Obsidian Stout
Deschutes Brewery

Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
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American Stout
Ranked #10
Ranked #1,421
4.21 | pDev: 9.5%
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
Notes: Deep, robust and richly rewarding, this is beer to linger over. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley, with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.

IBUs: 55

220 calories per 12 oz serving
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Reviews: 1,196 | Ratings: 4,078
Photo of UncleFrank
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a thick oil black with a brown head. The head lasts and lasts. The aroma is high with roasted notes and sweet malts roasted over burnt wood. There is a bit of coffee aroma as well. Very interesting.
The body is thick and chewy, leaving the insides of my cheeks covered with a slick malty taste that mingles with the roasted grains on the middle of my tongue. A touch of sweet chocolate is evident and is followed by a flavor of dark grain bread, like a rye or pumpernickel. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but reminds me of that. Like a new coffee flavor. Very complex.
The finish is slightly bitter without being overly astringent. The re is no hop or alcohol taste at all and yet this beer weighs in at over 6 percent.
Wow, this could be my new favorite Stout. Complex, tasty, and a limited supply in this area make me want to savor this beer. Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This reminded me a lot of Shakespeare Stout, and it's almost as good. Extremely dark brown body (not quite "obsidian" black), with a light brown head. Smell is rich raisiny malts, chocolate rum ice cream, and alcohol. Taste starts with peat-soaked roasted malts, a touch of sweetness, balanced nicely with some hops. Finish is chocolate bitter with lingering burnt fruit. Another big and chewy stout.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black as night, this one is. Even the monstrous, lacing, pitting head is super-dark.

Smell – Oh, man, does this have a wonderful aroma. If you’re a stout drinker, you will love the smells coming out of this beer. The burnt, toasty malt is infused with a powerful maple/molasses mixture that’ll knock your socks off. The pure cane and raw sugars turn this into a gorgeous, deep, strong stout.

Taste – Things really smooth out in the taste. The sweetness comes out more at this point. There seems to be a fruity compliment here, maybe cherries dipped in chocolate, and something a little lighter (apricots, maybe). The burnt bread carries the day, though.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very creamy. This one is smooth, smooth, smooth, which seems to be a signature of the brewery. It is bigger than medium-bodied but not full.

Drinkability – I’ve sampled a few terrific beers from this brewery, but this one takes the cake.

Update – This was one of my earlier reviews on the site. Now having been a member for over a year and having tasted over 1,000 beers (over 100 stouts alone) I thought I would revisit this fella in 2004. I’ll be damned, this is one good stout. I stand by my initial rating. This is one of the best stout buys on the planet.

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Photo of Zraly
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head that goes afloat. Warms smells of roasted and toasted malts accompanied by a note of smoke. Appears to be full and inviting.

A nice, chewy stout that is creamy, full-bodied, and is bitterly smooth. (The liquid, alcoholic tootsie roll?) Flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, smoke, and sugar. The sweetness and texture reminds me of making chocolate milk from powder. The bitterness is pleasant, much in the vein of having a shot of espresso.

This is a highly accessible stout. If you appreciate a well-crafted brew, try it...regardless of your care for stouts.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Black color, medium creamy head. Nice pour. Deeply roasted malts, slightly hoppy. Full flavored and full bodied stout. Very smooth taste, pronounced chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: obsidian black (no surprise!) with a dense dark-tan head, a bevy of bigger bubbles suspended in the head as well, a few threads of lace stragglers

Aroma: deep notes of coffee and dark chocolate, a touch of malt, slight vegetal (roots?) quality in the background

Flavor: roasty tang initially, then a mellow rich sweetness creeps in, fade back to tangy right before a substantially bitter finish, the bitterness and that strange root quality linger in the aftertaste, a bit smoky

Mouthfeel: full and chewy, fine carbonation, some alcohol warmth, tiny bit astringent

Overall Impression: Good stout, but the bitterness is a bit too aggressive for me. According to the notch in the label, this bottle is just past the best-by date. With that in mind, that root-like flavor and aroma might be a product of age and/or oxidation.

*As my sample warmed, the flavor changed quite a bit. It was much sweeter and that overt bitterness stepped back a few paces. While I initially rated the beer at 3.2, I have now adjusted the score to reflect my opinion. Much better if you drink it at 55 F or above. Would love to try it on tap or cask!

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

Black in color with a brown head.
Aroma of heavily roasted malt. Notes of bitter chocolate and mild coffee.

Taste follows aroma and is big in the heavily roasted malt department. A MILD coffee flavor with just a hint of smoke. Hops are there only to balance and don't make much of a statement.

Good, full-bodied mouthfeel.
Very drinkable for a 6.7% ABV stout.

Overall, this is one of the better stouts out there. An enjoyable beer. Give this one a try if you can.

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

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

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

The most beauteous thing in the world is“Stout” setting in its “Chalice”, that magnificent ebony color crowned by a thick head all chocolate brown, frothy and the left over lace a nice sealing sheet upon the glass. Nose has the delightful aroma of toasted grains, Starbucks coffee and bittersweet chocolate, sweet and inviting, as is the malt-laden start with the top thick and chewy. Finish has a spicy hop bite, moderately acidic, bittersweet chocolate dry and a real treat to the palate and a top notch “Stout” in my book.

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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.

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

Tasted at the brewery.

While this stout doesn't compete with the massive Brooklyn Chocolate Stout or other Imperial Stouts, it is none the less a serious, huge beer. And like the Chocolate Stout, this is, IMHO, an example of an excellent beer-maker at work - one of the top US brewed stouts.
First pour reveals a completely opaque black stout with a truly massive and almost gummy head. Initial aroma is heavy on the roasted barley and alchohol (perhaps the least pleasing attribute). Initial taste is one of both cream and sugar, blending smoothly into the roasted barley, fruit and (now balanced) citric bite of the alchohol. The aftertaste begins with the appearance of a nice burnt coffee flavour and integrates the subtle hops bitterness into the sugars and cream to leave a long, lingering finish.
A very fine beer. Dramatically superior to the bottled version.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring this stout was so dark brown that it could almost pass as black. Not a lot of foam but nice lace on the glass. The smell was of a sweet malty chocolate, with a hint of fruit. The taste was a bitter/sweet choclate with a grainy malt flavor, with just a touch of smoke. After drinking this stout, the after taste stays on the palate with a bitter/sweet sensation on the tongue. The after taste just stays on and on and on! What a pleasant surprise!

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

Nice black color and a foamy tan head that left real nice lace. This stout had a nice roasted smoky taste. Good solid stout that can become a regular in one's repotoire. I enjoyed this with some lamb sausage, ground beef, baked potato and some sourdough bread. Great for a cold evening.

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Photo of DerKaiser
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As the name implies, Obsidian is a jet-black stout. Pours with a nice creamy, tan head.

Nice roasted malts up front, with delicious semi-sweet chocolate flavors. It has a slight alcohol warmth at the end that brings up some espresso flavors. A really filling beer with loads of taste.

I was given one these once in college and it was my introduction to the world of quality stouts. It's still one of my favorites. A great beer from one of the country's best breweries.

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Photo of ZAP
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a treat this one is!!! Man I love good stouts!!! This has is jet black in color with the smallest of lace around the edges...a nice burnt roast malt on the nose along with some soft java notes...a sweet creamy texture in the mouth...full bodied...great roasted malt flavor with a sweet finish...hops are unnoticable...very easy drinking stout with some character....one of the better ones available..

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

The bottle says this beer is as black as the volcanic obsidian rock for which it is named. I don't see it as quite that dark as some rays of light do indeed get through this brew. (Bring on the spectrophotometer!) It IS very close to black however. It has a nice creamy brown head that laces the glass very nicely as I drink. Very nice coffee and mocha on the nose. This beer tastes wonderful. Beautiful coffee bean and chocolate tones present. A nice subdued bitterness coming from the roasted malt. Smooth and velvety. This is truly a great stout.

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Photo of jreitman
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Brown w/ thin brown head. Burnt coffee aromas present. Solid hop bitterness with burnt malt and coffee undertones. Sweet start with a bitter/sweet finish. Originally, I was thinking an overall score of about 3.5, but as I tasted more it grew on me.

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Photo of beernut7
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is teh first American stout I ever had. It has a great thick body, higer alcohol content, nice creamy head and great roasted flavor from the heavy dark malts. This one'll keep you warm at night.

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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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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 4078 ratings