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Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,045 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,045
Hads: 3,417
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.58%
Wants: 494
Gots: 590 | 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 (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,045 | Hads: 3,417
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I'll step out and say that this is the first time I've had a stout off of a nitro line that was this good. Spicy almost oat tones on this one. Very hearty, yet not overly thick malt tones that make up the backbone of this stout. Very consistent and very well executed. This should be a standard for stouts.

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Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another highly anticipated brew from Geoff aka SurlyDuff, thanks man. Appearance, this one absolutely absorbs all light it fades to black as soon as the stream of carbonation bubbles rise to the top to form a huge moccha tan textured head like whipped cream it rises a good inch above the rim of my glass, awesome appearance. As the head dwindles even fine lacing is left evenly behind in an annular ring like pattern. Aroma is full of dark creamy yet mildly acidic coffee roasts, dark chocolate strong herbal hop leaf approach as well. Awesome creamy robust roasted malt layers with a fine herbal hop aroma. Flavors blend poetically, a beautiful clash of cream caramel and mild toffee liqueur with brash dark roasted malts bringing burnt toast, chocolate, and robust espresso to the mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied doesn't way you down at all drinks like a light beer easy moderate carbonation yet a bitter dry roasty finish makes it all so good velvety smooth on the palate. Drinkability is amazing the most flavorful session beer I've come across this one brings out Imperial stout like flavors with out crushing your skull beautiful beer I plan to get some more. Whether friends or liquid solutions.com thanks Matt Maples.

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

Perfectly pitch black color, and an impressive, towering, flowering cocoa-tan head that maintains it's majesty for some time before tumbling down.

Aroma: deep, rich, roasty, bitter, and invigorating.

Taste: remarkably flavorful, mouth-filling, and complex. Warm, tingling, tantalizing. This one feels good in the mouth, and slips down remarkably easy. Puts me in mind of an oatmeal stout, but I'm not sure it is one.Long, lovely, lively finish.

A very impressive, solid, satisfying stout, this one. I find myself scratching at the roof of my brain trying to find new, further ways to describe it's excellence.
If I lived in Oregon, this would get a lot of business from me!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 6/5/10 notes. Had at SAVOR in DC.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee.

t - Taste follows the nose; lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Hints of dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth.

d - A nice stout. Great chocolate smell and taste, would try again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at 515 Kitchen & Cocktails. Served in a giant snifter.

A - Beautiful looking pour of a beautiful looking beer. A few fingers of persistent tan foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind glass-coating lace. Pitch black body. Not sure what else you could expect here.

S - Lots of cocoa, light coffee, a bit of smoke, roasted and charred malts. I think the nitro has muted the smell a touch. This is on the dryer side of things, and isn't overly sweet.

T - Taste contains the same collection of flavors, but with different proportions - light smoke, roasted barley malt, touches of milk chocolate and coffee. Finishes with a combination of roasty and hop bitterness.

M - Soft body, low carbonation. Perhaps a bit thin for 6.4% but otherwise pretty much what you'd expect from a nitro pour of an American Stout.

D - With the low carbonation, smooth body, and well-hidden alcohol, this is one stout you could drink all night long. I wish the flavor and nose popped a little more, but otherwise it's very delicious.

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Photo of chinchill
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with best by date of 30 Sept. 2013.
Pour is black (obsidian) with only a hint of dark bown at the edges. Opaque, even in bright light. Creamy tan head has moderat retention and leaves bands of sticky lacing.
Aroma: sweet and dark roasted malts
Flavor: Sweet up front, mildly bitter by the finish. Loads of dark roasted grain flavor. With hints of dried plums, dark chocolate, and coffee. Very slight burnt toast component.
M: Full body; medium carbonation. Approaches 5.
O: A excellent, robust stout.

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Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that descends to a patchy cover. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, ashy, earthy.

The taste is of roasted coffee, caramel/toffee, and chocolate, some anise. Wonderful roasted malt complexity. Smokiness and a bitter bite keep sweetness well-balanced. Finishes semi-dry.

Medium-to-full bodied.

This is a lovely American stout - nice mix of dark maltiness, smokiness and bitterness.

Try this with some lightly charred grilled steak.

Another great brew from a, so far, impressive brewery! Thanks again, Bill!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guess what. I am finishing the top 100 with this unremarkable stout. Poured into a bruery tulip. Beer is black with a thick brown head of medium and small bubbles that leaves a lot if lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mild and ashy with a lot of burnt roast.

Beer is medium in body with minimal forward sweetness with nice back palate bitterness from the roasted grain. Drinkability really nice and mouthfeel ok. It's simple, one nite, relatively standard beer but quite decent.

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

A: Pours deep brown, almost black, with a tan 1.5 finger foamy head. Moderate retention, reducing to a thin layer of foam on top. Impressive sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Nice aroma with milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of coffee and mocha.

T: Nice roasty malt, creamy milk chocolate with a slight hint of mocha, not coffee on the flavor profile, which makes me happy.

M: Smooth and very creamy. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Really enjoyed this one. Solid flavors, live the milk chocolate. Easy drinking. Need more Deschutes!

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

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass

Pours 1/4 dark tan head. Fades down quick leaving no lace. Color is a deep dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, plums, raisins, earthy hops. A big complex aroma.

Taste: Wow, this stout is interesting in the fact that the dark fruit taste really sticks out in the beginning and is so persistent throughout the taste. Then the coffee and chocolate come in with the roasted malts. The earth hops are present, but seem to lay in the background.

Mouthfeel: Not as rich as some of the stouts I have had, but fairly rich and a little smooth. The carbonation on this beer is really high. Full bodied beer. Ends with a slight dry carbonated roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good stout. Fairly drinkable with a big flavor. I don't think it would be too hard to have another one of these in the night. Give this one a shot, it's pretty good.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter. This brew appears black in color with a finger of creamy tan head that holds quite well across the top and leaves a webbing of lace along the glassware. Large sized bubbles rise to the surface in support of the ring of head that holds close to the edge of the glass. A swirl reforms a finger of head back to the top.

The aroma of this brew is a mixture of fresh grain and some oat-like character and sweetness. There is a bit of a mineral aspect present that blends into citrus and fruity hops. Chocolate brings up the back.

The taste of this brew is clean and roasty with a bitterness that seemingly comes from the roastiness of the grain and not the hops even though there are hop characteristics present in the nose and a bit in the flavor. It lingers in the mouth with a crisp roasty quality with a touch of minerals mixed with citrus hops. The roast imparts a flavor of coffee across the back and into the finish.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that is modestly carbonated and smooth in the feel. It is easy drinking and a fairly solid representation of the style. Nothing flashy or showy about this beer, it is just done to style and it is done well. For more than 6% abv, it is hidden quite well.

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

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades. The aroma is great. It has a rich, dry black malt scent with a roasted element that is very aromatic. The taste is good. It has a very earthy black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes smooth and rich. It is a bit dry and creamy. This is a very flavorful stout. It is uncompromising with the use of black malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good stout. It has excellent black malt flavor and a smooth finish; a good drinker.

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

The beer is opaque, dark brown nearing black. The beige head is thick and massive, coating the glass with a thick sheet of lacing as it slowly recedes. The aroma really inviting dark roast, coffee, chocolate. Ooh. I can already see why this is so highly rated. The flavor brings a heavy dose of roast with a splash of coffee. The finish brings a hop bitterness that melds beautifully with the charred roast character. Long lasting aftertaste. A solid beer. If this were in my market, I would keep it around all year.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.

The beer pours a deep, black color with a large nitro-induced tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolate, just as I expected. The flavor is where the nitro really takes away from the beer. I get quite a bit of chocolate and roasted malt, but the nitro thins out the mouthfeel and makes the beer taste watery. There is also a little bit of coffee in the flavor. Thin to medium, watery mouthfeel.

Hopefully I will be able to try this beer in the bottle or on regular tap so I can re-review it, since I am sure it is a better beer when not on nitro.

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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.

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

Deschutes has come to PA at last and naturally, The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop was the one to make this (and others) available to me.

From the bottle: "Give into the deep, dark spell as the layers unfold."; "Like the plot of some eerie mystery you can't put down."; "Created for explorers everywhere since 1988"; "Deep, robust and richly rewarding, roasted malt and black barley give way to notes of chocolate and espresso. Smooth and black as the glassy volcanic rock fields it's named for."

Once again, a heavy-handed, aggro pour caused a pseudo-cascade as three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head formed with excellent retention and everything went on hold until it settled. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Obsidian, indeed! As the initial head settled, I continued my pour and now it looked like a muffin top protruding from the glass. Will this head ever subside? The nose smelled like Devil's Food cake - rich, chocolaty, slightly smoky, underlain by a coffee-like odor. It smelled like a birthday cake that I had when I was really young, like 5 y/o, chocolate with purple icing. Dig that! I was obsessed with purple when I was really young and my cake played into it. Mouthfeel was big, dense and creamy and the chocolate cake was having espresso as a chaser. Phew. You had better really like those kinds of intense flavors in combination with one another and since I am the king of intensity, it was right up my alley. Beautiful lacing began to form as I drank so I sat back and watched it do its thing while taking a contemplative moment for myself. Finish was exceptionally smooth. I had drank down almost half of it without a second thought. At 6.4% ABV, this would be a great beer to get people interested in the style who may be put off by dark-colored beers.

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Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a big inch plus head filling the rest of the glass. Right after the pour it's already leaving a thick lacing all over the edges of the glass. The lacing continued and ended up looking like a thick spider web all over the glass.

The aroma shows a good mix of coffee and chocolate to it. it's very smooth and balanced with both sweet and bitter flavors coming through. Very nice aroma for a stout.

The taste is fantastic. It has a great mix of bold stout flavors to it. A big bitter-sweet chocolate flavor turns into more of a burnt and roasted flavor through the finish. Coffee, chocolate, burnt, bitter, sweet, all come through at some point. Excellent flavor overall and just as much flavor as some stouts twice the abv.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. It's a great tasting and very flavorful stout. What really impresses me is just how flavorful it is for being below 7% alcohol. This is better then the majority of imperial stouts out there. Fantastic beer overall and would definitely be a regular purchase if that was possible in this area.

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Photo of Gavage
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before Oct 16th 2011, we are good to go!

Super dark brown head off the pour and foamy bubbles, very large though and seem to be darker on the perimeter. Body color is a solid dark black/brown walnut, can't see a dang thing through it. Minimal lacing, I really love this head color and form.

Big airy malted dry grain off the nose, and a nice small milk chocolate. Very malt forwarded and even a little yeast like sour in character. Pretty unique I'd say.

Roast and lingering roast. Roast meats and carbon, roast char and charred but not totally blackened malts in the taste. A great lingering finish with a simple but good mouthfeel that is not thick but also not wet either somewhere in between. Just great. Love this beers finish and aftertaste!

Overall I am craving grilled meats with this beer like crazy and I can just pick the carbon out of my teeth with it too. It just goes to show for me that this brewery hardly ever disappoints me.

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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.

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

12oz bottle into a Penn Pilsner pint glass. Thanks Jwelsh for the extra.

A- Obsidian Stout pours a dark black color with some brown showing towards the top. A aggressive pour yielded a 1 inch and building tan head so I slowed down. After the head settled it left a skim on the surface and spotty lacing.

S- I could smell this from 2ft so I know it has legs. A huge roasty profile with a deep malt scent and some chocolate and black coffee. This is near expiration so i'm guessing the hops have faded some but they show up. Charcoal and somewhat burnt.

T- A lot of burnt charcoal throughout with some sweet chocolate and coffee in between. getting some of the yeast as well. Burnt malt giving off slight toffee. After some time some bitterness comes forth so I guess some hops survived. Some fruit off in the distance.

M- More bitterness presided in the mouth as well but overall this one is a smooth sipper. Obsidian is a full bodied stout with ample carbonation. This one finishes a bit dry. The malts stand out the most and stick around the longest out of the flavors.

D- A great American Stout at a low abv which is great in this land of imperials. Not quite a session beer but I would drink a few. The burnt malt may wear thin after some time. Either way this was a treat and I would drink again. Would like to try a freshie to compare.

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

Just another part of my make-your-own-6-pack from Town and Country, on to the beer:

It pours thick from the bottle into a pint glass with a beautiful contrast of black and tan. There's plenty of roasted barely in this beer, one that's very bitter from the burnt flavors. Pretty drinkable. I had this after eating some greasy pizza, and my palate welcomed the rush of roasted bitterness.

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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

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

12 oz. bottle, from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR,

A: Pours a dark opaque black, with a thick, tan head, very appealing, I like the way this stout looks.

S: Dark roasted malts, burnt sugar, and a bit of coffee.

T: Burnt, very burnt, this is probably the bitterest stout I have ever had, in response to the roasted malts. There is a hint of black cherry flavour as well, very tasty.

M: Smooth, thick, well carbonated for a stout, no trace of the 6.40% alcohol, very rich for its alcohol content.

D: A great American stout, I could drink this all day, one of Deschutes best beers, better than their porter, which is also pretty good, an American classic.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.