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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,029 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,029
Hads: 3,361
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 489
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
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Reviews: 1,029 | Hads: 3,361
Photo of grub
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from alohaC as part of the BA Secret Bunny 2007. thanks christian!

12oz bottle, best by 03/30/07.

pours very dark brown, not quite black and not quite opaque. big very fine dense tan head that quickly falls to a thin layer on top of the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. licorice. lots of roast. coffee and dark chocolate. oatmeal. biscuit malt. hint of alcohol. a bit fruity.

taste is great. moderate roast. bittersweet chocolate. coffee. med-low bitterness. lots of biscuit malt. oatmeal. no alcohol.

mothfeel is good. silky smooth. medium carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. this is a damn tasty stout that i'd love to have available locally. (705 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 SkeeterHawk
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours as you would expect a stout to...Black. There was a small head of tan bubbles that stuck around for every bit of a minute to end up as a small ring around the edge of the glass. There is some light lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Clean dry chocolate aroma with some mild biscuity notes letting you know that there is some depth to the malt. I get some floral hops in here to compliment the malt notes, but the malt is in charge of the aroma. The aroma gets more nutty as the beer warms.

Taste: This beer has a defined dry acidic bite that gets you in the beginning, but there is enough hops and other malt flavors here to not let the acidity run the show. The hops give quite a challenge to the malt in the middle of the flavor profile, but then there is a bit of sweetness to lead into the finish. There is a little bit of the alcohol noticeable late in the finish as a very subtle warming and an even more subtle spice. The finish is balanced and clean with a mild sweetness to linger long into the finish.

Opinion: This is a really tasty beer, and I would consider it to be one of the best American Stouts that I have had to date. I like that there is some real depth to the malt so that you don't have a watery beer with hops and roast and that is it. This beer is balanced with all of the components independently noticeable. (1,373 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a pitch black as night, dark oil like liquid. Huge tan head had a very very slow fade and left lots of lace all the way down the glass. Looked just like a stout should look....thick.

S - Smell was very robust, deep roasted coffee and dark german chocolate. Hints of a sugary or caramel sweetness as well.

M & T - Taste was very thick and complex. Big deep roasted flavor, almost a burnt taste to it. Lots of flavors of coffee and german dark chocolate. Cery thick feel, but not syrupy, great carbonation led to a great silk like feel. Nice big hoppy finish left a very long lingering burnt aroma, I could literally taste it for 20 mins after the last sip, very outstanding full flavor.

D - Overall this was awesome, the perfect desset beer as a good stout should always be. I found no hint at all of any alcohol, nothing but great aromas and flavors. Very robust, full of complex suprises in flavor and taste. An all around great brew. Definatly lived up to its reputation. (994 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: Gives a low mocha colored head that recedes partially. The beer is a very dark brown.

s: Really good all around. Great roast level, nice hop aroma. Perfect sweetness level.

m: medium carbonation and a pretty full body

t: Good roast level with underlying sweet notes of caramel malt. Moderate-high hop flavor with the roasts building even stronger in the finish. Medium bitterness lingers along.

d: good

from babydoc, for my bombing (449 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in my delirium tremens tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a nice quarter inch head. Nice lacing and froth remains. Smell is roasted malts and cocoa bean. Taste is of bittering coffee bean. The mouthfeel is carbonated and medium in feel. A decent stout from an above average brewery. A good session beer that I would like to have on hand at all times. (358 characters)

Photo of nsw
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at BevMo (hallowed be its name) in Natomas (Sacramento, CA). Sixer for $7.79, March '07.

A: Half-inch tan head, nice tan lacing. Totally opaque, "say it loud, 'it's black and it's proud.'"

S: Slight coffee notes.. I'm olfactorily challenged, sorry.

T: Coffee and chocolate, fading to a pleasant bitterness.

M: Smooth and slightly chewy.

O: One of my favorite stouts of all time; I highly recommend this beer. I first had this beer at the brewery on a family vacation up to Sunriver, Oregon. The brewery's in Bend, an easy 15 minute drive. I buy at least one 6-pack of this a month now that we've finally got a Bevmo near our home. I wish the ABV were lower, because I love to drink this stuff. (720 characters)

Photo of kdoc8
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was part of the I'm Bored Tonight Stout-Off, up against Rogue's Imperial Stout and Bell's Expedition Stout. Pours a deep black with hints of red when swirled. A thin bubbly, tan head forms and then recedes fairly quickly, but leaves a nice bit of lacing behind. The smell is mainly of chocolate, but a dark cocoa kind of chocolate and some whiff of alcohol to it - a roasty, but not smoky, smell. It has a bubbly mouthfeel and goes down nice and easy with a nice roasty-coffee aftertaste. Up front, I don't taste any bitterness and most of the taste is in the aftertaste. Good stuff! (598 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to markgugs for this one.

A: Pours dark brown with a thick foamy head. Good sustain with tons of lacing.

S: Aromas of rich chocolate and toffee.

T: Smooth earthy flavor of burnt oak with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Slightly astringent, but in a good way. Full-flavored, yet in some ways, subtle.

M: Smooth and medium-light bodied with light carbonation.

D: Overall, this is a damn nice stout. Get some. (435 characters)

Photo of Chuggnutt
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Inky coffee black, with a nice thick brown head, frothy and rocky.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate. Creamy and smoky.

Taste: Smooth and dark—slightly burnt astringency. Roasted grains, dark roast/espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy sweetness, burnt biscuit (good), clean hops.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, nice full body without being overwhelming in strength. An oily chocolate afterfeel, but very clean-feeling.

Overall: An amazing, smooth, drinkable stout, an excellent example of the style. Truly one of the best stouts I've had. (580 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a big giant head that falls, but doesn't break apart and leave. The lacing is strong and the color is black and doesn't let any light through at all. The smell is sooo roasty and coffee. Yeah I get expresso goodness out of the flavor. The flavor is a nice coffee flavor with some dark malts, I like it a lot. The mouthfeel is very nice, very smooth, medium bodied beer. Overall it's nice and drinkable, something to be had on more than one accasion. (455 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to babydoc for this bottle

A - well, theres no question why the named this the way they did, i know, i know, theres obsidian down the street from the brewery, but it resembles it as well, it wells up half a finger of chocolate milk colored head, far too dark to note any carbonation feeding said head

S - strong coffee/choclate notes in the aroma, even before the beer was poured i noticed them, quite overpowering, but in a good way

T - rich roasted malts join in the choco/coffee extravaganza in the taste, the coffee component is slightly more defined and could be described as coffee bean here, as well the chocolate could be narrowed down the dark chocolate, i guess the flavor is as sharp as the beers namesake

M&D - rather drinkable for such an overwhelming beer, great up front tastes, Deschutes is not kidding around with this brew, they smack you with flavor, a great brew (901 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 Tyrawlings
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Opaque black in color. Pours a dense tan two fingered head. Good head retention. Thin sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee. Chocolate. Fresh Bread and dark fruits.

T: Rich chocolate is taken over by a roasted coffee and a pine hop bite. The perfect balance of roasted malts is followed by molasses and dark fruits. Slightly dry and bitter earth.

M: Smooth and creamy. Very thick. Minimal carbonation. Slightly drying.

D: An incredibely drinkable and satisfying stout without the insane alcohol content. Complex for a smaller stout. If not for the difficulty of locating this beer in my region I would make this a regular in my refrigerator. (694 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle. Pours black with a finger's breadth of brown foam. Smells of roasted coffee. Rich coffee taste with a good bit of malt. Very easy to drink and the ABV is real reasonable so I wish I could have a few more of this brew. Reminds me of Storm King with less hops. This beer will stay on my Wants for sure. Outstanding.

Cheers. (362 characters)

Photo of udubdawg
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, obtained on my last road trip out west. Haven't had this for ages, and can hardly wait.

once at about 50 degrees, pours black with a thick and fluffy dark tan head, sticky and slowly subsiding.
Nose is primarily of darkly roasted malts, a nice chocolatey-ness, some sweet fruity notes and a bit of alcohol. Wonderful.

Taste...oh, the taste! Just the right amount of residual sweetness - a hint of sweet that lets the grains express themselves without being under-attenuated. Smooth as hell, roasty and a slightly bitter finishing chocolate and coffee flavor...the beer is superbly balanced all around.
Mouthfeel is smooth creaminess...not too thick, not too thin...a bit sticky on my tongue.

Simply put, my favorite beer. Period. I seriously erred in only bringing back a case. I can't wait until it is available in Kansas - according to the local liquor store web site, they expect shipment in 2008! That will be a great day. (944 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Obtained from an exceptional trader, msubulldog25.

a - pours black with a one-finger tan head, retention around the edges, slight lacing

s - bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt dominate, not much alcohol presence, slight nuttiness

t - bittersweet chocolate up front followed by a smooth roasted malt, finish is slightly bitter with no noticeable alcohol

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish with a bit of warming

d - very drinkable stout, alcohol is not noticeable and the taste is quite smooth

Very good stout, not on the level of Cadillac Mtn., but excellent nonetheless. I could drink this all night and not get bored. (664 characters)

Photo of nase
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cwier for this one. Trying this out next to a Rogue Chocolate Stout. Poured from 12 oz. bottle, best by 3/30/07.

Looks like an Imperial Stout. Terrific balance which is something I look for with just about every beer. Some hops and some maltiness to balance it out. Not a lot of complexity in the flavor and the mouthfeel is slightly thin but this is extremely drinkable because it is not weak nor overpowering. Certainly holds its own.

App. - 4.0, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 4.0, Mouthfeel - 3.5, Drinkability - 4.5 (527 characters)

Photo of guitarmage
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, no light passes through, nice tan creamy head, sticky lacing.

Smell: Big coffee, molasses, toasty malt.

Taste: Roasty and toasty, coffee, dark chocolate, a little astringent.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, smooth, easy to drink, very full bodied, heavy.

Drinkability: This beer is really good on nitro in my opnion, the creamy mouthfeel softens up a really tasty but harsh brew, it makes it easier to drink and delicious. Looks like Guinness and a lot of flavor. (490 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out really black and clear with 1/2 finger of tan suds that quickly dissapate.Swirlling reveals lots of lacing.
Smell is black coffee and sugar. Malty dark hot chocolate. Not much else but it is such a sweet prominent aroma.
Taste is bitter coffee at first because of the aroma ,then the sugary malt comes into play quickly leaving and being replaced by the black sharp bitterness that slowly falls back into a malty sweetness. This one is complex as all get out.
I rate this higher than the Victory Storm King because of the blackness upfront. Both are excellent though. Each is so different.
This one is so Black though. I like a nice malty blackness and this one serves me right. (692 characters)

Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to Faro for this one.

Smell is pretty off, not very good, but thats the least of my concerns.

Taste is quite robust, and I mean robust. Huge malt and dark chocolate flavors, not to mention this brew is hopped up more than Dudley Moore in "10." This one should be listed as a Robust Stout, just to warn you of what your about to imbibe. Solid structure, a great beer.

Overall, this beer surprised me, I was not looking for such a complicated and masterful brew, One of the best stouts I've had in a while. (558 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Imperial pint glass. Appears a very dark brown, opaque, with two fingers of deep tan head which leaves a nice lacing from start to finish. Smells of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dried fruit. Taste is of roasted nuts, hops, unsweetened cocoa, dark malts. Medium bodied and complex. Very nice . I'll have another... (359 characters)

Photo of leedorham
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is widely available in my area and, since I am a stout lover, it is one of my regular selections. I somehow thought I'd already reviewed it but I guess not.

Pours a rich dark brown with a tan head that has good staying power.

Full malt aroma with noticeable acidity and sweetness. A bit of bite from the hops maybe.

The taste is rich and balanced like a gourmet coffee but not so rich as to be prohibitive of indulgence. The carbonation is just right. Only enough to give it a little "sparkle" on the palate. There is a constant background of malty sweetness but it does not take away from a full hop aroma and taste.

This is about as good as a stout can be without being taken to the Imperial level. (724 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard red wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with a quarter-finger, coffee-bean colored head. Lacing is fairly impressive for a beer which is not "Imperial" or "Double" - fizzy and sheet-like, settling into some small fingers and ovals of lace. The body is pretty standard stout material, a deep black which one might be tempted to give more points to because of the rather excellent descriptor "Obsidian." But still, many stouts could be said to be "obsidian," now couldn't they?

Smell: Wow. A creamy smoothness is the most striking feature of the aroma, which carries all the way through your inhalation of the beer, marrying and highlighting each individual aroma excellently. Cinnamon, some coconut milk, nutmeg, chocolate of both the bittersweet and milk varieties, medium-bodied coffee, a faint hint of leather. Amazing.

Taste: Some cinnamon-infused coconut milk, heavy whipping cream, bittersweet chocolate, cup 'a joe-like coffee, some cake icing-like sugarness. A little bitter on the back end, and definitely a little dry upon swallowing. Not quite as harmonious as the aroma suggests, but still pretty great.

Mouthfeel: Nothing to complain about here. Borders on being a little too fizzy, but the creaminess pulls through. Otherwise thick, sugary, oil-like.

Drinkability: Overall definitey deserving of its high rating, and one of the finest examples of the style I've ever tried. The ABV sneaks up on you a bit, as I found myself going through a six-pack fairly quickly before slowing myself down. (1,536 characters)

Photo of orfeu
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the highlights of a truly generous BA Secret Santa 2006 package, this bottle came to me courtesy of b0ldfacelies -- many thanks for the opportunity. Beautiful raised hop vine design between the neck and the body of a very tastefully designed and informative label. Best by date of August 19 2006, so it's a bit old, but at 6.4% abv, I'm sure this has held up well. Poured into a nonic this stout sports an impenetrable brown-black, burnished and burnt chocolate body with deep russet and burgundy highlights and a sizeable and luxuriously dense, crater-pocked beige head. The nose is dark fruits at first, with dried cherry essence, Black Mission Fig juice, and stewed prunes coming through most strongly. Subsequent sniffs yield aromas of dark-roasted grain and caramel toffee. Then a mocha-coffee scent emerges as it warms. Interesting smell for a non-Imperialized stout! The first sip of this stout screams perfection. Without a doubt. Chewy, surprisingly viscous body with an amazing nearly-burnt roasted quality to the grain flavors that never becomes too bitter because of a lucious black cherry nectar and toffee-chocolate truffle taste that emerges at the finish, which ends in a powerfully bittersweet medicinal flourish. Much heavier on the palate than most representatives of the style. I'd usually find this distracting, but with the utterly fascinating flavor profile of this beer, I can't help but consider the heavier-than-usual weight to be a simple reassertion of the overall force of this masterful stout. I want more. (1,543 characters)

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