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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: 3,730
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolately mocha powder aroma. Coffee dark. Smooth, although some cookie crumbs and coconut strings mouthfeel in there. Well roasted, bittersweet and neither leaning to coffee nor chocolate. Very nicely carbonated. A very good stout but I think somewhat overated. A drop behind the Bell's stouts.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee beans, and the chocolate chip cookie dough flavors. A very mild roasty and sweet flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout that is very tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

one of the best stouts out, period. pours the thickest creamiest black coffe color with a frothy mocha head an inch and a half tall. milkshake texture. smells rich and roasty, and even a little bitter. flavor is great, some deep espresso notes, but nothing overpowering. again a slight bitterness in the finish. mouthfeel is gold, thick and creamy without being heavy. this is extremely sessionable. everything is in perfect poportion here, i imagine the nitrotap makes this one even better than its bottled version. silky buttery glory on this stout. as good as it gets

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a finger and a half high dark tan head that died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malts are present in the nose; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the flavors are intensified and the roasted malts really stand out and linger through the finish.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and a little dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a well-crafted stout that is very flavorful and nearly as complex as a Russian Imperial Stout, despite its lighter body nature.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gulp...Smack, smack....aaaahh....and that's how a stout should taste! Though a lot of good stout's are out there, you rarely find a flawless one...until now. Has an expected black look with a fair head and retention, but don't they all? Where this stands apart begins with the aromas, which are rich with roasted, toastedness, and chocolatey goodness. Hop aromas stay low and only add an earty character. Tastes again, rich with roasted (coffee) malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a mild malt (caramel and vanilla) sweetness. Shares mild flavors with milk stouts (lactose) and oatmeal stouts (soft sweetness) and marshmellows. Hops really don't try to dominate the beer -- This is nice for an American Stout, but unusual. The texture is a velvety creaminess--just a little piece of heaven in a glass. Finishes a well textrued and blended sweet, smooth, and warming. Not dry or sweet, just nice. ....gulp, gulp, gulp ....a moment of sadness arrives (my glass is empty).
Thanks Clvand0.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque black body with a 2 inch tan head, slightly transparent around the edges.

Smell: A sweet and chocolatey aroma, slightly milky and with a faint trace of alcohol.

Taste: Rich dark chocolate hits the palate first, eventually settling into a dark roasted, bitter espresso finish that lingers on the tongue long after you've taken a sip.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rich, mildly carbonated, just right for a strong stout. Not so thick as to make it difficult to drink, it's actually quite quaffable despite the respectable ABV and rich flavor.

A great straightforward stout, though I slightly prefer Black Butte Porter.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as the Ace of Spades witha thick tan head that retains and laces well

Smell: Roasty aroma with coffee, charred wood and a touch of citrus

Taste: Starts out with a strong coffee flavor that is immediately joined (and overwhelmed) by a very bitter character; after the swallow, the roasted malt flavors re-emerge and blend with a hoppy bitterness to provide a long finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: If you like a full flavored stout with plenty of bitterness in the West Coast style, this one's for you

Thanks, todd1, for the experience

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Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. The only interesting or eye-opening find in a small-town northern Washington state grocery store during a quick cross-border beer run.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with red cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and rather creamy light brown head, which slowly settles, leaving a nice coating of webbed tree branch lace around the glass.

It smells of slightly roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, musty and creamed coffee, a twinge of fleshy citrus, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is a decent slash of toasted caramel malt, crystallized toffee, bitter dark cocoa, wet ash, dry coffee, brown sugar, a touch of warming alcohol, and earthy, dusty hops.

The carbonation is mostly quite reserved, just a soft frothiness emanating throughout, the body medium-full in weight, pretty smooth, and even somewhat creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, with only the smoky coffee notes and burgeoning hop bitterness providing a minor offset.

Cheers for the 'bigger' hop quotient - while it doesn't add a lot in the way of distinct additional flavours, it does keep this whole thing from becoming a big hot chocolate espresso mess. Obsidian is still replete with those characteristics, but with a scrappy balance that goes a long way in making me want another.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of secret santa: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge medium brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry coffee with some roasted malt and black chocolate is very enticing. Taste is also a well balance mix between some black chocolate, dry coffee and roasted malt. Body is full with a perfect creamy texture and good carbonation. I very much enjoyed this beer from a brewery that I am starting to learn about.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to younger35 for this one...

It pours an opaque black, slight reddish chestnut against the light at the very edge. Thick and sticky collar of foam, it coats the glass in sheets. Dry bittersweet chocolate aroma, with some light roasty notes.

Tasty, slightly dry and bittersweet chocolate with a mild dose of char. Medium-bodied, with a deep earthy roast in the aftertaste. Some mild coffee comes through too, from the residual leftovers.

Overall a really nice, sessionable stout. Clean, with strong flavors, well-rounded, everything a stout should be.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on nitro-draught into a New Belgium goblet at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica, California. Cost was $4.00 USD plus tax. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given the serving type, brewery, and style - all of which I love.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice tan colour, good cream, slick smooth nicely thick foam, and excellent retention. Colour is a solid nontransparent black.

Sm: Roasted barley, cream, milk, and chocolate. A mild strength aroma.

T: Heavy cream is dominant, an effect of the nitro no doubt. Some underlying chocolate and rather tame roasted barley. I liked it better out of the bottle; it's a bit stale here. Dark malts form the foundation. Poorly balanced on nitro. The increased cream attacks the balance. I'm disappointed. It's not bad, but it's far from good. A bit simple and not subtle.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, and wet. A touch too thin. Very undercarbonated. Complements the flavour profile only moderately.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Best from the bottle methinks. I wouldn't bother with it again on nitro-draught, but it might do better on-draught.


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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a three-finger, mocha colored head of foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with strong coffee notes. It had a slight floral aroma, too.

T - It had a good roasted malt taste with notes of coffee and oats. There is a touch of chocolate flavor hidden underneath the sharp bitter hop bite.

M- It was sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - This is a nice stout. It has oatmeal stout-like qualities.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap during my wife and I's lovely trip to Bend, OR in August 2009.

A: Pours jet black with a nice deep tan head.

S: Loads of chocolate atop a slightly sweet roasted malt base.

T: Good amount of chocolate alongside coffee and roasted malt. Nice balance between everything.

M: Medium body with lighter carbonation and a bit of a chewy nature.

D: Very nice all around. Nothing too outstanding, but a quaffable, fairly low abv dark brew, which I'm always happy to find.

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Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its Deschutes day at my house today.Poured a jet black with a brilliant light mocha colored crown that nver really settled,great defintion and a nice crown.Aromas of heavy roast and molasses mainly,a bit of earthiness emerges as well.Again heavy roast on the palate with a little rawness,some unsweetened bitter chocolate as well,quite dry.Easy to drink,the earthy finish is the main reason for me,no doubt a heavy roasted, and highly hopped left coast American stout.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 1-inch thick cream colored head which leaves semi-rings of lace. Roasted malt aroma with a chocolate flavor. Smooth and full bodied.

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Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After a long weekend of tons of great beer, with EBF and volunteer brunch, and BBQ, I needed a nice night cap before I hit the sack. I figured Obsidian Stout seemed perfect for that. Unfortunately we don't get Deschutes around here, as it is quickly becoming one of my fav breweries, so I had to get this one thanks to bendretread.

A: A very nice dark rich creamy head that rises up 2 fingers and seems to stay like that for a while. The pitch black beer looks like it harbors some secrets through the crazy dark but majestic looking beer. As the head slowly disappears though drinking it leaves a nice lacing as well.

N: I could smell this as it pours, flowing out with chocolate and tons of malt. A heavy roasted malt and coffee aroma also billows from the glass. The nice dark malt with earthy charred roast adds to it, and a hint of creamy chocolate milk.

T: Starts with tons of roast actually. A heavy roasted earthy charred roast malt flavor, and with that some coffee. Then gets to some chocolate, a little bakers chocolate, and hints of creamy chocolate milk. I get some bitterness as well, combination of both charred roasted malts and a little hop taste I believe. As it warms I do get a hint of peppermint and a little fruit. Chewy malt flavors really complex-ate this beer too.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, good carbonation for the style.

F: Finishes with some more bitterness from both hops and scorched malts. It is semi dry but not too much and works well with the style. A somewhat creamy lactose sugar flavor and feel seems to stick around and come out more on the finish as most of the other beer fades. A slight coffee lingering as well.

Another great one from Deschutes. Even their everyday beers are great. Thanks again Tim and thanks Deschutes!

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass

Pours 1/4 dark tan head. Fades down quick leaving no lace. Color is a deep dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, plums, raisins, earthy hops. A big complex aroma.

Taste: Wow, this stout is interesting in the fact that the dark fruit taste really sticks out in the beginning and is so persistent throughout the taste. Then the coffee and chocolate come in with the roasted malts. The earth hops are present, but seem to lay in the background.

Mouthfeel: Not as rich as some of the stouts I have had, but fairly rich and a little smooth. The carbonation on this beer is really high. Full bodied beer. Ends with a slight dry carbonated roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good stout. Fairly drinkable with a big flavor. I don't think it would be too hard to have another one of these in the night. Give this one a shot, it's pretty good.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap @ the Deschutes Brewery & Public House (Portland, OR) on 9/5/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black in the glass, with a finger of thick and creamy looking mocha colored head. This sticks around with a ½ finger of richness, which just drenches the sides of the glass with thick and sticky lacing. The aroma just smells delicious, with smoky burnt grains, bittersweet chocolate, and then a dash of tangier caramel. Some green citric character mixes in to, with maybe a touch of light floral tones hanging on the edges as well. The chocolate and roast are the main components of this though and they do their job well here in the nose.

The taste is heavy with chocolate, which mingles with green citrus flavors and roasted malt to really give off a deep roasted twang on the palate. Like the nose, this put a lot of emphasis on that dark chocolate here character here, with those hops and roast lingering in the finish with burnt tones and some leftover notes of bitter rind. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just unbelievably smooth and creamy feeling here on nitro, which gives this lightness on the palate that the depth and robustness of the flavors here would suggest otherwise. I mean this just drinks effortlessly for a 6% beer. Just a tremendous overall nitro feel to this.

This was already an extremely well done American Stout in my eyes to begin with but here on nitro @ the Portland Brewpub, it was just heavenly. The smoothness and richness of the flavors in this glass just did it for me and I wouldn’t hesitate for an instant to try it again this way. What a treat!

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/29/2016. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, plum, licorice, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, raisin, plum, licorice, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Good amount of herbal/pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a nice roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Fair amount of dryness from roasted bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic American stout style. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Oxford Suites hotel in Portland. Really dark stuff. It's a Guiness black color, but a very different kind of brew. Some beige foam in the pint shaker. Spritzy mouthfeel. Some blackened grain flavors along with the warm, roasted malt. The sweet malt a thoroughly mellow base with the charred barley providing a pleasant balance.

This seems like a pedestrian dark beer at first sip, but it grows on you. Extremely drinkable with a lot of fat malty flavors. I'll have to get a six of the bottles. This seems like a flavorful, easy to drink brew to have around.

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Photo of chinchill
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with best by date of 30 Sept. 2013.
Pour is black (obsidian) with only a hint of dark bown at the edges. Opaque, even in bright light. Creamy tan head has moderat retention and leaves bands of sticky lacing.
Aroma: sweet and dark roasted malts
Flavor: Sweet up front, mildly bitter by the finish. Loads of dark roasted grain flavor. With hints of dried plums, dark chocolate, and coffee. Very slight burnt toast component.
M: Full body; medium carbonation. Approaches 5.
O: A excellent, robust stout.

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

Obsidian. The liquid is a black hole that allows a few stray photons to create weak, deep garnet highlights at the base of the pint glass. The head is impressive. Light chocolate brown in color, Bighuge in size and more stiff and sticky than most. It's more craggy than rocky as it falls and leaves a great deal of spackle-like lace on the inside of my glass.

There's plenty of roastedness in the nose, but this is no one trick pony. The heavily flambed black malt is leavened by semi-sweet chocolate and glorious hops. The beer does not let me down on the palate, not even close. Obsidian oozes black malt flavor that borders on charred astringency without quite getting there.

Chocolate appears to have faded a bit, but in its place is a pleasant smokiness and a citric hoppiness. Coffee notes emerge on a finish that is increasingly bitter and parched tongue dry. The body/mouthfeel is full and smooth with very little actual chewiness.

Obsidian Stout is a classic. Amazing appearance, flavor to spare, malt and hops enough for all-comers and a body big enough to suit me; no easy task. I do believe this is Deschutes best beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a medium-sized foamy brown head that fades slowly and leaves thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich with chocolate, coffee and roasted malt.

T: Smooth and creamy flavors of coffee and dark chocolate come out first, followed by a touch of hops. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling for a stout, this is one of those beers that can be both a good sipper and a good pounder.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on nitro-tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured into a pint glass jet black with a small, dense, tan nitro head. Very clean aroma, infused with espresso and roasty malts. Roasty, roasty taste, coffee, dark chocoate, more roastiness, almost burnt, but not quite. Silky and uh, roasty, with a coffee-bitter dry finish. Full body and quite drinkable.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,730 ratings.
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