Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

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Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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1,020 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,322
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 476
Gots: 549 | FT: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,020 | Hads: 3,322
Photo of AlexR
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours nicely - along the side of the glass, produces a nice foamy head of about one finger atop a coffee-black beer.
Smell: It smells good - I detect what I believe is coffee, along with some roasted malt.
Taste: This beer doesn't mess around. It's fairly strong, but it has a delicious, toasted flavor and a boozy quality, for lack of a better word.
Feel: This beer just nails it. It isn't too easy to drink as it does have some hops to it, but it's somewhat smooth at the same time thanks to the flavors.

This is one of my favorite stouts. It tastes great and is satisfying. (585 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours dark brown, essentially no light passes through, with a proper frothy deep brown head that laces well.

S: Roasted malt, a touch of dark fruit, some bittersweet chocolate, and very light coffee.

T: Coffee and bittersweet chocolate from the roasted malt up front, well balanced sweetness and bitterness, some dark fruit maybe plum and cherry, a bit earthy with a touch of pine, with a light smoke note and some bitterness on the finish.

M: More towards the heavier side of medium body, moderate carbonation, almost creamy.

O: Solid bold stout, though I wish it was a skoche less bitter and the chocolate and coffee notes were a bit more dominant. Still a very good brew. (739 characters)

Photo of the_awesometeer
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%

Appearance - Pitch black, with a very nice foamy head, which laces glass the whole way down.

Smell - Very strong roasted smell, a hint of coffee and chocolate

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel, nice thick beer, smooth to drink, and I enjoy the foamy head that stayed throughout most of the beer.

Taste - Very strong roasted flavor. It does have nice coffee flavor as well. Lastly there is a small hint of chocolate but it was not very strong. (444 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
4.25/5  rDev +1%

This stout is solid black with a two finger mocha head and medium lacing. Some of the head remains as a collar until the end.

The smell is strong with chocolate, coffee and strong roasted malts. There is also the smell of piney and spiced hops.

The taste follows the nose with chocolate and bitter coffee dominating. The taste then quickly moves to roasted malts then some piney spiced hops finish on the back end. There might be some oats in there as well.

Overall this this an easy drinking stout; it goes down smoothly and does not leave a bitter aftertaste. The lack of bitterness makes this an interesting stout; good if you don't like a bitter stout. (663 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black (with slight chocolate hue in the light). Minimal head. Bitter aromas, roasted malt, bitter coffee, some light chocolate, and a hint of molasses. Tasted of coffee, roasted malt... balanced bitterness... tasted bigger than 6%. Medium mouthfeel, perfect for a regular stout (I prefer them a little meatier). Overall outstanding. UPDATE: It is even better on nitro. All of the great flavors, etc with a mouthfeel like chocolate milk. Amazing. (462 characters)

Photo of JWU
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- Black. no light gets through. Big tan head that sticks all over everything.

S- Roasy, with some light coffee and chocolate notes.

T- Big roasted barley notes with some nice chocolate and coffee notes. Barley and coffee bitterness balance the light sweetness.

M- Creamy, but kind of dry on the finish.

O- With all the big impy stouts out there, you can easily forget how good a regular, good ol' stout can be. This one is happy to remind you. (500 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%

Been considering this one for awhile. Now it's time.

Appearance (4.5) : Pours out of the bottle looking like used motor oil. Now I know that doesn't sound particularly delectable, but in a stout, it sure is. It has an oatmeal colored head, reaching about two fingers. It leaves generous lace in delicate lingerie rings around the glass as it recedes. Color is obsidian black, just like the name. 100% opaque. Nothing penetrates. I like how this is looking.

Aroma (4.25) : Smokey, coffee bean, dark chocolate, campfire. A little licorice. Bouquet is medium strength.

Taste (4) : Quite decent. Bitter notes set in right away with coffee bean and char, then some more grassy notes step in, some woody dark cherry, finally leaving with some dark chocolate and roast bean. Smoke and char is left lingering on the palate. It's not the best stout I've ever tasted, but it's not half bad.

Mouthfeel (3.75) : Creamy mouthfeel with an underbelly of generous carbonation. Mildly zippy. I would say it's just a hair less carbonated than the Shipyard Blue Fin Stout I reviewed (which arguably was too much carbonation for its style). Could be better.

Overall (4.02) : This is not my favorite Deschutes offering. It is definitely a good smokey stout with heavy char and dark notes. Long after the swallow the taste lies lingering on the palate with roasted coffee and light smoke. It is a worthy offering and should be tried if spotted. (1,427 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best by 3/17/15. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a nice mocha head that leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas have lots of cocoa malts. Subtle chocolate and vanilla notes. Lots of roasty aromas. The flavors are very sharp and on the bitter side. Lots of dark chocolate. Some black coffee is in the mix. Some dark fruits. There seems to be a hop presence to this one. Very subtle anise/black licorice notes, but barely. More vanilla. Finishes dry. The mouthfeel is great. This being bottle-conditioned really gives this one a great body. The carbonation is active, but rich and velvety. Very smooth and easy drinking. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a great stout. Very bitter, but stays true to style. Well crafted and very enjoyable. Recommended. (779 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance (4.5): Very dark (black) as i expect in a stout, with a wonderful creamy mocha colored head

Smell (4.5): Balanced between chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and slight smokiness

Taste (4.5): As with the nose it is very well balanced between chocolate and roasted malts, with the latter being more so on the palate. There is slight smokiness and a good amount of hop bite at the backend

Mouthfeel (4.25): Medum body; Goes down smooth but perhaps a tad bit too bitter for me in the finish for a stout

Overall (4.5): I ended up buying the Deschutes variety pack because i have been wanting to try this beer for a while now and have not seen it anywhere else. It did live up to my expectations, but considering my indulgence in RISs, it's not quite robust enough. Speaking of robust, this reminds me a lot of the Smuttynose Robust Porter. Still a great regular stout, and one of my favorites in the style. (915 characters)

Photo of StoutBrotha602
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Had it a finally..
its an okay stout .. i have been wating to try it and finally i went down to a good spot looked on the wall and found they were serving it on nitro so i plopped down and had a glass

Taste: reminded of Black Butte porter in roastedness
Pour: didnt see it get poured so .. all i can say is its dark and lovely.. no head
Mouthfeel : bitter is very light.. can drink a few easily (398 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev -5%

Had this Nitro in Maui. Very well balanced Porter, not too smokey, great head and look.
Could drink a lot of these with no problem. Very similar to their Black Butte, which seemed a tad less bitter, but both are very good. (222 characters)

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

08.26.14. Best by date.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.06.14.

A: Completely opaque black. 1/2 finger head.

S: Cocoa, chocolate, roasty malt. Some sweetness too.

T: Roasty malt, chocolate.

M: Creamy smooth.

O: I poured some of this over ice cream and it was very good. On its own, this did not have any weird hop bitterness, which I can't stand in a stout. The roasted malt kept the sweetness in check. It is an excellent example of the style.

Rating: A- (476 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%

Deschutes makes a fine stout, and you should seek this one out if you like stouts. I actually think their porter is slightly better, but I enjoy both. This stout is a touch on the bitter side, but not as much as some, so I can still make it work. Another success from this brewery. (284 characters)

Photo of bwood06
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

A -Beer is as black as the night sky. Dark tan, 2 finger head that is very creamy and rich. Head is very slow to dissipate. Lacing remains on top of beer and down sides of glass. 4.5/5

S - Notes of dark toast, roast and dark chocolate. A bit of espresso as well. This beer smells extremely heavy. Aroma is all about the malt. No fruitiness or hopiness. 4.25/5

T - Bitter of espresso right off the bat transitioning to a very dark chocolate (almost a cocoa powder) and then to a toasted bread and roasted malt flavor. The flavor profile goes full circle by ending with an espresso bitterness that lingers for a long time. Ever so slight hint of caramel in the beginning. A bit of a yeasty note but it is very subdued. 4/5

M - Very heavy and chewy. Finishes dry though with a long lingering bitterness. Slightly more carbonated than expected. 4/5

O - Awesome stout. Very heavy and very dark, just like a stout should be. Big time bitterness though which threw me a bit at first but once you get used to it, it works well. 4.25/5 (1,051 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Poured into a snifter. Thanks, Darren.

A: An aggressive pour yielded a beautiful mocha one-finger head over a black body. The head whittled down to tiny bubbles and foam. Lacing was thick and curtain-y. 4.0

S: Leather, anise, smoked plums and licorice. Smokey goodness prevails. 4.25

T: Sweet, smokey and robust. Dark chocolate meets espresso. Dark fruit does a tango with caramel malts. A rich, smokey finish. 4.25

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation. Dry, thick; almost acidic. Frothy. 4.0

O: A heavenly stout. One I'm glad to finally get my mitts on. A tempting taste by the fireside or on the back porch at sunset. Recommended. 4.25 (665 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

The beer pours a foamy brown head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is an opaque and very dark brown color. The beer smell is a sweet dark chocolate with deeply roasted malts and cocoa. The beer taste is surprisingly different from the smell. The beer taste has a much stronger hop presence with a weaker Mexican dark chocolate and cocoa taste. The hop bitterness and chocolate mix rather well. The beer is heavy bodied, creamy, and thick. Overall, a pretty good stout and worth getting. (502 characters)

Photo of HMTE
5/5  rDev +18.8%

If not best beer, top three. Sublime. I still have the label from my drive to Oregon (many others too)

I gotta say I may have drank more than my share of these.. sorry uncle! (175 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.17/5  rDev -1%

Reviewed at Big Meadow Campground, Shenandoah National Park, VA. Full notes taken.

A- Pitch black pour out of the bottle to a chalice. A dark mocha brown crown of cream tops the beer to over a finger with great retention and thick consistency. Massively thick sheet at the top followed by

S- Rich chocolate notes right off the top with big roast aromas as well. Dark fruits bring a bit of a truffle feel with earthy hops chiming in too.

T- For below 8% it delivers a lot of roast malty flavors. Thick dark chocolate and baking cocoa, darkly roasted cereal grains, coffee hints and slight caramel. Other notes of dark red fruits, raisin, earthy hops, slight citrus and pine hops.

MF- Medium to thick bodied with a fairly chewy, creamy texture. Roast bitterness lingers on the back end of a medium high carbonation. Quite smooth.

Packs a lot of punch for a standard Stout. Smooth and flavorful chocolate and roast richness with the convenience of only being 6.4%. (966 characters)

Photo of macher0
4/5  rDev -5%

Bottle to tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Poured a 2-finger head that slowly retreats to an amber, frothy film.

S: Mild fragrance. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Minor hop bitterness blends nicely with major notes of dark roasted malts, coco, coffee, and chocolate. A slight sweetness prefaces the hop bitterness. Nicely balanced with a chocolaty finish.

M: Full body, slightly harsh (sometimes a down side of hops), moderate carbonation.

O: A very good imperial stout, especially for a year-round, mass-produced ale. Tons of flavor, but the finish is a minor setback. (591 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really like stouts but I bought the sampler pack for the porter and this was the last I tried. It seems I saved the best for last.

A - Black color but still slightly clear. Light brown head with coarse bubbles and nice lacing.

S - Tremendous stout aroma with the traditional malt along with caramel/chocolate/roasty tones. All of the flavors swirl together seeming to create an invitation for you to smell it some more.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer is full of malty goodness that coats the palate with the chocolate and roasted characters that I was expecting. The flavor is strong with sweetness but is balanced with the coffee/roasted/burnt character that can hint on your palate after you swallow. Light bitterness is there but the overall flavors linger and make you wish you had a bigger glass. There is really no hop character but with all of the other flavors it isn't a bad thing here.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel, definitely not as high as a RIS. Light carbonation perfect for the style. The substantial body with a more moderate ABV makes this brew a delicious finishing beer.

Overall, this is probably one of the best "standard" american stouts you can get. I could understand someone wanting an imperial over this but it is a great beer and the best part is you have no qualms drinking more than a few and enjoying it longer since it is not >10% ABV. If you like darker beers you will most likely fall in love with this one. Will try to make a clone and hope it comes out half as good as this one is.

Glass- Stout glass (looks like a compromise between a tulip and a snifter) (1,616 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice black color with good light brown head with great lacing

Smell: Good roasted malts, with some sweetness to it

Taste: Good malt sweetness, with some bitterness from roasted malts, some fruitiness, nice earthy hops, a little bit of coffee

Mouthfeel: Full body, light carbonation, very smooth and creamy

Overall: This is a fantastic brew, definitely a must try for anyone who gets the opportunity (414 characters)

Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


I am not usually a fan of stouts. This is a extremely wonderful surprise and a absolutely WONDERFUL beer. I'm a hefe, witbeer, type of guy (but my tastes are changing, I recently tried a APA that I actually liked!)

With that being said, if you're wanting to try a stout, and are afraid to do so, this is the beer to try. It makes Guinness take like absolute trash. And I'm serious. It's like comparing Bud Light to a Belgian Trapist. A damn near perfect blend of hops and malts in this stout that is black as night. I held it up to a 100 watt bulb. ZERO light penetration. This beer is a black hole of good flavors, it sucks up all things wonderful you'd expect in a stout, and obliterates that bad.

The only thing (and this is truly minor) is its mouthfeel. I tend to like a stout a bit less "liquid"... when I think stout, I almost think I should be chewing the beer, not sipping it. My favorite beer for mouth feel is Köstritzer Schwarzbier.

If you're looking to venture out and try a stout, and you're a bit afraid to do so. Don't be afraid to try this stout. If you don't like this stout. You wont like ANY stouts. (1,129 characters)

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a snifter, black as night and raises a persistent finger of khaki head

Smells of molasses, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and a bit of booze.

Really powerful stout considering it's not quite an RIS. Hints of dark fruit, cocoa, and finishes with an espresso note, lots of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is perfect, beautiful body and carb is perfect. Really creamy.

I expected this to be good, and was surprised by its quality. It's a perfectly crafted stout, and I wish I could drink it regularly (no distro nearby). Cheers! (536 characters)

Photo of sheeley
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Incredible. Black as night with a great head and dark colored foam.
Smell: Exceptional. Notes of caramel, malts, and hazelnut. Taste/mouthfeel: Exceptional as well. Roasted malts and espresso with a rich, smooth flavor overall. I prefer this beer chilled; as it warms, it tends to become more bitter. One of my favorite beers so far. (346 characters)

Photo of boogieman
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the local liquor store. Poured into my beer glass at room temperature.

Appearance: pours a rich, dark, coffee brown with a 2-finger, mocha-colored head that lasted a long time. Left exquisite lacing around the glass.
Smell: toasted malt, coffee. Light hops, and a hint of dried fruit.
Taste: Quite bitter at first, and melding into a sweetness that then turns into a rich bitter aftertaste. some hops and sweet malt. It reminds me of a mocha. Rich, dark chocolate, with a strong coffeeness. A bit of vanilla. Somewhat woodsy, and a little bit of spiced citrus. I feel like it would have been a little more appetizing and refreshing if I had drank it cold. If/when I buy it again, I'll try it chilled.
Mouthfeel- some dryness. Very rich and creamy. leaves a shortlasting pleasant filmy residue around the mouth. Light carbonation.
Overall- definitely a good stout. I had somewhat of spicy/fruity undertone that wasn't my favorite, but it melds really well with the beer. (988 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.