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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,341 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2341
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: 2,341 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mscudder


3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a globe.

A - Pours a dark brown with a nice big tan head. Pretty nice retention.

S - A nice nose on this one! Roasted malts, cocoa, coffee and some molasses round out the aromas. A nice warm balance comes in from the alcohol.

T - The beer hits the palette with a tight explosion of bitterness. I feel that there is little flavor to start and some bitterness explodes. As the rush settles I get a wealth of flavors begin to disperse, seemingly with little balance at all. The composition of these flavors were all present in the nose. Finish is heavy on the roasted notes. I cannot say I like this stout very much as far as taste is concerned. The balance is just not there for me.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Beer seems a bit chewy and a tad thing for a stout. I may be more acclimated to RIS's yet I just cannot get behind this one.

O - Highly bitter and a total let down in my books. After sampling the Butte Porter and the Abyss I had very high hopes for this one. It just did not live up to the hype and I would be hard pressed to ever revisit it.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 06:12:23 | More by mscudder
Photo of Auracom


3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6 oz. into a tumbler glass on August 5th, 2012.

A - Moderately-heavy brown coloring. Very little retention of a medium khaki head but decent lacing.

S - Freshly-roasted coffee beans dominate the nose. Underneath is a sweet contrast of caramel mocha.

T - Pronounced espresso, dark chocolate bitterness throughout the entire drink. Front end shows a stronger roasted almond note while rear-palate picks up more of the dark cocoa. Lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body, high carbonation for the style, dryer finish for a stout.

D - Simple, yes. Still done well and I'm very happy to have tried this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 15:28:49 | More by Auracom
Photo of mrkc


3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a six pack of Obsidian Stout about a week ago, and I've been slowly working my way through it. I tried, I really did, to like it. Deschutes is generally such a great brewery, and I've been just flat-out impressed by their line almost each and every time. Almost, because this time, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall in love with this stout. It's malty odour is fine, but the taste of the hops and the burnt cocoa seem to war with each-other. each are too strong. The mouth-feel is watery, like and is acrid like a cup of coffee you left on the counter for four days. This beer is in dire need of a time-out to mellow it down just a bit, so drinking it isn't like getting beat in the face with a baseball bat.

I'm sorry, Deschutes, I really tried. It's me, not you.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 15:17:35 | More by mrkc
Photo of Beermazter310


3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with brown head.. smells sweet and chocalatey. Taste chocolatey with a little coffee, a little boozy.Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, with low carbonation. overall its good, but there are a few better stouts out there, this is one of the better american stouts ive had...

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 02:33:48 | More by Beermazter310
Photo of Mitchster


3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, jet-black in color, forming a decent sized dark-tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is of grain husk, espresso, wet treated water, dark bittersweet chocolate, and a clean ferment with a subtle hint of alcohol. Taste is of dark molasses, burnt wood, espresso, drying alcohol and a faint note of fusels. Mouthfeel is fizzy with a medium body. Everybody else seems to consider this dense in their reviews, but I really don't get that impression. Lightly dry, harsh finish with "dirty" bittering hops. I consider myself a stout lover, and contrary to the other glowing reviews here, I find this to be quite average overall. But then again, maybe it's just because I'm babied by the Kzoo stout masters.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2003 21:08:15 | More by Mitchster
Photo of champ103


3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. A tan head rises to over two fingers. Rings of sticky spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Sweet roasted malt up front. Semi astringent and mineral aroma. Hops linger towards the end.
T: A malty and sugary sweetness up front. A light roasted flavor comes out next with some bitter chocolate. Bitter hops linger a bit to much for my tastes (for a stout anyway).
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Surprisingly thin and and watery. Not hard to drink, but I would not make this a session.

A decent stout. Not as much roasted malt as I thought there was going to be, and there are two different bitter flavors that are at odds with each other (one from the chocolate, and one from the hops). This is worth a try, but not one of there better beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 21:51:04 | More by champ103
Photo of winomark


3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a jet black, with a nice chocolate head.

Aroma: Lots of coffee on the nose, with some chocolate present also.

Taste: Coffee dominates, but is supported by some spice and chocolate flavors that lead to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating, but not overpowering. Good flavors and balance throughout.

Drinkability: A decent stout, but nothing all the special IMO. My least favorite offering from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 16:39:19 | More by winomark
Photo of kingcrowing


3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black with an almost non-existant dark brown head that fades really fast. Nose is strong with roasted coffee and malt. No hops or yeast here.

Mouthfeel is very nice, rich, full, thick and creamy. Strong roasted coffee finish with a bit of a bitterness from it but not overwhelming. Carbonation is low, adds to drinkability for the style. Finish is a bit too bitter for me but it's decent.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 02:07:11 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of DTBird


3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a bottle into my Pint glass. This brew is pitch black with a thin tan head and minimal lacing

S- The nose is not prominent it does however have a "piney" scent

T- Smoke right off the bat, an excellent stout flavor. Spicy chocolate and coffee notes. The aftertaste is a little aromatic but finishes clean.

M- Medium to heavy body but not too thick.

O- I would drink again if given to me, but I will stick with a Stout with a Higher ABV

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 00:43:40 | More by DTBird
Photo of vickersspitfire


3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark stout that simply puts an end to all light trying to pass through it. Thankfully, the light at the end of the tunnel is near, or should I say the light on top the beer is near (neer). By light I mean head, yes is topped off with a really nice and thick light brown head, just a few shades lighter than brown sugar. It looks and feels light and fluffy and it slowly thins out into a layer of brown bubbles and thick wall of brown lace. The aroma itself isn’t all that impressive to me, I can pick up hints of chocolate, mild coffee, roasted coffee bean followed by that slightly tart coffee aroma. Now for the fun part, relatively light on the mouth feel and it thickens up to about a medium body when it hits the back of your mouth. Bitter overall, it’s sharp on the tip of your tongue but I can’t pick up much flavor until it starts reaching the back of my mouth, only then can I pick up some coffee grinds, mild cocoa, roasted almonds and a slight toffee flavor too. You know what; throw in some orange zest too…

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 06:35:12 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of tempest


3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Do I have a bad bottle or just not like this beer? It smelled a bit like molasses, and while there was a decent bitterness in the aftertaste, the overall flavor is nothing to brag about. Roasted coffee-like (but not really coffee flavored) grains with a bit of cocoa. I was expecting something exciting like a Shakespeare Stout, but didn't get any depth like that.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 04:53:55 | More by tempest
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black brew with a large foamy mocha colored head that lasts for a few minutes. An eternal half inch of foam lingers under a thick webbing of lacing.

S - A bit of coffee and faint chocolate.

T - A dark malty flavor with a bit of coffee, chicory and char. A touch of dark chocolate as well. Aftertaste is a charred bitterness with a hint of mossiness.

M - Smooth with a slight harshness from carbonation. A medium body, refreshing.

D - Pretty good. Worth a try. Worth having again. A decent stout, but far from the best.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 06:31:32 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of steve8robin


3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from a competition I was helping out at. 12oz bottle, best by 04/16/12...

A: A nice dark brew that has a slight red hue around the edges. A thick 2+ inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get a nice creamy roastiness upfront with some nice vanilla notes blended in. Some hints of black licorice in the middle with a faint lactose on the back. Decent.

T: A light creamy vanilla quickly followed by a subtle roastiness. Quickly some carbonation begins to bury the other flavors and eventually gives way to a slightly earthy coffee hidden on the back. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A little over-carbonated for me. Finishes with a fizzy roast. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent beer. If the carbonation were toned down some, this would be a great beer. The over-carbonation on this one kind of takes a few points away for me. Try if you like easy drinking stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 02:32:53 | More by steve8robin
Photo of aracauna


3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The carbonation is a little high on this one. The head is nice an large, but a little airy because of the heavy carbonation. It settles into something a little more dense later on. Nice black and when you get to the bottom of the glass, you notice its base is a nice ruby. Heavy on the caramel, a little roasty, but not really a big flavor for a stout. The body could benefit from a slightly lower level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 04:41:20 | More by aracauna
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Deep, deep, dark black pour. About a finger of tan colored foam doesn't hang around for very long, but sticks nicely.

Char and chocolate dominate the nose. The toasted coffee component takes the lead, but there's definitely some sweet chocolate underneath.

Very roasty, ashy flavor. Again, there's some sweet chocolate, but it disappears behind smoky roast. The flavor even starts to take on a meaty (bacon) flavor.

Medium-heavy body. Soft carbonation. Plush texture. Not the most drinkable beer. The immense roasted character makes it a challenge to drink at times. Astringent flavor is tough to handle at times. I hope to try this again, much closer to the source.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 04:42:34 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of punkrkr27


3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black pour with brown edges and a small, dense, tan head. The aroma has notes of rolled oats, with a mild balance of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and tobacco. The flavor is similar to the aroma. It's a bit sharp though with notes of dark chocolate and a bitter coffee finish. The body is a bit thin but creamy with lots of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 01:27:20 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of echoes


3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color (even when held against a light)! Head is at least finger-length and is light-brown in color. The head is very stubborn and leaves lots of lacing. The most lacing I've seen in about a year.

S: Smell is a combination of (in no particular order): coffee, smoke, chocolate, roasted hops and bread. The smell is complex and interesting but ultimately not that appealing/pleasant to me.

T: Same as the smell, which is a good thing, but HIGH on the hops bitterness for a stout. I've had a number of stouts and I've loved them all but this is the most bitter I've tried. I'd say almost too bitter (for a stout) for me.

M: Medium-bodied and satisfying. Almost creamy too, I'd say. Some carbonation keeps it interesting.

O: The complexity of flavors is great.
Overall this is a very nice beer. However, for a stout, as I said before, it is almost too bitter (for me). I am sure others have and will love it.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 06:41:38 | More by echoes
Photo of biglite351


3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Some red around the edges with a shoer creamy tan head.

S - Some roasty malts, maybe even coffee and sweet cocoa... but I swear I am getting tomato paste... very odd combo, ha!

T - Baking chocolate, roasty malts and a touch of smoke.

M - Thick feel with good coarting. Tingle on sides of tongue and back of throat. You reallt feel this brew.

O - It is okay, but not an every day beer. I would go for one late in the evening after having a few other brews as the thick feel would cause me to sip as opposed to drink it down.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 02:08:37 | More by biglite351
Photo of nhindian


3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle generously provided as an extra by yuriruley, thanks Nate!

A - The beer pours a solid black, all encapsulating with only slight chocolate highlights that arise when taking a sip. There is a 2-fingered head resting on top, with pretty good retention lasting several minutes. There is also some fantastic lacing on this beer with foam clinging constantly to every glass surface it touches.

S - The smell is interesting, as it almost gives the impression of smokey malts, like burning lava that the bottle so accurately describes. Something about it reminds me of a subtle version of some of the infected Short's beers I've had recently, but luckily more tame and not sour, just the burnt quality I guess. Otherwise its mostly sweet, with some subdued aromas of hours-old coffee and bittersweet chocolate. It also has a quality similar to cat piss as I can best describe...

T - As in the nose, the first thing I get in this taste is charred oats or something similarly smokey. It's not approaching rauchbier territory, but it does give a similar impression. What's cool is that it almost immediately transitions into a more sweeter taste and lends itself well to the chocolate that's more prominent here. Not getting a whole lot of coffee here. Finish is moderately long with a slightly bitter finish.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty damn smooth and leaves a nice feel in the mouth.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. A solid beer that incorporates a slight char quality nicely, but there's something amiss in the nose that I'm not completely comfortable with. As smell plays a big part in the taste, it detracted a bit from that as well.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 03:53:50 | More by nhindian
Photo of haazer


3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones.

A- Appears just like a, dare I say it? Guiness. The familiar tan head, black/dark brown liquid and the quicksand-like brown bubbles cascading down the glass.

S- Smell is fairly bland. Little bit of roasted malts, kind of smells like a Guiness. Oddly enough this kind of smells like a lager. Just very faint.

T- Ok so it definitely delivers where it matters. The taste is much better then the aroma. Reminds me of the "whoppers" candy balls somewhat. Good roasted malts, with a little coffee and creamer. Tempted by a 4.5 score but not quite.

M- A bit on the lighter side for a stout, but it is sooo drinkable. I'm bumping the score some. It feels and drinks as easy as a porter.

O- Despite the lack of aroma in this thing it is definitely better to drink. I'd certainly have this again and perhaps like to try from the bottle to see if the nose is any better.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2011 20:41:25 | More by haazer
Photo of MLegendre


3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I had this served to me in pilsener glass (which I thought was an odd choice to serve a stout... and it was), at a wonderful resturaunt called The Rivers Edge and currently the only place where I live that serves this on tap...

A: Amazing. Completly jet black, no light penetration whatsoever. Thick tan head, at least an inch and a half that does not dissapear, it stays there for the entire duratation of the drink. I just recently found out that this was nitro-tapped and that is what gave the "cascade" head formation. It as amazing to look at and i found myself staring in awe at it for a long time before I started to actually drink it.

S: Chock full of that roasted barley and coffee-like smell I love about stouts.

T: Tasted great, but sadly it didn't taste as good as when I've had it before. The first mouthful was all head, but it tasted great. It was full of sweet roasted barley and malt. The rest of it tasted great, but the sweet roasted flavor that I love about this beer was more in the background than it usually is and the bitterness took over.

M: This was a huge disapointment for me. No matter what I'm drinking I like at least a little Carbonation in my beer and this had none (because of the nitro). It reminded me a bit of Guinness which I'm not a huge fan of.

D: Although I was dissapointed (I think it tastes better w/o the nitro) it still was a great beer and I orderered another as soon as I was finished with the first. The Next time I go to the store I'l pick up a sixpack and review this again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-02-2006 09:08:33 | More by MLegendre
Photo of laituegonflable


3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark colour, slight brown up to the light but mostly black. Head is ochre, just noticeable whispy bubbles on a thin film. Lace is kind of scary and Mayan in its patterns on the glass, but quite nice.

Smell is decent, a bit weak though with mild dark coffee notes giving that slightly watered-down espresso character, but with pleasant hints of vanilla and slight coconut character. Touch of oak funk as well, and a mild cherry note peeps through at the back.

Taste is alright. Some milder-than-expected malt notes upfront, dark and kinda espresso-esque, with coffee beans and cocoa on the mid, slightly bitter with a touch of mint and a slight caramelly note to the malt. Yeah, a bit burnt towards the finish but swallowed by a thinness that really detracts from the burnt maltiness of the beer otherwise. Decent, but not wonderful.

Yeah, a decent body as well, a bit thin but not overly so, holds its own.

A pretty decent stout, although I would happily take some more robust flavours in there and still drink a few. I may have been tainted by the extremely good imperial stout I had before this, but comparing it with even Sierra Nevada stout for example I enjoyed the latter a lot more.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 12:25:27 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of lanamj

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured into a tulip.

A- The color lives up to the name, it pours a nice obsidian black with a thin tan head the dissipates into a light lacing around the glass. It does appear a little thin but still a wonderful color.

S- Roasted malts and chocolate dominate the nose. I also get some plum and coffee.

T- Roasted malts and coffee appear on the front end and molasses and bittering hops linger towards the end. Some chocolate and date throughout.

M- A little thin and overly carbonated. Not what i would want for the style but as it warms up it calms down some. I like the way this beer is easy going down though, but sometimes i prefer a challenge when it comes to stouts.

O- Being from Oregon i drank this beer a many times. Now that i got a hold of some years later when i have had the opportunity to try more complex stouts i would say it was a little disappointing. Although still a great beer just not as good as i remember.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 03:49:55 | More by lanamj
Photo of theowlsayshoe

South Dakota

3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
A – Dark as night, huge perfect head.
S – Sweet, fig like.
T – Strong tingle on your tongue that opens up to a stouty push then a bitter bomb goes off and stretches back down the center of your tongue.
M – The perfect head is thick but the beer has a much thinner feel. It has an amazing contrast.
O – Great lacing but a little bitter for me with an unpleasant after taste. I appreciate that it is a challenge for my palate.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 08:18:57 | More by theowlsayshoe
Photo of msquared36


3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is nearly pitch black with mocha foam. The foam is darker than some beers.

Coffee and roasted malt scent. Noticing a slight metallic aroma as well.

Taste is much lighter than I was expecting from the appearance and smell. Roasted malt and caramel is certainly present, but there is a refreshing hop finish.

More carbonated and thinner than most top stouts. However, it works pretty well with the refreshing finish mentioned above.

This is a little on the weak side for a stout, especially one called Obsidian. Nevertheless, it's unique and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 03:14:10 | More by msquared36
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,341 ratings.