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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,988 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,988
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 433
Gots: 357 | 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:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,988 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marcusR111
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Obsidian well represents this beer as the color is almost black. light brown head.

S- Definately smell the chocolate and espresso with the smokiness of the roasted barley

T- Very good, roasted malt and black barley. Chocolate and coffee make an appearance in the back.

M- Lots of carbonation

D- I could drink a whole six pack in one sitting

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Deuane
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep, light absorbing black with a huge, fluffy tan head that lasts and lasts, leaving heavy coating.

S-Hefty wafting of dark roasted malt, a bit of sweetness, chocolate and an interesting sour twang...in a good way.

T-Rich, roasted malt sweetness up-front that is cut quickly by bitter raosted twang of the roasted barley. A bit of dark chocolate and espresso. Fairly strong hop bitterness provides a nice balance for the roasted barley.

M-Meadium body with a smoothness that doesn't quit. Rich, roasty flavours linger long! Nice aftertaste punch from the hop bitterness.

D-Man! "Only" 6.4% with all of that flavour, it's made year round and "easily" accessable! Fine work by the folk at DeSchutes, this is a world class beer. IMHO, this may be one of the best "everyday" drinking stouts around.

Photo of bfields4
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black with an nice amber hue. Large frothy mocha head that laces the glass.

Espresso roasted malts rule the smell. faint hint of dark fruits.

Light nice roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso there's a nice smokiness and even a lite hop bite. All the flavor of a big boy packed into a 6.4%

Smooth and creamy. Light and utterly drinkable. This could def become my new stout of choice.

Photo of andrenaline
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black, finger of nice mocha head with solid retention and leaving some fine sticky lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate and honey, touch of vanilla, and a nice espresso finish with the faintest bitterness.

T - The milk chocolate flavours are dominant with a dark cocoa finish, the espresso comes through on the tongue as it warms, and lingers with a bitter leafy hop. This stuff is delicious.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness. Not chewy or overly thick. Very impressed.

D - At 6.4% I could drink this stuff all night. Perfect for a cold winter afternoon, or for any occasion where you're looking for a full flavoured stout that won't bog you down with complexity.

Photo of Elimination
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer is one of my favorites, not only for the availability of such a rich dark stout, but the price cant be beat.

Look is a deep dark black, foamy white/brown mocha head

Smell Rich chocolate, cocoa, a bit of carmel strong coffee. For a stout that comes in a 6 pack, this is right up there with the big boy bottles.

Taste dark chocolate, coffee, cappuccino, sweet yet rich.

Mouthfeel is thick as can be, but smooth going down.

Drink for a stout its very high, but its not one to have a slammed 6'r in a night.

Photo of 321jeff
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with two fingers of mocha colored head. Leaves some nice sticky lacing as it fades to a thin layer.

Aroma is fairly mild yet complex. A nice mix of chocolate, coffee, some molasses and what seems to be a citrus hop profile as well.

Taste begins with some chocolate up from and moves on to some bitter roast coffee and some molasses. There is also a very slight citrus sweetness in the background. Great flavor, balanced and consistent.

Fairly thick in body with plenty of prickly carbonation. Very smooth all the way through. Overall, a very well balanced and enjoyable stout that I would love to make a part of my regular rotation. Definitely lives up to the hype of being one of the best stouts out there.

Photo of number1bum
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to younger35 via BeerTruth for this one. Thanks guys!

Pours pretty much pitch black, with about two fingers of creamy tan head. Head recedes to a thin patchy lace and leaves a decent amount of stick.

Smells strongly of coffee, along with chocolate malt and some roasted in there, too.

Coffee is also the dominant flavor as it was in the smell, and it's complemented wonderfully by some chocolate and roasted flavors. There is some dark fruit in there, too, and it finishes with a slightly bitter, roasty aftertaste. Also somewhat dry through the finish.

Mouthfeel could maybe be a touch softer as the carbonation is a little too tingly, but it's medium bodied with a nice creaminess. Quite dry through the finish.

This is one hell of a stout. I've been impressed with every Deschutes offering I've had and I wish I could get my hands on them more easily. Awesome brew that I'd stock my fridge with if I could.

Photo of m1ked
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours an opaque black.... no light getting through this glass. A 1 inch cafe colored foamey head, which fades inot a ringed glaas with sticky lacing.

S-Mmmmm smells good. A lot of things. Definetly some coffee, wood, leather, smokey, dark chocolate & cocoa. I love the woody choclate notes.

T- a slight bitterness to the woody coffee dark chocolate. A smoky woodiness throughout. I don't get any heat here.

M- Medium bodied, with almost a creaminess to it. Nice carbonation to it.

D- I will preface it with this is one of my top styles. It goes without saying not a session beer (for me). I see this beer widely available out here in SD. I need to remember how lucky I am for that. Great, solid stout.

Photo of Foxman
4.45/5  rDev +6%
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!

Photo of Bockrules
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a dark, used motor oil black with a creamy, dense, two-finger dark tan head. Head stays intact nearly to the bottom of the glass. Leaves behind an intricate web of lacing.

S - Big smell of chocolate malt, plum and earthy hops.

T - Big and chocolaty upfront. The body strikes a great balance between chocolate malty flavors and earthy hops with some dark fruit and carmalized sugar notes in the background. More hop presence as the beer passes over the back of the tongue followed by a bitter chocolate and carmalized sugar finish.

M - Thick bodied with moderate carbonation. I found the beer to be substantially creamy, but nearly as satisfying as Black Butte.

Given that this beer's sister, Black Butte porter, has the highest ranking of all the beers I've reviewed this far, I had high expectations for this beer. They were met. While obsidian doesn't push the envelope too much and the mouthfeel can't quite match Black Butte, it is one hell of a beer. Despite being over two years old, this stout remained delicious and had substantial head retention and lacing. At around $6.50 for a sixth of this in Oregon, it is the perfect camping beer during my annual northwest roadtrip and the geologist in me can't help but love the name.

Photo of jeffboo
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice and big stout from the Pacific Northwest. Very black in color with brown head. Roast malt and coffee aromas pours out of the glass, slightly smokey and slightly sweet...very nice. The flavors lean heavily on the roast malt/coffee side with enough sweet malt and nuttiness to balance. It is medium bodied with some chocolate and licorice in a nice dry finish. Highly recommended for the serious stout lovers.

Photo of qthompso
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black. Very little lacing after a pretty hard pour.

S: Cocoa, lots of cocoa. Oak and a bit of hops.

T: Great smokiness with the chocolate and roasted malt coming through. A hoppier stout than expected.

M: Medium to thick mouth feel. Strongly carbonated, almost too much, in fact.

D: Great drinkability. Goes down really smoothly with a creamy finish. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of beer2day
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, motor oil pour with 2-finger deep, dark cream head. Mild retention. Nice rings of lace formed after each sip.

Dark mocha and rich French roast coffee greet the nose. Nice shot of pine hops, too.

Thick hit with chocolate, dark roast coffee, hint of cream and a tad bit of smoky ash. Dry finish with a nice chocolate malt and hop bite.

Feel is just right. Thick enough to stand up to the rich flavors.

Despite the thick feel, this one is pretty easy to drink.

Photo of CPeterson
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours midnight black, no detectable translucency aside from hints around the edges, a heady foam rests on the top and doesn't quit.

S -- Dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, a touch of smoke.

T -- Malty, smoky, a touch of chocolate and a subtle hop nudge to balance it beautifully.

M -- Silky smooth, justs coasts on the palate. Lightly drying hop finish.

D -- A decadent stout that would stand up to any other I can think of. Another textbook example from our friends in Oregon.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

one of the best stouts out, period. pours the thickest creamiest black coffe color with a frothy mocha head an inch and a half tall. milkshake texture. smells rich and roasty, and even a little bitter. flavor is great, some deep espresso notes, but nothing overpowering. again a slight bitterness in the finish. mouthfeel is gold, thick and creamy without being heavy. this is extremely sessionable. everything is in perfect poportion here, i imagine the nitrotap makes this one even better than its bottled version. silky buttery glory on this stout. as good as it gets

Photo of RedDiamond
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deschutes Obsidian has a flavor, a texture, and overall character that rolls across the palate like a red carpet. It is one of the most solid, reliable stouts a beer fan could hope for. Replete with a rounded flavor profile and notes of coffee and mocha, it is also artfully restrained. Obsidian never attempts to overwhelm the senses, merely to engage their more lavish sensibilities.

My pilgrimage to Bend to finally drink this nectar at the source was rewarded with a beer whose drinkability handily matched its reputation, and Obsidian has an enduring and laudable history. It’s been winning awards in national and international competitions for many years. But in my excruciatingly humble opinion, the biggest award of all is to win my personal favor. And frankly, I’ve been drinking this beer for years and it’s never let me down.

When served on nitro, the head is a compact light tan. I’ve never actually tried to float a dime on it, but I keep thinking it’s a distinct possibility; it’s that dense. The body is full, uncompromised, and black and tosses out a delicate roasty aroma.

The Deschutes Brewery Brew Pub could serve this a few degrees warmer to achieve full effect. I don’t usually mind waiting for a beer to reach ideal serving temperature, but Obsidian does command a bit of impatience. Once warmed, the aroma and flavor grow more thoroughly alive with just a splash of sherry in the nose and a broader complexity of roasted grains.

This is a very easy beer to hoist. Its refinement and genteel balance make it an ideal candidate to serve to friends among us who otherwise claim to be repelled by those more brazen and thunderous stouts whose taste profiles shun restraint. Obsidian is never so overpowering as to be offensive, while still every bit a world class pour. It remains one of the best overall non-specialty stouts in the west.

Photo of T100Mark
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Black as used motor oil. Dense, tan, foamy head. Big stickage. Handsome.

Smell - Chocolate. Booze.

Taste - Chocolate. Espresso. Malt. Alcohol. A bit sweet. The afore-mentioned flavors are prominent but the hops play an important role, too.

Mouth - Fizzy. Bitter. Wow!

Overall - This is one big, ballsy brew. Delicious! Not for the timid. Like Sierra Nevada, Deschutes can do no wrong.

Photo of younger35
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a pint glass. Have had this beer many times but never reviewed. It’s one of my favorites.

Appearance- Pours exceptionally dark brownish/black with a huge creamy light brown head. The head slowly dissipates to form a nice collar that stays the entire beer leaving thin lacing down the glass.
Smell- There is more coffee/espresso notes in this beer than any other stout that I’ve had that hasn’t been brewed with coffee or dry “hopped” with coffee. Subtle sweet chocolate, liquorices and molasses make there presence known. Very feint alcohol comes through.
Taste- Bitter roasted chocolate and coffee are in abundance here but not overpowering. There is a nice sweet smokiness here that I really enjoy. Lightly bitter hops are semi fruity, reminds me of a chocolate covered cherry. Leaves a nice roasted coffee aftertaste with the alcohol that slowly fades.
Mouthfeel- Very light, creamy body with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish with fading alcohol warmth.
Drinkability- This is such a terrific stout that I wish I drank more often. It is readily available to me yet I don’t enjoy it as often as I should. Such balance and flavors. It’s in the same realm as a Imperial Stout with a touch less alcohol which really helps in it’s drinkability. Awesome!!

Photo of Figgy
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a good, strong, stout with a good dark color, suitably called "Obsidian". Appearance was very positive, a look I wanted to chew on. It had an earthy smell. The taste was very pleasing, with a lot of presence.

I would love more of it, but I live way out of the Deschutes marketing area.

Photo of lehueve
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pkalix
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

well, dark as heck, super dark brown. no head, but it was an easy pour. I think there is a lot to lose with vigorous pours regarding taste.
smell is typical stout properties: vague chocolates and coffee, vanillas and earthiness...
thick on the palate, I get the same as in the nose. rather subdued but very standard. very decent. very surprised I haven't had this one before.
nice chocolate milk head on top after a second, more vigorous pour. very nice...
overall, very good for a standard, easy to find stout. a little heavier than I expected but very good. for standards, I really like Firestone's Velvet Merlin.... inexpensive and very good and refreshing!

Photo of chrisms86
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost solid black (when held up to a light some brown shines through) with a fine layer of lasting head. Smells of alcoholic chocolate. Mouthfeel is very thick with just a slight tingle of carbonation, with a slight sweetness to complement the chocolate, coffee, and malt.

A fantastic stout. Recommended without a meal, as the chocolate and coffee flavors tend to be more dessert-oriented and aren't the best at complimenting food. A great after dinner beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick cream head of deep tan color that last and last. The body is to dense to see any sign of carbonation.

S- This beer has big smells of chocolate malt and black roasted malt with a light hint of cream in the background. Very fresh quality to the aroma.

T- This beer has flavors of dark roasted and black roasted malts with dark chocolate malt notes in the background. There is a rich creamy flavor to the malts. The finish has a green herbaceous note with a slight chalk taste to it. The bitterness at the finish hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel that becomes more full in the finish. I think the thick head really adds to the body.

D- The bitterness is not distinctly hops and not roasted malt but a blend of the two which is interesting. Nice rich malt flavors make this a full flavored stout.

Photo of watermelonman
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 5/28/09 but I don't think it's suffered much in the past few days.

It pours into the curvy sam adams glass with very dark brown, nearly black, color and thick tan head. The head sticks around better than just about anything out there and leaves lacing all over.

Aroma is really exceptional too. It has lots of great roasty coffee and dark chocolate while still remaining pretty sweet. There's a bit of hops that I believe add some earthy quality.

Flavor is mostly like the smell with great roasted coffee and dark malts. There is quite a bit of dark chocolate and lesser amounts of toffee and burnt nuts. Despite all of the bitter flavors from dark malt and hops, it remains well-balanced with a good amount of sweetness both up front and on the end.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin but that might just be because the flavor is so big, I expect fuller body. The carbonation is too high for me as well. I would want this to be more creamy and silky.

Drinkability is good but it could be better if the mouthfeel was improved.

Overall it's a great example of the style. I can only imagaine it would be exceptional all-around if it was served on nitro.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,988 ratings.