Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
3,915 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,915 |  Reviews: 1,161
Photo of goindownsouth
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Much thanks to weefisheads for this 12 ounce bottle sample. I love Deschutes labels...

Appearance: Pitch black. Blacker than black, with a surprisingly lighter-colured, yet somewhat more viscous head than I thought.

Smell: Coffee. Good strong black coffee, with heavy doses of roasted malts balancing things out.

Flavor: Surprisingly sweet. Very malty, and almost chewy-so. Rich coffee flavor...espresso, to be sure.

Bottom Line: A fantastic brew. I don't think I have had an Imerial stout, to date, but if I would, I would think this stout would compare rather favorably. I would think this could be considered a big stout. One of my favorites, hands down.

 684 characters

Photo of chaduvel
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to alexgash for this one. Pours a you guessed it obsidian black/very dark brown with a dark head that you could eat with a spoon. Smell is raisin, rum, cocoa, and some hops. Full bodied mouthfeel. Taste is dominated by thick malts with a distinct and prominent mineral flavor, makes me think of river water. Lingering bitter chocolate and roasted flavor finish off this high quality stout.

 396 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obsidian sits in the glass a used oil black color with a firm pinky high head of light brown hue, turns a bit crusty as it fades and leaves a very thin skim on top and thin whispy sheets of lace stick.
Aroma has a soft bakers chocolate and a good load of dry coffee thats well rounded and quite roasty, nearly burnt. Taste is quite roasty as well, burntish dark malts, slight coffee tone, slight bittering, all gaining a bit more in the finish which is nice. Finish builds with an overall burntness with touches of coffee and bitterness, turning dry and fading off slowly leaving more bittering coffee notes and later still, some chocolate. Nice finisher. Feel is just past medium body, nearly full with a solid carbonation and pretty strong with its drying efforts where burntness and coffee sensations really take hold. A solid stout, not what I'd call a super drinker with more then I like for burntness and coffee drying, but very nice to let settle and sip.
Thanks to xlperro for the bottle!

 998 characters

Photo of jwilli7122
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours your stout-typical opaque brownish black with a monster rocky tan head made of a combination of humongous and tiny bubbles.
smells like alchohol, loud dark fruit, and roasted malts.
taste is hop spiced dark fruit - grapes and plums especially- and chalky bittersweet chocolate...notes of alchohol...roasty finish but not as big as in many stouts.
mouthfeel is dry and fairly thin with some alchoholic warmth.

this is very fruity for a stout. I'm not real big on fruit flavors, but if you are, you will like this.

 524 characters

Photo of rkhaze
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a medium sized foamy brown head. Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee in the aroma with a bit of fruit.
Great balanced bittersweet taste. Dark roasted malt and caramel sweetness with french roast coffee and red fruits. Rich creamy chocolate, a zippy, yet subdued hop presence and a whisper of smoke. Outstanding Stout!
Medium to full bodied with a rich, creamy semi-oily mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. Awesome drinkability for such a big, flavorful Stout.

 497 characters

Photo of zacharius
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out black like the devil's heart with a frothy tan head. Smell is of chocolate and caramel malty goodness. Taste is hearty with a dry coffeelike roasted malt taste underpinned with a bit of sweetness from crystal malt. Hop character takes back burner but in balance and typical for the style. Neverending dry roasted malt aftertaste. Silky mouthfeel but not too heavy in body. Good alcohol content but presence is masked. This beer is very drinkable but still puts hair on your balls.

 500 characters

Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Six pack purchased at the grocery store.

Pours impervious black with a medium-bodied chocolate milk head. Some foamy scraps of lace left on the glass.

At the top of the smell is burnt chocolate followed by a roasted malt depth.

Taste begins with a slight hop bitterness flooded with a roasted malt sweetness -- almost sour, but just slightly -- and then the chocolate and coffee depth come through, with an aftertaste of singed malt.

Mouthfeel has a nice airy creaminess to it.

Not a bad stout!

 509 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A small, dark tan, dense head sits on a dark, opaque, black beer. Bright light shows a little red. Nose is roasty coffee... a little sourish. The front is smoky, roasty, coffee, toffee and a bit of chocolate. Nice. The thick, strong, chocolatey middle is buttery and a little fruity with temperature. Bitter, chocolate, tangy finish. This is a very good, high quality, tasty, strong stout. Very well balanced. Excellent.

 420 characters

Photo of mickeymac
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a great week. After never coming across Deschutes, I've had a chance to try Black Butte Porter, IPA, and Obsidian in the course of a few days. This is my favorite of the three I've tried so far. Just the faintest trace of light shows through the inky darkness. The head is a tan monster that sticks to the side of the glass and leaves little islets over the top of the beer. Roasted malt, coffee, and just a trace of nut swirl around nicely. A nice hop bitterness kicks in at the end to make things even more interesting. Drinkability? It could be dangerous at this abv.

 584 characters

Photo of woemad
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sixer bought at either Huckleberry's or a Rosauer's (same owners, regardless) in Spokane for somewhere between $6-7.

Poured a deep, dark, oily black Head was moderately sized, fluffy and dark tan. Slight lacing. Nice, foamy collar.

Smell is of those smells that one expects from a classic stout: Rich, dark chocolate; dark,roasted malts; dark fruits a la raisins, figs; high quality black coffee. All wrapped in a slight, beguiling smoky scent.

Taste was every bit as rewarding as the scent foretold. This is a yummy stout! The first taste is of velvety chocolate, swiftly followed by the rich bitterness of dark fruits. At the swallow is more of the chocolaty character, along with a very slight hoppy crispness.

The mouthfeel of this stout is oily and thick. The last thing I had this oily was an Anchor "Our Special Ale." Very good company.

This a little bit thick and rich for session drinking, so I slightly graded down in drinkability, though I'd be only to hapy to have 2-3 of these, so long as there is room in my stomach. This would be an excellent accompanament to a rich dessert.

This is probably my favorite NW stout. Though I've been drinking Black Butte for years, I've been gravitating more towards the other fine Deschutes beers lately. They are definitely doing something right down there in Bend.

 1,333 characters

Photo of ecoboy
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The label description of this stout implies that it is a good stout choice for both stout fan and stout newbie. Really??? The 6.7% abv is the high end of stouts in my experience, and this ain't no nitro Murphy's (which I tried in the same go-round of tastings, and I would consider more appropriate for those unfamiliar with the style.)

A thin reddish brown head resulted from my pour. Obsidian is good as a jumping-off point for color, jet black it is, but with some surprising tan sediment in suspension. A little bottle conditioning intended?

Nose is not as redolent of alcohol as expected; it's actually a fairly light aroma of rich roasted chocolate and chocolate cake.

Some of the Sam Smith's Imperial Stout "oiliness" in the mouthfeel. Taste is big and powerfully alcoholic; rich chocolate and coffee are here. Beginning stout drinkers drink this? Really??? I see this as more of a "nitro can stouts are for wimps" selective drinker's taste.

Bituminous Stout might be more appropriate.

 1,004 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The carbonation is a little high on this one. The head is nice an large, but a little airy because of the heavy carbonation. It settles into something a little more dense later on. Nice black and when you get to the bottom of the glass, you notice its base is a nice ruby. Heavy on the caramel, a little roasty, but not really a big flavor for a stout. The body could benefit from a slightly lower level of carbonation.

 419 characters

Photo of jtfest
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like 40 weight -- a beautiful thick, dark brown, with a small but creamy brown head to match. Smelled like malted coffee, but not as strong as I expected (or would have liked). Thick mouthfeel that actually felt 'heavier' than other beers to me -- like my tongue was getting a workout just bearing the weight and pushing it back into my throat. Rich roasted flavor with hints of hickory. Very enjoyable for a dessert beer or treat, and taste-wise I could drink a few, but I think I'd either get full or a tired tongue before I drank too many.

 548 characters

Photo of Thrasher
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes has some new labels on their bottles. White label with colorful scenic artwork and best-buy date. A pitch black beer with decent head that dwindles but does not disappear, good lacing. Aroma of roastiness and somewhat fruity yeast. An impressive stout, not quite an impy but darn close. Lots of flavor here, with big roasted barley qualities with light herbal bitterness that disappears as the beer gets warmer. Mouthfeel smooth and milky. Not the easiest beer to drink, maybe because of alcohol and not a very dry finish. Deschutes are always good, and consistent if maybe a little predictable, but usually excellent taste and reliability are more than enough.

 671 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a nice rich black coffee color with a firm tannish head and some sticky, webby lace. A smoky toasty malt aroma blends with a pungent hoppy smell. The medium malt body is fairly sweet with flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. Plenty of Northwest-style Hoppy bitterness cuts through the sweetness. The head Stays On!

 324 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got home a bit early and got to making dinner by myself. I decided to pop an Obsidian Stout into my Deschutes Black Butte Porter pint glass to fortify myself while putting something together. Obsidian Stout has an appearance that does its name proud: a black color akin to midnight in a cave topped by a two finger chocolate head that looked spread on with a knife. Large quantities of thick lace graced the sides of the glass.
A couple of sniffs revealed a bounty of roasted malt, baker's chocolate, espresso coffee, and a slight floral hops note. A few sips and a longer pull brought forth a host of welcome tastes: bittersweet chocolate, strong, bitter coffee, a well-defined roasted maltiness, and a restrained hops presence in the finish. All these flavors swirl around with a velvety smooth, full feel.
Before I knew it, that pint was gone. Silky smooth, finely balanced between chocolatey sweetness and coffee bitterness, Obsidian Stout is so very easy to drink. Glad I purchased a six-pack as this brew has surpassed Kalamazoo Stout as my favorite stout.

 1,064 characters

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chocolate brown but in the glass is inpenetrable obsidian. No head, just a scattering of foamyness hear and there. Aromas of dry cocoa and dark chocolate eminates from my Duvel tulip. I taste complex notes of high quality dark chocolate, although it is fleeting. I'd like it to hang around a bit longer. Well balanced with moderate hoppiness. Not as dimensional as the imperial stouts that I have been favoring as of late, but this isn't imperial. Mouthfeel is full and satisfying. It is a very good regular stout. Very drinkable.

 543 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep balck with small dark a head. Nice chunky lace on the side of the galss. Aroma is chocolate, espresso and drak fruit (raisin ?) Flavor is weet chocolate, mild hop bitterness and a creamy latte taste on the back end. Very nice beer, almost would classify it a sweet stout.

 282 characters

Photo of jeffboo
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice and big stout from the Pacific Northwest. Very black in color with brown head. Roast malt and coffee aromas pours out of the glass, slightly smokey and slightly sweet...very nice. The flavors lean heavily on the roast malt/coffee side with enough sweet malt and nuttiness to balance. It is medium bodied with some chocolate and licorice in a nice dry finish. Highly recommended for the serious stout lovers.

 414 characters

Photo of UncleFrank
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

 874 characters

Photo of winomark
3.53/5  rDev -16%
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.

 432 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 400 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 1,287 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 598 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 259 characters

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 3,915 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.