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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,732 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,732
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
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Ratings: 2,732 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Onenote81
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfect dirty motor oil black. Thick and chunky this one is. Great foamy tan head on top. Retention is great leaving with it nice lacing rings. Smells of deep dark chocolate, espresso, grape jam, and wine. Nice. Great thick oily mouth on this one. Drinkability is high. Flavors of roasted cocoa, bitter coffee, finishes slightly acrid and burnt. Decent. I like this brew alot. Great stout. Recommend.

Onenote81, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of ThePortlander
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle in a mug.

A: A wonderful smooth black, no light can get through this one. Truly 'obsidian.'

S: For some reason I couldn't get much aroma out of this one. I got some vague milk chocolate aromas, and the malt is there, but not much else. Perhaps a slight hint of dates or plums with agitation.

T: The silky sweet malt rushes in first, bringing chocolate, dried fruit and nut flavors as well. There is some hop bitterness in this stout, which works to even out the sweetness, but it never quite fully evens out. (Or, at least the brew from the batch I'm basing this review on never seemed to even out; I have had this brew before at it was much more balanced). Overall, a wonderful evening or dessert stout, as the sweetness seems to win out. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and milky.

D: Despite being a bit too sweet for my tastes, this is a very solid stout and another great brew from Deschutes. Despite being a heavier beer, the mouthfeel and sweeter taste make drinking it quite easy.

Note: This was not the best bottle of Obsidian I've encountered. It's usually quite a bit more even, like a good cup of coffee; not too sweet or bitter, but complex and full. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the brew. Either way, I have given this a combined rating which may change the next time I buy a bottle or order one out.

ThePortlander, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of mday
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A :: This beer is black. I even grabbed my flashlight to check...nope, no light gets through this one. A nice creamy one-inch tan colored head forms then reduces to a thin tan slick on top.
S :: Dark chocolate lends a little sweetness to balance a touch of alcohol.
T :: Smooth and creamy up front giving way to a roasted flavor that sticks in your mouth. Finishes like a nice cup of coffee. Such a great balance between the roasted bitterness and sweet chocolate.
M :: Light carbonation, very smooth and ranks as a medium body.
D :: Definitely highly drinkable. I would like another now.

If you like a well made stout grab this one. If you don't like stouts you should still try this because you may be very surprised.

mday, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $8.69 for a 6 pack of 12oz bottles. Poured one of them into a pint glass.

Tan head of an inch after an aggressive pour. Not too thick coming out of the bottle. The darkest shade of brown next to black. Opaque. Seemingly lightly carbonated. Minimal head retention. Some lacing.

Sweet, roasted malts and mild caramel with such a clean aroma. Some chocolate, nut and wood aromas as well. As it warms, some warming alcohol comes into play as well.

Very nicely roasted malts with oak wood and nutty undertones.

Mouth is medium bodied, quite light for a nice stout. Light carbonation. Mild viscosity, this one leaves a light residue on the tongue leading to a lasting aftertaste. Good drinkability.

At this price, who can not like this beer?

ibbjamin, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Rayek
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at the Vine Street Pub in Denver, CO

A: Jet black with a thick and dense tan head that has incredible retention. A very heavy lace is left in its wake.

S: Heavy on the espresso and fresh roasted coffee. A small amount of baker's chocolate is in the background.

T: A very coffee centered stout. Espresso flavors start things out. Bitterness comes on with a generous burnt bite that's mostly charcoal in nature. Finishes with a dark chocolate sweetness and a mild acidity.

M: The nitro really does its work here. Medium body is super silky and smooth. Fine carbonation feels great on the tongue.

D: Drinks lighter than it is. A very nice stout that I can drink too much of if I'm not careful. The simple flavor profile was a nice change of pace for me.

Rayek, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of m1ked
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours an opaque black.... no light getting through this glass. A 1 inch cafe colored foamey head, which fades inot a ringed glaas with sticky lacing.

S-Mmmmm smells good. A lot of things. Definetly some coffee, wood, leather, smokey, dark chocolate & cocoa. I love the woody choclate notes.

T- a slight bitterness to the woody coffee dark chocolate. A smoky woodiness throughout. I don't get any heat here.

M- Medium bodied, with almost a creaminess to it. Nice carbonation to it.

D- I will preface it with this is one of my top styles. It goes without saying not a session beer (for me). I see this beer widely available out here in SD. I need to remember how lucky I am for that. Great, solid stout.

m1ked, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Penn Pilsner pint glass. Thanks Jwelsh for the extra.

A- Obsidian Stout pours a dark black color with some brown showing towards the top. A aggressive pour yielded a 1 inch and building tan head so I slowed down. After the head settled it left a skim on the surface and spotty lacing.

S- I could smell this from 2ft so I know it has legs. A huge roasty profile with a deep malt scent and some chocolate and black coffee. This is near expiration so i'm guessing the hops have faded some but they show up. Charcoal and somewhat burnt.

T- A lot of burnt charcoal throughout with some sweet chocolate and coffee in between. getting some of the yeast as well. Burnt malt giving off slight toffee. After some time some bitterness comes forth so I guess some hops survived. Some fruit off in the distance.

M- More bitterness presided in the mouth as well but overall this one is a smooth sipper. Obsidian is a full bodied stout with ample carbonation. This one finishes a bit dry. The malts stand out the most and stick around the longest out of the flavors.

D- A great American Stout at a low abv which is great in this land of imperials. Not quite a session beer but I would drink a few. The burnt malt may wear thin after some time. Either way this was a treat and I would drink again. Would like to try a freshie to compare.

BARFLYB, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of aforbes10
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, approaching black. Strong, tall brown head look great. Deschutes makes some beautiful looking beers. Smells of roasted grains, chocolate truffles, cut grass. Dark chocolate, roasted to burnt charcoal flavors. green hops, bitterness mixes well with burnt flavor. Not overly complex but doesn't try to be. Just clean and well balances with a nice big bold burnt flavor. Mouthfeel makes the beer great. Chewy and soft and oh so smooth. Brewed with oatmeal? Must be to get this mouthfeel. Drinks very well. a great, easy drinking stout.

aforbes10, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of mjl21
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass at Pizza Antica in Mill Valley. Best by date is listed at 4/10/09. Comes in at 6.4%

A-Pours obsidian black with a huge 2 finger tan head that sticks around. Lots of lace around the glass.

S-Not earth shattering, but still good. Lots of roasted malt and coffee. A tad bit of sweetness is detected.

T-Lots of roasted malt, but not such that it leaves your mouth with a chalky flavor. Definite sweetness when it first hits your tongue, followed by the roasty/coffee flavors before a nice bite of hops finish it.

M-Medium bodied for the style with the perfect amount of carbonation. The alcohol is completely hidden.

D-A very sessionable stout. This is one stout that you could have a few of over the course of a night.

mjl21, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of jminsc76
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent head, the body dancing with a slight whoosh! from the carbonation. The head is a light, chocolaty milkshake brown; the body a dark brown, with a faintly black, almost tar-like tinge. A great contrast. Decent lacing as the head settles but it quickly dissipates.

At first the smell is minimal. Small hints of coffee aromas, but little improvement upon agitation. Then I transferred it from a pint glass to a tulip and bam! came the aromas (all of the aforementioned visuals were greatly improved as well). Smells of deep roasted coffee with a touch of sweet fruit.

Flavors of coffee and molasses right off the bat. Not too intense, but noticeable and oh so good. A slight tingling sensation in the mouth as I continue to sip - always a lovely touch. Upon warming a bit, the strong coffee taste gives way to more flavors: cherries, currants, and a little bit of raspberry. The mouth feel is lighter than some of the heavier stouts I have had but not too light. A good middle ground.

Overall, a great beer. Very refreshing aromas, flavors, and mouth feel combine to offer both complexity and variety. It's not transcendent by any means, but it is highly enjoyable, and at an ABV of 6.4% virtually a session beer that invites repeated pourings and indulgences.

jminsc76, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of solargoat
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint Glass.
Pitch Black, big frothy dirty head. Looks amazing. Aroma has tons of Roasted malts, hint of sweetness. Creamy, medium to full bodied, balanced, fantastic bittering. Dangerously drinkable, completely blown away by my first Descutes experience.

solargoat, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in trade. Thanks Ben(Madhomebrewer)

I like most everything I have drank from Deschutes so I wasn't worried about this one. It pours Black into the glass with a big frothy head with good lacing as the pint got lower. Smells roasty, milk chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, and a little doughy. Taste faintly of bitter coffee and some chocolate. Full Bodied, creamy. Good beer

mugglesandhops, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of wcudwight
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As black as a night alone in the woods. Rocky tan head that leaves lace so sticky it looks like it needs to be chisled off with a knife.
Lot's of roasted grains in the aroma. Sweet chocolate, peat moss. Very earthy smelling.
Man this is delicious. Bittersweet chocolate with lot's of roasted flavors. Goes from bittersweet to freshly ground coffee beans midpalate and finishes with a sharp acidic hoppy bitterness. I love how the flavors are bold yet flow so well.
Mouthfeel is wonderfully dry and smooth. The acidic bitterness leaves your mouth thirsting for more.
Another exceptional beer from Deschutes.

wcudwight, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of argock
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. Single purchased from Skee Vue Liquors for $1.49.

A: Black with ruby edges and tan-baked cookie 1-2 finger head with excellent retention and nice lacing.

S: Strong aromas of coffee beans, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, roasted dark malts, and leafy hops.

T: A delicious flavorful stout with tons of roasted dark malt backing and strong coffee and chocolate notes that are offset beautifully by leafy hops to give a perfect dryness and light acrid finish.

M: Substantial without being syrupy. Excellent body and pretty creamy with a dry but toasted dark malt and bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.

D: This beer alone was worth the 1.5 mile walk to the liquor store from my hotel. As far as American stouts go, this one is near the top.

argock, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured a deep black color that produced a nice fluffy brown head that had great retention and left a beautiful lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and molasses

T - This beer had flavors of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, some great molasses, a bit of vanilla hiding in the back, and a little bit of creaminess to it

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body that had a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was a wonderful example of a Stout, lots of flavors and complexity to it, a great beer, to bad Deschutes does not distribute down here

cvfish, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of far333
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, nearly black and opaque. A two inch head rises up strongly and lingers long and makes light popping noises as it settles slowly down.

Aroma of roasted malt, light molasses and some cocoa. Also a bit woody.

Rich flavor of cocoa and coffee, charred oak and smoke, some molasses and caramel. Finishes tangy with some sharp wood.

Full and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry and tannic. Thanks to Sparky27 for sharing this one.

far333, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of herbalist
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color with about a finger thick tan head. The head does not stay for long but it looks exactly the way that a stout should.

It smells like figs, possibly raisins and something a little more pungent like coffee. The coffee smell is not very pronounced but you can certainly tell that it is there. There also seems to be a slight smell of hops which is surprising but nice. After taking a few sips I begin to notice a dark chocolate smell as well.

It tastes slightly bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor. Very tasty and a quite complex taste which is nice. I do not taste the raisins or figs that I could smell but I can def sense overtones of coffee, hops and malt. I could def see this becoming a favorite stout and I really enjoy the almost smokey taste that it has to it.

As far as mouthfeel and drinkability go the beer has a moderate amount of carbonation and is not too thick for a stout. It pours thicker than it drinks that is for sure. The alcohol is not very pronounced and it has a complex mix of sweet and bitter flavors that make it very enjoyable.

herbalist, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black, nice mocha 1" head, tons of subsequent lacing.

S - A POWERHOUSE of sweet malt and coffee. The coffee itself comes off as appealing, sweet, and inviting.

T - A almost perfect blend of coffee, roasted malt and hops. A tiny bit thicker and richer, this would get on my top 5.

M - Medium body, great balance and carb.

D - For the style, very.

srandycarter, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle as an extra, courtesy of urwatuh8 - thanks!! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a thick but not quite black body - you get definite highlights of ruby both on the pour and holding it up to the light - crowned by a firm, medium brown head of above average retention for the style. It never quite fades, leaving a thick dusting of lace and a foamy, sticky collar for the entirety of the drink. The side-lacing is simply amazing, particularly on the non-sip side, where it leaves a huge curtain of delicate, fine-bubbled foam the whole time.

Aroma: The most noteworthy thing about the aroma is the strong, light, earthy, and slightly spicy coffee presence that dominates this one. It's grassy, lightly spicy - almost with a nutmeg-esque note somewhere in the middle - and faintly fruity in a light, far away estery sort of way. It's all around very pleasant.

Taste: Very delicate and soft. The dominant note is coffee - dry, slightly astringent, and a firm half-roast, which lends some interesting flourishes of earthiness that's not quite dirty but more green, woody. There are definite hints of other milky, sweet malts in the backbone, faintly like bittersweet chocolate, or perhaps whole grain bittersweet chocolate pancakes. Sweetens as it warms, too. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side, and probably this beer's weakest component. With such a strong array of flavors, I'd have liked a little more body. That being said, it is carbonated pretty well, resulting in a creamy, even (though thin) mouth.

Drinkability: A phenomenal beer, one of the best American stouts I've ever had, and a firm winner from Deschutes. It manages to strike the perfect balance in a lot of places, not too astringent or too sweet or too dry, and has plenty of complexity to go around, all in a reasonably-sessionable package. Highly recommended.

CrellMoset, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of sulldaddy
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle that is about a year old. Pouring into a snifter the beer pours a deep cola brown with a spongey tan head of 2 cm foaming up easily. The head fades gradually but leaves sturdy and sticky tight lattice on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is fairly roasty with some cocoa powder, but mostly roast malt.
First sip reveals average body and very mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet cocoa for a second and rolls to some roasted malt as the nose predicted. I dont find any hop presence or hints of ABV either. The beer is very drinkable and smooth and I would definitely enjoy this brew again. A nice version of a good stout. Pick up a bottle or 6 if you see it!

sulldaddy, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Haybeerman
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark opaque black color; no light was coming through. Poured a 1 finger coarse chocolate head with fair retention. Thing lacing washed down the glass leaving fingers

S: Bitter chocolate and coffee. Sweet toffee. A bitter bite tickles the nose.

T: Bitter dark chocolate is the big opener. A reange of toasted malts amply flavors the middle. Bitter hop to clean the finish except for a lingering astringency that persisted - btw, it amplified as the beer warmed.

M: Medium body (but light for a Stout. Ample carbonation. Smooth and creamy, but with a definite bite at the end.

D: Despite some 'big' malt attributes I though this was as close to a session stout as you'd want. Actually like the balance; the asringency I couild have done without.

Haybeerman, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of niz
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours very dark brown with one finger of tan head,

smells of raisins, plums and roasted coffee.

taste is smooth creamy and slight plum, with a roasted slightly dry finish that doesnt stay too long, not very bitter at all.

mouthfeel is nice and smooth as but not as thick and oily as others,

drinkability is high, i could easily have a few before feeling buzzed or getting sick of it.

all in all a very good brew worthy of trying,

would go great with bacon and eggs,...mmm....

come to think of it,... im gonna do that right now.

niz, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bring for the chance to try this one!

Appears obsidian. Black with a one finger head that quickly gives way to a full but thin layer of the tan bubbly.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasty goodness, and even a hint of hops. Nicely complex and living up to it's reputation as the Abyss' little brother.

Taste starts off with a cream, then an aftertaste that has a bitter sensation followed by a calming roasted flavor. Very complex in that it goes through several stages. Not enough stouts can do this and do it this well.

Mouth is thin/med bodied with med/high carbonation, an unusual combination for this style but works none the less.

Drinkability? Have Deschutes distribute to western PA and see how fast I go through their lineup. Very good beer.

sonicdescent, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of MMAJYK
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Deep, dark opaque black in color with splochy tan head that is 1/8" tall. 4

S. When I first poured, I picked up a leather aroma from the brew. After sitting, I pick up raisins and coffee.

T. Bitter dark chocolate is the first impression. The hops and black malts provide a little astringency to me. Its no malt bomb and that's ok by me. Tastes good, but a lingering astrigency is off putting to me.

M. Fairly light bodied for a Stout and high carbonation.

D. I guess you could call this a "session stout" as its quite thin and refreshing for such a dark beer. Not bad but not my favorite from these guys. Minus the LINGERING astrigency, it would get a lot better score from me. Seriously, I could still taste it 10 minutes after I finished this glass of beer.

MMAJYK, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Old Chicago in Billings, MT.

Poured black color with a huge frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Heavy roasted coffee dark chocolate aroma. Full body with a creamy texture. Heavy roasted balanced bitter sweet flavor with a medium sweet roasted coffee of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

tmoneyba, Jan 30, 2009
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,732 ratings.