Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,020 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,326
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 478
Gots: 551 | 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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,020 | Hads: 3,326
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a freshness date of 02/04/10. Pours a nearly black color with a thick and frothy mocha hued foam. Retention is superb, as is the lacing. It even forms a small mesa of foam in the middle of the glass. For a non-imperialized stout, this is about as good as it gets for appearance.

Nose seems well balanced between hops and malt. Hops are grassy and even a bit minty while the malt is roasty with hints of baking cocoa. A bit of dark fruitiness pervades the nostrils as well.

Taste is very smooth with baker's chocolate maltiness leading the way. A tad roasty and toasty while the hops are more subtle than the nose indicates - still pretty bitter with a nice hop flavor. Very smooth and adequately full mouthfeel. While this is not Deschutes finest offering, it is a damn tasty stout. More please. (815 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. A tan head rises to over two fingers. Rings of sticky spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Sweet roasted malt up front. Semi astringent and mineral aroma. Hops linger towards the end.
T: A malty and sugary sweetness up front. A light roasted flavor comes out next with some bitter chocolate. Bitter hops linger a bit to much for my tastes (for a stout anyway).
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Surprisingly thin and and watery. Not hard to drink, but I would not make this a session.

A decent stout. Not as much roasted malt as I thought there was going to be, and there are two different bitter flavors that are at odds with each other (one from the chocolate, and one from the hops). This is worth a try, but not one of there better beers. (836 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

100th review - Served in a standard pint glass (thanks msubulldog25). Poured an opaque black; zero light penetration. Luscious coffee-colored three-fingered head with excellent retention that left behind concentric bands of thick sticky lacing during the tasting. Scent out of the bottle was coffee and malt (in glass was much more diffuse). Taste similar to nose with roasted coffee flavors much more pronounced; slightly burnt/astringent aftertaste lingers at the finish. Mildly effervescent and full-bodied mouthfeel (not as chewy as an RIS, but you definitely know it's there). Very drinkable and would be a regular if it was locally available. (648 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black in color. One finger of a beautiful light brown head. Good stout appearance.
Roasted malt in the smell, light, very smooth.
The taste is quite intense, of a robust stout, with a good amount of roasted malt.
Some coffee notes here and there.
Very drinkable, smooth.
Good, but not exceptional. (297 characters)

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

Served nitro-tap in a pint glass

A- Obsidian, the name says it all. Just a few light highlights in this hazy dark storm of a beer. Chocolate two finger head with great head retention and great lacing.

S - Delightful roasted malt with nice chocolate and hop pine balance.

T - Chocolate and smokiness as first follow by coffee bitterness in the back palate and a little dry. Tastes just slightly watery in the end, but well balanced overall.

M - Creamy, full bodied, good carbonation. Almost perfect.

O - Excellent stout, would be the best beer at many breweries. Just wish I would have drank this before, and not after The Abyss because that is one tough act to follow. Would get this beer anytime. (702 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-a dark brown liquid that barely lets a hue of red through. the head is thin and dark kahki in color. it sits around for less than a minute but leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S-big nose of roasted barley, hints of dark chocolate and a touch of espresso. there is a faint note of malt sweetness at the back.

T-the taste follows the nose and is quite nice especially as just a regular stout. there is a lot of the roasted barley flavor, you get the bitter dark chocolate followed by the espresso. these fade into a more prominant, but still light, malt sweetness that gives some carmalized sugar and dark fig.

M-this has a full to medium body with a chewy feel to it. it is smooth but seems to have a lot of carbonation that burns a little as it goes down.

D-this is extremely tasty but the burning seems to take away from it. it is quite powerful for a regular stout and i would seek it out again! (904 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a treat this one is!!! Man I love good stouts!!! This has is jet black in color with the smallest of lace around the edges...a nice burnt roast malt on the nose along with some soft java notes...a sweet creamy texture in the mouth...full bodied...great roasted malt flavor with a sweet finish...hops are unnoticable...very easy drinking stout with some character....one of the better ones available.. (407 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good. Served a little cold with a smallish taan head and a bit of lace. Color is an opaque black brown. Aroma is roast, malt, molasses, licorice, bit of honey and dark ripe fruit. Flavor's like nose, muted, fairly dry, toast, carbonic tang, and bitter up front, in fact it's all up front. Body is great, ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, a bit long, and also a bit boozy. Good drinkin' stout. (407 characters)

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

Cheers to jrallen34 for hooking me up with this.

A - Great looking Obsidian colored stout (sorry, had to) with a one and a half finger tan head that rose up with fine bubbles. Looks fantastic.

S - Nice and roasty characteristics to this, with a bit of molasses and some burnt cocoa and bitter coffee.

T - Taste is much better than the aroma, which is really saying something. Roasted and bitter malts with some unsweetened chocolate and burnt wood. This beer is really really good. Cofee adds some nice bittering at the end for balance making this a great tasting brew.

M - A little bit of a carbonation bite in a full bodied beer.

D - This one seems a lot bigger than it's 6.4%, and I was shocked that it wasn't 9%+. Knocked down the drinkability on this one for that as one 12 oz. did me just fine. Great beer though that I would love to drink again. (857 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small dark head.
Nose shows intense roasted coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of smoke. Very nice.
Very similar flavours, lots of roasted malt and coffee beans with more noticeable smoke. Finishes with a light roasty bitterness.
Carbonation is a little too high. (285 characters)

Photo of popery
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 7/16/11. This is such a tasty stout. It’s got a big, rich combination of roast, chocolate and coffee, all backed up by some caramel. The body is creamy and smooth. It’s fairly bitter, which helps tone down the malt sweetness. Black body with a mocha head. Bubbles stick all over the glass prettily. It drinks easily, despite all of the flavor. Good stuff. Edit: Tried from a nitro tap. Excellent beer for nitro. Smooth and creamy. Not quite as much flavor, though. (480 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian sits in the glass a used oil black color with a firm pinky high head of light brown hue, turns a bit crusty as it fades and leaves a very thin skim on top and thin whispy sheets of lace stick.
Aroma has a soft bakers chocolate and a good load of dry coffee thats well rounded and quite roasty, nearly burnt. Taste is quite roasty as well, burntish dark malts, slight coffee tone, slight bittering, all gaining a bit more in the finish which is nice. Finish builds with an overall burntness with touches of coffee and bitterness, turning dry and fading off slowly leaving more bittering coffee notes and later still, some chocolate. Nice finisher. Feel is just past medium body, nearly full with a solid carbonation and pretty strong with its drying efforts where burntness and coffee sensations really take hold. A solid stout, not what I'd call a super drinker with more then I like for burntness and coffee drying, but very nice to let settle and sip.
Thanks to xlperro for the bottle! (998 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by 01/21/2011. Thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and near pitch black with the tiniest hints of burnt sienna. Produced a great fluffy brown head with great retention. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A good dry roasted backbone with hints of baked bread, molasses, raisin, and the tiniest hint at caramel.

(T)- A righteous roasted profile with a subtle nutty dryness. Bits of molasses, cocoa, raisin, bread, and subtle caramel sweetness.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but has just enough dryness and mellow sweetness to balance it out nicely.

(D)- A superb stout. Has the flavor to back it up and rival some Russian Imperial Stouts out there. A great drinker and just damn tasty. If this was distributed by me, this would always be in my fridge for those brisk fall/winter days. Perhaps THE best American Stout I have had. (919 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black color with a solid 2 inch cola colored head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Coffee, chocolate, and roast malt dominate the aroma, with nutty, toasted notes adding complexity.

Fairly acrid coffee is the predominant flavor, overwhelming the roast malt, which almost seems charred. Chocolate becomes secondary. The finish is bitter, peppery, and dry. As it warms, the flavor improves significantly.

Body is on the thick side, with minimal carbonation, and a fairly acrid, astringent finish. There's slight alcohol warmth.

Pretty disappointed in this beer, given the exceptional ratings. Very coffee-forward, bitter, and acrid, roasty, but lacking in chocolate and malt complexity. Substantial phenols. Pretty harsh. The more it warms, the more I like it, but still expected more. Leave it sit out for a good half hour. (856 characters)

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark black with a decent tan head. The smell was roasty but subdued. The taste was also standard stout to me: roasty, no hops, good , dark, smooth.this was a nice beer but I don;t think it should be in the top 100. (252 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for largadeer for sending me a bottle of this from my favorite West Coast brewery.

I read some of the reviews that mentioned hops; hops? This was a malt bomb in my mouth. Malts were piled higher & thicker than Mississippi sediment. Normally not my thing, but these didn't appear to be lager-level malts, but gave the beer a rich, deep feel to it. The depth of the malts give Obsidian a fairly unique taste to me, & one that was easy to drink by Stout standards.

Good beer. I'd drink it again, happily. (512 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade, poured into Southern Tier tulip.

Pours very dark black, with a one inch mocha head. Small globs of lacing down the glass.

Smells roasty and chocolatey, with a little bit of licorice and vanilla.

The tastes are pretty similar, lots of dark, bitter chocolate, mild smoke, vanilla, and some great roastiness. The best part about this stout is that the flavors all meld into a singular beast- no one flavor is beating you over the head, the flavors are well integrated. One of the most drinkable stouts in the US.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel, relatively dry finish for an American stout.

Amazing stout, makes me wish we got Deschutes here in New York. (684 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)

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

Another beer aquired while in Colorado area this past fall!

A-black with dark tan head.

S-roasty, roasty malts. Coffee and Chocolate.

T-same and smell here also.

M-Creamy, medium to full body and smooth!

D-this is very drinkable!

Deschutes is a brewery that impresss me alot! They have such great black beers. Another star amoung the style. I would go to the ends of the earth for this beer and the black butte porter! Must try! (434 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks MADhomebrewer!

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. pours a watery black, but settles rich. very generous creamy tan foamy head. sticky lacing. looks great.

s - roasted malts with some coffee bitterness. kind of creamy and a touch smoky. mostly roasted malts.

t - very classic. great roasted malt with some bittery backer's chocolate. some burnt stuff.

m - creamy and smooth. carbonation is light. leaves a cooling feel. bitter. little tingly. super creamy.

o - overall great stout. classic to style. wish this was local as i'd have it regularly. (568 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of josephselander poured into a tulip.

Pours clear mahogany brown out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the glass with a gorgeous tan head that sticks stubbornly to the sides of the glass and remains an inch-thick cap for the duration. One of the better stouts I've seen in terms of appearance.

The aroma is actually a little sweeter than I was expecting with a big chocolate malt presence with hints of vanilla and caramel. There is only a slight toasted grain character to the smell but the sweetness is really dominant.

The taste starts out like the aroma and has an initial chocolate malt sweetness with a hint of toasted malts in the background. The finish is what really stands out vs. the aroma as there is a big roasted coffee bitterness that was nearly non-existent in the aroma. I think there are even a bit of hops in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is interesting as it's smooth and creamy for the first half of the sip, but the finish is extremely dry and bitter. Very interesting to see the two elements melded together in one beer.

This is certainly one of the better standard stouts I've had recently and the Jekyll & Hyde type taste is very unique and well executed. (1,233 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: huge tan head, black in body color, opaque

Smell: coffee and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt with sweet cream, expresso, and a touch of chocolate and nut

Mouthfeel: smooth, heavy bodied, low carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: An excellent stout that I could have several of--especially if I could find it around here. Nice and smooth. Sweet but not overly sweet. An excellent first experience with this brewery. (431 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 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 cbutova
4.17/5  rDev -1%

Reviewed at Big Meadow Campground, Shenandoah National Park, VA. Full notes taken.

A- Pitch black pour out of the bottle to a chalice. A dark mocha brown crown of cream tops the beer to over a finger with great retention and thick consistency. Massively thick sheet at the top followed by

S- Rich chocolate notes right off the top with big roast aromas as well. Dark fruits bring a bit of a truffle feel with earthy hops chiming in too.

T- For below 8% it delivers a lot of roast malty flavors. Thick dark chocolate and baking cocoa, darkly roasted cereal grains, coffee hints and slight caramel. Other notes of dark red fruits, raisin, earthy hops, slight citrus and pine hops.

MF- Medium to thick bodied with a fairly chewy, creamy texture. Roast bitterness lingers on the back end of a medium high carbonation. Quite smooth.

Packs a lot of punch for a standard Stout. Smooth and flavorful chocolate and roast richness with the convenience of only being 6.4%. (966 characters)

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