Obsidian Stout
Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
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American Stout
Ranked #10
Ranked #1,432
4.21 | pDev: 9.5%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
Notes: Deep, robust and richly rewarding, this is beer to linger over. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley, with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.

IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
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Reviews: 1,198 | Ratings: 4,084
Reviews by herbalist:
Photo of herbalist
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color with about a finger thick tan head. The head does not stay for long but it looks exactly the way that a stout should.

It smells like figs, possibly raisins and something a little more pungent like coffee. The coffee smell is not very pronounced but you can certainly tell that it is there. There also seems to be a slight smell of hops which is surprising but nice. After taking a few sips I begin to notice a dark chocolate smell as well.

It tastes slightly bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor. Very tasty and a quite complex taste which is nice. I do not taste the raisins or figs that I could smell but I can def sense overtones of coffee, hops and malt. I could def see this becoming a favorite stout and I really enjoy the almost smokey taste that it has to it.

As far as mouthfeel and drinkability go the beer has a moderate amount of carbonation and is not too thick for a stout. It pours thicker than it drinks that is for sure. The alcohol is not very pronounced and it has a complex mix of sweet and bitter flavors that make it very enjoyable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


I am not usually a fan of stouts. This is a extremely wonderful surprise and a absolutely WONDERFUL beer. I'm a hefe, witbeer, type of guy (but my tastes are changing, I recently tried a APA that I actually liked!)

With that being said, if you're wanting to try a stout, and are afraid to do so, this is the beer to try. It makes Guinness take like absolute trash. And I'm serious. It's like comparing Bud Light to a Belgian Trapist. A damn near perfect blend of hops and malts in this stout that is black as night. I held it up to a 100 watt bulb. ZERO light penetration. This beer is a black hole of good flavors, it sucks up all things wonderful you'd expect in a stout, and obliterates that bad.

The only thing (and this is truly minor) is its mouthfeel. I tend to like a stout a bit less "liquid"... when I think stout, I almost think I should be chewing the beer, not sipping it. My favorite beer for mouth feel is Köstritzer Schwarzbier.

If you're looking to venture out and try a stout, and you're a bit afraid to do so. Don't be afraid to try this stout. If you don't like this stout. You wont like ANY stouts.

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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.

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Photo of ChugMan
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Lovely soft khaki-tan head, black body turning burgundy at its edges. Great lattice lacing throughout.
S - Clean, roasty, dark chocolate flakes, some breadyness too. Simple and inviting
T/M - The hops and roastyness combine to give the sensation of biting into a dark, moist sodabread, quite a mouthful! A surprising amount of snappy-spicyness with the lingering bitterness as well, again contributing to the bread motif but this time of a nice crackling crust. Just enough roasted sweetness to tie it all together without becoming dessert-y. Very pleasant.
O - This beer is a great example of craftsmanship that can be appreciated by newcomers and vets alike. It drinks like a meal! Likely a fantastic pairing to a hearty campfire-cooked breakfast or dinner, be it Dinty Moore or bangers n mash, and a casserole / shepherds pie might be ideal.

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Photo of PhillyJ
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deschutes is one of my favorite breweries. This stout is one of the reasons why. No need to dissect if you like stouts buy it this is world class even chocolate stout fanatics will appreciate this one.

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Photo of matcris
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a finger+ of chocolate head that sticks around and leaves a fair lacing down the glass. Nice full deep roasted malt, dark chocolate, earthy, and dark bread crust in the flavor as well as the aroma. A bit creamy up front and then it dries up up on the finish. I need another swig. Slightly below average carbonation, thick and rich body, like a founders porter. Not quite to the charred taste but quite dark roasted. Just a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian Stout brewed by Deschutes Brewery, with an ABV of 6.40% This American Stout pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. Kinda puts you in the mind set of coffee There is a decent amount of lacing to this stout, it sticks to the side of the glass nice. The smell is rich with roasted grians and malts, and some nice earthly hops. There is also a nice mild sweetness to the smell of this brew. Obsidian Stout has the look and smell of most American Stout on the market, not saying that is a bad thing. Now for the taste, it is bold with rich deep flavors. You first pick up on roasted grians and malts. Then a nice mild bitter sweetness of hops. There is a lot going on in Obsidian Stout . I like how smooth this brew goes down, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. It is really hard to pick up on the 6.40% ABV in this brew. Obsidian Stout has a real super nice balance to it. The mouth feel of this American Stout is Bold, Rich, Clean Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving Obsidian Stout a 4.50 out of 5. I would buy this American Stout again. Deschutes Brewery, did a super nice job this brew. If you are a fan of stouts look this brew up.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, this brew's head is three fingers thick brown, and spongey, with solid lacing, and a body none more black.

I smell dark chocolate, raspberries, black licorice, light oak/tobacco, and a slight earthiness.

Tastes like chocolate pudding, coffee, a bit of dark rum, black licorice, and the aforementioned earthiness.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy with mild carbonation.

I'll rate Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery with a 4.75. Nearly perfect...

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been drinking a lot of Evil Twins big stouts lately, so today, when I have been drinking beer (no ales) I thought I'd get my fix with a lighter one. This fits the bill and meets the expectations.

It's dark and foamy to start, with a beautiful malty aroma. The taste doesn't disappoint, it brings all kinds of sweet overtones that satisfy.

This stout finishes stronger than you might expect, leaving a solid aftertaste.

This stout is a great value and recommended for when you want to see what can be done without jacking the ABV up to 10-12.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz pint, on nitro, at Holy Grale, Louisville, KY

A: Deep nearly black pour; opaque; cascade effect; finger thick sandy head; creamy with good retention.

S: Roasty/nutty, mild coffee; soft chocolate notes; in fact, the nose itself is very soft, muted really, likely a result of the forced nitrogen.

T: Light roast, mild breakfast blend coffee; nutty; light powdered cocoa sweetness peaks through the middle; smooth with a touch of roasted bitterness, but not overly complex. I wonder just how much of an impact the nitrogen has on the flavor profile - like the nose, this just seems a bit muted, like the edges have been softened, almost too much.

M: Oily, slightly creamy; it is smooth, but not overly thick on the mouthfeel.

O: A solid nitro stout, if not a bit unremarkable - again, my only qualm is that the roasted/coffee/chocolate flavors don't really pop like some other stouts of the same ilk. I would be interested to see how the flavor profile changes (if at all) when served from a bottle instead of on a nitro tap - I'm guessing the nitro probably dulls the overall aroma/flavor profile. Notwithstanding that point, this is still smooth drinking and easy on the palate.

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Photo of pianoguy
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle (best by 02/16/2016)

Pours a solid black body with a generous dark tan frothy head. some retention, good lacing.

Smell starts as a burnt roasted malt with a little sweet chocolate caramel, leading to a big black coffee note

Taste has less sweetness but other then that it follows the nose. Coffee, with a nice slightly bitter finish

Medium-full with a slightly creamy feel

A very tasty stout ! I like the way the taste is not overly sweet. It's like a cross between an English and an American stout. A lot of work must have gone into making this one... And at around $7 a six pack it's a great value too ! Bravo

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Photo of mmva321
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Deep, rich and opaque black body that is monolithic. There is a brown head that is frothy but dissipates quickly that leaves a little lacing as I drink.

S: Roasted coffee and malts and dark chocolate. Rich and balanced.

T: There's a good taste, but it is dominated by a very bold coffee flavor. A little more sweetness to balance this out would have been more to my liking as this is pretty blunt. However, it's far from bad tasting. But the more I drink, the more the unbalanced taste is a problem for me.

F: Maybe a little too thin and carbonated for my liking, but it is still hefty enough. It's consistent, refreshing and leaves a satisfying dryness after the drink.

O: The unbalanced taste that resembles old coffee is really the damning thing for this beer. That being said, this still manages to be a solid beer. A good look and smell, and a nice sweetness that just needed to be a little more present. This is a definite try for coffee lovers. I like coffee quite a bit, but this seemed a little too blunt and flat for my liking.

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4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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

Many thanks to abankovich for this fine beer.

Appearance: It's pitch black in color. There's a little light peaking through at the edges, but not much. Mocha colored head is perched atop and is about two fingers deep. It lingers for a long time and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Very impressive.

Smell: The nose is dominated by roasted malts. They're very rich and enticing. Chocolate malts play a secondary role, but play their part well. Light coffee and hops are there, but buried a little by the strong malt aromas. There's a very faint smoked aroma on the tail.

Taste: Roasted malt flavors are dominant once again. It's a very nice flavor, but it's almost too strong. Chocolate malts provide a slightly sweet flavor. Coffee flavor is present, but very muted. Hops emerge and add a very welcome bite. They're stronger than the nose would suggest and give it much needed balance. It finishes dry, sweet and surprisingly bitter. No alcohol flavor is noted.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thin and light bodied. It's smooth, but really could stand a thicker body. It lacks the creamy feel that would really elevate it to the next level. That being said, it's very easy to drink. At 6.4%, it's well suited for such an occasion. I could drink this all night and would be happy to do so.

Obsidian Stout's a very impressive beer. In my opinion, it'd be a little better if the roasted malts were toned down and the body were thickened a bit. But, it's packed with flavor and really is an enjoyable beer. It's been a treat. Thanks again, Adam.

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Photo of tpauer
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Mnewcomer1219
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 9/06/11. Whoops, couple years too late. Probably 3 years old overall. Lots of dust.

A: Nice black pour. Enormous and fluffy medium brown head. Great retention as it fades very slowly. Great retention ever after these years have passed. Nice.

S: Milk chocolate and malt balls. Interesting. A little bit of caramel sweetness in fact.

T: Chocolate and...malt balls again. Malt Balls, the candy. Must be a side effect of the age. Mild cocoa in the aftertaste. Showing some effects of age with a little bit of cardboardy oxidation but not horrible. This is my last one out of the 6pack from 3 years ago, alas.

M: Silky smooth and medium bodied.

O: One of the best accessible stouts out there. This one has suffered a bit from age but still quite good. Wish Deschutes distributed out here.

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

Look: Pitch black with a tan 1/2 head and ok retention and some lacing

Smell: Roasted malt converges with piney hops in this classic stout

Taste: Bitter chocolate upfront with a hint of coffee hiding behind the chocolate and roasted malts and finishes with just a hint of molasses

Mouthfeel: Full body and low to medium carbonation

Overall: Probably one of if not the best readily available stouts on the market. Great flavor great drinkability and is completely enjoyable on all levels

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Photo of strongaf
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of HoptimusMax1mus
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of tiwee23
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of frothy_80
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The body color is black with dark brown highlights around the glass. A foamy light khaki colored head that left thick lacing throughout. Dark chocolate and coffee/espresso dominate the nose. There are hints of tobacco, licorice, and dark fruits that came out as the beer warmed. The coffee and chocolate bounce back and forth as the beer passes over the tongue, along with a roasty character that balances the two. Dark fruits, tobacco, and licorice stay in the background but aid in adding more layers. Malt driven sweetness that ends dry with a good hop bitterness keeps it interesting. Smooth and slightly creamy from a full medium body that is properly carbonated. It's no surprise that this hit all the right notes coming from a brewery that has a robust porter as a flagship beer. Truly fantastic! I believe I have found my go to stout for winter.

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Photo of ironchefkook
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of beer_bottle
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Beaucoupdebiere
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 4084 ratings