Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

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Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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1,020 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,020
Hads: 3,324
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 476
Gots: 550 | 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: 3,324
Photo of jwilli7122
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours your stout-typical opaque brownish black with a monster rocky tan head made of a combination of humongous and tiny bubbles.
smells like alchohol, loud dark fruit, and roasted malts.
taste is hop spiced dark fruit - grapes and plums especially- and chalky bittersweet chocolate...notes of alchohol...roasty finish but not as big as in many stouts.
mouthfeel is dry and fairly thin with some alchoholic warmth.

this is very fruity for a stout. I'm not real big on fruit flavors, but if you are, you will like this. (524 characters)

Photo of UncleFrank
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a thick oil black with a brown head. The head lasts and lasts. The aroma is high with roasted notes and sweet malts roasted over burnt wood. There is a bit of coffee aroma as well. Very interesting.
The body is thick and chewy, leaving the insides of my cheeks covered with a slick malty taste that mingles with the roasted grains on the middle of my tongue. A touch of sweet chocolate is evident and is followed by a flavor of dark grain bread, like a rye or pumpernickel. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but reminds me of that. Like a new coffee flavor. Very complex.
The finish is slightly bitter without being overly astringent. The re is no hop or alcohol taste at all and yet this beer weighs in at over 6 percent.
Wow, this could be my new favorite Stout. Complex, tasty, and a limited supply in this area make me want to savor this beer. Enjoy! (874 characters)

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

Appearance: Would you believe.... very dark black and opaque? Poured into a pint glass. 1/2" to 5/8" of tan head quickly settled down to traces which stuck around to the bottom of the glass.

Nose: Typical of a stout - Roasted barley, hints of coffee.

Taste: Follows from the nose pretty well - roasted barley, some coffee notes. Bitter chocolate. Smoother than expected. Very creamy mouthfeel. Slight hops finish to round it out.

A very drinkable, balanced beer. Definately recommended. (497 characters)

Photo of NefariousR
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours an intensely dark brown; absolutely no light is passing through here. There is a foamy, tan head of about an inch that mostly dissipated after about three minutes. Left a lacy webbing down the glass.

S - Strong roasted coffee, with some notes of sweet molasses.

T - The roast taste comes through strongly, with an after-taste of sweet malt that sticks to the throat. Almost no perceived bitterness. Quite delicious.

M - Medium-thick, with light carbonation washing over the tongue and throat.

D - A recent discovery for me, and one of my new favorite stouts. I could drink these all night, quite an accomplishment given the moderately high ABV of 6.4% -- getting close to Imperial Stout ranges. Highly reccommended. (791 characters)

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

I really like this beer. I get it at my local shop for 5.99 a six pack, Its there best deal in the house.

Pours a viscous dark black with hints of tan bubbles which begin to create a off white light tan head, about a 1/4 inch, foam holds up for a good while, with solid rings left along the glass during consumption.

Alot of roasted malt, coffee, oak, and bittersweet chocolate on the nose.
A balance of earthiness from the coffee and sweet from the malt and chocolate on the palate create the chance for this beer to linger well after it is swallowed.
As for it's drinkability, well yea I've often told myself I'll have 1 or 2 from a six pack, and find myself with 5 or 6 empty bottles. (692 characters)

Photo of ThePortlander
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle in a mug.

A: A wonderful smooth black, no light can get through this one. Truly 'obsidian.'

S: For some reason I couldn't get much aroma out of this one. I got some vague milk chocolate aromas, and the malt is there, but not much else. Perhaps a slight hint of dates or plums with agitation.

T: The silky sweet malt rushes in first, bringing chocolate, dried fruit and nut flavors as well. There is some hop bitterness in this stout, which works to even out the sweetness, but it never quite fully evens out. (Or, at least the brew from the batch I'm basing this review on never seemed to even out; I have had this brew before at it was much more balanced). Overall, a wonderful evening or dessert stout, as the sweetness seems to win out. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and milky.

D: Despite being a bit too sweet for my tastes, this is a very solid stout and another great brew from Deschutes. Despite being a heavier beer, the mouthfeel and sweeter taste make drinking it quite easy.

Note: This was not the best bottle of Obsidian I've encountered. It's usually quite a bit more even, like a good cup of coffee; not too sweet or bitter, but complex and full. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the brew. Either way, I have given this a combined rating which may change the next time I buy a bottle or order one out. (1,340 characters)

Photo of scottyg354
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No need to get into details, this is by far one of the best looking, best smelling, tastiest, smoothest Stouts I've had. Wish I was back out in San Francisco were this would be a staple in my fridge. Unfortunately, it's not available in PA or at least in my area.

This is one awesome brew. (291 characters)

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

Sampled from a pint glass, temp mid-50s.

Beautiful brown head produces moderate lacing and sits atop a dark brown (nearing black) ale. Made me want to jump right in!

Sweet and slightly roasty, toasty aroma. Smell lingers quite pleasantly. Hops play into very subtle resiny undertones.

Smells lead into similar taste. A nice balance of malts, leaving the palate feel very cared about. A little roasted, a little toasted, a little chocolatey. A very pleasant aftertaste rests in the bitters on the back of the tongue. A deep, robust flavor but nothing overwhelms the ol' taste buds.

A smooth and moderately-thick & creamy feel is present through the entire beer, even as carbonation dwindles. It treats all portion of the tongue equally.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer a lot. A beer that wanted only to be sipped, yet left me thinking about having another. (857 characters)

Photo of fretlessman71
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours - you guessed it - black as obsidian, with a taupe colored reasonably tight head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Strong roasted aroma very characteristic of a stout - kind of like an original Guinness, but somehow even more so. There's a pleasant sharpness in the flavor, yet it's irresistably smooth... you'd never know there was 6+% ABV in this beer. Bitter chocolate, espresso flavors are very strong - why, oh why can't Starbucks make a shot that tastes this good? Mouthfeel is almost oily, but in a good way... not too carbonated, not too flat feeling. This one goes down just as smoooth as you could want - there aren't enough o's in "smooth" to describe it! (677 characters)

Photo of GimmeAles
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Three fingers of khaki foam billows over an ebony body in the Imperial Pint glass. No light escapes the contents. Head recedes, but maintains a solid 2-cm sheet to seal the glass and a mini-cascade is seen with every sip. Good smattering of lace left down the glass

Blackened malts, Italian Roast coffee, grill-blackened plums make up the nose. Solid and rich.

Tastes are of charred grains, dark-rye crust and fine dark chocolate. Dried, vine fruits make an appearance and round out the palate with a pleasant sweetness. Very nice. Definitely more going on here than a grain-forward Dry Stout, yet not quite Imperial in overall stature.

Building on this theme, Mouthfeel is pleasantly viscous yet quaffable. Awesome drinkability - two bottles (or pints) are almost a given with this beer. My favorite ‘everday’ stout and quite a bargain at just over a buck a bottle. (877 characters)

Photo of jkendrick
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours black and smooth. There is a thin frothy head and carbonation bubbles dot the glass all the way down to the bottom. The head recedes relatively quickly leaving minimal lacing.

Aroma: Roasted smell with some coffee, but not much. The smell is characteristic of a stout and sweet with perhaps a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium body approaching full body with moderate carbonation. The carbonation is a bit aggressive at first, but quickly mellows leaving a smooth chewy mouthfeel.

Taste: There is a sweet maltiness right up front that is quickly balanced by a bitter blast. The bitterness is pleasant to me, but I know many might find it too bitter. I taste some espresso, bitter chocolate and some dark fruits and barley to join the roasted sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.

Overall impression: I have always loved this stout, but I must admit looking at this with a critical eye there ARE better stouts out there. It's aggressive though and despite the abv of 6.4%, it has an almost Imperial stout quality and the bitterness characteristic of a West Coast brew. Locally this is reasonably priced and the lower abv allows it to be an excellent session stout. (1,201 characters)

Photo of takusan1000
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Obsidian is the standard I use for stouts. Midnight black tan lacing, complex dark roasted aroma. The taste is absurdly good, with bitter dark roasted malt and dark chocolate sweetness predominant, anise, rum-soaked berries, and a healthy taste of bittering hops that do not bite. It's a bitter brew, not for those expecting Guinness or stouts of that ilk, but the bitter is elegantly balanced by a complex flavor profile. Moderate mouthfeel. Overall one of my all-time favorites in this style and in beers in general. (518 characters)

Photo of peck95
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just finished off a six pack of this that ive been to compare to other stouts. drinking this beer for years. I still love it and luckily for me this is one of the few good beers i can get without having to drive 50 miles.
appearance is a dark black with a good head and nice lacing all the way to the end
smell roasted coffee malts are prevalent followed by a soft chocolate aroma.
has a smooth roasted coffee tasted but the chocolate is a little faint,
mouthfeel is very smooth a nice medium body with a very slight taste of alcohol very nice
drinkability this beer is smooth, and tasty. unlike some other thick and sweet beers it is easy to drink a few of these at a time which is usually good. (696 characters)

Photo of blackjack000
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Black with a milk chocolate head.

Smell: Black liquorice and baker's chocolate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Instant taste of dark, semisweet chocolate. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, instantly followed by perky carbonation that highlights the bittersweet aftertaste.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout. So smooth and silky that you immediately crave another. (394 characters)

Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes Obsidian Stout from a bottle into a glass. Frothy head that can stand up. Dissipates quickly and leaves a bit of residue on the inside but not heavy.

Black patent is obvious in the smell and taste; along with the roasted barley. Sharp, stout smell that is filling. Smell is well-balanced with the taste.

Charcoal but subtle with the malt. Hops are there but this is not a hoppy beer. Anise and prune hints.

Mouthfeel is sharp, dry with a bitter aftertast.

The drinkability is not the best. The taste does not make one want to drink a ton of it. This is a great stout for those desiring a great stout. (618 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 KingG
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled and poured into a Midnight Sun 12oz glass.

Appearance is good. Pours black but overly thick with some nice head retention. Ton of lacing for a stout. Thick mocha colored head forms then settles to a soapy, sticky thin film.

Smell is good. Heavy aroma of dark roasted coffee with a dairy-like presence.

Taste is very good. Same as the smell with the strong roasted coffee and dairy/lactic-like flavor. Malts aren't sweet but roasty and not over-bearing. Sharp hop bitterness finishes things out. Balanced and well crafted. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is very good. A little over medium-bodied but lighter than "thick." Carbonation level is perfect. Great chewy texture and has a nice presence on the palate.

Drinkability is very good. Going down very easy. Almost thirst quenching.

Overall: Probably the best made standard American Stout on the market. Insane drinkability for the style. Always a pleasure to have. Highly recommended. (948 characters)

Photo of solargoat
4.71/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint Glass.
Pitch Black, big frothy dirty head. Looks amazing. Aroma has tons of Roasted malts, hint of sweetness. Creamy, medium to full bodied, balanced, fantastic bittering. Dangerously drinkable, completely blown away by my first Descutes experience. (254 characters)

Photo of yuriruley
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Realized I have yet to review this out of the bottle.

Appearance - black as night, nice mocha head that doesn't dissipate quickly, and good amounts of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt, juniper, and sweet notes.

Taste - Roasted malt, balanced out my caramel flavors and sweetness, bitterness is very mild. Great balance.

Mouthfeel - thick, but not too thick, carbonation is just right, and a nice touch of creaminess.

Drink - this stuff is great, I have destroyed sixers of it before fairly easy. Despite it having a higher ABV then most beers you'd want to be drinking a sixer of.

I've never given a beer a 5 before, but I feel this beer deserves it. I buy it frequently and I believe it is one of the most balanced beers out there. I've yet to have another American Stout I'd rather drink. (792 characters)

Photo of Night
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with red flecks. Big fluffy tan head leaves medium lacing. Aroma promises strong malts: chocolate, meat, pepper, and a relatively noticeable alcohol presence – not especially strong or pleasant smelling. Medium body and a creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is dark roasted malts, very meaty; molasses, walnut, pork loin, and charcoal, with an undertone of acidic grassiness thrown in. A touch of soft-candy sweetness in the finish. Aftertaste is mostly neutral with a hint of bitterness and acidity. (503 characters)

Photo of EGledhill
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big ups to jhammerly for this one

12 oz poured into snifter

A. Jet black with no light getting through. hardly a tan head that fades quickly

S. Chocolate and coffee dominate. a little smokiness, and some fruits

T, black bitter coffee and bitter chocolate dominate. Mild taste of fruits on the finish

M. Eh, a little thin nothing impressive

D. while not a session beer, it's fantastic for a one or two a nighter. all in all a very good try (444 characters)

Photo of stx00lax
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black, light-brown head with nice lacing

S- Sweet roasty malts, charcoal, hops, black licorice

T- Nice hop presence along with bitter bakers chocolate. Very balanced and actually refreshing for a stout.

M- Full, creamy and a little dry on the palate. Definitely not sticky or syrupy like other stouts. Just perfectly carbonated and smooth.

O- perfect. What more can you ask for in a stout? $8 for a six pack of a perfectly balanced and drinkable stout. Not flashy, just consistently good and sessionable. (517 characters)

Photo of cyrock1
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a 1/2 inch tan head.

Smell: Caramel, roasted malt and chocolate. Maybe a little soy sauce in the background.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate and black coffee, with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation with mild hops on the finish.

Drinkability: The chocolate lingers nicely, a well structured beer. (333 characters)

Photo of Brandt
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this one pours out a dark black color with a nice two finger tan head

the smell is roasty black malts that conjure up hints of coffee and faint notes of bakers chocolate.

the flavor of this beer really is a wonderful thing. the taste is rich with dark malts and alcohol follwed up by a molasses sweetness and flavors of brown sugar as well as coffee.

the finish is warming and a med body that leaves notes of coffee in the nasal. this is a great stout and its even better that it comes in six packs and doesn't cost an arm and a leg, a true standby! (552 characters)

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

A - Pitch black, 1 finger tan head. Dark as night

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, a little burnt wood

T - More roasted strong complex malts. Very creamy stout. Chocolate follows near the end.

M - Full body, but nice and creamy. Moderate carbonation

O - Really enjoyed this stout. Easy to drink, perfect example of an American stout. Would like a 6 of this! (363 characters)

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