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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,338 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2338
Reviews: 935
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%

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: 2,338 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Dope


4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 9/06/11. Whoops, couple years too late. Probably 3 years old overall. Lots of dust.

A: Nice black pour. Enormous and fluffy medium brown head. Great retention as it fades very slowly. Great retention ever after these years have passed. Nice.

S: Milk chocolate and malt balls. Interesting. A little bit of caramel sweetness in fact.

T: Chocolate and...malt balls again. Malt Balls, the candy. Must be a side effect of the age. Mild cocoa in the aftertaste. Showing some effects of age with a little bit of cardboardy oxidation but not horrible. This is my last one out of the 6pack from 3 years ago, alas.

M: Silky smooth and medium bodied.

O: One of the best accessible stouts out there. This one has suffered a bit from age but still quite good. Wish Deschutes distributed out here.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 03:14:24 | More by Dope
Photo of RenzoD


4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Very good stout.
Cappaccino appearance. Poured into the glass like sweet black oil. Leaving a nice looking coffee foam head. Doesnt have that ashtray aftertaste that so many stouts can have. Perfect bittersweet initial taste. Follows through with a medium roast flavor. It's a beautiful beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 06:44:08 | More by RenzoD
Photo of JamesMN


3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Best before 5/7/13. So a little old but nothing to worry about with this style.

Appearance: Super dark brown (basically black) and opaque with a foamy two-finger tan head that is lacing nicely.

Aroma: Charred malt with a great milk chocolate and coffee presence. Quite milky/creamy.

Taste: Big kick of bitterness to start things off with a grassy hop character. The bitterness is intensified by the charred dark malt. Nice black coffee bitterness that can almost be harsh at times. The cream from the aroma comes through as a whisper in the background. This is definitely not a balanced stout, which is both good and bad. The palate is continually bombarded with robust dark malt and a lighter hoppy character. The finish is surprisingly smooth and the aftertaste leaves solid burnt chocolate and black coffee flavor. The robustness is right where it should be for a 6.4% ABV Stout.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with a tad too much carbonation. Average drinkability but probably too much harsh malt bitterness to session.

Final Thoughts: Not my favorite of the style, but a good Stout for those looking for robust dark malt flavor. Would I drink it again? Sure, nitro-tap would probably be worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 03:46:12 | More by JamesMN
Photo of mactrail


3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oxford Suites hotel in Portland. Really dark stuff. It's a Guiness black color, but a very different kind of brew. Some beige foam in the pint shaker. Spritzy mouthfeel. Some blackened grain flavors along with the warm, roasted malt. The sweet malt a thoroughly mellow base with the charred barley providing a pleasant balance.

This seems like a pedestrian dark beer at first sip, but it grows on you. Extremely drinkable with a lot of fat malty flavors. I'll have to get a six of the bottles. This seems like a flavorful, easy to drink brew to have around.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2013 04:47:00 | More by mactrail
Photo of CowsandBeer


4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Six pack purchased from Fleming Place Wine & Spirits in Topeka, KS. Bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Best by date of 10/14/2013.

Appearance: 2 fingers of light brown colored head. Looks thick and creamy. Black body with some reddish highlights when held up to the light. Left some great lacing. A nice cap remained while drinking the beer.

Smell: Roasted coffee beans and dark milk chocolate. Like a slice of chocolate coffee cake. Brown sugar and caramel. A bit of bitterness. Some green hops. Great nose.

Taste: Follows the nose with those roasted coffee and creamy chocolate notes. Some citrusy hop bite at the end with a bit of bitterness. Very little heat.

Mouthfeel: The lower carbonation gave it a really nice creamy mouthfeel. The body itself though seemed thinner and more "watery" than I expected.

Overall: A great looking stout. Especially impressive was the nice cap the head was reduced to. Like a cappuccino. Impressive nose with that nice, medium roasted coffee smell. I felt like the body could have been a bit more, well, "stout." It was a little too slick and thin for my liking. Though the carbonation was perfect. That aside a great American stout that would go well with most desserts. In my case a cake doughnut.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 02:50:25 | More by CowsandBeer
Photo of joeseppy


3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black with a low retention head.

Faint aromas of chocolate, coffee and roast.

Roast malt and grain step forward and finish with a metallic tasting hop. Not very sweet at all.

Mouthfeel all the way through is very silky, velourish and creamy.

Never had such an incredible mouthfeel fall so one dimensional. Aroma was muted and taste was off-set with a metallic taste, cold draft to even warmed up. Mehhh. Feels more like a porter or even pretty close to their Black Butte Porter. Sowwy!

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2013 00:31:11 | More by joeseppy
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a long lasting head of compact, creamy bubbles. Leave a fair amount of fine lacing on the glass.

S: A good amount of chocolate, coffee and roast in the nose with some low burnt notes. There is a low citrus hops aroma.

T: Dark malt flavors dominate the flavor as well, again bring chocolate, some bitter coffees, roast and a bit of burnt bitterness to the party. There is a low caramel sweetness in the middle. There is a low caramel sweetness that gets dried out pretty quickly. There is a moderate hops bitterness teaming up with the roast bitterness making for a beer that is moderately bitter on balance. The finish is off dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste that shows some citrus hops flavors.

M: A medium full bodied beer with a moderate amount of creaminess and a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: Outstanding aroma and flavor having all of the dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee and a a touch of burnt bitterness along with some hops bitterness. It's fairly dry with and smooth. It's pretty evident why the beer has earned so many awards.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 03:07:29 | More by MadScientist
Photo of BeerKangaroo


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

Best by 01/07/14:

Into a nonic (also had in a regular pint glass):

A: dark brown/close to black colored body with a two finger off-white/tan foamy head that rises a bit and then drops gently leaving some thick spider web lacing gracing the sides of the glass

S: smokey, woody, espresso, and roasty combined fantastically

T: previously mentioned aromas entering a sort of sweetness from some light chocolate and some light vanilla, dry espresso aftertaste, dry sticky finish

M: medium, semi-sessionable, carbonation is done very well for its style and for me, becomes slightly creamy

0: wow, another one from Deschutes that impresses me, this company is quickly becoming on my radar while living here on the west coast, I would definitely have this one again. Deschutes send more to Alaska! Adding to the noise on how good this is - you bet I am.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 05:42:04 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of LaneMeyer


4/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a teku.

A - Beautiful dark murky brown/black. 1 finger tan/brown head.

S - Smoke, charcoal, barbecued wood, cacao, vanilla, brown sugar.

T - Smokey, charcoal, bitter chocolate, slightly sour.

M - Very creamy, perfect amount of carbonation, silky smooth.

O - A nice American Stout. Not overbearing, but hearty and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 06:09:15 | More by LaneMeyer
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip. BB 12/23/13

Pours a pitch black with a big 2 inch or so beige head with great lacing. Smells is of roasted malts and coffee, slightly charred cocoa. Taste is big on the chocolate and malts. Typical taste for a stout, but done very well and is quite enjoyable. medium bodied with medium carbonation. good feel, not too thick or overly syrupy. it fits for the ABV. however the body is a tad light.

overall just a good american stout. nothing too special, but easy drinking and tasty. bonus points for being lower in ABV but tasting just as good as any of the 10%ers. you wont be disappointed here.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 19:06:25 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of thebigredone


4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep blackish-brown with a two finger cocoa head.

Smells cocoa and coffee. The dark roasted malts definitely come through.

Taste is similar to the nose, dark roast, dark chocolate, and coffee. Some bitterness comes through, though if it is from hops or the dark roasted malts I can't really tell.

Somewhat drying on the tongue.

Overall, a very solid stout. Nothing fancy or exciting here, but everything you'd expect out of a good stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 00:18:28 | More by thebigredone
Photo of alaimoa


4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from late 2012 poured into a snifter. Jet black pour with a fingers worth of head.
Smells of chocolate, toasted barley and coffee which dominates
Taste: medium consistency - surprised not thicker. Very smooth with a chocolate and coffee notes shining through but not as smooth as others
Overall its good, would most definitely get again but not seek it out if I can't get it locally

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 11:53:56 | More by alaimoa
Photo of Segelstrom


4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured to a very nice deep, robust and rich creamy foamy head topping this very good roasted malt and black barley beer giving way to notes of coffee. A definite beer to buy again and enjoy. Very similiar to Guiness Foreign Extra but not quite the bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 23:12:28 | More by Segelstrom
Photo of ranger7


3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up from Central Market on sale.
From the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy dark brown-to-black brew. Tan head sticks to glass.

S - Roasted chocolate and coffee smell.

T - Chocolate front with coffee bean bitter finish.

M - Smooth and thin. Little carbonation that lessens quickly

Summary - Pretty nice stout. I've liked some other stuff from Deschutes, but this is definitely now one of my favorites of theirs. Typically, I will enjoy a stout if it refrains from pounding me with its roasted-ness. This one has just the right amount to be enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 04:00:10 | More by ranger7
Photo of da_beers


4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful oil black with one and a half fingers of an awesome tan, bubbly head. This is what you want your stout to look like!

S - Deep dark, chocolaty, coffee - like a mocha. Has a syrupy smell to it. I get walnuts as well. Smells like walking into an old coffee shop with oaken walls.

T - Great taste. It hits with this great bitterness from the hops. It has this great nuttiness as well. Chocolate at the end, but very faint, as well as the coffee was bigger than the taste.

M - Has a sharpness from the bitterness. Medium bodied. Close to full bodied, but a touch lite. Has good drinkability and the lowish carbonation is spot on.

O - Was very excited for this one. My first form Deschutes. Nose was huge! Taste a little below that. I would recommend to anyone, especially those who love a less smooth stout. Spot on with the bitterness and hops!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 02:08:35 | More by da_beers
Photo of Vickaroo


2.59/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark with a moderate foamy head
Smell: Molasses
Taste: I kept getting a taste that seemed familiar, but I couldn't figure it out until after I'd had this beer a few times. Then it hit me: Ashtray. A distinct taste that made me feel I'd poured an ashtray into my mouth.
Mouthfeel: Zesty
Overall: Ok, but the ashtray association was a little disconcerting.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 03:05:22 | More by Vickaroo
Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop


4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a pint glass. There was room left over. Dark as night, with a head that is not very big, per se, but does last for the entire session in somewhat of a cloudy manifestation, and gives way to a small amount of lacing.

S: Chocolate. Chocolate chocolate chocolate. Some espresso nudges its way in there, but it's a fairly one-dimensional smell, and I'm not complaining.

T: Unsweetened chocolate just explodes from the get-go, and gives way to a peppery, coffee-y finish. Many stouts are intrinsically sweet, and that's not an inherent problem, but this one is bitter going in, and bitter going down, and consequently there is a bite that doesn't normally exist in this family of beers. It accentuates the flavors, and in a beer not crafted with this level of expertise, that could be a death sentence. Here, it's anything but. Absolutely delicious.

M: Again, perfect. In addition to boosting the character of the taste, the bitterness also accentuates the carbonation, giving it a very spicy feel. It is also perhaps the driest beer I have ever had. A true sipper.

O: As I've alluded to, this is the gold standard of stouts as far as I'm concerned. I'm only out west for the summer, but I already know that I'm gonna grab a few sixers of these babies for when I'm back on the other side of the Mississippi. A spicy, strong entry to the stout canon. Altogether familiar and yet like nothing you've ever had before. A triumph.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 00:45:37 | More by The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
Photo of avery412


4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

{Gifted to a friend; gifted to me. Unsure when brewed, but likely >6mo. I drink stout/porter infrequently}

A: Dark mahogany with a thick head. big, uneven head of bubbles that spider-web the stein. Like peering into a warm abyss

S: Caramelized nuts and a hint of licorice.

T: Velvet chocolate. crisp. there as a dry bite on the aftertaste. Very pleasant overall, and beckons another sip

M: Crisp and cool, but perhaps a bit thin. not at all clingy, but there is a residual dryness of the tongue after the fact.

O: What a delight! this is a rich and thoughtful beer, worth a taste. Its the kind of stout you could easily make a session of.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 18:48:21 | More by avery412
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle dated best by 1/13/2014 into a snifter.
Appearance - black, with no light coming through. Some bubbles noticeable creeping up the side of the glass. Big, creamy caramel colored head that lasts until the end! Lacing covers the glass!
Smell - dark and creamy, espresso, chocolate, coffee bean; very impressive.
Taste - creamy espresso, dark chocolate bitterness, dark roasted coffee; fantastic!
Feel - medium body and a nice lasting bitterness from the hops, excellent!
Overall - just a well crafted brew and definitely my favorite thus far from Deschutes!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 15:55:55 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of EagleTalon


4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a creamy beige head and deep ruby black color. Aroma is smoky, roasty, espresso-like with hints of vanilla and earthy hops. Flavor is roasted barley, toasted malts, vanilla esters and a balance of hop flavors and bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium heavy with creamy nitro goodness. Top notch stuff. Must have again. I was about to give up on stouts until Obsidian arrived at the table.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-25-2013 02:09:33 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

With the initial pour, Obsidian Stout has a huge, thick, frothy mocha head. It recedes over time but still retains a reasonable cap and leaves some nice lace down the sides. The beer itself is impressively dark with just a little bit of a dark cherry edge.

The aroma is totally full of roasted flavor. Some dark chocolate and smokey tobacco complement the malt nicely, with a small bitter hop presence as well.

Dark roasted malt really dominates the flavor. There are some notes of coffee, smoke, and dark unsweetened chocolate. A citrus hop kick comes in at the end, and there is a modestly bitter aftertaste.

There is a bitter and slightly acidic feel, like a strong cup of coffee. The carbonation is creamy with a little bite and ends up being a little bit on the light side of medium. There is a light acidity toward the end of the sip.

This is a solid stout all the way around.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 05:26:27 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of BingCrosby7


4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured jet black and viscous, with a light tan head that retained its carbonation rather well. Nice looking brew.

S - malt, cocoa, roasted light coffee, lightly charred oak. The alcohol was light on the nose.

T - Roasted malt and coffee on the initial taste; very similar to the smell; light on the alcohol, which was a good thing.

M - lightly carbonated and smooth on the palate.

O - This is a very well balanced beer for the most part. The malt and charred qualities sort of overtook the nuance, but the overall effect is still rather good. Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 05:40:27 | More by BingCrosby7
Photo of BucannonXC5


4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination IPA
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: June 4, 2013
Consumed: June 11, 2013
Misc.: Best by Aug. 12, 2013

Poured a black tar color with 3-4 fingers of tan and light brown frothy head. Good amount of circular lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled chocolate, dark caramel, espresso and roasty malts. Seemed to be stronger than 6.4 percent, more like an RIS. Very good nose and had me looking forward to the taste.

Tasted similar to the nose, only better. Got rich chocolate, fudge, dark caramel, toffee, roasty malts, chocolate milk and chocolate malt.

Full-to-medium body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish.

A fantastic stout. I am only upset that it took this long for me to figure it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 06:29:39 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of TheSixthRing


4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with only the brightest of lights penetrating the outer edges. Head is light cocoa in color, 2-3 fingers thick and excellent retention. An everpresent layer of bubbles across the surface. Resulting lace is thick and sticks to the glass with the best of them.

Smell - Primarily dark roasted malts; a chocolate and coffee, mocha combination.

Taste - Classic Deschutes cream and roasted coffee character. Milk chocolate. Sweetness off-set by the roasted malt depth that hits mid-taste, though not ideally. Leaves some earthy hop bitterness, with faint traces of citrus pith near and into the finish.

Moutfheel - Medium to full body, while the carbonation provides a good bite. Fairly creamy. Smooth. There's no doubt this is an American stout.

Overall - An excellent stout, though it's not too far off from their Black Butte in terms of flavor. This one's a little darker, but the basic flavor profile is there. A classic example in every sense of the way. If there's one gripe I have, and it's a small one, it's that the sweetness can get a touch cloying when drinking this beer too fast; a virtual catch 22, because this beer is so enjoyable, it's hard not to want to take drink after drink in quick succession.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 06:07:44 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of Kuaff


4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I poured this bottle into a snifter, a little bit colder than cellar temperature.

Obsidian Stout is dark as night. It very nearly IS obsidian. The head is a lovely light brown and about two fingers high. Nice lacing!

It smells like rich, dark, loamy soil that has been fertilized with coffee grounds and then rained on by chocolate milk. Fabulous.

The taste follows the smell exquisitely, with extra emphasis on the earthiness. From the moment it hits my tongue, to long into the finish, I am washed over by waves of alternating and undulating earth, coffee, and milk chocolate.

The mouthfeel hits the sweet spot big time. It has subdued carbonation that's gentle on the palate and allows the flavors to shine through beautifully. The viscosity has some stout substantiality while still being... how can I say this... manageable (though I LOVE really thick imperial stouts, too).

Well. I did NOT expect this from a non-imperial stout. It basically has the flavor of an imperial stout, sans the high ABV. If there are any lovers of imperial stouts out there who are skeptial of a regular stout's capacity to sufficiently satisfy their selachian and senual cravings for scrumptious stouts... YOU MUST TRY THIS NOW... or I will annihilate you with my aggravating alliterative abilities. The label on the neck of the bottle reads "Give in to the deep, dark spell as the layers unfold," and "Like the plot of some eerie mystery you can't put down." (Haha, I love it.) Anyway, the layers did unfold. I gave in. And I couldn't put it down... because this stout treated me to one HELL of a mind-blowingly pleasant experience.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 03:30:32 | More by Kuaff
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,338 ratings.