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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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1,116 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: 1,116 | Ratings: 3,762
Photo of jakekohut
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this courtesy of Jayjaye

Poured form a 12oz Bottle:

Poured very nicely with alot of head that settled quickly into a chocolate base....

Smelled like a stout should, coffee-chocolate and mocha hints very nice...

Tasted great with all the coffee-chocolate flavors necessary and at 6.4% this beer is very sessionable.. Excellent beer and I hope anyone who likes stouts gets to try this...

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Photo of codynevels
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Purchased May, 8 2011
Consumed May, 9 2011

Bottled poured into a Stone Imperial Russian Stout Tulip

Had this for the first time previously paired with an H. Upmann Double Corona. Held off reviewing until tried alone (although I thought it paired nicely).

This beer poured black bodied with a thin dark brown ring when held up to the light. The thick head foamed to about a fingers width, but quickly dissipated to create a circle hugging the glass. My initial smell was dominated by roasted malts. Underneath the layer of roasted malts there was burnt coffee, spice and toffee. The taste did not betray the smell. My first taste, again, was dominated by roasted malt, however coffee and a bit of hops bitterness was there as well. The spice from the smell carried over in the finish. This beer goes down very easily, with a medium to light body, and coats the mouth slightly.

Overall, this beer is a good, easily accessible stout. The only problem I had with this beer is I feel the roasted malt flavor overshadowed some other interesting characteristics.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nearly opaque in color. Burnt toast brown with white wheat colored head. Dissipates into a minimal film, small amount of lacing.

Nose is chocolatey and roasted grain filled.

Full of chocolate and more roasted grain on the tongue. Nice bitterness as well. Chocolate, some slight dark fruit flavors. Slightly sweet. Pretty dry and somewhat husky and bitter on the finish.

A nice beer. I have been hitting the stouts pretty hard lately and this was no slouch.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark tan head that has fallen rapidly to a secure ring around the glass. Not actually obsidian colored...more of a dark dark daaarrrkk brown (perhaps its the light).

S: Smells of black patent malt, faint coffee aromas and hot chocolate with marshmallows with a touch of sourness. Its really nice. A beer that smells like this MUST have a nice flavor. I think its a law or something.

T: Tastes of roasted coffee with bittersweet chocolate flavors. Suprisingly sweet milk tastes hit the tip of the tongue then move down stream...slowly lingery until a faint sour Guinnessy taste shows its self. Ends with roasted grains arounds the back sides of the tongue. In a blind taste test, the beer could pass for a sweet stout.

M: Semi-full mouth feel with a slight crispness from the carbonation.

D: Not an overly complex beer, but still has a very nice flavor.

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Photo of ark57
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque black with a light brown head. There is a lot of roasted character in the aroma (coffee and chocolate) and virtually no hops. The body is full and smooth with some sweet cream and coffee and slight chocolate. Burnt malt in the finish with a slight grassy/hay hop taste. It is a good drinking stout, but there is nothing that jumps out at me.

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Photo of WayneEsten
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a great looking beer when poured. Black with a lovely tan head.

The smell is very nice, roasted malt/barley with nice subtle chocolate, quite inviting

The taste, for me, was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for roasted malt with some mild chocolate and a little espresso/coffee. But, as another reviewer stated, what I got was coffee, coffee and more coffee; too much coffee for me. I do recognize the quality of the product, but the taste was just too much.

I have a 6 pack and couple of strays left and will drink them over the next few months (before the best by date), maybe one every couple of weeks or so. I can't take this one more often than that.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, black and black. Definitely smooth in character, although its mouthfeel is similar to an imperial stout. And yet there's no real alcohol burn, either. Incredibly roasty body under one of the darkest brown heads I've seen in a beer. Probably just one will do ya.

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Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lingering coffee and chocolate, but overbearingly so. This beer reminds me of why I don’t smoke cigars: can’t get the taste out my mouth. Best aspect is the smell.

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Photo of nase
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cwier for this one. Trying this out next to a Rogue Chocolate Stout. Poured from 12 oz. bottle, best by 3/30/07.

Looks like an Imperial Stout. Terrific balance which is something I look for with just about every beer. Some hops and some maltiness to balance it out. Not a lot of complexity in the flavor and the mouthfeel is slightly thin but this is extremely drinkable because it is not weak nor overpowering. Certainly holds its own.

App. - 4.0, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 4.0, Mouthfeel - 3.5, Drinkability - 4.5

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Photo of MarioM
3.81/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into Delirium Noel snifter.

A: Black and opaque with a nice light brown head made of creamy to large bubbles with good retention. Great lacing and medium carbonation. Good looking beer overall.

S: Smooth cocoa with light roasty coffee and dark brown sugars. A bit of dry chalky character to it as well but most likely from the light chocolate roastyness without the alcohol to add complexities and simply keep things simple and subtle.

T: Not too roasty with a good chocolate backbone and nice light dark chocolate bitter finish. Great balance in this brew with a good drinkability from its light body.

M: Good roastyness and chocolate finish lingers with a bit of bitterness but nothing aggressive and in your face. Simple and flavorful yet drinkable and well balanced.

O: Great Example of this style. A lot of flavor for its size (abv) and easy to drink. This is a common beer seen on nitro, which I dislike, since it is drinkable and smooth on its own. In my opinion it does not need the nitro to achieve its smoothness and drinkability since it already is easy to drink and smooth. But regardless of my nitro rant, this is a must have if you are an American Stout fan, which you should be... Deschutes Obsitian, a classic.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label description of this stout implies that it is a good stout choice for both stout fan and stout newbie. Really??? The 6.7% abv is the high end of stouts in my experience, and this ain't no nitro Murphy's (which I tried in the same go-round of tastings, and I would consider more appropriate for those unfamiliar with the style.)

A thin reddish brown head resulted from my pour. Obsidian is good as a jumping-off point for color, jet black it is, but with some surprising tan sediment in suspension. A little bottle conditioning intended?

Nose is not as redolent of alcohol as expected; it's actually a fairly light aroma of rich roasted chocolate and chocolate cake.

Some of the Sam Smith's Imperial Stout "oiliness" in the mouthfeel. Taste is big and powerfully alcoholic; rich chocolate and coffee are here. Beginning stout drinkers drink this? Really??? I see this as more of a "nitro can stouts are for wimps" selective drinker's taste.

Bituminous Stout might be more appropriate.

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Photo of hophead247
3.82/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and opaque with a thick brown creamy head. Tons or roasty coffee aroma and charcoal. Favor is rich with roasted barley. nice malt backbone but the burnt woody and dry coffee take over. Finishes semi dry and clean. Really drinkable stout, but I can name a handful of others I'd rather drink...

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Photo of mlockman
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Now THIS is the kind of intensity of flavor I was expecting from Black Butte Porter! Intense bitterness really overshadowed the malt profile of this beer, but without hop-flavor being immediately apparent; rather, the malt and hops of this beer work in concert to provide an intense and complex flavor followed by a dry finish.

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Photo of boogieman
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the local liquor store. Poured into my beer glass at room temperature.

Appearance: pours a rich, dark, coffee brown with a 2-finger, mocha-colored head that lasted a long time. Left exquisite lacing around the glass.
Smell: toasted malt, coffee. Light hops, and a hint of dried fruit.
Taste: Quite bitter at first, and melding into a sweetness that then turns into a rich bitter aftertaste. some hops and sweet malt. It reminds me of a mocha. Rich, dark chocolate, with a strong coffeeness. A bit of vanilla. Somewhat woodsy, and a little bit of spiced citrus. I feel like it would have been a little more appetizing and refreshing if I had drank it cold. If/when I buy it again, I'll try it chilled.
Mouthfeel- some dryness. Very rich and creamy. leaves a shortlasting pleasant filmy residue around the mouth. Light carbonation.
Overall- definitely a good stout. I had somewhat of spicy/fruity undertone that wasn't my favorite, but it melds really well with the beer.

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Photo of zdk9
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Black, not a great head, though I was drinking from a strangly sized goblet that I wouldn't chose for a stout (damn restaurants!). About half a finger of cocoa colored head, leaves very little lacing.

S- Roasted barley husks, slight bit of coffee, and after some warming, I can get a nice sweet orange citrus.

T- The taste really brings to mind cherries, there not really chocolate covered, or liquor filled, but just delicious cherry juice flavor. There is also some decent coffee grounds flavor. I'm liking the flavor, though I was expecting something more powerful.

M- Thinner than expected- and more importantly thinner than a stout should be- and more importantly, thinner than this stout with this flavor should be. I would really love some more creaminess to accompany the bitter roastedness of the beer.

D- Good flavor, but could use a powerboost. This is almost a session stout- the right flavors with not a lot of alcohol and fairly drinkable- granted it's a little high in alcohol for that, but hopefully that gives you a good idea of how the beer tastes.

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Photo of HosP
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice extra from scottfrie. Thanks!

A- Pours jet black. No light passes through this beer. Small tan head that left little lacing down the glass.

S- Big notes of coffee and chocolate. Has a roasted aroma to it. Got a little alcohol smell as well.

T- Like the smell. Chocolate taste at first. Followed closely by roasted coffee flavors. Nice taste like a big stout should have! Got more of an alcohol taste at the end than I would have expected though, but didn't detract to much from the flavors.

M- Full body with little carbonation. A little dry at the end but not to bad.

D- Good drinking stout. Nothing fancy, but very solid. Had been drinking lighter beers this week so it was a great change up. One of the better stouts I've had.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with a thick, dense, dark-brown head that slowly faded into a thin film and collar that left faint rings of thin lace around the glass.
S: Creamy notes of melted chocolate ice-cream with light hops and maybe a touch of licorice.
T: Very smooth and soft flavors of melted milk chocolate with hints of molasses. The finish has a pleasant dark chocolate bitterness to it, and there is an overall creamy quality to the flavors. Aftertaste is full of dark roasted malt that boarder on roasted coffee flavors and is surprisingly bitter for a stout.
M: Extremely smooth with a medium body and very creamy mouthfeel. There is maybe the slightest suggestion of alcohol in the finish as this beer warms.
D: Super drinkable and delicious. I like how this beer isn't overly full of coffee or chocolate flavors, but rather perfectly balanced between them. Very creamy. This one is a tad more bitter than most, but delicious none the less.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of bditty187.

Pours a dark black with a faint touches of ruby highlights around the edges. This has a frothy one finger head that settles slowly to a thin cap and ring that leaves some substantial lace behind.

Smell; there's bits of chocolate and coffee, and roasted malts. Overall I'd say the aroma is fairly subdued for a stout.

Taste; roasted malts dominate upfront with some nice touches of chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of a sweet fruitiness that developes as the beer warms I can't quite place. At first I was a bit disappointed with the flavor of this beer, but the seond half of the glass made a much better impression once this warmed up a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with plenty of carbonation. For a stout this is pretty darn drinkable.

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Photo of zachary80
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgian globe. Best by 3/18/12

Black, or at least very dark brown body. Tannish brown head, leaves great lacing. Head holds for a little while before fading out

Smell is moderately sweet, notes of chocolate,

Taste is very dry and more like bittersweet chocolate, maybe coffee. Fairly bitter for the style. The finish is pretty short but for a slight lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, maybe a little light.

Overall it is a good stout, but nothing that I would get excited about finding again. For some reason this comes off as a lighter stout, despite its bitterness and abv. It is worth noting that this is a dangerously drinkable beer at 6.4%

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Photo of tut2528
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: extremely deep brown in color, with a tan colored head. About 1-2 fingers worth of head formation. Enormous lacing, big foamy retention. Head stays solid even past the 1 minute mark.

S: strong espresso and coffee notes, I get a touch of chocolatey sweetness and a slight touch of slight hops. Definitely smells quite lighter than I expected.

T: again, I get a nice balance of espresso and coffee grounds with a nice creamy yet hoppy finish. The malt backbone sits in along with an ever so slight nutty aspect.

M: medium bodied, high carbonation, nothing too crazy.

O: overall, this is my 1st Deschutes offering. I thought it was a nice beer all the way around. I was definitely hoping for more creaminess or a vanilla finish because of such a strong espresso taste, but regardless, this is a nice beer all the way around.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown, with ample, foamy tan head
S: smelled wonderful as I poured, but quickly tapered off. Coffee is the dominant note, but molasses, dark chocolate and maybe some dates are evident as well.
T: fresh coffee hits the palate immediately and continues right on through the aftertaste. Moderately sweet mid-mouth, and pervasively enjoyable.
M: perhaps a new standard-bearer for "smooth" in a non-nitro non-imperial. Very good texture.
D: I started it thinking how sessionable it was, bit before I even finished, I had to second guess that. I really enjoyed one, but would move on to something else after.

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Photo of Scrylol
3.83/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in trade. Thanks Ben(Madhomebrewer)

I like most everything I have drank from Deschutes so I wasn't worried about this one. It pours Black into the glass with a big frothy head with good lacing as the pint got lower. Smells roasty, milk chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, and a little doughy. Taste faintly of bitter coffee and some chocolate. Full Bodied, creamy. Good beer

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Photo of chumba526
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears almost black. With a small light brown head.

Smells slightly toasty slightly caramel like, and slightly vanilla like.

Tastes much like the smell. There is a slight coffee taste, a nice mild caramel taste, a light vanilla taste and a slight hoppy bitterness. It has quite a nice flavor. The balance of the flavors is pretty good.

The carbonation is around medium. I think the beer would be better if the carbonation added creaminess to the stout.

Drinkability is pretty good I could drink a few of these beers.
Not the best stout out there but a pretty good one. Above average. I would like the beer to be a bit smoother but it is a damn good stout.

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Photo of rashbash22
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- pours black with lacing around the rim of the glass

S- coffee, chocolate, ripe fruits, hops

T- sweet coffee chocolate taste in the beginning with a dry bitter finish

M- pretty thin with the same feel to guinness somewhat

O- definitely worth a try but I think sierra nevada still makes a better stout

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,762 ratings.
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