Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,129 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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Reviews: 1,129 | Ratings: 3,808
Photo of PantsOptional
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down one of the best stouts on the face of the planet. Pours a deep, dark brown to black coloration with a subtle golden mocha head that leaves little remnant of its presence on the glass. Aroma profile is a rich blend of coffee, dark chocolate, and slight licorice. Taste is beyond comparison. Plenty of dark roasted malt flavor with a definitive hoppy finish to drown the palate in beery ecstasy making the lucky imbiber want to take in more of this delicious nectar. Mouthfeel is one of the best around, not thin but chunky and chewy with lots of texture. Drinkability is surprisingly high. It's not uncommon for me to drink a few of these in a single sitting while enjoying the world go by. Believe it or not, it makes the movie "Bound" even better. And in a way, it is the Jennifer Tilly of the beer world. A sumptuous vixen with legs that don't stop and a mind that keeps you questioning the existence of your very being.

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

This beer pours a black color with brown hues. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly leaving sticky lacing. the aroma is of milk chocolate, with roasted malt and dark toffee. The taste is perhaps the chocolatiest I have ever encountered in a beer. There are some nice secondary roasted malt and toffee notes adding nice complexity. Great flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture and light, fine carbonation. Overall, this is a great stout that I can see quickly becoming a regular in my rotation.

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

One of the highlights of a truly generous BA Secret Santa 2006 package, this bottle came to me courtesy of b0ldfacelies -- many thanks for the opportunity. Beautiful raised hop vine design between the neck and the body of a very tastefully designed and informative label. Best by date of August 19 2006, so it's a bit old, but at 6.4% abv, I'm sure this has held up well. Poured into a nonic this stout sports an impenetrable brown-black, burnished and burnt chocolate body with deep russet and burgundy highlights and a sizeable and luxuriously dense, crater-pocked beige head. The nose is dark fruits at first, with dried cherry essence, Black Mission Fig juice, and stewed prunes coming through most strongly. Subsequent sniffs yield aromas of dark-roasted grain and caramel toffee. Then a mocha-coffee scent emerges as it warms. Interesting smell for a non-Imperialized stout! The first sip of this stout screams perfection. Without a doubt. Chewy, surprisingly viscous body with an amazing nearly-burnt roasted quality to the grain flavors that never becomes too bitter because of a lucious black cherry nectar and toffee-chocolate truffle taste that emerges at the finish, which ends in a powerfully bittersweet medicinal flourish. Much heavier on the palate than most representatives of the style. I'd usually find this distracting, but with the utterly fascinating flavor profile of this beer, I can't help but consider the heavier-than-usual weight to be a simple reassertion of the overall force of this masterful stout. I want more.

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

One of my favorites that I finally tracked down in Reno. Pours velvety black with a glint of reddish-amber light at the bottom of the glass. A handsome, two-finger cocao brown head that leaves smudges of lace graces the top. The aroma features big toasted barley notes with the underlying Deschutes-level dose of Cascade hops. Chocolate, chicory and toasted rye also come to mind. The taste is something to behold and it makes this one of the finest tasting stouts around. Big chocolate flavors lay the foundation, with a sweet, almost fruity middle before a pretty dry, bitter and toasty finish. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but not so much so that it precludes warm-weather drinking. Drinkability is fantastic. They don't come much better than this.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: burnt brown/onyx, finger khaki up+down head,
random patchy lacing

S: dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, nuts aroma
mild sniff of alcohol

T: sweet malt, cacao/dark chocolate, roasted coffee
mild bitter finish

M: med body, smooth/creamy with mild
bubbles on tongue

O: Overjoyed to revisit Deschutes and thrilled
they are now in Chicago area. This is just
an outstanding Stout. Will please Imp Stout, as well.
Would love to keep it in my regular rotation, especially for the Winter
months ahead. 1st Stout I have had in ages and
this crisp (55/Sunny Autumn is perfect pairing).


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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another highly anticipated brew from Geoff aka SurlyDuff, thanks man. Appearance, this one absolutely absorbs all light it fades to black as soon as the stream of carbonation bubbles rise to the top to form a huge moccha tan textured head like whipped cream it rises a good inch above the rim of my glass, awesome appearance. As the head dwindles even fine lacing is left evenly behind in an annular ring like pattern. Aroma is full of dark creamy yet mildly acidic coffee roasts, dark chocolate strong herbal hop leaf approach as well. Awesome creamy robust roasted malt layers with a fine herbal hop aroma. Flavors blend poetically, a beautiful clash of cream caramel and mild toffee liqueur with brash dark roasted malts bringing burnt toast, chocolate, and robust espresso to the mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied doesn't way you down at all drinks like a light beer easy moderate carbonation yet a bitter dry roasty finish makes it all so good velvety smooth on the palate. Drinkability is amazing the most flavorful session beer I've come across this one brings out Imperial stout like flavors with out crushing your skull beautiful beer I plan to get some more. Whether friends or liquid solutions.com thanks Matt Maples.

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Photo of KoG
4.83/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Diffent color label, and only 6.4% ABV was the first thing I noticed.

A nice black-as-tar color with a light brown head that sticks to the side of the glass in chunks rather than lace and slowly crawl down after each sip.

Smell was well balenced, not too overpowering but still very powerfull. Full of roasted barley and malt with a bit of alcohol and possibly chocolate.

Taste... mmm, definately toasty. Not too bitter with just the right amount of bite and no alcohol flavor at all.

A little thin in the body but leaves a nice stickyness that makes up for it, very interesting. Keeps the tongue coated foar a bit and makes the taste linger lightly.

Drinkability is top notch, 'nuff said.

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Photo of JesseMurdock
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

this is a terrific stout. a rich aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and toffee. The first flavor is a nice rich coffee combined with unsweetened chocolate followed by a nice slightly yeasted roasted malt taste that stays with you long after you swallow. Rich, smooth, thick mouthfeel. Leaves a velvety feel on the tongue.

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Photo of Bosazga
4.81/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I moved to Portland OR metro area in 2003 and always loved how the pacific NW caters to stout lovers... I have drunk a lot of beer in my life (much of it bad), and though I always liked how the microbrew phenomena coincided with my achieving legal drinking age. Sadly, though, the Atlantic seaboard does not carry many dark beers, hence my equal love for IPAs... Back to the review... I'm not a beer geek, but I love well crafted things in general. Deschutes Brewing has always been great with balancing fine beer with mass production (except maybe for JubelAle) and obsidian stout has been at the top of my list for 10 years running. Equal layers of coffee, chocolate , with a slight tobacco and leathery sweetness (yes, I've tasted leather). The mouthfeel is like real maple syrup consistency with a whipped foam coffee aftertaste. Just bitter enough to remind you that bitter is a masculine taste profile. The beer is hearty like a bowl of chunky soup, without the chunks. It drinks likes meal. If you find this on nitro, get it, as it lightens the beer while adding richness. Second only to Alameda black bear on nitro, but tops on a regularly available beer of any kind. I have loved European beer for far longer, but have a difficult time justifying their cost when craft brewers like Deschutes keep it real! This is the best value of any stout on the market, folks. Enjoy it when you can.

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Photo of erosier
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a deep black color with a medium sized and thick tan colored head that laces the glass all the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, deep chocolate and coffee aromas as well as some caramelized malts.
T: Tastes like the nose, deep roasted chocolate and black malts, hints of caramel and deep coffee notes all throughout the taste. Finishes very clean.
M: Very clean, smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this one was awesome to drink, loved it. World class,all of the aspects of a great stout mixed together in one bottle.

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Photo of DavidST
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best by date if 9/12/12. This pours a pitch black color with a massive Mocha colored head which has a long retention and leaves a lacing. The smells are of Mocha, dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, some hops, excellent. The feel is medium to thick. The taste is amazing, like a bitter mouthful of good espresso, dark chocolate, nice hop bite, this is the best stout which isn't an irs.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into standard pint glass. served at fridge temp.

A: Black as black can be with a 2 finger dark tan head that is cloud fluffy and leaves phenomenal lacing. BEAUTIFUL.

S: Dark coffee and sweet roasted barley. Fresh smelling instead of the strong almost dank smell of most stouts. Hops come through perfectly. Best smelling beer I have encountered.

T: WOW! Opens with bittersweet chocolate then fades into that dark coffee. Sweetness from the malt washes over the palate before the back of the tongue is hit with a hefty hop bitterness. Leaves a wonderful roasty aftertaste. This is delicious.

M: At fridge temp it is medium body that is just light enough to invite you back for another drink but hefty enough to say "I'm a stout!" Smooth.

O: Great stout. Not heavy handed in any direction, superb balance. Another huge score for Deschutes. This is now tied with Ninkai's Oatis Oatmeal Stout as my new go to stout. This beer rocks.

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Photo of azdback
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink this every day but never do review. I'm turning over a new leaf and I'm am gonna start reviewing everything I drink.

Poured into a Stone Imperial glass. Black (like it's name) no light penetrates this at all. Very slight brown edges. Two finger head of light brown maybe cappuccino in appearance. Beautiful lace all the way to the end.

The smell is very yummy. Coffee, chocolate malt bomb. Some type of tart fruit like maybe cherry. No alcohol. Perfect for the style.

Well the taste is a lot like the smell but more. Coffee and chocolate very prevalent. Deep roasty flavor. The tart fruit isn't really there. This is for sure The Abyss's baby cousin.

Mouthfeel is great for this style. Stays all the way through. Pretty chewy but not RIS chewy. Frothy feel just like the head.

Since I drink at least 3 or 4 of these a night I have to give a perfect score on this one. The 6.4% might catch up to you in the morning but you'll never guess it while they are going down.

Overall I would say this is my favorite beer of all time. With the amount I have had, the availability, the price, the uses (we use these to mellow the pallet between IPA's), and I usually drink them out of the bottle, so taking them to a party or gathering is easy because you don't need a glass. You can't go wrong. Highly recommended!!!

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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 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 natemort13
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head that sticks around forever (so far at least...). Head is super clingy on the glass.

Notes of strong coffee and dark roasted malts on the nose. Dark chocolate too.

Taste is an incredibly smooth chocolate and coffee stout. The roasted malt comes off as creamy and smooth on my palate. Finish is mildly bitter (similar to the aftertaste of a sip of weak coffee).

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied but not really sticky like you might expect from such a stout. Really smooths out the roasted coffee flavor.

Overall it's an excellent stout. Picked up a Black Butte XXIII with the Obsidian six pack. Really looking forward to it but that one's gonna age for a bit.

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Photo of acelin
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tasting glass on tap at the Beer Kitchen in KC.

Pours a dark, dark brown-black with a tan head that leaves loads of lacing all the way down. I could see each sip with a very thick lace. Beautiful! Most perfect appearance, and that is no stretch.

Smell was average, could bring more to the nose. Very roasted notes come through.

The taste is spot on. Perfect stout. Beautiful roasted biscuits, molasses, slight hints of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cooked oatmeal, dark bread, and even light roast coffee. The hops were more floral than anything else, perfectly balancing out the rich maltiness of this brew.

The penultimate stout.

Deschutes, I want an imperial version of this, now!

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Photo of Pukstopper
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a deep black color into a 20oz mug. Very good head and lacing. Wonderful and subtle malt flavors. A very nice and drinkable Stout One of the best

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at LiquorMart in Boulder, CO in March...

Appearance: Pours like the darkest time of night. Completely opaque. No light comes through at all. Not even the slight sliver. A nice light brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of glorious lacing. Pretty!!!

Smell: Roasted chocolate malts, some hints of coffee and vanilla, some caramels mixed in, but mostly chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Mmmm, malty, heavenly goodness. The smoothness is a bit overwhelming in such a good way. The coffee taste lingers on the back of the tongue, but as quickly as the smooth came, it went and it begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: I believe I already said it's smooth. The chocolate malts shine here and create a very rich, very smooth stout.

Drinkability: At 6.4% ABV, this might be a slightly more sessionable stout. The richness and the complexity of the taste profile challenge you to drink just one. If I had more in the fridge, there would be more going down the hatch tonight. Oh well! All in all, this is one hell of an American Stout.

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Photo of corey0212
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another tasty beer from raiser as part of the New Trader BIF Redux!!

Pours a midnight black, with some faint brownish highlights, foamy mocha colored head fading very slowly, with just a few spots of lacing left in the glass. Lots of milk chocolate in the nose, faint coffee, and nice burnt/charred edges. Taste follows right along, just the perfect amount of sweetness, nothing overly bitter. Creamy mouthfeel, medium level of carbonation. This is just plain delicious, and drinkability is completely off the map. Extremely impressive stout.

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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.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got home a bit early and got to making dinner by myself. I decided to pop an Obsidian Stout into my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass to fortify myself while putting something together. Obsidian Stout has an appearance that does its name proud: a black color akin to midnight in a cave topped by a two finger chocolate head that looked spread on with a knife. Large quantities of thick lace graced the sides of the glass.
A couple of sniffs revealed a bounty of roasted malt, baker's chocolate, espresso coffee, and a slight floral hops note. A few sips and a longer pull brought forth a host of welcome tastes: bittersweet chocolate, strong, bitter coffee, a well-defined roasted maltiness, and a restrained hops presence in the finish. All these flavors swirl around with a velvety smooth, full feel.
Before I knew it, that pint was gone. Silky smooth, finely balanced between chocolatey sweetness and coffee bitterness, Obsidian Stout is so very easy to drink. Glad I purchased a six-pack as this brew has surpassed Kalamazoo Stout as my favorite stout.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

The beer pours a foamy brown head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is an opaque and very dark brown color. The beer smell is a sweet dark chocolate with deeply roasted malts and cocoa. The beer taste is surprisingly different from the smell. The beer taste has a much stronger hop presence with a weaker Mexican dark chocolate and cocoa taste. The hop bitterness and chocolate mix rather well. The beer is heavy bodied, creamy, and thick. Overall, a pretty good stout and worth getting.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by 01/21/2011. Thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours fairly thick and near pitch black with the tiniest hints of burnt sienna. Produced a great fluffy brown head with great retention. Plenty of lacing.

(S)- A good dry roasted backbone with hints of baked bread, molasses, raisin, and the tiniest hint at caramel.

(T)- A righteous roasted profile with a subtle nutty dryness. Bits of molasses, cocoa, raisin, bread, and subtle caramel sweetness.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but has just enough dryness and mellow sweetness to balance it out nicely.

(D)- A superb stout. Has the flavor to back it up and rival some Russian Imperial Stouts out there. A great drinker and just damn tasty. If this was distributed by me, this would always be in my fridge for those brisk fall/winter days. Perhaps THE best American Stout I have had.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is as good as it gets for the style:

Pours espresso brown with a beautifully thick, rocky, mocha-colored head.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spot-on medium-low carbonation.

On both the nose and the taste buds, rich coffee and molasses are layered on full multigrain biscuit backbone. It's not enough to have "a lot of flavor;" a beer must have those flavors in proper proportion. Obsidian delivers on both counts spectacularly.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,808 ratings.
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