Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

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Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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3,000 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,000
Reviews: 979
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 439
Gots: 370 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,000 | Reviews: 979 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of haazer
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones.

A- Appears just like a, dare I say it? Guiness. The familiar tan head, black/dark brown liquid and the quicksand-like brown bubbles cascading down the glass.

S- Smell is fairly bland. Little bit of roasted malts, kind of smells like a Guiness. Oddly enough this kind of smells like a lager. Just very faint.

T- Ok so it definitely delivers where it matters. The taste is much better then the aroma. Reminds me of the "whoppers" candy balls somewhat. Good roasted malts, with a little coffee and creamer. Tempted by a 4.5 score but not quite.

M- A bit on the lighter side for a stout, but it is sooo drinkable. I'm bumping the score some. It feels and drinks as easy as a porter.

O- Despite the lack of aroma in this thing it is definitely better to drink. I'd certainly have this again and perhaps like to try from the bottle to see if the nose is any better.

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

i don't get to try stouts that are not imperial very often. this is a pretty good everyday stout. i really liked it, and at 6.4% ABV, it's certainly more feasible to drink a lot of it than say.. bell's expedition stout. the espresso taste went to the core.

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

First had: on nitro-tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured into a pint glass jet black with a small, dense, tan nitro head. Very clean aroma, infused with espresso and roasty malts. Roasty, roasty taste, coffee, dark chocoate, more roastiness, almost burnt, but not quite. Silky and uh, roasty, with a coffee-bitter dry finish. Full body and quite drinkable.

Photo of Spica66
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this an extra from bmcclure. Thanks, Ben!

Enjoyed with gwuilliums on his deck while brewing.

A: Very dark pour with excellent head formation and retention. Some lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate and coffee in the nose. No hops showing here!

T: Very chocolate and coffee, with a slight hops bitterness on the finish.

M: Very smooth and round.

O: Excellent "everyday" stout.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle at wing central.

A pours a thick black color with a 1 finger head.

S lots of chocolate and coffee.

T even more coffee along with coco, and just a hint of hop bitterness on the finish.

M nice medium body smooth.

Overall this is a great example of an american stout. It is flavor full plus it is easy to find in the nw. Possibly deschutes best offering.

Photo of UpToMeBeer
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is the creamiest, thickest, chewiest nitro-stout I've had. It is a sheer joy to savor in the mouth after admiring a one-inch thick head and decent lacing. Don't let the full-bodied character intimidate you if that's a danger... This is a very drinkable, pleasant beer.

Smell-wise, it's rather standard with hints of chocolate and coffee. It tastes like stouts of similar quality; the thing that sets it apart are the body and creaminess. A definite advantage I had, even here in Colorado, was getting served on nitro (thank you Taps, in Fort Collins).

Photo of CapitalGains
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured and tasted 6/5/2011
12 oz. bottle into a Deschutes imperial pint glass

A: Near obsidian in color (how appropriate), about an inch and a half of dark tan head on the initial pour that settled quickly. Moderate bubble formation, leaves sporadic lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, some hints of coffee.

T: Smell and taste are quite similar...so chocolate, roasted barley predominantly. A little bit of sugar (caramelized?) and notes of coffee are also present.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel, seems a bit thin and not a lot of carbonation

O: A well-done, not over-the-top stout. Doesn't knock your socks off but this is a solid year-round offering. At 6.4% ABV and $6-7 for a six-pack here in Portland it is a heck of a deal. I tell myself to buy this more often because it's a very economical buy while still being consistently well made (and enjoyable, most importantly). I have had this a countless number of times, including nitro-tap.

Photo of doughanson78
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Stout. Rating adjusted on 7-11-2011. 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Original scores in ()

A: Very dark, pitch black, no light coming through. Decent viscosity for a non Imperial Stout. Nice 2 finger tan head, with superb retention and awesome lacing. Medium sized bubbles in head. Head reduced to thin 1/4 finger layer but sticking around. (4.5)

S: Roasted malts. Hints of roasted coffee. Very light chocolate. Very, very light floral hops. Touches of smoke. Not a huge nose but good. (4.5)

T: Very smokey taste. Roasted/burnt malts. Light coffee/espresso. Slight chocolate notes. Very mild earthy bitterness. Faint sweetness. Smoked wood aftertaste. (4.5)

M: Medium to full-bodied. Cloudy/creamy feel on roof of mouth from the light layer of head remaining. A nice lingering smokiness throughout the mouth and nose. (4.5)

O: A great Stout, even though I've only had Imperials and Russian's thus far. Really can't see getting a whole lot better than this. Definitely will continue to purchase. (4.5)

Came into this re-review thinking I was overly impressed as this was my first stout period. But... It's just a great beer. Can't say much else.

Photo of cb462
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Black/brown pour with a solid 1.5" cola head, dissipating to a nice filmy mound with decent lacing.

S: Roasted malt dominate, with just a tad of bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of coffee (this is a little cold, so a little muted)

T: Again, roasted malt is the key player here, followed by touch of dark chocolate in the ass end. Just the lightest bit metallic (I haven't had a non-BA stout in a while). Nothing extreme in any direction. Moderate in a very good way.

M: A little light for my liking. Although, I prefer higher ABV, fuller-bodied stouts. For 6.4%, it's fitting and adds to the overall drinkability.

O: Wow. I haven't had this in probably four years, and I must say that it is better than I remembered. Overall, a nice refreshing stout. Not extreme in any way, but all around enjoyable. Considering the price, this will once again make its way to my fridge fairly often.

Photo of MikeyMikee
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at fridge temp. 55'F

A- Dark, Dark brown (nearly black) with an off white head.

S- Pale malt, baking chocolate (semi sweet), brown sugar and some light hops.

T- Light roastiness, light coffee, little bit of chocolate. Slight cirtus hoppiness. slightly burnt flavor to it.

M- It's got a velvety feel. Its very full and smooth for a regular stout. Really great.

O- Very drinkable, best stout I've ever had, easily.

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

A: Pours deep brown, almost black, with a tan 1.5 finger foamy head. Moderate retention, reducing to a thin layer of foam on top. Impressive sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Nice aroma with milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of coffee and mocha.

T: Nice roasty malt, creamy milk chocolate with a slight hint of mocha, not coffee on the flavor profile, which makes me happy.

M: Smooth and very creamy. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Really enjoyed this one. Solid flavors, live the milk chocolate. Easy drinking. Need more Deschutes!

Photo of scottyg354
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No need to get into details, this is by far one of the best looking, best smelling, tastiest, smoothest Stouts I've had. Wish I was back out in San Francisco were this would be a staple in my fridge. Unfortunately, it's not available in PA or at least in my area.

This is one awesome brew.

Photo of megahurts4
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes Obsidian Stout
On tap at Tap House Grill Seattle, WA

Appearance: dark brown, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate.

Taste: good roasted malt, coffee, and cocoa.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

This has good flavor. It is very smooth without being watery.

Photo of smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before Oct 16th 2011, we are good to go!

Super dark brown head off the pour and foamy bubbles, very large though and seem to be darker on the perimeter. Body color is a solid dark black/brown walnut, can't see a dang thing through it. Minimal lacing, I really love this head color and form.

Big airy malted dry grain off the nose, and a nice small milk chocolate. Very malt forwarded and even a little yeast like sour in character. Pretty unique I'd say.

Roast and lingering roast. Roast meats and carbon, roast char and charred but not totally blackened malts in the taste. A great lingering finish with a simple but good mouthfeel that is not thick but also not wet either somewhere in between. Just great. Love this beers finish and aftertaste!

Overall I am craving grilled meats with this beer like crazy and I can just pick the carbon out of my teeth with it too. It just goes to show for me that this brewery hardly ever disappoints me.

Photo of beagle75
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft nitrogen service into a 0.5-liter mug at Hollingshead's deli.

A: Opaque black color with two fingers of super-fine and persistent light beige foam head. Within the lofty head, cascading veins cut a dark network through the more pale substrate. Thick, localized lacing forms low on the glass.

S: Mild and roasted, with notes of earthy tree bark--chicory perhaps.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined roasted malt that features a quality of bitter-sweet chocolate syrup and no detectable acidity. Bitter chocolate carries into the middle where flavors generally become more mild. A whiff of fennel seed develops in the finish where bitterness is agreeably restrained.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, very smooth on the palate yet substantial, with very low carbonation.

D/O: Deschutes Obsidian stout is among the finest of American-brewed export stouts that get to see the inside of a small-format bottle. It is full-flavored yet not too strong, allowing the drinker to enjoy ther best of both of those worlds. The use of nitrogen propellant removes any suggestion of acidity on the palate, allowing the subtle flavors and eminent smoothness of the style to be showcased without battling the often-distracting acidic taste or texture.

Over the years I have waffled over what I considered Deschutes's greatest strength as a brewer: they make a lot of good pale ales, yet their Black Butte porter is the very archetype of its style, for those that have access to it. The fact that such a brewery can also brew an export stout that is so similar in some ways to the porter, yet make each product stand apart from the other when it counts, is testament to the exceeding mastery possessed over the porter-styles in general (and perhaps an even greater harbinger than is the appeal and popularity of their more limited imperials, such as The Abyss.) In the end, I refuse to be swayed in my opinion one way or the other.

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

A: deep brown pour with a chocolate-whipped-cream head. The beer sits pretty black in the glass, but that head sits large. Very large. It's very attractive on top and down the sides, but those sides are too big.

S: I can smell the sweet darkness from five feet away. Melted cocoa with sugar, not really any toast. This even smells cold. Not a hint of bitter though. I'm impressed.

T: The lack of bitterness evaporates in the taste, there is plenty of coffee-like (but not coffee flavored) bitter roast going on. This even carries a slight char to it. There's some astringency behind this as well. A solid stout.

M: Could be slightly creamier. This is a beer that benefits from nitro hard core.

D: Drinkable for sure, but not one I would choose to have a lot of. But I just bumped it up when I noticed I drank pretty much the whole thing in twenty minutes.

Photo of Bennettrox
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, 1 finger tan head. Dark as night

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, a little burnt wood

T - More roasted strong complex malts. Very creamy stout. Chocolate follows near the end.

M - Full body, but nice and creamy. Moderate carbonation

O - Really enjoyed this stout. Easy to drink, perfect example of an American stout. Would like a 6 of this!

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

A- Poured into a snifter... Starts with a decent brown head that disappears at an average pace leaving behind some decent spotted lacing. Beer is black in color with no light shining through when held up to the ceiling

S- Very light sweetness, mostly burnt toasty notes

T- On the dryer side, with notes of mostly toasted malts with very faint hints of coffee in the finish

M- Medium bodied with light/medium carbonation

O- I don't typically like dryer stouts, but this one was nice... not too dry, just dryer. I received this in a trade, so can't reflect on price, but all in all I would more than likely try/buy this one again


Photo of CHOSENONE1546
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Dark brown nearly black with a thick cream colored head

Smell: Robust, with slight coffee hints

Taste: Somewhat aggresive compared to most american stouts i've tried. fairly prominant coffee aftertaste. Very smooth

Mouthfeel: very full and soothing

Overll: One of my favorite beers , not as mellow as the average stout type. Brings a certain character and quallity you come to expect from most of the deschutes line

Photo of codynevels
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Purchased May, 8 2011
Consumed May, 9 2011

Bottled poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout Tulip

Had this for the first time previously paired with an H. Upmann Double Corona. Held off reviewing until tried alone (although I thought it paired nicely).

This beer poured black bodied with a thin dark brown ring when held up to the light. The thick head foamed to about a fingers width, but quickly dissipated to create a circle hugging the glass. My initial smell was dominated by roasted malts. Underneath the layer of roasted malts there was burnt coffee, spice and toffee. The taste did not betray the smell. My first taste, again, was dominated by roasted malt, however coffee and a bit of hops bitterness was there as well. The spice from the smell carried over in the finish. This beer goes down very easily, with a medium to light body, and coats the mouth slightly.

Overall, this beer is a good, easily accessible stout. The only problem I had with this beer is I feel the roasted malt flavor overshadowed some other interesting characteristics.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian Stout Thanks again to podunkparte for the extra!

Poured into a Two Brothers pint glass Pours a dark amber-brown and settles deep and dark Brown with a fingers worth of cream colored head. Bubbly lacing clings.

The nose brings scents of roasty malt, cocoa, and a bit of coffee. The roastiness is really going to work here.

The taste is quite similar to the nose. Roasty malts thrown across my palate bring flavors of bitter chocolate and roasted coffe grounds.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick but still lies on the medium-bodied side of things. Average carbonation helps keep the flavors working throughout each sip.

Overall, a great example of what an American stout can taste lime. A great sessionable stout that I am privleged to try

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

Simple, drinkable, bitter cocoa and earthy hops Stout.

A: Black hole black... can't even get a highlight when holding it to a bare bulb. Two finger medium khaki head of fine bubbles that settles quickly to a film

S: Roasty espresso, baker's chocolate, molasses, and earthy, spicy hops. Straightforward and delicious.

T: Taste is all about bitter... cocoa and earthy hops. A sweet, creamy foundation provides distant but persistent counterpoint. Perhaps just a tad flavor shy, but it's not an RIS. What it is, however, is a simple, delicious, and extremely drinkable stout.

M: Creamy, yet with enough fine texture to hold on to.


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

This pours a solid black with a tan, creamy head.

It smells of roasted and caramel malts, and sweet bread.

Tastes like sweet, bready malt with hints of chocolate and a small roasted kick. It is sweet without being overly so. Complex, caramel, and satisfying flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a nice carbonation.

This is a fantastic stout that is complex yet drinkable, dark yet not overtaken by roasted flavor. Well done.

Photo of juju7
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful chocolate malt aromas with a slight hint of caramel and molasses. Roasty, dry and not as big as the nose would have you believe on the palate.
Medium bodied, quite approachable and pleasantly satisfying. Simply one of those beers that is hard to fault - not that I'm trying to fault it, it's just a great beer without being mind-blowing. Which in itself is kind of refreshing.

Photo of Frankcost
3.15/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from the make your own six pack door @ Top Ten Wine & Spirits in Woodbury, MN. Poured into a arrogant bastard pint glass

Pours a pitch black with a nice two finger mocha head that dissolves really quick

Smell getting some chocolate and Burnt coffee beans

Nice mouthfeel could of been a little heavier but it is very drinkable

I get the bitter chocolate and coffee bean with a little vanilla the hoppy bitter chocolate lingers in the after taste

It was pretty darn good but just a little to bitter for my liking. But a god one

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,000 ratings.