Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,029 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,029
Hads: 3,359
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 486
Gots: 569 | 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 (160) | 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: 1,029 | Hads: 3,359
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. (780 characters)

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. (522 characters)

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.

Cheers… (359 characters)

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. (889 characters)

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!!! (1,007 characters)

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. (763 characters)

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. (1,375 characters)

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. (399 characters)

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. (380 characters)

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. (716 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw this beer was rated outstanding on BA, I’m not a big fan of stout, but I had to give it a try. I picked up a six pack at a local supermarket.

This beer is dark brown to black in color, and all but opaque. Pours a rich thick three finger light-brown to dark-tan head. The head took me a bit by surprise on the pour, and spilled over the side of the glass. He head continued to build after the pour, and left a thick lacing on the side of the glass while drinking.

The smell is very robust. You can smell this beer in the room just by pouring it in a glass. It smells like fresh coffee brewing, the aroma is that strong. It is a rich and heady aroma. Very nice.

The taste is rich, and robust, smoky malts, coffee and dark chocolate flavors. There is a mild bitter finish, just to remind you that you are drinking a beer and not a latte, or chocolate malt. The aftertaste is delicate, lingers briefly and is also smoky, and smooth.

The mouth feel of this beer is smooth and to some extent delightfully syrupy. This is a very, very rich and robust beer, although not particularly heavy.

This is an outstanding dark stout and is very drinkable. I think it’s an excellent winter beer, but I understand Obsidian is available year round. It might not be very refreshing on a hot summer day, but a beer that tastes this good would be drinkable any time.

An excellent ale!

NOTE: The label has apparently been redesigned since the BA picture was posted. It might be worthy of an update? I think I like the new packaging better. (1,549 characters)

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

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Label states "best by 5/18/05"

Appearance: Pours inky black with a fluffy tan head. No light or visible carbonation in the body.

Smell: Roasted barley, cocoa powder, nuts, and a hint of licorice.

Taste: Oatmeal, grainy, a slight yeast tang, with the nuttiness and roasted barley amped up. The epitome of an American Stout in terms of the roasted profile. Hop presence is minimal as it should be.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full and a touch of creaminess.

Drinkability: This would be in my regular rotation if it were available. A nice example of the style. (624 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Sigh*

This is yet another beer I order from Liquid Solutions that was extremely foamy. Is this a coincidence? It is not like I opened this beer the second it arrived.

Black in hue, even when backlit only a tickle of dark ruby is added to the dense colored liquid; it is attractive and sinister but it was too be expected. The head was brunette colored; the pocked bubbles had great staying power. In this case, it is a damn shame because the head is over three fingers tall! I want to sniff and drink this beer! A manageable cap lasted the entire consumption; it was a half finger tall. The subsequent lacing was blotchy but widespread; there should have been more considering the head covered half my glass at one time! Overall the appearance is rewarding.

Finally, I can smell the beer. Yep. It is a stout. Lovely roasted coffee notes with an undercurrent of chocolate. Dry black malts, not so fruity, not so sweet either but there are hints of char. Simplistic nose… however, the aromas that come through are lovely. This is one of the best true American Stout I have smelled. No jazzy additions here, just good old fashion roasted malt. Sadly, the potency is very low; I would really like to be able to smell this beer more clearly. The bouquet is agreeable and inviting but it could have been more special.

The palate is slightly sour at times, oat sweetness, dried charred maltiness with some roasted toffee. Chocolate too, kisses of alcoholic candy are in the mix. I love the dryness, it isn’t too sweet and yet it is sweet enough. Chewy, relaxing, with a hint of alcohol in the finish. Clearly, this is a good stout. However I think Zonker’s Stout is light-years better but WY beers just don’t get that much play. That stout is Top 50 worthy. Is this stout over hyped? Maybe a little bit, according to my taste. Granted, this is not like Beano Cook saying Rick Mirer is going to win three Heisman trophies. No doubt this is a good beer; maybe I am nitpicking. Maybe I expected something much better then any American Stout I have had. It is frankly to straightforward. I like it… just not wowed.

Medium in body, moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well. I like the laziness; the aftertaste is extremely long. A big roasted residue camps out on my tongue. This makes me want to eat cheddar cheese or a charred steak.

Drinkable, it is. This beer has grown on me greatly. The first half of my glass just failed to wow me. The second half impresses me. I have to take this beer as a whole though. Some movies start slow but have a hell of a finish… this Stout falls into that category. It leaves me on a positive note but the first impression can’t escape my memories either. All in all, this is clearly a well-brewed beer. I like it. I purchased a couple bottles from Liquid Solutions. I am happy I finally got to try this stalwart of BA Top 100 beers. Worth a try. (2,913 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As it pours the head takes time to develop. It expands into only a small crust on top, the color of the foam being a very reddish brown/tan. It then dissipates pretty quickly also. The beer color is very dark black, not much light penetrates. The smell is amazingly smoky and burnt, with maybe a hint of chocolate. Taste is more smokiness, reminiscent of a campfire. Burnt coffee flavors are present also before the right amount of bitterness shines through at the finish. For a stout, it's not real thick, the carbonation is low but adequate. Suprisingly drinkable beer, maybe because its not too strong or chewy like some in its class. (637 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a tall tan head that has nice retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Just how a stout should look. The aroma is comprised of lots of chocolate notes with small hints of roasted malts and plenty of malty goodness. Promising. The flavor follows suit with the aroma. Lots of chocolate malty flavors along with some roasted notes. This beer is extremely smooth and creamy. Very very tasty beer. Nothing is offensive and everything blends well. (482 characters)

Photo of Bcant
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an extremely well balanced stout. It looks good too. Pours almost back with a medium brown head that lasted to the end, leaving a touch of lacing on the side of my pint glass on the way down. Smell is mostly of dark chocolate but is rather delicate, almost too slight, but still very nice. The taste starts with strong coca notes but seamlessly transitions through toasty malts to an excellent dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is very round, smooth, and chewy. The carbonation level is just right. This stout is very complex but not at all difficult to drink. None of the flavors are overpowering and with a very velvety mouthfeel the first pint begs a second. (665 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown to black color with a sparse coating of light tan head over top. Nose is nice and chocolatey sweet with a background of ashy roasted malt. Good balance between sweetness and roast in this one. Flavor is nice as well. Mostly chocolate in the start, with the roasty and light hoppy bitter on the finish giving a light coffee note to it. Bitter doesn't hang on too long, but stays around just long enough. Feel is velvety smooth and creamy but nice and thick with a minimal carbonation. This is an incredible stout. The beer is in very good harmony with itself. Flavor and aroma meld very well. I don't remember what I said about this before, but I am a big fan of what I just drank. (699 characters)

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

Pours blacker than black with a creamy expresso like head that reached a towering four fingers with my rigorous pour. Thank you gravity!

Bottle conditioned using the Krausening process and water from the Cascade mountains. I love everything about this beer from the location of the brewery to the production to the silky smooth taste of this stout. Name is very apt for this brew.

Silky, sensuously dark chocolate making this brew inviting and deliciously smooth. Roasted malts remind me of coffee. This was extremely enjoyable with some homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. Carbonation was a perfect blend. Seek this out and lay a few down for a month or two!

Thanks Deshcutes and especially to Big Love for sending this my way! (736 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Date December 2006, Sampled January 2006
Pours a deep black color and is topped by a three-finger thick, light brown colored head that slowly recedes in a large bubbled mass. The aroma is dominated by roasted notes; I get notes of deeply roasted espresso, acidic notes of cold black coffee, and some sweet dark chocolate aromatics up front. The aroma is quite nice.

The taste is sharp, with a burnt acidity to it up front. This is balanced by a soft creamy mouthfeel that starts in the middle and carries through almost to the end. The finish is dominated by roasted notes quite similar to the finish of an espresso; acidity and roasted / burnt notes. For all of the roast character it is quite smooth, it is lack that burnt-husk astringency that can be found in some stouts. Having said that, the roasted acidity here is a bit too much; there needs to be a bit more something (sweet malt would do it) to balance it out. Perhaps a bit of age would do the trick as well; I have a feeling this might mellow out over 6 months or so. (1,045 characters)

Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this bottle on 21th December 05, label different to one on BA (All Deschute's brews relabelled in 2005.

Poured a murky rich black liquid with a dark tan decent head.
Smelled quite sweet, strong roasted malts.
Tasted fairly sharp though complex with coffee and really dark chocolate battling it out. Much sharper than Deschutes Black Butte.
Nice smooth mouthfeel help make this a real belter of a brew. This is a serious stout that I would reserve for a special occasion. (484 characters)

Photo of thesilverhand
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks, as I so often say, to Naerhu for this one.

Pours inky black, with a massive, light, frothy wet-sand brown head that looked just gorgeous. It fell over the next few minutes, leaving vast swaths of thick lace.

Mmm. Aromatic dark coffee, a touch of woodsmoke, and a sweet vinous hint of dark fruits. Very pleasant.

Interesting. A much drier, roastier (is that a word?) first impression than I expected. Plenty of charcoal, dark-roasted coffee, with a smooth, sweet base. Very nice. The finish is long -- ages long -- and dry, leaving my mouth pleasantly smoky and thirsting for more.

Silky smooth with perfect carbonation. Active and light, despite being a heavy beer.

Wow. Very, very nice. Intense and long-lasting aroma and flavour in a beautifully smooth and aesthetically beautiful beer. I recently read an article (Times of London I think) about Deus and the "new" upmarket beer segment, comparing high end beer to champagne. A wine expert, tasting Deus, said it was a great beer, but still "short," leading him to say that he couldn't see paying champagne prices for beer -- a taste that "disappears immediately." I can say without hesitation that the aforementioned "wine expert" has never tried Obsidian Stout. You should. And it won't set you back as much as a bottle of champagne, either. (1,318 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Jet black body with a fluffy rich brown head.
S - A bit of sweet char and dark chocolate
T - Long lasting bitterness that starts off mildly and intensifies as the other layers of flavor melt away. Rich, rich malt slightly burnt chocolate and coffee maltyness.
M - What can I say? Bottle conditioned. Silky, naturally carbonated, yum. Smooth!!!
D - Great, easy drinking beer. (382 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours an opaque, ebony body that is as black as obsidian(of course). One finger head is cocoa brown in color, retains well, and leaves plenty of patchy lace.

Aroma is subtle, with dark chocolate, espresso, smoked almonds, and a kiss of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is creamy and nearly full bodied. Tingly carbonation works well here.

Taste has a dark roasted malt profile that is smooth and creamy. Carob, dark chocolate, creamed coffee, almond nuttiness, grainy figs, work well with a restrained PacNorthwest hop bitterness. Some burnt coffee bitterness comes on at the finish. Never overly bitter, which bumps up the drinkability.

Very well constructed, and pleasantly drinkable. Excellent for style, and no hint of the higher abv was noticed. Many thanks to waldowin for including this gem in our trade. (827 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick brown bubbly head that quickly drops off to a rather thin head and a little lacing. Thick black body with tiny beads of gas floating to the surface from beggining to end

Smell: Roasted grain and coffee aroma up front with alcohol and slight hints of vanilla

Taste: Rich maltiness and a grainy bitterness compete for attention at first, the an alcohol flavor. Dry with a hint of wood taste. Bitter finish on the tounge

Mouthfeel: Smooth,slick and perfectly carbonated

Good easy drinking stout (517 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

oh snaps. looks very nice, tight packed head on a deep black body. smells roasty, slightly smokey. little coffee, little alcohol. oh boy. taste? slightly sweet with a respectable hop hit. roasty and chocolaty. the slightest touch of black licorice, maybe its just me. alcohol pop on the swallow. silky smooth and delicious. insanely drinkable for being so powerful abv wise. awesome stuff. (389 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,029 ratings.