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
View: Beers (149) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,020 | Hads: 3,326
Photo of bgraney
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich black color with a tan/cocoa head which left an impressive lacing.
Sweet, roasted malt aroma, balanced, not overpowering.
Delicious roasted flavor with a coffee-like background. Just the right amount of bitterness.
Full, rich mouthfeel, the roasted malt expands throughout the mouth and nose.
If you ever want to knock down multiple stouts this is a good one. I imagine you would get too full before you'd get tired of drinking the Obsidian.
A great stout from Deschutes. (484 characters)

Photo of ricke49
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great several finger head, which itself tastes nothing short of delicious. This beer in many respects is clearly relative of the more potent 'The Abyss'.

Smell: roasted malts...some chocolate

Taste: roasted flavor is predominant....but not to the exclusion of hops. If you like the roasted taste, this brew is for you.

Mouthfeel: extremely smooth

Drinkability: A wonderful stout that makes up for the fact that The Abyss is not always available - or desired (i.e. if you are looking to 'go session').

Overall this has to be one of the best values out there; often in the sub-7 dollar range for a sixer. Quality like this at that price is one of life's small pleasures. (689 characters)

Photo of Admbmb92
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter. Served at cellar temp.
A-Inky black, no showing of light whatsoever. Mocha brown head, fluffy.
Ar-coffee, dark chocolate, earthyness
T-creamy chocolate immediately followed up by coffee and earthy hop bitterness, carbonation. Very well balanced. Slight booze on finish. Slight yeasty flavor
M-medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Exactly what I would expect.
Overall- perfect American stout. So well balanced. I prefer to drink this at at least 50 degrees or warmer because it adds creaminess and even more balance. My favorite beer by deschutes and my favorite stout ever. Flys off the shelf (638 characters)

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

One of my favorites that I finally tracked down in Reno. Pours velvety black with a glint of reddish-amber light at the bottom of the glass. A handsome, two-finger cocao brown head that leaves smudges of lace graces the top. The aroma features big toasted barley notes with the underlying Deschutes-level dose of Cascade hops. Chocolate, chicory and toasted rye also come to mind. The taste is something to behold and it makes this one of the finest tasting stouts around. Big chocolate flavors lay the foundation, with a sweet, almost fruity middle before a pretty dry, bitter and toasty finish. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but not so much so that it precludes warm-weather drinking. Drinkability is fantastic. They don't come much better than this. (752 characters)

Photo of sockeye101
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hands down, one of the best, if not the best, stout I've had...this is up there with the Imperial Stouts in my mind. After a agonizingly slow pour, with the last drizzles of the 12oz bottle oozing out like oil, it left a jet black color with a dense, 2.5 finger tan head. Beautiful. Aroma is very complex with blends of sweetness, alcohol notes, roasted maltiness, coffee, chocolate, a very pleasing mixture. The taste is just as complex as the aroma, but bordering on perfection. First impression is a biting tingling on the tongue with a slight bitterness that fades into a robust earthy toasted malt with splashes of coffee, chocolate and a finishing mild bitterness. And afterall that you have an aftertaste of roasted nuttiness. As it warms it gets even more complex....excellent. Mouthfeel is good, creamy, and complete. I successfully sessioned this at a bbq recently and would recommend to anyone who likes stouts that this is about as easy drinking as it gets :) (971 characters)

Photo of markman
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Obsidian Stout:

Obsidian-black pour under a smallish but dense head…roasted malt and hints of peanuts fill the nose. Leads with a rich roasted mocha-ish burst, and finishes with a silky chocolaty bite. An excellent stout, layers of flavor and about as complex as they come. And at cellar temperature, this stout is hard to put down.

Cheers… (359 characters)

Photo of bosox941827
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz dated bottle, poured cold into an imperial pint glass; allowed to warm as I tasted it.
A - Wow; black but with as dark a red highlight as you can imagine. Pours like syrup; an opaque, black-red velvet. Fantastic looking.
S - Black licorice, toasted oatmeal, beets(!), chocolate malts.
T - Taste is a bit thin compared to the nose; roasted and chocolate malts come in a bit late, along with some molasses, a drying hops characteristic, that isn't really a flavor but more of a feel. Nice, long finish though, that does yield a bit of complexity; getting a bit of roasted coffee at the end as well.
M - Smooth, but with a tongue-drying, subtle hop finish, not unlike Guinness.
D - Could probably do a few of these; the 6.4% (for a stout) could sneak up on you.
Overall a very good stout and one of the best looking beers I've seen. (837 characters)

Photo of Zekezilla
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a recent trip to Portland. Not being overly familiar with West Coast breweries, I honestly didn't know that I was in so many tasty samples while there. This one was probably my favorite. Pitch black in appearance. Very smoky, taste. In fact, I really hadn't experienced "smoke" in taste/smell until I tried some porters and stouts in Portland. Exceptionally drinkable. Makes me wish I lived in Portland! (421 characters)

Photo of birdypowder
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A sharp crisp pssstt, and my obsidian stout is free. It pours an enormous tan, brown, rocky head composed of tiny bubbles. Creamy! Large bubbles are mixed in but soon break.

Dipping my nose in I get dark chocolate and caramel notes. A second whiff detects some piney and grassy aromas.

The color is BLACK. Especially the center of my beer glass which is totally opaque, nothing shines through the inky blackness. The edges reveal a dark maroon with sinister brown tones.

Tasting reveals slight caramel sweetness up front, assertive carbonation and a bakers chocolate bitter finish. Creamy and mouth coating.

I could only have one of these in a sitting but that is because it only takes one to be satisfied. (714 characters)

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I poured this beer from the bottle at about 60 degrees F and it is clear and black just like obsidian but with some brown showing through and the head is a full finger thick and creamy brown and leaves another cool outline of a mountain peak on my glass as lacing! I totally should take a picture of that, but I am too lazy.

The aroma is definitely of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, some yeast and very little earthy hops. Both sweet and bitter. A nice combo.

It tastes even better than it smells with sweet roasted malt taking the lead then the creamy chocolate malts come into play with some hints of vanilla cream and then followed by the bitterness of the roasted malts and the earthy hops. Finally it finishes dry with hint of black pepper and mild alcohol. This beer is so well balanced and the dry finish lures you to the next sip!

The mouthfeel is creamy full and dry with light to moderate carbonation to play on your tongue. The finish is dry and bitter but pleasingly so.

Overall, this has to be one of the best stouts EVER! It's definitely NOT a crossover beer and if you don't like dry and bitter beers you may not like this one, but keep in mind that this is an excellent beer all around and you might be missing out if you think that it may be too bitter for you. You may actually like it! I love it! 5 out of 5! (1,328 characters)

Photo of KBoudreau66
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a 12 oz. bottle via trade with sirdrinkinp

Pour: very dark brown that is slightly translucent at the bottom of the glass with a minimal tan head that exceeded no more than half a finger and dissipated quickly

Aroma: Like a strong coffee with a shot of espresso added to it. This is my favorite way to drink coffee so it's extremely appealing to the nose.

Taste: This brew didn't let me down at all. It smelled incredible and repeats that trend in taste. Strong coffee almost espresso like flavors with an excellent hop bitterness that I was not expecting at all. It also has a nice burnt sugar/caramel flavor in the mix as well.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, slightly more carbonated then some stouts that I've tasted in the past, making this a more refreshing stout.

Drinkability: This is an excellent stout that I wish was readily available to me in Massachusetts. Unfortunately it isn't so I relished the opportunity to taste this and enjoyed it down until the very last sip. (988 characters)

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

A: the mention of "black beauty" on the label really can't be improved upon to describe the appearance of this beer.

S: sweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, cherry, fig, and other dark fruits

T: coffee is pronounced initially, dark chocolate, fruit, toast, and fairly well hopped to offer surprising balance

M: rich with a dry-ish finish

delicious brew; desert in a bottle. (375 characters)

Photo of spoons
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a tulip.

Looks like blackness, I guess thats what they were going for. Looks great. A coffee colored head that sits on top with a creamy stature.

Smells like roasted barley for sure. Some coffee in there with a hint of caramel and a little bread.

I feel as if this is a little carbonated for my liking. Leaves it a little watery. Tastes of bitter roasted malts and a little sweet red fruits. The flavor is nice overall.

If it werent for the mouthfeel this would be an exceptional beer for sure. (523 characters)

Photo of natemort13
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head that sticks around forever (so far at least...). Head is super clingy on the glass.

Notes of strong coffee and dark roasted malts on the nose. Dark chocolate too.

Taste is an incredibly smooth chocolate and coffee stout. The roasted malt comes off as creamy and smooth on my palate. Finish is mildly bitter (similar to the aftertaste of a sip of weak coffee).

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied but not really sticky like you might expect from such a stout. Really smooths out the roasted coffee flavor.

Overall it's an excellent stout. Picked up a Black Butte XXIII with the Obsidian six pack. Really looking forward to it but that one's gonna age for a bit. (713 characters)

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

/A vigorous pour yielded three fingers of dark black beer and three fingers of khaki creamy foam.

S: Roasted malts then cocoa, sweet date aroma. Toffee as well. Not all that strong of an aroma but a good one.

T: Followed the nose except that I got some hoppy/ coffee bitterness on the finish slightly.

M: Spot on mouthfeel for stout, not too thick but not watery. Nice carbination with good lacing until the end.

O: Impressive and very worthy of try. Nice job Deschutes! (476 characters)

Photo of angelogarcia3
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is an excellent beer. Strong in flavor and aroma. The smokey aroma prepares the drinker for what is to come. The dark head full head and dark color let you know that their is a high level of carbonation. The roasted malts and full body satisfy the drinker requiring a strong beer that will withstand some heavy blue cheeses on a Kobe beef hamburger. Had it at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. (401 characters)

Photo of MikeyMikee
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at fridge temp. 55'F

A- Dark, Dark brown (nearly black) with an off white head.

S- Pale malt, baking chocolate (semi sweet), brown sugar and some light hops.

T- Light roastiness, light coffee, little bit of chocolate. Slight cirtus hoppiness. slightly burnt flavor to it.

M- It's got a velvety feel. Its very full and smooth for a regular stout. Really great.

O- Very drinkable, best stout I've ever had, easily. (424 characters)

Photo of Pooba001
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a black hue with a brown finger of head that dissipates, but some reappears when beer is roused. Jeepers its dark. Lacing sticks around the side of the glass. Aroma is sweet, not candy sweet, but malty sweet, chocolatey, and a little fruity. Nearly perfect. Mouthwatering.

Dry roasted malt flavor, sweetness, coffee. Great balance. This is a "wow" beer, probably the best thing I've had since my last Double Bastard or Oaked Yeti.

Mouthfeel is good, little thin, good body, but less than optimal. Drinkability is very good, so smooooth. Its not only an excellent example of American Stout, but just a damn tasty beer. I'm going to start calling my liver "the place Deschutes beers go to die". (709 characters)

Photo of hammer09
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered this beer on a recent trip to Lake Tahoe and ordered it as a pre-dinner drink.

The Obsidian Stout arrived in a 12 ounce bottle at cellar temperature and the waiter had enough sense to suggest a room temperature pint glass instead of their customary chilled glassware. The beer poured a black, almost opaque color with a 3/4 inch head which settled to a creamy 1/8 inch in a matter of minutes. This stout had a nice roasted aroma, typical of many other stout varieties. Taste was exceptional with a roasted malt flavor and a creamy, smooth, and flat character. Overall, the Obsidian Stout's qualities adhere well to the tried and true characteristics of a classic stout, but its drinkability surpasses many of it's competitors.

I have yet to see this beer offered in Chicago, but will not hesitate to order a case from my local retailer if they can fulfill a special order. (891 characters)

Photo of BenHesk12
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian Stout can be considered a hidden treasure. At $8 for a six pack, this beer is inexpensive, widely available, and spot on for the style of an American stout. For this review, I was served on nitro-tap from a local bar in San Francisco's North Beach. This beer is a delight start to finish with lasting chocolate and coffee flavors, a creamy, delicate mouthfeel (partly due to the nitro), and overall a balance of alcohol and stouty flavors that leaves little to be desired. While not extremely complex or fancy, this beer is enjoyable on a special level. (562 characters)

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

Excellent beer, Looks great, smells great, tastes great, feels great, drinks great, and is.. great!

I've found it to be best on nitro taps and has been known to sway all those swaggering guiness die hards to open their mind to a new brew.

Although starting in 2006 I feel the recipe has been messed with somehow and the taste has been off... It hasn't quite been the same as it used to be. I've noticed this with the Jubelale as well as the Porter. Has Deschutes lost something? I'm not sure, perhaps it's just a passing phase in my tastebuds or something.

One thing for sure: Next time you're at your favorite venue, demand the obsidian be put on nitro! (663 characters)

Photo of MrBoz21
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky black - opaque. Thick, creamy brown head that settles down to ice cream float. Thick, sticky lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malt, grainy and a bit of ash. Light chocolate and faint faint hops.

Taste: Sweet roast and vanilla chocolate. Very little bitterness.

Mouth: Creamy and thick. Not really slick. Malty.

Overall: Very balanced and tasty. Sweet. (357 characters)

Photo of JohnnyJam
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this in my beer refrigerator for four months and it was buried in the back and I had not reviewed it. Deschutes Black Butte Porter is always on hand and I deviated to try this. I'm glad that I did. It is so good. The date code is 9/16/13 but I will review it anyway. Did it get better?

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with the date code clearly visible (9/16/13) into a pint glass and got 2+ fingers of head.

A: Pours black and opaque. I get a huge 2+ fingers if tan head that dissipates slowly to more than just a covering on the top of my glass that lasts to the end. Huge amounts of off-white lacing from top to bottom.

S: Dark coffee, vanilla, and charcoal.

T: Charcoal, strong coffee, burnt toast, and molasses. Really complex. Finishes with the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate.

M: Medium bodied and carbonated. The carbonation is similar to an effervescence that dances on my tongue. It goes down good.

O: I really like it. It is really satisfying and tasty. (988 characters)

Photo of Joe_Howard
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a great stout! Pours an almost pitch black body, with a big frothy tan head. The smell is chocolatey and roasty. The taste is perfect balance of coffee flavors and dark chocolate and has a full creamy body. If you have a chance get it, you will not be disappointed. (273 characters)

Photo of thesilverhand
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (1,318 characters)

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