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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,993 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,993
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 436
Gots: 361 | 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: 2,993 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Casey10
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a order from Liquid Solutions.

A - great 1 and 1/2 finger head really nice slow retention as the head foams aways.

S - good a bit acidic but can definately note the chocolate and coffee (maybe biased becuase of some good RIS that I have had lately)

M - Feels good, warm again definate coffee

D - Would not feel guilty drinking a bunch of these. Well done !!

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

Thanks go out to DoctorDog for this one.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle is embossed on the neck with what appears to be hop bines. Label depicts a stream with a mountain in the background. Best by 5/28/09.

Appearance: Pours with 4 fingers of dark tan head. This dense cap settles very slowly and only gradually, maintaining undulating peaks that are as thick and substantial as those in a root beer float. The beer itself is utterly black. Looks like there may be some sediment in the bottle, but nothing of significance.

Smell: Coffee and unsweetened cocoa. Slight hint semi sweet chocolate in the finish.

Taste: Incredibly smooth transitions between numerous full bodied flavors. Mild chocolate upfront leads to a strong roasted barley bitterness leads to a lingering black coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation, but with a mouthfeel that makes it almost seem nitro. Body is great.

Drinkability: A great break from studying for the LSAT, this is truly a stunning stout. Too bad it is entirely unavailable in my area.

Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 5/28/09 but I don't think it's suffered much in the past few days.

It pours into the curvy sam adams glass with very dark brown, nearly black, color and thick tan head. The head sticks around better than just about anything out there and leaves lacing all over.

Aroma is really exceptional too. It has lots of great roasty coffee and dark chocolate while still remaining pretty sweet. There's a bit of hops that I believe add some earthy quality.

Flavor is mostly like the smell with great roasted coffee and dark malts. There is quite a bit of dark chocolate and lesser amounts of toffee and burnt nuts. Despite all of the bitter flavors from dark malt and hops, it remains well-balanced with a good amount of sweetness both up front and on the end.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin but that might just be because the flavor is so big, I expect fuller body. The carbonation is too high for me as well. I would want this to be more creamy and silky.

Drinkability is good but it could be better if the mouthfeel was improved.

Overall it's a great example of the style. I can only imagaine it would be exceptional all-around if it was served on nitro.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "Best by 05/28/09" is stamped onto the label. Big thanks to pokesbeerdude for sending me this in a trade!

A- Essentially black, completely opaque in appearance. 3 fingers of frothy, creamy, light brown head, which fades extremely slowly to a thin cap. Lacing is thick, sticky, and prevalent. Has to be a 5.

S- Sweet, slightly earthy roastiness, with hints of coffee.

T- Moderately sweet, malty roastiness. Lightly smoky/burnt/dark coffee flavors. Very slight hint of dark fruitiness. Solid smoky bitterness lingers on the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation, medium-full, creamy, and smooth.

D- Outstanding. All elements of this brew are above average to out-of-sight. This is a really good beer, and a pleasure to drink.

Future outlook: Obtained in a trade and not available here...the price is apparantly quite reasonable....once you pair that with the superb quality, it makes it a damn shame that it is unavailable here.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a milk chocolatey brown head that quickly fell apart to a light film. Smells like chocolate, malts, piny hops, a bit of java. Tastes deliciously chocolatey, malty, and bitter. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, wonderfully complimenting the taste. Drinkability is absurdly good.

Photo of JasonA
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oil slick black. Ample finger plus of thick mocha head. Ridiculous lacing. This head isnt going anywhere.

Sweet roasted malt. Raisin, rum, maybe chocolate, maybe espresso. Some ABV.

Dry black patent malt. Deep roasted malt. Dryness, buscuit.

Little dry, almost too much dry, something missing, though not horrible. Just a little unbalanced. Maybe a tab more malt to go with dryness.

I would love more of these. There is something in the dry finish though I could use a bit more malt with, but certainly not much of a detractor. This is more than likely the best American Stout out there. So close to being perfect.

Photo of surfer4life
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours thick and black with a two finger chocolate brown head. Good lacing.

S - Delicious dark roasted coffee smells mixed with hints of chocolate and a great hops smell. very strong smell.

T - Mmmmm, extremely chocolatey. Malt is perfect as is the hops to balance. Good coffee notes and even some milk tastes in there.

M - Thick bodied with medium carbonation, nice and creamy, coats the mouth perfectly.

D - Very drinkable, not sessionable really, but it's a good treat and I'd like to use it for a float too.

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

Pours dark as the pits of hell.
I smell dark roasted malts and chocolate.
I taste dark bitter wonderful chocolate.
Nice foam and lacing that sticks all over.
I stared this evening with a nice pale ale mirror pond which I love.
But shades of Indigo was my true desire this night.
And the darkness of Obsidian stout quelled my passions.

Photo of Wegbier
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 06/19/09 and then
edited with the last of the same sixer 7/14/09
I dont know about this one. I waited until the third in the six pack before reviewing it. But I think its overrated.

a- appearance is very good. Pours very dark and then holds its head the whole way down with thick stout lacing, but no cascade in the pour.

s- smell exquisite with citrus hops and ripe fruit notes.

smell is much less but still good.

t- let me down. I looked at the best by date over and over wandering if that was why. It is stout smooth typical of its style until swallowing and then it has an awful finish, reminds me of a band-aide.

i dont know what but the taste has improved from my initial idea, a lot of coffee and dried dark fruit.

m- smooth with very light taste of alcohol in the finish, 6.4% is big for an American stout.

also very crisp toast

D- Starts out good and enjoyable but by the time I finish I need to wash my mouth out from the after taste

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at LiquorMart in Boulder, CO in March...

Appearance: Pours like the darkest time of night. Completely opaque. No light comes through at all. Not even the slight sliver. A nice light brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of glorious lacing. Pretty!!!

Smell: Roasted chocolate malts, some hints of coffee and vanilla, some caramels mixed in, but mostly chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Mmmm, malty, heavenly goodness. The smoothness is a bit overwhelming in such a good way. The coffee taste lingers on the back of the tongue, but as quickly as the smooth came, it went and it begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: I believe I already said it's smooth. The chocolate malts shine here and create a very rich, very smooth stout.

Drinkability: At 6.4% ABV, this might be a slightly more sessionable stout. The richness and the complexity of the taste profile challenge you to drink just one. If I had more in the fridge, there would be more going down the hatch tonight. Oh well! All in all, this is one hell of an American Stout.

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

A: Two fingers of a creamy/bubbly light brown head. Black with only the slightest ruby hues on the outermost edges. Good retention and lacing.
S: Roasted barley, hints of both milk and dark chocolate and coffee.
T: Big flavors of roasty, sweet chocolate and coffee malts. Twang of citrus and hops pull through at the end of the sip. Great bitters stick around after.
M: Creamy, fully-bodied with great carbonation for the style.
D: Smooth, filling, and tasty. Just another day with Deschutes!

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

Best by date 01/29/09, Purchased on 3/19/09 and Drank on 4/26/09

Aroma: The aroma is complex of floral notes, dried fruit, raisons, coffee.

Appearance: Obsidian Stout pours black. The head is tall, tan and persistent.

Flavor: The initial bitterness is tames quickly and leaves flavors of dried fruits, coffee, and toasted malts.

Mouth Feel: Full bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall Impression: A smooth complex stout. It's one more beer I wish I could buy in Kansas City.

Photo of Onenote81
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfect dirty motor oil black. Thick and chunky this one is. Great foamy tan head on top. Retention is great leaving with it nice lacing rings. Smells of deep dark chocolate, espresso, grape jam, and wine. Nice. Great thick oily mouth on this one. Drinkability is high. Flavors of roasted cocoa, bitter coffee, finishes slightly acrid and burnt. Decent. I like this brew alot. Great stout. Recommend.

Photo of ThePortlander
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle in a mug.

A: A wonderful smooth black, no light can get through this one. Truly 'obsidian.'

S: For some reason I couldn't get much aroma out of this one. I got some vague milk chocolate aromas, and the malt is there, but not much else. Perhaps a slight hint of dates or plums with agitation.

T: The silky sweet malt rushes in first, bringing chocolate, dried fruit and nut flavors as well. There is some hop bitterness in this stout, which works to even out the sweetness, but it never quite fully evens out. (Or, at least the brew from the batch I'm basing this review on never seemed to even out; I have had this brew before at it was much more balanced). Overall, a wonderful evening or dessert stout, as the sweetness seems to win out. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and milky.

D: Despite being a bit too sweet for my tastes, this is a very solid stout and another great brew from Deschutes. Despite being a heavier beer, the mouthfeel and sweeter taste make drinking it quite easy.

Note: This was not the best bottle of Obsidian I've encountered. It's usually quite a bit more even, like a good cup of coffee; not too sweet or bitter, but complex and full. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the brew. Either way, I have given this a combined rating which may change the next time I buy a bottle or order one out.

Photo of mday
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A :: This beer is black. I even grabbed my flashlight to check...nope, no light gets through this one. A nice creamy one-inch tan colored head forms then reduces to a thin tan slick on top.
S :: Dark chocolate lends a little sweetness to balance a touch of alcohol.
T :: Smooth and creamy up front giving way to a roasted flavor that sticks in your mouth. Finishes like a nice cup of coffee. Such a great balance between the roasted bitterness and sweet chocolate.
M :: Light carbonation, very smooth and ranks as a medium body.
D :: Definitely highly drinkable. I would like another now.

If you like a well made stout grab this one. If you don't like stouts you should still try this because you may be very surprised.

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

Paid $8.69 for a 6 pack of 12oz bottles. Poured one of them into a pint glass.

Tan head of an inch after an aggressive pour. Not too thick coming out of the bottle. The darkest shade of brown next to black. Opaque. Seemingly lightly carbonated. Minimal head retention. Some lacing.

Sweet, roasted malts and mild caramel with such a clean aroma. Some chocolate, nut and wood aromas as well. As it warms, some warming alcohol comes into play as well.

Very nicely roasted malts with oak wood and nutty undertones.

Mouth is medium bodied, quite light for a nice stout. Light carbonation. Mild viscosity, this one leaves a light residue on the tongue leading to a lasting aftertaste. Good drinkability.

At this price, who can not like this beer?

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

On nitro-tap at the Vine Street Pub in Denver, CO

A: Jet black with a thick and dense tan head that has incredible retention. A very heavy lace is left in its wake.

S: Heavy on the espresso and fresh roasted coffee. A small amount of baker's chocolate is in the background.

T: A very coffee centered stout. Espresso flavors start things out. Bitterness comes on with a generous burnt bite that's mostly charcoal in nature. Finishes with a dark chocolate sweetness and a mild acidity.

M: The nitro really does its work here. Medium body is super silky and smooth. Fine carbonation feels great on the tongue.

D: Drinks lighter than it is. A very nice stout that I can drink too much of if I'm not careful. The simple flavor profile was a nice change of pace for me.

Photo of m1ked
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours an opaque black.... no light getting through this glass. A 1 inch cafe colored foamey head, which fades inot a ringed glaas with sticky lacing.

S-Mmmmm smells good. A lot of things. Definetly some coffee, wood, leather, smokey, dark chocolate & cocoa. I love the woody choclate notes.

T- a slight bitterness to the woody coffee dark chocolate. A smoky woodiness throughout. I don't get any heat here.

M- Medium bodied, with almost a creaminess to it. Nice carbonation to it.

D- I will preface it with this is one of my top styles. It goes without saying not a session beer (for me). I see this beer widely available out here in SD. I need to remember how lucky I am for that. Great, solid stout.

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

12oz bottle into a Penn Pilsner pint glass. Thanks Jwelsh for the extra.

A- Obsidian Stout pours a dark black color with some brown showing towards the top. A aggressive pour yielded a 1 inch and building tan head so I slowed down. After the head settled it left a skim on the surface and spotty lacing.

S- I could smell this from 2ft so I know it has legs. A huge roasty profile with a deep malt scent and some chocolate and black coffee. This is near expiration so i'm guessing the hops have faded some but they show up. Charcoal and somewhat burnt.

T- A lot of burnt charcoal throughout with some sweet chocolate and coffee in between. getting some of the yeast as well. Burnt malt giving off slight toffee. After some time some bitterness comes forth so I guess some hops survived. Some fruit off in the distance.

M- More bitterness presided in the mouth as well but overall this one is a smooth sipper. Obsidian is a full bodied stout with ample carbonation. This one finishes a bit dry. The malts stand out the most and stick around the longest out of the flavors.

D- A great American Stout at a low abv which is great in this land of imperials. Not quite a session beer but I would drink a few. The burnt malt may wear thin after some time. Either way this was a treat and I would drink again. Would like to try a freshie to compare.

Photo of aforbes10
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, approaching black. Strong, tall brown head look great. Deschutes makes some beautiful looking beers. Smells of roasted grains, chocolate truffles, cut grass. Dark chocolate, roasted to burnt charcoal flavors. green hops, bitterness mixes well with burnt flavor. Not overly complex but doesn't try to be. Just clean and well balances with a nice big bold burnt flavor. Mouthfeel makes the beer great. Chewy and soft and oh so smooth. Brewed with oatmeal? Must be to get this mouthfeel. Drinks very well. a great, easy drinking stout.

Photo of mjl21
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass at Pizza Antica in Mill Valley. Best by date is listed at 4/10/09. Comes in at 6.4%

A-Pours obsidian black with a huge 2 finger tan head that sticks around. Lots of lace around the glass.

S-Not earth shattering, but still good. Lots of roasted malt and coffee. A tad bit of sweetness is detected.

T-Lots of roasted malt, but not such that it leaves your mouth with a chalky flavor. Definite sweetness when it first hits your tongue, followed by the roasty/coffee flavors before a nice bite of hops finish it.

M-Medium bodied for the style with the perfect amount of carbonation. The alcohol is completely hidden.

D-A very sessionable stout. This is one stout that you could have a few of over the course of a night.

Photo of jminsc76
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent head, the body dancing with a slight whoosh! from the carbonation. The head is a light, chocolaty milkshake brown; the body a dark brown, with a faintly black, almost tar-like tinge. A great contrast. Decent lacing as the head settles but it quickly dissipates.

At first the smell is minimal. Small hints of coffee aromas, but little improvement upon agitation. Then I transferred it from a pint glass to a tulip and bam! came the aromas (all of the aforementioned visuals were greatly improved as well). Smells of deep roasted coffee with a touch of sweet fruit.

Flavors of coffee and molasses right off the bat. Not too intense, but noticeable and oh so good. A slight tingling sensation in the mouth as I continue to sip - always a lovely touch. Upon warming a bit, the strong coffee taste gives way to more flavors: cherries, currants, and a little bit of raspberry. The mouth feel is lighter than some of the heavier stouts I have had but not too light. A good middle ground.

Overall, a great beer. Very refreshing aromas, flavors, and mouth feel combine to offer both complexity and variety. It's not transcendent by any means, but it is highly enjoyable, and at an ABV of 6.4% virtually a session beer that invites repeated pourings and indulgences.

Photo of solargoat
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint Glass.
Pitch Black, big frothy dirty head. Looks amazing. Aroma has tons of Roasted malts, hint of sweetness. Creamy, medium to full bodied, balanced, fantastic bittering. Dangerously drinkable, completely blown away by my first Descutes experience.

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

Got this beer in trade. Thanks Ben(Madhomebrewer)

I like most everything I have drank from Deschutes so I wasn't worried about this one. It pours Black into the glass with a big frothy head with good lacing as the pint got lower. Smells roasty, milk chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, and a little doughy. Taste faintly of bitter coffee and some chocolate. Full Bodied, creamy. Good beer

Photo of wcudwight
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As black as a night alone in the woods. Rocky tan head that leaves lace so sticky it looks like it needs to be chisled off with a knife.
Lot's of roasted grains in the aroma. Sweet chocolate, peat moss. Very earthy smelling.
Man this is delicious. Bittersweet chocolate with lot's of roasted flavors. Goes from bittersweet to freshly ground coffee beans midpalate and finishes with a sharp acidic hoppy bitterness. I love how the flavors are bold yet flow so well.
Mouthfeel is wonderfully dry and smooth. The acidic bitterness leaves your mouth thirsting for more.
Another exceptional beer from Deschutes.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,993 ratings.