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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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1,116 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 6.4%
IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-07-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,116 | Ratings: 3,763
Photo of jayfarley3
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 a pint glass. Poured a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head. Smells of roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes of coffee, roasted malts and chocolate with a nice balance of hops. Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied. This is very good stout, I would recommend this to anybody.

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Photo of kdoc8
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was part of the I'm Bored Tonight Stout-Off, up against Rogue's Imperial Stout and Bell's Expedition Stout. Pours a deep black with hints of red when swirled. A thin bubbly, tan head forms and then recedes fairly quickly, but leaves a nice bit of lacing behind. The smell is mainly of chocolate, but a dark cocoa kind of chocolate and some whiff of alcohol to it - a roasty, but not smoky, smell. It has a bubbly mouthfeel and goes down nice and easy with a nice roasty-coffee aftertaste. Up front, I don't taste any bitterness and most of the taste is in the aftertaste. Good stuff!

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into standard pint glass. served at fridge temp.

A: Black as black can be with a 2 finger dark tan head that is cloud fluffy and leaves phenomenal lacing. BEAUTIFUL.

S: Dark coffee and sweet roasted barley. Fresh smelling instead of the strong almost dank smell of most stouts. Hops come through perfectly. Best smelling beer I have encountered.

T: WOW! Opens with bittersweet chocolate then fades into that dark coffee. Sweetness from the malt washes over the palate before the back of the tongue is hit with a hefty hop bitterness. Leaves a wonderful roasty aftertaste. This is delicious.

M: At fridge temp it is medium body that is just light enough to invite you back for another drink but hefty enough to say "I'm a stout!" Smooth.

O: Great stout. Not heavy handed in any direction, superb balance. Another huge score for Deschutes. This is now tied with Ninkai's Oatis Oatmeal Stout as my new go to stout. This beer rocks.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Milky chocolate brown head floating on top of total blackness. I stuck a cop-sized Maglite behind the pint and nothing. Smell is pretty mild with a hint of roasted coffee beans and malt.

Taste is rich and chewy and very much roasted malt and a bit of semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Not much hop flavor but the malts aren't too heavy either. Smooth finish with bitter coffee aftertaste, goes down really easy though, especially good on a cold windy day. Somewhat one-dimensional, but a great dimension I wish I could visit more often.

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Photo of BDJake
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- super dark brownish black, with little head or retention

S- roasted coffee up front, with bitter dark chocolate and rich dark malts

T- much like the smell, but even more amplified as it warms up, with a nice touch of hoppiness in the finish

M- medium gravity, coating your tongue well, with a dry and bitter finish

D- a very sessionable everyday stout from a solid brewery most well known for it's juggernaut imperial stout

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Perfectly dark thank god it's not as cola flavored as the black butte but there is still quite a bit of cola flavor lol wtf deschutes imagine it'd go good with over cooked hash browns fried eggs and sausages

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Photo of T100Mark
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Black as used motor oil. Dense, tan, foamy head. Big stickage. Handsome.

Smell - Chocolate. Booze.

Taste - Chocolate. Espresso. Malt. Alcohol. A bit sweet. The afore-mentioned flavors are prominent but the hops play an important role, too.

Mouth - Fizzy. Bitter. Wow!

Overall - This is one big, ballsy brew. Delicious! Not for the timid. Like Sierra Nevada, Deschutes can do no wrong.

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

12oz bottle with best before date of 9/19/11, poured into snifter, reviewed on 4/6/11

A: This isn't called obsidian for nothing. Pours jet black with fluffy tan head that fades into a thin film which leaves lots of nice lacing around glass. Can barely make out a dark brown shade when tilted in the light.

S: Smells great! Lots of dark malt and roasted barley hits the nose with notes of coffee and some chocolate. A touch of dark fruit, alcohol and the slightest apple smell in there as well. No real hop aroma to speak of, no complaints over here.

T: Delicious, sweet and roasty from the malt with enough hops to balance it out perfectly.Very smooth and finishes with hints of chocolate and a touch of coffee, awesome.

M: Nice medium body, smooth from start to finish. Good carbonation level for a stout, just enough to leave a slight tingle on my tongue.

O: For an off the shelf stout this just about as good as it gets around here. Delicious, great roasty taste and nice body. Drinkability is awesome for the 6.4% ABV. This is as flavorful as most imperial stouts, just not as thick. I could easily go through a 6 pack of this if I felt like it. Deschutes really nailed it with this one!

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

12 oz bottle boured into (512) wine glass.

very dark brown, opaque, no light through it. 1/2" head fades quick, leaves ring and a couple yeasty circles on top. (May have not poured carefully enough). Too dark and not clear enough to tell about carbonation.

Nose is full of bittersweet chocolate, malts, sweet dark fruit esters. Very alluring.

Surprisingly hop forward. This wasn't detectable on the nose at all. Sweet finish of molasses and licorice. Reminds me of a relative of the BB porter.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky. Lingers with that thick hoppy stout feel.

Overall, I think I was expecting more of this one, but delightful enough. Just no.... bang!

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went with an English pint glass on this one, as my first attempt in a goblet just didn't feel right. This stuff is black - can't see through it. That's after you get past the gigantic head it pours with, which still looks like melting ice cream even after five minutes or so.

Pretty easily discernable in the nose is chocolate and coffee, and then there is some caramel and also some kind of mineraly aroma beneath that. Very nice! Flavors are quite nice, heavy on the chocolate/coffee, and then maybe some herbal flavor. The alcohol is apparent, and as expected, has a thick, hardy mouthfeel with a long, spicy finish. Yum.

I like this one. I haven't been in the mood for stouts lately but I've been waiting for this one to make it to my local beer store and had to try it. I would get it again, but probably in the fall or winter. It's a pretty stout stout and would be perfect with some roast beef or even turkey.

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Photo of 321jeff
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black with two fingers of mocha colored head. Leaves some nice sticky lacing as it fades to a thin layer.

Aroma is fairly mild yet complex. A nice mix of chocolate, coffee, some molasses and what seems to be a citrus hop profile as well.

Taste begins with some chocolate up from and moves on to some bitter roast coffee and some molasses. There is also a very slight citrus sweetness in the background. Great flavor, balanced and consistent.

Fairly thick in body with plenty of prickly carbonation. Very smooth all the way through. Overall, a very well balanced and enjoyable stout that I would love to make a part of my regular rotation. Definitely lives up to the hype of being one of the best stouts out there.

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Photo of JTahoe
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown bottle with drink-by date.

A - Aptly named obsidian black with one finger rocky tan head settling down to a creamy cap. Sticky lacing clings to the glass in wild organic patterns.

S - Roasty and toasty grains.

T - A smooth mélange of melding and weaving flavors without any one dominating; deep roasted barley, perfectly bittering hops, caramelized sugar, baking chocolate, juicy fruit, rich malt, and as delicate a charred flavor as was ever created. There is a faint sweetness contrasted with a vivid and pleasing acidity.

M - Velvety and full, but without heaviness. Beguilingly effervescent. A nice spicy dryness develops in the finish.

D - Impressive and satisfying, this stout walks the fine line of subtle and flavorful just beautifully.

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Photo of brian44556
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Bell's Pint Glass. Best by date is 3/23/11. It has been refrigerated at about 45 degrees since I received so I think it will be just fine.

Poured a pitch black with a frothy, chocolate head. The head floated on top of the beer for a very long time. Great lacing left around the sides of the glass. Smell notes of strong espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. Wow....great coffee taste, Hersey Kiss flavored chocolate, with a backbone of peanut butter. Mouthful is crisp, carbonation is spot on, but the beer seems to be a little on the thin side, but every other aspect of the beer makes up for it. Overall an amazing American Stout. Can't remember who sent this as an extra, but I owe them one! It is a shame we can't purchase Deschutes around here or this would be a staple beer in the fridge.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to johnhenryconway for this brew.

A - Pours a black opaque color with a tan froth about 1" thick. A thick ring remains and the froth sticks to the glass like a melted marshmallow.

S - Coffee and roasted malts with some hints of nut in there as well. A nice roasted scent.

T - Slightly bitter malts roasted with a nutty finish.

M - Medium carbonation with a slightly bitter finish.

O - Not a bad stout. Would definitely have more.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian Stout into pint

Decanted pour is densely black with a thich beige head that tracks big
sticky webbing on the way down.

Nose is dominated by roasted grain, French roast coffee, and citrus.
It smells very roasty and bitter, walking the fine line of being
acrid, and its a touch smokey.

Starts off with a faint sweetness that is quickly run over by a clean
roasty bitterness, more French roast coffee, smoke, and a faint hop
citrus on the finish. The flavor is just intensely coffee focused.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a coarsely bubbled carbonation that
seems a bit rough.

Way easy to drink, with the abundant carbonation being the only
lackluster point. This is a well put together American stout that is
heavy enough to qualify for export strength.

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Photo of frankiepop
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I finally got a hold of the elusive Holy Grail of stouts from the west coast. It's hard to find this stout east of the Rockies. This stout is UBER BLACK with a tan persistent head with plenty of lacing. Obsidian is so black I cannot see any brown. No light seems to be able to pierce this stout. That is pretty cool so I rated the appearance high. The aroma is good nothing wrong but nothing outstanding. Smooth clean sweet stout fragrance.

Now taste: When Obsidean hits my tongue it comes on bitter and strong yet with a creamy hint of sweetness. The taste is more like a dark chocolate or maybe lightly sweetened or even unsweetened chocolate you buy for baking. I have had similar strong stouts, but they lingered with a bitterness that was gritty. However, Obsidian is strong filled with flavors but with a creamy smoothness that is really nice. BALANCED.

Lightly carbonated smoooth texture. I prefer other stouts that are sweeter so I downed the score just a bit for that personal finding.

In head to head comparison with Deschutes Black Butte Porter, the beers, I found the beers were very similar except the Obsidian has like a teaspoon of rich molasses & an extra shot of espresso added. Butte may be a little more refreshing for a summer, but the Obsidian finish is like a cold dry refreshing clean espresso expression to me that really lingers in a nice way. I also compared Obsidian to Well's Double Chocolate Stout. Wells is smoother, creamier, less carbonated & the double chocolate shows. Obsidians firey little bubbles & espresso finish separate widely. Sweet beer lovers will go with Wells.

Regardless of what I say this is a world class brew, just not my personal favorite. This is a black brew of deep strong black flavor that is well balanced. So what goes with this stout. Something strong black bold. James Brown - Live at the Apollo. Please Please Please! This is something that is inherent to black. Something white guys can't do.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a 4 color label. tan with a black oval in the center. within the oval is an illustration of a mountain, valley and a river running through black obsidian-like rock. 6.4% abv displayed along with a best by date of 11/24/05. the deschutes logo is on the neck label, and there is an explanation of the stout and what's behind the obsidian stout name.

appearance: very dark almost black with dark, dark brown highlights in a snifter glass. pours a nice rolling 2 inch dark tan head. laces very nicely.

smell: first sniff is alcohol, flowery hops, barley and some sweet chocolate. some coffee as well. very clean and hoppy for a stout. some fruit, maybe bananas after the beer warms.

taste: resiny coffee flavor. light dark chocolate and lightly bitter in the finish. there's a hint of caramel and dark fruits as the brew warms. lightly acidic. aftertaste is bitter mocha coffee.

mouthfeel: light to medium body, but a little lighter than i like. good carbonation and swallow. almost every sip finishes with a light resin on the tongue. i'm not a big fan of the french press mouthfeel.

drinkability: fairly drinkable and would make a decent session stout. alcohol is well masked. aftertaste keeps you drinking.

overall: not a bad stout. i have to thank waldowin for this brew in a trade. like i said before, this would make a decent session stout, but the mouthcoating resin may become anoying after a while. not overly complex, and i've had better, but you could do much worse. a recommended good try.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is as good as it gets for the style:

Pours espresso brown with a beautifully thick, rocky, mocha-colored head.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spot-on medium-low carbonation.

On both the nose and the taste buds, rich coffee and molasses are layered on full multigrain biscuit backbone. It's not enough to have "a lot of flavor;" a beer must have those flavors in proper proportion. Obsidian delivers on both counts spectacularly.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with an off-white nitro head.
Aroma dampened but there's a faint roasted coffee and chocolate on the nose.
Holy shit! An unexpected whallop of chocolate, roasted coffee followed by a nice hop bitterness. This is one of the most flavorful regular American stouts I've ever had, especially on nitro.
It's on nitrogen, what do you think?
This is a fantastic stout that I will seek out again.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%

Appearance - Pitch black, with a very nice foamy head, which laces glass the whole way down.

Smell - Very strong roasted smell, a hint of coffee and chocolate

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel, nice thick beer, smooth to drink, and I enjoy the foamy head that stayed throughout most of the beer.

Taste - Very strong roasted flavor. It does have nice coffee flavor as well. Lastly there is a small hint of chocolate but it was not very strong.

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

Poured this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured as dark as night with a brown head and good lacing.

S - Lots of burnt coffee, chocolate, and a bit of toffee.

T - This Stout made me a believer. Heavy on the malts, with wonderful coffee notes with caramel malt trailing behind.

M - Loved it! Great feel; dangerously smooth.

D - This is a absolute drinker for sure. Great flavor, buttery smooth and superb balance.

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

A- Pours a jet black with about an inch of brownish head, which quickly subsides to about 1 cm, and then really slowly diminishes.

S- a bit of yeast, and roasted coffee malt, touch of dark chocolate.

T- little bit of yeast but then straight into the roastiness, a dark chocolate and black coffee, strong roast flavours. finish is a smooth cocoa bitterness. very nice and well rounded.

M- creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. slight bitterness at the back of the mouth on the finish. pretty good length too.

D- pretty good. smooth, creamy, not a hint of 6.4 per cent. could easily have a couple of these.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pint serving of this at jack cannery bar in san francisco. black body, tan nitro induced head,. sheets and sheets of lacing.
smell is weak, not at all what i was expecting, but i have found that nitro taps have that effect on a beer, i am kinda tired of nitro taps btw.
taste is much better, hoppy for an american stout, huge malt flavor as well, dark viscous, truely the best non imperial stout i have ever had, i look forward to having this in the bottle form.

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

Poured from a bottle into a teku.

A - Beautiful dark murky brown/black. 1 finger tan/brown head.

S - Smoke, charcoal, barbecued wood, cacao, vanilla, brown sugar.

T - Smokey, charcoal, bitter chocolate, slightly sour.

M - Very creamy, perfect amount of carbonation, silky smooth.

O - A nice American Stout. Not overbearing, but hearty and tasty.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pitch black. Obsidian is a good name for this. Nice tan head. Smells of roasted coffee. Tastes like smokey roasted coffee. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Great stout in a 6 pack.

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