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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: 3,729
Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Poured into a snifter. Thanks, Darren.

A: An aggressive pour yielded a beautiful mocha one-finger head over a black body. The head whittled down to tiny bubbles and foam. Lacing was thick and curtain-y. 4.0

S: Leather, anise, smoked plums and licorice. Smokey goodness prevails. 4.25

T: Sweet, smokey and robust. Dark chocolate meets espresso. Dark fruit does a tango with caramel malts. A rich, smokey finish. 4.25

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation. Dry, thick; almost acidic. Frothy. 4.0

O: A heavenly stout. One I'm glad to finally get my mitts on. A tempting taste by the fireside or on the back porch at sunset. Recommended. 4.25

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

The beer pours a foamy brown head that takes a while to dissipate. The beer itself is an opaque and very dark brown color. The beer smell is a sweet dark chocolate with deeply roasted malts and cocoa. The beer taste is surprisingly different from the smell. The beer taste has a much stronger hop presence with a weaker Mexican dark chocolate and cocoa taste. The hop bitterness and chocolate mix rather well. The beer is heavy bodied, creamy, and thick. Overall, a pretty good stout and worth getting.

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Photo of HMTE
5/5  rDev +18.8%

If not best beer, top three. Sublime. I still have the label from my drive to Oregon (many others too)

I gotta say I may have drank more than my share of these.. sorry uncle!

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Photo of cbutova
4.17/5  rDev -1%

Reviewed at Big Meadow Campground, Shenandoah National Park, VA. Full notes taken.

A- Pitch black pour out of the bottle to a chalice. A dark mocha brown crown of cream tops the beer to over a finger with great retention and thick consistency. Massively thick sheet at the top followed by

S- Rich chocolate notes right off the top with big roast aromas as well. Dark fruits bring a bit of a truffle feel with earthy hops chiming in too.

T- For below 8% it delivers a lot of roast malty flavors. Thick dark chocolate and baking cocoa, darkly roasted cereal grains, coffee hints and slight caramel. Other notes of dark red fruits, raisin, earthy hops, slight citrus and pine hops.

MF- Medium to thick bodied with a fairly chewy, creamy texture. Roast bitterness lingers on the back end of a medium high carbonation. Quite smooth.

Packs a lot of punch for a standard Stout. Smooth and flavorful chocolate and roast richness with the convenience of only being 6.4%.

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Photo of macher0
4/5  rDev -5%

Bottle to tulip.

A: Very dark brown. Poured a 2-finger head that slowly retreats to an amber, frothy film.

S: Mild fragrance. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Minor hop bitterness blends nicely with major notes of dark roasted malts, coco, coffee, and chocolate. A slight sweetness prefaces the hop bitterness. Nicely balanced with a chocolaty finish.

M: Full body, slightly harsh (sometimes a down side of hops), moderate carbonation.

O: A very good imperial stout, especially for a year-round, mass-produced ale. Tons of flavor, but the finish is a minor setback.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really like stouts but I bought the sampler pack for the porter and this was the last I tried. It seems I saved the best for last.

A - Black color but still slightly clear. Light brown head with coarse bubbles and nice lacing.

S - Tremendous stout aroma with the traditional malt along with caramel/chocolate/roasty tones. All of the flavors swirl together seeming to create an invitation for you to smell it some more.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer is full of malty goodness that coats the palate with the chocolate and roasted characters that I was expecting. The flavor is strong with sweetness but is balanced with the coffee/roasted/burnt character that can hint on your palate after you swallow. Light bitterness is there but the overall flavors linger and make you wish you had a bigger glass. There is really no hop character but with all of the other flavors it isn't a bad thing here.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel, definitely not as high as a RIS. Light carbonation perfect for the style. The substantial body with a more moderate ABV makes this brew a delicious finishing beer.

Overall, this is probably one of the best "standard" american stouts you can get. I could understand someone wanting an imperial over this but it is a great beer and the best part is you have no qualms drinking more than a few and enjoying it longer since it is not >10% ABV. If you like darker beers you will most likely fall in love with this one. Will try to make a clone and hope it comes out half as good as this one is.

Glass- Stout glass (looks like a compromise between a tulip and a snifter)

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

Appearance: Nice black color with good light brown head with great lacing

Smell: Good roasted malts, with some sweetness to it

Taste: Good malt sweetness, with some bitterness from roasted malts, some fruitiness, nice earthy hops, a little bit of coffee

Mouthfeel: Full body, light carbonation, very smooth and creamy

Overall: This is a fantastic brew, definitely a must try for anyone who gets the opportunity

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Photo of Dan_Metcalf
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


I am not usually a fan of stouts. This is a extremely wonderful surprise and a absolutely WONDERFUL beer. I'm a hefe, witbeer, type of guy (but my tastes are changing, I recently tried a APA that I actually liked!)

With that being said, if you're wanting to try a stout, and are afraid to do so, this is the beer to try. It makes Guinness take like absolute trash. And I'm serious. It's like comparing Bud Light to a Belgian Trapist. A damn near perfect blend of hops and malts in this stout that is black as night. I held it up to a 100 watt bulb. ZERO light penetration. This beer is a black hole of good flavors, it sucks up all things wonderful you'd expect in a stout, and obliterates that bad.

The only thing (and this is truly minor) is its mouthfeel. I tend to like a stout a bit less "liquid"... when I think stout, I almost think I should be chewing the beer, not sipping it. My favorite beer for mouth feel is Köstritzer Schwarzbier.

If you're looking to venture out and try a stout, and you're a bit afraid to do so. Don't be afraid to try this stout. If you don't like this stout. You wont like ANY stouts.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a snifter, black as night and raises a persistent finger of khaki head

Smells of molasses, coffee, chocolate, smoke, and a bit of booze.

Really powerful stout considering it's not quite an RIS. Hints of dark fruit, cocoa, and finishes with an espresso note, lots of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is perfect, beautiful body and carb is perfect. Really creamy.

I expected this to be good, and was surprised by its quality. It's a perfectly crafted stout, and I wish I could drink it regularly (no distro nearby). Cheers!

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Photo of sheeley
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Incredible. Black as night with a great head and dark colored foam.
Smell: Exceptional. Notes of caramel, malts, and hazelnut. Taste/mouthfeel: Exceptional as well. Roasted malts and espresso with a rich, smooth flavor overall. I prefer this beer chilled; as it warms, it tends to become more bitter. One of my favorite beers so far.

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Photo of boogieman
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from the local liquor store. Poured into my beer glass at room temperature.

Appearance: pours a rich, dark, coffee brown with a 2-finger, mocha-colored head that lasted a long time. Left exquisite lacing around the glass.
Smell: toasted malt, coffee. Light hops, and a hint of dried fruit.
Taste: Quite bitter at first, and melding into a sweetness that then turns into a rich bitter aftertaste. some hops and sweet malt. It reminds me of a mocha. Rich, dark chocolate, with a strong coffeeness. A bit of vanilla. Somewhat woodsy, and a little bit of spiced citrus. I feel like it would have been a little more appetizing and refreshing if I had drank it cold. If/when I buy it again, I'll try it chilled.
Mouthfeel- some dryness. Very rich and creamy. leaves a shortlasting pleasant filmy residue around the mouth. Light carbonation.
Overall- definitely a good stout. I had somewhat of spicy/fruity undertone that wasn't my favorite, but it melds really well with the beer.

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Photo of REGreenBTRB
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very dark with a two finger, cinnamon-y head.

Smell: A nice blend of dark chocolate and coffee/espresso, along with lots of dark, roasted malt. To me, a little more coffee/espresso than anything. I also picked up on a little caramel.

Taste: Malt! Coffee with some dark chocolate on the back end. The dark chocolate lingers for quite some time. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, very drinkable. Medium body.

Overall: This is a wonderful stout with an abundance of flavor. It is very malty, and the dark chocolate and coffee compliment it well. I'll definitely be picking up some more of these in the future. Wonderful stout.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty infamous NON-imperial stout (!), this was actually a long-time want for me, glad to see this all over the place during a road trip last month. From a 6-pack purchased...somewhere on the west coast I think. Best by date of 11/1/14.

Appearance - Black pour, tan head, good retention and some lace left.

Smell - Big but balanced unsweetened dark chocolate and roasted malt, leaning moreso towards roast/charred malt. Some coffee-ish notes and hoppiness.

Taste - Roasted malt, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, decent dose of piny hop bitterness, bits of dark fruit. Definitely a 'dark malt' bomb, probably even less sweetness than the nose, leans towards smoky.

Mouthfeel - Nice, not too hefty, highish carbonation, kinda rough with all the bitterness/roast but in a good way. Still feels like kind of a monster despite the lowish ABV.

Overall - Good stuff, though it pretty much drinks like an imperial stout. A dense and straightforward roast-forward/chocolate flavor for a lower-ABV stout done well, always nice.

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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 vr1000
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hints of coffee, beautiful color, smooth and creamy. Just delightful! I love the thickness, and the mouthfeel of this stout. I very much enjoyed the creaminess and the full bodied taste. This beer is highly rated for a reason, it is fantastic. Try it if you get a chance!

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow - this is a knock your socks off american stout. Pours pitch black with a brown mocha head. Smells of dark chocolate, vanilla, raisins - very nice nose on this.Rich and smooth mouth feel - velvety. Flavor follows the nose - chocolate, vanilla, oaky, rich and robust. Nice semi bitter finish balances this one out.

Overall, one of the better stouts I have had in a long time.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter. Served at cellar temp.
A-Inky black, no showing of light whatsoever. Mocha brown head, fluffy.
Ar-coffee, dark chocolate, earthyness
T-creamy chocolate immediately followed up by coffee and earthy hop bitterness, carbonation. Very well balanced. Slight booze on finish. Slight yeasty flavor
M-medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Exactly what I would expect.
Overall- perfect American stout. So well balanced. I prefer to drink this at at least 50 degrees or warmer because it adds creaminess and even more balance. My favorite beer by deschutes and my favorite stout ever. Flys off the shelf

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Photo of Furlinator
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11/01/14.

Pours opaque black. The 1 inch tan head settles to a cap and thick ring on top that leaves thick shimmering curtains of lace.

The smell is mainly coffee grounds with a hint of dark chocolate.

The taste is of bitter black coffee up front with a bitter, almost herbal, hop finish.

The texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

All the components of a solid stout are here: notes of cocoa, coffee and roasted dark malt. All combined with a bitter hop finish. Good but, not great.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, best by 10/13/14. Pours dark brown black with a huge creamy light brown head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is dry chalky roast chocolate malts and some grains with a little coffee.

The flavor is burnt roast bitter chocolate malts with some coffee and a little sweetness and a fairly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation and a little watery.

Overall, some sweet chocolate and heavily roasted / burnt chocolate malts with a little coffee and a bitter burnt finish. A little too burnt for me.

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Photo of matjack85
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Jewel/Osco store in Glemdale Heights, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. A best before date is stamped on the side label.

The beer poured a very dark brown color and made a 3-finger light tan head on top which lasted several minutes and left incredible lacing.

The beer smells incredible. It's really sweet with roasted malts, sweet caramel, bittersweet chocolate, and strong coffee aromas.

It's not as sweet as the smell indicated. It's mostly dry roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and bitter coffee. Add 4 different hops to the mix and you've got a really bitter stout. It's OK, but I would have preferred it sweeter.

Medium bodied with only moderate carbonation.

Wish it tasted as good as it smelled, but it's still a decent stout.

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Photo of AmishLightning
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks: Two fingered head that stayed around a decent amount of time. Black as night as expected. The lacing that was left on the glass gave a good finish towards the end of the beer.

Scent: Semi-Sweet chocolates are the most prevalent smell. There is a hint of maltiness which adds a good balance, but I didn't notice any coffee or bittering scents at all.

Taste: This was a surprise for me because I thought the taste did not follow the smell much at all. I mostly tasted a powerful coffee with hints of very dark chocolate flavors. This was not sweet at all. The lack of sweetness did not bother me too much, but I would have liked to see some sweets at some point in the taste. Instead, the beer finished as is started with no flavor profile to change over time. This is the biggest reason I rated taste at a 4/5 instead of higher. I feel that if I wanted to have seen different flavors appear as the beer warmed up or as it sat in my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Smooth for sure with a medium body. I would have liked less carbonation but that is really nickpicking. No oily feeling afterwards, not a bad mouthfeel.

Overall: I liked this one, but I do not think that it lived up to its hype. I will have to revisit and review again some time.

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Photo of garuda
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black, tan head has decent retention and lace

Rich, vanilla sweet nose. Taste starts with vanilla, then goes into roasted malts and chocolate, finishing with noticeable bitter pine hops.

Full body, low to medium carbonation. Mostly smooth, hops are a bit abrasive in the finish and feel a little out of place.

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

well, dark as heck, super dark brown. no head, but it was an easy pour. I think there is a lot to lose with vigorous pours regarding taste.
smell is typical stout properties: vague chocolates and coffee, vanillas and earthiness...
thick on the palate, I get the same as in the nose. rather subdued but very standard. very decent. very surprised I haven't had this one before.
nice chocolate milk head on top after a second, more vigorous pour. very nice...
overall, very good for a standard, easy to find stout. a little heavier than I expected but very good. for standards, I really like Firestone's Velvet Merlin.... inexpensive and very good and refreshing!

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

With a medium pour, this appears a super dark brown beer with a thin tan head. Decent lacing, nothing to write home to mom about.

Roasted malts + coffee beans and a faint aroma of chocolate.

Even taste of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Medium body, a little creamy, but thin.

This is a solid, all-around stout. Nothing stands out, but nothing is lacking. There are a few others I would select before this stout. However, this brew has an advantage because it is readily available in the area.

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Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Obsidian Stout
Deschutes Brewery, Oregon
---from bottle to pint glass---

This is a BLACK beer. Massive tan head with good retention. Great lacing

Dark roasty malts, oats, cocoa, coffee

Sweet roasted malt, dark bitter coffee, smoooth

Super silky, sweet and bitter go to war on your tongue.

SOLID! Good on all fronts. Definitely a go-to stout!

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,729 ratings.
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