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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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1,108 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: 1,108 | Ratings: 3,728
Photo of sudo
3.37/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black with a tan head. Alcohol, black liquorice, berries, bittersweet dark chocolate, roasted malts and a hint of smokiness on the nose. Boozy, dark melted chocolate, roasted malts and some smoke on the palate. Soft bitterness, dark fruits that awakes in the finish. Pretty smooth and a touch creamy. Low to med-low carb.

Overall I enjoyed it, I'm not sure why I get so much booze on the nose and palate but it's kinda off putting to me at least. Would try it again, not my favorite.

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Photo of n2185
3.41/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with about a finger of light tan head that quickly recedes into little more than a thin ring with almost no lacing.

S: Some smokey, roasted malts up front followed by sweetened cocoa powder. There's a very dry character to the chocolate aroma, reminding me more of hot chocolate powder than of whole chocolate.

T: Similar to the aroma, the roasted malts come first followed by a bit of sweetened chocolate flavor. The finish is of bitter, almost burnt, coffee.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, but with a bit of a watery feel to it rather than being creamy like I prefer.

D: Goes down fairly smooth, though the lighter body and slight burnt coffee aftertaste keep it from being extremely drinkable.

Overall, not a bad stout, but not much stands out about it either.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pitch black with a low retention head.

Faint aromas of chocolate, coffee and roast.

Roast malt and grain step forward and finish with a metallic tasting hop. Not very sweet at all.

Mouthfeel all the way through is very silky, velourish and creamy.

Never had such an incredible mouthfeel fall so one dimensional. Aroma was muted and taste was off-set with a metallic taste, cold draft to even warmed up. Mehhh. Feels more like a porter or even pretty close to their Black Butte Porter. Sowwy!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in my delirium tremens tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a nice quarter inch head. Nice lacing and froth remains. Smell is roasted malts and cocoa bean. Taste is of bittering coffee bean. The mouthfeel is carbonated and medium in feel. A decent stout from an above average brewery. A good session beer that I would like to have on hand at all times.

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Photo of Auracom
3.44/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6 oz. into a tumbler glass on August 5th, 2012.

A - Moderately-heavy brown coloring. Very little retention of a medium khaki head but decent lacing.

S - Freshly-roasted coffee beans dominate the nose. Underneath is a sweet contrast of caramel mocha.

T - Pronounced espresso, dark chocolate bitterness throughout the entire drink. Front end shows a stronger roasted almond note while rear-palate picks up more of the dark cocoa. Lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body, high carbonation for the style, dryer finish for a stout.

D - Simple, yes. Still done well and I'm very happy to have tried this one.

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Photo of zac16125
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

Thanks to 3hops for sending this one over as an extra.

A: Pours a thin appearing black with some browning on the edges and 2plus fingers width of mocha colored head, which dissipates down at a moderate rate to a thick film that hangs around throughout the entire drink. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, burnt wood, heavy cream. The roasted and char notes are by far the most prominent aromas, and I dont get much else.

T: Follows the nose. Roasted malts and charred wood. Some mild dark fruit notes that I didnt get on the nose. A bit of anise and some medicinal phenolics. Surprisingly bitter on the finish, not necessarily in a good way.

M/D: Smooth, appropriately low carbonation, good drinkability but somewhat limited by the odd lingering bitterness on the back end. Could be creamier too.

O: Overall, not bad, but not terribly good either. Seems pretty mediocre, and I dont really see why the ratings are so high. Ive had a number of American standard stouts significantly better than this one. Its not bad, but its just slightly above average in my book.

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Photo of Beermazter310
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with brown head.. smells sweet and chocalatey. Taste chocolatey with a little coffee, a little boozy.Mouthfeel is thick, heavy, with low carbonation. overall its good, but there are a few better stouts out there, this is one of the better american stouts ive had...

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Photo of Mitchster
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, jet-black in color, forming a decent sized dark-tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is of grain husk, espresso, wet treated water, dark bittersweet chocolate, and a clean ferment with a subtle hint of alcohol. Taste is of dark molasses, burnt wood, espresso, drying alcohol and a faint note of fusels. Mouthfeel is fizzy with a medium body. Everybody else seems to consider this dense in their reviews, but I really don't get that impression. Lightly dry, harsh finish with "dirty" bittering hops. I consider myself a stout lover, and contrary to the other glowing reviews here, I find this to be quite average overall. But then again, maybe it's just because I'm babied by the Kzoo stout masters.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my tulip glass from a 12fl oz bottle.

Pours an opaque black color that lets no light shine through. The head measures around two inches and is rather dense. In the middle of the head there are medium sized bubbles that soon begin to pop. Great head retention that fades very, and I mean very slowly, leaving behind minimal lacing on the sides of my glass.

Fresh mineral water, roasted malts, cocoa powder, unmalted barley, leather, and sweet dark fruit.

I tasted that of roasted malts and barley. This gave off a rich sweet dark brown roasted flavor. Roasted malts contributed a dark chocolate taste that I would go border on saying more like cocoa powder. As this subdues it leads to a dry sharp bitter finish on the palate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with a slight bitter dry aftertaste that lingers in your mouth for a while.

Pretty good stout but I have seen better ones out there. Overall its something you can try, but nothing fascinating to pick up again.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Don Quiojte $1.78 12oz.
Dark black colr
Smell of coffee and chocolate
Heavy mouth feel
Creamy taste with some bitter aftertaste
Overall an ok beer, but not for me.

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Photo of champ103
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges. A tan head rises to over two fingers. Rings of sticky spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Sweet roasted malt up front. Semi astringent and mineral aroma. Hops linger towards the end.
T: A malty and sugary sweetness up front. A light roasted flavor comes out next with some bitter chocolate. Bitter hops linger a bit to much for my tastes (for a stout anyway).
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Surprisingly thin and and watery. Not hard to drink, but I would not make this a session.

A decent stout. Not as much roasted malt as I thought there was going to be, and there are two different bitter flavors that are at odds with each other (one from the chocolate, and one from the hops). This is worth a try, but not one of there better beers.

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Photo of DTBird
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a bottle into my Pint glass. This brew is pitch black with a thin tan head and minimal lacing

S- The nose is not prominent it does however have a "piney" scent

T- Smoke right off the bat, an excellent stout flavor. Spicy chocolate and coffee notes. The aftertaste is a little aromatic but finishes clean.

M- Medium to heavy body but not too thick.

O- I would drink again if given to me, but I will stick with a Stout with a Higher ABV

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark black with an almost non-existant dark brown head that fades really fast. Nose is strong with roasted coffee and malt. No hops or yeast here.

Mouthfeel is very nice, rich, full, thick and creamy. Strong roasted coffee finish with a bit of a bitterness from it but not overwhelming. Carbonation is low, adds to drinkability for the style. Finish is a bit too bitter for me but it's decent.

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Photo of mscudder
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a globe.

A - Pours a dark brown with a nice big tan head. Pretty nice retention.

S - A nice nose on this one! Roasted malts, cocoa, coffee and some molasses round out the aromas. A nice warm balance comes in from the alcohol.

T - The beer hits the palette with a tight explosion of bitterness. I feel that there is little flavor to start and some bitterness explodes. As the rush settles I get a wealth of flavors begin to disperse, seemingly with little balance at all. The composition of these flavors were all present in the nose. Finish is heavy on the roasted notes. I cannot say I like this stout very much as far as taste is concerned. The balance is just not there for me.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Beer seems a bit chewy and a tad thing for a stout. I may be more acclimated to RIS's yet I just cannot get behind this one.

O - Highly bitter and a total let down in my books. After sampling the Butte Porter and the Abyss I had very high hopes for this one. It just did not live up to the hype and I would be hard pressed to ever revisit it.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark stout that simply puts an end to all light trying to pass through it. Thankfully, the light at the end of the tunnel is near, or should I say the light on top the beer is near (neer). By light I mean head, yes is topped off with a really nice and thick light brown head, just a few shades lighter than brown sugar. It looks and feels light and fluffy and it slowly thins out into a layer of brown bubbles and thick wall of brown lace. The aroma itself isn’t all that impressive to me, I can pick up hints of chocolate, mild coffee, roasted coffee bean followed by that slightly tart coffee aroma. Now for the fun part, relatively light on the mouth feel and it thickens up to about a medium body when it hits the back of your mouth. Bitter overall, it’s sharp on the tip of your tongue but I can’t pick up much flavor until it starts reaching the back of my mouth, only then can I pick up some coffee grinds, mild cocoa, roasted almonds and a slight toffee flavor too. You know what; throw in some orange zest too…

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Photo of haazer
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones.

A- Appears just like a, dare I say it? Guiness. The familiar tan head, black/dark brown liquid and the quicksand-like brown bubbles cascading down the glass.

S- Smell is fairly bland. Little bit of roasted malts, kind of smells like a Guiness. Oddly enough this kind of smells like a lager. Just very faint.

T- Ok so it definitely delivers where it matters. The taste is much better then the aroma. Reminds me of the "whoppers" candy balls somewhat. Good roasted malts, with a little coffee and creamer. Tempted by a 4.5 score but not quite.

M- A bit on the lighter side for a stout, but it is sooo drinkable. I'm bumping the score some. It feels and drinks as easy as a porter.

O- Despite the lack of aroma in this thing it is definitely better to drink. I'd certainly have this again and perhaps like to try from the bottle to see if the nose is any better.

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Photo of winomark
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a jet black, with a nice chocolate head.

Aroma: Lots of coffee on the nose, with some chocolate present also.

Taste: Coffee dominates, but is supported by some spice and chocolate flavors that lead to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating, but not overpowering. Good flavors and balance throughout.

Drinkability: A decent stout, but nothing all the special IMO. My least favorite offering from this brewery.

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Photo of bamadog
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I feel a little bad for my lower rating of this beer since I know it's very popular, but I feel that I've been spoiled by so many great stouts that I've become a little pickier and judgmental. Deschutes still rocks, though. Review is from notes taken on 6/17/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: The pour is black and starts with a scant 1/4 finger dark brown head that fades immediately to nothing; body is entirely opaque; an oily residue and very thin strands and spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Super solid! Lots of sweet and bittersweet dark chocolate; burnt roasty coffee grounds come through in the maltiness; the nose is very robust and almost makes me hungry for a Hershey's dark chocolate bar.

Taste: A bit of a let down in the end, but still not awful. Taste is thin and watery, flavor is bitter and dark, with burnt roasty maltiness and a faint bittersweet chocolate; bit of an oaty presence in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery for a stout... Carbonation is soft and fairly smooth; a pleasant stickiness is left on the roof of the mouth; body is of medium weight and really not too heavy. If the flavors were a bit better, and the body was a bit thicker, this beer really would have done much better in my eyes.

Drinkability: Meh, sadly, I could kind of take it or leave it. I really remember this being better when I lived in Oregon, but oh well. I feel the flavors are OK, but deceiving at the same time due to the amazing smells blasting out of the glass -- if only the flavors matched the smells.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black brew with a large foamy mocha colored head that lasts for a few minutes. An eternal half inch of foam lingers under a thick webbing of lacing.

S - A bit of coffee and faint chocolate.

T - A dark malty flavor with a bit of coffee, chicory and char. A touch of dark chocolate as well. Aftertaste is a charred bitterness with a hint of mossiness.

M - Smooth with a slight harshness from carbonation. A medium body, refreshing.

D - Pretty good. Worth a try. Worth having again. A decent stout, but far from the best.

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Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Do I have a bad bottle or just not like this beer? It smelled a bit like molasses, and while there was a decent bitterness in the aftertaste, the overall flavor is nothing to brag about. Roasted coffee-like (but not really coffee flavored) grains with a bit of cocoa. I was expecting something exciting like a Shakespeare Stout, but didn't get any depth like that.

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

I bought a six pack of Obsidian Stout about a week ago, and I've been slowly working my way through it. I tried, I really did, to like it. Deschutes is generally such a great brewery, and I've been just flat-out impressed by their line almost each and every time. Almost, because this time, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall in love with this stout. It's malty odour is fine, but the taste of the hops and the burnt cocoa seem to war with each-other. each are too strong. The mouth-feel is watery, like and is acrid like a cup of coffee you left on the counter for four days. This beer is in dire need of a time-out to mellow it down just a bit, so drinking it isn't like getting beat in the face with a baseball bat.

I'm sorry, Deschutes, I really tried. It's me, not you.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from a competition I was helping out at. 12oz bottle, best by 04/16/12...

A: A nice dark brew that has a slight red hue around the edges. A thick 2+ inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get a nice creamy roastiness upfront with some nice vanilla notes blended in. Some hints of black licorice in the middle with a faint lactose on the back. Decent.

T: A light creamy vanilla quickly followed by a subtle roastiness. Quickly some carbonation begins to bury the other flavors and eventually gives way to a slightly earthy coffee hidden on the back. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. A little over-carbonated for me. Finishes with a fizzy roast. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent beer. If the carbonation were toned down some, this would be a great beer. The over-carbonation on this one kind of takes a few points away for me. Try if you like easy drinking stouts.

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Photo of biglite351
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Some red around the edges with a shoer creamy tan head.

S - Some roasty malts, maybe even coffee and sweet cocoa... but I swear I am getting tomato paste... very odd combo, ha!

T - Baking chocolate, roasty malts and a touch of smoke.

M - Thick feel with good coarting. Tingle on sides of tongue and back of throat. You reallt feel this brew.

O - It is okay, but not an every day beer. I would go for one late in the evening after having a few other brews as the thick feel would cause me to sip as opposed to drink it down.

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Photo of echoes
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color (even when held against a light)! Head is at least finger-length and is light-brown in color. The head is very stubborn and leaves lots of lacing. The most lacing I've seen in about a year.

S: Smell is a combination of (in no particular order): coffee, smoke, chocolate, roasted hops and bread. The smell is complex and interesting but ultimately not that appealing/pleasant to me.

T: Same as the smell, which is a good thing, but HIGH on the hops bitterness for a stout. I've had a number of stouts and I've loved them all but this is the most bitter I've tried. I'd say almost too bitter (for a stout) for me.

M: Medium-bodied and satisfying. Almost creamy too, I'd say. Some carbonation keeps it interesting.

O: The complexity of flavors is great.
Overall this is a very nice beer. However, for a stout, as I said before, it is almost too bitter (for me). I am sure others have and will love it.

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Photo of aracauna
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The carbonation is a little high on this one. The head is nice an large, but a little airy because of the heavy carbonation. It settles into something a little more dense later on. Nice black and when you get to the bottom of the glass, you notice its base is a nice ruby. Heavy on the caramel, a little roasty, but not really a big flavor for a stout. The body could benefit from a slightly lower level of carbonation.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,728 ratings.
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