Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,045 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,045
Hads: 3,417
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 494
Gots: 590 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,045 | Hads: 3,417
Photo of msquared36
3.62/5  rDev -14%
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.

 564 characters

Photo of lanamj
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

 946 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Etan
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. Sent as an extra by Lokieman.

A: Pours a straight black with a huge beige head. Nice retention and great lacing.

S: Raw coffee, soapy yeast, piney hop, milk chocolate.

T: Slightly metallic roast, mild lactic coffee and chocolate, roast in the finish. Coffee and hop bitterness linger.

M: Creamy carbonation, relatively light-bodied.

O: Pretty good. A bit light-bodied, and the flavor's a bit light as well.

 460 characters

Photo of MLegendre
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

 1,545 characters

Photo of axeman9182
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a "Best by" date of 4/7/11. Much thanks to KevSal for sending this along. It was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Obsidian pours pitch black, with a massive, 3.5 finger foamy cap. The head is a bit light, closer to off white than tan or caramel. Retention is solid, and lacing is above average. There are rings of foam left around the glass from the head's semi-slow descent. There's a heavy general roast presence in the nose, along with some tobacco and a little bit of dark chocolate. The tobacco fades out, and dark chocolate steps up a bit in the front of my palate, a noticeable improvement. The hop bite mid sip is enough to be noticed, but only just, and gives way to a pleasant earthy finish. The mouthfeel is easily the highlight of this beer. Body is absolutely perfect, full and creamy without getting too big for for its britches and approaching imperial level viscosity. At the same time the carbonation is enough to thwart any syrupy sensation and let the hops peek through, while remaining true to the beer's malty nature. Obsidian Stout is a solid beer from Deschutes, but nothing earth shattering.

 1,128 characters

Photo of Furlinator
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11/01/14.

Pours opaque black. The 1 inch tan head settles to a cap and thick ring on top that leaves thick shimmering curtains of lace.

The smell is mainly coffee grounds with a hint of dark chocolate.

The taste is of bitter black coffee up front with a bitter, almost herbal, hop finish.

The texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

All the components of a solid stout are here: notes of cocoa, coffee and roasted dark malt. All combined with a bitter hop finish. Good but, not great.

 511 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to largadeer for this want extra!

Best by date of 3/8/08 on the 12oz bottle

Pours a dark black color with a light tan large head, very fizzy looking, leaves some patchy lacing.

Smell is very roasted, malt controlled, some coffee aroma from the roasted aspects.

Taste is strongly roasted but also has some woody burnt aspect, all malt taste with some coffee-ness, assertive carbonation, smoothness is a bit rough but decent.

 434 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black pour, not quite opaque, dense creamy tan head. Mostly sweet aroma (oatmeal stout like)with a decent roasty grip. Condensed molasses, coffee, soy sauce, vegetal oil and licorice notes. Very smooth palate, creamy, velvety texture is enhanced by the low carbonation. Slightly buttery tones. Well hopped in the finish with a bitterness that enlaces the coating roastiness. Above average thanks to an engaging mouthfeel, looks and almost feel like a nitro conditioned stout though the flavor is not influenced.

 518 characters

Photo of iLovehops23
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, sticks around for a little bit. Good lacing throughout the glass. Smells of rich chocolate malt and roasted malt. Somewhat of a coffee taste as well. Taste is somewhat bitter for a stout, bit by no means too bitter. Mouthfeel is very light for a stout, seems very thin, not a bad thing, just surprising. I do get hints of the coffee I smelled, and of course large quantities of the malts I mentioned. Decent carbonation, more than some stouts I've had. I taste the slightest hint of oats, this is by no means an oatmeal stout, but I get small hints of it. Drinkability is pretty high, only because it tastes pretty darn good! I wouldn't call this a "world class" beer, but it is very, very good.

 725 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Best before 5/7/13. So a little old but nothing to worry about with this style.

Appearance: Super dark brown (basically black) and opaque with a foamy two-finger tan head that is lacing nicely.

Aroma: Charred malt with a great milk chocolate and coffee presence. Quite milky/creamy.

Taste: Big kick of bitterness to start things off with a grassy hop character. The bitterness is intensified by the charred dark malt. Nice black coffee bitterness that can almost be harsh at times. The cream from the aroma comes through as a whisper in the background. This is definitely not a balanced stout, which is both good and bad. The palate is continually bombarded with robust dark malt and a lighter hoppy character. The finish is surprisingly smooth and the aftertaste leaves solid burnt chocolate and black coffee flavor. The robustness is right where it should be for a 6.4% ABV Stout.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body with a tad too much carbonation. Average drinkability but probably too much harsh malt bitterness to session.

Final Thoughts: Not my favorite of the style, but a good Stout for those looking for robust dark malt flavor. Would I drink it again? Sure, nitro-tap would probably be worth seeking out.

 1,221 characters

Photo of ranger7
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up from Central Market on sale.
From the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy dark brown-to-black brew. Tan head sticks to glass.

S - Roasted chocolate and coffee smell.

T - Chocolate front with coffee bean bitter finish.

M - Smooth and thin. Little carbonation that lessens quickly

Summary - Pretty nice stout. I've liked some other stuff from Deschutes, but this is definitely now one of my favorites of theirs. Typically, I will enjoy a stout if it refrains from pounding me with its roasted-ness. This one has just the right amount to be enjoyable.

 575 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz glass into pint glass. Opaque black pour along with a dark brown head atop that cakes a bit, laces decently and stays fairly large. Aromas are roasty and creamy, strange, almost sweetened lactose in there. Moving into roast and creamy silky chocolate, coffee, soda bread, and toast. Some caramel, toffee. Rich roast and sweetness. Initial is medium bodied, perhaps a bit fuller as some roasty malts come to the forefront, burnt coffee grounds, some caramel, toffee, dark cocoa and some more burnt roasty grains. Moves into sweet toffee and caramel, to temper the roast. A touch dry finish, moving into lingering roast and silky sweet malts of cocoa, toffee, and milky chocolate. A bit too sweet even though it is fairly balanced and full, just not complex enough for me.

 787 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is real nice that at least in the PNW that beer can bought at any grocery store for a good price for a six pack. I compare this to St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout as a high quality stout that is available easily. The beer had all the roasty notes coupled with chocolate esters but I had one small quible and that is the slightly abupt bitter finish. Other than that this is a great stout that provides great value.

 411 characters

Photo of theowlsayshoe
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into tulip.

A- Nice bark body, mild brown sugar head that isn't very large. Fizzes out quickly but leaves nice lacing.

S-Big dark fruit note. Some bitter chocolate. Molasses for sure.

T- Follows the nose. Fruity, chocolate, some coffee. A bit of a tartness in the finish. Dark chocolate. Pretty solid. Bit of a hop bite shines through after a few sips. Bump for that. I like hoppy stouts.

M- Good body, a bit thinner than I was expecting but works with the flavors. Decent carbonation, could have done with a bit more to help move it across the tongue.

D- Fairly high, I'd buy it if I had access to it. Not a knockout but no slouch.. another solid Deschutes beer.

 676 characters

Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a large frothy mocha head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings and large chunks of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee bean and burnt toast. Slightly acrid smelling but the sweeter notes still come through in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry, bitter burnt malt flavor that lingers throughout into a lingering bone dry finish. Very roasted with a dominating burnt toast/espresso bean presence that overpowers the faint sweetness that lies underneath. Kind of smokey with hints of oatmeal, cocoa and toffee.

 685 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a jet black color with a thick, creamy chocolate colored head of 1.5 fingers. Retention is pretty good and the head leaves nice lacing as it recedes. Inviting.

S - Sweet cream, bold roasted barley and surprisingly spicy. Subtle coffee notes, though I don't find any chocolate even when I search. Moderate in strength.

T - A creamy open smooths the abrasive nature of the deep roasted malt. The malt is the main focus. Light plum and caramel bleed through the lightly bitter finish. Very, very well balanced. It's far from complex, but the quality of the ingredients speak volumes. Slightly boozy on the finish.

M - Strangely light and coarse, though it's got an awesome dry finish. I wish it were thicker and much more creamy. Probably the most glaring fault.

D - Another great offering from Deschutes. I don't think they can make a bad beer (or really an average one for that matter). High quality and incredibly approachable.

 1,010 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oxford Suites hotel in Portland. Really dark stuff. It's a Guiness black color, but a very different kind of brew. Some beige foam in the pint shaker. Spritzy mouthfeel. Some blackened grain flavors along with the warm, roasted malt. The sweet malt a thoroughly mellow base with the charred barley providing a pleasant balance.

This seems like a pedestrian dark beer at first sip, but it grows on you. Extremely drinkable with a lot of fat malty flavors. I'll have to get a six of the bottles. This seems like a flavorful, easy to drink brew to have around.

 572 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a stout through and through. Black in color, fluffy tan head with thin lacing.

One of those beers that you just don't want to quit sniffing. Very addicting aromas. Thick chocolatey dark fudge, coffee accents, with heaps of dark fruits thrown in and integrated almost perfectly. Sweet malty aromas lay behind the sheen of fruit and lend towards caramel and vanilla. Mollasses, black currant, black raspberry, and black cherry dominate the fruit with hints of mission fig.

Rich and roasty flavors of coffee but not nearly as complex as the nose would lead you to believe. The roasty flavors seem to overpower the fruit and chocolate. The underlyings are very bitter chocolate flavors, black currant, with hints of blackberry. Mollasses also is notable in the finish.

This is a very dry stout that lingers for a long time that I find slightly displeasing.

Damn good stout worth drinking if for only the smell. But there are other fish in the sea I'd buy before this stout.

 991 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours black with a thick tan head that fades. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Flavor of roasted malt and bitter chocolate as the beer warms. Thick, full mouthfeel. This is pretty good!
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

 270 characters

Photo of Wegbier
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 06/19/09 and then
edited with the last of the same sixer 7/14/09
I dont know about this one. I waited until the third in the six pack before reviewing it. But I think its overrated.

a- appearance is very good. Pours very dark and then holds its head the whole way down with thick stout lacing, but no cascade in the pour.

s- smell exquisite with citrus hops and ripe fruit notes.

smell is much less but still good.

t- let me down. I looked at the best by date over and over wandering if that was why. It is stout smooth typical of its style until swallowing and then it has an awful finish, reminds me of a band-aide.

i dont know what but the taste has improved from my initial idea, a lot of coffee and dried dark fruit.

m- smooth with very light taste of alcohol in the finish, 6.4% is big for an American stout.

also very crisp toast

D- Starts out good and enjoyable but by the time I finish I need to wash my mouth out from the after taste

 961 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark brown hue which leaves a massive dimple laden rocky head lacing absolutely everywhere,the smell is dark roasty malts,barley and rich mocha,the feel is medium bodied and well carbonated with tastes of rich dark chocolate,roasty toasty malts,a herbal earthy hoppiness and finished with a chocolate bittersweetness and overall it's not bad and drinkable but nothing exuberant cheers.

 398 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolately mocha powder aroma. Coffee dark. Smooth, although some cookie crumbs and coconut strings mouthfeel in there. Well roasted, bittersweet and neither leaning to coffee nor chocolate. Very nicely carbonated. A very good stout but I think somewhat overated. A drop behind the Bell's stouts.

 297 characters

Photo of MMAJYK
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Deep, dark opaque black in color with splochy tan head that is 1/8" tall. 4

S. When I first poured, I picked up a leather aroma from the brew. After sitting, I pick up raisins and coffee.

T. Bitter dark chocolate is the first impression. The hops and black malts provide a little astringency to me. Its no malt bomb and that's ok by me. Tastes good, but a lingering astrigency is off putting to me.

M. Fairly light bodied for a Stout and high carbonation.

D. I guess you could call this a "session stout" as its quite thin and refreshing for such a dark beer. Not bad but not my favorite from these guys. Minus the LINGERING astrigency, it would get a lot better score from me. Seriously, I could still taste it 10 minutes after I finished this glass of beer.

 768 characters

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.