Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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

1,020 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,322
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 476
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
View: Beers (149) | 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: 1,020 | Hads: 3,322
Photo of phoenixrises64
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark creme, When done the glass looks like it was wrapped in Grandma's doily.
Nose - Intense chocolate. Like their Porter, it woke the Dog up, and he came sniffing at the glass.
Taste - Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tones more evident than in the nose. A subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.
Mouth feel - Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. (539 characters)

Photo of Maninthearena
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- The name serves this one right, extremely dark. Rich foamy head almost like espresso dark crema, clings to the glass like a spider.

Nose- Intense chocolate malt, undertones of hops. Mmm, roasty... Some bread crust toastedness.

Taste- Deep chocolate notes, delicious. Coffee tone more evident than in the nose. Similar to the nose, a subtle hopiness lingers after the initial creamy/sugar sweetness, a nice transition between the layers.

Mouthfeel- Definitely a stout, very fine yet concentrated carbonation. Thick and fairly creamy, but not overly so. Satiating to the max. Becomes more resin like as is mixes with saliva.

Overall- Deschutes never seems to disappoint, tastes like a dark beer brewed up in the mountains. (736 characters)

Photo of Scrylol
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger mocha colored head, bubbly, bit of lacing on the glass. Pure black body, looks pretty good.

Sweet milk chocolate, bit of cocoa, caramel, toffee and malty notes on the nose.

Hints of dark chocolate and coffee on the tongue, backed by slight leafy/earthy hop notes. Bit of caramel malty flavor to it. Leaves a dry bitter aftertaste.

Silky smooth body for the mouthfeel, complimented by a nice amount of carbonation.

A nice stout by Deschutes. (464 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a pint glass the beer was a dark black color with a small tan head. There was a bit of lace.

Roasted malt aroma, coffee and chocolate.

The taste improved on the aroma. Espresso/chicory/burned coffee. A little bit of chocolate.

Nice mouthfeel. I liked that charred, burned sensation. Chocolate took a back seat in this beer.

Very enjoyable! (346 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with an abundant cap of craggy, beige foam. The retention is excellent, as the froth morphs into a network of variegated crevasses. Broad swaths of reticulated lacing adorn the glass as the beer descends. The aroma is quite roasty, with hints of dark chocolate and salted caramel.

The taste matches the aroma, with the borderline astringent, burnt malt serving as the foundation for the flavor profile. Limited complexity is afforded by notes of semi-sweet chocolate and earthy, herbal hops that meld with the bitterness of the roast. There's also a wet, metallic flavor that's slightly off-putting, though not especially noticeable. Dark chocolate rides the roasty wave into the finish. The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth, almost to the point of being too loose, but this makes for exceptional drinkability. The lively carbonation lends some nice texture and facilitates an almost airy mouthfeel.

Overall, this is an excellent session stout that beats the pants off of Guinness and comparable offerings. It's flavorful without becoming cloying (albeit not especially complex) and highly drinkable on account of the smooth, airy mouthfeel. I've not tried anything else by Deschutes thus far, but this was a good start. (1,238 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 JohnParadee
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Deep, dark color with beautiful, thick, brown head which slowly dissipated to thin band of bubbles. Great retention and lacing. And the nose! Inviting scent of dark roasted chocolate portends something truly special. And yet, on the palate, the taste was startlingly thin and disappointing. I was expecting something much warmer and seductive, but instead found the taste to be bitter, thin, and sadly cheap (like somebody poured Miller Lite in my stout). Not sure I'll finish the six pack. Sniffle, sniffle... (554 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Redish brown only when poured, otherwise black, with a medium brown head.

S: Bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt in the nose, as well as some molasses.

T: Big dark chocolate and molasses, decent amount of roasted malt and a touch of black coffee. A bit sweet.

M: Medium-full bodied, and a bit over carbonated, but not so much so that it really matters.

O: One of my favorite stouts. Definitely worth a try. (434 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black with a large light brown head that faded very slow and leaves a heavy lace
S-Roasted malt with some vanilla and dark chocolate
T-Coffee taste with a nice bitterness that gives you a nice coffee aftertaste that stays with you til the finish
M-medium carbonation and medium body
O-outstanding beer I picked up in Texas. Cannot wait to try the other beers from Deschutes Brewery (383 characters)

Photo of bmwats
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, brown head. Settles slowly, leaving a thin blanket of foam remaining on the surface, dry residue on the glass, and a thick ring around the rim. Persistent spider web lacing.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, black licorice. Woody and nutty.

T: Bitter roasted coffee beans. Black licorice is somewhat prominent.

M: Bitter and biting. Hearty and earthy. Dry finish. Almost a little boozy.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really nice. Nice bubbly head, remaining foam, persistent spiderweb lacing. Nose is char roasted coffee, chocolate, and licorice. Bitter coffee beans and licorice are mostly outstanding. Overall, this is a really good quaff. (732 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served from a bottle into a pint glass 1/5/14

Pours deep dark black with 1/4 inch light brown foam. Bubbles remain as it settles. Rich chocolate coffee nose. Taste is a delicious roasted blend of chocolate malt and espresso beans. Touch of sweetness. Fades into a hearty bitter. Smooth, dry, delicious. (303 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From Jim's. BB 4/14.

A - three finger tan head over jet black body. Lacing moderate but all in all a treat.

S - roast malts and coffee in the main.

T - on the money, integrated, with coffee and choc to the fore, but well balanced. Roasts do not dominate.

M - nice and smooth. Low medium carbonation, velvety.

O - a real surprise, from a blind buy. Well made beer. (368 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The Obsidian Stout is quite nice. The beer poured an opaque black with ecru lacing that is leaving some lace. The scent carries roast, coffee and a touch of peat. The taste has caramel, chocolate, roast and coffee. The mouthfeel is medium un body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great session stout. I will definitely keep this one on the radar screen. (363 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz to a pint glass, best by 3/18/14

Pours black with about a finger of khaki colored foam. Not any transparency when held to a lamp, shades of brown on the sides and bottom though. Head receded sorta quick, lacing is okay

Smells of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, vanilla, and a little bit of alcohol. Not super complex by any means, but a solid smelling stout

Taste is strong coffee and dark chocolate malts, cherry and dark fruits, vanilla, and heavy smoke on the finish. Comes together well

Medium/thick body, dry and sticky finish. Really bitter, alcohol concealed well

Overall nothing fanatical, but a solid stout (645 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slick and jet black with a thin and tempting layer of a mixture of dark brown and creamy beige foam.

Old coffee grounds, dark chocolate, roast, and some very subtle fruitiness.

The coffee comes out much better in the flavor than in aroma, roasted chocolate malts, dark fruit notes are still apparent but subtle, some slight smokiness.

Heavy-bodied, light-medium carbonation, slick, slightly chewy, hefty.

Overall, this is hands down one of my favorite American Stouts. Solid all around. (496 characters)

Photo of alexrichman
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle
Best by 05-12-2014

A> Obsidian's color is more or less what the name implies, a truly black brew that lets no light through. Poured into a snifter, a nice, thick 1 finger head appears and has some nice retention and lacing.

S> I get scents of chocolate/mocha, dark fruits, and a milky sweetness. This one has a really good bouquet. Nothing profound but really delicious smelling!

T> Flavor is quite different than the smell. This one is hop forward, with the malt's sweet mocha/dark fruit flavor creeping in and taking over the finish. Weird ... but nice.

M> Feels like a stout should, although on the thin side of what I would consider acceptable for the style. The carbonation level is spot on.

O> I'm rarely disappointed with beer from Deschutes and this beer is no exception. It is a good stout; very drinkable but also complex. Definitely one of the more hoppy stouts I have tried! (928 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 2014-03-11
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Deschutes' Obsidian Stout is a very good American stout (though, honestly, not too hard to brew your own) with plenty of roasted and black barley characters alongside base malt sweetness to satisfy cravings for those combinations. This is an affordable, solid offering that satisfies most in the colder months: one I would return to.

Pours a 2cm tall head of light brown to dark tan foam, which has average retention time of about one minute. The head fades to a thick ring around the glass and a large island of foam atop the body of the beer, which last for the duration of the drink. Lacing is excllent, with substantial rings and intriciate webbing clinging to all inner sides of the glass. Body is black in color, with light bringing out only the slightest of brown hues around the perimeter of the beer. Carbonation is not visible through the opaque body.

Aroma of roasted and acrid black malt that give charred toast, a bit of freshly poured espresso and very dark and smooth chocolate, and woodsy hops in the background.

Major flavors of roasted and black patent malt lending acridity, charred bread, roasted chocolate and coffee beans, with woodsy hops adding mild accents in the background. Front of palate features roasted and black patent malt yielding acrid, charred bread with chocolate syrup sweetness, and smooth, though very dark, chocolate. Mid-palate yielding acrid burnt toast, very bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, chocolate syrup sweetness, vanilla, and woodsy hoppiness. Back of palate features strong acridity from roasted malt and hop usage, with charred toast, cocoa powder, roasted coffee beans. Aftertaste of roasted malt acridity, charred toast, hints of very dark and smooth chocolate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, reuslting in a smooth (2/3), somewhat foamy (1/3) mouthfeel that is suitable for the beer and the style. Ethanol not detectable. Closes dry, with heavy stickiness clinging to the palate and lips. (2,064 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint.
6.4% ABV, Best By: 03/17/14

A - Black as the rock it's named after, this stout pours quietly and cascades briefly before the three-finger tan head settles. Great lace covers the glass in wisps after the dense foam subsides to a mousse-like layer.

S - Rich roasted chocolate malts offers cocoa and a bit of roasted coffee with a mellow aroma of milk chocolate; simple with a layer of complexity and depth that's unassuming and nostalgic.

T - Roasted malts have the same notes the nose does with sweet milk chocolate starting things off but quickly turning to bitter coffee and dry, dusty cocoa.

M - Full-bodied and dense with moderate carbonation to the finish, Obsidian Stout is acridly bitter from roasted malts but sweetness is also balanced by a layer of dry, bitter hops as well.

O - Black as coal, Obsidian Stout is a gorgeous looking beer that has simple layers of roasted malt complexity in the aroma, transforming from sweet-ish to bitter in flavor, balanced by a sharp level of hops. Smooth and robust, this dark stout is a hefty beer to sip. (1,099 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date 03/18/2014 printed clearly on the label. Another new beer to me from Deschutes' year-round line up. No abv listed anywhere on the bottle. Expectations are fairly high since I tend to enjoy their beers.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a deep dark mahogany color; opaque black in the glass with just over a finger of creamy chocolate head. Leaves fine delicate strands of lace. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is of chocolate, cream, lactose, some leather, indistinct spice, and some subtle fruity strawberry in there, trademark of Deschutes it seems.

T - Taste follows the nose: dark roasted barley malt, bittersweet baking chocolate, coffee bean roast, and some light crisp fruity undertones on the end. Some cold leathery notes, some anise, and other indistinct spice come out as the beer sits. Dark, bold, and rich.

M - Goes down smooth, with some coarse chalky carbonation and a very dark bitter barley / coffee roast lingering on the palate. Pretty decent, but I wouldn't mind the carbonation being toned down just a tad to make it silkier.

Overall, a very inviting everyday shelf stout from Deschutes. Much better than their Deschutes Black Butte Porter, in my opinion. I would sure love to see what a barrel aged version of this beer would be like, but for now I'll take this. Enjoyable and approachable.

Deschutes Obsidian Stout ---4/5. (1,395 characters)

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

From bottle poured into tulip glass. Obsidian color just like the title. One finger head settles easy. Nice lacing.

Aroma not overpowering. Subtle molasses and coffee, roasty.

Dark chocolate overtones backed up by some nice roasty espresso flavors. Reminds me of chocolate espresso beans. A bit thin on complexity of the malt body.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Medium bodied and real creamy easy finish.

Outstanding beer and the flavor and experience that comes through given the ABV means you can have more than 1 and enjoy anytime. (534 characters)

Photo of Khad
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes hit another one out of the park!

This was a bottle poured into a stout glass. The appearance is superb! That nice dark ruby color with a mocha head just looks delicious. As far as the smell, it's certainly not bad but you definitely pick up plenty of alcohol, maybe a little coffee something along the lines of an Italian roast. The smell certainly isn't bad but would lead you to believe this beer might be harsh on the palate, but it's not. As far as the mouth-feel just perfect. Nice creamy, no serious carbonation and what is there works well. As far as taste, wow! It's all there, everything you'd expect. The first wave is some NOT so subtle barley, with some NOT so subtle malt but then some subtle dark chocolate and a slight punch of that Italian roast coffee. It all balances amazing with a relatively high alcohol content, so be careful. Just a remarkable Stout with amazing balance and exceptional "craftsmanship" or call it whatever you'd like...just very well done! (990 characters)

Photo of MCain04
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into DFH goblet best by 03/14

A dark brown, near-black pour with an espresso thick creamy head with great retention and lacing.

Some coffee and dark chocolate on the nose, a little bit of roasted malts, tobacco.

Taste is similar to the nose with notes of bitter coffee, cacao, heavier tobacco, acidic, bitter, a little watery.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and a little brash, could be smoother. Medium bodied. Mild dry finish.

Overall, an enjoyable stout for a good price. I do think I prefer FW Velvet Merlin though, for the stronger flavor profile and better mouthfeel. (586 characters)

Photo of Keith2020
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Medium body stout, on the edge of thin. Great color and consistency, definitely let it sit in your mouth for an extra moment. Very good stout but it's missing that extra touch that would make it great. You won't regret buying it but not sure if you'd take this one home to mom. (279 characters)

Photo of dsellers22
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (578 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)

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