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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,044 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,044
Hads: 3,415
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 494
Gots: 590 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,044 | Hads: 3,415
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from the Coop shared with my brother, my half from a Shaker pint.

Black.. not brown... black. Tan head with rings of lacing that last the entire glass.

This is what an American stout should smell like.. roasted barley .. dark and chocolate malts.. has a sorta creamy fruity finish.

Big dark malt flavors mix perfectly with dark caramel.. I am sure there are hops in there... but oh well, I can't pick em out. Creamy body.. dark malts and lingering tasty finish.

No doubt, this is my favorite "locally available" American stout.. and it is exactly what I expect out of Deschutes and other PNW breweries... bigger is sometimes better...

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Photo of genog
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours such a black as night color with plenty of bubbling two inch tall head. The once bubbly head fades away and leaves plenty of lacing clinging to the side of my snifter. Smell is doughy and dried fruit with chocolate notes. Smell is not quite black licorice but more of a slight anise smell. This one started out strong but there was not a lot of flavor here. Some chocolate, coffee but it is all muted. Mouthfeeling is way too carbonated and makes this one not very drinkable. I had such high hopes for this beer coming from the makers of The Abyss.

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Photo of irishevans
1.75/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I agree with the akbelgianbeast, extremely overrated. it starts off with hints of epoxy, maybe some asphalt, the middle and finish have the taste and texture of some low-end cheap hairspray, and that nasty array of not so nice flavors lingers for far too long, this brew is definitely the shame of the DeSchutes line-up. bahh!

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.75/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I cannot beleive this ranks in the 90's. An irishmen would ponder suicide if he drank this beer. It pours black and promising, the nose is standard for an american stout. The first sip has notes of black tar. Followed by a sweet sort of hairspray middle rounding out in a monarch vodka flavor. To me this beer is extremely overrated. If its your thing, then more power to you, but if you like true irish dry stout or american oatmeal stout then this beer is not for you. Give this beer to someone you hate for christmas. Or be nicer and give them some natty ice.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH brandy snifter type glass I like to use for stouts. Plenty of room for the head and nose.

Plentiful light chocolate brown head. Lasted 5 min or so, and eroded to fine whisps of lacey streaks. Dark, dark, dark. Deep chocolate brown body with hints of ruby when held to the light. Almost impenitrable.
Immediate aroma of inviting chocolate dusted coffee, malty sweetness and a crisp hoppy bite. Smells roasty and dark.
Roasted dark malt and a nice hoppy bitterness mixed with dark bittersweet chocolate on the tongue. Creamy and smooth. Very drinkable. Reminds me of an oatmeal stout in terms of drinkability and mouthfeel. Not overly thick, but it does stand up the 20 degrees outside that we're sitting through. Finishes dry and nicely bitter. The hops definitely comes out more at the end of the beer. Nicely done.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours as black as the name itself - obsidian. No light can peek through this one. A thin brownish head forms, but dissipates quickly, without leaving much lacing.

S: Lots of roasted goodness in the nose, with a hint of sweetness and some coffee as well.

T: Roasted grains blend wonderfully with some sweetness, coffee, and dark chocolate. A nice range of sweetness and bitterness collide in the middle. Very well balanced.

M: Smooth and creamy. Nice carbonation.

D: Extremely drinkable. Holy hell this could be my go-to stout if they sold it in Boston. It's an excellent brew!

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard so much about this I finally had to try. Poured into chalice, nice and dark, all but black, with nice two finger light brown head, good lacing. Smell is of toasted grains with a slightly burnt touch, coffee, and dark chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same. Very nice blend of dark chocolate, coffee, toasted grain, some dark malts. Very complex yet suprisingly smooth. One thing I did like is that the mouthfeel wasnt too heavy. Some stouts its like drinking motor oil, this was a little lighter and easier to drink. While it doesnt stand out as an amazing beer, it is a very good one.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this beer a few times already and I had an extra one lying around but since the best by date is of last month I decided to keep it for myself and not use it in trades. I did not plan on reviewing it but after pouring it into my pint glass it seemed that it still has maintained fairly well.

The color is of kalamata olives, yet not the darkest stout I have seen. About an inch of café au lait colored foam and settles to a nice ring.

Aroma is of baker’s chocolate, roasted nuts, coffee, malted milk, chocolate malts, roasted barley, and hints of vanilla and cocoa.

The taste is predominantly of chocolate malts and coffee upfront. Aftertaste is slightly roasted barley and hop bitterness and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium, a little thin for me. Easy to drink. A very solid stout.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drink this all of the time out of the bottle, and I thought it was prety decent. Much better on nitro-tap, and normally I prefer regular taps over nitro but this beer really benefits from the extra creaminess imparted. Pours black with a huge creamy head and phenomenal lacing. The smell has a verylight aroma of cream and some relatively light roastiness. The flavors of light roastines, huge creaminess, lingering licorice bitterness, and touch of malty sweetness are very well integrated and balanced. Delicious. Super creamy, easy-drinking mouthfeel, somewhat light but easy going. I always thought this beer was a little overrated, having it this way changed my mind.

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Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is one impressive looking brew. Obsidian is a good name because this baby is black. It pours with a HUGE fluffy head that looks like whipped egg whites with a dash of vanilla. The head lasts and lasts if finally settles down to one finger and remains for the duration. Lacing, oh yeah there is lacing. Layer after layer sheet after sheet, some of the most lacing I have ever seen.

S: Nice malty aromas tons of roasted malt that comes at you as fresh ground espresso with a dash of bitter Belgian chocolate on the side.

T: Really nice stout. Rich malt flavors. Tons of dark roasted espresso crashes against the tongue on the first sip. It mellows a bit and the slightest hint of chocolate can be detected. If finishes dry with maybe just a bit of hop bite.

M: Nice and smooth. Almost creamy even.

D: With the average ABV, its rather drinkable.

Overall: Very nice stout. I have been very impressed with the Deschutes line of beers and this one is another fine example. To be honest I like a bit more chocolate taste in my stouts, but this one has taken the coffee taste and run with it. It's very flavorful and drinkable, and one of the best looking beers I have ever seen. I like it, it's worth seeking out.

Thanks Younger35 for another fine Deschutes brew.

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Photo of KingG
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled and poured into a Midnight Sun 12oz glass.

Appearance is good. Pours black but overly thick with some nice head retention. Ton of lacing for a stout. Thick mocha colored head forms then settles to a soapy, sticky thin film.

Smell is good. Heavy aroma of dark roasted coffee with a dairy-like presence.

Taste is very good. Same as the smell with the strong roasted coffee and dairy/lactic-like flavor. Malts aren't sweet but roasty and not over-bearing. Sharp hop bitterness finishes things out. Balanced and well crafted. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is very good. A little over medium-bodied but lighter than "thick." Carbonation level is perfect. Great chewy texture and has a nice presence on the palate.

Drinkability is very good. Going down very easy. Almost thirst quenching.

Overall: Probably the best made standard American Stout on the market. Insane drinkability for the style. Always a pleasure to have. Highly recommended.

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

P: 12 oz. Squat brown bottle, best by 01/12/08 is stamped on the label, 6.4% Alc. by Vol.

A: Dark India ink pour with a thick-burnt dark sugar foam head that dissipates to a thin cover and enough lacing for three beers.

S: Sweet brown sugar, roasted malt, and thin alcohol vapors at the end of the nose.

T: Starts with a slightly thin roasted malt, bitter espresso and then slowly dissolves into a very slight sweet finish.

M: Gives the entire mouth a workout, in a good way! This one is a sipper to be enjoyed as it lowers in temperature.

D: Could do one or two at a sitting I am classifying this as a great nightcap drink to be savored rather than an all out session.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours jet black with a good tan head. Lots of lacing and good head retention as well.

S: Lots of roasted malt along with a whiff of some sweetness.

T: A solid roasted malt taste up front with just the right amount of sweetness. A bitterness cuts right through in the form of some roasted coffee. Nice complexity in this brew along with an incredible smoothness throughout which is even more outstanding with all the big and bold flavors.

M: Medium bodied with active carbonation.

D: Exceptional drinkability. An easy drinking and incredibly smooth beer to go along with all the big and great stout flavors.

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Photo of DIM
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Jet black with no highlights whatsoever. Pours with a massive light tan head, good lacing.

s: Faint but complex. Dark chocolate roasted malts, and abit of sweet alcohol.

t: Heavy on the roasty malts with some coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. A mild hop tingle at the end.

m: Very dry with some good carbonation.

d: I really wish Deschutes' beers were available in my area. This was damn tasty and I hope to have another one day.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with brown undertones and slight ruby highlights when held to bright light. Two finger fluffy brown head with creamy lacing.

S - Roasted malt, sweet milk chocolate, maybe even a lactic hint, coffee and a slight hint of citrus hops.

T - Roasted malt, sweet creamy milk chocolate, lactic hint, coffee with some hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel that makes it very smooth.

D - A good stout that I could drink all night.

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Photo of MikefromDormont
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured black with a creamy dark tan head. I detected a coffee aroma and enjoyed the thick creamy body that this beer had. I love beers that look like motor oil and I enjoyed the roasted malt and sweet chocolate flavors. Oregon residents are fortunate to have this brewery in their state.

I first encountered Deschutes beers in Washington DC in 2001 when I stopped at the Brickskellar and at Chevy Chase Wine and Liquors. Chevy Chase charged $14.99 for a six pack of Deschutes beer. Unfortunately, I've not seen this beer in DC since 2001. I've had to depend on a schoolteacher friend bringing some of this beer back from the western US when he vacations there.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that settles fairly quickly. Aroma is highly roasted, heavy notes of coffee and touches of cocoa. Flavor is chock full of roasted malt goodness, along with lots of unsweetened chocolate type flavor. Mouthfeel is very smooth, some carbonation is noted on the finish, but nothing to write home about. Fans of "stouts" could easily make this a go to beer. Out here it's available everywhere, and even on nitro in select places. I'm honestly surprised i've not reviewed it up till now, as i've probably had it at least a dozen times.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6-pack in Vegas as it's not currently distributed to OH. The beer is completely opaque black, with a thin but resilient tan foam. The aroma has plenty of good things going on, dark roasted malt with toasty bread and a hint of cacao. The taste is slightly sweet initially, a little bitter or burnt flavor at the backend. The roasted malts come through big time. All in all a very good stout, one I could easily recommend to anyone.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was very approachable, yet not boring stout. I really enjoyed its moderate roastiness, and thought it very drinkable.

It pours a slightly viscous black, with a fluffy tan (nude pantyhose colored) head formation of tiny bubbles. Aroma was light roastiness. Flavor was more roastiness with some good "burned pizza crust" character and some chocolate and coffee flavor notes. Slightly creamy, but definitely not an extremely thick stout. Highly drinkable.

I had a roommate from OR who said that Deschutes was available in most gas stations & c-stores there...how wonderful that would be! Far from the biggest and baddest in this style, but very nice. Highly recommended.

I bought this at Liquor Mart in Boulder, CO during a visit to attend the GABF.

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Photo of dnichols
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a chilled tulip.

A: This is a robust stout...thick, deep, and black with a limited brown head that didn't last and left a barely noticeable lacing.

S: It has a aroma profile that does the appearance justice...deeply darkly toasted malts, bitter semi-sweet chocolate, and a burst of campfire coffee.

T: I am not a fan of stouts...exception granted to this one. It has a straight froward and rich flavor of dark roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, and fresh brewed black French roast coffee. It is creamy rich...like a chocolate latte and finished clean with little residual bitterness.

M: It has a medium to full body with a crisp clean finish.

D: If every stout tasted this good I would become a real fan. I love coffee and semi-sweet chocolate and this brew has those flavors in spades. It may be a bit to rich and filling for long sessions but I would like to try.

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

Drank a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glas.

A - Very very brown with a small hint of orange if you look at it in the right light. Head was about one finger and went away fairly quick. Decent lacing. Not too much though.

S - Almost like baker's chocolate with a little black coffee smell mixed in for good measure.

T - Tastes the way it looks if that makes sense. The first half of the sip is sweet but quickly turns bitter with a nice aftertaste.

M - Nicely carbonated. Smooth and relaxing.

D - Not a problem going through a number of these in a sitting.

Overall, another great beer from Dechutes. I haven't had a beer of theirs I disliked yet.

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Photo of harkjohnny
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to BrewDog for this one.

strong opaque black with a dense 1 finger head. heavy chocolate roasty aroma (like a bitter dark chocolate) and flavor. Also getting a canned coffee grind aroma/flavor combined with fruity esters. Mouthfeel is heavy, creamy and coffeelike with sprightly carbonation on the tongue. Aftertaste leaves a mellow roast and a touch of hops to balance the sweetness of the malt.

I well made beer that i'm lucky to have tried as it's not available in my area.

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Photo of jmalex
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wife's cousin from Sacramento, I was able to get a sixer of this. It's probably not every day that Obsidian makes it out to the east coast.

APPEARANCE: Pours out motor oil black with nothing getting through. The head is a creamy brown and not too large. It fades quickly to a medium collar with a small patch of bubbles.

SMELL: The smell is fantastic and ripe with chocolate, caramel, raisin, licorice, and is also slightly nutty. Just a massive aroma with a complex assortment of malty flavors. Hop aroma is as close to none as it gets.

TASTE: The initial taste mirrors the nose quite a bit. Chocolate and anise are the most prominent flavors. As the beer crosses the palate, a lactic sweetness comes through just a bit and then gives way to an edge hop bitterness just at the end which greatly serves to provide some balance to an otherwise sweet beer. Not quite cloying, but it's a malt bomb for sure.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is quite full with only a mild syrupy quality to it. The carbonation is just a hair on the high side, but nothing to complain about.

DRINKABILITY: A fine example of the style and a great beer overall. Alcohol doesn't factor into the equation, and the bottle goes quickly. A definite winner.

I'll be looking for this again on my trips out west. It would certainly be great to have on hand on occasion.

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Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$1.55 Single
Liquid Solutions

Obsidian Stout pours the blackest of browns (if that makes any sense). Mahogany highlights only when held directly to the light and only creeping through the bottom of the glass. A strange looking big three finger tan head formed on the pour. I say strange because it was soapy looking and creamy at the same time. Very odd but definately a tasty looking stout. Leaves excellent lacing.

Unfortunately the nose seems to be lacking. Mild lightly roasted malts are there in the background but weak. Mild dark fruits, a lactic quality, and a pronounced metallic twang. If I smell deep I can pull out the aromas I like to expierence in a stout but they're all just too weak and distant.

This is a quality stout. Roasted malts start things off with faint flavors of anise. Mild nuttiness mid-palate along with a creamy lactic quality. Nice balancing on the finish with bitter roasted malts and a touch of hop bitterness that make this smooth and exceptionally balanced.

Medium body with a slightly airy but creamy mouthfeel as it moves through the mouth. Nice lingering bitterness from a comonation of the hops and bitter malts.

This is a very good sessionable stout. Perfect beer to have on hand from Autumn through Winter if you're in the mood to sit down and have a few to warm up.

I believe this is only my second beer from Deschutes (the other being Black Butte Porter) and I wouldn't hesitate in buying either one of them again. Both very good examples in their respective styles.

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

12oz bottle with a best before date of 12-7-7.

Pours pitch black with an impressive mocha colored head which displays excellent retention and leaves webs of sticky lacing in its wake. The aroma is of roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee mingle with overpowered hops. Don't know how else to describe it, but there's a crayon-like aroma in there as well. Taste is lightly sweet at first and then turns deeply bitter. Especially in the back. The bitterness of the coffee flavor and hops combine to create an overall bitterness that hits you from all angles. There's also an earthy wood-like flavor in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Abrasiveness builds on the tongue as you dig deeper into the glass. This has been a longtime standby that I will continue to revisit as long as the fine folks at Deschutes keep sending it through the bottling line. A classic.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,044 ratings.