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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

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Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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3,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,092
Reviews: 1,004
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 455
Gots: 412 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,092 | Reviews: 1,004 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hophead247
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and opaque with a thick brown creamy head. Tons or roasty coffee aroma and charcoal. Favor is rich with roasted barley. nice malt backbone but the burnt woody and dry coffee take over. Finishes semi dry and clean. Really drinkable stout, but I can name a handful of others I'd rather drink...

Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Served a little below room temperature.

Appearance: Really dark brown to black in color. Two finger pillowy beige head with good retention.

Aroma: Coffee and cocoa beans are dominant. Nice balance of bitter and sweet.

Taste: The coffee notes really dominate here. They are not overly bitter though. Some cocoa bean notes in there too. Not really bitter at all, in fact the sweetness dominates. There is also a hint of smoke in the background. Balanced and solid.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy, but with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: Really smooth and balanced. I could definitely have a couple of these.

Overall, a very good stout. Nothing stuck out as particularly memorable or great about it though. Just a really solid stout overall.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, produced a two-finger head over a body dark as coal. Head dissipates to a ring, leaving curtains of sticky lace.

Aromas of burnt toast, chocolate milk, and some dark fruit.

Tastes of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, with a tart delivery. Dry, slightly bitter finish.

Body is light and carbonation is spritzy, giving this a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel.

This is a tasty, though a bit light-bodied stout. The tartness also makes this a bit unusual. Could enjoy a couple of these at 6.4% ABV.

Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle thanks to Colby, served in my Narke tulip. Review # 1200, tick beer #98 of the new crappy top beers list...An 11pm black pour, dark throughout. A light tan head that rises about three fingers, average retention but really nice think lacing, almost covers the whole glass...An aroma of roasted coffee and a little smoke. Not sweet malts at all but this is really nice, almost perfect roastiness very light sweet chocolate on the very back...The taste is shockingly sweet. The roastiness is gone, replaced by a very sweet chocolate with a hint of vanilla and dark fruits. A touch to sweet especially for the low abv but its totally 180 in taste is fun and refreshing...A light palate easy to drink.

A low abv stout that is super easy to drink and tasty. An A+ Englishish stout that you could just crush all day. Wasn't expecting much but this is a great one.

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

Pitch black obsidian. Dark roast coffee highlights. Big creamy foam tan head. Foamy sheets of lace.

Rich roasty chocolate. coffee and burnt molasses. Dark cherry. Earthy and herbal notes.

Dark bitter chocolate and roasty coffee. Burnt molasses and dark cherry. Earthy and woody. Herbal and piney. Big bitter roasted coffee grounds and pine sap finish.

So rich and smooth, silky. Chewy, crteamy, sticky coffee sludge. Full bodied. Mildly carb'd.

Drinkable roasty smooth stout.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Miami Dolphins pint glass in preperation for the monday night game. Let's go Dolphins...

A - Pours black with a one finger tan head, and a decent amount of lacing...

S - Don't pick up to much from this one. Chocolate, coffee, and maybe a small hint of caramel...

T - Wow, this is a tasty brew. Dark roasted malts, and chocolate dominate. Ends with very smooth hop bitterness that is not to citrusy. Nice...

M - Medium bodied with a mild amount carbonation...

D - Deschutes comes through with another solid beer. Definitely something I will be buying again. Good session beer. Could see myself puting back a sixer or two of these in the future...


Photo of chumba526
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears almost black. With a small light brown head.

Smells slightly toasty slightly caramel like, and slightly vanilla like.

Tastes much like the smell. There is a slight coffee taste, a nice mild caramel taste, a light vanilla taste and a slight hoppy bitterness. It has quite a nice flavor. The balance of the flavors is pretty good.

The carbonation is around medium. I think the beer would be better if the carbonation added creaminess to the stout.

Drinkability is pretty good I could drink a few of these beers.
Not the best stout out there but a pretty good one. Above average. I would like the beer to be a bit smoother but it is a damn good stout.

Photo of pdoran10
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

yay! obsidian stout makes its first appearance in Minnesota! pours out a jet black into a snifter with a finger of tan head that leaves nice lacing and stays around.

smell is musty herbal hops up front, with some nice chocolate roast in the back. this beer is definitely fresh. nice dose of hops in the nose. hop forward.

taste is herbal hop bite up front. delicous velvet chocolate. finishes roasty and a bit dry but not overly so. a roasty american stout with rasin, burnt toast and some chocolate flavors as it warms. i prefer a bit sweeter of a stout but nice flavors here.

mouthfeel is amazing! nice and chewy for not being a big stout but also crisp and not syrupy. carbonation is moderate and done right and not overly dry.

could drink these all day. exceptional beer.

Photo of Schmittymack
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Next to last brew for me tonite at my local watering hole; finally getting around to reviewing it. Poured a dark brown/nearly black with a very creamy head that disapated rather quickly. Nose picked up a little roasted malt; nothing else. Taste was great. Chocolatly malty goodness with no bitter after taste. As it warmed, it just got better and better--I even splashed a bit of Lindeman's Framboise into the last three ounces or so to make a GREAT raspberry stout. I don't think this little brother of Abyss gets any respect: I'd do more than a couple in a sitting.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a very dark opaque black color with a tan head that dissipates quickly. Smell is very coffee like with some bitterness and dark fruits. Taste is coffee malts and bitter. Feels good with a tight crisp carbonation and a definite full body. Overall a very good stout.

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

A- Less thick than I expected, still pours quite dense and solid. 99% total black, Ican see some highlights of deep brown at the edges of my imperial pint. A huge dense head erupts from a overly aggressive pour. Rocky, chunky topping. Already visible lacing starting as the foam fades. Mouthwatering looks.

S- Huge smells of bittersweet chocolate and Northwestern hops. Well blended, nearly seamless overlap of aromas. A subtle smokiness is present here, too. A rich, powerful nose.

T- The palette is greeted with a singing sweet malt start, then moves to balanced dark chocolates, strong cowboy coffee and a surprising and welcomed hops finish of almost citrus-y hops. Lots of stout character, sweet, bitter, roasty and earthen. Tasty stuff here, folks.

M- Not full bodied, more of a full medium body. Can't quite give it full credit, I wish this had a little more to it. Not watery at all, but just a tad too thin to support the full flavors calling out for a thick, cushion-y medium to express itself. Great natural carbonation, just enough to make it alive and not like molten lead.

D- Big beer here, at at 6.4%, a little less than sessionable. Quite tasty, this beer deserves a giant mug along side a hearty winter meal to really be just perfect.

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black topped by a frothy head of beige head. Laces nicely.

The aroma is roasted malt and dark chocolate with some toffee and black licorice. Very malty.

The taste follows, as a pure hit of dry roast travels straight down the tongue and goes right for the throat. A dry roasty bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Hints of black coffee, licorice and black strap molasses can be found. Finishes a little too quickly though. Every sip is like a quick burst if flavor that is instantly gone. Which, while a bit disappointing, only makes me want to drink more.

Medium, almost full bodied. Highly drinkable. Yeah. More like this please.

Photo of deadbody
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good stout. Good malty taste and feel. Pours a great dark color, good head that is slow to reced, and leaves gorgeous lacing. Great mouthfeel, smooth and full, not at all watery. Goes down easy. Easy to drink, easy to savor.

Glad I bought this, and I will be picking up another 6 pack soon, another winner from Deschutes.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into glass tulip.

$1.70 / ea.

A: Bright, opaque deep brown body topped with a small tight tan head of low retention that leaves behind light lacing and a thin creamy cover.

S: Coffee dominates with hints of chocolate and a deep roasted malt character. A bit lighter aroma than I would like to see, but the overall impression is prototypical.

T: Sweet dark roasted malt character dominates with hints of coffee and chocolate throughout. Hop bitterness is muted, and the beer finishes with a lingering roasted flavor.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Silky and finishing crisp.

D: Wonderful session beer for the stout lover and beyond. Great flavor that isn't overbearing paired with a crisp feel, and moderate alcohol.

O: Very good beer, but I would expect nothing less from Deschutes.

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

Appearance: Opaque brown-black with a finger of tan head that slowly recedes, leaving nice lacing all around.

Smell: Coffeehouse scents along with roasted malt and a trace of chocolate.

Taste: A fleeting hint of molasses sweetness followed by heavily roasted malt, dark bittersweet chocolate, coffee. Hops are discovered toward the end imparting distinct character into a loooong slightly bitter, slightly burnt and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. The carbonation is mild to moderate and adds nicely to the character of the beer.

Drinkability: Perhaps one of the most drinkable stouts I've had recently. It was easy to drink three 12-oz bottles at one sitting. Looking forward to more.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Darkness stem.

A: This brew pours black as night, with a thick light tan head that retains itself quite nicely. Lacing is sticky, and coats the glass all around.

S: Aromas consist of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of molasses, also with a roasted character that seems burnt in a way. Hops aren't real prominent, but alcohol does show.

T: Much like the aroma, but way more intense! Roasted grain, toast, bitter chocolate, and coffee dance around the palate, followed by a hop character that dries the finish. Almost imparts an herbal mint character in the backround.

M: This stout is full bodied, borderline imperial as far as mouthfeel goes. Creamy, with a viscosity comparable to motor oil. Finish is long and very dry.

D: This beer, as full bodied as it is, could almost be mistaken for an imperial stout, although it's drinkability shows it's true style. An amazing brew, and an easily drinkable one at that! Props to the folks at Deschutes!

Photo of bsp77
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown that might as well be black. Has a large brown head at first that leaves some lacing rings.

Smell: Roasted barley, coffee, molasses and just a hint of chocolate. Initial whiff seemed hoppy as well, but that did not last. While it smells very good, this is the least powerful part of the beer.

Taste: Strong, almost burnt, roasted barley with a major coffee profile, some bittersweet dark chocolate, molasses, and just a titch of licorice. Ends somewhat bitter with a burnt and hoppy bite.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, very smooth, full and creamy profile, and a dry finish. The carbonation was a little higher than expected (krausening process?) but it is not overdone and may even make the otherwise full beer more lively.

Drinkability: This is about as good as a non-Imperial American Stout can get, but I may give the edge to Bell's Kalamazoo. Deschutes really knows how to make roasted beers (this, Black Butte Porter, Black Butte XXI, Hop in the Dark) - I have yet to try Abyss but I assume it will keep this trend alive.

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

A moderately stout stout. Not as in-your-face as Old Rasputin; more in line with Guinness, but with more alcohol, so you get a nice mellow buzz. The taste makes you want to come back for more, although if you have been away from stout for a while you have to take a couple sips to get back in the groove. In fact, you better have self control, because you will want to drink it all up. I went driving down route 97 in Oregon a few years ago, and this brew makes me think of the volcanic region south of Bend. I imagine this tastes just like the volcanic rock would taste if you were dumb enough to eat some.

Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. The only interesting or eye-opening find in a small-town northern Washington state grocery store during a quick cross-border beer run.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with red cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rather creamy light brown head, which slowly settles, leaving a nice coating of webbed tree branch lace around the glass.

It smells of slightly roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, musty and creamed coffee, a twinge of fleshy citrus, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is a decent slash of toasted caramel malt, crystallized toffee, bitter dark cocoa, wet ash, dry coffee, brown sugar, a touch of warming alcohol, and earthy, dusty hops.

The carbonation is mostly quite reserved, just a soft frothiness emanating throughout, the body medium-full in weight, pretty smooth, and even somewhat creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, with only the smoky coffee notes and burgeoning hop bitterness providing a minor offset.

Cheers for the 'bigger' hop quotient - while it doesn't add a lot in the way of distinct additional flavours, it does keep this whole thing from becoming a big hot chocolate espresso mess. Obsidian is still replete with those characteristics, but with a scrappy balance that goes a long way in making me want another.

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

Black with the slightest hint of red with a big umber frothy foam with great retention and lacing.
Chocolate and roasted earthy malt aromas. Taste follows with Dark chocolate and Italian roast coffee with a nice fresh earth bittering with a light linger with a touch of alcohol. Slightly foamy mouthfeel with a gritty viscosity, in a good way.

Probably my favorite stout thus far for drinking on a regular basis. Readily available and easy drinking for when I feel like a good stout.

Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Brewing Company--Obsidian Stout--1997 Release--12 oz. Bottle--6.74% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Stout--Deep dark black color. Floral hops slowly overwhelmed by fruity roasted chocolate malt body. Evolves to rich chocolate flavor. Light palate, chalky thick texture. Long lingering finish ends dry. Sampled 4/11/1999.

Deschutes Brewing Company--Obsidian Stout--Black Pack--2001 Release--12 oz. Bottle. 6.70% ABV. (4.75 / 5.0) Stout--Opaque dark black color. Roasted nut front with mild floral fruit notes. Creamy roasted body with dry sweetness and rich strong mellow roasted flavors. Chalky roasted flavors in easy smooth lingering end. Sampled 7/16/2001.

Deschutes Brewing Company--Obsidian Stout--Hopvine Bottle--2002 Release--12 oz. Bottle. 6.70% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Stout--Light lacy espresso head. Dark obsidian color. Roasted mild espresso cocao hoppy front. Dry sweet roasted burnt black creamy mild chocolate espresso body. Crisp! Clean chalky balanced rich hop spice end. Sampled 1/5/2003.

Deschutes Brewing Company--Obsidian Stout--Graphics Overhaul--Hopvine Bottle--2004 Release--12 oz. Bottle--6.40% ABV--45 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Stout--New Recipe?--Mild lace head. Clear obsidian black color. Roasted mild hop front. Smooth rich roasted sweet creamy chocolate malt body .Smooth sweet mild hot balanced hop finish. Rich smooth and not too big. Sampled 9/19/2004.

Deschutes Brewery--Obsidian Stout--Original--2009 12 oz. Bottle. 6.40% ABV--55 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Thin espresso mild lace head. Clear opaque dark obsidian black red edge color. Rich roasted cocoa hop mild fruit front. Crusty dry sweet burnt dark chocolate rich clean roasted malt body. Balanced rich hop spice crisp Stout end. Rich not sweet NW Classic. Sampled 3/7/2010. 6-Pack $6.99.

Photo of bagpiper2005
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Jet black with hints of dark ruby red on the edges. A huge three fingers of tan head that retains forever and laces the glass like crazy.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. A hint of floral hops coming through.

Taste: Starts off rather pleasant. Nice sweet caramel and dark fruit front end that gives way into a chocolate and coffee middle. However the back end finishes up with a rather unpleasant burnt bread taste, which actually gets less noticeable as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium and rich. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Average. The front and middle are delicious but they need to do something about that back end.

Final Notes: A decent American stout. I'll drink it, but I think there are better American stouts out there. If you like the taste of burnt toast, however, this is probably the beer for you.

Photo of rembrant
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Great name,beautiful bottle,a wonderful Stout,not "Imperial" but close in many ways and more drinkable and affordable than most.
This is...alas...the last bottle of a few I brought from California when moving back east.

I looked at the other reviews after my tasting...any most are quite true. Obsidian has an abundance of subtle details and you may find a new one with each sip. I guess one could get an old or sub par bottle but most folks will find something in here they like a lot.

Look....Black Obsidian. A rich tan head,moreso than typical of a stout,lots of lacing.

Scent....Aromatic and complex,though not ultra intense. Malts + hops are present with traces of fruit,choco,coffee,hickory smoke,Dark brown sugar....

Flavor...The magic is that nearly any flavor you might expect in a Stout from an ace brewer is THERE and if you didn't catch it on this sip,just wait, it's in the next.
The Big dark roasty stuff leads,smooth, not a massive/abrasive sledgehammer but warm and intimate beer sex.
The hoppy touches come soon, with fruits,and deep woods pine,juniper,earthiness.

It all seems in harmony with a lot going on but no single element too dominant. As others note, not a high ABV,and out west,not a brew that's scarce or a budget buster. Alas,of my "Top10 USA Breweries", Deschutes is the one I can't find around here. Yet.

Mouth?feels beefy,substantial the cabonization seems delayed and comes on with the hops and a slight caramel syrup cling for a nice finish.

Drinkable? Hell...if I could GET a bottle, I'd drink it now.

Robust,not a big Alcoh slam,and I like 'em chilled a bit more than recommended for Stouts. It's got ample flavor for that.

Bell's Expedition is the best Big Stout I've found (that's not enhanced by add-ins or barrell) and Obsidian is damn close and just over half the $.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark, almost black, coffee color with a large tan head. Almost totally opaque.

S: Dark chocolate and coffee. Hints of hops. Strong roasty smell.

T: Somehow makes me think of an American and an Irish stout. Rich, roasty flavor with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, and citrus/pine hops like an American stout. A touch of dryness an a slight metallic twinge like an Irish stout.

M: Very smooth with a medium-full body. Carbonation seems subdued, despite the large head.

D: This is a wonderful stout-I could definitely see knocking back a fair few of these in an evening.

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

This was a good, strong, stout with a good dark color, suitably called "Obsidian". Appearance was very positive, a look I wanted to chew on. It had an earthy smell. The taste was very pleasing, with a lot of presence.

I would love more of it, but I live way out of the Deschutes marketing area.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,092 ratings.