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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,091 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

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Reviews: 1,091 | Ratings: 3,646
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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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. the liquid is Yes Obsidian in color, with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers and dark tan. The head fades slow leaving a nice lace.

The Smell is dark and roasty with an interesting sweet note, that shakes of any heavy burnt scent.

The taste is very good and quite interesting, It took a little while but the sweet aromatic note in the nose equates to a very pleasant sweet fruit taste. This beer is sweeter then more but a welcome change.

The mouthfeel is very good smooth and creamy, full body, good carbonation, a pleasure to drink.

The drinkability is very good, I will drink what I have sparingly and seek out more. A huge double thanks to Fartingdog for a great trade. Prosit MK

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

Thanks to bennetj17, a damn fine trader, for this tasty treat.

Pours black, and lets some light through its reddish-black edges. One finger tan head formed on the pour. Fine tan coloured lacings resulted from this finely and low carbonated stout.

Wow, theres lots going on here, chocolate covered dark fruits, creamy nuts, espresso, roasted barley, and a touch of earthy spice.

Yummy! Roasted barley with flavours of espresso and chocolate. Slight hints of dark fruit, maybe prunes and blackberries. Slightly sweet. Light earthy hops, for some reason they reminded me of autumn, dried, fallen leaves decomposing on the earth.

Roasted barley with notes of espresso and chocolate with only the slightest bitterness. Earthy hops are a nice compliment. Thin to medium bodied, slightly sweet, with a smooth and silky feel. Only slightly carbonated, which is fine for the style.

Very drinkable treat. Easily great session fare on a fall or winters eve. Even light bodied enough for year round enjoyment. Would also be a great stout to introduce rookie stout drinkers to. Would gladly drink again, but unfortunately not available in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of flexabull
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times, now is my chance to review it.

Pours jet black with a nice tan head. Good looking stout.

Lots of coffee notes on the nose. Smells a bit hoppy, and almost vegetal.

Taste is very well done. Bold enough to keep you interested, but not overpowering... a very drinkable beer. Taste is lighter up front, but finishes with a lot of coffee and cocoa flavors. Also a bit toasty and bitter, these tastes are slight, but they match and balance well.

Mouthfeel is a bit light up front, but the flavors linger nicely.

Session worthy stout. I've had this on nitro before, and that is a real treat!

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Photo of Pooba001
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a black hue with a brown finger of head that dissipates, but some reappears when beer is roused. Jeepers its dark. Lacing sticks around the side of the glass. Aroma is sweet, not candy sweet, but malty sweet, chocolatey, and a little fruity. Nearly perfect. Mouthwatering.

Dry roasted malt flavor, sweetness, coffee. Great balance. This is a "wow" beer, probably the best thing I've had since my last Double Bastard or Oaked Yeti.

Mouthfeel is good, little thin, good body, but less than optimal. Drinkability is very good, so smooooth. Its not only an excellent example of American Stout, but just a damn tasty beer. I'm going to start calling my liver "the place Deschutes beers go to die".

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

12oz. bottle thanks to Luchman

Pours a charred black with a small mocha head that fades. Speckled lacing on the glass.

Dark roasted malt aroma with an almost burnt smell. Hints of espresso and dark chocolate dance about.

Bold roasted malt taste upfront with a slight bitterness as waves of espresso and dark cocoa roll in. Finishes with a lingering, but savory, roasted malt flavor.

Medium-light body, mild carbonation.

This is a fine stout and quite easy to consume. If I could, I would make this a staple beer in my fridge.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Dark as the stone this beer is named after...a creamy mocha-colored 1-finger+ head which lingers a long time and leaves trailing lace.

S: Big brown sugar & roasted dark malt, dark chocolate and some juicy ripe cherries. Espresso beans and a hint of alcohol.

T: Bittersweet chocolate upfront with a tangy lemon-citrus sourness. Roasted coffee and ample bitter hopping - transcendent flavors - extremely good.

M: Full creamy mouthfeel with a nice full body and mild carbonation. A little clinging bitterness.

D: Just a terrific stout...I'm fortunate to live in Oregon where I can get this one anytime. It's been a while since I've had this, I'd forgotten how delicious Obsidian is. Highly reccommended.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,091 ratings.