Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,099 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,099 | Ratings: 3,684
Photo of ybnorml
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian is a good description of the color, so black that no light passes thu. Has a little bit of a dark tan head. The aroma is a heady mix of chocolate and coffee with a little licorice in the background. A good solid roasted malt flavor with a bit of chocolate on the tip of your tongue and a rush of coffee along both sides of the tongue. The roasted malt makes it self at home at the back of your throat on the finish.

 424 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good. Served a little cold with a smallish taan head and a bit of lace. Color is an opaque black brown. Aroma is roast, malt, molasses, licorice, bit of honey and dark ripe fruit. Flavor's like nose, muted, fairly dry, toast, carbonic tang, and bitter up front, in fact it's all up front. Body is great, ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, a bit long, and also a bit boozy. Good drinkin' stout.

 407 characters

Photo of drseamus
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer has a good jet black body with a thin mocha head that falls quickly leaving just a very thin layer.

S: This beer has a powerful chocolaty coffee aroma with bunch of roasty overtones.

T: The flavor is just like the aroma. There is a bunch of chocolate initially followed by some good coffee and roasted malt notes. This is a great tasting beer. The nice thing is about this beer is that there isn't a bunch of bitterness which is common with beers that have a bunch of chocolate with them.

M: The body on this beer is nice and full. Suits the beer very nicely.

D: This is one of the best stouts I've had. A perfect example of the style.

 661 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle. Pours black with a finger's breadth of brown foam. Smells of roasted coffee. Rich coffee taste with a good bit of malt. Very easy to drink and the ABV is real reasonable so I wish I could have a few more of this brew. Reminds me of Storm King with less hops. This beer will stay on my Wants for sure. Outstanding.


 362 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 2/6/08 consumed on 2/5/08
Thanks to Oxymoron for this!

Whoa! totally black, opaque with an amazing 2-finger deep and very dark brown head that is full of bubbles and very clumpy but obviously sticky. Dissipates real slow, it's more like clumpy chunks of foam slowly dissolving. A true heady looking brew that leaves large clumps all along the edge of he glass.

Roastie but caramalized sweet malt scent with oats, grains, vanilla, black coffee...the malt aroma is huge on the nose but also has a decent, spicey hop effect. slight heat buzz, not too strong, later on, blueberry pop tarts.

This is a very well balanced stout, with a semi-sweet vanilla and dark chocolate flavor over roasted nuts, peanutbutter, covered coffee beans, all in the malt flavor which makes this pretty complex. An herbal, if not zesty hop flavor adds that balance I mentioned. As the brew warms to room temp you start getting red-tropical fruits, roastbeef and olives. Finishes with a semi-bitter coffee aftertaste and grassy, green hops.

full bodied, but with a certain crispness that is rare, very clean feeling going down, not at all heavy. Goes down slick and smooth.

This is a wondeful Stout, the moderate ABV makes this very drinkable, but the quality is very high and very clean. If you like stout's you're going to want another.

 1,330 characters

Photo of jegross2
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery out of Oregon. They are best known for their flagship Russian Imperial Stout, the Abyss, which I recently acquired a bottle of. This is my first ever beer from this brewery, which and it comes with high regards.
Score: 94

2011 vintage bottle served in an oversized brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with a solid finger of creamy mocha colored head that slowly settles into a thin layer. Almost completely opaque, with a tiny layer of brown highlights atop the glass. Noticeable carbonation with absolutely amazing lacing. This is a gorgeous stout. 5/5

Smell: Black coffee and creamer/milk hit up front. Then lots of burnt/roasted chocolate and raw dark chocolate aromas. Getting lots of roasted malt flavors too. Hint of vanilla. The nose is not very complex, but it is absolutely inviting. 4.5/5

Taste: Velvety black coffee and light vanilla upfront. Lots of roasted chocolate on the mid-palate and in the finish. Some smokiness. Finish is burnt coffee and burnt chocolate. Then a "delayed," lingering finish of bitter dark chocolate seems to come out of nowhere and dominate. Yum! 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-plus carbonation. Very creamy, silky mouthfeel. Finishes very dry and bitter. 4/5

Overall: One of the best non-imperial stouts I have sampled to date. This is one that lives up to its hype. Cannot wait to try the Abyss. A little less carbonation and a little more viscocity would have made this one near perfect. Given the current state of craft beer, Obsidian Stout is a sheer bargain at less than $10 per six pack. I need to get my hands of some more bottles of this.

Recommendation: This is a great craft brew that both beer geeks and casual beer drinkers can greatly enjoy. A truly magnificent stout.

Pairings: Steak or chocolate cake.

Cost: $8.99 for a six pack.

 1,875 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought in the 12oz brown bottle..nice simple label .
Appearance what can i say but its BLACK pitch black no light permeates this beer very small head even when poured roughly..soon fades to a ring around the glass.
Nice stout smell but there is something different here..among the usual toasted oats i smell a double clotted cream aroma.. strange but welcoming.
The tatse of this beer is pure pleasure..creamy yet rough..slight yet massive..so much taste sensation..massive variety. black coffee and fudge clash..nice hoip bitterness to end..i even taste cream cheese..man so complex.
Feels magic on the tongue leaves the back of my mouth tingling with anticipation.
Good drinkability if its cold outside a massive brew..very good stuff.

 743 characters

Photo of tbizzle0
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle, solid black in color with a really nice mocha colored head.

Lots of chocolate and a bit of coffee on the nose, with that dark roasted malt smell and a bit of hops

Taste followed suit but there was a lot more prominent hop flavor on the finish, as well as a bit of tobacco. Definitely a tasty beer

 320 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle that is about a year old. Pouring into a snifter the beer pours a deep cola brown with a spongey tan head of 2 cm foaming up easily. The head fades gradually but leaves sturdy and sticky tight lattice on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is fairly roasty with some cocoa powder, but mostly roast malt.
First sip reveals average body and very mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet cocoa for a second and rolls to some roasted malt as the nose predicted. I dont find any hop presence or hints of ABV either. The beer is very drinkable and smooth and I would definitely enjoy this brew again. A nice version of a good stout. Pick up a bottle or 6 if you see it!

 693 characters

Photo of Derek
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black with a tan head, ring of retention, excellent lacing.

S: Bakers chocolate, licorice, black strap molasses.

T: Coffee, molasses, licorice, pumpernickel rye bread, dark caramel, great bitterness.

M: Moderate to full body is very creamy.

D: Loved it.

 260 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate/black with one and a half finger width of creamy mocha head. Nice lacing and head retention.

Smell - Roasted malts, barley, hint of espresso/coffee bean, dark chocolate.

Taste - All the aromas come through in the flavour with bold intensity and roasted taste. Great bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Touch of smoothness.

Overall - A well-crafted and flavourful stout from Deschutes. I really enjoyed the bitterness from the espresso/coffee bean and it makes this brew a real stand-out.

 579 characters

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: the mention of "black beauty" on the label really can't be improved upon to describe the appearance of this beer.

S: sweet chocolate, coffee, caramel, cherry, fig, and other dark fruits

T: coffee is pronounced initially, dark chocolate, fruit, toast, and fairly well hopped to offer surprising balance

M: rich with a dry-ish finish

delicious brew; desert in a bottle.

 375 characters

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy black into my Rogue stout glass, an inky extremely dark brown that lets little to no light through. A pleasant head rises to crown the glass, and leaves behind tight patterns of dark tan lace.

The scent is softly smoky, but rich with earthy scents; I'm reminded of barbecue, so there are some meaty protein scents, and perhaps some molasses.

The flavor is rich with roastiness - the dark malts are extremely flavorful, so much that I was not at all impressed when I tried the first beer or two out of my six pack. At first, I thought them harsh - but give this beer a chance. Give it a good chance, and after trying it a few times over a few days, the palate seems to discover gorgeous flavors that were hiding at first. The taste is creamy and full, and drinking releases a torrent of flavors that are hard to quantify. There are notes of pine, wood smoke, dark natural bread, tart dried raspberries - Butter, salt, earth, spice.

Thick, rich mouthfeel without being too ful or tart - this feels like a meal, but doesn't fill you up, creamy carbonation mingling with the tart warmth of alcohol. Incredibly drinkable, easy to quaff, never becoming unpleasant.

Final thoughts - you might like this one right away, you might not - I wasn't sure, until I got a few pints in, but as it turns out, it's as great a stout as any. A very roasty stout.

 1,375 characters

Photo of DHGranstrand
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is based on my 3rd bottle of Obsidian Stout tonight.

Pours very dark, dark brown with nice creamy head.

Smells like licorice, burnt coffee/chocolate.

Tastes sweet with burnt coffee, good malt flavor and bitter hops on the end.

Mouthfeel is great with a nice viscosity.

I really like this beer! On sale at $5.99 a six-pack it is really a bargain in this age of $6 to $15 bombers. Very drinkable (I'm on my 3rd of the evening). Very well balanced without any one flavor dominating the taste. One of my regulars!

 526 characters

Photo of DoctorDog
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "Best by 05/28/09" is stamped onto the label. Big thanks to pokesbeerdude for sending me this in a trade!

A- Essentially black, completely opaque in appearance. 3 fingers of frothy, creamy, light brown head, which fades extremely slowly to a thin cap. Lacing is thick, sticky, and prevalent. Has to be a 5.

S- Sweet, slightly earthy roastiness, with hints of coffee.

T- Moderately sweet, malty roastiness. Lightly smoky/burnt/dark coffee flavors. Very slight hint of dark fruitiness. Solid smoky bitterness lingers on the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation, medium-full, creamy, and smooth.

D- Outstanding. All elements of this brew are above average to out-of-sight. This is a really good beer, and a pleasure to drink.

Future outlook: Obtained in a trade and not available here...the price is apparantly quite reasonable....once you pair that with the superb quality, it makes it a damn shame that it is unavailable here.

 969 characters

Photo of Dsimenson
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft nitro into 5 oz sampler. Appearance is impenetrable black, beautiful rising head resembling a cappuccino. Aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, subtle hops. Flavor is dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, followed by bitter hops. Mouth feel is medium full, not font or bubbly (the nitro, I guess). Overall this is a really outstanding stout, noticeably richer in flavor than the bottled equivalent I have at home right now. Love it!

 434 characters

Photo of Harn_SOLO
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice frothy foam on top the beer. Has a touch of sweetness with the malt, but nothing too over powering. Has a good chocolate taste and is an excellent selection during the Winter. Dangerously delicious because it can go down as easily as a lager.

 247 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Ah, it's good coming back to an old friend!

Opaque, black body and rich, thick, sticky tan head please the eyes. Dark, charred grain smell with a coffee-like hint; bitter chocolate. Bitter, chocolaty flavor with some astringency and dryness present. Medium-heavy body, smooth, creamy, clean, dry.

Yes, this stout has always been one of my favorites from years ago. It's been a while since I've sampled any (there are just too, too many different beer styles and breweries available to me in Colorado Springs - oh, the shame, the shame...), but this latest version still sits well with me. It's well made, nicely balanced, with a quiet yet deep complexity that brings delight with each sip.

 692 characters

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes has not disappointed me so far. On to Obsidian.

Out of the bottle, this brew pours extremely dark for a single stout, dark, dark brown that comes so close to black. A one-finger, mocha-brown head sits atop and takes a minute to trail off. Lacing left on the glass is mildly sticky and splashy.

A deep inhale of Obsidian reveals a thick, rich milk chocolate aroma, complemented by a very mellow roastiness and a nice, round coffee aroma. A little brown sugar and molasses reside in there, too.

Well, that is probably the most well done and tastiest single stout that I've imbibed. Just the right amount of roasted malt and bitter hop flavor lands on the sides of my mouth, while a rich chocolate and molasses package lands squarely on my tongue. The finish has quite a bit of a coffee-esque bite on the whole of my palate and pairs well with the rich sweetness.

A rich, full feel lands on my palate with each sip, accompanied by a very nice bite from the roasted malt and hops. Great body, great bite.

This is a really great stout. While only 6.4% a.b.v., it has a more in common with an imperial stout than a single in terms of appearance, flavor, and feel. Very full, creamy flavor and feel. Delicious.

 1,222 characters

Photo of darkmaven
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intense, full-bodied nose. Lots o' vanilla, rich coffee, and chocolate. But that dry mocha, cocoa powder form of chocolate I saw on the Rogue Mocha Porter. There is a lovely, ample bitterness on the finish that reminds me of biting into a coffee bean.

This is a complex, interesting beer. A friend noted that it was more like a wine in aromatics. Meaning that smoothness of the nose, the elegance of aromas, the natural vanilla aspect.

Warming and welcoming. Drink this on a cold night.

 489 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Brewery "Obsidian Stout"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST BY: 08/28/16", sampled on 03/31/16
$2 @ Giant, Havertown, PA

There are certain beers that exemplify certain styles of beer for me, and this is the one that I think of when I think of American Stout". Sure there are others (North Coast Old #38, Avery Out Of Bounds, Sierra Nevada Stout, etc.), but Obsidian just seems a little bit more polished to me. It's medium full in body; roasty and chocolatey but also a touch fruity; bitter but not harsh; and remarkably balanced and drinkable considering that it's not quite an Imperial stout, but almost there. Of course, isn't that the American way?! I'd certainly recommend all of the beers I've mentioned, and also give a tip of the hat to Sierra Nevada who probably invented the style, but it's the Deschutes that I'll reach for most often.

 859 characters

Photo of rhong187
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Diomede for sending this!

A - poured into a Deschutes snifter, and I cannot wait to try this one. Two finger soapy head and it looks amazing. Did I mention I can't wait to try this one?

S - dark chocolate and roasted malts. I'll admit, I didn't spend much time smelling this..

T - Everything I would hoped it would be and more. Espresso and chocolate flavors hit you in the face right away, with a nice dry finish. The pinnacle of how an American stout should be...

M - well balanced and medium bodied. extremely smooth

Yet another reason why I wish Deschutes would extend distribution to the East coast. A solid stout that I would recommend to anyone. I would definitely drink this all the time if it were availble..

 735 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. the liquid is Yes Obsidian in color, with good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers and dark tan. The head fades slow leaving a nice lace.

The Smell is dark and roasty with an interesting sweet note, that shakes of any heavy burnt scent.

The taste is very good and quite interesting, It took a little while but the sweet aromatic note in the nose equates to a very pleasant sweet fruit taste. This beer is sweeter then more but a welcome change.

The mouthfeel is very good smooth and creamy, full body, good carbonation, a pleasure to drink.

The drinkability is very good, I will drink what I have sparingly and seek out more. A huge double thanks to Fartingdog for a great trade. Prosit MK

 744 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark pitch black color with a creamy light tan head that reduces to a thin layer, leaving lacing around the entire glass.

S- awesome pronounced roasted notes, not too smoky, some chocolaty malts with a bit of toffee and unlit charcoal. Loving these aromas.

T- huge chocolate notes from start to finish. Roasted, almost smoky malts provide huge pronounced flavors on the palate. Citric hops provide a slightly tart undertone and match well with the malts. The finish provides a bit of earthy and smoky coffee with a sweet-yet-bone dry chocolaty sweetness. Dark chocolate with a touch of hop bitterness stays on the palate long after .

M- medium-light mouthfeel, seems a bit light and not able to hold up to the strong flavors going one. Carbonation is just enough to provide a creamy mouthfeel with a silky finish.

O- one of the best American stouts that I've had. It has the flavors of a DIPA, with amazing roasted chocolate flavors. It's going to be a sad day when I run out of the 6 of these I traded for.

 1,025 characters

Photo of AlexR
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours nicely - along the side of the glass, produces a nice foamy head of about one finger atop a coffee-black beer.
Smell: It smells good - I detect what I believe is coffee, along with some roasted malt.
Taste: This beer doesn't mess around. It's fairly strong, but it has a delicious, toasted flavor and a boozy quality, for lack of a better word.
Feel: This beer just nails it. It isn't too easy to drink as it does have some hops to it, but it's somewhat smooth at the same time thanks to the flavors.

This is one of my favorite stouts. It tastes great and is satisfying.

 585 characters

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,099 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.