; dry lingering finish; a touch on the bitter side for a stout, but otherwise highly complex and satisfying

M - higher end of medium-bodied and lower end of medium carbonation; smooth and creamy

O - The only downside to Obsidian is the slightly overpowering bitterness. Everything else is pretty close to perfect!

Photo of rhong187
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Diomede for sending this!

A - poured into a Deschutes snifter, and I cannot wait to try this one. Two finger soapy head and it looks amazing. Did I mention I can't wait to try this one?

S - dark chocolate and roasted malts. I'll admit, I didn't spend much time smelling this..

T - Everything I would hoped it would be and more. Espresso and chocolate flavors hit you in the face right away, with a nice dry finish. The pinnacle of how an American stout should be...

M - well balanced and medium bodied. extremely smooth

Yet another reason why I wish Deschutes would extend distribution to the East coast. A solid stout that I would recommend to anyone. I would definitely drink this all the time if it were availble..

Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to…I’m sorry but I have forgotten! Regardless, a good ba!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with an ominous dark color. About a finger of tan head is achieved with a careful pour that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing.

Smell – Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, slight hops, earthiness, and smoke.

Taste – A rush of chocolate and coffee up front followed by bittersweet chocolate. Roasted malts, a hint of metallic flavor, and smoke. The hops are not as prevalent as the nose would have suggested, though the earthiness shines through more than expected.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, decent carbonation.

Overall – A nice stout for sure. Deschutes is just a fantastic brewery and I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this in the past.

Photo of Jeffo
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mom & Dad picked this one up for me on a trip to PE a while back. Thanks guys!

From a bottle into a snifter.
Best Before 07/17/10 and drunk 08/01/11

APPEARANCE: Pours our dark brown and produces a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, light tan head with great retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a huge foam cap that remains the whole way down and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Looks great.

SMELL: Roasted malts, chocolate notes and touches of coffee. Some cocoa powder as well. Medium in strength.

TASTE: Roasted malts, chocolate and cocoa notes still in there, with coffee flavors teaming up well. Bitter finish with notes of licorice as well. Very flavorful. Bolder and lingering aftertaste is plenty roasted with lots of bitterness on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and lower-medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: This is a great beer that has held up really, really well. Still very flavorful with a good feel, and looks wonderful for the style. One I’d love to have fresh. Thanks for doing the legwork on this one guys.

Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whales are wonderful, but not plentiful. Which is why I appreciate Obsidian. Excellent brew, always in stock and you don't have to pay or trade the equivalent of 50 bucks per bottle. $7.99 a sixer does the trick.

Pours a classic porter dark brown - medium thick body. Decent amount of brown head. Wonderful scent of coffee with some creaminess.

Wonderfully complex first impression. Slightly bitter coffee is upfront at first taste, with a hint of bourbon/oak flavor, bit of toffee. The warmth of coffee is the finishing note.

One of my favorite everyday-type beers.

Photo of echoes
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color (even when held against a light)! Head is at least finger-length and is light-brown in color. The head is very stubborn and leaves lots of lacing. The most lacing I've seen in about a year.

S: Smell is a combination of (in no particular order): coffee, smoke, chocolate, roasted hops and bread. The smell is complex and interesting but ultimately not that appealing/pleasant to me.

T: Same as the smell, which is a good thing, but HIGH on the hops bitterness for a stout. I've had a number of stouts and I've loved them all but this is the most bitter I've tried. I'd say almost too bitter (for a stout) for me.

M: Medium-bodied and satisfying. Almost creamy too, I'd say. Some carbonation keeps it interesting.

O: The complexity of flavors is great.
Overall this is a very nice beer. However, for a stout, as I said before, it is almost too bitter (for me). I am sure others have and will love it.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.03/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into NB globe. Thanks to GatorBeerNerd!

A- Pours nice blackish brown color with a khaki colored. Head is an inch thick with stability that keeps it around to enjoy the party for awhile.

S- Weird dog biscuit aroma. Its a roasted fig dog biscuit beer. Not appetizing, but you can find the beer in there.

T/M- Very lackluster. No dog biscuit though! The roast comes through very dry with a touch of coffee. I do get a sweetness in there, almost fig, maybe prune? Alcohol flavor is also too prominent; not hot, but a fusely presence is invasive on the palate. Nice level of carbonation keeps the medium bodied liquid lighter and full of life on the tongue.

O- Somewhat disappointing. I expected more. It has the potential to be solid but comes up short in my mind. Maybe my expectations were just too high... I really don't think the beer sports the ABV

Photo of uawildcat
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Looks the way that every stout should look. Very, very dark. Shinning a light through it makes it look like a very dark shade of red. A cream colored head that never really goes away. With every sip the tiny bubbles seem to bring it back to life. If a beer could look sexy, I would say this is a 10 out of 10.

S – Has the aroma of coffee and chocolate with a hint of hops.

T – Tastes pleasantly bitter, like a coffee. Probably comes from the dark roasted grains used. It has a subtle malty sweetness and pine-like hoppy bitterness as well. For the amount of alcohol in this beer it is hidden quite well behind loads of flavor. This is a beer for someone who likes to taste their beer.

M – Feels a little heavy on the palate for a 6.4% abv, I was expecting it to be drier. The carbonation is perfect for a stout. The bubbles are tiny and make the beer go down smoothly

O – This is the best stout that money can buy. At something like $7 for a 6-pack it probably will become one of my go to stouts.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to Samuel Smith oversized nonic.

A: Pours as dark and ominous as any Imperial Stout, with just slightest of hints at ruby red near the base of the glass. The rocky, frothy head is milk chocolate brown and laces the glass beautifully.

S: Charred, sweet roasted malt right off the bat, with impressions of smoke, espresso coffee, and hop bitterness.

T: Right in line with the nose, there is a huge amount of roasted malt character for a beer of this abv. Smoke, char, coffee, touches of bakers chocolate sweetness, and some hops/spices.

MF: Creamy, fuller mouthfeel with good carbonation and body. Not as dry as I was thinking it would finish.

O: A near perfect everyday stout and a wonderful beer. Can't honestly see improving this one without barrel aging or something of the like.

Photo of amphion1065
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for this extra Todd. 12 oz. bottle into an Alpine pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours black, with no visible highlights. The head is gorgeous - it just looks creamy and smooth. One finger thick and mocha-colored, it really sticks around, too. Great lacing as well. Very pretty.

There's a lot going on in the aroma. My first impression is of roasted malts, but there's quite a bit of coffee at work as well. Notes of chocolate and toffee come through as it warms. There are a lot of sweet scents happening here, but that robust roasted quality tempers them.

The taste displays a similar balance. This is malty and rich, but the coffee character imparts a tempering bitterness, especially in the aftertaste. Still, though, I'm picking up huge milk chocolate notes in this one - not the worst thing in the world.

Deschutes nailed the mouthfeel of this beer. There are plenty of imperial stouts that drink thinner. This is so rich and thick, a real treat.

I can't remember the last time I picked up an American or Irish Dry Stout, but after this bottle I may have to rectify that. This was a very pleasant surprise, a beer that was totally off of my radar that I'm thinking about days later.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,989 ratings.