Obsidian Stout - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,293 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,293
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 468
Gots: 538 | 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 (152) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,293 | Reviews: 1,049
Photo of GimmeAles
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of jkendrick
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of peck95
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Jasonboerner
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely a world class beer. The way a stout should look and taste.

Photo of blackjack000
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of Durtdiggler
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of KingG
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of solargoat
4.71/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of yuriruley
5/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of Night
3.95/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of dbnarley
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Creamy delicious stout. Hints of chocolate. May be the best stout I have tasted and I am a stout fan.

Photo of EGledhill
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Photo of stx00lax
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of cyrock1
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Brandt
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

Photo of Bennettrox
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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!

Photo of Scrylol
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger mocha colored head, bubbly, bit of lacing on the glass. Pure black body, looks pretty good.

Sweet milk chocolate, bit of cocoa, caramel, toffee and malty notes on the nose.

Hints of dark chocolate and coffee on the tongue, backed by slight leafy/earthy hop notes. Bit of caramel malty flavor to it. Leaves a dry bitter aftertaste.

Silky smooth body for the mouthfeel, complimented by a nice amount of carbonation.

A nice stout by Deschutes.

Photo of anchordrinker
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Opaque black appearance with an initially big head that dissipates to a thin layer. Decent lacing.

S- Roasted coffee/cocoa aromas dominate

T- Dark roasted coffee bitterness is initially intense before gradually giving way to an ever-so-slightly sweet dark chocolate flavor, and finishing with roast-y and nutty notes.

M- Full, creamy, slick, and smooth with ample carbo

D- Very, very drinkable.

Photo of DanOLeary
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: On draught from a Nitro tap. The beer pours a deep coal black with a rich creamy almond head. As expected from nitrogen, the unrelenting head forms tiny bubbles consistently coating the top of this stout.

Aroma: Initial waft of dark chocolate leads a light burnt nutty aroma. No hops are detectable in the nose. As the beer warms there is a detectable vanilla and caramel in the background. No esters.

Flavor: Crisp, almost burning flavor of bitter dark chocolate focuses the pallet toward roasted chocolate malt. The flavor quickly fades to a sharp, clean and dry spice. The dry finnish almost stings the back of the throat but there is a creamy smooth sweetness that comes back to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Milky smooth with full body and low carbonation. While the creaminess is present in the forefront it drops off quickly leaving only a light slickness on the roof of the mouth. As you breath out after clearing your mouth there's a drying bite at the throat that suggests liberal use of a highly kilned malt.

Overall Impression: The balance of this beer is exceptional. Obsidian shows a focus toward dry dark chocolate malt sweetness and the roasted bitter bite of what I can only assume is a harmony of deep roasted malts and hops. Hop bitterness is barely perceptible however. What I can pick up I would classify as floral over citrus or earthy.

While I don't normally enjoy beers served on Nitro, I would certainly order this one again. I would enjoy reviewing this beer carbonated with CO2 as opposed to Nitro and compare the differences.

Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at the Trader Joe's on Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle, WA. Reviewed 6/24/08. 12oz bottle poured into my tasting glass.

A: Dark, almost black. It's dark enough to fail the light test. My pouring method produced a thin tan head that faded leaving a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and maybe a little smoke.

T: The taste echoes the smell: roasted malts and chocolate with the coffee flavors coming across in the trailing edge.

M: Medium body. Good carbonation. Smooth feel. Could be smoother.

D: It's a stout through and through. It is easy to drink. I've shared this with friends and I hope to do so again.

Photo of quaybr
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of LukeD23
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep dark black with a slight shade of brown around the edges of the beer. Nice creamy tan head that sits atop the beer beautifully.

nice blend of deep chocolate and roast notes backed with a subtle herb character. I love the way the hops are present in this beer. Very nice

Flavor is full with lots of rosemary and thyme notes upfront that roll into bitter cocoa and cracker finishing with charcoal and lightly burnt dryness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but finishes very very dry. This helps this beer a ton because there is so much flavor.

I love this stout..could be my favorite stout I have had.

Photo of Jishguy
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a solid black body with a one finger mocha colored head. The head did dissipate after about two minutes or so. The lacing on the glass is moderate when turning from side to side.

S - The immediate smell of espresso dominates the aroma, along with sweet caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Very inviting

T - Very similar to the aroma. Dark roasted malts immediately up front followed by the chocolate and sweet malts on the backbone. A tiny hint of alcohol is present in the aftertaste, but not to overwhelming.

M - Not bad, but definitely the most disappointing aspect of this brew. Creamy, but could be a bit more.

D - It does sit heavy, which is not uncommon for a stout. I could drink three or four.

Overall, a solid brew. a friend brought me a six pack while on vacation. I'd definitely buy another.

Photo of MLegendre
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I had this served to me in pilsener glass (which I thought was an odd choice to serve a stout... and it was), at a wonderful resturaunt called The Rivers Edge and currently the only place where I live that serves this on tap...

A: Amazing. Completly jet black, no light penetration whatsoever. Thick tan head, at least an inch and a half that does not dissapear, it stays there for the entire duratation of the drink. I just recently found out that this was nitro-tapped and that is what gave the "cascade" head formation. It as amazing to look at and i found myself staring in awe at it for a long time before I started to actually drink it.

S: Chock full of that roasted barley and coffee-like smell I love about stouts.

T: Tasted great, but sadly it didn't taste as good as when I've had it before. The first mouthful was all head, but it tasted great. It was full of sweet roasted barley and malt. The rest of it tasted great, but the sweet roasted flavor that I love about this beer was more in the background than it usually is and the bitterness took over.

M: This was a huge disapointment for me. No matter what I'm drinking I like at least a little Carbonation in my beer and this had none (because of the nitro). It reminded me a bit of Guinness which I'm not a huge fan of.

D: Although I was dissapointed (I think it tastes better w/o the nitro) it still was a great beer and I orderered another as soon as I was finished with the first. The Next time I go to the store I'l pick up a sixpack and review this again.

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,293 ratings.