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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,342 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2342
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: 2,342 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Shaw
Shaw

Florida

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

Enjoyed at Deschutes pub in Bend. They said this was cask-conditioned and served on a nitro tap. Is that possible?

It's super-black with the requisite super-tight head. The smell is of roasted malts, very nice.

The taste is good. It's smooth as glass, thanks to the cask-conditioning. Just like obsidian, this stout is one slick, black treat.

Serving type: cask

09-30-2006 18:30:03 | More by Shaw
Photo of sockeye101
sockeye101

Washington

4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hands down, one of the best, if not the best, stout I've had...this is up there with the Imperial Stouts in my mind. After a agonizingly slow pour, with the last drizzles of the 12oz bottle oozing out like oil, it left a jet black color with a dense, 2.5 finger tan head. Beautiful. Aroma is very complex with blends of sweetness, alcohol notes, roasted maltiness, coffee, chocolate, a very pleasing mixture. The taste is just as complex as the aroma, but bordering on perfection. First impression is a biting tingling on the tongue with a slight bitterness that fades into a robust earthy toasted malt with splashes of coffee, chocolate and a finishing mild bitterness. And afterall that you have an aftertaste of roasted nuttiness. As it warms it gets even more complex....excellent. Mouthfeel is good, creamy, and complete. I successfully sessioned this at a bbq recently and would recommend to anyone who likes stouts that this is about as easy drinking as it gets :)

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2006 20:46:26 | More by sockeye101
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle. A deep opaque black with a bubbly thin head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is of roasted and black malts, and maybe cascade hops?, somewhat musty/sour. Taste is of heavy rostiness and coffee. Not too viscous, but has nice body. Carbonation is about medium. The flavor definitely carries this one with strong coffee character along with a fairly mild bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 18:10:05 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown color, nice dark tan creamy head, nice carbonation, nice lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, toffee/chocolate.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/malty, with some nice toffee accents.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. An very tasty stout from Deschutes, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2006 23:31:21 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Dubbercody
Dubbercody

Washington

4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro... Nice buubbly nitro head that slowly joins the black goodness below. Very gentle smell that does not beat you over the head with over strong scents, but ones that entice you to find what lurks witthin the glass before you. The nitro gives a smoothness that unveeils the flavors before you with chocolate, burnt caramel and a softly balanced bitterness in it’s aftertaste. Having this on Nitro is a real treat for any stout lover. It takes an amazing stout and just brings it up to that...holy jeez I can’t even believe how good this is level. Great in the bottle...un-believable on Nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-30-2006 07:28:22 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of GimmeAles
GimmeAles

Washington

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

Three fingers of khaki foam billows over an ebony body in the Imperial Pint glass. No light escapes the contents. Head recedes, but maintains a solid 2-cm sheet to seal the glass and a mini-cascade is seen with every sip. Good smattering of lace left down the glass

Blackened malts, Italian Roast coffee, grill-blackened plums make up the nose. Solid and rich.

Tastes are of charred grains, dark-rye crust and fine dark chocolate. Dried, vine fruits make an appearance and round out the palate with a pleasant sweetness. Very nice. Definitely more going on here than a grain-forward Dry Stout, yet not quite Imperial in overall stature.

Building on this theme, Mouthfeel is pleasantly viscous yet quaffable. Awesome drinkability - two bottles (or pints) are almost a given with this beer. My favorite ‘everday’ stout and quite a bargain at just over a buck a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2006 20:52:44 | More by GimmeAles
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly different labelling that pictured. Picked this up in Colorado.

Not quite opaque black, some dark garnet highlights barely show through...and I mean barely. Voluminous head formed on the pour, three fingers worth. Reduced down to a lumpy light chocolate colored mound leaving sticky lacing spread around the glass.

Aroma is dark coffee and semisweet chocolate. Some apparent bitterness from this combination is evident. There is almost a bit of smokiness which is showing through. Very prominate smell...no holding back with this one.

Coffee and chocolate dominate again, dark roasted malts bordering on charred work through as well. Overall this leads to a bit of a bitterness. I like this combination in a stout. Some herbal type hops peak through. Very nicely done...not subdued at all, but not overwhelming. Tons of flavor for a relatively mild beer in the alcohol department.

Mouthfeel is fairly full. Not the thickest I've had. Coats the mouth well and the flavor really lingers. Low carbonation as would be expected. Makes it feel a bit creamier.

Superb drinkability. Low alcohol and lots of flavor. Mouthfeel isn't over the top so this one goes down a bit too easily. Definately one of the best standard stouts I've had to date. A must try to see how a stout should be made.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 01:39:24 | More by blitz134
Photo of BigDaddyWil
BigDaddyWil

Michigan

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Clear laser marked date best buy 8/26/06.

Pitch black in color, with an amazingly frothy, mocha colored head, about 3/4 of an inch in height. Decent retention, leaving a good amount of delicate lacing. Mostly smells of dark chocolate, espresso, hints of dark fruits and some sort of musty smell. Tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Quite delicious! A good balance of hops and malts, finishes clean. Very creamy and smooth, and not too heavy. This is a pretty awesome beer. Super easy too drink and very refreshing. A great example of an American stout. I hope I can trade for more of this. Seek this one out!!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 21:47:39 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of Prufrock
Prufrock

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

black as night with nearly an inch of tan head that leaves plenty of thin lace.

woody, smoky charred malt in the aroma, along with some floral, piney hoppiness. faint hints of bitter chocolate and some soy sauce as well.

roasted and chocolaty malts in the flavor with a bitter, smoky, lingering finish. medium body with a medium-high carbonation; seems like it should have a bit more weight to it. flavors are passable but stiffly bitter finish hurts the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 04:05:09 | More by Prufrock
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

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

Poured not too cold, in a goblet, leaving most of a thin yeast layer behind. Opaque black, but coffee brown at edges when held against light. Thick tan head. Smells like chocolate cake, buttery toffee, blackberries, vanilla, hint of mollases.

Rich roasted malt: bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses. Some fruit, butter, and hops. Somewhat bitter, well balanced.

Creamy mouthfeel. Most head dissipates eventually, but can be revived a little bit by a swirl.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 05:44:54 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of ej285701
ej285701

Ohio

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

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours out a very dark brown, almost black with a one inch tan head.

In the aroma I get the usual coffee and chocolate notes, as well as some metallic sourness and lactose as if its a milk stout. Some bready malts are noted as well.

The taste delivers on the smell with coffee and chocolate being the most dominant. The lactose is a bit distracting however, as I am not the biggest fan of milk stouts. The finish is quite nice as the flavors stick with you long after you swallow.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with low carbonation. I think more carbonation would have helped.

This is a well made beer, and I can see why it's rated highly, but I can't get past the lactose flavor. I prefer more roastiness from my stouts.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 03:40:55 | More by ej285701
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
6.4% abv.

Obsidian is a fitting name. Black color with a tan, foamy head that leaves nice lacing down the glass. Aroma of roasted barley & dark chocolate.
Burnt malts and rich dark chocolate are abundant in the taste. Molasses flavors coat the tongue and there's also a lingering coffee finish.
Velvety smooth texture and goes down ridiculously easy for a stout.
I can see why this is near the top of it's class.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2006 00:26:53 | More by hero27
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

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

A- dark as it gets, black. Big ol' tan head, fluffy, with great retent. Settles to a decent size ring of foam that remains til the beer is gone.

S- rich & sweet, roasted malts, and burnt caramel

T- roasted & burnt malt flavors. Slight grassy hop flavors. Tangy yet bitter bite from the brew. Finishes with a strong burnt malt bitterness/flavor.

M- great body, dry at finish, smooth & creamy

D- The burnt malt bitterness may be a bit hard to take sometimes, but if you can handle it, this is a lovely beer. The afterthoughts are just as good as the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2006 03:23:15 | More by tonistruth
Photo of Dithyramb
Dithyramb

Maryland

4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second brew sampled from an excellent Secret Santa hookup via AlohaC. Poured slightly chilled into my new Tommyknocker pint glass. Pitch black brew with nary a hint of redness. Very opaque with a fluffy brown head. Great retention and lacing.
Smelled just like a big slice of dark chocolate tort. It made me hungry for dessert just breathing it in. Would be an awesome beeramisu ingredient.

Its all here flavorwise. Roasted malts rule the roost, with the subsequent coffee, chocolate and licorice coming through periodically. Mildly bitter in a dark chocolate sort of way. Very delicious and chewy. Came off slightly heavy bodied. However, for some reason, it went down way too fast--happy I was given two bottles to enjoy. I see now why this one gets rated so highly.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 15:34:43 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

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

12 oz bottle, pours a black with a nice medium sized fluffy and rocky head.
Big sweet malt character in the nose, milk chocolate, very hidden hop aromas and a touch of alcohol.
Sweet dark roasted malty flavor with carmalized brown sugar, slight fruitiness, esspresso and and a little alcohol in the finish.
Medium bodied mouthfeel, good light carbonation for the style.
Good drinkability, but is a bit too sweet for have more than a few IMO.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2006 00:10:17 | More by Matthew
Photo of variousartists
variousartists

Arizona

4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To call this stout would be an understatement.

A: Black as night. Brown head. Everything sticks to glass.

S: Burnt malt and coffee dominate.

T: Stout, stout, stout, stout, and stout. Wow. Like the smell malt and coffee flavors dominate.

M: As full bodied that I've had.

D: I'm not a big stout drinker but this is an exception. Goes down very nicely. Especially with a good marinated flank steak.

This is one hell of an impressive brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2006 00:59:13 | More by variousartists
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a pitch black with a large off white head of foam that dissipated slowly

The smell has a lot sweet roastiness to it with notes of chocolate and coffee.

The taste is also very roasty...nice balance between the sweetness from chocolate and coffee flavours and the hop bitterness. Makes for a very tasty yet smooth brew and there's no alcohol presence on the palate at all. Yum!

Bottom line: One of my favourite American Stouts out there. I highly recommend it!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 22:28:39 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 23:48:39 | More by Gavage
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

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

Thanks to Babydoc for the bottle.

Appearance: Obsidian colored body is correct, tan head that fades slowly. Good lacing, fairly sticky.

Smell: Milk chocolate sweetness, a little coffee, roasted, but the main thing is the great chocolate smell.

Taste: Rich, with dark chocolate and roasted malt smell. Coffee is more pronounced than in the smell, and plays an integral part of the experience. A very drnkable, highly enjoyable stout, deservant of the top 100 status.

Drinkability: Very good, well above average. I only wish that this beer was available here.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 15:46:32 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of idResponse
idResponse

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer, Looks great, smells great, tastes great, feels great, drinks great, and is.. great!

I've found it to be best on nitro taps and has been known to sway all those swaggering guiness die hards to open their mind to a new brew.

Although starting in 2006 I feel the recipe has been messed with somehow and the taste has been off... It hasn't quite been the same as it used to be. I've noticed this with the Jubelale as well as the Porter. Has Deschutes lost something? I'm not sure, perhaps it's just a passing phase in my tastebuds or something.

One thing for sure: Next time you're at your favorite venue, demand the obsidian be put on nitro!

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-12-2006 17:41:15 | More by idResponse
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was really a GOOD stout. Poured jet black with thin tan head and okay lacing. Aroma was that of chocolate mixed with dark fruit..grapes, plums, cherries. Taste was very much chocolate malt. As beer warmed, alcohol became more noticeable about mid-glass, but perfectly blended with the flavor. Very good, long, smooth finish. This has to be my favorite stout to date....just sorry I can’t readily obtain in GA

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2006 12:01:00 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of MLegendre
MLegendre

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I had this served to me in pilsener glass (which I thought was an odd choice to serve a stout... and it was), at a wonderful resturaunt called The Rivers Edge and currently the only place where I live that serves this on tap...

A: Amazing. Completly jet black, no light penetration whatsoever. Thick tan head, at least an inch and a half that does not dissapear, it stays there for the entire duratation of the drink. I just recently found out that this was nitro-tapped and that is what gave the "cascade" head formation. It as amazing to look at and i found myself staring in awe at it for a long time before I started to actually drink it.

S: Chock full of that roasted barley and coffee-like smell I love about stouts.

T: Tasted great, but sadly it didn't taste as good as when I've had it before. The first mouthful was all head, but it tasted great. It was full of sweet roasted barley and malt. The rest of it tasted great, but the sweet roasted flavor that I love about this beer was more in the background than it usually is and the bitterness took over.

M: This was a huge disapointment for me. No matter what I'm drinking I like at least a little Carbonation in my beer and this had none (because of the nitro). It reminded me a bit of Guinness which I'm not a huge fan of.

D: Although I was dissapointed (I think it tastes better w/o the nitro) it still was a great beer and I orderered another as soon as I was finished with the first. The Next time I go to the store I'l pick up a sixpack and review this again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-02-2006 09:08:33 | More by MLegendre
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I could review this brew off the top of my head I've tossed back so many but never bothered to jot down a line. Well, tonight is the night after a big beef rib dinner this was a nice nightcapper to seal the deal. This fine stout pours a deep black, with a rich brown head that leaves sporadic lacing. Medium to mild carbonation. Smell of deep, rich, chocolaty malts.

Although the "usual" qualities are there for this style, I think what sets this brew apart is the richness, and obvious quality to the malts and the fact that there is a bitter, slightly hopped up finish. Cleans up as well as can be expected, leaving behind a cocoa powder aftertaste, touch of espresso as well. This brew coats your mouth and is on the creamy end of the spectrum. Oily as well. Certainly far from a sessioner, in fact one of these is just about right and not because of the ABV, more that its just well...rich.

Notes: Well it hit my palate just right. For the price???? WOW!! How can this be priced similar to their small beer offerings. Deschutes is amazing in that they have good beers and at times in the excellent to outstanding range, yet they maintain a low price by craft brew standards.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2006 05:30:26 | More by DogFood11
Photo of hammer09
hammer09

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered this beer on a recent trip to Lake Tahoe and ordered it as a pre-dinner drink.

The Obsidian Stout arrived in a 12 ounce bottle at cellar temperature and the waiter had enough sense to suggest a room temperature pint glass instead of their customary chilled glassware. The beer poured a black, almost opaque color with a 3/4 inch head which settled to a creamy 1/8 inch in a matter of minutes. This stout had a nice roasted aroma, typical of many other stout varieties. Taste was exceptional with a roasted malt flavor and a creamy, smooth, and flat character. Overall, the Obsidian Stout's qualities adhere well to the tried and true characteristics of a classic stout, but its drinkability surpasses many of it's competitors.

I have yet to see this beer offered in Chicago, but will not hesitate to order a case from my local retailer if they can fulfill a special order.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 04:48:55 | More by hammer09
Photo of BillyB
BillyB

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My mother-in-law is from
Portland so whenever she goes out to visit family she brings me back a couple local beers.

Appearance is dark black with a brown head.

Big chocolate and coffee aromas. Slightly smokey. Carmelized sugars.

Taste is roasty, toasty caramel, toffee, coffee with slight whiskey, winey alcohol.

Full bodied. Nice alc. warmth.

Great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 01:17:45 | More by BillyB
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,342 ratings.