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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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3,136 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 1,015
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 460
Gots: 446 | 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: 3,136 | Reviews: 1,015 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phocion
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and bubbly with a minimal but retentive frothy light brown head and slick lacing.

The aroma is filled with dark malts. Predominately a healthy dose of roastiness, but as it warms a hint of sweet, almost milk chocolate and coffee shows through. Small hint of toffee and just the slightest citrus hops poke through.

Flavor is roasted and somewhat bitter -- I was actually expecting something a little more sweet from the nose. Coffee and hops are the most evident, but finishes with the roasted malts to smooth out the flavor.

Healthy body and carbonation, but goes down very slick compared to most stouts (or maybe I've just been drinking too many Russian Imperials lately). Definitely a full-flavored beer, and like everything else from Deschutes, a very solid brew.

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

Thanks to bytor2112 for this gift. I owe you one!

Obsidian is right, the color is a flat and bold black. Has a thin head of mocha-colored foam, which sticks around a long while.

Big roast in the nose, reminding of dark roast coffee, and there's definitely some fresh hop greenness lending another layer. Something kind of earth/soil about it too, but not in any kind of negative way.

That earth/soil organic vibe also comes through in the taste, which also, unsurprisingly, brings along a generous helping of bitterness, both in terms of coffee-like roast/char and that wonderful green budding flower we all know and love. Finished off with a subtle latte-like steamed milk sweetness. They could have almost passed this off as a coffee beer, had it actually been brewed with the stuff.

Just a little too tingly in the mouth for what's going on here, a thicker, creamier, rounder feel would have worked wonders. Body is thinnish, for a stout, but hardly watery. Not bad at all, can't really fault it here, just not what I think it should have been.

This is really good. Perhaps not the mindblower most Deschutes stuff is, but for a flavorful, accessible, very drinkable and just damn solid American stout...this one delivers.

Photo of ChadQuest
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

large latte colored head over a black body, sticky sticky head, im loving it. The aroma is inviting like a heated blanket on a day like this windy snow covered one, roasty and creamy and soft and smooth. It's a rounded approachable aroma. The flavor is good and roasty but drops off rather quickly, leaving a blend of faint espresso and steamed vanilla soy. I'm suprised how fast this fades, leaves a clean mouthfeel at the finish, not a thick palette coater by any means, but all this does is make you drink it faster.

This is a solid Stout, and well worth keeping around.

Photo of beer2day
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, motor oil pour with 2-finger deep, dark cream head. Mild retention. Nice rings of lace formed after each sip.

Dark mocha and rich French roast coffee greet the nose. Nice shot of pine hops, too.

Thick hit with chocolate, dark roast coffee, hint of cream and a tad bit of smoky ash. Dry finish with a nice chocolate malt and hop bite.

Feel is just right. Thick enough to stand up to the rich flavors.

Despite the thick feel, this one is pretty easy to drink.

Photo of bosox941827
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz dated bottle, poured cold into an imperial pint glass; allowed to warm as I tasted it.
A - Wow; black but with as dark a red highlight as you can imagine. Pours like syrup; an opaque, black-red velvet. Fantastic looking.
S - Black licorice, toasted oatmeal, beets(!), chocolate malts.
T - Taste is a bit thin compared to the nose; roasted and chocolate malts come in a bit late, along with some molasses, a drying hops characteristic, that isn't really a flavor but more of a feel. Nice, long finish though, that does yield a bit of complexity; getting a bit of roasted coffee at the end as well.
M - Smooth, but with a tongue-drying, subtle hop finish, not unlike Guinness.
D - Could probably do a few of these; the 6.4% (for a stout) could sneak up on you.
Overall a very good stout and one of the best looking beers I've seen.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice stout.

A: Pours dark crimson into the glass which ends up having a solid black color with a nice full tan head and great lacing.

S: Roast, black malt, dark cabernet, and chocolate covered dark fruit. There is a metallic edge to this I'm not fond of, but past that I like the aroma.

T: Nice malty roast with a great amount of supportive sweetness that does not overpower anything. Smoky toasted marshmallow, dark chocolate, bittersweet finish. Great taste.

M: Mostly smooth medium feel, a little prickly in the carbonation department if you ask me. Roast on the back of the palate.

D: Very good stout. An easy to drink beer packing the roast punch you'd hope for in a stout.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a thin head and left some frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The coffee and chocolate malts dominated the nose with roasty, slight oat grains, and faint lacto notes. The coffee is more potent on the palate with oat grains, chocolate, and roasty accents. It did have coffee bean and vanilla bean notes in the background as well. The brew was full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, slight astringent, malty, and creamy silky finish. It drank decent but was really tasty. Can't believe why I would avoid this brew for so long.

Photo of jamex
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass. A dark impenetrable midnight with a nice, coffee tinted foam that sticks to the glass.

Smells amazing. Roasty malt with hints of espresso, dark chocolate and smoky goodness. The aroma is delightfully represented on the palette. Deep roasted malt nearing a burnt taste. Hint of cocoa, caramel and chocolate with a subtle hop nudge to balance it wonderfully.

Nice carbonation and very drinkable. Good job Deschutes.

Photo of sweemzander
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by 01/21/2011. Thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and near pitch black with the tiniest hints of burnt sienna. Produced a great fluffy brown head with great retention. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A good dry roasted backbone with hints of baked bread, molasses, raisin, and the tiniest hint at caramel.

(T)- A righteous roasted profile with a subtle nutty dryness. Bits of molasses, cocoa, raisin, bread, and subtle caramel sweetness.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but has just enough dryness and mellow sweetness to balance it out nicely.

(D)- A superb stout. Has the flavor to back it up and rival some Russian Imperial Stouts out there. A great drinker and just damn tasty. If this was distributed by me, this would always be in my fridge for those brisk fall/winter days. Perhaps THE best American Stout I have had.

Photo of bevenson
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by date of 1/27/11 on bottle. Thanks to caninedevotion for this one.

A - One of the darkest stouts I've had that is under 10% ABV. The beer doesn't even lighten up at the narrow part of the glass at the bottom. Obsidian is a good name for this one. Dense, dark tan, two finger head formed upon pouring and lasted for a couple of minutes before reducing to a thin layer on top. Very pretty.

S - Deep roast and chocolate. Woody hop aroma in background. Low yeast fruitiness; cherries. Moderate mineral quality. Hints of alcohol appear as the beer warms.

T - Wonderful. Deep coffee flavor with some toffee and chocolate added for fun. Firm bitterness from the hops and the roasted grains linger well after imbibing. Moderate hop flavor that tastes like a combination of citrus and currants. Any yeast flavor that is present is blending in with everything else. Getting the balance between roast and hops is not easy, and they nailed it on this one.

M - Very full bodied for a 6.5% beer, but with a dry finish. Finish borders on being too dry; it begs for a sweet dessert to pair with it to balance out. Strong carbonation for a stout; I prefer my stouts with a little lower carbonation, but that's a nitpick.

D - Very enjoyable. I would definitely get this one again if the opportunity arises. However, this is the most filling beer I've had that was under 10%. One of these per evening is plenty, but it's easy to sip on during the night.

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

Many thanks (again) to my good friend cdkrenz for bringing me this offering from Oregon. You da man CK!

A - Pours a deep dark impenetrable black in color topped with a delicious fluffy tan one finger head. Great head retention and excellent lacing.

S - Nice aroma...dark roasty malt and sweet dark chocolate. Smells like dessert to me!

T & M - That dark roasted malt and chocolate I smelled are represented beautifully. They are balanced by a nice little hop bitterness at the back end. Medium bodied and creamy. Leaves a slightly dry finish after the swallow.

D - This is one helluva highly drinkable stout! I love stouts and this one did not disappoint. One I would recommend to any of my friends that could get their hands on it. Very delicious...thanks CK!

Photo of codewarrior
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a snifter.

"Obsidian Stout gets its inspiration from one o the world's largest obsidian flows at Newsberry Volcano - just a few miles south of the brewery."

-- from the bottle

L: Deep black, but transparent around the edges, 1 finger of head. Looks about average for a stout.

S: Wonderfully bittersweet and crisp. Simple and single-mided with a clean and crisp finish. Touch of coffee and the tiniest bit of sweetness in the back.

T: Starts slow and sweet, building into a burnt-coffee middle, then descends slowly back into sweetness. Touch of burning bitterness in the back, but decent balance overall.

F: Smooth and creamy, not too thin. Bit boozy feeling for only 6.4% ... not unwelcome.

D: Enjoyable for the bitter side of stout-land. Well conceived and executed.

Photo of ELN
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I don't buy them too often because I don't go "beer shopping". I buy beer at my local cheap supermarkets generally and there's not a great deal of stouts available.

One morning about 2 years ago I drank a 6 pack of this early one morning and watched a bunch of porn. That is my best memory of this beer. Good taste and at 6.4% a nice challenge to get these down and see how far you can go. ;)

This is basically local beer that's always available on my local shelves for like $5.50-$6.50, we may be lucky? This and Full Sail and some others are the same price because of the distibutor.

I'm giving a 4.5 on appearance/smell/taste/mouthfeel. 5 on drinkability. Really great stuff! I prefer Deschutes over Full Sail generally.

Damn good. Enjoy!

---if you like this you might want to try Henry Weinhard's Dark Lager which is seasonal. It is what Full Sail came out with last year basically. Stouty-taste in a lager. A bit interesting, still tastes like a lager but is a nice change w/ the dark bit of taste. Goes for about $10.47 a 12pk. locally.--

Photo of alpinebryant
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter with a half finger of light tan bubbles. Smell of bakers chocolate, dark roasted malts, coffee, some hop presence and a some residual sugar.

Taste of strong coffee, some licorice, and a little bit of bittering hops with some bakers chocolate taste. There is a light to medium body, that seems just right with the sweetness for the style. This is a nice american stout. A tasty brew from Deschutes regular lineup after having their "other" beers in bombers. Medium on the high side carbonation that works well and may bring out more hop presence. Well done

Photo of nataku00
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a straight sided glass. Pitch black, with no light visible through the bottle. Initial finger of light brown khaki head, foamy and stuck around for a good ten minutes.

Nose is dominated by bitter dark roasted malts, bit of coffee fruitiness, and dark caramel sweetness. Burnt sugar bitterness as well.

Dark malt and burnt sugar upfront after the first sip. Bitter throughout with a dark chocolate sweetness on the sweetness.

Smooth light bodied beer with fairly high carbonation is easy to drink but the light body makes it a bit similar to black butte.

Photo of bs870621345
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a half inch mocha head. Fades to a collar and leaves lacing down the glass.

Smells very roasted and hints of coffee.

Taste is very roasted and some coffee mixed in. Bitterness is from coffee. Finishes with a light sweetness

Mouthfeel is thick. Moderate carbonation that keeps it from being sticky.

Drinkability is good, very inviting in every sense.

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

Nice dank, blackness on the pour with a pleasantly surprising mocha colored head. A little bit of lacing.

Roasted malts, a bit of chocolate. It's nice, but a little underwhelming.

Taste is bitter chocolate, a little espresso, heaps of roasted malts and a hint of sweetness.

Feel is medium in body, slightly carbonated, and nicely velvety.

Overall, a sold drinkable stout.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Inpenetrable black body beneath a medium tan head of a couple inches. Much thickness here with very solid stamina.

S - Coffee, anise and chocolate.

T - The superb combination of coffee, chocolate and black licorice make for a very bold stout flavor. This is the kind of flavor breers should be trying to craft when brewing a stout. This is a great.

M - Slightly coarse with each pull. The texture cultivates this brew to be sipped slowly.

~ This is the kind of stout you enjoy as a desert or a precursor to an evening out. Find some and drink some. This is the real deal.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoyed on a pleasant Saturday afternoon before Katelyn and Bled's wedding in Saint Paul.

A-Absolutely black beer, as should probably have been obivious based on the name. Fluffy brown head topped this brew.

S-Dry chocolate, slight roastiness, all blackish malt aromas with no perceptible hop aroma, and a hint of fruity esters.

T-Lots of burnt malts, some choco-coffee flavors moving this malt-centric beer forward. Hints of dark fruitiness play with some slight malty sweetness perceived.

M-Medim body, moderate level carbonation.

D-Tasty stout, and certainly represents the style well. It kind of blends in among the crowd, though, as far as the flavor profile goes.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The name doesn't lie as you watch this obsidian black liquid pour into the glass. A beautiful, off-white, brown-tinged crown sits on top. A least an inch and a half at first, but dwindles down to a steady 1/4 inch. Moderate carbonation. Some brown and mahogany hues. Dark and lovely. This looks like a solid stout.

S: Roast, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, and a hint of chalk in the aroma. Not as aromatic as some, but definitely smells nice. Maybe even a touch of smokiness. The hops don't come out strong, but seem to add a faint floral aroma in the background.

T: Beautiful dark chocolate flavors hit me at first. These are followed up by a deep roasty flavor reminiscent of a very dark roasted coffee. This is followed by some more, middle of the road chocolate flavors and even some nuttiness. In the back of my throat I get some smoky flavors as well. The hops provide ample bitterness without getting carried away. I don't get any specific hop flavor other than a slight citric twang in the back of the throat. There may be some slight piney flavors too, but they aren't present in every sip. Overall, the chocolate, roast and smoky flavors make this beer very rich and flavorful for the style. At the same time it isn't overpowering. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, slightly chewy and very smooth. Finishes slightly astringent and dry. Some stickiness in the back of the throat. What stands out to me is the smoothness of the mouthfeel.

D: This was a damn fine stout. Like many craft brew drinkers, I grew up drinking Guinness. Had this been given to me instead, i would have thought Guinness tasted like water. This beer has wonderful flavors and equally beautiful drinkability. The only thing more I could ask from it is maybe just a hint more hop flavor. Otherwise this beer is pretty damn close to perfect.

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

A: Deep brown almost black - definitely one of the darker brews I have ever laid my eyes upon. Tan head fades quickly which would be acceptable if there was any lacing to speak of.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses and a hint of chocolate.

T: Average duration, light sweetness. Yeasty beginnings give way to a bitter cocoa finish.

M: Full bodied, oily and softly carbonated. Many feel this is creamy but I am not getting that reaction.

D: Solid American Stout definitely wirth drinking. My inexperience may be preventing me from awarding a higher rating...

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

A- Pours a jet black with about an inch of brownish head, which quickly subsides to about 1 cm, and then really slowly diminishes.

S- a bit of yeast, and roasted coffee malt, touch of dark chocolate.

T- little bit of yeast but then straight into the roastiness, a dark chocolate and black coffee, strong roast flavours. finish is a smooth cocoa bitterness. very nice and well rounded.

M- creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. slight bitterness at the back of the mouth on the finish. pretty good length too.

D- pretty good. smooth, creamy, not a hint of 6.4 per cent. could easily have a couple of these.

Photo of Naugros
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of three Deschutes offerings that I tasted on an Arizona vacation...and my least favorite of the three. Then again I am a lover of stouts and tend to be pretty particular when reviewing them so take this with a grain of salt. No, don't put salt in your beer, that would be silly...or a gose, but not if you salt a stout. What would you call a salted stout? Disgusting. Anywho...

If you've read many of my reviews of stouts and porters you'll notice that I never call any of them black...because they're not. Neither is this one, but it does come as close to black as any beer-like fluid I have seen. This would have given it high marks for appearance if it had not been for the overwhelmingly disappointing head. It's mocha in color but if you blink it's gone...almost entirely! Not at all acceptable in a stout and I know that the glass was not the culprit. No soap had been used, only steaming hot water, and it had been air-dried.

It smells like a standard stout with nothing to make it stand out. Lots of roasted sweetness in this but only a slight hint of coffee with no chocolate tones or other aromas to round it out.

The taste is different than most stouts as the bitterness seems to come more from hops than from the roasted malts. Underneath the toasted flavors I got a hint of orange in the aftertaste, which further supports my supposition that there are more hops here than typical for a stout. Interesting.

It comes off as a tad bit watery, similar to a milk stout in mouthfeel than a full-on stout, and not an especially good milk stout at that. I know this is not an imperial, but I want more body from a stout, otherwise I'd drink more porters.

The thinness of the body does make this very drinkable and although I panned the mouthfeel I did down this pretty darn quickly, however I was in no rush to open another but found myself wanting something different.

Photo of Andrew644
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- black with a dark tan or light brown head.

S- chocoate and roasted malt smell

T- chocolate and the roasted malts blend well to create a flavor where they are both present. A hop presence is noticable but the flavor doesn't come through it is many just to balance the beer out I think.

M- smooth yet slightly crips, it is refreshing.

D- A nice stout, definately worth trying if you like stouts.

Photo of yuriruley
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Realized I have yet to review this out of the bottle.

Appearance - black as night, nice mocha head that doesn't dissipate quickly, and good amounts of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt, juniper, and sweet notes.

Taste - Roasted malt, balanced out my caramel flavors and sweetness, bitterness is very mild. Great balance.

Mouthfeel - thick, but not too thick, carbonation is just right, and a nice touch of creaminess.

Drink - this stuff is great, I have destroyed sixers of it before fairly easy. Despite it having a higher ABV then most beers you'd want to be drinking a sixer of.

I've never given a beer a 5 before, but I feel this beer deserves it. I buy it frequently and I believe it is one of the most balanced beers out there. I've yet to have another American Stout I'd rather drink.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.