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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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2,335 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2335
Reviews: 935
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

220 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001)
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Ratings: 2,335 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of herbalist


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

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color with about a finger thick tan head. The head does not stay for long but it looks exactly the way that a stout should.

It smells like figs, possibly raisins and something a little more pungent like coffee. The coffee smell is not very pronounced but you can certainly tell that it is there. There also seems to be a slight smell of hops which is surprising but nice. After taking a few sips I begin to notice a dark chocolate smell as well.

It tastes slightly bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor. Very tasty and a quite complex taste which is nice. I do not taste the raisins or figs that I could smell but I can def sense overtones of coffee, hops and malt. I could def see this becoming a favorite stout and I really enjoy the almost smokey taste that it has to it.

As far as mouthfeel and drinkability go the beer has a moderate amount of carbonation and is not too thick for a stout. It pours thicker than it drinks that is for sure. The alcohol is not very pronounced and it has a complex mix of sweet and bitter flavors that make it very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 04:11:16 | More by herbalist
Photo of spoons


3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip.

Looks like blackness, I guess thats what they were going for. Looks great. A coffee colored head that sits on top with a creamy stature.

Smells like roasted barley for sure. Some coffee in there with a hint of caramel and a little bread.

I feel as if this is a little carbonated for my liking. Leaves it a little watery. Tastes of bitter roasted malts and a little sweet red fruits. The flavor is nice overall.

If it werent for the mouthfeel this would be an exceptional beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2010 20:49:32 | More by spoons
Photo of sabinelr


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

A moderately stout stout. Not as in-your-face as Old Rasputin; more in line with Guinness, but with more alcohol, so you get a nice mellow buzz. The taste makes you want to come back for more, although if you have been away from stout for a while you have to take a couple sips to get back in the groove. In fact, you better have self control, because you will want to drink it all up. I went driving down route 97 in Oregon a few years ago, and this brew makes me think of the volcanic region south of Bend. I imagine this tastes just like the volcanic rock would taste if you were dumb enough to eat some.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 22:23:43 | More by sabinelr
Photo of CaptainTripps


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

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A- Black, Cave black. Dark mocha colored head. Seductive.

S- Coffee, roasted chocolate. Smells very sweet.

T- Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. A roasted character lingers within. Pretty sweet for the style, but it doesn't ruin it.

M- Creamy, medium body. Dry finish.

D- I found the beer very filling after about 2, regardless its an excellent beer that is hard to stop drinking. Excellent ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 21:52:30 | More by CaptainTripps
Photo of CapitalGains


3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured and tasted 6/5/2011
12 oz. bottle into a Deschutes imperial pint glass

A: Near obsidian in color (how appropriate), about an inch and a half of dark tan head on the initial pour that settled quickly. Moderate bubble formation, leaves sporadic lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, some hints of coffee.

T: Smell and taste are quite similar...so chocolate, roasted barley predominantly. A little bit of sugar (caramelized?) and notes of coffee are also present.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel, seems a bit thin and not a lot of carbonation

O: A well-done, not over-the-top stout. Doesn't knock your socks off but this is a solid year-round offering. At 6.4% ABV and $6-7 for a six-pack here in Portland it is a heck of a deal. I tell myself to buy this more often because it's a very economical buy while still being consistently well made (and enjoyable, most importantly). I have had this a countless number of times, including nitro-tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2011 00:48:42 | More by CapitalGains
Photo of iSip


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

Deschutes Obsidian Stout: Continuing my sampling of dark beers, and moving from Porters to Stouts, I begin the stout segment with the Deschutes Obsidian Stout. This beer is as black in color as beer can be. The head was nearly brown, nice and fluffy, but did fade away early on. There is a smoky, roast malt aroma, but it is not as strong as I would have expected. Flavor is intense roast malt, smoke and has a bitter rasp on the finish. Big long aftertaste. I can drink Guinness all day, I enjoy a porter now and then, but American Stouts are just a bit too much beer for me. I give the Obsidian a good rating in a style of beer I have yet to grow into.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 16:32:28 | More by iSip
Photo of joecast


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

Happy thanksgiving! Starting off right.

Obsidian is right. The name suits this beer. Head is a bit thin but on the darker side. Nice lacing.
Light aroma mainly of roast and coffee beans. Maybe a touch of alcohol.
Robust stout flavors. A bit of dark chocolate with lots of roasted malts.
Fits nicely with the milder porter and this stout as two excellent dark beers. I prefer the porter, but this a great beer in its own right.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 21:13:03 | More by joecast
Photo of vfgccp

New York

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

A - Like the name, the body is a straight obsidian black with a cola halo highlight. Creamy mocha head with nice retention and lace.

S - Somewhat one dimensional nose of medium roast grains. What's there is nice though.

T - Straight forward profile loaded with smooth, creamy roast malt. Touch of char, cream, and caramel.

M - Thick, smooth, medium body.

O - Delicious, simple, well executed. One of the better American Stouts I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 21:08:09 | More by vfgccp
Photo of jtfest


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like 40 weight -- a beautiful thick, dark brown, with a small but creamy brown head to match. Smelled like malted coffee, but not as strong as I expected (or would have liked). Thick mouthfeel that actually felt 'heavier' than other beers to me -- like my tongue was getting a workout just bearing the weight and pushing it back into my throat. Rich roasted flavor with hints of hickory. Very enjoyable for a dessert beer or treat, and taste-wise I could drink a few, but I think I'd either get full or a tired tongue before I drank too many.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2004 04:45:22 | More by jtfest
Photo of ecoboy

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label description of this stout implies that it is a good stout choice for both stout fan and stout newbie. Really??? The 6.7% abv is the high end of stouts in my experience, and this ain't no nitro Murphy's (which I tried in the same go-round of tastings, and I would consider more appropriate for those unfamiliar with the style.)

A thin reddish brown head resulted from my pour. Obsidian is good as a jumping-off point for color, jet black it is, but with some surprising tan sediment in suspension. A little bottle conditioning intended?

Nose is not as redolent of alcohol as expected; it's actually a fairly light aroma of rich roasted chocolate and chocolate cake.

Some of the Sam Smith's Imperial Stout "oiliness" in the mouthfeel. Taste is big and powerfully alcoholic; rich chocolate and coffee are here. Beginning stout drinkers drink this? Really??? I see this as more of a "nitro can stouts are for wimps" selective drinker's taste.

Bituminous Stout might be more appropriate.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 19:04:30 | More by ecoboy
Photo of jwilli7122


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours your stout-typical opaque brownish black with a monster rocky tan head made of a combination of humongous and tiny bubbles.
smells like alchohol, loud dark fruit, and roasted malts.
taste is hop spiced dark fruit - grapes and plums especially- and chalky bittersweet chocolate...notes of alchohol...roasty finish but not as big as in many stouts.
mouthfeel is dry and fairly thin with some alchoholic warmth.

this is very fruity for a stout. I'm not real big on fruit flavors, but if you are, you will like this.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 00:42:23 | More by jwilli7122
Photo of mntlover


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 12:18:54 | More by mntlover
Photo of cjhofelt


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque and black, the aptly named Obsidian stout wears a nice, rocky brown head after an aggressive pour. The head fades to a thick and creamy film that leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

The smell is mostly caramel and toffee.

The taste is delicious. Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel all come through. There is a slight hint of the alcohol in the finish. This is a real dessert beer.

Good mouthfeel. Just the right level of carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. At 6.4% ABV, maybe a bit too drinkable , if you know what I mean.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2007 06:49:24 | More by cjhofelt
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a roasty chocolaty affair with some dried fruit and a touch of hop aroma for good measure. Taste follows the smell, but lingers with a bit of ash in the finish. Full body, creamy texture, ample carbonation. If not for the ash in the finish I'd love this beer. As is its still good, just not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 00:32:38 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of wonderbread23

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black but not completely opaque or viscous. 1 finger head which quickly disappeared leaving little lacing. A slight reddish hue at the glasses edge.

Aroma: Chocolate, sweet malt, a touch of molasses, and some cola notes.

Flavor: Bitter coffee, roasted barley, balanced by a nice malt background. Smoky burnt flavor with some underlying alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Good balance of sweetness and bitterness. Medium body w/ medium-long finish.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout. Rich enough to satisfy without making it too over-bearing. I'll have to try it on nitro sometime.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 23:28:19 | More by wonderbread23
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of three Deschutes offerings that I tasted on an Arizona vacation...and my least favorite of the three. Then again I am a lover of stouts and tend to be pretty particular when reviewing them so take this with a grain of salt. No, don't put salt in your beer, that would be silly...or a gose, but not if you salt a stout. What would you call a salted stout? Disgusting. Anywho...

If you've read many of my reviews of stouts and porters you'll notice that I never call any of them black...because they're not. Neither is this one, but it does come as close to black as any beer-like fluid I have seen. This would have given it high marks for appearance if it had not been for the overwhelmingly disappointing head. It's mocha in color but if you blink it's gone...almost entirely! Not at all acceptable in a stout and I know that the glass was not the culprit. No soap had been used, only steaming hot water, and it had been air-dried.

It smells like a standard stout with nothing to make it stand out. Lots of roasted sweetness in this but only a slight hint of coffee with no chocolate tones or other aromas to round it out.

The taste is different than most stouts as the bitterness seems to come more from hops than from the roasted malts. Underneath the toasted flavors I got a hint of orange in the aftertaste, which further supports my supposition that there are more hops here than typical for a stout. Interesting.

It comes off as a tad bit watery, similar to a milk stout in mouthfeel than a full-on stout, and not an especially good milk stout at that. I know this is not an imperial, but I want more body from a stout, otherwise I'd drink more porters.

The thinness of the body does make this very drinkable and although I panned the mouthfeel I did down this pretty darn quickly, however I was in no rush to open another but found myself wanting something different.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 14:15:28 | More by Naugros
Photo of codewarrior

New York

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a snifter.

"Obsidian Stout gets its inspiration from one o the world's largest obsidian flows at Newsberry Volcano - just a few miles south of the brewery."

-- from the bottle

L: Deep black, but transparent around the edges, 1 finger of head. Looks about average for a stout.

S: Wonderfully bittersweet and crisp. Simple and single-mided with a clean and crisp finish. Touch of coffee and the tiniest bit of sweetness in the back.

T: Starts slow and sweet, building into a burnt-coffee middle, then descends slowly back into sweetness. Touch of burning bitterness in the back, but decent balance overall.

F: Smooth and creamy, not too thin. Bit boozy feeling for only 6.4% ... not unwelcome.

D: Enjoyable for the bitter side of stout-land. Well conceived and executed.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 23:38:41 | More by codewarrior
Photo of bosox941827

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz dated bottle, poured cold into an imperial pint glass; allowed to warm as I tasted it.
A - Wow; black but with as dark a red highlight as you can imagine. Pours like syrup; an opaque, black-red velvet. Fantastic looking.
S - Black licorice, toasted oatmeal, beets(!), chocolate malts.
T - Taste is a bit thin compared to the nose; roasted and chocolate malts come in a bit late, along with some molasses, a drying hops characteristic, that isn't really a flavor but more of a feel. Nice, long finish though, that does yield a bit of complexity; getting a bit of roasted coffee at the end as well.
M - Smooth, but with a tongue-drying, subtle hop finish, not unlike Guinness.
D - Could probably do a few of these; the 6.4% (for a stout) could sneak up on you.
Overall a very good stout and one of the best looking beers I've seen.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 00:46:11 | More by bosox941827
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a grey-market import in Australia. I figure at least a stout will survive better in whatever conditions we get it in.

Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a very deep brown head. Much darker than usual, with a complex and intricate lace on the inside of the glass. I love the lace, which forms in honeycomb patterns, so beautiful. Body is pleasantly thick and heavy. Looks very decent.

Nose is roasty, but soft, just giving some subtle dark notes to an otherwise oily and supple-sweet character. It's not terribly complex, but it has some pleasant aromas.

Taste is nicely roasty. For the ABV, you expect this level of char, because it doesn't have the extra body to bring it into heavy sweetness. Some ash, a bit of toast, burnt grain, with a lightness in the feel that actually aids drinkability, if it doesn't aid the palate.

Yeah, this is a nice stout, without being astounding. It's certainly good enough to be worthy of a couple of retries, and is certainly something I'd happily drink as a session brew, if I wanted something dark. I think that's the mark of a good simple stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 07:44:22 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of quaybr


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a pint glass, temp mid-50s.

Beautiful brown head produces moderate lacing and sits atop a dark brown (nearing black) ale. Made me want to jump right in!

Sweet and slightly roasty, toasty aroma. Smell lingers quite pleasantly. Hops play into very subtle resiny undertones.

Smells lead into similar taste. A nice balance of malts, leaving the palate feel very cared about. A little roasted, a little toasted, a little chocolatey. A very pleasant aftertaste rests in the bitters on the back of the tongue. A deep, robust flavor but nothing overwhelms the ol' taste buds.

A smooth and moderately-thick & creamy feel is present through the entire beer, even as carbonation dwindles. It treats all portion of the tongue equally.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer a lot. A beer that wanted only to be sipped, yet left me thinking about having another.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 04:20:27 | More by quaybr
Photo of rudzud


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice rich dark brown nearly oily black with a good one finger of dense creamy mocha head that slumped down to leave a thick creamy blanket and lots of creamy side lacing.

S - Super light chocolate, very nice roasted malts. Nose isnt bad, but mostly just roast.

T - Taste is really nice, good slightly bitter roasty malts with some very faint chocolate. The roast, like the nose, is very upfront. Its a solid flavour.

M - Mouthfeel is nice, good bitter roast, its just a bit too carbonated for my taste. Too prickly on the tongue for a stout for me.

O - Overall this is a nice stout for those who really love roasted malts. For me its kind of one dimensional though.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 01:44:03 | More by rudzud
Photo of Bosoxfan20


3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a solid mocha color head that goes into a swampy state of bubbles. Creepy and mysterious.

S- Sweet roasted barley goodness. Cocoa and intense espresso lead the way. Graham crackers and roasted nuts also make for a well presented nose.

T- Very rich. Lots of roasted grains and oatmeal character. This beer refuses to roll over and go away softly. Straight up toasted goodness. Outstanding balance of hops and dark malts.

M- Mid body bordering on full. The intense nuttiness of this one makes for a nice drinkability.

O- Just another outstanding feather in the cap of Deschutes. This brewery does it right and continues to impress me. Its a stout that is hard to beat at its price.

$7.99 for a 6 pk

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 03:11:44 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of MaximalC


3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with an abundant cap of craggy, beige foam. The retention is excellent, as the froth morphs into a network of variegated crevasses. Broad swaths of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer descends. The aroma is quite roasty, with hints of dark chocolate and salted caramel.

The taste matches the aroma, with the borderline astringent, burnt malt serving as the foundation for the flavor profile. Limited complexity is afforded by notes of semi-sweet chocolate and earthy, herbal hops that meld with the bitterness of the roast. There's also a wet, metallic flavor that's slightly off-putting, though not especially noticeable. Dark chocolate rides the roasty wave into the finish. The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth, almost to the point of being too loose, but this makes for exceptional drinkability. The lively carbonation lends some nice texture and facilitates an almost airy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is an excellent session stout that beats the pants off of Guinness and comparable offerings. It's flavorful without becoming cloying (albeit not especially complex) and highly drinkable on account of the smooth, airy mouthfeel. I've not tried anything else by Deschutes thus far, but this was a good start.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:13:35 | More by MaximalC
Photo of MCain04


3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into DFH goblet best by 03/14

A dark brown, near-black pour with an espresso thick creamy head with great retention and lacing.

Some coffee and dark chocolate on the nose, a little bit of roasted malts, tobacco.

Taste is similar to the nose with notes of bitter coffee, cacao, heavier tobacco, acidic, bitter, a little watery.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and a little brash, could be smoother. Medium bodied. Mild dry finish.

Overall, an enjoyable stout for a good price. I do think I prefer FW Velvet Merlin though, for the stronger flavor profile and better mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 14:53:55 | More by MCain04
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, black and black. Definitely smooth in character, although its mouthfeel is similar to an imperial stout. And yet there's no real alcohol burn, either. Incredibly roasty body under one of the darkest brown heads I've seen in a beer. Probably just one will do ya.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 15:28:55 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,335 ratings.