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

I got this brew from Wasatch in a recent trade. Thanks John.

This is an exceptional looking stout. A body that is completely opaque and either the darkest brown I can image, or just black. There is a pretty good amount of sediment swirling around the bottom. The head is huge, at least two fingers; it actually overflowed on me a little bit while I was pouring it into my pint glass. It creamy and a little chuncky. Has some pretty good retention also, leaving a fairly thick ring of foam on top of the body. Some great sheets and rings of lacing are left behind also.

A good roasted aroma in the nose that also comes with a good amount of sweetness and chocolate.

Some sweetness that tastes like caramel covered in dark chocolate is the first taste I noticed, followed by a touch of coffee. The caramel flavor dies and is replaced by just a good chocolatey coffee taste. A hint of hops comes up next, its a little earthy and spicy. The hops are pretty muted. The finish and the aftertaste are dominated by a pretty strong roasted aroma that stays with you for a while after you've swallowed a gulp. Pretty complicated for a straight up stout, and very nice.

The mouthfeel here is a little thinner than I would expect. Medium bodied, but on the low side. Solidly moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty damn drinkable stout. Definitely something I could drink quite a few of.

Hojaminbag, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of xhcadamx
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - black as it gets no light shining through. Massive rocky dark tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Hints of coffee and chocolate and sublte yeast.

T - Extreme bitter black coffee and bitter chocolate. This beer is phenomenal.

M - Very silky and smooth.

D - I want this beer to be part of my life.

xhcadamx, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of jdklks
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours thick black with a brownish-tan head that lingers for awhile before disappearing while thickly lacing the glass.

S- Roasted malts and coffee.

T- again, roasted malts and coffee, with maybe a hint of dark fruits and chocolate.

M- on the lighter side of full-bodied. very smooth on the palate.

D- if i can get through a six pack of it and it is a stout, then it has pretty damn good drinkability.

jdklks, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of jayfarley3
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head. Smells of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate with a nice balance of hops. Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied. This is very good stout, I would recommend this to anybody.

jayfarley3, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of Umbra
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via a secret santa with mwompus.
Poured an inky, opaque black with a thick two fingered dark tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Mochachino aroma, with maybe some alcohol soaked fruits as well.
Creamy choco coffee flavor with a finishing of bitter hops, cocoa, spiciness.
Mouthfeel was medium, with a creamy felling.
Extremely drinkable stout, especially with the ABV not blowing you off your seat.

Umbra, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of AgingWarrior
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as coal into my snifter. Medium pour produces about a half a finger of dark brown head. The head dissipated rather quickly but provided some nice lacing.

Smells like roasted malts, with some coffee and chocolate notes. The scents are subtle, nothing overpowering the senses.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts but with nice balance. Just a bit of an alcohol taste on the finish, but nicely done.

Smooth drinking, nice body. Creamy on the tongue and smooth going down the throat.

Nice work on an American Stout. One of the better ones that I've had the pleasure of drinking.

AgingWarrior, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of toweringpoo
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first beer from Deschutes. I've heard nothing but good things for a while now but I never once saw any of their offerings at my local bars/stores. So, I was pretty excited to see this on the guest beer list at Bulldog in Ginza. It lived up to the hype.

Great looking pour. Completely opaque, silky looking beer with a thick tan head. lacing abound. Smell was nice, but not really strong. Roasty malt, coffee and just a hint of hops peeking through.
Tastes fantastic. Really powerful malt presence. Coffee, chocolate, your parents breakfast cereal. Hops are present, adding the perfect amount of bitterness and a hint of grassy fruit on the back end.
Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied. Just how I like my stouts.
Not too big not too small. This beer is really well balanced. I'd gladly drink a bunch of these in a night.

toweringpoo, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of olmatty
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours out thick and black a tan head with nice stickey lacing

Smell- Roasted coffee like malts

Taste- Roasted black malts, Italian coffee, dark molasses, bakers chocolate and lots of carbonation for a stout.

Mouthfeel- High carbonation and very gooey think liquid. I found myself chewing mouthfuls and enjoying this immensely. Swish it in your mouth, suck in a very small quantity and feel it expand like a marshmallow in your mouth, fun.

Drinkability- Very easy dinking yet a substantial beer. Outstanding overall.

olmatty, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of birdypowder
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A sharp crisp pssstt, and my obsidian stout is free. It pours an enormous tan, brown, rocky head composed of tiny bubbles. Creamy! Large bubbles are mixed in but soon break.

Dipping my nose in I get dark chocolate and caramel notes. A second whiff detects some piney and grassy aromas.

The color is BLACK. Especially the center of my beer glass which is totally opaque, nothing shines through the inky blackness. The edges reveal a dark maroon with sinister brown tones.

Tasting reveals slight caramel sweetness up front, assertive carbonation and a bakers chocolate bitter finish. Creamy and mouth coating.

I could only have one of these in a sitting but that is because it only takes one to be satisfied.

birdypowder, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of alva
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic of the style. I remember when this was one of the "biggest" beers commonly available.

This is my favorite general drinking stout. A rich blackness. A crisp roasted barley aroma. Full bodied without being overly sweet. I've always loved the sharp bite from the roasted malts and hop bitterness and how they balance the chocolatey malt. The ethanol is perhaps overly apparent with this beer, but I think that's a defect that adds a little charm. Keeps it from being boring. Same goes for the uncharacteristic aggressive hopping. This is a flavor profile I seek to emulate in my homebrewed stouts

alva, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours black with a thick tan head that fades. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Flavor of roasted malt and bitter chocolate as the beer warms. Thick, full mouthfeel. This is pretty good!
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

LilBeerDoctor, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack for $6.99 at Albertson's in Magnolia WA. Had a few while watching the Seahawks game before Xmas. Poured into a pint glass. Dark black color, like obsidian (to borrow from the name). Brownish white head. Decent lacing. Smelled like roasted barley, and the alcohol was a bit noticeable too. Taste was way above average. Dark, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors abound in this brew. A bit dry in the finish, and like I said, after a few, the alcohol is present. A textbook example of a great stout from an excellent American brewer.

morebeergood, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of redneckchugger
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pint serving of this at jack cannery bar in san francisco. black body, tan nitro induced head,. sheets and sheets of lacing.
smell is weak, not at all what i was expecting, but i have found that nitro taps have that effect on a beer, i am kinda tired of nitro taps btw.
taste is much better, hoppy for an american stout, huge malt flavor as well, dark viscous, truely the best non imperial stout i have ever had, i look forward to having this in the bottle form.

redneckchugger, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet,
Obsidian Stout is black with a very dark tan head that quickly settles to a thick skim, leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very robust, freshly ground coffee and bakers chocolate. I could stand just a flash of sweetness, but it's really phenomenal. I should start mixing this with my coffee for those lazy fridays - or painful mondays!

Taste is also very intense, but really well rounded, lots of bittersweet chocolate, a flash of condensed milk and hint of herbal hops. A bit of waxy phenols that I could see tampered is my only complaint. Lingering, roasty finish, normally this kind of profile would be too astringent for me, but this is just so damn good, truly in a league of it's own.

Mouthfeel is awesome, super creamy, espresso like, for a bottled beer, wow. They cite the krausening on the bottle, and it really shines. Still, a touch thick for the heft.

Drinkability is dangerously high. If you like American stouts, this is one of the best, period. The fact they they can maintain such a luscious mouthfeel in the bottle is a true testament to their skill. A masterpiece.

ccrida, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black/brown pour with a creamish colored head. Real nice roast malt aromas, some mocha. Flavors mimic the aroma. Roast malt and chocolate up front, finishes with good coffee bitterness. Roast coffee lingers. Drinkable, solid medium body. Real nice brew, the first I've had from Deschutes.
Side note, their bottles have some nice ornamentation.

Bung, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a decent tan head. Nice lacing. Aroma is thick with coffee and malt. The flavor is very smooth, the bitter coffee and chocolate is balanced nicely with the roastiness of the malt. Avoids the soy-sauce bite. Good hop bitterness as well. A very good stout.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of HoustonTX
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep obsidian black body with a large dark brown head.
Rich chocolate nose with roasted, and burnt underlays.
Large amounts of rich chocolate attack the palate immedietly. Followed by some semi-sweet roasted caramel malt that rounds out the balance. Creamy and rich coffee notes sweep the palate near the finish and combine with some floral/citrusy hops on the back end. Finished slightly smoky and roasty with feint coffee in recession.

A solid stout, especially creamy and full bodied. Nothing really stands out for me, but its still a damn good offering non the less.

HoustonTX, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of jkendrick
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours black and smooth. There is a thin frothy head and carbonation bubbles dot the glass all the way down to the bottom. The head recedes relatively quickly leaving minimal lacing.

Aroma: Roasted smell with some coffee, but not much. The smell is characteristic of a stout and sweet with perhaps a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium body approaching full body with moderate carbonation. The carbonation is a bit aggressive at first, but quickly mellows leaving a smooth chewy mouthfeel.

Taste: There is a sweet maltiness right up front that is quickly balanced by a bitter blast. The bitterness is pleasant to me, but I know many might find it too bitter. I taste some espresso, bitter chocolate and some dark fruits and barley to join the roasted sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.

Overall impression: I have always loved this stout, but I must admit looking at this with a critical eye there ARE better stouts out there. It's aggressive though and despite the abv of 6.4%, it has an almost Imperial stout quality and the bitterness characteristic of a West Coast brew. Locally this is reasonably priced and the lower abv allows it to be an excellent session stout.

jkendrick, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of sprucetip
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into Midnight Sun goblet

Pretty much black. Impenetrably dark. Thin tan head dies rapidly. Fresh lacing with each sip, then slides away. Looks like a stout should.

Dark roasted grains dominate but hops battle for attention, and malty sweetness underlies all of this for balance. Smells bigger and bolder than it is.

Sharp, dark roasted grains take center stage, but in the middle some malty sweetness plays supporting role. ops are definitely in the mix, but not able to push past the dark grain flavors. A sharp, rather pleasant to me, roasted grain and hop bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue.

A bit thin, but I've been drinking mostly way bigger beers lately. Lightly carbonated, with a teeny bit of warming.

To a guy who's been drinking big Belgians and Imperial everything lately, this beer is seriously poundable. I have pounded it often. I will again.

Some friends whose palates I admire (AKBelgianBeast, for example) just don't like this one, for whatever reason. I do. It is not a Speedway or Abyss or Berzerker, by any stretch, but it is a great, blue collar stout in my book. Even way out in rural Alaska, 90 miles by sea from the distributor in Juneau, I can get a sixer for as little as $7 sometimes. $8.50 this time.

sprucetip, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of Foxtrot
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured as dark as night with a brown head and good lacing.

S - Lots of burnt coffee, chocolate, and a bit of toffee.

T - This Stout made me a believer. Heavy on the malts, with wonderful coffee notes with caramel malt trailing behind.

M - Loved it! Great feel; dangerously smooth.

D - This is a absolute drinker for sure. Great flavor, buttery smooth and superb balance.

Foxtrot, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of sweetbrew82
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass; freshness date clearly stamped on the bottle:

P: Dark brownish- almost black upon pour out of the bottle. Densely packed light brown head with small bubbles. Good retention, sinking down to form a cap on top and leaving that beautiful lace on my glass that most great beers leave behind as evidence to their brilliance. Body is black in color, with tiny streaks of light only barely shining in on the edges of my glass. Looks very good!

A: Chocolate malts, coffee, roasted barley, and a nice and noticeable element of hops.

T: Sweet at the start with burnt sugar, barley, and roasted chocolate malts. Hops pop up, but stay out of the way of the malts until the latter half on the palate. They provide a nice bittering finish, and really balance this one out well. Also, a milk chocolate flavor seems to linger for awhile after swallowed. Extremely tasty, this one.

M: Obsidian Stout feels really good on the tongue. It's just barely a notch under being full-bodied, with a slight chewiness that feels just right. It's smooth as hell, and goes down so gosh-darned easily it's dangerous.

D: Absolutely! Beings that it's 6.4% ABV, it's a very drinkable stout. I can drink this one all night long (and have). Just be careful, it will lay waste to you before you even realize it.

Notes: Another delicious offering from Deschutes Brewery. A rich, creamy, flavorful stout that tastes great and is incredibly smooth. Easy to drink and a pleasure at that. This is one that I have made a regular in my beer diet. A truly delicious American-style stout that I thoroughly enjoy(and quite often at that).

sweetbrew82, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of Magpie14
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured black and murky brown with a large creamy tan head. The glass was littered with random blobs of foam, clinging desperately

S: burnt coffee, roasted grains, maybe a whiff of dark fruits

T: heavy malts/grain sweetness, luscious mellow coffee flavor. Roasted malt is king within this flavorful . Big caramel sweets, a touch of brown sugar, and semi sweet chocolate chips. The hop content teases the tongue with bitterness for a nice added dimension

M: velvety and smooth paired with ample carbonation...good balance. Easy to drink is an understatement with the heavy lush feel

D: gotta love it! great brew and easy drinker. Nice flavors throughout

Magpie14, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a thick oily black with a 1" light brown fluffy head.

S: The aroma is mostly chocolate and coffee. There is an underlying spice note (perhaps from hops) and a hint of dates.

T: The taste follows in line with the smell. Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. There is a residual bitter/spiciness that is quite welcome.

M: The mouthfeel is full and creamy with noticeable carbonation.

D: This is a very flavorful stout. Quite drinkable.

barefootbrewer, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours nearly black (can only make out some dark brown near the bottom edges of the glass) with a mocha froth colored head that fades quickly.
S: Almost entirely of roasted malts and some malty sweetness. The other main smell is of yeast.
T: Taste is predominately of roasted malts as well. Some chocolate flavor as well; without the bitterness of the cocoa in a lot of stouts. It is a nice break away from the strong smoke and coffee smell and flavor of a lot of stouts I've been having recently.
M: Sticky and lingering, but a bit lighter that I may have expected from a stout.
D: Again, it is a nice departure from the strong smoke and bitter coffee flavors of a lot of stouts and is quite drinkable for a stout.

lhaqq, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. a 12oz bottle with an average pour yielded a striking one-finger head of a burnt sugar and mahogany color, sitting atop a deep dark opaque abyss of black which only hinted at some ruby coloring when held up directly infront of a light. Lacing was light and didn't stay quite as well as I would have liked given the beauty of the color.

s. Malt with a sharp hop note. Sweetness and sour notes waft from the glass. Raisins, cocoa and burnt bread darken aroma, with hints of rum and just a touch of burnt (old?) coffee fill out the aroma. It's an interesting, unusual, yet pleasing aroma.

t. The malt is definitely present, as is the sharp hop note. There's almost a burnt sourness present, which lightens things up and gets away from that common roasty-smokey-cocoa-coffee taste that so many stouts fall generically into. Definite coffee notes, along with burnt figs, rum raisin, and floral hops round it out in a different but good way.

m. a touch light for a stout, with some decent carbonation and an interesting interplay between the sharp piney hop oils and the slightly sour burnt malt flavors on the tongue. I want a bit more chewy body to compete with the flavors, but the sweetness kind of warms me up to the lighter body.

d. definitely drinkable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bottle. This one has a bit of uniqueness that separates it from the generic stout, but that also makes it a bit strong in flavor to drink a ton of - it begins to wear at the tastebuds in a good way... the sweet, sour, roasted, and burnt flavors are incredible but take a turn away from sessionability in my mind. Definitely worth trying if you have the chance, if nothing else than do see what a stout has the ability to be. This one nears an Imperial Stout in the best ways.

djeucalyptus, Oct 12, 2008
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,732 ratings.