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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,994 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,994
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 436
Gots: 365 | 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: 2,994 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ricke49
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great several finger head, which itself tastes nothing short of delicious. This beer in many respects is clearly relative of the more potent 'The Abyss'.

Smell: roasted malts...some chocolate

Taste: roasted flavor is predominant....but not to the exclusion of hops. If you like the roasted taste, this brew is for you.

Mouthfeel: extremely smooth

Drinkability: A wonderful stout that makes up for the fact that The Abyss is not always available - or desired (i.e. if you are looking to 'go session').

Overall this has to be one of the best values out there; often in the sub-7 dollar range for a sixer. Quality like this at that price is one of life's small pleasures.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Used motor oil black. Two fingers of frothy tan head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Semi-sweet chocolate comes out first. Some molasses and roasted malts. Mild hoppiness as well. Pleasant, but weaker than I'd like.

4.0 T: Strange chalky roasted flavor. Healthy bitterness that seems like it comes from coffee rather than hops. There is a bit, but not too much coffee flavor. Lots of burnt flavor.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good carbonation and smooth enough, even with the burnt flavors.

4.0 D: Not bad. Would like to see the burnt flavors supplemented with some malty sweetness though.

Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: huge tan head, black in body color, opaque

Smell: coffee and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt with sweet cream, expresso, and a touch of chocolate and nut

Mouthfeel: smooth, heavy bodied, low carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: An excellent stout that I could have several of--especially if I could find it around here. Nice and smooth. Sweet but not overly sweet. An excellent first experience with this brewery.

Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black with a tan head, ring of retention, excellent lacing.

S: Bakers chocolate, licorice, black strap molasses.

T: Coffee, molasses, licorice, pumpernickel rye bread, dark caramel, great bitterness.

M: Moderate to full body is very creamy.

D: Loved it.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks nateberger... you da man for this part of a twelver hook-up.

The color is as the name implies, obsidian black. Brown head that recedes very quickly to a light ring. The aroma is super roasted malts, French roasted coffee, some burnt malts, and a few pecans to sniff. The taste starts with burnt and bitter malts and a combo, English like but still heavy hopping that makes for an overall complex bitterness throughout the entire palate.
Burnt and heavy roasted malts. Maybe even some smokey malts. Hints of vanilla and mocha liek sweetness for this dark stout. I could drink a ton of this these deepite the abv. and the heavy palate. This beer is so chock full of flavor, i could drink thsi till I burst.

Photo of projectflam86
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a trade with a061183. Thanks for the brew dude!

A- Pours a rich black color with a thick creamy coffee brown head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Rich and roasty with tons of coffee aroma. Nice malty/toffee scents with a bit of bittersweet chocolate.

T- Full roasted coffee bean flavor with a delicate chocolate rush throughout. Ground espresso and milk chocolate finish out the full malty taste.

M- Medium/full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Not quite as thick as I expected but still a nice slick feel.

D- Really nice hearty coffee/chocolate flavor. I really wish I could get Deschutes out here.

Photo of wonderbread23
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black but not completely opaque or viscous. 1 finger head which quickly disappeared leaving little lacing. A slight reddish hue at the glasses edge.

Aroma: Chocolate, sweet malt, a touch of molasses, and some cola notes.

Flavor: Bitter coffee, roasted barley, balanced by a nice malt background. Smoky burnt flavor with some underlying alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Good balance of sweetness and bitterness. Medium body w/ medium-long finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout. Rich enough to satisfy without making it too over-bearing. I'll have to try it on nitro sometime.

Photo of bfields4
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black with an nice amber hue. Large frothy mocha head that laces the glass.

Espresso roasted malts rule the smell. faint hint of dark fruits.

Light nice roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso there's a nice smokiness and even a lite hop bite. All the flavor of a big boy packed into a 6.4%

Smooth and creamy. Light and utterly drinkable. This could def become my new stout of choice.

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

Black with strong tan head, good lacing. Chocolate and walnut shell in the nose, woody hoppiness and a slight fruitiness. A very bold mouthfeel with a present, deep and resinous hop character. Medium carbonation.

The finish is a clean hop bitterness with some roast and light malt character.

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

Pours black with a red tint. A one-fingered head forms but quickly settles to a thin cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of a complex blend of roasted malt, chocolate, leather, and smoke or ash. There is a lot going on with this stout. The flavor is complex as well. Roasted malt gives the base with a burnt bitterness, but there is also bitter chocolate, some dark, dried fruit like prunes, and finishes with an ash, smokey flavor. Overall bitterness is moderate to high. Hard to pick out any sweetness in this one. In fact it makes it a little difficult to drink. Has a hardy body but it is a bit overcarbonated making it seem lighter than it really is. An outstanding stout that packs a lot of different elements in if you like bitter flavors.

Photo of wknight167
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours nearly black with brown edges. Definitley lives up to its name here. One finger, tan head quickly drops down to a crown. Minimal lacing.

Nose- Roast malts are dominate. Dark chocolate is also present.

Palate- Much softer than the nose hints at. Sweet up front and then the roast malts come with rich coffee and a hint of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and full bodied.

Drinkability- I like it. Great beer for a cold night.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.45/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my tulip glass from a 12fl oz bottle.

Pours an opaque black color that lets no light shine through. The head measures around two inches and is rather dense. In the middle of the head there are medium sized bubbles that soon begin to pop. Great head retention that fades very, and I mean very slowly, leaving behind minimal lacing on the sides of my glass.

Fresh mineral water, roasted malts, cocoa powder, unmalted barley, leather, and sweet dark fruit.

I tasted that of roasted malts and barley. This gave off a rich sweet dark brown roasted flavor. Roasted malts contributed a dark chocolate taste that I would go border on saying more like cocoa powder. As this subdues it leads to a dry sharp bitter finish on the palate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a slight bitter dry aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for a while.

Pretty good stout but I have seen better ones out there. Overall its something you can try, but nothing fascinating to pick up again.

Photo of joedon
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly opaque black beer with a creamy tan head. Aroma of dark fruit, licorice, roasted malt.

Taste is perfect! Rich malty sweetness and a good amount of roasted-coffee/barley notes. Exceptionally smooth [Nitro!] and has a dark toasty, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel also perfect. Almost like a dessert custard-thats how smooth and creamy this stout is. Drinkability was outstanding for a pretty big beer.

I would love to have more of this but I never see it in the midwest.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a mocha head that fades. Not much lacing left on the glass.

Smells of dark roasted coffee with some chocolate notes. A little hop note can be found.

Tastes of the big roasted character up front. It is a little sweet and then it changes quickly to a bitter roasted and hop character. The hops feel a little citrusy, but are assertive and do not hide in the background. Chocolate notes are also present in the finish, but this features more of the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full.

This is very drinkable.

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

Update 12-22-2010: 5.0/5.0/5.0/5.0/5.0

I have had this dozens of times since first reviewing it over 16 months ago. My admiration for this beer has increased significantly. It is now my favorite stout, other than imperials, and my favorite in Deschutes' year round line up. I am amazed by the consistency this fine brewery produces, and of this beer in particular. I never pay more than $8.99 a six pack at full retail and usually pay $6.99 to $7.49. Occasionally, I buy it on sale for $5.99. Awesome beer. Hard to imagine a better representation of the American stout style.

8/16/2009: 4.5/4.5/5.0/4.5/4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by date 9/25/09. Single purchased from local health foods store for $1.29.

A-Black and tan. Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and artsy lacing. A gorgeous craft beer. Briefly thought about getting my camera to take a picture. Absolutely beautiful.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts with a lovely hop balance.

T-One word: delicious. Other words include wow, amazing, wonderful, etc. The superlatives are unending. Very well balanced. Rich malt and dark chocolate. Hoppy, clean, and complex. Very nice. My favorite American Stout.

M-Exceedingly smooth and nicely carbonated.

D-This is about as drinkable a stout as I can imagine. I like imperial stouts better, but this is extraordinary. I could drink this all night long. Expect I will in the fall and winter months ahead.

Maybe my favorite ale in Deschutes' very fine year round lineup. A great beer and very affordable in Salem, OR. Often available for $6.99 a sixer on sale. Great value.

Photo of ledomelor
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle in a pint glass

A: Dark black, almost coal like color which a creamy almond head and a good amount of lace remains around the edges

S: Very Aromatic with a dominating dark chocolate aroma with a small burnt sent. There is a hint of caramel when the beer warms up. No noticeable esters

T: Very Crisp, burnt dark chocolate initially hits the palate with a flavor of roasted chocolate malt, which fades to a clean, dry finish that is still balanced with a creamy sweetness. Not as strong as I anticipated from the aroma and color, but the flavors pop out very easily

M: Very smooth, almost like milk and very full bodied with a low amount of carbonation. There is a creaminess that lingers on the forefront of the mouth for a few seconds

D: Very drinkable for a stout beer. I was expecting it to be a little stronger, but I was still treated by a very pleasant balance between the roasted chocolate malt.

Overall Impression: Very satisfied with the beer, very aromatic for a stout, I could smell the beer before even coming close to the glass. The lingering taste in your mouth after this beer will remind you what a fine chocolate stout you just enjoyed. The most impressive aspect is the balance with the deep roasted malts and hops. The bitterness is hardly noticeable.

Photo of vegantreats
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer marks the second time this month I have gone to smell a beer and have sent beer into my nose, guess I get too excited!
Poured darkly dark with some pretty brownish foam!
Wow!Notes of wetness..wait sorry. Seriously though, notes of darkly roasted malts with just a notion of sweet chocolate.
Nice roasted taste.
This beer was exciting to drink. It felt like the immage one would have of a kid in a candy store in their mind if they didn't mind thining about kids in candy stores.

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

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass

Pours 1/4 dark tan head. Fades down quick leaving no lace. Color is a deep dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, plums, raisins, earthy hops. A big complex aroma.

Taste: Wow, this stout is interesting in the fact that the dark fruit taste really sticks out in the beginning and is so persistent throughout the taste. Then the coffee and chocolate come in with the roasted malts. The earth hops are present, but seem to lay in the background.

Mouthfeel: Not as rich as some of the stouts I have had, but fairly rich and a little smooth. The carbonation on this beer is really high. Full bodied beer. Ends with a slight dry carbonated roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good stout. Fairly drinkable with a big flavor. I don't think it would be too hard to have another one of these in the night. Give this one a shot, it's pretty good.

Photo of DanOLeary
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: On draught from a Nitro tap. The beer pours a deep coal black with a rich creamy almond head. As expected from nitrogen, the unrelenting head forms tiny bubbles consistently coating the top of this stout.

Aroma: Initial waft of dark chocolate leads a light burnt nutty aroma. No hops are detectable in the nose. As the beer warms there is a detectable vanilla and caramel in the background. No esters.

Flavor: Crisp, almost burning flavor of bitter dark chocolate focuses the pallet toward roasted chocolate malt. The flavor quickly fades to a sharp, clean and dry spice. The dry finnish almost stings the back of the throat but there is a creamy smooth sweetness that comes back to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Milky smooth with full body and low carbonation. While the creaminess is present in the forefront it drops off quickly leaving only a light slickness on the roof of the mouth. As you breath out after clearing your mouth there's a drying bite at the throat that suggests liberal use of a highly kilned malt.

Overall Impression: The balance of this beer is exceptional. Obsidian shows a focus toward dry dark chocolate malt sweetness and the roasted bitter bite of what I can only assume is a harmony of deep roasted malts and hops. Hop bitterness is barely perceptible however. What I can pick up I would classify as floral over citrus or earthy.

While I don't normally enjoy beers served on Nitro, I would certainly order this one again. I would enjoy reviewing this beer carbonated with CO2 as opposed to Nitro and compare the differences.

Photo of jnn4v
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown, with ample, foamy tan head
S: smelled wonderful as I poured, but quickly tapered off. Coffee is the dominant note, but molasses, dark chocolate and maybe some dates are evident as well.
T: fresh coffee hits the palate immediately and continues right on through the aftertaste. Moderately sweet mid-mouth, and pervasively enjoyable.
M: perhaps a new standard-bearer for "smooth" in a non-nitro non-imperial. Very good texture.
D: I started it thinking how sessionable it was, bit before I even finished, I had to second guess that. I really enjoyed one, but would move on to something else after.

Photo of u2carew
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A) OPAQUE. Pours with a tan to light brown head. Tight and creamy. Lacing is the same, just not sticky.
S) Chocolate. Coffee. Bread. Just a faint note of hops.
T) Just a touch of caramel up front. Chocolate notes throughout. Just a tiny hop bite at the end. Lingering roasted coffee and grain in the aftertaste.
M) Creamy. Smooth. Gritty. Chewy. Full bodied.
D) Top notch. A fantastic stout. Well crafted. Another and another and another please.

Photo of KBoudreau66
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a 12 oz. bottle via trade with sirdrinkinp

Pour: very dark brown that is slightly translucent at the bottom of the glass with a minimal tan head that exceeded no more than half a finger and dissipated quickly

Aroma: Like a strong coffee with a shot of espresso added to it. This is my favorite way to drink coffee so it's extremely appealing to the nose.

Taste: This brew didn't let me down at all. It smelled incredible and repeats that trend in taste. Strong coffee almost espresso like flavors with an excellent hop bitterness that I was not expecting at all. It also has a nice burnt sugar/caramel flavor in the mix as well.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, slightly more carbonated then some stouts that I've tasted in the past, making this a more refreshing stout.

Drinkability: This is an excellent stout that I wish was readily available to me in Massachusetts. Unfortunately it isn't so I relished the opportunity to taste this and enjoyed it down until the very last sip.

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

Holy smacks! This was on nitro-tap at Vine St. Pub in Denver, CO. This place has Mountain Sun house beers with guest taps...a nice mix.

Pours a black, rich beer. Nitro gives the foamy white head a nice completeness and contrast to the body. Much like the famous Guinness pour. Head stays throughout at 1 finger.

Coffee aroma, dark chocolate and roasted bread. Lovely.
Coffee aroma settles a bit in the taste. More dark chocolate comes out towards the end. Dark fruits blended well (some plum, prune, raisin).
Darn smooth. Very easy drinking. A touch sharp in the middle.
very nice nitro version

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

As part of a six pack of 12 oz bottles. Poured into a pint glass. Pours black, and has a big fluffy tan head, more than two fingers, with excellent retention and lacing. Impenetrable to the light except for a bit around the edges. Smells of roasted malts over dark chocolate, with just a bit of hops tucked away in there.

Strong black coffee and dark chocolate up front with a little dark fruit, good balance of roasted and sweet flavors. Creamy mouthfeel than finishes clean and bitter. More bitter, in fact, than I expected from the sweeter smell, with a bit of hops that hits you in the middle.

I can vouch for its potential as a session beer based on its drinkability and complexity; I had to restrain myself and save the last one of the six pack to review with! The bitterness remains for a bit, so clear your palate before moving on to another brew, and keep this in mind for food pairings.

How about serving this one with a mole?

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of josephselander poured into a tulip.

Pours clear mahogany brown out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the glass with a gorgeous tan head that sticks stubbornly to the sides of the glass and remains an inch-thick cap for the duration. One of the better stouts I've seen in terms of appearance.

The aroma is actually a little sweeter than I was expecting with a big chocolate malt presence with hints of vanilla and caramel. There is only a slight toasted grain character to the smell but the sweetness is really dominant.

The taste starts out like the aroma and has an initial chocolate malt sweetness with a hint of toasted malts in the background. The finish is what really stands out vs. the aroma as there is a big roasted coffee bitterness that was nearly non-existent in the aroma. I think there are even a bit of hops in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is interesting as it's smooth and creamy for the first half of the sip, but the finish is extremely dry and bitter. Very interesting to see the two elements melded together in one beer.

This is certainly one of the better standard stouts I've had recently and the Jekyll & Hyde type taste is very unique and well executed.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,994 ratings.