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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,056 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,056
Hads: 3,477
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 514
Gots: 616 | 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
View: Beers (161) | 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: 1,056 | Hads: 3,477
Photo of Dubbercody
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of GimmeAles
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.

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Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
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!!!!

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Photo of Prufrock
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

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Photo of Beerzebub
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.

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Photo of ej285701
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of hero27
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of tonistruth
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.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of Matthew
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.

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Photo of variousartists
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
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!

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Photo of Gavage
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.

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Photo of TastyTaste
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.

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Photo of idResponse
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

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Photo of kimcgolf
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of MLegendre
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of hammer09
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of BillyB
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.

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

Nearly black colored beer with a strong brown colored head that almost spills over the edge of the glass.

Smell is clean and fairly full of chocolate with fainter coffee and smoke aromas. Nice hop aroma that is herbal and minty more than citrus. Malt is mostly scorched sugar and caramel in scent.

Taste is roasted coffee and wine like acid in the first sip with a nice bitterness in the after taste. After about half the glass this has changed in flavor to more sweet chocolate than coffee and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Really smooth drinking stout here that just gets better the more that you drink it. This beer strikes a nice balance between interesting and mild to drink just about perfectly.

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

My bottle looks different than the one in the picture, but it's definitely Deschutes Obsidian Stout. So here we go. Pours a deep opaque black, just faint hints of ruby around the edges. Thin light-ish brown head. Smells deeply toasty and sweet, just a hint of the charcoal bite. Mmm! Incredibly rich chocholate espresso flavor; roasty and vinous with a fizzy bitterness that balances the slight sweetness perfectly. I never know quite what to say about drinkability with American stouts; I haven't met an American session stout yet. But I'd love to sit around and drink this all night if it wouldn't fill me up after just a couple.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark tan head that has fallen rapidly to a secure ring around the glass. Not actually obsidian colored...more of a dark dark daaarrrkk brown (perhaps its the light).

S: Smells of black patent malt, faint coffee aromas and hot chocolate with marshmallows with a touch of sourness. Its really nice. A beer that smells like this MUST have a nice flavor. I think its a law or something.

T: Tastes of roasted coffee with bittersweet chocolate flavors. Suprisingly sweet milk tastes hit the tip of the tongue then move down stream...slowly lingery until a faint sour Guinnessy taste shows its self. Ends with roasted grains arounds the back sides of the tongue. In a blind taste test, the beer could pass for a sweet stout.

M: Semi-full mouth feel with a slight crispness from the carbonation.

D: Not an overly complex beer, but still has a very nice flavor.

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

A very nice stout! I could drink a good deal of this, too bad I can't get it locally however.

Pours a very opaque black in color with loverly bubbles floating to the top, a creamy tan head formed that survived most of the pint (though it didn't take very long before it was all gone). Nose is very nice indeed, notes of cocoa and rum, slightly roasty, well balanced and appealing. Taste is much the same, only in greater quantity and more powerfully flavored than anticipated. A very well crafted stout.


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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,056 ratings.