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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,097 Reviews
For Trade:
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,097 | Ratings: 3,673
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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Photo of Chuggnutt
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Inky coffee black, with a nice thick brown head, frothy and rocky.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate. Creamy and smoky.

Taste: Smooth and dark—slightly burnt astringency. Roasted grains, dark roast/espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy sweetness, burnt biscuit (good), clean hops.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, nice full body without being overwhelming in strength. An oily chocolate afterfeel, but very clean-feeling.

Overall: An amazing, smooth, drinkable stout, an excellent example of the style. Truly one of the best stouts I've had.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big giant head that falls, but doesn't break apart and leave. The lacing is strong and the color is black and doesn't let any light through at all. The smell is sooo roasty and coffee. Yeah I get expresso goodness out of the flavor. The flavor is a nice coffee flavor with some dark malts, I like it a lot. The mouthfeel is very nice, very smooth, medium bodied beer. Overall it's nice and drinkable, something to be had on more than one accasion.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to babydoc for this bottle

A - well, theres no question why the named this the way they did, i know, i know, theres obsidian down the street from the brewery, but it resembles it as well, it wells up half a finger of chocolate milk colored head, far too dark to note any carbonation feeding said head

S - strong coffee/choclate notes in the aroma, even before the beer was poured i noticed them, quite overpowering, but in a good way

T - rich roasted malts join in the choco/coffee extravaganza in the taste, the coffee component is slightly more defined and could be described as coffee bean here, as well the chocolate could be narrowed down the dark chocolate, i guess the flavor is as sharp as the beers namesake

M&D - rather drinkable for such an overwhelming beer, great up front tastes, Deschutes is not kidding around with this brew, they smack you with flavor, a great brew

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Photo of mcallister
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a stout through and through. Black in color, fluffy tan head with thin lacing.

One of those beers that you just don't want to quit sniffing. Very addicting aromas. Thick chocolatey dark fudge, coffee accents, with heaps of dark fruits thrown in and integrated almost perfectly. Sweet malty aromas lay behind the sheen of fruit and lend towards caramel and vanilla. Mollasses, black currant, black raspberry, and black cherry dominate the fruit with hints of mission fig.

Rich and roasty flavors of coffee but not nearly as complex as the nose would lead you to believe. The roasty flavors seem to overpower the fruit and chocolate. The underlyings are very bitter chocolate flavors, black currant, with hints of blackberry. Mollasses also is notable in the finish.

This is a very dry stout that lingers for a long time that I find slightly displeasing.

Damn good stout worth drinking if for only the smell. But there are other fish in the sea I'd buy before this stout.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Opaque black in color. Pours a dense tan two fingered head. Good head retention. Thin sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee. Chocolate. Fresh Bread and dark fruits.

T: Rich chocolate is taken over by a roasted coffee and a pine hop bite. The perfect balance of roasted malts is followed by molasses and dark fruits. Slightly dry and bitter earth.

M: Smooth and creamy. Very thick. Minimal carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: An incredibely drinkable and satisfying stout without the insane alcohol content. Complex for a smaller stout. If not for the difficulty of locating this beer in my region I would make this a regular in my refrigerator.

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

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle. Pours black with a finger's breadth of brown foam. Smells of roasted coffee. Rich coffee taste with a good bit of malt. Very easy to drink and the ABV is real reasonable so I wish I could have a few more of this brew. Reminds me of Storm King with less hops. This beer will stay on my Wants for sure. Outstanding.


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Photo of udubdawg
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, obtained on my last road trip out west. Haven't had this for ages, and can hardly wait.

once at about 50 degrees, pours black with a thick and fluffy dark tan head, sticky and slowly subsiding.
Nose is primarily of darkly roasted malts, a nice chocolatey-ness, some sweet fruity notes and a bit of alcohol. Wonderful.

Taste...oh, the taste! Just the right amount of residual sweetness - a hint of sweet that lets the grains express themselves without being under-attenuated. Smooth as hell, roasty and a slightly bitter finishing chocolate and coffee flavor...the beer is superbly balanced all around.
Mouthfeel is smooth creaminess...not too thick, not too thin...a bit sticky on my tongue.

Simply put, my favorite beer. Period. I seriously erred in only bringing back a case. I can't wait until it is available in Kansas - according to the local liquor store web site, they expect shipment in 2008! That will be a great day.

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

Obtained from an exceptional trader, msubulldog25.

a - pours black with a one-finger tan head, retention around the edges, slight lacing

s - bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt dominate, not much alcohol presence, slight nuttiness

t - bittersweet chocolate up front followed by a smooth roasted malt, finish is slightly bitter with no noticeable alcohol

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish with a bit of warming

d - very drinkable stout, alcohol is not noticeable and the taste is quite smooth

Very good stout, not on the level of Cadillac Mtn., but excellent nonetheless. I could drink this all night and not get bored.

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Photo of nase
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cwier for this one. Trying this out next to a Rogue Chocolate Stout. Poured from 12 oz. bottle, best by 3/30/07.

Looks like an Imperial Stout. Terrific balance which is something I look for with just about every beer. Some hops and some maltiness to balance it out. Not a lot of complexity in the flavor and the mouthfeel is slightly thin but this is extremely drinkable because it is not weak nor overpowering. Certainly holds its own.

App. - 4.0, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 4.0, Mouthfeel - 3.5, Drinkability - 4.5

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

Appearance: Black, no light passes through, nice tan creamy head, sticky lacing.

Smell: Big coffee, molasses, toasty malt.

Taste: Roasty and toasty, coffee, dark chocolate, a little astringent.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, smooth, easy to drink, very full bodied, heavy.

Drinkability: This beer is really good on nitro in my opnion, the creamy mouthfeel softens up a really tasty but harsh brew, it makes it easier to drink and delicious. Looks like Guinness and a lot of flavor.

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

Pours out really black and clear with 1/2 finger of tan suds that quickly dissapate.Swirlling reveals lots of lacing.
Smell is black coffee and sugar. Malty dark hot chocolate. Not much else but it is such a sweet prominent aroma.
Taste is bitter coffee at first because of the aroma ,then the sugary malt comes into play quickly leaving and being replaced by the black sharp bitterness that slowly falls back into a malty sweetness. This one is complex as all get out.
I rate this higher than the Victory Storm King because of the blackness upfront. Both are excellent though. Each is so different.
This one is so Black though. I like a nice malty blackness and this one serves me right.

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Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to Faro for this one.

Smell is pretty off, not very good, but thats the least of my concerns.

Taste is quite robust, and I mean robust. Huge malt and dark chocolate flavors, not to mention this brew is hopped up more than Dudley Moore in "10." This one should be listed as a Robust Stout, just to warn you of what your about to imbibe. Solid structure, a great beer.

Overall, this beer surprised me, I was not looking for such a complicated and masterful brew, One of the best stouts I've had in a while.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Imperial pint glass. Appears a very dark brown, opaque, with two fingers of deep tan head which leaves a nice lacing from start to finish. Smells of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dried fruit. Taste is of roasted nuts, hops, unsweetened cocoa, dark malts. Medium bodied and complex. Very nice . I'll have another...

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

This beer is widely available in my area and, since I am a stout lover, it is one of my regular selections. I somehow thought I'd already reviewed it but I guess not.

Pours a rich dark brown with a tan head that has good staying power.

Full malt aroma with noticeable acidity and sweetness. A bit of bite from the hops maybe.

The taste is rich and balanced like a gourmet coffee but not so rich as to be prohibitive of indulgence. The carbonation is just right. Only enough to give it a little "sparkle" on the palate. There is a constant background of malty sweetness but it does not take away from a full hop aroma and taste.

This is about as good as a stout can be without being taken to the Imperial level.

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

Poured into a standard red wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with a quarter-finger, coffee-bean colored head. Lacing is fairly impressive for a beer which is not "Imperial" or "Double" - fizzy and sheet-like, settling into some small fingers and ovals of lace. The body is pretty standard stout material, a deep black which one might be tempted to give more points to because of the rather excellent descriptor "Obsidian." But still, many stouts could be said to be "obsidian," now couldn't they?

Smell: Wow. A creamy smoothness is the most striking feature of the aroma, which carries all the way through your inhalation of the beer, marrying and highlighting each individual aroma excellently. Cinnamon, some coconut milk, nutmeg, chocolate of both the bittersweet and milk varieties, medium-bodied coffee, a faint hint of leather. Amazing.

Taste: Some cinnamon-infused coconut milk, heavy whipping cream, bittersweet chocolate, cup 'a joe-like coffee, some cake icing-like sugarness. A little bitter on the back end, and definitely a little dry upon swallowing. Not quite as harmonious as the aroma suggests, but still pretty great.

Mouthfeel: Nothing to complain about here. Borders on being a little too fizzy, but the creaminess pulls through. Otherwise thick, sugary, oil-like.

Drinkability: Overall definitey deserving of its high rating, and one of the finest examples of the style I've ever tried. The ABV sneaks up on you a bit, as I found myself going through a six-pack fairly quickly before slowing myself down.

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Photo of orfeu
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the highlights of a truly generous BA Secret Santa 2006 package, this bottle came to me courtesy of b0ldfacelies -- many thanks for the opportunity. Beautiful raised hop vine design between the neck and the body of a very tastefully designed and informative label. Best by date of August 19 2006, so it's a bit old, but at 6.4% abv, I'm sure this has held up well. Poured into a nonic this stout sports an impenetrable brown-black, burnished and burnt chocolate body with deep russet and burgundy highlights and a sizeable and luxuriously dense, crater-pocked beige head. The nose is dark fruits at first, with dried cherry essence, Black Mission Fig juice, and stewed prunes coming through most strongly. Subsequent sniffs yield aromas of dark-roasted grain and caramel toffee. Then a mocha-coffee scent emerges as it warms. Interesting smell for a non-Imperialized stout! The first sip of this stout screams perfection. Without a doubt. Chewy, surprisingly viscous body with an amazing nearly-burnt roasted quality to the grain flavors that never becomes too bitter because of a lucious black cherry nectar and toffee-chocolate truffle taste that emerges at the finish, which ends in a powerfully bittersweet medicinal flourish. Much heavier on the palate than most representatives of the style. I'd usually find this distracting, but with the utterly fascinating flavor profile of this beer, I can't help but consider the heavier-than-usual weight to be a simple reassertion of the overall force of this masterful stout. I want more.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to fartindog for sending this one as part of BC-2. The beer was served in a Imperial pub glass.

Appearance: This beer is a nearly dead black in coloration. The head is a thick and fluffy dark tan. The head has great retention and leaves thick streams of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The beer kicks up a sweet and slightly sour melange of cocoa and espresso.

Taste: The beer has a very rich roasted espresso intial taste. This gives way to semi sweet cocoa. The beer then breaks slightly citric and goes pleasantly bitter. Nice dry aftertaste to the beer.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is loaded with roasted flavors. The beer has a low carbonated medium body. This is a dam fine beer and I would definately have it again.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here it is, my Christmas review. I've been saving this baby for a while. Thanks to b0ldfacelies for the trade.

Deep, impenetrably black body. Obsidian, indeed. Huge thick tan frothy head.

Nose is sour/sweet chocolatey malt.

Flavor is huge, yet very smooth. Chocolate with coffee finish. Bitter, sweet, massively roasty. A great blend of all the things that make double stouts great, yet in a lighter, easier to drink standard stout package. A wonderful tasting brew.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth without being thick or oily.

Drinkability is very, very high. Easiest to drink stout of this magnitude that I have had yet.

Merry Christmas to me. A great brew!

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

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium-sized foamy brown head that fades slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee and roasted malt.

T: Smooth and creamy flavors of coffee and dark chocolate come out first, followed by a touch of hops. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling for a stout, this is one of those beers that can be both a good sipper and a good pounder.

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Photo of Darkale
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Marvelous. Managed to get my hands on one of these a couple of days ago, and I now wish I had widened my grip, if you know what I mean.

This is the platonic ideal of a stout. Thick, its sweetness matched by a charred bitterness, chewy, and with the remains of all of those flavors lightly tap-dancing on your tongue long after your last sip.

What's worse is that my beer fridge is too cold, and so this beer is too cold, and I can't keep my hands off it long enough for it to show its true self.

Bitter coffee, a hint of chocolate, a splash of citrus trying to make itself heard, more chocolate, like a milkshake...and so damned creamy and smooth. As I said, marvelous.

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

It pours a jet-sleek namesake black, with the slightest glint of ruby at the margins. Two fingers of light brown pepper-flecked head sustains well. Pollock splats of lacing paint the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, deep roasted malt is alive with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, toasted nuts, black cherry, soy, port, and some slight char. A lilt of yeast and a breath of floral hops spice things up a bit.

Upon tasting, forward comes a wash of dark roasted malt, just burnt, briefly sweet, and rich with espresso, black cherry, cocoa, and leather. A rounded, dark earthy fruitiness joins a soft port/sherry note, as well as an airy hop spiciness. More charred grain and a mellow tanginess fade into a refreshing dryness, nicely bitter and green-apple crisp. The flavor makes for an involved, blended, and wonderfully engaging stout.

Medium bodied, the malt sticks a bit and the roastiness leaves a lively edge on the palate.

The name nails the color and speaks volumes of the earthy, satisfying richness blended into this sumptuous beer. It's the best of coffee, grain, and chocolate, mixed with yeast and hops...talk about a riveting combination. It's about as drinkable and fresh as you could hope for from a stout, and that's saying a lot. But the thing is- dammit man, I want another one!

Thanks to flexabull for this!

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

This fine frosty arrived via Secret Santa from bennetj17 – was outside in the 50 degrees, a perfect sampling temp!

And there it is, a fine looking pour of black, topped by sliding rings of brown. My little 6oz tasting glass from Schlafly works like a charm for these brews.

Intense aroma of a chocolaty milkshake, with a touch of coffee.

A rich and creamy brew, the charcoal toast intermixed well with the previous mentioned aspects. Body was dry and gritty, just an all-round good quaffing brew

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

Huge thanks to fitzIPAtrick for handing this off to me.

A: Pours a very very dark brown, bordering on black. Nice frothy one and a half finger caramel colored head. Retention holds with nice lacing down the sides.
S: Roasted malt and barley right out of the gate. Nice sweetness of chocolate and caramel. Great smelling.
T/M: Roasted barley and chocolate malt dominate this brew. Burnt coffee notes that have a slight bitterness to them continue into the aftertaste. Slight milkyness that's coupled by a smoothness. Soft on the palate with a slightly dry finish. There's a bit of sweetness in this brew, but it's subdued. Good body with a perfect level of carbonation. Damn tasty brew--could be my winter staple if I was able to get it on a frequent basis.
D: A session stout at it's finest even with the slightly higher abv. Smooth and silky, this brew has what it takes.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.