Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,136 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,136 | Ratings: 3,827
Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stored slightly chilled. Perfect temp. Poured into a tulip glass. Dark chocolate color with a nice brown head that slowly dissolved. Smells of malt. Smokey with hints of chocolate and coffee. Rich taste that went down smooth. Great pairing with chocolate cheesecake.

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

Update 12-22-2010: 5.0/5.0/5.0/5.0/5.0

I have had this dozens of times since first reviewing it over 16 months ago. My admiration for this beer has increased significantly. It is now my favorite stout, other than imperials, and my favorite in Deschutes' year round line up. I am amazed by the consistency this fine brewery produces, and of this beer in particular. I never pay more than $8.99 a six pack at full retail and usually pay $6.99 to $7.49. Occasionally, I buy it on sale for $5.99. Awesome beer. Hard to imagine a better representation of the American stout style.

8/16/2009: 4.5/4.5/5.0/4.5/4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by date 9/25/09. Single purchased from local health foods store for $1.29.

A-Black and tan. Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and artsy lacing. A gorgeous craft beer. Briefly thought about getting my camera to take a picture. Absolutely beautiful.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts with a lovely hop balance.

T-One word: delicious. Other words include wow, amazing, wonderful, etc. The superlatives are unending. Very well balanced. Rich malt and dark chocolate. Hoppy, clean, and complex. Very nice. My favorite American Stout.

M-Exceedingly smooth and nicely carbonated.

D-This is about as drinkable a stout as I can imagine. I like imperial stouts better, but this is extraordinary. I could drink this all night long. Expect I will in the fall and winter months ahead.

Maybe my favorite ale in Deschutes' very fine year round lineup. A great beer and very affordable in Salem, OR. Often available for $6.99 a sixer on sale. Great value.

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Photo of HMTE
5/5  rDev +18.8%

If not best beer, top three. Sublime. I still have the label from my drive to Oregon (many others too)

I gotta say I may have drank more than my share of these.. sorry uncle!

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

Appearance: Black with a voluminous tan head that laces very nicely and has good retention.

Smell: Chocolate with a perfect amount of complimenting bitterness from the hops Also, some roasted/smokey malts in the background. As the beer warms more coffee notes come out in the aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose with chocolate up front. The bitterness from the hops really brings out the flavor of the malts and makes it taste like real chocolate. As the beer warms it the malts take on a more coffee like flavor which is, like the chocolate flavor from being cold, accented by the bitterness from the hops. Ahmazing!!!

Mouthfeel: Not overly thick like many stouts seem to be these days. There is a good amount of carbonation and this viscosity is where a drinkable and tasty stout should be.

All in all this is probably the best good old fashioned American Stout on the market. Give it a try ASAP.

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Photo of BierStein711
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black body, toasty tan head, smooth beer

moderate lacing

Mouthfeel thick

Taste: Chocolate, charcoal, grape, dark fruits, toffee, and burnt roast malt at the finish

Smells: booze, cocoa

Overall, this is brilliant. I'm buying a six pack very soon.

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Photo of nizzle8287
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Black/brown highlights, big khaki head with beautiful lacing all the way around
Smell: Sweet... if-it-tastes-as-good-as-it-smells delicious
Taste: Awesome creamy blend of cocoa, black coffee and light toffee
Feel: Full bodied with medium to high carbonation, alcohol makes it feel bigger than it is
Overall: Amazing stout, PERIOD

Served at 55-60 F in a tulip

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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.

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Photo of MerryTapster
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.

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Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- pitch black. Two finger mocha head, Seafoam lacing.

S- charcoal, roasted malt, hops, coffee, massive chocolate.

T- hops, heavy, roasted character.

M- medium bodied. One of the best all time stouts. A must try. Completely embodies what a stout should be.

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Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stored slightly chilled. Perfect temp. Poured into a tulip glass.
A: Dark chocolate color with a nice brown head that slowly dissolved.

Smells of malt. Smokey with hints of chocolate and coffee.

Rich taste that went down smooth.

Great pairing with chocolate cheesecake.

Serving type: bottle. This is one gem that I fell lucky to find in most stores. Great little 6 pack at a good price.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

An excellent stout. Blackish color with a small tan head. Goes down really smooth. Taste of roasted malts and overall simply irresistable and would be great on a nice summer day

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Photo of guityler83
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Motoroil black apperance with a mocha colored head. The lacing is visible with each sip (awesome!) and the small

S: Dark chocolate, cocoa and roastyness right off the bat. Caramel lays hidden in the back with a touch of sweetness. Gram cracker and bread crust. touch of alcohol.

T: Cocoa, gram cracker and toffee notes. very complex yet each flavor distinct. hops bitterness is evenly ballanced with the roast to make it extremely drinkable

M: medium to high body with moderate carbonation. no hotness from the alcohol, but a slight astringancy from the roasted malts as expected.

O: After going to GABF I had to bring back some beers that aren't found round these here parts.. This was one and boy howdy did I pick a winner. Of the endless amount of stouts around these days its hard to stand out, but this one did it for me. My top pick so far.

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Photo of millsn1
4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When looking for a beer that is heavy and will keep you warm, this is one of the best. Dark with sweet hints, but not sickly. The carbonation is well used to make the beer go down a little easier than with an extremely heavy stout. Tasting notes are pretty typical of a stout, but it seems to pour well, and drink better than most.

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Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into a pint glass. There was room left over. Dark as night, with a head that is not very big, per se, but does last for the entire session in somewhat of a cloudy manifestation, and gives way to a small amount of lacing.

S: Chocolate. Chocolate chocolate chocolate. Some espresso nudges its way in there, but it's a fairly one-dimensional smell, and I'm not complaining.

T: Unsweetened chocolate just explodes from the get-go, and gives way to a peppery, coffee-y finish. Many stouts are intrinsically sweet, and that's not an inherent problem, but this one is bitter going in, and bitter going down, and consequently there is a bite that doesn't normally exist in this family of beers. It accentuates the flavors, and in a beer not crafted with this level of expertise, that could be a death sentence. Here, it's anything but. Absolutely delicious.

M: Again, perfect. In addition to boosting the character of the taste, the bitterness also accentuates the carbonation, giving it a very spicy feel. It is also perhaps the driest beer I have ever had. A true sipper.

O: As I've alluded to, this is the gold standard of stouts as far as I'm concerned. I'm only out west for the summer, but I already know that I'm gonna grab a few sixers of these babies for when I'm back on the other side of the Mississippi. A spicy, strong entry to the stout canon. Altogether familiar and yet like nothing you've ever had before. A triumph.

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Photo of Chuggnutt
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Inky coffee black, with a nice thick brown head, frothy and rocky.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate. Creamy and smoky.

Taste: Smooth and dark—slightly burnt astringency. Roasted grains, dark roast/espresso coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy sweetness, burnt biscuit (good), clean hops.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, nice full body without being overwhelming in strength. An oily chocolate afterfeel, but very clean-feeling.

Overall: An amazing, smooth, drinkable stout, an excellent example of the style. Truly one of the best stouts I've had.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Ebony black just like it's namesake obsidian. Head is dark brown, dense and about 1/4 inch high. It's a shame that the head settles down to a thin layer, then reduces to a thin ring at mid-glass, then disappears completely.

Roasted malts and coffee are in the forefront of the aroma. Sweetness (perhaps dried fruit?) lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Roasted malts up front. Slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Excellent balance. Mild burnt tones appear at the finish. The acidic aftertaste lingers for quite awhile, but isn't overly bitter. This is an exceptionally smooth stout. As this warms, the aftertaste becomes drier.

This is a very well rounded stout. Somewhat sweet, somewhat bitter... aftertaste sticks around and has some bite to it without being overly bitter. Just about everything you could ask for in a stout except the disappearance of the head. Another excellent brew from Deschutes.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep dark black. 1 finger inch brown head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Coffee, dark chocolate malts. Licorice, bourbon barrel.

Taste: Milk chocolate. Raisins. Charcoal. Cocoa malts. Strong northwestern bittering hops. Vanilla finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied heavy malt stout with good slow bitterness and drying finish.

Overall: The prototype for the Abyss. An absolutely phenomenal American stout. Probably the best in it's style. You can't beat it for $7.99 a sixer.

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Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just like drinking a good cup of coffee, great when enjoying in a cold glass and with friends. The body of the beer promises great flavor that will make you ask for more.

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Photo of ScorpyX
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Thick and dark, very dark brown, nearly black. Two finger-width dark tan head. A little bit of lacing left behind.

S: Sweet coffee smell, chocolaty notes. A bit of brown sugar there, too. Very pleasant.

T: Nice coffee dominates. That thick sweetness is there, too. Presence of roasted malt as well. Very nice combination and a great example of a stout. One of my favorite beers out there.

M: A little heavy, but not overwhelming. Certainly not a session, but it's surprisingly smooth.

A great beer from start to finish. One of my favorites out there.

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Photo of unclepedro
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, I know that I'm rating this pretty highly, but this is definitely my favorite stout, and probably my favorite beer at the moment. I had it on nitro at Westwood Brewco on several occasions in the fall of 2011 and it's just really phenomonal.

A: One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen. Thick, smooth, coffee-colored head with a mesmerizing cascade as it settles. Dark, dark beer.

S: Malty, sweet, bitter. Like smelling tiramisu or a cold mocha.

T: Out of this world. It sweet, malty, but with a slight bitterness that makes your mouth water. I'm not sure if there's coffee in it, but there's something about it that has a delicious coffee-like effect on the flavor.

M: Smooth. So smooth. Almost desserty, but not quite. Which is good because it's not overwhelming.

O: Probably my favorite beer at the moment. I don't think I could pass this up if it was on the menu.

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Photo of stealth
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fresh bottle poured in a tulip glass.

My first impression of Obsidian was 'baby Abyss'. What a nice looking beer. Great lacing, great head, dark as hell, and tastes amazing. Molasses, some licorice on the finish, and coffee somehow/somewhere. Does this have coffee in it? I don't know but I really get that impression, and I love it.

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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!

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Photo of genesisgrunge
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: very dark brown/black, can't see through. head is 1/2 in when poured and diminishes to a thin lacing by the end of the bear. the creaminess to the beer remains the same though.
S: a robust concoction of chocolate and roasted malt. powerful and effective and a good indicator of the taste to follow.
T: strong chocolate and roasted malt flavors. sweet and inviting. this is a beer you don't want to put down.
M: slightly high carbonation, but it doesn't get in the way of any of the taste and the mouthfeel ends up feeling wholesome and refreshing. you are definitely drinking a stout. it ends in a nice dry tinge.
O: excellent beer. in my top ten of stouts. perfectly balanced.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Like everyone else I must say it is "obsidian black". Really really black, with a light tan head that is very frothy.

Aroma is of candied whopper malt balls with espresso bean candle notes. (those coffee armoa candles, coffee with vanilla waxy smells).

Simply huge roasted malt flavors. Warm, roasty, and the finish goes on and on. Some hops thrown in the mix but you're fixated on the roasted malt, of course.

Surprisingly drinkable for a richly flavoured beer - a characteristic among other beers from the fine brewers at Deschutes.

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

Deschutes- Obsidian Stout

Huge thanks to Pimpp for this 1!

A- Deep reddish brown with a thick frothy head. Good lacing down the glass.
S- Thick cocoa and coffee bean. Light touch of pine hops.
T- Big thick sweet chocolate with cream and coffee. Buttery toffee and caramel appear with a touch of earthy green hops.
M- Sweet and rich with a huge flavor throughout. Creamy and buttery near the end with a bite of hops.

Overall- This stuff is good!! 1 of the best stouts I can recall!!

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,827 ratings.
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