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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,136 | Ratings: 3,827
Photo of Gavage
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good looking brew, black as night with a nice brown head and good lacing.

Smells great. Good roasty and burnt aromas of roasted barley, a little sweet malt character.

Taste wise this is one of the best stouts I've had in a long time, it's downright fantastic. Great burnt, smoky and roasty character, a bit of chocolate, great coffee flavors, and a bold hoppiness that add just the right amount of bitterness.

Body is also wonderful, very thick and rich, acrid bitter and roasted barley aftertaste, perfect amount of carbonation. For a pretty low ABV American stout this beer has incredibly big body and flavor.

This beer is just fantastic. Deschutes continues to impress me every time I try another one of their delicious beers.

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Photo of merryjoulton
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a milk chocolatey brown head that quickly fell apart to a light film. Smells like chocolate, malts, piny hops, a bit of java. Tastes deliciously chocolatey, malty, and bitter. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, wonderfully complimenting the taste. Drinkability is absurdly good.

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Photo of Reema
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

Pours a jet black color. Smells of dark chocolate, coffee grounds, toasted nuts, slight alcohol scents, and toasted biscuit. Taste reflects the smell wonderfully with great coffee ground and bitter chocolate flavors, that ends with a nice malt/bread sweetness. Feel is thick and slightly creamy with below average carbonation that works with the flavor profile. Overall, this is a very good stout with great coffee and dark chocolate characteristics.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle w/ freshness date into my Caracole snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Deep black as the name obsidian implies, w/ a full rocky, 3 1/2 finger tan head. The lacing is splendid - a marvelous looking ale! 4.5

S - An abundance of richness in the roasted, malty odors. Sweet vanilla and cream w/ light graham cracker scents. 4

M - Rich, creamy, dry and spiced w/ citrus hops fully riding it to the finish. Plenty of carbonation, but still restrained enough to let the malts do their business. 4.5

T - Love the malt profile. Malt is the king of Obsidian stout. The knights of citrus hops are on guard. They are so strong and yet don't need to speak, the dominance is evident. A sweetness that is conservatively utilized- the roasted coffee taste is dominant w/ plenty of citrus to keep exquisitely balanced. 4.5

D - This is a fine west coast stout. The cocoa-like dry nature makes it one to drink more than one of at a sitting. Smooth, but interesting w/ attention given to the citric NW hop in the finish. Definitely a stout in a class of its own. Drinkable doesn't begin to describe it - you will try to lick the glass clean it is so smooth. 5

It has been since '07 since I had one of these so I thought I might update my review
enjoyed chilled from a twelve oz in a goblet.
The color is onyx opaque with thick medium tan head with very fine bead -4.25
The aroam is fruity with light hint of raisin and slight spice element with moderate cocoa scent and mild coffee with hint of citrus rind - 4.75
The feel is exemplary with mild roast and full body with moderately high carbonation with slightly full body with creamy and roasty textures overlapping and finishing bitter and dry yet still nuanced enough to elicit an inquisitive stare 4.25
This stout has always been a sort of ale that I put a pedestal as a stout fan after visiting the PNW region for the first time, but I have to say the taste still stands the test of time, unlike other 'American stouts, this still has the qualities in the flavor you expect -chocolate malt with a subtle caramel underpinning and decent amount of bitterness to finish. 4.5
This is not only a beer I am ecstatic to not have to travel to get, but is also worth waiting for. Overall I consider this extremely high in the realm of American Stouts -it is tasty yet still delivers not just in flavor but in authenticity - an American original, the best I have tasted. 5
i am so happy Deschutes has made the choice to distribute to PA, not only is it great to have beer that brought me to the craft movement, but it is still is of the same quality as when I first enjoyed it almott two decades ago.

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Photo of mday
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A :: This beer is black. I even grabbed my flashlight to check...nope, no light gets through this one. A nice creamy one-inch tan colored head forms then reduces to a thin tan slick on top.
S :: Dark chocolate lends a little sweetness to balance a touch of alcohol.
T :: Smooth and creamy up front giving way to a roasted flavor that sticks in your mouth. Finishes like a nice cup of coffee. Such a great balance between the roasted bitterness and sweet chocolate.
M :: Light carbonation, very smooth and ranks as a medium body.
D :: Definitely highly drinkable. I would like another now.

If you like a well made stout grab this one. If you don't like stouts you should still try this because you may be very surprised.

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Photo of TrueOregonian
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I decided to get off of my hop binge and try out a stout.

This beer is delicious. Very easy drinking and we'll balanced. You get a smooth beer with espresso being the prominent after taste with a great mix of bitter and sweet.

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

I got this brew from IntiqKen because the Mets beat the Angels, Thanks Ken... Let's Go Mets!

12oz bottle served in a nonic pint glass.

L - black color with a large tan head that left good lacing.

S - roasted coffee aroma.

T - sweet roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are balanced with good bittering on the finish.

F - smooth and creamy, fantastic.

D - excellent.

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Photo of bevenson
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by date of 1/27/11 on bottle. Thanks to caninedevotion for this one.

A - One of the darkest stouts I've had that is under 10% ABV. The beer doesn't even lighten up at the narrow part of the glass at the bottom. Obsidian is a good name for this one. Dense, dark tan, two finger head formed upon pouring and lasted for a couple of minutes before reducing to a thin layer on top. Very pretty.

S - Deep roast and chocolate. Woody hop aroma in background. Low yeast fruitiness; cherries. Moderate mineral quality. Hints of alcohol appear as the beer warms.

T - Wonderful. Deep coffee flavor with some toffee and chocolate added for fun. Firm bitterness from the hops and the roasted grains linger well after imbibing. Moderate hop flavor that tastes like a combination of citrus and currants. Any yeast flavor that is present is blending in with everything else. Getting the balance between roast and hops is not easy, and they nailed it on this one.

M - Very full bodied for a 6.5% beer, but with a dry finish. Finish borders on being too dry; it begs for a sweet dessert to pair with it to balance out. Strong carbonation for a stout; I prefer my stouts with a little lower carbonation, but that's a nitpick.

D - Very enjoyable. I would definitely get this one again if the opportunity arises. However, this is the most filling beer I've had that was under 10%. One of these per evening is plenty, but it's easy to sip on during the night.

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Photo of brian44556
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Bell's Pint Glass. Best by date is 3/23/11. It has been refrigerated at about 45 degrees since I received so I think it will be just fine.

Poured a pitch black with a frothy, chocolate head. The head floated on top of the beer for a very long time. Great lacing left around the sides of the glass. Smell notes of strong espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. Wow....great coffee taste, Hersey Kiss flavored chocolate, with a backbone of peanut butter. Mouthful is crisp, carbonation is spot on, but the beer seems to be a little on the thin side, but every other aspect of the beer makes up for it. Overall an amazing American Stout. Can't remember who sent this as an extra, but I owe them one! It is a shame we can't purchase Deschutes around here or this would be a staple beer in the fridge.

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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 IchLiebeBierZu
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Deschutes' brew pub in Portland, OR

L Very dark, small perfect head probably thanks to the nitro

S Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt...

T Amazing followed by dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, perfect
amount of hops comes through at the end.

F Nice and creamy on the palate, yet light in the belly

O Amazing!!!

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Photo of dfitch81
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Up front: in my humble opinion this is the best widely available year-round stout you can buy - regardless of price. Truly a defining example of a proper American stout.

All stouts should aspire to Obidian's appearance, i.e. impenetrable thick blackness that - even at the edges - barely yields even when put right up against a light, coupled with a lingering puffy tan head that leaves rich lacing all the way down the glass. There should be no thin-ness in a stout; the two words are antonyms, for cryin' out loud! This is a beer that understands that right out of the bottle.

Aroma is of rich roasted barley, which is to say mocha, espresso, dark chocolate etc., balanced with some hard workin' PacNW hops that have their hands full competing with such outstanding roasty goodness. Smells like walking into a premium coffee merchant's shop, only better, because its beer!

Taste intensifies and adds to the suggestions of the nose: intense chocolate and espresso, now also a hint of charcoal, while in the near ground hops do their job keeping the malt sweetness in check. These flavors, so vivid and well-orchestrated, linger on the palet long after the sip. Truly outstanding.

Wonderful silky mouthfeel rounds out the package in this world-beater. 6.4% ABV is too high to make this a session beer in the normal sense, but there is really nothing else I've found at this ABV that can compete for flavor and complexity. Hell, not many things compete with this for flavor and complexity REGARDLESS of ABV, and when you look at it that way, this looks like the closest thing possible to a sessionable Imperial Stout (if ever there could be such a thing).

This is truly one of the greats, not just in its style but in the beer world - period.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 19 Sep 16
12 oz. Bottle
Best By: 01/08/17

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes, some tasty roastyness, some nuttyness. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice chocolate/toffee notes, nice sweetness, very nice roasty and nuttyness. Medium body, definitely a heavier stout then it's ABV, slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall, for the price/abv, one of the best American Stout's made, I believe. You definitely cannot go wrong with Deschutes! Nice to see this one nearby. Highly Recommended!

Revisit: 7 Sep 15
12 oz. Bottle
Best By: 11/02/15

Been many years, since I've last had this brew.

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice one-finger creamy light tan head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice chocolate/toffee notes, nice sweetness, Medium body, slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall, for the price/abv, one of the best American Stout's made, I believe.

A - Pours a dark brown color, nice dark tan creamy head, nice carbonation, nice lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, toffee/chocolate.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/malty, with some nice toffee accents.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. An very tasty stout from Deschutes, highly recommended.

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Photo of MNJR
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Delicious stout, very balanced flavor, not one note (coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasty malt, etc). like many stouts. Only the right flavors are in here, and blended in sweet harmony. Just enjoy this one and be grateful it exists.

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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.

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Photo of bum732
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark as night, decent tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted coffee, some yeasty breadiness, some earthy hops, touch of citrus fruits, touch of chocolate. Tastes of fruity and chocolate malt with a nice coffee roastiness on the backbone. Finishes fairly sweet with a nice caramel and roasty component. Nice creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation.

A really fantastic beer. Everything is very well balanced with no component totally overwhelming. This is one of those rare American stouts that one can drink a lot of. Truly one of the best.

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Photo of Ragedman
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! A dark black stout just like obsidian. I drank out of the bottle but I did pour a bit into the glass to confirm this beer is dark.

The smell is the best parts. I could have swarn all I was smelling was chocolate. It was just astouding, couldn't wait to try it.

The taste wasn't as good as the smell, but its still quite appeasing. Chocolate, malts, some tobacco, possibly raisins, it's quite a nice combination. Aftertaste of alcohol and a slight bitterness.

Obsidian stout has the perfect mouthfeel. Carbonated just enough to make the beer super easy to drink and really enjoy.

If you enjoy a good, strong stout beer then it would be a sin for you not to buy a six pack.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A small, dark tan, dense head sits on a dark, opaque, black beer. Bright light shows a little red. Nose is roasty coffee... a little sourish. The front is smoky, roasty, coffee, toffee and a bit of chocolate. Nice. The thick, strong, chocolatey middle is buttery and a little fruity with temperature. Bitter, chocolate, tangy finish. This is a very good, high quality, tasty, strong stout. Very well balanced. Excellent.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep black, red glints on the pour. Creamy brownish head and excellent lacing.

A: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, charcoal, caramel biscuit, herbal hop. Very clean, crisp and rich aroma.

T/M: Firm bitterness upfront, big coffee/charcoal and dark chocolate, wheat tartness. The middle reveals some herbal hop caramel biscuit adding some richness to the roasted flavors. The mouthfeel is full and the finish has some lingering sweetness, but it is heavily out-wayed by the drying roasted flavors.

Overall, what a stout. Extremely complex and balanced, bringing flavor from many places. The wheat malt was genius, I would have never thought to put that in a stout, but it works beautifully with the charcoal roasted notes. A real winner, I cannot think of a better year-round offering available in my state.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Likely the greatest (American) stout I have ever had. Poured up absolutely black with a bit of a rocky sand coloured head. This is precisley how a stout should look, IMO. Smell was phenomenal. This is the perfect stout smell, to me anyway. Coffee beans, unsweetened baker's chocolate, a bit of a lactic sourness, some smoke, the smell of dried cereals, and perhaps most importantly, it is bereft of any hops at all. At the very least, it is bereft of any cascade, cenntenial, or any other really piney/citrusy hops, anyway. This is a truly great stout. Taste starts out a bit sweet, and then turns dry toward the finish. Flavour profiles include coffee grounds, a bit of caramel, bitter chocolate, and a tiny touch of smoke. Mouthfeel is very solid and heavy. This, to me, is exactly what a good stout should be. Absolutely amazing!

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Photo of dsellers22
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really strong coffee smell and taste and finishes really well--love the aftertaste on this beer.

A: It pours an opaque, very dark brown/near black. Love the look of this beer!

S: Smells delicious--roasted coffee, very subtle spiciness, a bit of dark chocolate smell.

T: Delicious malty flavor that's heavy on coffee but doesn't overdo it.

M: Goes down really smooth.

O: I'm really pleased with this beer. Hadn't tried it before but I will definitely be getting it again. Deschutes typically nails it but no "easy A's" here--the beer speaks for itself. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beveritt
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to DoctorDog for this one.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle is embossed on the neck with what appears to be hop bines. Label depicts a stream with a mountain in the background. Best by 5/28/09.

Appearance: Pours with 4 fingers of dark tan head. This dense cap settles very slowly and only gradually, maintaining undulating peaks that are as thick and substantial as those in a root beer float. The beer itself is utterly black. Looks like there may be some sediment in the bottle, but nothing of significance.

Smell: Coffee and unsweetened cocoa. Slight hint semi sweet chocolate in the finish.

Taste: Incredibly smooth transitions between numerous full bodied flavors. Mild chocolate upfront leads to a strong roasted barley bitterness leads to a lingering black coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation, but with a mouthfeel that makes it almost seem nitro. Body is great.

Drinkability: A great break from studying for the LSAT, this is truly a stunning stout. Too bad it is entirely unavailable in my area.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a rich black with a giant light brown head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell: The smell has an odd watery quality to it that I don't know how to describe. A tiny bit of roast notes are there as well.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow did the smell fool me with this one! This is one of the most lucious and smooth stouts I've ever had. The flavor is reach and creamy, and full of chocolate and espresso notes. Delicious!! Really this is a killer tasting beer. The mouthfeel is full and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: While it does have some distinct porter characters, this is still one of the more enjoyable brews I've had. The west coast really proved themselves with this solid and delicious beer. This is really killer stuff here.

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Photo of MartyMaltose
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle.) My favorite of all beers commonly available in a 6-pack at standard Pacific Northwest grocery stores. Every superlative cited by other reviewers here is accurate. Deschutes does a great job with most everything they make, but this is particularly genius. It's a lot like the great Imperial stouts but without the in-your-face alcohol.

Had this on tap recently too, and I'd have to rate that experience as very close to perfection.

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