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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,723 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,723
Reviews: 957
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10%
Wants: 405
Gots: 282 | FT: 10
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,723 | Reviews: 957 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Darkness stem.

A: This brew pours black as night, with a thick light tan head that retains itself quite nicely. Lacing is sticky, and coats the glass all around.

S: Aromas consist of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of molasses, also with a roasted character that seems burnt in a way. Hops aren't real prominent, but alcohol does show.

T: Much like the aroma, but way more intense! Roasted grain, toast, bitter chocolate, and coffee dance around the palate, followed by a hop character that dries the finish. Almost imparts an herbal mint character in the backround.

M: This stout is full bodied, borderline imperial as far as mouthfeel goes. Creamy, with a viscosity comparable to motor oil. Finish is long and very dry.

D: This beer, as full bodied as it is, could almost be mistaken for an imperial stout, although it's drinkability shows it's true style. An amazing brew, and an easily drinkable one at that! Props to the folks at Deschutes!

WYVYRN527, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of BDTyre
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Wow! BC brews very few stouts, but the rest of the "Cascadia" (read: American) region does a damn good job of their stouts. I picked this up "across the border" in Bellingham on a mad-dash-who-gives-a-damn beer spree. This is a strong, full stout that beats almost anything brewed in Canada (with a few exceptions).

This is what a stout should be: black, with a coffee-and-cream head. Black, like obsidian. When held up to the light, a faint bit of ruby shows through.

This smells like ovaltine and roasted malt. There is a definite malt smell on the nose as this excellent beer warms. I can taste coffee, chocolate, and burnt malts. There is a faint alcoholic sweetness that blends nicely with the "dark" flavours.

Overall, this is a very well done stout. The only detractor from drinkability is the abv, which at 6.4% is a bit high for a standard (i.e. non-Imperial) stout. Despite this, Deschutes has come up with an outstanding beer that I wish I could obtain easily.

BDTyre, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

The beer poured into the glass translucent black with a brown and frothy long lasting head which lasted to lace the glass from top to bottom.

The aroma was roasty and smoky with a nice chocolate presence. Some caramel was notable and played well with the roast, smoke and chocolate. The aroma had a light bit of fruity character, but it was in the background.

The flavor was nicely bittered with a bit of grassy hop character which melded with the roast and chocolate. The sweetnes from the malt that was present in the aroma was not a factor in the flavor, or if it was the balance from the roast and hops kept if from coming into play. The flavor had some smoke, but it was present at a much lower level than the aroma. The flavor was lightly fruity but was central on hops character and roast with some chocolate and caramel thrown in for good measure.

The finish was dry with lightly lasting memories of roast, grass and chocolate which fade into the aftertaste. The body was above medium, and heading toward medium full with a nice carbonation level which led to a bit of creaminess in the mouthfeel. A truly great stout.

12 ounce bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of yeoldeale
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Great looking pour, black, and a tan head that hangs out for a little while. Really faint coffee and fruit smell. A little roasted malt in there too. The faint aroma is a bit misleading because the taste proves that this stout is one of the standard setters for American Stouts. Roasted malts up front, a bit coffee-like, a touch of hops, and nice touch of dryness on the back. Smooth. Really like this stout.

yeoldeale, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of argock
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass tumbler. Single purchased from Skee Vue Liquors for $1.49.

A: Black with ruby edges and tan-baked cookie 1-2 finger head with excellent retention and nice lacing.

S: Strong aromas of coffee beans, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, roasted dark malts, and leafy hops.

T: A delicious flavorful stout with tons of roasted dark malt backing and strong coffee and chocolate notes that are offset beautifully by leafy hops to give a perfect dryness and light acrid finish.

M: Substantial without being syrupy. Excellent body and pretty creamy with a dry but toasted dark malt and bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.

D: This beer alone was worth the 1.5 mile walk to the liquor store from my hotel. As far as American stouts go, this one is near the top.

argock, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of woemad
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Sixer bought at either Huckleberry's or a Rosauer's (same owners, regardless) in Spokane for somewhere between $6-7.

Poured a deep, dark, oily black Head was moderately sized, fluffy and dark tan. Slight lacing. Nice, foamy collar.

Smell is of those smells that one expects from a classic stout: Rich, dark chocolate; dark,roasted malts; dark fruits a la raisins, figs; high quality black coffee. All wrapped in a slight, beguiling smoky scent.

Taste was every bit as rewarding as the scent foretold. This is a yummy stout! The first taste is of velvety chocolate, swiftly followed by the rich bitterness of dark fruits. At the swallow is more of the chocolaty character, along with a very slight hoppy crispness.

The mouthfeel of this stout is oily and thick. The last thing I had this oily was an Anchor "Our Special Ale." Very good company.

This a little bit thick and rich for session drinking, so I slightly graded down in drinkability, though I'd be only to hapy to have 2-3 of these, so long as there is room in my stomach. This would be an excellent accompanament to a rich dessert.

This is probably my favorite NW stout. Though I've been drinking Black Butte for years, I've been gravitating more towards the other fine Deschutes beers lately. They are definitely doing something right down there in Bend.

woemad, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

The Black Rock stout poured an obsidian with a good 1-2 finger foam head with some solid retention. The lacing was excellent and lasted for a while.

The aroma was deep roasted malts and coffee.

The taste was rich, complex and satisfying. It left a nice bitterness in finish. It was a sweet malty in the front. You gotta love the work they are doing in Bend and this is another example.

cswhitehorse, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of brewdoc75
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

A: The name doesn't lie as you watch this obsidian black liquid pour into the glass. A beautiful, off-white, brown-tinged crown sits on top. A least an inch and a half at first, but dwindles down to a steady 1/4 inch. Moderate carbonation. Some brown and mahogany hues. Dark and lovely. This looks like a solid stout.

S: Roast, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, and a hint of chalk in the aroma. Not as aromatic as some, but definitely smells nice. Maybe even a touch of smokiness. The hops don't come out strong, but seem to add a faint floral aroma in the background.

T: Beautiful dark chocolate flavors hit me at first. These are followed up by a deep roasty flavor reminiscent of a very dark roasted coffee. This is followed by some more, middle of the road chocolate flavors and even some nuttiness. In the back of my throat I get some smoky flavors as well. The hops provide ample bitterness without getting carried away. I don't get any specific hop flavor other than a slight citric twang in the back of the throat. There may be some slight piney flavors too, but they aren't present in every sip. Overall, the chocolate, roast and smoky flavors make this beer very rich and flavorful for the style. At the same time it isn't overpowering. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, slightly chewy and very smooth. Finishes slightly astringent and dry. Some stickiness in the back of the throat. What stands out to me is the smoothness of the mouthfeel.

D: This was a damn fine stout. Like many craft brew drinkers, I grew up drinking Guinness. Had this been given to me instead, i would have thought Guinness tasted like water. This beer has wonderful flavors and equally beautiful drinkability. The only thing more I could ask from it is maybe just a hint more hop flavor. Otherwise this beer is pretty damn close to perfect.

brewdoc75, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of washburnkid
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

A: Two fingers of a creamy/bubbly light brown head. Black with only the slightest ruby hues on the outermost edges. Good retention and lacing.
S: Roasted barley, hints of both milk and dark chocolate and coffee.
T: Big flavors of roasty, sweet chocolate and coffee malts. Twang of citrus and hops pull through at the end of the sip. Great bitters stick around after.
M: Creamy, fully-bodied with great carbonation for the style.
D: Smooth, filling, and tasty. Just another day with Deschutes!

washburnkid, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of isubsmith
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Appearance: Would you believe.... very dark black and opaque? Poured into a pint glass. 1/2" to 5/8" of tan head quickly settled down to traces which stuck around to the bottom of the glass.

Nose: Typical of a stout - Roasted barley, hints of coffee.

Taste: Follows from the nose pretty well - roasted barley, some coffee notes. Bitter chocolate. Smoother than expected. Very creamy mouthfeel. Slight hops finish to round it out.

A very drinkable, balanced beer. Definately recommended.

isubsmith, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of nsw
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Purchased at BevMo (hallowed be its name) in Natomas (Sacramento, CA). Sixer for $7.79, March '07.

A: Half-inch tan head, nice tan lacing. Totally opaque, "say it loud, 'it's black and it's proud.'"

S: Slight coffee notes.. I'm olfactorily challenged, sorry.

T: Coffee and chocolate, fading to a pleasant bitterness.

M: Smooth and slightly chewy.

O: One of my favorite stouts of all time; I highly recommend this beer. I first had this beer at the brewery on a family vacation up to Sunriver, Oregon. The brewery's in Bend, an easy 15 minute drive. I buy at least one 6-pack of this a month now that we've finally got a Bevmo near our home. I wish the ABV were lower, because I love to drink this stuff.

nsw, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of jera1350
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours an obsidian black color with a two finger head that is light brown in color. The head is rich and creamy. Probably could cut it with a knife and it leaves sheets of lacing around the glass.

Has a RIS quality in the scent. Rich chocolate malt, lightly toasty, some vanilla and a hint of oak. A bit of booze comes through as well.

Really nice complexity for a non-imperial stout. Has to be one of the most flavorful regular stouts around. Rich toasty malt, chocolate and coffee notes along with vanilla, oak and a bit of blackberry jam. Toasty aftertaste.

Medium bodied full of soft carbonation. Very dry finish on the tongue.

A top notch stout, but I have to knock a few points off due to the strong roast here. I could have two of these, but that would be my cutoff. The roasty malts to take their toll on the palate, but by no means does that hurt the overall beer. One fine, fine brew.

jera1350, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of doughanson78
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

My first Stout. Rating adjusted on 7-11-2011. 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Original scores in ()

A: Very dark, pitch black, no light coming through. Decent viscosity for a non Imperial Stout. Nice 2 finger tan head, with superb retention and awesome lacing. Medium sized bubbles in head. Head reduced to thin 1/4 finger layer but sticking around. (4.5)

S: Roasted malts. Hints of roasted coffee. Very light chocolate. Very, very light floral hops. Touches of smoke. Not a huge nose but good. (4.5)

T: Very smokey taste. Roasted/burnt malts. Light coffee/espresso. Slight chocolate notes. Very mild earthy bitterness. Faint sweetness. Smoked wood aftertaste. (4.5)

M: Medium to full-bodied. Cloudy/creamy feel on roof of mouth from the light layer of head remaining. A nice lingering smokiness throughout the mouth and nose. (4.5)

O: A great Stout, even though I've only had Imperials and Russian's thus far. Really can't see getting a whole lot better than this. Definitely will continue to purchase. (4.5)

Came into this re-review thinking I was overly impressed as this was my first stout period. But... It's just a great beer. Can't say much else.

doughanson78, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a big inch plus head filling the rest of the glass. Right after the pour it's already leaving a thick lacing all over the edges of the glass. The lacing continued and ended up looking like a thick spider web all over the glass.

The aroma shows a good mix of coffee and chocolate to it. it's very smooth and balanced with both sweet and bitter flavors coming through. Very nice aroma for a stout.

The taste is fantastic. It has a great mix of bold stout flavors to it. A big bitter-sweet chocolate flavor turns into more of a burnt and roasted flavor through the finish. Coffee, chocolate, burnt, bitter, sweet, all come through at some point. Excellent flavor overall and just as much flavor as some stouts twice the abv.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. It's a great tasting and very flavorful stout. What really impresses me is just how flavorful it is for being below 7% alcohol. This is better then the majority of imperial stouts out there. Fantastic beer overall and would definitely be a regular purchase if that was possible in this area.

billab914, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of zornbeast
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Another Treat from Deschutes here!

A- Poured a rich dark brown, nearly black but not opaque. Darker brown head around 1/2'', good lacing.

S- Wonderful rich coffee and roasted malt aroma with hops present as well. Hints of alcohol linger, almost like RIS, very complex smell, very nice.

T- Smooth, creamy upfront with roasted and chocolate malt present throughout especially vibrant in middle. Hops add nice crisp finish and make this hoppy stout wellrounded. Wonderful flavor from start to finish.

M- Silky smooth mouthfeel, medium body. Not the lightest stout out there but this little brother to RIS is perfect for stout lovers who dont want 10+ percenters.

D- Good for style, and the smoothness helps bring it up

Amazing Flavor out of this stout, making it my new go to for stouts, happy to have access out here in hawaii...highly recommend.

zornbeast, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of Scotchboy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

12oz bottle to Samuel Smith oversized nonic.

A: Pours as dark and ominous as any Imperial Stout, with just slightest of hints at ruby red near the base of the glass. The rocky, frothy head is milk chocolate brown and laces the glass beautifully.

S: Charred, sweet roasted malt right off the bat, with impressions of smoke, espresso coffee, and hop bitterness.

T: Right in line with the nose, there is a huge amount of roasted malt character for a beer of this abv. Smoke, char, coffee, touches of bakers chocolate sweetness, and some hops/spices.

MF: Creamy, fuller mouthfeel with good carbonation and body. Not as dry as I was thinking it would finish.

O: A near perfect everyday stout and a wonderful beer. Can't honestly see improving this one without barrel aging or something of the like.

Scotchboy, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Perfectly pitch black color, and an impressive, towering, flowering cocoa-tan head that maintains it's majesty for some time before tumbling down.

Aroma: deep, rich, roasty, bitter, and invigorating.

Taste: remarkably flavorful, mouth-filling, and complex. Warm, tingling, tantalizing. This one feels good in the mouth, and slips down remarkably easy. Puts me in mind of an oatmeal stout, but I'm not sure it is one.Long, lovely, lively finish.

A very impressive, solid, satisfying stout, this one. I find myself scratching at the roof of my brain trying to find new, further ways to describe it's excellence.
If I lived in Oregon, this would get a lot of business from me!

feloniousmonk, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of mooseo
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Black as night with a small dark tan head.

S - A light, but pleasing aroma of milk chocolate, black coffee, and roasted malt.

T - Roasted burnt malt, coffee, and sweet chocolate throughout. A light hop bitterness comes through and brings balance. Finishes bitter-sweet with roasted grain and caramel. There is a strong coffee/roast aftertaste.

M - Exceptionally smooth and creamy. Wow, this is definitely the best part of the beer for me. Medium-full body, mild carbonation, slightly dry finish.

O - A very impressive, memorable stout. The flavor profile is balanced and is a text book example of what a stout should be. But the mouthfeel - it's incredible.

mooseo, May 20, 2013
Photo of da_beers
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%

A - Beautiful oil black with one and a half fingers of an awesome tan, bubbly head. This is what you want your stout to look like!

S - Deep dark, chocolaty, coffee - like a mocha. Has a syrupy smell to it. I get walnuts as well. Smells like walking into an old coffee shop with oaken walls.

T - Great taste. It hits with this great bitterness from the hops. It has this great nuttiness as well. Chocolate at the end, but very faint, as well as the coffee was bigger than the taste.

M - Has a sharpness from the bitterness. Medium bodied. Close to full bodied, but a touch lite. Has good drinkability and the lowish carbonation is spot on.

O - Was very excited for this one. My first form Deschutes. Nose was huge! Taste a little below that. I would recommend to anyone, especially those who love a less smooth stout. Spot on with the bitterness and hops!

da_beers, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

merlin48, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of BenHesk12
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

Obsidian Stout can be considered a hidden treasure. At $8 for a six pack, this beer is inexpensive, widely available, and spot on for the style of an American stout. For this review, I was served on nitro-tap from a local bar in San Francisco's North Beach. This beer is a delight start to finish with lasting chocolate and coffee flavors, a creamy, delicate mouthfeel (partly due to the nitro), and overall a balance of alcohol and stouty flavors that leaves little to be desired. While not extremely complex or fancy, this beer is enjoyable on a special level.

BenHesk12, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

Bim bam, it doesn't look better than this. Jet black. Smell isn't overpowering, as you'll soon find, this beer hides its alcohol presence extremely well behind a wall of deep burnt malt. But whoa, there's some zippy hoppiness in there. Cascades for sure I'd guess. For sure I'd guess? Meh.

That deep taste of chococoffee never fades, it becomes even more drinkable throughout the bottle. While I've had other Deschutes stuff that at times tastes inconsistent, I've had numerous Obsidian Stout's in various forms, and never, ever has any of them been anything short of magnifique!

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of ElGordo
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

From a bottle that conveniently fell off the truck at the WBF last weekend in Durham. Pours a deep, dark, almost pitch black, with an inch or so of creamy dark tan head on top. Big aroma of rich roasted malt, espresso, prunes, a touch of phenol, and a faint whiff of brown sugar. Palate is lightly sweet up front, with the huge yet mellow maltiness and flavor of very dark chocolate taking over as it passes the tip of the tongue. Slightly roasty on the finish, with notes of dark fruit and just the slightest bit of hop bitterness at the end. Smooth, creamy body is like velvet. Slow-drinking, but immensely enjoyable. Reminds me of why Deschutes is one of my favorite breweries in the world.

ElGordo, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of bradford
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

A great stout. A little hard to find at times in my area of California, so whenever I see a six pack floating around stores, I usually grab one.
Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Dark, dark brown, almost black, close to opaque. A thin, swirling head, with little retention on the ring around the edge of the glass. Smell was a little weak for me, perhaps I had a bit of an oncoming cold, but nothing spectacular here. Taste is most excellent. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, everything you would expect from a stout of this caliber. Mouthfeel is smooth, but dry, very easy going down. If it weren't for the 6-something% abv on this, I could drink this all day. Very drinkable stout and one of my favorites. I think Deschutes gets a bad rap around here because the Mirror Pond and Black Butte are the only widely availabe selections from them and they are a bit weak in all categories. But this is an excellent beer.

bradford, Apr 14, 2007
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%

Pitch black obsidian. Dark roast coffee highlights. Big creamy foam tan head. Foamy sheets of lace.

Rich roasty chocolate. coffee and burnt molasses. Dark cherry. Earthy and herbal notes.

Dark bitter chocolate and roasty coffee. Burnt molasses and dark cherry. Earthy and woody. Herbal and piney. Big bitter roasted coffee grounds and pine sap finish.

So rich and smooth, silky. Chewy, crteamy, sticky coffee sludge. Full bodied. Mildly carb'd.

Drinkable roasty smooth stout.

CHILLINDYLAN, Oct 05, 2010
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,723 ratings.