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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,045 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,045
Hads: 3,419
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: 1,045 | Hads: 3,419
Photo of Reed415
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color with a small tan head

S - Extremely Nutty, Roasted Coffee, and chocolate

T - As in the nose, the taste is comprised of Roasted Coffee and Nuts, Chocolate

M - Full Bodied, Moderate Carbonation

D - Excellent. One of my favorite Stouts

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

Appearance: Opaque black body with a 2 inch tan head, slightly transparent around the edges.

Smell: A sweet and chocolatey aroma, slightly milky and with a faint trace of alcohol.

Taste: Rich dark chocolate hits the palate first, eventually settling into a dark roasted, bitter espresso finish that lingers on the tongue long after you've taken a sip.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, mildly carbonated, just right for a strong stout. Not so thick as to make it difficult to drink, it's actually quite quaffable despite the respectable ABV and rich flavor.

A great straightforward stout, though I slightly prefer Black Butte Porter.

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

Feels like a nitro…how does this beer do that, I ponder as I rip into the treasure trove I just brought back, remarkably untouched by TSA, from PDX to MSN. There is a thickness and smoothness common to brewpub nitro stouts but exceedingly rare in a bottled brew. I am surprised and impressed by that. As for the rest of the beer…I am less excited.

Indeed this is a great beer but there are so many similar, in fact, virtually identical stouts out there that I can name but not give such props to. Obsidian doesn’t taste particularly better then the Great Dane’s Emerald Isle or frankly, even the Rock Bottom’s standard Irish Dry (although clearly it has a body to put either, and so many others to shame). Beyond the mouthfeel, however, I am baffled that this considered to be one of the top American beers. It seems so ordinary to me – well done, but plain none the less. Perhaps that is the point.

As for appearances, this is one fine example of a stout. It is most certainly obsidian and has an initially large light brown head that dissipates to a skim but remains for the length of the drink in its full glass clinging goodness. Carbonation is not present.

Aroma is loaded with coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Astringent.

Flavor is very full and robust with a nice rounded hop bitterness and some chocolate. Lots of black malt goodness.

Hmm…Damn it…I’m a convert. Forget what I said about this brew’s mediocrity. As it warms it just gets better and better. Forget about it. This is great stuff…and oh so drinkable. Very well done and deserving of praise. Now, I’m off to see a head shrink about my manic beer reviewing tendencies…

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

Pours a near black with a medium tan head that stays pretty solid throughout. Smells of roasted chocolate and hint of coffee with some grainy scents as well. Taste is just great. Again, chocolate and coffee with a sweet malty flavor. Slight bit of hops present to balance this out near perfectly. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, creamy, and smooth. Medium bodied and lasting. Great drinkability as well. Easy going down and tasty to boot. Thanks goes to JohnGalt1 for the extra in a recent trade. The more I try from this brewery the more I become a fan.

9/1/07: Got another bottle from younger35 and it's just as tasty as the first!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick cream head of deep tan color that last and last. The body is to dense to see any sign of carbonation.

S- This beer has big smells of chocolate malt and black roasted malt with a light hint of cream in the background. Very fresh quality to the aroma.

T- This beer has flavors of dark roasted and black roasted malts with dark chocolate malt notes in the background. There is a rich creamy flavor to the malts. The finish has a green herbaceous note with a slight chalk taste to it. The bitterness at the finish hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel that becomes more full in the finish. I think the thick head really adds to the body.

D- The bitterness is not distinctly hops and not roasted malt but a blend of the two which is interesting. Nice rich malt flavors make this a full flavored stout.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jacks...
Appears a pitch black with the typical nitro head that never fades away. A thick, 1 finger, tan head of foam is retained through the entire duration. Lots of clingy lace is left around the glass.
Smell is of mocha, roasted nuts, ripe fruit, espresso, ripe fig, light pipe tobacco.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas though the richness is very subdued from the nitro-mix. A little like Young's Double Chocolate, IMO.
Mouthfeel is as smooth as can be with roasted nuts, figs, plums, and mocha standing out along the palate. It reminds me a little of an Irish car bomb minus the Jamison.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from flexabull (thank you!).

Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Poured a thick, oily, pitch black. About one and a half fingers of tan slightly coffee brown, pillowy head formed. Had great retention. Slowly faded into a gob of sticky lace in the glass. Had a awesome nose to it. Nice roasted malts, thick chocolate aromas, fresh roasted coffee beans, and maybe a hint of vanilla. Taste was equally as pleasing. Nice roasty, toasty notes. Bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, nice malty flavors, and a small hint of black licorice. Slight alcohol noted in the mouth. Very smooth. Slightly thin in the mouth with a wonderfully full flavor to it. Maybe a little too carbonated for my liking but still damn good. Definitely very drinkable. Would love to get more of this.

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

Thanks to grub for sharing this bottle, its a treat!

Pours a very opaque black, red edges, thin tan head, settles to a nice ring, lace spots on the glass, looks like a stout. Smell is sweet, toffee and chocolate, some dark fruits, licorice, bit of spice, very malty, the fruitiness adds a different touch. Taste is sweet, chocolate and licorice through the middle, some roast, cherries, toffee, bit of a weak finish but nice flavours in the beginning. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, nice smooth stout. Very drinkable. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of drseamus
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer has a good jet black body with a thin mocha head that falls quickly leaving just a very thin layer.

S: This beer has a powerful chocolaty coffee aroma with bunch of roasty overtones.

T: The flavor is just like the aroma. There is a bunch of chocolate initially followed by some good coffee and roasted malt notes. This is a great tasting beer. The nice thing is about this beer is that there isn't a bunch of bitterness which is common with beers that have a bunch of chocolate with them.

M: The body on this beer is nice and full. Suits the beer very nicely.

D: This is one of the best stouts I've had. A perfect example of the style.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark chocolate, slight brown head with no lacing. Smells of chocolate, bitter dark fruit, slight coffee.
Taste is chocolate up front, slightly dry bitter finish, burnt malty notes. Feels thick and slick. Pretty good if dark and bitter are what you want in a stout.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as the Ace of Spades witha thick tan head that retains and laces well

Smell: Roasty aroma with coffee, charred wood and a touch of citrus

Taste: Starts out with a strong coffee flavor that is immediately joined (and overwhelmed) by a very bitter character; after the swallow, the roasted malt flavors re-emerge and blend with a hoppy bitterness to provide a long finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: If you like a full flavored stout with plenty of bitterness in the West Coast style, this one's for you

Thanks, todd1, for the experience

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Photo of bradford
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great stout. A little hard to find at times in my area of California, so whenever I see a six pack floating around stores, I usually grab one.
Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Dark, dark brown, almost black, close to opaque. A thin, swirling head, with little retention on the ring around the edge of the glass. Smell was a little weak for me, perhaps I had a bit of an oncoming cold, but nothing spectacular here. Taste is most excellent. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, everything you would expect from a stout of this caliber. Mouthfeel is smooth, but dry, very easy going down. If it weren't for the 6-something% abv on this, I could drink this all day. Very drinkable stout and one of my favorites. I think Deschutes gets a bad rap around here because the Mirror Pond and Black Butte are the only widely availabe selections from them and they are a bit weak in all categories. But this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark black with a decent tan head. The smell was roasty but subdued. The taste was also standard stout to me: roasty, no hops, good , dark, smooth.this was a nice beer but I don;t think it should be in the top 100.

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Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with B0ldfacelies.

A: The stout is quite dark, a deep brown but not quite black. The head is tan-colored and large on pour.

S: The aroma is burnt toasted, roasted malts that are dark and bitter. There is a touch of the deeper, wine-like body that comes from a double stout.

T: Roasted chocolate sums this beer up. The flavors are chocolate and burnt toast, quite roasted. The flavor is quite bitter, not hoppy bitter, but bitter from the dark roasts. The flavor finishes long, with the bitterness providing a powerful taste long after the sip is swallowed.

M: The mouthfeel is roasted, dark without going overboead like a double or imperial stout.

D: The ale is easy to drink, with strong roasted dark flavors that never destroy the taste buds.

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Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IntriqKen was kind enough to send this along as an extra in Double Trouble GIF. Thanks Ken!

Very dark, faint chestnut edges with a fluffy, dark tan head. Plenty of lacing and good head retention. Nice aroma! A mix of roast, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, biscuity malt and a hint of licorice. The flavour's top notch as well. Along with the solid roastiness, there's a lot of anise throughout. Notes of bittersweet chocolate and light fruit round things out. Moderate to low bitterness. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation and a silky texture. Great stout with a nice balance of flavours. Definitely a winner.

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Photo of Night
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with red flecks. Big fluffy tan head leaves medium lacing. Aroma promises strong malts: chocolate, meat, pepper, and a relatively noticeable alcohol presence – not especially strong or pleasant smelling. Medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is dark roasted malts, very meaty; molasses, walnut, pork loin, and charcoal, with an undertone of acidic grassiness thrown in. A touch of soft-candy sweetness in the finish. Aftertaste is mostly neutral with a hint of bitterness and acidity.

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Photo of grub
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from alohaC as part of the BA Secret Bunny 2007. thanks christian!

12oz bottle, best by 03/30/07.

pours very dark brown, not quite black and not quite opaque. big very fine dense tan head that quickly falls to a thin layer on top of the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. licorice. lots of roast. coffee and dark chocolate. oatmeal. biscuit malt. hint of alcohol. a bit fruity.

taste is great. moderate roast. bittersweet chocolate. coffee. med-low bitterness. lots of biscuit malt. oatmeal. no alcohol.

mothfeel is good. silky smooth. medium carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. this is a damn tasty stout that i'd love to have available locally.

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

Listening to Biggie...
A - Stouts make the greatest heads out of any style. There, I said it. It has that pitch black color w/ the deep red up to light, but the head is what's important. Coffee ice cream color, foamy but consistent. Give it a minute, and it starts collapsing and craters form. It's so damn creamy. Sticks to the glass like crazy too. It's been a few minutes and the heads only receded to about half it's original size. Alright, enough about that, let's get to going.
S - Fresh coffee beans and moist bittersweet chocolate. The roasted malt is there too, but it's also pretty hoppy on the nose.
T - This is why I love Stouts. So smooth and creamy as soon as it hits your lips and even better going down your throat. It even sounds creamy as you swallow it. Fairly dry taste in the end as the power of the chocolate and coffee flavors calm down. A nice subtle carbonation to pair with the dryness. The roasted malt sticks to the palate like crazy. It tastes so fresh too, like I popped a couple pieces of roasted malt into my mouth. Can get a little watery in the finish, but it doesn't take away from anything.
M - The flavors overflow the mouth and stick so well. Smooth as a Stout can get. It's a little more carbonated and dry than Sierra Nevada's Stout.
D - For a Stout, it's crazy drinkable. Somehow I don't find Stouts filling, but it's also compliments to Deschutes for making a great, drinkable beer. If I had this on tap at a bar, I would have ordered a second round right from the first sip. The flavors never leave and never tone down. Such an awesome beer on every level. When you find this beer, don't mix it in a six-pack, buy a whole six-pack of it. Biggie goes well with a Stout. Man, I just wrote a short story.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours as you would expect a stout to...Black. There was a small head of tan bubbles that stuck around for every bit of a minute to end up as a small ring around the edge of the glass. There is some light lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Clean dry chocolate aroma with some mild biscuity notes letting you know that there is some depth to the malt. I get some floral hops in here to compliment the malt notes, but the malt is in charge of the aroma. The aroma gets more nutty as the beer warms.

Taste: This beer has a defined dry acidic bite that gets you in the beginning, but there is enough hops and other malt flavors here to not let the acidity run the show. The hops give quite a challenge to the malt in the middle of the flavor profile, but then there is a bit of sweetness to lead into the finish. There is a little bit of the alcohol noticeable late in the finish as a very subtle warming and an even more subtle spice. The finish is balanced and clean with a mild sweetness to linger long into the finish.

Opinion: This is a really tasty beer, and I would consider it to be one of the best American Stouts that I have had to date. I like that there is some real depth to the malt so that you don't have a watery beer with hops and roast and that is it. This beer is balanced with all of the components independently noticeable.

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

A - Poured a pitch black as night, dark oil like liquid. Huge tan head had a very very slow fade and left lots of lace all the way down the glass. Looked just like a stout should look....thick.

S - Smell was very robust, deep roasted coffee and dark german chocolate. Hints of a sugary or caramel sweetness as well.

M & T - Taste was very thick and complex. Big deep roasted flavor, almost a burnt taste to it. Lots of flavors of coffee and german dark chocolate. Cery thick feel, but not syrupy, great carbonation led to a great silk like feel. Nice big hoppy finish left a very long lingering burnt aroma, I could literally taste it for 20 mins after the last sip, very outstanding full flavor.

D - Overall this was awesome, the perfect desset beer as a good stout should always be. I found no hint at all of any alcohol, nothing but great aromas and flavors. Very robust, full of complex suprises in flavor and taste. An all around great brew. Definatly lived up to its reputation.

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Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: Gives a low mocha colored head that recedes partially. The beer is a very dark brown.

s: Really good all around. Great roast level, nice hop aroma. Perfect sweetness level.

m: medium carbonation and a pretty full body

t: Good roast level with underlying sweet notes of caramel malt. Moderate-high hop flavor with the roasts building even stronger in the finish. Medium bitterness lingers along.

d: good

from babydoc, for my bombing

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in my delirium tremens tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a nice quarter inch head. Nice lacing and froth remains. Smell is roasted malts and cocoa bean. Taste is of bittering coffee bean. The mouthfeel is carbonated and medium in feel. A decent stout from an above average brewery. A good session beer that I would like to have on hand at all times.

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

Purchased at BevMo (hallowed be its name) in Natomas (Sacramento, CA). Sixer for $7.79, March '07.

A: Half-inch tan head, nice tan lacing. Totally opaque, "say it loud, 'it's black and it's proud.'"

S: Slight coffee notes.. I'm olfactorily challenged, sorry.

T: Coffee and chocolate, fading to a pleasant bitterness.

M: Smooth and slightly chewy.

O: One of my favorite stouts of all time; I highly recommend this beer. I first had this beer at the brewery on a family vacation up to Sunriver, Oregon. The brewery's in Bend, an easy 15 minute drive. I buy at least one 6-pack of this a month now that we've finally got a Bevmo near our home. I wish the ABV were lower, because I love to drink this stuff.

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Photo of kdoc8
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was part of the I'm Bored Tonight Stout-Off, up against Rogue's Imperial Stout and Bell's Expedition Stout. Pours a deep black with hints of red when swirled. A thin bubbly, tan head forms and then recedes fairly quickly, but leaves a nice bit of lacing behind. The smell is mainly of chocolate, but a dark cocoa kind of chocolate and some whiff of alcohol to it - a roasty, but not smoky, smell. It has a bubbly mouthfeel and goes down nice and easy with a nice roasty-coffee aftertaste. Up front, I don't taste any bitterness and most of the taste is in the aftertaste. Good stuff!

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

Thanks to markgugs for this one.

A: Pours dark brown with a thick foamy head. Good sustain with tons of lacing.

S: Aromas of rich chocolate and toffee.

T: Smooth earthy flavor of burnt oak with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Slightly astringent, but in a good way. Full-flavored, yet in some ways, subtle.

M: Smooth and medium-light bodied with light carbonation.

D: Overall, this is a damn nice stout. Get some.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.