Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

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Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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1,020 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,319
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 475
Gots: 549 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,020 | Hads: 3,319
Photo of phoenixrises64
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark creme, When done the glass looks like it was wrapped in Grandma's doily.
Nose - Intense chocolate. Like their Porter, it woke the Dog up, and he came sniffing at the glass.
Taste - Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tones more evident than in the nose. A subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.
Mouth feel - Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. (539 characters)

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

The bottle says this beer is as black as the volcanic obsidian rock for which it is named. I don't see it as quite that dark as some rays of light do indeed get through this brew. (Bring on the spectrophotometer!) It IS very close to black however. It has a nice creamy brown head that laces the glass very nicely as I drink. Very nice coffee and mocha on the nose. This beer tastes wonderful. Beautiful coffee bean and chocolate tones present. A nice subdued bitterness coming from the roasted malt. Smooth and velvety. This is truly a great stout. (559 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is decent. The aroma is not overpowering. Mainly roasted malts and dark chocolate. There is a mild coffee aroma there as well. Dark roasted taste with coffee like hop and a smooth chocolate taste. Very good beer. Very smooth. Nice chocolate aftertaste. (343 characters)

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! (598 characters)

Photo of sheeley
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Incredible. Black as night with a great head and dark colored foam.
Smell: Exceptional. Notes of caramel, malts, and hazelnut. Taste/mouthfeel: Exceptional as well. Roasted malts and espresso with a rich, smooth flavor overall. I prefer this beer chilled; as it warms, it tends to become more bitter. One of my favorite beers so far. (346 characters)

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". (709 characters)

Photo of vr1000
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hints of coffee, beautiful color, smooth and creamy. Just delightful! I love the thickness, and the mouthfeel of this stout. I very much enjoyed the creaminess and the full bodied taste. This beer is highly rated for a reason, it is fantastic. Try it if you get a chance! (271 characters)

Photo of xhcadamx
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - black as it gets no light shining through. Massive rocky dark tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Hints of coffee and chocolate and sublte yeast.

T - Extreme bitter black coffee and bitter chocolate. This beer is phenomenal.

M - Very silky and smooth.

D - I want this beer to be part of my life. (294 characters)

Photo of fretlessman71
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours - you guessed it - black as obsidian, with a taupe colored reasonably tight head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Strong roasted aroma very characteristic of a stout - kind of like an original Guinness, but somehow even more so. There's a pleasant sharpness in the flavor, yet it's irresistably smooth... you'd never know there was 6+% ABV in this beer. Bitter chocolate, espresso flavors are very strong - why, oh why can't Starbucks make a shot that tastes this good? Mouthfeel is almost oily, but in a good way... not too carbonated, not too flat feeling. This one goes down just as smoooth as you could want - there aren't enough o's in "smooth" to describe it! (677 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a medium sized foamy brown head. Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee in the aroma with a bit of fruit.
Great balanced bittersweet taste. Dark roasted malt and caramel sweetness with french roast coffee and red fruits. Rich creamy chocolate, a zippy, yet subdued hop presence and a whisper of smoke. Outstanding Stout!
Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy semi-oily mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. Awesome drinkability for such a big, flavorful Stout. (497 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 Seanniek91
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Newport Storm pint. Served at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pitch black with 2 finger fluffy mocha head that holds up with the best of them. As it faded, it left magnificent lacing around the glass. Absolutely beautiful looking stout.

Smell- Chocolate malts up front shortly followed by a light boozieness and coffee aromas that overtake the rest of the malty background. Rather straight forward.

Taste- Very robust with roasty coffee notes dominating. Dark chocolate flavors are abound in this stout, but it's the coffee that dominates. Nice bitter hop and coffee lingering aftertaste. Damn near perfect example of what a stout should taste like.

Mouthfeel- Medium to medium-full body with ample carbonation to balance it out. Smooth. Rich. Creamy.

Overall- Another beer from Deschutes that has astounded me. I wish I had access to their beers outside of trades. This is an almost perfect stout. (939 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass; freshness date clearly stamped on the bottle:

P: Dark brownish- almost black upon pour out of the bottle. Densely packed light brown head with small bubbles. Good retention, sinking down to form a cap on top and leaving that beautiful lace on my glass that most great beers leave behind as evidence to their brilliance. Body is black in color, with tiny streaks of light only barely shining in on the edges of my glass. Looks very good!

A: Chocolate malts, coffee, roasted barley, and a nice and noticeable element of hops.

T: Sweet at the start with burnt sugar, barley, and roasted chocolate malts. Hops pop up, but stay out of the way of the malts until the latter half on the palate. They provide a nice bittering finish, and really balance this one out well. Also, a milk chocolate flavor seems to linger for awhile after swallowed. Extremely tasty, this one.

M: Obsidian Stout feels really good on the tongue. It's just barely a notch under being full-bodied, with a slight chewiness that feels just right. It's smooth as hell, and goes down so gosh-darned easily it's dangerous.

D: Absolutely! Beings that it's 6.4% ABV, it's a very drinkable stout. I can drink this one all night long (and have). Just be careful, it will lay waste to you before you even realize it.

Notes: Another delicious offering from Deschutes Brewery. A rich, creamy, flavorful stout that tastes great and is incredibly smooth. Easy to drink and a pleasure at that. This is one that I have made a regular in my beer diet. A truly delicious American-style stout that I thoroughly enjoy(and quite often at that). (1,640 characters)

Photo of Danishboy59
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into cold, traditional pint glass

A: A deep, very dark, truly "obsidian like" color, with a rich and moderately thick, stout-style cocoa colored, single finger head.

S: Nose of smoky, dark roast Coffee, with a pungent bitterness on the end

T: Coffee is up front, rolling into big roasty, toasty malts, hint of balanced sweetness, big hops imparting an espresso-like bitterness on the finish, later developing into a carmel-ish toast for the long haul...

M: Robust, with some serious richness to it, some creaminess, but not nearly as thick as I'm used to from traditional Irish/UK stouts. Incredibly long and dry-ish finish!

This beer had that classic familiarity of a Guinness (have had it in Dublin!), but is also it's own unique interpretation of a classic stout. It is incredibly bold and robust, even more so than the aforementioned standard, but it is all woven expertly into this beer. It doesn't feel as heavy going down as most stouts, an extremely endearing quality. Can't imagine a stout that would surpass it! (1,046 characters)

Photo of TEXTONE
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer Name- Obsidian Stout
Style- American Stout
Brewery- Deschutes Brewery
Serving-12zo bottle

Look- Body is deep, dark, and black do not look for light through your glass. Nice creamy, caramel head with good carbonation to boot.

Smell- Dark roasted malts, sweetness, and coffee smell all blended together that is vary pleasant to the nasal passages yummy smell over all.

Taste- Mouth feel is full crisp from the carbonation. Dark malts produce a sweet creamy, roasted coffee taste and bitterness (burnt coffee flavor) with the combination of hops. There is a slight alcohol taste mixed in here also. This beer has become a current favorite of mine and I highly recommend this bier to friends and fellow members and bier drinkers. (734 characters)

Photo of CHOSENONE1546
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Dark brown nearly black with a thick cream colored head

Smell: Robust, with slight coffee hints

Taste: Somewhat aggresive compared to most american stouts i've tried. fairly prominant coffee aftertaste. Very smooth

Mouthfeel: very full and soothing

Overll: One of my favorite beers , not as mellow as the average stout type. Brings a certain character and quallity you come to expect from most of the deschutes line (459 characters)

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. (626 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good looking brew, black as night with a nice brown head and good lacing.

Smells great. Good roasty and burnt aromas of roasted barley, a little sweet malt character.

Taste wise this is one of the best stouts I've had in a long time, it's downright fantastic. Great burnt, smoky and roasty character, a bit of chocolate, great coffee flavors, and a bold hoppiness that add just the right amount of bitterness.

Body is also wonderful, very thick and rich, acrid bitter and roasted barley aftertaste, perfect amount of carbonation. For a pretty low ABV American stout this beer has incredibly big body and flavor.

This beer is just fantastic. Deschutes continues to impress me every time I try another one of their delicious beers. (735 characters)

Photo of merryjoulton
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a milk chocolatey brown head that quickly fell apart to a light film. Smells like chocolate, malts, piny hops, a bit of java. Tastes deliciously chocolatey, malty, and bitter. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, wonderfully complimenting the taste. Drinkability is absurdly good. (297 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle w/ freshness date into my Caracole snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Deep black as the name obsidian implies, w/ a full rocky, 3 1/2 finger tan head. The lacing is splendid - a marvelous looking ale! 4.5

S - An abundance of richness in the roasted, malty odors. Sweet vanilla and cream w/ light graham cracker scents. 4

M - Rich, creamy, dry and spiced w/ citrus hops fully riding it to the finish. Plenty of carbonation, but still restrained enough to let the malts do their business. 4.5

T - Love the malt profile. Malt is the king of Obsidian stout. The knights of citrus hops are on guard. They are so strong and yet don't need to speak, the dominance is evident. A sweetness that is conservatively utilized- the roasted coffee taste is dominant w/ plenty of citrus to keep exquisitely balanced. 4.5

D - This is a fine west coast stout. The cocoa-like dry nature makes it one to drink more than one of at a sitting. Smooth, but interesting w/ attention given to the citric NW hop in the finish. Definitely a stout in a class of its own. Drinkable doesn't begin to describe it - you will try to lick the glass clean it is so smooth. 5

It has been since '07 since I had one of these so I thought I might update my review
enjoyed chilled from a twelve oz in a goblet.
The color is onyx opaque with thick medium tan head with very fine bead -4.25
The aroam is fruity with light hint of raisin and slight spice element with moderate cocoa scent and mild coffee with hint of citrus rind - 4.75
The feel is exemplary with mild roast and full body with moderately high carbonation with slightly full body with creamy and roasty textures overlapping and finishing bitter and dry yet still nuanced enough to elicit an inquisitive stare 4.25
This stout has always been a sort of ale that I put a pedestal as a stout fan after visiting the PNW region for the first time, but I have to say the taste still stands the test of time, unlike other 'American stouts, this still has the qualities in the flavor you expect -chocolate malt with a subtle caramel underpinning and decent amount of bitterness to finish. 4.5
This is not only a beer I am ecstatic to not have to travel to get, but is also worth waiting for. Overall I consider this extremely high in the realm of American Stouts -it is tasty yet still delivers not just in flavor but in authenticity - an American original, the best I have tasted. 5
i am so happy Deschutes has made the choice to distribute to PA, not only is it great to have beer that brought me to the craft movement, but it is still is of the same quality as when I first enjoyed it almott two decades ago. (2,654 characters)

Photo of mday
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A :: This beer is black. I even grabbed my flashlight to check...nope, no light gets through this one. A nice creamy one-inch tan colored head forms then reduces to a thin tan slick on top.
S :: Dark chocolate lends a little sweetness to balance a touch of alcohol.
T :: Smooth and creamy up front giving way to a roasted flavor that sticks in your mouth. Finishes like a nice cup of coffee. Such a great balance between the roasted bitterness and sweet chocolate.
M :: Light carbonation, very smooth and ranks as a medium body.
D :: Definitely highly drinkable. I would like another now.

If you like a well made stout grab this one. If you don't like stouts you should still try this because you may be very surprised. (768 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this brew from IntiqKen because the Mets beat the Angels, Thanks Ken... Let's Go Mets!

12oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass.

L - black color with a large tan head that left good lacing.

S - roasted coffee aroma.

T - sweet roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are balanced with good bittering on the finish.

F - smooth and creamy, fantastic.

D - excellent. (371 characters)

Photo of bevenson
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by date of 1/27/11 on bottle. Thanks to caninedevotion for this one.

A - One of the darkest stouts I've had that is under 10% ABV. The beer doesn't even lighten up at the narrow part of the glass at the bottom. Obsidian is a good name for this one. Dense, dark tan, two finger head formed upon pouring and lasted for a couple of minutes before reducing to a thin layer on top. Very pretty.

S - Deep roast and chocolate. Woody hop aroma in background. Low yeast fruitiness; cherries. Moderate mineral quality. Hints of alcohol appear as the beer warms.

T - Wonderful. Deep coffee flavor with some toffee and chocolate added for fun. Firm bitterness from the hops and the roasted grains linger well after imbibing. Moderate hop flavor that tastes like a combination of citrus and currants. Any yeast flavor that is present is blending in with everything else. Getting the balance between roast and hops is not easy, and they nailed it on this one.

M - Very full bodied for a 6.5% beer, but with a dry finish. Finish borders on being too dry; it begs for a sweet dessert to pair with it to balance out. Strong carbonation for a stout; I prefer my stouts with a little lower carbonation, but that's a nitpick.

D - Very enjoyable. I would definitely get this one again if the opportunity arises. However, this is the most filling beer I've had that was under 10%. One of these per evening is plenty, but it's easy to sip on during the night. (1,490 characters)

Photo of brian44556
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Bell's Pint Glass. Best by date is 3/23/11. It has been refrigerated at about 45 degrees since I received so I think it will be just fine.

Poured a pitch black with a frothy, chocolate head. The head floated on top of the beer for a very long time. Great lacing left around the sides of the glass. Smell notes of strong espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. Wow....great coffee taste, Hersey Kiss flavored chocolate, with a backbone of peanut butter. Mouthful is crisp, carbonation is spot on, but the beer seems to be a little on the thin side, but every other aspect of the beer makes up for it. Overall an amazing American Stout. Can't remember who sent this as an extra, but I owe them one! It is a shame we can't purchase Deschutes around here or this would be a staple beer in the fridge. (826 characters)

Photo of dfitch81
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Up front: in my humble opinion this is the best widely available year-round stout you can buy - regardless of price. Truly a defining example of a proper American stout.

All stouts should aspire to Obidian's appearance, i.e. impenetrable thick blackness that - even at the edges - barely yields even when put right up against a light, coupled with a lingering puffy tan head that leaves rich lacing all the way down the glass. There should be no thin-ness in a stout; the two words are antonyms, for cryin' out loud! This is a beer that understands that right out of the bottle.

Aroma is of rich roasted barley, which is to say mocha, espresso, dark chocolate etc., balanced with some hard workin' PacNW hops that have their hands full competing with such outstanding roasty goodness. Smells like walking into a premium coffee merchant's shop, only better, because its beer!

Taste intensifies and adds to the suggestions of the nose: intense chocolate and espresso, now also a hint of charcoal, while in the near ground hops do their job keeping the malt sweetness in check. These flavors, so vivid and well-orchestrated, linger on the palet long after the sip. Truly outstanding.

Wonderful silky mouthfeel rounds out the package in this world-beater. 6.4% ABV is too high to make this a session beer in the normal sense, but there is really nothing else I've found at this ABV that can compete for flavor and complexity. Hell, not many things compete with this for flavor and complexity REGARDLESS of ABV, and when you look at it that way, this looks like the closest thing possible to a sessionable Imperial Stout (if ever there could be such a thing).

This is truly one of the greats, not just in its style but in the beer world - period. (1,746 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.