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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,116 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,116
Ratings:
3,763
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
17.58%
 
 
Wants:
561
Gots:
774
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,116 | Ratings: 3,763
Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a pitch black as night, dark oil like liquid. Huge tan head had a very very slow fade and left lots of lace all the way down the glass. Looked just like a stout should look....thick.

S - Smell was very robust, deep roasted coffee and dark german chocolate. Hints of a sugary or caramel sweetness as well.

M & T - Taste was very thick and complex. Big deep roasted flavor, almost a burnt taste to it. Lots of flavors of coffee and german dark chocolate. Cery thick feel, but not syrupy, great carbonation led to a great silk like feel. Nice big hoppy finish left a very long lingering burnt aroma, I could literally taste it for 20 mins after the last sip, very outstanding full flavor.

D - Overall this was awesome, the perfect desset beer as a good stout should always be. I found no hint at all of any alcohol, nothing but great aromas and flavors. Very robust, full of complex suprises in flavor and taste. An all around great brew. Definatly lived up to its reputation.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours "obsidian" black with a nice full finger mocha head, really sticky on the sides of the glass.
Rich roasted barley smell with a smokey edge, dark chocolate, burnt toffee, roasted coffee bean, light caramel. Some dark licorice and a really really faint whiff of citrus.
Wow, what a great taste! Rich roasted malts, grainy, bready, with a really authentic smokiness, feels like nice bread that's been left on a countryside bakestone for a few minutes too long. Nice chocolate to go with it, sweet with caramel and light toffee, a tiny bit fresh with some lemon zest, reeeaaally subtle. Hint of vanilla, dark licorice and burnt wood. Heavily roasted finish, but not ashy (as they usually are), which is really nice.
Long finish, the rich roasted malts heading to the aftertaste, with some coffee bean hints and cocoa. Medium body, smooth carbonation.
Wow, what a wonderful stout, just so damn tasty and rich in flavor!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle w/ freshness date into my Caracole snifter at 50 degrees.

A - Deep black as the name obsidian implies, w/ a full rocky, 3 1/2 finger tan head. The lacing is splendid - a marvelous looking ale! 4.5

S - An abundance of richness in the roasted, malty odors. Sweet vanilla and cream w/ light graham cracker scents. 4

M - Rich, creamy, dry and spiced w/ citrus hops fully riding it to the finish. Plenty of carbonation, but still restrained enough to let the malts do their business. 4.5

T - Love the malt profile. Malt is the king of Obsidian stout. The knights of citrus hops are on guard. They are so strong and yet don't need to speak, the dominance is evident. A sweetness that is conservatively utilized- the roasted coffee taste is dominant w/ plenty of citrus to keep exquisitely balanced. 4.5

D - This is a fine west coast stout. The cocoa-like dry nature makes it one to drink more than one of at a sitting. Smooth, but interesting w/ attention given to the citric NW hop in the finish. Definitely a stout in a class of its own. Drinkable doesn't begin to describe it - you will try to lick the glass clean it is so smooth. 5

It has been since '07 since I had one of these so I thought I might update my review
enjoyed chilled from a twelve oz in a goblet.
The color is onyx opaque with thick medium tan head with very fine bead -4.25
The aroam is fruity with light hint of raisin and slight spice element with moderate cocoa scent and mild coffee with hint of citrus rind - 4.75
The feel is exemplary with mild roast and full body with moderately high carbonation with slightly full body with creamy and roasty textures overlapping and finishing bitter and dry yet still nuanced enough to elicit an inquisitive stare 4.25
This stout has always been a sort of ale that I put a pedestal as a stout fan after visiting the PNW region for the first time, but I have to say the taste still stands the test of time, unlike other 'American stouts, this still has the qualities in the flavor you expect -chocolate malt with a subtle caramel underpinning and decent amount of bitterness to finish. 4.5
This is not only a beer I am ecstatic to not have to travel to get, but is also worth waiting for. Overall I consider this extremely high in the realm of American Stouts -it is tasty yet still delivers not just in flavor but in authenticity - an American original, the best I have tasted. 5
i am so happy Deschutes has made the choice to distribute to PA, not only is it great to have beer that brought me to the craft movement, but it is still is of the same quality as when I first enjoyed it almott two decades ago.

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Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick brown bubbly head that quickly drops off to a rather thin head and a little lacing. Thick black body with tiny beads of gas floating to the surface from beggining to end

Smell: Roasted grain and coffee aroma up front with alcohol and slight hints of vanilla

Taste: Rich maltiness and a grainy bitterness compete for attention at first, the an alcohol flavor. Dry with a hint of wood taste. Bitter finish on the tounge

Mouthfeel: Smooth,slick and perfectly carbonated

Good easy drinking stout

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Photo of Jason
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a simple yet inviting label, purchase before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Black as night with a huge frothy rocky tan head that sticks all over.

Smell: A good whiff of roasted barley with some sweetness and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy with a malt sweetness up-front that is cut quickly by the bittering acidic burnt twang of the roasted barley which lingers for a while. Some ripe fruit and over caramelized sugar flavour make their way to the taste buds. The hop bitterness is at par with the roasted barley. Espresso/French Roast coffee flavours appear midway and fade a little with the other roasted flavours.

Notes: This a big stout ... coming a little close to knocking on the Imperial Stout's door yet still a pleasing stout to the less traveled stout drinker. Perhaps one one of the best stouts brewed in the US. The work of a schooled brewer. Alc. by Vol. 6.75%.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

My 500th review! [insert loud, slow exhalation/fake crowd cheer here] The beer pours a verrrry slightly translucent deept brown, highlighted in dark garnet, topped by a relatively short-lived finger of light ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises deep chocolate, molasses, caramelized sugar, dark roasted malts, and a vague background sense of roasted marshmallows. The taste focuses on the roastier notes, though the molasses and newcomer and cousin maple syrup lead an attempted and vain coup on behalf of the sweeter notes. A touch of smoke finds its way into the finish. The body verges on a heavy medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth and somewhat thin feel. Overall, a more-than-solid stout, one that I could easily see myself drinking on a regular basis, if possible.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep brown, almost black, with a tan 1.5 finger foamy head. Moderate retention, reducing to a thin layer of foam on top. Impressive sheets of lacing down the sides.

S: Nice aroma with milk chocolate, roasted malt, and a little bit of coffee and mocha.

T: Nice roasty malt, creamy milk chocolate with a slight hint of mocha, not coffee on the flavor profile, which makes me happy.

M: Smooth and very creamy. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Really enjoyed this one. Solid flavors, live the milk chocolate. Easy drinking. Need more Deschutes!

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Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a big inch plus head filling the rest of the glass. Right after the pour it's already leaving a thick lacing all over the edges of the glass. The lacing continued and ended up looking like a thick spider web all over the glass.

The aroma shows a good mix of coffee and chocolate to it. it's very smooth and balanced with both sweet and bitter flavors coming through. Very nice aroma for a stout.

The taste is fantastic. It has a great mix of bold stout flavors to it. A big bitter-sweet chocolate flavor turns into more of a burnt and roasted flavor through the finish. Coffee, chocolate, burnt, bitter, sweet, all come through at some point. Excellent flavor overall and just as much flavor as some stouts twice the abv.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. It's a great tasting and very flavorful stout. What really impresses me is just how flavorful it is for being below 7% alcohol. This is better then the majority of imperial stouts out there. Fantastic beer overall and would definitely be a regular purchase if that was possible in this area.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 6/5/10 notes. Had at SAVOR in DC.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee.

t - Taste follows the nose; lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Hints of dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth.

d - A nice stout. Great chocolate smell and taste, would try again.

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

Really dark brown color with brown head. Aroma has dark malt, brown sugar and a good dose of hops. Taste starts with dark sugar, roasted malt and bakers chocolate. Body is quite thin for a stout, carbonation is medium. Overall it's a good stout but nothing to remember.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer is opaque, dark brown nearing black. The beige head is thick and massive, coating the glass with a thick sheet of lacing as it slowly recedes. The aroma really inviting dark roast, coffee, chocolate. Ooh. I can already see why this is so highly rated. The flavor brings a heavy dose of roast with a splash of coffee. The finish brings a hop bitterness that melds beautifully with the charred roast character. Long lasting aftertaste. A solid beer. If this were in my market, I would keep it around all year.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deschutes has come to PA at last and naturally, The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop was the one to make this (and others) available to me.

From the bottle: "Give into the deep, dark spell as the layers unfold."; "Like the plot of some eerie mystery you can't put down."; "Created for explorers everywhere since 1988"; "Deep, robust and richly rewarding, roasted malt and black barley give way to notes of chocolate and espresso. Smooth and black as the glassy volcanic rock fields it's named for."

Once again, a heavy-handed, aggro pour caused a pseudo-cascade as three-plus fingers of dense, deep-tan head formed with excellent retention and everything went on hold until it settled. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Obsidian, indeed! As the initial head settled, I continued my pour and now it looked like a muffin top protruding from the glass. Will this head ever subside? The nose smelled like Devil's Food cake - rich, chocolaty, slightly smoky, underlain by a coffee-like odor. It smelled like a birthday cake that I had when I was really young, like 5 y/o, chocolate with purple icing. Dig that! I was obsessed with purple when I was really young and my cake played into it. Mouthfeel was big, dense and creamy and the chocolate cake was having espresso as a chaser. Phew. You had better really like those kinds of intense flavors in combination with one another and since I am the king of intensity, it was right up my alley. Beautiful lacing began to form as I drank so I sat back and watched it do its thing while taking a contemplative moment for myself. Finish was exceptionally smooth. I had drank down almost half of it without a second thought. At 6.4% ABV, this would be a great beer to get people interested in the style who may be put off by dark-colored beers.

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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 RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I'll step out and say that this is the first time I've had a stout off of a nitro line that was this good. Spicy almost oat tones on this one. Very hearty, yet not overly thick malt tones that make up the backbone of this stout. Very consistent and very well executed. This should be a standard for stouts.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. This brew appears black in color with a finger of creamy tan head that holds quite well across the top and leaves a webbing of lace along the glassware. Large sized bubbles rise to the surface in support of the ring of head that holds close to the edge of the glass. A swirl reforms a finger of head back to the top.

The aroma of this brew is a mixture of fresh grain and some oat-like character and sweetness. There is a bit of a mineral aspect present that blends into citrus and fruity hops. Chocolate brings up the back.

The taste of this brew is clean and roasty with a bitterness that seemingly comes from the roastiness of the grain and not the hops even though there are hop characteristics present in the nose and a bit in the flavor. It lingers in the mouth with a crisp roasty quality with a touch of minerals mixed with citrus hops. The roast imparts a flavor of coffee across the back and into the finish.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that is modestly carbonated and smooth in the feel. It is easy drinking and a fairly solid representation of the style. Nothing flashy or showy about this beer, it is just done to style and it is done well. For more than 6% abv, it is hidden quite well.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a roasty chocolaty affair with some dried fruit and a touch of hop aroma for good measure. Taste follows the smell, but lingers with a bit of ash in the finish. Full body, creamy texture, ample carbonation. If not for the ash in the finish I'd love this beer. As is its still good, just not spectacular.

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Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that descends to a patchy cover. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, ashy, earthy.

The taste is of roasted coffee, caramel/toffee, and chocolate, some anise. Wonderful roasted malt complexity. Smokiness and a bitter bite keep sweetness well-balanced. Finishes semi-dry.

Medium-to-full bodied.

This is a lovely American stout - nice mix of dark maltiness, smokiness and bitterness.

Try this with some lightly charred grilled steak.

Another great brew from a, so far, impressive brewery! Thanks again, Bill!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Best before Oct 16th 2011, we are good to go!

Super dark brown head off the pour and foamy bubbles, very large though and seem to be darker on the perimeter. Body color is a solid dark black/brown walnut, can't see a dang thing through it. Minimal lacing, I really love this head color and form.

Big airy malted dry grain off the nose, and a nice small milk chocolate. Very malt forwarded and even a little yeast like sour in character. Pretty unique I'd say.

Roast and lingering roast. Roast meats and carbon, roast char and charred but not totally blackened malts in the taste. A great lingering finish with a simple but good mouthfeel that is not thick but also not wet either somewhere in between. Just great. Love this beers finish and aftertaste!

Overall I am craving grilled meats with this beer like crazy and I can just pick the carbon out of my teeth with it too. It just goes to show for me that this brewery hardly ever disappoints me.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly pitch black color, and an impressive, towering, flowering cocoa-tan head that maintains it's majesty for some time before tumbling down.

Aroma: deep, rich, roasty, bitter, and invigorating.

Taste: remarkably flavorful, mouth-filling, and complex. Warm, tingling, tantalizing. This one feels good in the mouth, and slips down remarkably easy. Puts me in mind of an oatmeal stout, but I'm not sure it is one.Long, lovely, lively finish.

A very impressive, solid, satisfying stout, this one. I find myself scratching at the roof of my brain trying to find new, further ways to describe it's excellence.
If I lived in Oregon, this would get a lot of business from me!

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Photo of vfgccp
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Like the name, the body is a straight obsidian black with a cola halo highlight. Creamy mocha head with nice retention and lace.

S - Somewhat one dimensional nose of medium roast grains. What's there is nice though.

T - Straight forward profile loaded with smooth, creamy roast malt. Touch of char, cream, and caramel.

M - Thick, smooth, medium body.

O - Delicious, simple, well executed. One of the better American Stouts I've had.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at 515 Kitchen & Cocktails. Served in a giant snifter.

A - Beautiful looking pour of a beautiful looking beer. A few fingers of persistent tan foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves behind glass-coating lace. Pitch black body. Not sure what else you could expect here.

S - Lots of cocoa, light coffee, a bit of smoke, roasted and charred malts. I think the nitro has muted the smell a touch. This is on the dryer side of things, and isn't overly sweet.

T - Taste contains the same collection of flavors, but with different proportions - light smoke, roasted barley malt, touches of milk chocolate and coffee. Finishes with a combination of roasty and hop bitterness.

M - Soft body, low carbonation. Perhaps a bit thin for 6.4% but otherwise pretty much what you'd expect from a nitro pour of an American Stout.

D - With the low carbonation, smooth body, and well-hidden alcohol, this is one stout you could drink all night long. I wish the flavor and nose popped a little more, but otherwise it's very delicious.

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

The Obsidian Stout is quite nice. The beer poured an opaque black with ecru lacing that is leaving some lace. The scent carries roast, coffee and a touch of peat. The taste has caramel, chocolate, roast and coffee. The mouthfeel is medium un body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great session stout. I will definitely keep this one on the radar screen.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with a creamy, tan, halo of head. Nose of rich coffee and cocoa nib. Smooth and rich. Flavors are rich chocolate and roasted coffee forward, with a smooth cream overlay. Very rich and roasted throughout. Smooth, creamy body, with a mocha coffee aftertaste. The finish is slow, smooth, and creamy. This is a great beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guess what. I am finishing the top 100 with this unremarkable stout. Poured into a bruery tulip. Beer is black with a thick brown head of medium and small bubbles that leaves a lot if lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mild and ashy with a lot of burnt roast.

Beer is medium in body with minimal forward sweetness with nice back palate bitterness from the roasted grain. Drinkability really nice and mouthfeel ok. It's simple, one nite, relatively standard beer but quite decent.

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

08/20/05- Purchased at Andronico's Market in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12oz undated bottle. Poured into my Hangtown Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Black as obsidian pour with a 1/2 inch dirty brown head and very light lace.

Smell- Very roasty smell with maybe a touch of dark chocolate. You really have to get your nose in there and take a few good whiffs to detect anything.

Taste- This bad boy is one of the darkest stouts I have ever tasted. Kinda like sucking on some charcoal without the lighter fluid flavoring. Kind of a woody taste as well. You get a really quick hit of sweetness and then it turns to a nice bitter and burnt flavor. A nice amount of smoke as well.

Mouthfeel- A bit overly carbonated for a stout, but not too bad. Not really the thickness of an upper notch stout as well.

Drinkability- A very easy drinking stout. If you like your stouts dark, grab one of these.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,763 ratings.
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