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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,347 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2347
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)
View: Beers (120) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,347 | Reviews: 935 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Date December 2006, Sampled January 2006
Pours a deep black color and is topped by a three-finger thick, light brown colored head that slowly recedes in a large bubbled mass. The aroma is dominated by roasted notes; I get notes of deeply roasted espresso, acidic notes of cold black coffee, and some sweet dark chocolate aromatics up front. The aroma is quite nice.

The taste is sharp, with a burnt acidity to it up front. This is balanced by a soft creamy mouthfeel that starts in the middle and carries through almost to the end. The finish is dominated by roasted notes quite similar to the finish of an espresso; acidity and roasted / burnt notes. For all of the roast character it is quite smooth, it is lack that burnt-husk astringency that can be found in some stouts. Having said that, the roasted acidity here is a bit too much; there needs to be a bit more something (sweet malt would do it) to balance it out. Perhaps a bit of age would do the trick as well; I have a feeling this might mellow out over 6 months or so.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 22:20:02 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of JohnfromDublin


4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this bottle on 21th December 05, label different to one on BA (All Deschute's brews relabelled in 2005.

Poured a murky rich black liquid with a dark tan decent head.
Smelled quite sweet, strong roasted malts.
Tasted fairly sharp though complex with coffee and really dark chocolate battling it out. Much sharper than Deschutes Black Butte.
Nice smooth mouthfeel help make this a real belter of a brew. This is a serious stout that I would reserve for a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 11:39:12 | More by JohnfromDublin
Photo of thesilverhand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks, as I so often say, to Naerhu for this one.

Pours inky black, with a massive, light, frothy wet-sand brown head that looked just gorgeous. It fell over the next few minutes, leaving vast swaths of thick lace.

Mmm. Aromatic dark coffee, a touch of woodsmoke, and a sweet vinous hint of dark fruits. Very pleasant.

Interesting. A much drier, roastier (is that a word?) first impression than I expected. Plenty of charcoal, dark-roasted coffee, with a smooth, sweet base. Very nice. The finish is long -- ages long -- and dry, leaving my mouth pleasantly smoky and thirsting for more.

Silky smooth with perfect carbonation. Active and light, despite being a heavy beer.

Wow. Very, very nice. Intense and long-lasting aroma and flavour in a beautifully smooth and aesthetically beautiful beer. I recently read an article (Times of London I think) about Deus and the "new" upmarket beer segment, comparing high end beer to champagne. A wine expert, tasting Deus, said it was a great beer, but still "short," leading him to say that he couldn't see paying champagne prices for beer -- a taste that "disappears immediately." I can say without hesitation that the aforementioned "wine expert" has never tried Obsidian Stout. You should. And it won't set you back as much as a bottle of champagne, either.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 16:32:59 | More by thesilverhand
Photo of Naerhu


4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Jet black body with a fluffy rich brown head.
S - A bit of sweet char and dark chocolate
T - Long lasting bitterness that starts off mildly and intensifies as the other layers of flavor melt away. Rich, rich malt slightly burnt chocolate and coffee maltyness.
M - What can I say? Bottle conditioned. Silky, naturally carbonated, yum. Smooth!!!
D - Great, easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 14:57:27 | More by Naerhu
Photo of merlin48


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

12 oz bottle pours an opaque, ebony body that is as black as obsidian(of course). One finger head is cocoa brown in color, retains well, and leaves plenty of patchy lace.

Aroma is subtle, with dark chocolate, espresso, smoked almonds, and a kiss of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is creamy and nearly full bodied. Tingly carbonation works well here.

Taste has a dark roasted malt profile that is smooth and creamy. Carob, dark chocolate, creamed coffee, almond nuttiness, grainy figs, work well with a restrained PacNorthwest hop bitterness. Some burnt coffee bitterness comes on at the finish. Never overly bitter, which bumps up the drinkability.

Very well constructed, and pleasantly drinkable. Excellent for style, and no hint of the higher abv was noticed. Many thanks to waldowin for including this gem in our trade.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 11:15:04 | More by merlin48
Photo of russpowell


4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick brown bubbly head that quickly drops off to a rather thin head and a little lacing. Thick black body with tiny beads of gas floating to the surface from beggining to end

Smell: Roasted grain and coffee aroma up front with alcohol and slight hints of vanilla

Taste: Rich maltiness and a grainy bitterness compete for attention at first, the an alcohol flavor. Dry with a hint of wood taste. Bitter finish on the tounge

Mouthfeel: Smooth,slick and perfectly carbonated

Good easy drinking stout

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2005 04:05:21 | More by russpowell
Photo of DESTRO


4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

oh snaps. looks very nice, tight packed head on a deep black body. smells roasty, slightly smokey. little coffee, little alcohol. oh boy. taste? slightly sweet with a respectable hop hit. roasty and chocolaty. the slightest touch of black licorice, maybe its just me. alcohol pop on the swallow. silky smooth and delicious. insanely drinkable for being so powerful abv wise. awesome stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 03:38:52 | More by DESTRO
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

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

Pours out jet-black with a finger or so of tan head that fades fairly slowly and leaves some spotty lacing.

Smell is heavy with coffee, roasted malt, baker's chocolate, and rum-soaked dark fruits.

Flavor is huge roastiness cut nicely by the light bittersweet flavor of the chocolate and rounded out nicely with the espresso flavor that sneaks in towards the end. A slight sweet malt and dark fruit (plum and a little grape) are evident here, to lovely effects.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, very nice.

Overall: What a gift for a dear friend from Oregon to bring me. I really must get out to the Northwest to pick up some more of this at some point.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 04:44:29 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another elusive PacNW beer falls into my clutches. Pours thick and black with a thick, tan rocky head that slowly dissipates into a chunky lace. Retains well, very nice. Tiny bubbles of carbonation are present, intermingling with brown yeast floaties. It's a microcosm of life. Ha.

Sweet buttermilk and chocolate are present in the nose, but not a burst of complexity there. Thankfully the flavor picks up all that the aroma is lacking. Begins with a sweet licorice thang goin on, melting into tangy butterscotch and dry bakers chocolate. Somewhat smoky in the finish with a lasting, partially acidic bitterness. Carbonation is mild yet fills the mouth with delightful smoothness. Delicious and extremely drinkable. Big ups to waldowin for the hookup.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 01:51:21 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of warriorsoul


4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second PNW brew from the folks at Red Bones...
Arrived in a standard pint glass a dark chocolate color with a full finger of creamy tan head...lacing quite thick and very attractive, making it difficult to consume...yeah right.
Aroma was a masterful blend of belgian chocolate, espresso and a subtle malt sweetness.
The taste was more of the same with a very robust character that simply blew me away for the style. If my first experience with a stout was this and not Guinness, I would have been converted a long time ago. Not dry at all in the finish and no smoked flavors going on...finished very clean with a caramel/vanilla blend...no alcohol to be found during the entire pint.
Thick mouthfeel for this offering...wish I could find this one in a bottle to compare.
Quite easy to throw back a couple of these, but it was filling due to it's texture, so wouldn't have any more beyond that...either way, a definite winner.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2005 19:37:32 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Wow! BC brews very few stouts, but the rest of the "Cascadia" (read: American) region does a damn good job of their stouts. I picked this up "across the border" in Bellingham on a mad-dash-who-gives-a-damn beer spree. This is a strong, full stout that beats almost anything brewed in Canada (with a few exceptions).

This is what a stout should be: black, with a coffee-and-cream head. Black, like obsidian. When held up to the light, a faint bit of ruby shows through.

This smells like ovaltine and roasted malt. There is a definite malt smell on the nose as this excellent beer warms. I can taste coffee, chocolate, and burnt malts. There is a faint alcoholic sweetness that blends nicely with the "dark" flavours.

Overall, this is a very well done stout. The only detractor from drinkability is the abv, which at 6.4% is a bit high for a standard (i.e. non-Imperial) stout. Despite this, Deschutes has come up with an outstanding beer that I wish I could obtain easily.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2005 11:09:23 | More by BDTyre
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black pour, not quite opaque, dense creamy tan head. Mostly sweet aroma (oatmeal stout like)with a decent roasty grip. Condensed molasses, coffee, soy sauce, vegetal oil and licorice notes. Very smooth palate, creamy, velvety texture is enhanced by the low carbonation. Slightly buttery tones. Well hopped in the finish with a bitterness that enlaces the coating roastiness. Above average thanks to an engaging mouthfeel, looks and almost feel like a nitro conditioned stout though the flavor is not influenced.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2005 01:09:26 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of OldSock

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 12 oz bottle with hop cones embossed onto it, obtained in a trade with Gueuzedude. In my snifter this stout is black with a thin tan head. The head falls to just a thin coating within a few minutes, but there is nice lacing.

Smell – Coffee and chocolate with some milk sweetness. It is a nice stout aroma, with just a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste – Similar to the smell, coffee with a creamy sweetness that is really good. Very smooth flavor with just a hint of roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. Certainly not an overly complex flavor, but it is just really well done.

Mouthfeel – Full with medium-low carbonation. Just what a stout should be.

Drinkability & Notes – Easy to drink, because of the great flavor and perfect mouthfeel. In my experience this is one of the better American single stouts out there, I really wish this was available here on the East Coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 21:20:01 | More by OldSock
Photo of atigerlife


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

Had been wanting to try this, so when I saw it in a bar I ordered one. Served from a bottle, a little cool, but acceptable.

The appearance is like black tar. When held up to a light, nothing came through. Amazing stuff. Had a nice light brown, cream head that lasted quite long. Quite an eye catching beer and perfect for a stout.
Smell was like coffee/toffee. Some malt hints. Also a slight a rich, dark fruit [plums?].
The taste was very creamy. Very smooth. A bit of a bitter hop finish, but nicely controlled. Wonderful light toffee/dark chocolate flavor. Like drinking a rich, creamy ice cream.
Has a light carbonation. Much lighter on the palate than might be expected considering the appearance and ABV.
Overall, for a stout, this is very drinkable. Not a beer to be pounding all night, but to be slowly drank and enjoyed. I will definitely go out and get some of this to try at home. Wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 17:13:25 | More by atigerlife
Photo of ElGordo


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

From a bottle that conveniently fell off the truck at the WBF last weekend in Durham. Pours a deep, dark, almost pitch black, with an inch or so of creamy dark tan head on top. Big aroma of rich roasted malt, espresso, prunes, a touch of phenol, and a faint whiff of brown sugar. Palate is lightly sweet up front, with the huge yet mellow maltiness and flavor of very dark chocolate taking over as it passes the tip of the tongue. Slightly roasty on the finish, with notes of dark fruit and just the slightest bit of hop bitterness at the end. Smooth, creamy body is like velvet. Slow-drinking, but immensely enjoyable. Reminds me of why Deschutes is one of my favorite breweries in the world.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 01:38:59 | More by ElGordo
Photo of Quaffer


4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This deep brown beer appeared black when it was in the glass. Only some ruddy-brown highlights showed up around the edges when held up to the light. The brown head rose up to a nice two fingers and settled down at an average speed. A thin web of lace was left behind on the side of the glass.

Smell: Strong coffee right after the pour, but it subsided somewhat after awhile and was joined by other aromas. Roasted malts, sweet and dark chocolates, cream, hops, and light smoke all floated up out of the glass and smelled great. Hints of dark fruits gave the aroma a bit of an edge. As the beer really warmed, some alcohol started to come through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth on the tip of the tongue, picking up a fuzzy, velvety feel as it moved back in the mouth.

Taste: Dark and bitter is the best way to describe this beer. Dark coffee, deeply roasted malts, and dark chocolate were the main flavors. A good dose of bitter hops rose up on the finish to add a little extra kick. Sweet cream and milk chocolate were present as well, but they only added just enough sweetness to counter the bitterness.

A nice, ballsy stout. Not rich and warm, but bold, brash, and cutting.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 23:07:18 | More by Quaffer
Photo of xoqx


4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The deep coffee colored brew pours to reveal an interesting 3 finger head: the sides were deep brown bubbles while the top was a creamy tan color.

Smell: You can tell you're in for a great malty-sweet treat with this one. There was almost a hint of grassiness too, which seems strange, but the aroma can only be described positively.

Taste: What a lovely, well-structured, full stout. Chocolate and toffee tastes abound throughout the dark malt body yet there are also great hops that really play on the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a full mouthfeel brew, as any stout should be.

Drinkability: I scored this a 3.5 only because I can’t keep drinking stout after stout. Yet I would consider it above average across all beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 00:33:03 | More by xoqx
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolately mocha powder aroma. Coffee dark. Smooth, although some cookie crumbs and coconut strings mouthfeel in there. Well roasted, bittersweet and neither leaning to coffee nor chocolate. Very nicely carbonated. A very good stout but I think somewhat overated. A drop behind the Bell's stouts.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 04:25:48 | More by Sammy
Photo of Px2GrafX


4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a 4 color label. tan with a black oval in the center. within the oval is an illustration of a mountain, valley and a river running through black obsidian-like rock. 6.4% abv displayed along with a best by date of 11/24/05. the deschutes logo is on the neck label, and there is an explanation of the stout and what's behind the obsidian stout name.

appearance: very dark almost black with dark, dark brown highlights in a snifter glass. pours a nice rolling 2 inch dark tan head. laces very nicely.

smell: first sniff is alcohol, flowery hops, barley and some sweet chocolate. some coffee as well. very clean and hoppy for a stout. some fruit, maybe bananas after the beer warms.

taste: resiny coffee flavor. light dark chocolate and lightly bitter in the finish. there's a hint of caramel and dark fruits as the brew warms. lightly acidic. aftertaste is bitter mocha coffee.

mouthfeel: light to medium body, but a little lighter than i like. good carbonation and swallow. almost every sip finishes with a light resin on the tongue. i'm not a big fan of the french press mouthfeel.

drinkability: fairly drinkable and would make a decent session stout. alcohol is well masked. aftertaste keeps you drinking.

overall: not a bad stout. i have to thank waldowin for this brew in a trade. like i said before, this would make a decent session stout, but the mouthcoating resin may become anoying after a while. not overly complex, and i've had better, but you could do much worse. a recommended good try.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2005 04:29:15 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/20/05- Purchased at Andronico's Market in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle. Poured into my Hangtown Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Black as obsidian pour with a 1/2 inch dirty brown head and very light lace.

Smell- Very roasty smell with maybe a touch of dark chocolate. You really have to get your nose in there and take a few good whiffs to detect anything.

Taste- This bad boy is one of the darkest stouts I have ever tasted. Kinda like sucking on some charcoal without the lighter fluid flavoring. Kind of a woody taste as well. You get a really quick hit of sweetness and then it turns to a nice bitter and burnt flavor. A nice amount of smoke as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit overly carbonated for a stout, but not too bad. Not really the thickness of an upper notch stout as well.

Drinkability- A very easy drinking stout. If you like your stouts dark, grab one of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2005 21:17:32 | More by GClarkage
Photo of beerceller99


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

Opaque black with a light brown head. Medium intense malted chocolate - nutty smell. Medium bodied and softly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. Taste is a strong, nicely bittersweet chocolate malt flavor. Finishes with a tasty hop burp.
A very tasty stout here.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 15:51:44 | More by beerceller99
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is real nice that at least in the PNW that beer can bought at any grocery store for a good price for a six pack. I compare this to St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout as a high quality stout that is available easily. The beer had all the roasty notes coupled with chocolate esters but I had one small quible and that is the slightly abupt bitter finish. Other than that this is a great stout that provides great value.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2005 05:01:28 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Ebony black just like it's namesake obsidian. Head is dark brown, dense and about 1/4 inch high. It's a shame that the head settles down to a thin layer, then reduces to a thin ring at mid-glass, then disappears completely.

Roasted malts and coffee are in the forefront of the aroma. Sweetness (perhaps dried fruit?) lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Roasted malts up front. Slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Excellent balance. Mild burnt tones appear at the finish. The acidic aftertaste lingers for quite awhile, but isn't overly bitter. This is an exceptionally smooth stout. As this warms, the aftertaste becomes drier.

This is a very well rounded stout. Somewhat sweet, somewhat bitter... aftertaste sticks around and has some bite to it without being overly bitter. Just about everything you could ask for in a stout except the disappearance of the head. Another excellent brew from Deschutes.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 02:06:18 | More by Noxious26
Photo of chrisms86


4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost solid black (when held up to a light some brown shines through) with a fine layer of lasting head. Smells of alcoholic chocolate. Mouthfeel is very thick with just a slight tingle of carbonation, with a slight sweetness to complement the chocolate, coffee, and malt.

A fantastic stout. Recommended without a meal, as the chocolate and coffee flavors tend to be more dessert-oriented and aren't the best at complimenting food. A great after dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2005 03:55:25 | More by chrisms86
Photo of goschool


4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours about as close to black as possible with a reddish-tan head. The mouthfeel is chewy and the carbonation level is noticeable, nice and not too high. The flavors are remarkably complex- roasted malts, coffee and chocolate followed by a bitter hoppy finish. Obsidian is a top-notch stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2005 08:06:46 | More by goschool
Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 2,347 ratings.