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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,340 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2340
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Obsidian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,340 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of IceEyes


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the great northwestern stouts. It is entirely black with a silky smooth body and a lush fragrance of coffee and roasted grains. The taste is bold and reliable and finishes with a touch of chocolate. I've never had a bad bottle and it's even better on tap. It pours out with a thick beige head and leaves lots of lace on the glass. Every sip delivers big flavor. I wish every stout was this good.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 23:35:50 | More by IceEyes
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Likely the greatest (American) stout I have ever had. Poured up absolutely black with a bit of a rocky sand coloured head. This is precisley how a stout should look, IMO. Smell was phenomenal. This is the perfect stout smell, to me anyway. Coffee beans, unsweetened baker's chocolate, a bit of a lactic sourness, some smoke, the smell of dried cereals, and perhaps most importantly, it is bereft of any hops at all. At the very least, it is bereft of any cascade, cenntenial, or any other really piney/citrusy hops, anyway. This is a truly great stout. Taste starts out a bit sweet, and then turns dry toward the finish. Flavour profiles include coffee grounds, a bit of caramel, bitter chocolate, and a tiny touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is very solid and heavy. This, to me, is exactly what a good stout should be. Absolutely amazing!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2007 01:50:17 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of dnichols


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a chilled tulip.

A: This is a robust stout...thick, deep, and black with a limited brown head that didn't last and left a barely noticeable lacing.

S: It has a aroma profile that does the appearance justice...deeply darkly toasted malts, bitter semi-sweet chocolate, and a burst of campfire coffee.

T: I am not a fan of stouts...exception granted to this one. It has a straight froward and rich flavor of dark roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, and fresh brewed black French roast coffee. It is creamy rich...like a chocolate latte and finished clean with little residual bitterness.

M: It has a medium to full body with a crisp clean finish.

D: If every stout tasted this good I would become a real fan. I love coffee and semi-sweet chocolate and this brew has those flavors in spades. It may be a bit to rich and filling for long sessions but I would like to try.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2007 03:33:24 | More by dnichols
Photo of Jackinape


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as the pits of hell.
I smell dark roasted malts and chocolate.
I taste dark bitter wonderful chocolate.
Nice foam and lacing that sticks all over.
I stared this evening with a nice pale ale mirror pond which I love.
But shades of Indigo was my true desire this night.
And the darkness of Obsidian stout quelled my passions.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 03:40:01 | More by Jackinape
Photo of Ragedman


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! A dark black stout just like obsidian. I drank out of the bottle but I did pour a bit into the glass to confirm this beer is dark.

The smell is the best parts. I could have swarn all I was smelling was chocolate. It was just astouding, couldn't wait to try it.

The taste wasn't as good as the smell, but its still quite appeasing. Chocolate, malts, some tobacco, possibly raisins, it's quite a nice combination. Aftertaste of alcohol and a slight bitterness.

Obsidian stout has the perfect mouthfeel. Carbonated just enough to make the beer super easy to drink and really enjoy.

If you enjoy a good, strong stout beer then it would be a sin for you not to buy a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 02:35:08 | More by Ragedman
Photo of isualum12


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pure bliss....it's that simple

pours black with a carmel tone on the edge. darker creamer head then most which holds it's self up. The smell and flavor comes off the head to perfection.

Smells sweat with bourbon.

You can taste the bourbon on your tounge as soon as it hits it. There is some great spice in there as well.

I am really excited to try and pair this beer up with some great beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 01:41:53 | More by isualum12
Photo of ELN


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I don't buy them too often because I don't go "beer shopping". I buy beer at my local cheap supermarkets generally and there's not a great deal of stouts available.

One morning about 2 years ago I drank a 6 pack of this early one morning and watched a bunch of porn. That is my best memory of this beer. Good taste and at 6.4% a nice challenge to get these down and see how far you can go. ;)

This is basically local beer that's always available on my local shelves for like $5.50-$6.50, we may be lucky? This and Full Sail and some others are the same price because of the distibutor.

I'm giving a 4.5 on appearance/smell/taste/mouthfeel. 5 on drinkability. Really great stuff! I prefer Deschutes over Full Sail generally.

Damn good. Enjoy!

---if you like this you might want to try Henry Weinhard's Dark Lager which is seasonal. It is what Full Sail came out with last year basically. Stouty-taste in a lager. A bit interesting, still tastes like a lager but is a nice change w/ the dark bit of taste. Goes for about $10.47 a 12pk. locally.--

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 07:55:15 | More by ELN
Photo of madvermin


4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always been an old standby of mine, about time I reviewed it.

Pours inky black with complete opacity and a bustling three-finger head that is rocky, milky, and very light. Mahogany in color, it retains very well and leaves lace absolutely everywhere. Beautiful beer.

Roasted malt is slightly chocolately and has a touch of coffee, while a woodiness gives more complexity to the nose. Nuts and some dark fruit round it out. Really well balanced and engrossing aroma.

The taste is a phenomenal blend of roast malts, fruits and nuts, a charred finish, chocolate, and coffee. There is a bit of everything, and it's all at the right times. It starts lightly hoppy, with even a tiny bit of citrus being noticeable, but then moves to woody, nuttiness that is soft but firm. Dark fruit swoops in for a quick cameo, before a burnt, slightly bitter finish with lingering light coffee notes. Chocolate is drizzled on top from time to time adding its own flavor.

Mouthfeel is not thick or sticky, but rather a simple medium/full bodied blend of smoothness and slickness. The beer flows effortlessly and the dry finish is great. Perhaps could use a bit more weight, but it's fine as is. Drinkability is really outstanding for such a strongly flavored stout. Abv of only 6.4% is crazy for how much taste they managed to pack into this, and the dry finish is always an aid to keeping sips great the whole way through.

This is just an awesome beer, and I'd say its the perfect example of an American Stout. The fact that it's year-round and affordable is just a massive cherry on top. Living in an area where the Deschutes lineup is sold in every store is awesome.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 09:43:10 | More by madvermin
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a long lasting head of compact, creamy bubbles. Leave a fair amount of fine lacing on the glass.

S: A good amount of chocolate, coffee and roast in the nose with some low burnt notes. There is a low citrus hops aroma.

T: Dark malt flavors dominate the flavor as well, again bring chocolate, some bitter coffees, roast and a bit of burnt bitterness to the party. There is a low caramel sweetness in the middle. There is a low caramel sweetness that gets dried out pretty quickly. There is a moderate hops bitterness teaming up with the roast bitterness making for a beer that is moderately bitter on balance. The finish is off dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste that shows some citrus hops flavors.

M: A medium full bodied beer with a moderate amount of creaminess and a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: Outstanding aroma and flavor having all of the dark malt notes of chocolate, coffee and a a touch of burnt bitterness along with some hops bitterness. It's fairly dry with and smooth. It's pretty evident why the beer has earned so many awards.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 03:07:29 | More by MadScientist
Photo of mayerale


4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass from a 12oz bottle.

Deschutes doesn't normally disappoint, and the Obsidian Stout is no exception.

A: It pours a deep brown, with a think tan head. The head on my beer actually disappeared rather quickly, but at the initial pour it was fantastic looking.

S: Definitely get the roasted smell initially, but there is a subtle sweetness that cuts through it after the first hit.

T: There are a lot of flavors with this beer. It begins with the roasted barely right toward the tip of the tongue right off the bat. As with the smell, there is a sweetness of fruit that comes right on the heels of the initial bitterness. As the thick stout moves to the back of your tongue, you are definitely left with a coffee/espresso taste. It is a complex taste that will stay in your mouth for quite a while, with a clear roasted essence lingering.

M: As you would expect with a stout, it has a thick feel to it. It is very smooth.

O: This is a fantastic beer. It is highly complex and offers a lot, from a beautiful appearance, to a lot of different flavors from bitter, to sweet, to roasted coffee. This is one of the better stouts that I have had, and I definitely recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 02:27:32 | More by mayerale
Photo of alexAK


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So gorgeously dark, this could be the king of stouts, I wish there was just a bit more head though. Aromas are fully present with a slight dryness.

The first thing I notice upon tasting is the incredible smoothness that manages to compliment the almost smoky dry character of the roasted barley which is easily balanced by the malt flavor. It lingers enough to dazzle my whole tongue.

More full than a guinness but not overdone, I could drink this all night. I'm so glad it's readily available in my area.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 04:34:23 | More by alexAK
Photo of variousartists


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To call this stout would be an understatement.

A: Black as night. Brown head. Everything sticks to glass.

S: Burnt malt and coffee dominate.

T: Stout, stout, stout, stout, and stout. Wow. Like the smell malt and coffee flavors dominate.

M: As full bodied that I've had.

D: I'm not a big stout drinker but this is an exception. Goes down very nicely. Especially with a good marinated flank steak.

This is one hell of an impressive brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2006 00:59:13 | More by variousartists
Photo of ocelot2500


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a mocha head that fades. Not much lacing left on the glass.

Smells of dark roasted coffee with some chocolate notes. A little hop note can be found.

Tastes of the big roasted character up front. It is a little sweet and then it changes quickly to a bitter roasted and hop character. The hops feel a little citrusy, but are assertive and do not hide in the background. Chocolate notes are also present in the finish, but this features more of the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full.

This is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 01:51:11 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of JTahoe


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bottle with drink-by date.

A - Aptly named obsidian black with one finger rocky tan head settling down to a creamy cap. Sticky lacing clings to the glass in wild organic patterns.

S - Roasty and toasty grains.

T - A smooth mélange of melding and weaving flavors without any one dominating; deep roasted barley, perfectly bittering hops, caramelized sugar, baking chocolate, juicy fruit, rich malt, and as delicate a charred flavor as was ever created. There is a faint sweetness contrasted with a vivid and pleasing acidity.

M - Velvety and full, but without heaviness. Beguilingly effervescent. A nice spicy dryness develops in the finish.

D - Impressive and satisfying, this stout walks the fine line of subtle and flavorful just beautifully.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 05:04:13 | More by JTahoe
Photo of bum732


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as night, decent tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted coffee, some yeasty breadiness, some earthy hops, touch of citrus fruits, touch of chocolate. Tastes of fruity and chocolate malt with a nice coffee roastiness on the backbone. Finishes fairly sweet with a nice caramel and roasty component. Nice creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

A really fantastic beer. Everything is very well balanced with no component totally overwhelming. This is one of those rare American stouts that one can drink a lot of. Truly one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 04:34:04 | More by bum732
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque deep sable with not much head. Rich, oily aroma has firm coffee and chocolate tones - very inviting. Sweet, coffee-ish flavor has hints of chocolate and licorice and a bit of hops. Smooth, barely fizzy texture still leaves a persistent tingle.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 02:27:01 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of CHOSENONE1546


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 12oz bottle

Appearance: Dark brown nearly black with a thick cream colored head

Smell: Robust, with slight coffee hints

Taste: Somewhat aggresive compared to most american stouts i've tried. fairly prominant coffee aftertaste. Very smooth

Mouthfeel: very full and soothing

Overll: One of my favorite beers , not as mellow as the average stout type. Brings a certain character and quallity you come to expect from most of the deschutes line

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 05:10:04 | More by CHOSENONE1546
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black with a beautiful tan head.

Smell – Chocolate, roasted malt, smokiness, and a hint of coffee and molasses.

Taste – The taste has the same description as the smell - nice.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated, creamy, nice mouthfeel for a stout.

Drinkability – This is a very drinkable beer. My wife drank my entire bottle as I was trying to review it, and I had to pour another for myself. Goes down really easy. I agree with the Bros - I rate this higher than The Abyss.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 05:34:03 | More by Falcon91Wolvrn03
Photo of Siriusfisherman


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep black, red glints on the pour. Creamy brownish head and excellent lacing.

A: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, charcoal, caramel biscuit, herbal hop. Very clean, crisp and rich aroma.

T/M: Firm bitterness upfront, big coffee/charcoal and dark chocolate, wheat tartness. The middle reveals some herbal hop caramel biscuit adding some richness to the roasted flavors. The mouthfeel is full and the finish has some lingering sweetness, but it is heavily out-wayed by the drying roasted flavors.

Overall, what a stout. Extremely complex and balanced, bringing flavor from many places. The wheat malt was genius, I would have never thought to put that in a stout, but it works beautifully with the charcoal roasted notes. A real winner, I cannot think of a better year-round offering available in my state.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 06:28:51 | More by Siriusfisherman
Photo of dsellers22


4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really strong coffee smell and taste and finishes really well--love the aftertaste on this beer.

A: It pours an opaque, very dark brown/near black. Love the look of this beer!

S: Smells delicious--roasted coffee, very subtle spiciness, a bit of dark chocolate smell.

T: Delicious malty flavor that's heavy on coffee but doesn't overdo it.

M: Goes down really smooth.

O: I'm really pleased with this beer. Hadn't tried it before but I will definitely be getting it again. Deschutes typically nails it but no "easy A's" here--the beer speaks for itself. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 00:35:41 | More by dsellers22
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 23:48:39 | More by Gavage
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this brew from IntiqKen because the Mets beat the Angels, Thanks Ken... Let's Go Mets!

12oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass.

L - black color with a large tan head that left good lacing.

S - roasted coffee aroma.

T - sweet roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are balanced with good bittering on the finish.

F - smooth and creamy, fantastic.

D - excellent.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 01:19:29 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of beveritt


4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to DoctorDog for this one.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle is embossed on the neck with what appears to be hop bines. Label depicts a stream with a mountain in the background. Best by 5/28/09.

Appearance: Pours with 4 fingers of dark tan head. This dense cap settles very slowly and only gradually, maintaining undulating peaks that are as thick and substantial as those in a root beer float. The beer itself is utterly black. Looks like there may be some sediment in the bottle, but nothing of significance.

Smell: Coffee and unsweetened cocoa. Slight hint semi sweet chocolate in the finish.

Taste: Incredibly smooth transitions between numerous full bodied flavors. Mild chocolate upfront leads to a strong roasted barley bitterness leads to a lingering black coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation, but with a mouthfeel that makes it almost seem nitro. Body is great.

Drinkability: A great break from studying for the LSAT, this is truly a stunning stout. Too bad it is entirely unavailable in my area.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 21:17:28 | More by beveritt
Photo of dfitch81


4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Up front: in my humble opinion this is the best widely available year-round stout you can buy - regardless of price. Truly a defining example of a proper American stout.

All stouts should aspire to Obidian's appearance, i.e. impenetrable thick blackness that - even at the edges - barely yields even when put right up against a light, coupled with a lingering puffy tan head that leaves rich lacing all the way down the glass. There should be no thin-ness in a stout; the two words are antonyms, for cryin' out loud! This is a beer that understands that right out of the bottle.

Aroma is of rich roasted barley, which is to say mocha, espresso, dark chocolate etc., balanced with some hard workin' PacNW hops that have their hands full competing with such outstanding roasty goodness. Smells like walking into a premium coffee merchant's shop, only better, because its beer!

Taste intensifies and adds to the suggestions of the nose: intense chocolate and espresso, now also a hint of charcoal, while in the near ground hops do their job keeping the malt sweetness in check. These flavors, so vivid and well-orchestrated, linger on the palet long after the sip. Truly outstanding.

Wonderful silky mouthfeel rounds out the package in this world-beater. 6.4% ABV is too high to make this a session beer in the normal sense, but there is really nothing else I've found at this ABV that can compete for flavor and complexity. Hell, not many things compete with this for flavor and complexity REGARDLESS of ABV, and when you look at it that way, this looks like the closest thing possible to a sessionable Imperial Stout (if ever there could be such a thing).

This is truly one of the greats, not just in its style but in the beer world - period.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 21:28:10 | More by dfitch81
Photo of Danishboy59


4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into cold, traditional pint glass

A: A deep, very dark, truly "obsidian like" color, with a rich and moderately thick, stout-style cocoa colored, single finger head.

S: Nose of smoky, dark roast Coffee, with a pungent bitterness on the end

T: Coffee is up front, rolling into big roasty, toasty malts, hint of balanced sweetness, big hops imparting an espresso-like bitterness on the finish, later developing into a carmel-ish toast for the long haul...

M: Robust, with some serious richness to it, some creaminess, but not nearly as thick as I'm used to from traditional Irish/UK stouts. Incredibly long and dry-ish finish!

This beer had that classic familiarity of a Guinness (have had it in Dublin!), but is also it's own unique interpretation of a classic stout. It is incredibly bold and robust, even more so than the aforementioned standard, but it is all woven expertly into this beer. It doesn't feel as heavy going down as most stouts, an extremely endearing quality. Can't imagine a stout that would surpass it!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 12:36:02 | More by Danishboy59
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,340 ratings.