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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,797 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,797
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 412
Gots: 302 | FT: 9
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,797 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$1.55 Single
Liquid Solutions

Obsidian Stout pours the blackest of browns (if that makes any sense). Mahogany highlights only when held directly to the light and only creeping through the bottom of the glass. A strange looking big three finger tan head formed on the pour. I say strange because it was soapy looking and creamy at the same time. Very odd but definately a tasty looking stout. Leaves excellent lacing.

Unfortunately the nose seems to be lacking. Mild lightly roasted malts are there in the background but weak. Mild dark fruits, a lactic quality, and a pronounced metallic twang. If I smell deep I can pull out the aromas I like to expierence in a stout but they're all just too weak and distant.

This is a quality stout. Roasted malts start things off with faint flavors of anise. Mild nuttiness mid-palate along with a creamy lactic quality. Nice balancing on the finish with bitter roasted malts and a touch of hop bitterness that make this smooth and exceptionally balanced.

Medium body with a slightly airy but creamy mouthfeel as it moves through the mouth. Nice lingering bitterness from a comonation of the hops and bitter malts.

This is a very good sessionable stout. Perfect beer to have on hand from Autumn through Winter if you're in the mood to sit down and have a few to warm up.

I believe this is only my second beer from Deschutes (the other being Black Butte Porter) and I wouldn't hesitate in buying either one of them again. Both very good examples in their respective styles.

joe1510, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of jakon
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best before date of 12-7-7.

Pours pitch black with an impressive mocha colored head which displays excellent retention and leaves webs of sticky lacing in its wake. The aroma is of roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee mingle with overpowered hops. Don't know how else to describe it, but there's a crayon-like aroma in there as well. Taste is lightly sweet at first and then turns deeply bitter. Especially in the back. The bitterness of the coffee flavor and hops combine to create an overall bitterness that hits you from all angles. There's also an earthy wood-like flavor in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Abrasiveness builds on the tongue as you dig deeper into the glass. This has been a longtime standby that I will continue to revisit as long as the fine folks at Deschutes keep sending it through the bottling line. A classic.

jakon, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best buy 10/20/07. Very close to pitch black in color. Thick, creamy mocha head. Very nice to look at! Good head retention and lace.

Roasty with milk chocolate notes, and very vinous in the nose.

Roasty flavor, with a citrusy bitter edge. Lots of fruit comes out as it warms, dark fruit to be more specific. Nice and rich.

Good body, and carbonation. Well balanced. Love the darker fruit flavors in this one, versus the typical coffee or espresso flavors. Nicely done.

Bierguy5, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of elricorico
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian? Not quite, but looks nearly black in the glass. A large malted milk coloured head sits on top and seems to last forever, with a ton of lacing. Can't do much better in that department.

Smells of smoky roasted malt, tobacco, and something fruity. I'd like to say grapes, but that doesn't seem to be quite it. Not your typical stout smell. Interesting.

A little sweetness right up front prefaces a long roasted malt bitterness. Licorice touches the very back of the tongue, sweetening the very end. The taste starts to get into the same flavours you get in an imperial stout, though a little more subtle. Very nice.

Smooth and medium to full bodied, the mouthfeel is pretty good for the style. Not as creamy as some stouts get, but that doesn't take much away.

Easier to drink than it should be, this is a really nice stout.

elricorico, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of Orrshow
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance – Jet black with a lot of nice tan frothy head. The lacing left is plentiful.

Smell – The smell is very strong of roasted malt. There is a little caramel and coffee as well.

Taste – Very nice roasted malt flavor off the get go. This is followed by some coffee and burnt wood. There is a nice balancing bitterness also. Excellent flavor.

Mouthfeel – Nice subtle carbonation and a substantial enough body to hold its own.

Drinkability – Amazing…it goes down like cold water on a hot day.

Thanks to elricorico for the bottle. A great beer which I hope to get more of soon!

Orrshow, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR,

A: Pours a dark opaque black, with a thick, tan head, very appealing, I like the way this stout looks.

S: Dark roasted malts, burnt sugar, and a bit of coffee.

T: Burnt, very burnt, this is probably the bitterest stout I have ever had, in response to the roasted malts. There is a hint of black cherry flavour as well, very tasty.

M: Smooth, thick, well carbonated for a stout, no trace of the 6.40% alcohol, very rich for its alcohol content.

D: A great American stout, I could drink this all day, one of Deschutes best beers, better than their porter, which is also pretty good, an American classic.

Halcyondays, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach

Had to choose a stout for one hundredth beer review and it turned out to be a good choice

Best beer I have had from Deschutes so far, still have not tried Abyss, but I cannot wait

Poured into a pint glass almost black with a good size tan head

Smell was nice and sweet for a stout with an almond hint

Taste was very good, one of the best eas to find stouts on the market in my book

Taste settled nicely as well

Only problem would be drinking a lot of these because they are filling and could get very heavy after a while

Highly recommended

Had this again and it was not near as good as I remembered it, must have been because I drank a few beers before I tasted this one the first time

Floydster, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of Overlord
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dollar for dollar, the best stout I've ever had.

Pours a coal black with a much larger than expected head (that lasts for a good ten minutes). Taste is explosively coffee laden, with a strong bitter chocolate flavor to balance out the coffee. Not much fruit, but a rich smokiness and delicious mouthfeel keep this from tasting simple.

Considering it can be had for 8.99 a sixpack all over the place, really underappreciated.

Overlord, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of SilentSabre
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Likely the greatest (American) stout I have ever had. Poured up absolutely black with a bit of a rocky sand coloured head. This is precisley how a stout should look, IMO. Smell was phenomenal. This is the perfect stout smell, to me anyway. Coffee beans, unsweetened baker's chocolate, a bit of a lactic sourness, some smoke, the smell of dried cereals, and perhaps most importantly, it is bereft of any hops at all. At the very least, it is bereft of any cascade, cenntenial, or any other really piney/citrusy hops, anyway. This is a truly great stout. Taste starts out a bit sweet, and then turns dry toward the finish. Flavour profiles include coffee grounds, a bit of caramel, bitter chocolate, and a tiny touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is very solid and heavy. This, to me, is exactly what a good stout should be. Absolutely amazing!

SilentSabre, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of meechum
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well this is a great stout.

A - Pours viscous black into a pint mug with a huge thick brown head that's pillowy and recedes to sticky lacing with a slight thin head constantly residing on top of the brew

S - Big nose of burnt toasts, caramel, roasted malts. Very good smell

T - Taste is big. Great malt backbone the a touch of the caramel and bitter chocolate tastes..finishing with just a small hop bite to cut the sweeter flavors..very balanced

M - Big and creamy..full in the mouth...light on carbonation

D - This is damn good..as far as stouts go I would put this close to the top of the class..for the fan of stouts this is a must

meechum, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Do I have a bad bottle or just not like this beer? It smelled a bit like molasses, and while there was a decent bitterness in the aftertaste, the overall flavor is nothing to brag about. Roasted coffee-like (but not really coffee flavored) grains with a bit of cocoa. I was expecting something exciting like a Shakespeare Stout, but didn't get any depth like that.

tempest, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cool, rainy day here in the First State...perfect for a nice stout.

Pours black as night with a nice peanut butter colored head. Some nice lacing remains behind.

The smell is a blend of strong coffee, chocolate, caramel, molasses, and a bit of dark fruit. Gets even better as it warms a little bit.

Roasted barley, bitter bakers chocolate, coffee, molasses and then a touch of bitter coffee at the finish. Very good. The bitterness is actually very enjoyable and this beer wouldn't be half as good without it.

Smooth, creamy, fuller bodied beer. More carbonation than I expected, but it works. Very easy drinking stout. More than one bottle wouldn't be a problem...and that's rare for me and stouts. Hopefully I can get more of this someday.

Imstillthegman, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a giant chocolate milk head that stays awhile and laces all over. This looks like a big bad stout. Smells of roated barley, caramel, expresso, fruits and some chocolate notes. Tastes silky smooth starting out with some sweet malt with a bitter bite and finishes with cocoa, roasted coffee, nuts and some hops. Feels creamy and smooth in the mouth with little carbonation feel. Alcohol is not detected at all in this. This is an awesome stout that is perfect for sessioning and a must try Oregon delight.

franksnbeans, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of kernalklink
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very solid stout- pours as black liquid with a very nice tan head. Aromas were cool and clean- very attractive to the stout lover. Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, flowed like liquid silk. There is no unpleasantlness whatsoever, this is an incredibly balanced brew. semi-sweet chocolate malts, slight mocha flavors and earthy, slightly resinous hops round out the sweetness which is minimal and perfectly paired to the style. One of the better american stouts available, as most tend to be extreme in one sense or another, this one knows what is best and sticks to it.

kernalklink, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of younger35
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a pint glass. Have had this beer many times but never reviewed. It’s one of my favorites.

Appearance- Pours exceptionally dark brownish/black with a huge creamy light brown head. The head slowly dissipates to form a nice collar that stays the entire beer leaving thin lacing down the glass.
Smell- There is more coffee/espresso notes in this beer than any other stout that I’ve had that hasn’t been brewed with coffee or dry “hopped” with coffee. Subtle sweet chocolate, liquorices and molasses make there presence known. Very feint alcohol comes through.
Taste- Bitter roasted chocolate and coffee are in abundance here but not overpowering. There is a nice sweet smokiness here that I really enjoy. Lightly bitter hops are semi fruity, reminds me of a chocolate covered cherry. Leaves a nice roasted coffee aftertaste with the alcohol that slowly fades.
Mouthfeel- Very light, creamy body with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish with fading alcohol warmth.
Drinkability- This is such a terrific stout that I wish I drank more often. It is readily available to me yet I don’t enjoy it as often as I should. Such balance and flavors. It’s in the same realm as a Imperial Stout with a touch less alcohol which really helps in it’s drinkability. Awesome!!

younger35, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with cola-colored highlights; a great initial head with tight bubbles the color of chocolate milk, eventually fades to a ring of small tan bubbles, leaving rings of lace that droop down the glass. Smells of mocha & dark fruit. Malty...

Tastes amazing: roasted goodness; black coffee with a slight char; very dark chocolate; a little nut. Exceptional mouthfeel -- big body, nice carbonation, dry cocoa finish -- and for a 6+ ABV, this is very sessionable for those who don't mind bitterness. Another feather in the cap of Deschutes, and, in my opinion, one of America's greatest stouts.

jbsteiny, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of IceEyes
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the great northwestern stouts. It is entirely black with a silky smooth body and a lush fragrance of coffee and roasted grains. The taste is bold and reliable and finishes with a touch of chocolate. I've never had a bad bottle and it's even better on tap. It pours out with a thick beige head and leaves lots of lace on the glass. Every sip delivers big flavor. I wish every stout was this good.

IceEyes, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of quasimoto
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its deep black and has a light tan head that leaves a alot of lace. The aromas are a blend of chocolate, coffee roast, and some deep grain. There are no hop aromas to be found. which is good, and very easy to take. The taste is a perfect balance of the aforementioned aromas but it blends into a sweeter flavor. The chocolate dominates the other two, but it is balanced with the roasty bitterness. There is a real sweet finish, almost a caramel flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth, and doesnt dry out too bad in the end. This is one of the best American Stouts Ive ever had

quasimoto, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ordered from Liquid Solutions,served in a nonic glass from a 12oz brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap. Best by 9/07/07

Blackish brown with a dense creamy tan head several inches tall. Good retention leaving sticky lace down the glass.

Moderate malt nose,sweet carmell.peat,roasty,cocoa, with a light burnt/chard aroma and some dark fruity notes. Very easy and inviting nose.

Clean taste roasty,light chocolate,coffee nice malty taste Finishes with a nice,sharp,mouthwatering bitterness leave a chocolate mocha taste lingering. Very good balance and easy to drink.
Mouthfeel was smooth,juicy,tangy.

Remined me almost of a dark lager. Like the 3 Dechutes beers i've have all were very drinkable,every day drinkable. Would always keep some in the fridge if avalible locally. Not extreme beers very solid and all well done.

jcdiflorio, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via I Want That BIF from flexabull. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, forming a 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is down to a layer of film pretty quick, with ample sticky dark lace. Aroma is dark malts, with touches of hops. Taste meets the nose's indications, and more. Starts with dark grains, some bitterish coffee notes, and then closes pleasantly bitter. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very goodm and I am glad I finally was able to check this one out.

ppoitras, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to flexabull for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete black letting no light shine through. Full two finger khaki colored head that quickly dies down. Stickiness is insanely good, all over the glass. Smell is a bit dull, not really what I expected. Mild barley and malt with a tiny bit of alcohol. Some toasted nut seems to tingle the nose as well. Taste is a pretty bold flavor of dark coffee and some roasted caramel malt as well. There's a nice hop bite on the tongue that balances this one out quite well. Very strong enjoyable aftertaste of espresso with a hint of caramel. Mouthfeel is very full bodied with a surprisingly good amount of carbonation for this style. Deschutes does an amazing job with this complex brew, represents this style very well. Pick it up if you get the chance.

BeerTruth, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of cjhofelt
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque and black, the aptly named Obsidian stout wears a nice, rocky brown head after an aggressive pour. The head fades to a thick and creamy film that leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

The smell is mostly caramel and toffee.

The taste is delicious. Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel all come through. There is a slight hint of the alcohol in the finish. This is a real dessert beer.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. At 6.4% ABV, maybe a bit too drinkable , if you know what I mean.

cjhofelt, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- About a 1" thick tan head on a black body.
S- Coffee, chocolate, big roasted malts, grassy hops, and toasted aroma.
T- Follows the aroma pretty darn close. Light bitterness on tip of tongue. Pretty dry aftertaste. Coffee joins in the aftertaste also.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- It is pretty good. I wouldn't go crazy over it but it is a easy drinking stout.

BlindPig, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle w/ freshness date into my Caracole snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Deep black as the name obsidian implies, w/ a full rocky, 3 1/2 finger tan head. The lacing is splendid - a marvelous looking ale! 4.5

S - An abundance of richness in the roasted, malty odors. Sweet vanilla and cream w/ light graham cracker scents. 4

M - Rich, creamy, dry and spiced w/ citrus hops fully riding it to the finish. Plenty of carbonation, but still restrained enough to let the malts do their business. 4.5

T - Love the malt profile. Malt is the king of Obsidian stout. The knights of citrus hops are on guard. They are so strong and yet don't need to speak, the dominance is evident. A sweetness that is conservatively utilized- the roasted coffee taste is dominant w/ plenty of citrus to keep exquisitely balanced. 4.5

D - This is a fine west coast stout. The cocoa-like dry nature makes it one to drink more than one of at a sitting. Smooth, but interesting w/ attention given to the citric NW hop in the finish. Definitely a stout in a class of its own. Drinkable doesn't begin to describe it - you will try to lick the glass clean it is so smooth. 5

It has been since '07 since I had one of these so I thought I might update my review
enjoyed chilled from a twelve oz in a goblet.
The color is onyx opaque with thick medium tan head with very fine bead -4.25
The aroam is fruity with light hint of raisin and slight spice element with moderate cocoa scent and mild coffee with hint of citrus rind - 4.75
The feel is exemplary with mild roast and full body with moderately high carbonation with slightly full body with creamy and roasty textures overlapping and finishing bitter and dry yet still nuanced enough to elicit an inquisitive stare 4.25
This stout has always been a sort of ale that I put a pedestal as a stout fan after visiting the PNW region for the first time, but I have to say the taste still stands the test of time, unlike other 'American stouts, this still has the qualities in the flavor you expect -chocolate malt with a subtle caramel underpinning and decent amount of bitterness to finish. 4.5
This is not only a beer I am ecstatic to not have to travel to get, but is also worth waiting for. Overall I consider this extremely high in the realm of American Stouts -it is tasty yet still delivers not just in flavor but in authenticity - an American original, the best I have tasted. 5
i am so happy Deschutes has made the choice to distribute to PA, not only is it great to have beer that brought me to the craft movement, but it is still is of the same quality as when I first enjoyed it almott two decades ago.

Slatetank, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of Damian
3.25/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Ralph's Deli & Grocery, Seattle, WA

Poured a thick, super dark and opaque pitch black with a one-finger, frothy, coffee-colored head that lasted and left some sticking lacing along the glass.

The aroma was rich, smooth and very sweet. Chocolate was quite apparent, with dark and milk chocolate and powdered cocoa notes all coming through at various points. Coffee was noticeable as well, along with sweet cream and vanilla. A touch of alcohol appeared as the beer warmed.

The taste was quite different from the aroma. Huge roasted malts came through up front along with a rather bitter, mineral-like quality. Roasted coffee was noticeable mid-palate. The huge, hoppy and espresso-like finish was powerful, slightly tannic, bitter and lingering. As the beer warmed, the bitterness intensified to the point of being overwhelming.

The mouthfeel was somewhat thin and a bit over carbonated.

Overall, this beer seemed to be a bit of a disappointment. While many may be attracted to its deep, roasted flavors, I found the bitterness to be too much to handle.

Damian, Jul 12, 2007
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,797 ratings.