Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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1,020 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,319
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 475
Gots: 549 | FT: 6
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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,020 | Hads: 3,319
Photo of robwestcott
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to ivanwho and Noob BIF round 2 for this one

poured cold from the bottle to a surly darkness 10oz goblet a dark-ish cola black with a big bubbled, quickly dissipating, foamy mocha head with good retention.

big aroma dark chocolates, sweetened espresso and maybe a bit of toasted malts and dark fruits in the way-wayback.

leans to the bittersweet side, with dark fruits and molasses up front til it warms a bit and then the chocolate and slightly bitter espresso comes through a bit more.

fairly light bodied for the style, highly carbonated, bittersweet, smooth.

drinkable - yeah, sure, a couple 3 maybe. (618 characters)

Photo of ej285701
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours out a very dark brown, almost black with a one inch tan head.

In the aroma I get the usual coffee and chocolate notes, as well as some metallic sourness and lactose as if its a milk stout. Some bready malts are noted as well.

The taste delivers on the smell with coffee and chocolate being the most dominant. The lactose is a bit distracting however, as I am not the biggest fan of milk stouts. The finish is quite nice as the flavors stick with you long after you swallow.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with low carbonation. I think more carbonation would have helped.

This is a well made beer, and I can see why it's rated highly, but I can't get past the lactose flavor. I prefer more roastiness from my stouts. (771 characters)

Photo of genog
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours such a black as night color with plenty of bubbling two inch tall head. The once bubbly head fades away and leaves plenty of lacing clinging to the side of my snifter. Smell is doughy and dried fruit with chocolate notes. Smell is not quite black licorice but more of a slight anise smell. This one started out strong but there was not a lot of flavor here. Some chocolate, coffee but it is all muted. Mouthfeeling is way too carbonated and makes this one not very drinkable. I had such high hopes for this beer coming from the makers of The Abyss. (554 characters)

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

With a medium pour, this appears a super dark brown beer with a thin tan head. Decent lacing, nothing to write home to mom about.

Roasted malts + coffee beans and a faint aroma of chocolate.

Even taste of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Medium body, a little creamy, but thin.

This is a solid, all-around stout. Nothing stands out, but nothing is lacking. There are a few others I would select before this stout. However, this brew has an advantage because it is readily available in the area. (540 characters)

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

Guess what. I am finishing the top 100 with this unremarkable stout. Poured into a bruery tulip. Beer is black with a thick brown head of medium and small bubbles that leaves a lot if lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mild and ashy with a lot of burnt roast.

Beer is medium in body with minimal forward sweetness with nice back palate bitterness from the roasted grain. Drinkability really nice and mouthfeel ok. It's simple, one nite, relatively standard beer but quite decent. (477 characters)

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

Picked up a six pack for $6.99 at Albertson's in Magnolia WA. Had a few while watching the Seahawks game before Xmas. Poured into a pint glass. Dark black color, like obsidian (to borrow from the name). Brownish white head. Decent lacing. Smelled like roasted barley, and the alcohol was a bit noticeable too. Taste was way above average. Dark, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors abound in this brew. A bit dry in the finish, and like I said, after a few, the alcohol is present. A textbook example of a great stout from an excellent American brewer. (552 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle that has a best by 3/28/08 and poured into my snifter. Thanks to bbothen for throwing this in as a great extra.

A - This is one beauty of a beer as it is a pitch black and a bit reflective which in a way reminds me of the obsidian that the beer is named after. There is a nice creamy, bubbly and frothy, one thumb head that sits on top and just looks really nice. The head leaves a bunch of lacing and the body appears to be a viscous.

S - heavy on the roasted notes and reminds me a bit also of a burnt oak smell coming through. Also a slight small hint of chocolate is also noticed.

T - Taste is also a mix of a light roasted flavor that reminds me a bit of a light chocolate taste. More on the dark chocolate aspect than the milk that leaves a roasted taste in the mouth.. There is a bit of a caramel sweetness as well that helps to balance that aspect out. In the end, there is a bit of a bitter hops that come in and adds some pine aspect into this one. The hoppy bitter aspect was a bit intriguing and not really what i expected. Has a nice flavor profile but nothing that is blowing anyone out of the watery. Also seems a bit watery.

MF - Light amount of carbonation that sits on the tongue. Creamy beer that makes it easy to drink but didn't really have the ummph behind it that I was expecting and hoping for from a stout.

D - overall a good stout but not one that really left me wanting another one. have to say I was a bit disappointed by this one and just thought it would have been a bit better. Plus, something in the aftertaste makes me not really want to have another one either and I think it maybe that the hops seems to linger and leave a bit of an odd feeling in the mouth. (1,713 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

overall a good dark Stout. Poured from standard twelve ounce bottle into glass, first impression (this time, I've had it before and liked it):

darker than you realize when simply drinking out of bottle. nearly black, held to light and couldn't really see any level of light shining through, with dark brown head, thin and dissipated fairly quickly, though left enough on top to leave a residue on the glass as I drink it down. dark enough that I only see light through on the edges as I tilt the glass to drink.

definitely notice the deep coffee malt smell right off the bat. I didn't notice as much of the chocolate tinge as others have, but there is a very definite malty coffee-esque aroma to it. Before drinking it, you know what you are getting yourself into. Not overly complex, mostly driven by the roasted malts.

the taste brings further credence tow hat your nose first notices; a strong roasted flavour as the malts are at the forfront, again reminding me in some ways of a dark roast coffee. The chocolate flavour came to me later, almost after swallowing it, almost in little waves. the hops come into play later in the moutful as well, leaving a slightly bitter finish, that is not unpleasant

it is a little creamy, but not as much so as other stouts I've had, enjoyable and not overwhelming. doesn't coat the mouth the way some stouts do. the hops leave a lasting bitterness at the back of the tongue (where the bitter receiving taste buds are...)

overall a drinkable beer. Dark, but not overpowering or overly filling. Something I have drunk before and will drink again. (1,591 characters)

Photo of sevenarts
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brownish black with a tan head. Light to moderate lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee, a mix of bitterness and sweet underlying malts. Not a very strong aroma at all.

T/M: Really tasty and smooth. Rich chocolate and licorice up front, followed by some milky coffee flavors, and some bitterness, from the hops and the lingering coffee taste, in the follow-through. A trace of alcohol shows up in the aftertaste, along with that rich coffee. Very delicious. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.

O: An very good all-around stout that gets better and more layered as it warms up. (577 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.77/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black...very deserving of it's name. The head is a dark brown one finger cap with some nice brown lace coating the glass.

S - Bitter espresso beans and dark unsweetened chocolate. This is one of the most coffee intensive stouts that I've ever smelled. Literally smells like the strongest dark roast espresso with a huge chunk of baker's unsweetened dark sugar lumped in.

T - Again, huge espresso and bitter dark chocolate. There are some woody campfire flavors in there too.

M - Bitter, medium bodied, with some raspy carbonation that is a bit too rough for the style IMHO. The finish is bitter and "stoutish" as hell, and will stick to your teeth for the next few hours.

D - Pretty good stout honestly. I prefer less dark bitter coffee, but I know that's exactly what a lot of stout lovers are looking for so I can't fault it for that. (851 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, alcohol, sweet malt, slight spice, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee, sweet malt, slight dry hop, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, and body. (395 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours not quite obsidian, great head and lacing.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, booze.

Taste is strikingly dry and bitter. Roasted coffee and brown sugar. A bit of hops. Chocolate on the finish.

A decent amount of carbonation and dryness keep this un-viscous yet smooth.

A good beer all around, whether for sipping or sessions. (333 characters)

Photo of bagpiper2005
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Jet black with hints of dark ruby red on the edges. A huge three fingers of tan head that retains forever and laces the glass like crazy.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. A hint of floral hops coming through.

Taste: Starts off rather pleasant. Nice sweet caramel and dark fruit front end that gives way into a chocolate and coffee middle. However the back end finishes up with a rather unpleasant burnt bread taste, which actually gets less noticeable as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium and rich. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Average. The front and middle are delicious but they need to do something about that back end.

Final Notes: A decent American stout. I'll drink it, but I think there are better American stouts out there. If you like the taste of burnt toast, however, this is probably the beer for you. (864 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black color with a solid 2 inch cola colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Coffee, chocolate, and roast malt dominate the aroma, with nutty, toasted notes adding complexity.

Fairly acrid coffee is the predominant flavor, overwhelming the roast malt, which almost seems charred. Chocolate becomes secondary. The finish is bitter, peppery, and dry. As it warms, the flavor improves significantly.

Body is on the thick side, with minimal carbonation, and a fairly acrid, astringent finish. There's slight alcohol warmth.

Pretty disappointed in this beer, given the exceptional ratings. Very coffee-forward, bitter, and acrid, roasty, but lacking in chocolate and malt complexity. Substantial phenols. Pretty harsh. The more it warms, the more I like it, but still expected more. Leave it sit out for a good half hour. (856 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour into an Odell tulip glass yields a two finger mocha colored head rising above a near black body. The slightest tinge of mahogany runs along the sides of the glass. Head has incredible retention which forms a halo when subsiding resulting in nice lacing.

Aroma is of bold roasted malts some grain and oats, with a backing of chocolate and more earthy hops. Some fruity characteristics from the yeast.

Bold blackened malt followed by citrus hoppiness. The coffee taste here lasts throughout the drink only to bitter even further with the earthy and lemon tart citrus hops on the back end. Leaves a parched throat kind of dryness, charred, even a bit metallic.

Creamy smooth but the drying feeling come more from the taste than the actual liquid. Good heft and carbonation.

Nice looking stout with a pleasant smell but the taste is big bold coffee without much complexity and ends rather harsh, astringent and dry. Good offering by Deschutes but I'll take the porter when I want something dark. (1,010 characters)

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Enjoyed on a pleasant Saturday afternoon before Katelyn and Bled's wedding in Saint Paul.

A-Absolutely black beer, as should probably have been obivious based on the name. Fluffy brown head topped this brew.

S-Dry chocolate, slight roastiness, all blackish malt aromas with no perceptible hop aroma, and a hint of fruity esters.

T-Lots of burnt malts, some choco-coffee flavors moving this malt-centric beer forward. Hints of dark fruitiness play with some slight malty sweetness perceived.

M-Medim body, moderate level carbonation.

D-Tasty stout, and certainly represents the style well. It kind of blends in among the crowd, though, as far as the flavor profile goes. (713 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A friend brought me this back from Texas. Shocked that I hadn't reviewed it... I've definitely had it before. 12oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a thick, 1 finger dark mocha head with good retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is stringy, spotty and thick with good cling. Oil legs too. Great looking beer.

Nose is smoke, roast, cocoa and dark chocolate. Moderately aromatic but very appropriate for the style.

Opens roast, liquorice, and smoke. Some dark chocolate, black strap molasses and more roasted malt in the middle and end. Finishes with some sweetness and just a touch of booze. Roasted malt in the finish. Decently complex beer with all the right flavors here.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with some sparse bubbles in the mouth and goes down slightly prickly. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Nice.

A real nice beer overall. Subtle yet complex nose and flavor with a body that makes this one pretty drinkable. I'd definitely revisit this one. (1,010 characters)

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Totally black body, creamy tan head whose lacing coats the glass. Head is so thick the individual bubbles aren't even apparent- looks like a tan blanket. The line between body and head is stark, clear, and beautiful. In 92 reviews, this is my first 'perfect' rating ever. No carbonation visible through its opaqueness.

S: Faint, but some cream, milk chocolate, and dark malts come through. Clean, almost floral.

T: Also disappointingly faint. Chocolate, smoke, cream, dark malt, all balanced but on a low level. Something a little off-putting is in there too. Still, it has a fairly long finish. Overall sweet.

M: Rich, full bodied, creamy. Enjoyable to me, but on the verge of being flat.

O: Strong in everything but aroma and taste. Even besides the meek nature of those components, the flavors just didn't stand out to me. A picture of it could be considered fine art, but beyond that, I have a few other favorite milk stouts to which I'll be returning instead. (972 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.79/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A mild malty aroma jumped from the blackness of this bottle, after it was poured into a glass. In the initial taste, one detects dark chocolate, coffee, and a slight metallic taste. Being a little thinner than I would have expected for a stout, the heavier tastes disappeared with the metallic taste being more apparent. There was a certain degree of milkiness in this stout, but it lacked smoothness. It certainly lacked any measure of sweetness. In a sense, it made me think of instant coffee without the grittiness. A bitter coffee aftertaste finished the experience. In the scope of other stout, I am not sure anything stood out about this one. (648 characters)

Photo of jakekohut
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this courtesy of Jayjaye

Poured form a 12oz Bottle:

Poured very nicely with alot of head that settled quickly into a chocolate base....

Smelled like a stout should, coffee-chocolate and mocha hints very nice...

Tasted great with all the coffee-chocolate flavors necessary and at 6.4% this beer is very sessionable.. Excellent beer and I hope anyone who likes stouts gets to try this... (393 characters)

Photo of codynevels
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Purchased May, 8 2011
Consumed May, 9 2011

Bottled poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout Tulip

Had this for the first time previously paired with an H. Upmann Double Corona. Held off reviewing until tried alone (although I thought it paired nicely).

This beer poured black bodied with a thin dark brown ring when held up to the light. The thick head foamed to about a fingers width, but quickly dissipated to create a circle hugging the glass. My initial smell was dominated by roasted malts. Underneath the layer of roasted malts there was burnt coffee, spice and toffee. The taste did not betray the smell. My first taste, again, was dominated by roasted malt, however coffee and a bit of hops bitterness was there as well. The spice from the smell carried over in the finish. This beer goes down very easily, with a medium to light body, and coats the mouth slightly.

Overall, this beer is a good, easily accessible stout. The only problem I had with this beer is I feel the roasted malt flavor overshadowed some other interesting characteristics. (1,064 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nearly opaque in color. Burnt toast brown with white wheat colored head. Dissipates into a minimal film, small amount of lacing.

Nose is chocolatey and roasted grain filled.

Full of chocolate and more roasted grain on the tongue. Nice bitterness as well. Chocolate, some slight dark fruit flavors. Slightly sweet. Pretty dry and somewhat husky and bitter on the finish.

A nice beer. I have been hitting the stouts pretty hard lately and this was no slouch. (550 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark tan head that has fallen rapidly to a secure ring around the glass. Not actually obsidian colored...more of a dark dark daaarrrkk brown (perhaps its the light).

S: Smells of black patent malt, faint coffee aromas and hot chocolate with marshmallows with a touch of sourness. Its really nice. A beer that smells like this MUST have a nice flavor. I think its a law or something.

T: Tastes of roasted coffee with bittersweet chocolate flavors. Suprisingly sweet milk tastes hit the tip of the tongue then move down stream...slowly lingery until a faint sour Guinnessy taste shows its self. Ends with roasted grains arounds the back sides of the tongue. In a blind taste test, the beer could pass for a sweet stout.

M: Semi-full mouth feel with a slight crispness from the carbonation.

D: Not an overly complex beer, but still has a very nice flavor. (868 characters)

Photo of ark57
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque black with a light brown head. There is a lot of roasted character in the aroma (coffee and chocolate) and virtually no hops. The body is full and smooth with some sweet cream and coffee and slight chocolate. Burnt malt in the finish with a slight grassy/hay hop taste. It is a good drinking stout, but there is nothing that jumps out at me. (360 characters)

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (268 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.