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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,029 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,029
Hads: 3,361
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 487
Gots: 567 | 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 (160) | 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: 1,029 | Hads: 3,361
Photo of bjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to fitzIPAtrick for handing this off to me.

A: Pours a very very dark brown, bordering on black. Nice frothy one and a half finger caramel colored head. Retention holds with nice lacing down the sides.
S: Roasted malt and barley right out of the gate. Nice sweetness of chocolate and caramel. Great smelling.
T/M: Roasted barley and chocolate malt dominate this brew. Burnt coffee notes that have a slight bitterness to them continue into the aftertaste. Slight milkyness that's coupled by a smoothness. Soft on the palate with a slightly dry finish. There's a bit of sweetness in this brew, but it's subdued. Good body with a perfect level of carbonation. Damn tasty brew--could be my winter staple if I was able to get it on a frequent basis.
D: A session stout at it's finest even with the slightly higher abv. Smooth and silky, this brew has what it takes. (878 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smacks! This was on nitro-tap at Vine St. Pub in Denver, CO. This place has Mountain Sun house beers with guest taps...a nice mix.

Pours a black, rich beer. Nitro gives the foamy white head a nice completeness and contrast to the body. Much like the famous Guinness pour. Head stays throughout at 1 finger.

Coffee aroma, dark chocolate and roasted bread. Lovely.
Coffee aroma settles a bit in the taste. More dark chocolate comes out towards the end. Dark fruits blended well (some plum, prune, raisin).
Darn smooth. Very easy drinking. A touch sharp in the middle.
very nice nitro version (597 characters)

Photo of IllNate
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black stout with ruby highlights and a nice thick tan head with great retention. Fine looking beer, although I was expecting darker with the name obsidian. Not going to hold that against them though. Aroma is also great with mounds of chocolate. Coffee and dark roast malts, so breadiness here too.

Taste is top notch as well with chocolate and dark malts, and a nice bready malt body. Nice balancing bitterness here as well, with some earthy tones.

Mouthfeel is smooth and, as mentioned, perfect bitterness. Easy drinker. Overall probably the best stout I've had to date. (583 characters)

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap @ The Heathman Hotel in Portland and quaffed in the comforts of the Tea Court.

Pours as black as the volcanic rock for which it is named. Modest head with good retention and exceptional lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee.

Opens with rich, roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate. Hints of caramel, molasses and burnt toast emerge. Velvety-smooth mouthfeel. French Roast coffee moves to the forefront, followed by suggestions of licorice and oatmeal. All of these rich and roasted complexities are artfully balanced with a touch of hop bitterness. Finishes powder dry. Obsidian Stout is an approachable sipper and the perfect nightcap. (670 characters)

Photo of Reed415
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color with a small tan head

S - Extremely Nutty, Roasted Coffee, and chocolate

T - As in the nose, the taste is comprised of Roasted Coffee and Nuts, Chocolate

M - Full Bodied, Moderate Carbonation

D - Excellent. One of my favorite Stouts (268 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: lots of chocolate, coffee

taste: very complex and lots of dark rasted flavors.

mouthfeel: full bodied

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine. a perfect exmaple of an american stout (262 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listening to Biggie...
A - Stouts make the greatest heads out of any style. There, I said it. It has that pitch black color w/ the deep red up to light, but the head is what's important. Coffee ice cream color, foamy but consistent. Give it a minute, and it starts collapsing and craters form. It's so damn creamy. Sticks to the glass like crazy too. It's been a few minutes and the heads only receded to about half it's original size. Alright, enough about that, let's get to going.
S - Fresh coffee beans and moist bittersweet chocolate. The roasted malt is there too, but it's also pretty hoppy on the nose.
T - This is why I love Stouts. So smooth and creamy as soon as it hits your lips and even better going down your throat. It even sounds creamy as you swallow it. Fairly dry taste in the end as the power of the chocolate and coffee flavors calm down. A nice subtle carbonation to pair with the dryness. The roasted malt sticks to the palate like crazy. It tastes so fresh too, like I popped a couple pieces of roasted malt into my mouth. Can get a little watery in the finish, but it doesn't take away from anything.
M - The flavors overflow the mouth and stick so well. Smooth as a Stout can get. It's a little more carbonated and dry than Sierra Nevada's Stout.
D - For a Stout, it's crazy drinkable. Somehow I don't find Stouts filling, but it's also compliments to Deschutes for making a great, drinkable beer. If I had this on tap at a bar, I would have ordered a second round right from the first sip. The flavors never leave and never tone down. Such an awesome beer on every level. When you find this beer, don't mix it in a six-pack, buy a whole six-pack of it. Biggie goes well with a Stout. Man, I just wrote a short story. (1,749 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Within months of the best by date. The blue packaging currently depicted is out of date. An opaque darkness in the glass, but you can see through the pour. I nice fluffy tan head that fades to sticky lacing patterns. The smell is similar to the last bunch of Stouts that I've sampled in that the aroma through the head is different than the surface smell. An agitated whiff reveals a creamy alcohol, like a barrel aged treated product, dark chocolate and caramel that is altogether creamy. Closer to the surface exposes a roasted malt and coffee notes. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium, but the rich full flavors take you to a heavier place. The flavor is special. A creamy, milky semisweet lightly roasted malt with subtle chocolate and a perfect little grainy coffee and alcohol flavor that lingers really nicely. This is an easy drinker. I'm surprised how much of the 6.4% ABV that you sense in the nose and taste but it's all a pleasure! Highly recommended. Shout out to drumrboy22 for the opportunity. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance (4.5): Very dark (black) as i expect in a stout, with a wonderful creamy mocha colored head

Smell (4.5): Balanced between chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and slight smokiness

Taste (4.5): As with the nose it is very well balanced between chocolate and roasted malts, with the latter being more so on the palate. There is slight smokiness and a good amount of hop bite at the backend

Mouthfeel (4.25): Medum body; Goes down smooth but perhaps a tad bit too bitter for me in the finish for a stout

Overall (4.5): I ended up buying the Deschutes variety pack because i have been wanting to try this beer for a while now and have not seen it anywhere else. It did live up to my expectations, but considering my indulgence in RISs, it's not quite robust enough. Speaking of robust, this reminds me a lot of the Smuttynose Robust Porter. Still a great regular stout, and one of my favorites in the style. (915 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle thanks to Colby, served in my Narke tulip. Review # 1200, tick beer #98 of the new crappy top beers list...An 11pm black pour, dark throughout. A light tan head that rises about three fingers, average retention but really nice think lacing, almost covers the whole glass...An aroma of roasted coffee and a little smoke. Not sweet malts at all but this is really nice, almost perfect roastiness very light sweet chocolate on the very back...The taste is shockingly sweet. The roastiness is gone, replaced by a very sweet chocolate with a hint of vanilla and dark fruits. A touch to sweet especially for the low abv but its totally 180 in taste is fun and refreshing...A light palate easy to drink.

A low abv stout that is super easy to drink and tasty. An A+ Englishish stout that you could just crush all day. Wasn't expecting much but this is a great one. (869 characters)

Photo of goindownsouth
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Much thanks to weefisheads for this 12 ounce bottle sample. I love Deschutes labels...

Appearance: Pitch black. Blacker than black, with a surprisingly lighter-colured, yet somewhat more viscous head than I thought.

Smell: Coffee. Good strong black coffee, with heavy doses of roasted malts balancing things out.

Flavor: Surprisingly sweet. Very malty, and almost chewy-so. Rich coffee flavor...espresso, to be sure.

Bottom Line: A fantastic brew. I don't think I have had an Imerial stout, to date, but if I would, I would think this stout would compare rather favorably. I would think this could be considered a big stout. One of my favorites, hands down. (684 characters)

Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of bitter, roasty, dark chocolate and coffee ground flavors from the roasted barley. Not as much sweetness as I was expecting, but whatever, this is one awesome stout. The dryness makes for a very bold, robust stout that's very true to the style. (251 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian. The liquid is a black hole that allows a few stray photons to create weak, deep garnet highlights at the base of the pint glass. The head is impressive. Light chocolate brown in color, Bighuge in size and more stiff and sticky than most. It's more craggy than rocky as it falls and leaves a great deal of spackle-like lace on the inside of my glass.

There's plenty of roastedness in the nose, but this is no one trick pony. The heavily flambed black malt is leavened by semi-sweet chocolate and glorious hops. The beer does not let me down on the palate, not even close. Obsidian oozes black malt flavor that borders on charred astringency without quite getting there.

Chocolate appears to have faded a bit, but in its place is a pleasant smokiness and a citric hoppiness. Coffee notes emerge on a finish that is increasingly bitter and parched tongue dry. The body/mouthfeel is full and smooth with very little actual chewiness.

Obsidian Stout is a classic. Amazing appearance, flavor to spare, malt and hops enough for all-comers and a body big enough to suit me; no easy task. I do believe this is Deschutes best beer. (1,141 characters)

Photo of deBeers
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours blacker than black with a creamy expresso like head that reached a towering four fingers with my rigorous pour. Thank you gravity!

Bottle conditioned using the Krausening process and water from the Cascade mountains. I love everything about this beer from the location of the brewery to the production to the silky smooth taste of this stout. Name is very apt for this brew.

Silky, sensuously dark chocolate making this brew inviting and deliciously smooth. Roasted malts remind me of coffee. This was extremely enjoyable with some homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. Carbonation was a perfect blend. Seek this out and lay a few down for a month or two!

Thanks Deshcutes and especially to Big Love for sending this my way! (736 characters)

Photo of Jaimeb1185
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Completely dark, about 1 finger of caramel colored head with lacing that hangs around throughout.

S: Roasted barley with some sweetness too.

T: Very roasted flavor, finishes smooth with a pretty strong hoppy flavor.

M: Full bodied and thick mouthfeel, not syrupy but creamy.

D: Fantastic drinkability with no over-powering flavors. Goes down easy, just an all around great beer! (385 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(best by 07/24/14 - poured into a proper 20 oz pint)

A: tall almost 2" head on the pour, fell down to a 1/4" cap, leaving flares of lace all around... foam is a darker brown indicative of a significant portion of roasted barley in the bill... pretty dark brown liquid with some ruby highlights

S: wicked stream of mint, herbal liqueur, and dark chocolate jets forth until the alcohol dissipates... after which, spearmint-y pine, caramelized wood, and sweetish black coffee (dark crystal ~90?) dominate the aromas... an overall hygienic sort of floral-pine character

T: definite core of strong roasted barley and bittersweet malt flavor through which a seemingly everlasting surge of spicy-peppery, citrusy hops burns... dark, bitter, vaguely syrupy chocolate clings to the palate in the aftertaste while the pungent bitterness slowly fades but doesn't quite disappear... roastiness increases with each sip, balancing the bold caramel malt presence

M: fairly medium-bodied up front with a bit of a molasses-like viscosity adding a slight slickness, filling it in... after the start, however, it dries out quickly with an acrid wash... everything stays in the first half of the palate

O: in the debate of Stout vs Porter and contrasts and similarities of each, it appears that Deschutes has made the distinction between the two (their porter being their Black Butte) by making this beer certainly damn roasty and bitter while their porter highlights more of a dynamic cereal/cakey malt foundation and more pronounced chocolaty flavor... this stout, though, is an easy and safe sell to those who haven't had it - fantastic! (1,626 characters)

Photo of Admbmb92
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter. Served at cellar temp.
A-Inky black, no showing of light whatsoever. Mocha brown head, fluffy.
Ar-coffee, dark chocolate, earthyness
T-creamy chocolate immediately followed up by coffee and earthy hop bitterness, carbonation. Very well balanced. Slight booze on finish. Slight yeasty flavor
M-medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Exactly what I would expect.
Overall- perfect American stout. So well balanced. I prefer to drink this at at least 50 degrees or warmer because it adds creaminess and even more balance. My favorite beer by deschutes and my favorite stout ever. Flys off the shelf (638 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter, served at 52 degrees.

Appearance - dark, dark brown. Thick mocha head has great retention.

Aroma - dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted barley

Taste - a dry bitterness gives way to a slight dark chocolate sweetness and finishes dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel - medium body with good carbonation.

Overall - a world class stout. (352 characters)

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sucked down as dessert after pub food, on tap, over 25 glorious minutes.
The pour hue is deep chocolate with a dark tan head. Blanket lacing. Just enough light goes through to evolve red highlights.
Coffee, smoke, walnut--all tightly bound and understated characterize the scent profile. There's just a whiff of hop pine both at the start of a sniff and in the clean lift of the end of a breath.
The taste profile is stylistically on point and beautifully balanced unlike the majority of these creations. Mocha and toasty nuts hold the center. There's a suggestion of berry. But it's all still beer with a nosey burst of booze and edge of pine hop bitterness on the end.
Silky start with some barley chew. Consistent cream flow. Just right for the style, but a hint of carbonation buzz would be beautiful.
This creature is blended so well and kind to the tongue. Just a dram of extra ethanol would elevate it to near perfection by lifting the nose and adding a warm edge to the flavor and feel. (994 characters)

Photo of joedon
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly opaque black beer with a creamy tan head. Aroma of dark fruit, licorice, roasted malt.

Taste is perfect! Rich malty sweetness and a good amount of roasted-coffee/barley notes. Exceptionally smooth [Nitro!] and has a dark toasty, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel also perfect. Almost like a dessert custard-thats how smooth and creamy this stout is. Drinkability was outstanding for a pretty big beer.

I would love to have more of this but I never see it in the midwest. (487 characters)

Photo of Brandt
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this one pours out a dark black color with a nice two finger tan head

the smell is roasty black malts that conjure up hints of coffee and faint notes of bakers chocolate.

the flavor of this beer really is a wonderful thing. the taste is rich with dark malts and alcohol follwed up by a molasses sweetness and flavors of brown sugar as well as coffee.

the finish is warming and a med body that leaves notes of coffee in the nasal. this is a great stout and its even better that it comes in six packs and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, a true standby! (552 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA on 7/10/11

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a mild bitterness present as well. A nice nose.

T - Bitter espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts and a subtle overall sweetness to balance it out. This is an exceptional stout.

M - Almost feels like this is nitro (perhaps it is?). Medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

O - Another great offering from Deschutes. (511 characters)

Photo of TwinButte
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black into a snifter glass. An amazing tan head over an inch in height that keeps rebuilding as you drink it.

Smells of dark chocolate and coffee. Upon the first taste I get unsweetened chocolate and espresso. Very nice first impression. Super smooth and not a bit bitter at all. Leaves a lingering chocolate mocha flavor in the back. Sooo good.

Overall this is well deserving of such a high score. I can't get over how good this stout is. It's very well balanced. Probably my new favorite stout. Perfection. (526 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown to black color with a sparse coating of light tan head over top. Nose is nice and chocolatey sweet with a background of ashy roasted malt. Good balance between sweetness and roast in this one. Flavor is nice as well. Mostly chocolate in the start, with the roasty and light hoppy bitter on the finish giving a light coffee note to it. Bitter doesn't hang on too long, but stays around just long enough. Feel is velvety smooth and creamy but nice and thick with a minimal carbonation. This is an incredible stout. The beer is in very good harmony with itself. Flavor and aroma meld very well. I don't remember what I said about this before, but I am a big fan of what I just drank. (699 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black as night, this one is. Even the monstrous, lacing, pitting head is super-dark.

Smell – Oh, man, does this have a wonderful aroma. If you’re a stout drinker, you will love the smells coming out of this beer. The burnt, toasty malt is infused with a powerful maple/molasses mixture that’ll knock your socks off. The pure cane and raw sugars turn this into a gorgeous, deep, strong stout.

Taste – Things really smooth out in the taste. The sweetness comes out more at this point. There seems to be a fruity compliment here, maybe cherries dipped in chocolate, and something a little lighter (apricots, maybe). The burnt bread carries the day, though.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very creamy. This one is smooth, smooth, smooth, which seems to be a signature of the brewery. It is bigger than medium-bodied but not full.

Drinkability – I’ve sampled a few terrific beers from this brewery, but this one takes the cake.

Update – This was one of my earlier reviews on the site. Now having been a member for over a year and having tasted over 1,000 beers (over 100 stouts alone) I thought I would revisit this fella in 2004. I’ll be damned, this is one good stout. I stand by my initial rating. This is one of the best stout buys on the planet. (1,287 characters)

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,029 ratings.