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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,044 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,044
Hads: 3,412
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 494
Gots: 589 | 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: 3,412
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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Photo of TheBungyo
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer that I would imagine most brewers would be thrilled to produce. The pour is indeed obsidian, with a tight nappy brown head clinging to the top. Nose is sour lactic, minor choclate, and a burst of bitter espresso. Very aromatic. The smell just leaps out of the glass. Taste is initially somewhat sour, followed by unsweetened chocolate, and bitterness. Very nice. Mouth is full as you'd expect from the style.
Drinkability is high. If you want a stout this would surely please you in every way you could hope for. I get the feeling someone worked very hard on this recipe because ever aspect of this beer strives for greatness, and pleases on nearly every level. Another fantastic job by Deschutes.

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

Gulp...Smack, smack....aaaahh....and that's how a stout should taste! Though a lot of good stout's are out there, you rarely find a flawless one...until now. Has an expected black look with a fair head and retention, but don't they all? Where this stands apart begins with the aromas, which are rich with roasted, toastedness, and chocolatey goodness. Hop aromas stay low and only add an earty character. Tastes again, rich with roasted (coffee) malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a mild malt (caramel and vanilla) sweetness. Shares mild flavors with milk stouts (lactose) and oatmeal stouts (soft sweetness) and marshmellows. Hops really don't try to dominate the beer -- This is nice for an American Stout, but unusual. The texture is a velvety creaminess--just a little piece of heaven in a glass. Finishes a well textrued and blended sweet, smooth, and warming. Not dry or sweet, just nice. ....gulp, gulp, gulp ....a moment of sadness arrives (my glass is empty).
Thanks Clvand0.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of bditty187.

Pours a dark black with a faint touches of ruby highlights around the edges. This has a frothy one finger head that settles slowly to a thin cap and ring that leaves some substantial lace behind.

Smell; there's bits of chocolate and coffee, and roasted malts. Overall I'd say the aroma is fairly subdued for a stout.

Taste; roasted malts dominate upfront with some nice touches of chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of a sweet fruitiness that developes as the beer warms I can't quite place. At first I was a bit disappointed with the flavor of this beer, but the seond half of the glass made a much better impression once this warmed up a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with plenty of carbonation. For a stout this is pretty darn drinkable.

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Photo of ReebShorts
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours very dark brown to black in color, nice thick sticky brown head, lacing throughout.

Aroma of Coffee, Cocoa, Vanilla, cherry (maybe raspberry)...

This is a big stout, lotsa flavor here, with a nice hop bite at back to close it out. Not to say there is a lot of hop here, but just enough, very well balanced.

Creamy mouthfeel, tasty, great nightcap, dessert material. Actually a few of these would be a nice meal in itself. This brewery has yet to dis-appoint, another top notch selection from Deschutes.

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

Deschutes Obsidian Stout:

Obsidian-black pour under a smallish but dense head…roasted malt and hints of peanuts fill the nose. Leads with a rich roasted mocha-ish burst, and finishes with a silky chocolaty bite. An excellent stout, layers of flavor and about as complex as they come. And at cellar temperature, this stout is hard to put down.


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

Poured deep mahogany to black with a cream colored head that melted to a fine cream lacing.
Aromas of rich roasted sweet malts and faint coffee/espresso scents.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout, but still pleasant.
Taste is sweet malt initially, followed by rich coffee as you swallow with only a slight hop bitterness...just enough to balance everything out.
No noticable alcohol to me until much later in a warmth that starts faintly in the chest...not in the back of the throat.
Aftertaste is a pleasant dry coffee....not bitter...not sweet...just a pleasant dry satisfying coffee aftertaste.
Drinkability? I don't think that is a fair question for either this style or this particular beer. It is satisfying in itself...in the single glassful. I'm drinking this while eating a brownie and believe me, one could want for nothing else. The perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a chilled bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown to black as it settles into the glass. I understand the "obsidian" part of this one; wow! A 2cm frothy, tan head w/ ruby hues settles nicely atop of the body. Very sticky to the glass. Aroma is mainly of mocha and cocoa. I also find some slight fruit (rasberry) and even some roasty malt in there. I get a rasberry chocolate icecream aroma mainly. Maybe even some grains (oats). Very brilliant! Sipping it, I first notice the creaminess of it really. Full body with a slight tingly carbonation on the tip of my tongue, but the smooth body takes over quickly. At first I can taste the rasberries along with a big roasty malt. Some mocha coffee comes through as well, and the end is balanced out nicely by bitterness of the hops, which are just slightly grassy or a bit of pine. Long lasting aftertaste of mocha coffee and hops. Very nice! The ending is creamy, and is a great winter brew IMO. I could drink this a whole lot! Very nice!!!

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Photo of mntlover
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black sparce highlights around the edges a nice 2 finger chocolate head that falls slowly and laces well.

Aroma is light roasted malts some chocolate, coffee and hops riding on the malt. Overall a stout smell but a little subduded.

Taste again is a little light for a stout, but good coffee roastiness that moves into nice hop flavors some nice pine flavors and lingering bitterness. There is some light bakers chocolate thru out. The flavor is good thru out just seems a litlle different.

Mouthfeel seems a little light for a stout not so much in body but in the feel. Nice carbonation level just the right amount of zest.

Drinkability is good nice coffee flavors and nice lingering hop flavors. Thanks to BCG BIF and babydoc for this bottle.

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

Pours a nice creamy black into my Rogue stout glass, an inky extremely dark brown that lets little to no light through. A pleasant head rises to crown the glass, and leaves behind tight patterns of dark tan lace.

The scent is softly smoky, but rich with earthy scents; I'm reminded of barbecue, so there are some meaty protein scents, and perhaps some molasses.

The flavor is rich with roastiness - the dark malts are extremely flavorful, so much that I was not at all impressed when I tried the first beer or two out of my six pack. At first, I thought them harsh - but give this beer a chance. Give it a good chance, and after trying it a few times over a few days, the palate seems to discover gorgeous flavors that were hiding at first. The taste is creamy and full, and drinking releases a torrent of flavors that are hard to quantify. There are notes of pine, wood smoke, dark natural bread, tart dried raspberries - Butter, salt, earth, spice.

Thick, rich mouthfeel without being too ful or tart - this feels like a meal, but doesn't fill you up, creamy carbonation mingling with the tart warmth of alcohol. Incredibly drinkable, easy to quaff, never becoming unpleasant.

Final thoughts - you might like this one right away, you might not - I wasn't sure, until I got a few pints in, but as it turns out, it's as great a stout as any. A very roasty stout.

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Photo of loren01
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark black color with a beautiful tan head and slight lacing.
S: Smell is of dark malts with some espresso and chocolate scents.
T: Taste is mostly of dark chocolate, a little sweet at first then turns into a woody slightly bitter aftertaste.
M: Mouthfeel is a little on the heavy side, fairly heavy on the carbonation.
D: Overall, obsidian is a very tasty stout, very drinkable.

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

This poured to a thick and dark black, with a medium head that shrank but never disappeared. Lace is minimal.

The smell is dominated by roasted malts. The taste brings more roasted malt up front with a touch of smoke flavor. Hops come through in the finish and leave a long taste of bitterness. The mouthfeel is pretty full, while drinkability is great for the alcohol content.

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

Poured a very dark chocolate brown. Thick brown head that vanished into a stained white film with a thicker concetration towards the center. Lots of struggling lace. Would slowly slide into the glass but tries mightily to cling to the edge of the glass. Nose is full of toasted malts and oats with just some faint whisps of coffee.

Flavor is thick and mighty. Medium roast coffee wuickly followed with some dark chocolate. Carbonation kind of sparkles on the tongue. Slight hop-piney bitterness towards the end. Even reminds me just a bit of spearmint candy for some reason. Lots of burnt and toasted malts in hte flavor. Even a bit dry in the finish. Really nice slow sipping beer that I struggled to sip slowly.

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