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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,990
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)
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Ratings: 2,990 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Marty30
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to black13 for this extra!Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass at cellar temp,around 52 degrees.

A. Very dark black body, I see some dark ruby in the pour. Two finger khaki head that dissapates rather quickly. Leaves good lacing all over the glass.

S. Lots of roasted malts here from the get go,also getting some brown sugar,coffee grinds and some chocolate.

T. Big roasted malt notes and bitter chocolate. I get some nuttiness and light hints of vanilla cake batter with some hop bitterness in the end.

M. Mouth is a little thin,I would say medium. good carbonation.

Overall this is a good brew that I would like to get more of.It it a great substitute if you don't want that big imperial stout sometimes.

Photo of iLovehops23
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, sticks around for a little bit. Good lacing throughout the glass. Smells of rich chocolate malt and roasted malt. Somewhat of a coffee taste as well. Taste is somewhat bitter for a stout, bit by no means too bitter. Mouthfeel is very light for a stout, seems very thin, not a bad thing, just surprising. I do get hints of the coffee I smelled, and of course large quantities of the malts I mentioned. Decent carbonation, more than some stouts I've had. I taste the slightest hint of oats, this is by no means an oatmeal stout, but I get small hints of it. Drinkability is pretty high, only because it tastes pretty darn good! I wouldn't call this a "world class" beer, but it is very, very good.

Photo of nhindian
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle generously provided as an extra by yuriruley, thanks Nate!

A - The beer pours a solid black, all encapsulating with only slight chocolate highlights that arise when taking a sip. There is a 2-fingered head resting on top, with pretty good retention lasting several minutes. There is also some fantastic lacing on this beer with foam clinging constantly to every glass surface it touches.

S - The smell is interesting, as it almost gives the impression of smokey malts, like burning lava that the bottle so accurately describes. Something about it reminds me of a subtle version of some of the infected Short's beers I've had recently, but luckily more tame and not sour, just the burnt quality I guess. Otherwise its mostly sweet, with some subdued aromas of hours-old coffee and bittersweet chocolate. It also has a quality similar to cat piss as I can best describe...

T - As in the nose, the first thing I get in this taste is charred oats or something similarly smokey. It's not approaching rauchbier territory, but it does give a similar impression. What's cool is that it almost immediately transitions into a more sweeter taste and lends itself well to the chocolate that's more prominent here. Not getting a whole lot of coffee here. Finish is moderately long with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty damn smooth and leaves a nice feel in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. A solid beer that incorporates a slight char quality nicely, but there's something amiss in the nose that I'm not completely comfortable with. As smell plays a big part in the taste, it detracted a bit from that as well.

Photo of rawfish
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour into an Odell tulip glass yields a two finger mocha colored head rising above a near black body. The slightest tinge of mahogany runs along the sides of the glass. Head has incredible retention which forms a halo when subsiding resulting in nice lacing.

Aroma is of bold roasted malts some grain and oats, with a backing of chocolate and more earthy hops. Some fruity characteristics from the yeast.

Bold blackened malt followed by citrus hoppiness. The coffee taste here lasts throughout the drink only to bitter even further with the earthy and lemon tart citrus hops on the back end. Leaves a parched throat kind of dryness, charred, even a bit metallic.

Creamy smooth but the drying feeling come more from the taste than the actual liquid. Good heft and carbonation.

Nice looking stout with a pleasant smell but the taste is big bold coffee without much complexity and ends rather harsh, astringent and dry. Good offering by Deschutes but I'll take the porter when I want something dark.

Photo of azdback
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink this every day but never do review. I'm turning over a new leaf and I'm am gonna start reviewing everything I drink.

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Black (like it's name) no light penetrates this at all. Very slight brown edges. Two finger head of light brown maybe cappuccino in appearance. Beautiful lace all the way to the end.

The smell is very yummy. Coffee, chocolate malt bomb. Some type of tart fruit like maybe cherry. No alcohol. Perfect for the style.

Well the taste is a lot like the smell but more. Coffee and chocolate very prevalent. Deep roasty flavor. The tart fruit isn't really there. This is for sure The Abyss's baby cousin.

Mouthfeel is great for this style. Stays all the way through. Pretty chewy but not RIS chewy. Frothy feel just like the head.

Since I drink at least 3 or 4 of these a night I have to give a perfect score on this one. The 6.4% might catch up to you in the morning but you'll never guess it while they are going down.

Overall I would say this is my favorite beer of all time. With the amount I have had, the availability, the price, the uses (we use these to mellow the pallet between IPA's), and I usually drink them out of the bottle, so taking them to a party or gathering is easy because you don't need a glass. You can't go wrong. Highly recommended!!!

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque deep sable with not much head. Rich, oily aroma has firm coffee and chocolate tones - very inviting. Sweet, coffee-ish flavor has hints of chocolate and licorice and a bit of hops. Smooth, barely fizzy texture still leaves a persistent tingle.

Photo of hiku7
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a tulip glass.

A - Pours the color of coffee with a big bold tan-brown head. As the head dissipates, a medium thick lacing sticks to the glass all the way down.

S - Caramel and molasses and other things dark, roasted, and delicious.

T - Caramel and coffee flavors up front with a mild hoppy finish that really balances the initial flavors. There is a tiny spiciness that comes through the carbonation on the tongue.

M - Smooth and creamy, with a mildly fizzy carbonation to finish every swig.

D - Pretty good. Even though I've been working my way slowly through a six pack over the winter, I wouldn't turn down a second or third in one night.

Very enjoyable stout.

Photo of cyrock1
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a 1/2 inch tan head.

Smell: Caramel, roasted malt and chocolate. Maybe a little soy sauce in the background.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate and black coffee, with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with mild hops on the finish.

Drinkability: The chocolate lingers nicely, a well structured beer.

Photo of chilly460
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear shiny black , with a one finger tan head. Very creamy head and the body is honey colored on the edges.

S: I get some medium roasted malts, coffee, and dry cocoa in this one. Very clean smelling, plenty of punch, nice.

T: Enjoyed this, roasted malt and coffee are at the forefront. I get some smoke as well. It's a dry taste, not unlike an Irish stout.

M: Creamy, could use a little more body body not bad, carbonation was about right.

D: Could drink this all day long, very nice.

Photo of Janderson91
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 03/23/11 printed on bottle. Enjoyed on 03/02/11. Really looking forward to another one from Deschutes.

A - Looks great. Big tan two finger head that leaves great lacing as I drink. Pitch black and opaque, no light whatsoever gets through even around the edges.

S - The aroma holds some roasted malts, chocolate, and a light hoppiness. Also a faint coffee smell to it as well.

T - Nice mixture between some roasted malts and sweet chocolate flavor. Good coffee and hop bitterness in the background. Finish is pretty dry, with a lingering milky chocolate/coffee flavor.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied, the carbonation may be a little high. Quite drinkable, delicious beer.

Another good one from Deschutes, only my second offering from them. Looking forward to more!

Photo of harrymel
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a local of mine, and for some reason, I can't even remember what it tastes like. Shame on me!
Best by: 7/25/11

A: Pours a black coffee with a hint more darkness and has only limited translucency. Single finger light latte head dissipates leaving a medium sheet of the same. Spots of lacing.

S: Roasty, oaty, coffee, grains, malts, light earthy hops. Hints of fruity yeast. Somewhat sandy scent. Very nice. Not quite Kalamazoo stout, but very good.

T: Taste matches the nose, very good. Only diff would be that here is a good bittering component I didn't anticipate. I really like this as a stout. As it warms, it gets better too. Absolutely one of the finer examples I've had.

M: Creamy and smooth beer. Mouth velvet. Lower carbonation, long resonance. Again, very nice. Lovely.

D: I think I might make this part of my regular lineup. It's just outstanding as a stout. I wonder why they've never made (to my knowledge), an imperial of this one.

Photo of axeman9182
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a "Best by" date of 4/7/11. Much thanks to KevSal for sending this along. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Obsidian pours pitch black, with a massive, 3.5 finger foamy cap. The head is a bit light, closer to off white than tan or caramel. Retention is solid, and lacing is above average. There are rings of foam left around the glass from the head's semi-slow descent. There's a heavy general roast presence in the nose, along with some tobacco and a little bit of dark chocolate. The tobacco fades out, and dark chocolate steps up a bit in the front of my palate, a noticeable improvement. The hop bite mid sip is enough to be noticed, but only just, and gives way to a pleasant earthy finish. The mouthfeel is easily the highlight of this beer. Body is absolutely perfect, full and creamy without getting too big for for its britches and approaching imperial level viscosity. At the same time the carbonation is enough to thwart any syrupy sensation and let the hops peek through, while remaining true to the beer's malty nature. Obsidian Stout is a solid beer from Deschutes, but nothing earth shattering.

Photo of zeledonia
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice very dark brown (almost black) with about ½ finger of coffee-colored head. Smell is minimal, mostly coffee roasted malt. Taste is quite nice, heavy on the coffee, but well-rounded with medium complexity; a nice shot of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is great, appropriately heavy and creamy with a nice light carbonation. Generally a very good, above average stout, but not amazing.

Photo of n2185
3.4/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with about a finger of light tan head that quickly recedes into little more than a thin ring with almost no lacing.

S: Some smokey, roasted malts up front followed by sweetened cocoa powder. There's a very dry character to the chocolate aroma, reminding me more of hot chocolate powder than of whole chocolate.

T: Similar to the aroma, the roasted malts come first followed by a bit of sweetened chocolate flavor. The finish is of bitter, almost burnt, coffee.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, but with a bit of a watery feel to it rather than being creamy like I prefer.

D: Goes down fairly smooth, though the lighter body and slight burnt coffee aftertaste keep it from being extremely drinkable.

Overall, not a bad stout, but not much stands out about it either.

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

A - Pours pitch black, finger of nice mocha head with solid retention and leaving some fine sticky lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate and honey, touch of vanilla, and a nice espresso finish with the faintest bitterness.

T - The milk chocolate flavours are dominant with a dark cocoa finish, the espresso comes through on the tongue as it warms, and lingers with a bitter leafy hop. This stuff is delicious.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness. Not chewy or overly thick. Very impressed.

D - At 6.4% I could drink this stuff all night. Perfect for a cold winter afternoon, or for any occasion where you're looking for a full flavoured stout that won't bog you down with complexity.

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

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass - thanks to thecarster1 for this great extra

Pours an opaque black with a thick frothed tanned head. Retains well with solid creaminess and plenty of patchy lacing left behind on the glass while drinking.

Bittersweet dark chocolate, rich roasted malt, light coffee notes, and a relatively small hop character in the nose. Very pleasant and inviting overall.

Dark roasted malts swirled with dark chocolate sweetness up front. Notes of molasses with light charred tones. A bit sweet but more malty than anything throughout. Light hop bitterness towards the finish with some more malted sweetness.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, a bit creamy and chewy as it wraps around the tongue. This is a smooth, tasty stout which doesn't skimp in body or flavor even though it's not of the imperial variety, which seems to be a problem for me more often than I'd like. Definitely worth drinking again.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.72/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Big thanks to Quinn and Emily.

A: Solid black with a large, craggy brown head. Good head retention yields very sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate cake, espresso, slightly dirty earthiness, and earthy hops with a citric edge.

T: Roasted malts rule the roost. Chocolate cake, charcoal, smoke. Sweet cola taste arises for just an instant, but is quickly overtaken by a slight acidic twang from the burnt malts. Faint plum and currant esters. Earthy hops add bitterness and a quick citric bite. Long finish divulges tastes of charcoal and woody smoke.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, and creamy. Natural carbonation. Great.

D: Very high.

Notes: Very similar to their Black Butte Porter, but with more pronounced roasted malt tastes and some slight burnt malt acidity. I enjoyed this one much more than the porter. This would be a solid go-to stout for me if it were distributed here.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a well earned beer haul made while in Whitefish, Montana with my fellow BA andreanaline
A - jet black with a thumb of mocha head that slowly dissipated to a consistent covering leaving thick sticky lacing
S - very roasty with hints of bitter chocolate and vanilla and a subtle sweet aroma
T - fantastic rich roasty malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate, lightly sweet with a hint of grassy hop balance
M - surprisingly refreshing yet chewy rich and smooth, moving to a full and bitter finish
D - this is easily sessionable, very rich if flavour and feel, an outstanding stout

Photo of FreshHawk
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Very dark, opaque black color. Good sized, rocky, sticky, fluffy, creamy, cafe colored head. Very nice retention leaving a thick creamy lace.

S - Wonderful aroma full of chocolate (both mild and dark), coffee, roasted malt and an earthy tone. Chocolate and coffee are the strongest. Touches of citrus and grassy hops. Touches of hops provide a nice kick with the strong stout aroma.

T - Great mix of dark chocolate and coffee provide the strongest flavors. Nice bittersweet flavors. Slightly burnt/toasted dark malt that fits the bittersweet flavor profile. Earthy tones come out mid sip. Finishes with a nice citrus and slightly earthy and grassy hop kick. Very enjoyable beer.

M - Medium body with adequate carbonation. Smooth although not quite as full as I would want.

D - Very easy to drink. Balanced with great chocolate and coffee flavors and a nice hoppy taste showing up. Goes down easy, with a somewhat low ABV (for an American stout) and loads of flavors.

Notes: Best by 04/21/11. Very tasty stout that is incredibly easy to drink. Has a nice hop kick toward the finish that compliments the bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors. Overall a joy to drink and a great price.

Photo of thecarster1
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a nonic pint, nearly two fingers of tan head with nice retention leaves lace all over the glass, dark brown walnut.

s- little woody, lots of roast, coffee, dark chocolate, some creamy sweetness, maybe a touch of vanilla.

t- pretty much the same as the nose, very roast, dark black coffee, only a hint of sweetness, more dark and roasty and savory, dry on the finish.

m- full bodied, creamy, smooth and coating.

d- nice, this is one of the better stouts i've had, lots of flavor, great mouthfeel, worth trying this one!

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

Pours a dark, dark colour, slight brown up to the light but mostly black. Head is ochre, just noticeable whispy bubbles on a thin film. Lace is kind of scary and Mayan in its patterns on the glass, but quite nice.

Smell is decent, a bit weak though with mild dark coffee notes giving that slightly watered-down espresso character, but with pleasant hints of vanilla and slight coconut character. Touch of oak funk as well, and a mild cherry note peeps through at the back.

Taste is alright. Some milder-than-expected malt notes upfront, dark and kinda espresso-esque, with coffee beans and cocoa on the mid, slightly bitter with a touch of mint and a slight caramelly note to the malt. Yeah, a bit burnt towards the finish but swallowed by a thinness that really detracts from the burnt maltiness of the beer otherwise. Decent, but not wonderful.

Yeah, a decent body as well, a bit thin but not overly so, holds its own.

A pretty decent stout, although I would happily take some more robust flavours in there and still drink a few. I may have been tainted by the extremely good imperial stout I had before this, but comparing it with even Sierra Nevada stout for example I enjoyed the latter a lot more.

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

A: Pours a solid very dark brown, nearly black (but not quite obsidian!), with a fairly small amount of foamy white head. The little bit that builds up around the edge of the glass leaves minimal spots of lacing.

S: Roasted malts; chocolate milk with a little bit of nuttiness.

T: Nicely balanced; not overly sweet or bitter, but there is a nice depth. Caramel roasted malts notes, finishing with a surprisingly sharp bitter dryness.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

D: Drinks quite nicely, and the ABV is fairly reasonable for having a few.

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

Reviewed from notes 2/7/2011

A: black with a 1 finger mocha colored head, leaves nice lacing down the whole glass

S: roasted malts most prevalent, brown sugar and/or molasses, chocolate and espresso

T: roasted malts and barley, bitter, chocolate, and espesso

M: mild carbonation, smooth, full bodied, creamy

D: a very nice stout, comparable to Victory Stormking


Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a grey-market import in Australia. I figure at least a stout will survive better in whatever conditions we get it in.

Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a very deep brown head. Much darker than usual, with a complex and intricate lace on the inside of the glass. I love the lace, which forms in honeycomb patterns, so beautiful. Body is pleasantly thick and heavy. Looks very decent.

Nose is roasty, but soft, just giving some subtle dark notes to an otherwise oily and supple-sweet character. It's not terribly complex, but it has some pleasant aromas.

Taste is nicely roasty. For the ABV, you expect this level of char, because it doesn't have the extra body to bring it into heavy sweetness. Some ash, a bit of toast, burnt grain, with a lightness in the feel that actually aids drinkability, if it doesn't aid the palate.

Yeah, this is a nice stout, without being astounding. It's certainly good enough to be worthy of a couple of retries, and is certainly something I'd happily drink as a session brew, if I wanted something dark. I think that's the mark of a good simple stout.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thankyou to PhilHyde for this beer. Pours an opague black. Extremely thick creamy light brown heading. Tremendous ringlets of lacing all the way to the last sip.

Smell is outstanding.Whiffs of roasted malt,chocolate,brown suagr aroma.

Taste is awesome. Again a heavy roasted malt taste.There is a heavy brown sugary smack quickly after the beer has wandered the palate. Subtle touching of hotter alcohol. Subtle bitter bite in the finish.

Mouth super smooth,with a medium body and an amazing sugary kiss.

Although it is a very basic stout it is amazing. Damn I wish Deschutes was a little more available in my area. Such good stuff.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,990 ratings.