Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,140 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: 1,140 | Ratings: 3,843
Photo of far333
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, nearly black and opaque. A two inch head rises up strongly and lingers long and makes light popping noises as it settles slowly down.

Aroma of roasted malt, light molasses and some cocoa. Also a bit woody.

Rich flavor of cocoa and coffee, charred oak and smoke, some molasses and caramel. Finishes tangy with some sharp wood.

Full and creamy mouthfeel, finishes dry and tannic. Thanks to Sparky27 for sharing this one.

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

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color with about a finger thick tan head. The head does not stay for long but it looks exactly the way that a stout should.

It smells like figs, possibly raisins and something a little more pungent like coffee. The coffee smell is not very pronounced but you can certainly tell that it is there. There also seems to be a slight smell of hops which is surprising but nice. After taking a few sips I begin to notice a dark chocolate smell as well.

It tastes slightly bitter with a distinct chocolate flavor. Very tasty and a quite complex taste which is nice. I do not taste the raisins or figs that I could smell but I can def sense overtones of coffee, hops and malt. I could def see this becoming a favorite stout and I really enjoy the almost smokey taste that it has to it.

As far as mouthfeel and drinkability go the beer has a moderate amount of carbonation and is not too thick for a stout. It pours thicker than it drinks that is for sure. The alcohol is not very pronounced and it has a complex mix of sweet and bitter flavors that make it very enjoyable.

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

A- Pitch black, nice mocha 1" head, tons of subsequent lacing.

S - A POWERHOUSE of sweet malt and coffee. The coffee itself comes off as appealing, sweet, and inviting.

T - A almost perfect blend of coffee, roasted malt and hops. A tiny bit thicker and richer, this would get on my top 5.

M - Medium body, great balance and carb.

D - For the style, very.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle as an extra, courtesy of urwatuh8 - thanks!! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a thick but not quite black body - you get definite highlights of ruby both on the pour and holding it up to the light - crowned by a firm, medium brown head of above average retention for the style. It never quite fades, leaving a thick dusting of lace and a foamy, sticky collar for the entirety of the drink. The side-lacing is simply amazing, particularly on the non-sip side, where it leaves a huge curtain of delicate, fine-bubbled foam the whole time.

Aroma: The most noteworthy thing about the aroma is the strong, light, earthy, and slightly spicy coffee presence that dominates this one. It's grassy, lightly spicy - almost with a nutmeg-esque note somewhere in the middle - and faintly fruity in a light, far away estery sort of way. It's all around very pleasant.

Taste: Very delicate and soft. The dominant note is coffee - dry, slightly astringent, and a firm half-roast, which lends some interesting flourishes of earthiness that's not quite dirty but more green, woody. There are definite hints of other milky, sweet malts in the backbone, faintly like bittersweet chocolate, or perhaps whole grain bittersweet chocolate pancakes. Sweetens as it warms, too. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side, and probably this beer's weakest component. With such a strong array of flavors, I'd have liked a little more body. That being said, it is carbonated pretty well, resulting in a creamy, even (though thin) mouth.

Drinkability: A phenomenal beer, one of the best American stouts I've ever had, and a firm winner from Deschutes. It manages to strike the perfect balance in a lot of places, not too astringent or too sweet or too dry, and has plenty of complexity to go around, all in a reasonably-sessionable package. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a cellar temp bottle that is about a year old. Pouring into a snifter the beer pours a deep cola brown with a spongey tan head of 2 cm foaming up easily. The head fades gradually but leaves sturdy and sticky tight lattice on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is fairly roasty with some cocoa powder, but mostly roast malt.
First sip reveals average body and very mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet cocoa for a second and rolls to some roasted malt as the nose predicted. I dont find any hop presence or hints of ABV either. The beer is very drinkable and smooth and I would definitely enjoy this brew again. A nice version of a good stout. Pick up a bottle or 6 if you see it!

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark opaque black color; no light was coming through. Poured a 1 finger coarse chocolate head with fair retention. Thing lacing washed down the glass leaving fingers

S: Bitter chocolate and coffee. Sweet toffee. A bitter bite tickles the nose.

T: Bitter dark chocolate is the big opener. A reange of toasted malts amply flavors the middle. Bitter hop to clean the finish except for a lingering astringency that persisted - btw, it amplified as the beer warmed.

M: Medium body (but light for a Stout. Ample carbonation. Smooth and creamy, but with a definite bite at the end.

D: Despite some 'big' malt attributes I though this was as close to a session stout as you'd want. Actually like the balance; the asringency I couild have done without.

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

pours very dark brown with one finger of tan head,

smells of raisins, plums and roasted coffee.

taste is smooth creamy and slight plum, with a roasted slightly dry finish that doesnt stay too long, not very bitter at all.

mouthfeel is nice and smooth as but not as thick and oily as others,

drinkability is high, i could easily have a few before feeling buzzed or getting sick of it.

all in all a very good brew worthy of trying,

would go great with bacon and eggs,...mmm....

come to think of it,... im gonna do that right now.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bring for the chance to try this one!

Appears obsidian. Black with a one finger head that quickly gives way to a full but thin layer of the tan bubbly.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasty goodness, and even a hint of hops. Nicely complex and living up to it's reputation as the Abyss' little brother.

Taste starts off with a cream, then an aftertaste that has a bitter sensation followed by a calming roasted flavor. Very complex in that it goes through several stages. Not enough stouts can do this and do it this well.

Mouth is thin/med bodied with med/high carbonation, an unusual combination for this style but works none the less.

Drinkability? Have Deschutes distribute to western PA and see how fast I go through their lineup. Very good beer.

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

A. Deep, dark opaque black in color with splochy tan head that is 1/8" tall. 4

S. When I first poured, I picked up a leather aroma from the brew. After sitting, I pick up raisins and coffee.

T. Bitter dark chocolate is the first impression. The hops and black malts provide a little astringency to me. Its no malt bomb and that's ok by me. Tastes good, but a lingering astrigency is off putting to me.

M. Fairly light bodied for a Stout and high carbonation.

D. I guess you could call this a "session stout" as its quite thin and refreshing for such a dark beer. Not bad but not my favorite from these guys. Minus the LINGERING astrigency, it would get a lot better score from me. Seriously, I could still taste it 10 minutes after I finished this glass of beer.

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

Bottle at Old Chicago in Billings, MT.

Poured black color with a huge frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Heavy roasted coffee dark chocolate aroma. Full body with a creamy texture. Heavy roasted balanced bitter sweet flavor with a medium sweet roasted coffee of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

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

I got this brew from Wasatch in a recent trade. Thanks John.

This is an exceptional looking stout. A body that is completely opaque and either the darkest brown I can image, or just black. There is a pretty good amount of sediment swirling around the bottom. The head is huge, at least two fingers; it actually overflowed on me a little bit while I was pouring it into my pint glass. It creamy and a little chuncky. Has some pretty good retention also, leaving a fairly thick ring of foam on top of the body. Some great sheets and rings of lacing are left behind also.

A good roasted aroma in the nose that also comes with a good amount of sweetness and chocolate.

Some sweetness that tastes like caramel covered in dark chocolate is the first taste I noticed, followed by a touch of coffee. The caramel flavor dies and is replaced by just a good chocolatey coffee taste. A hint of hops comes up next, its a little earthy and spicy. The hops are pretty muted. The finish and the aftertaste are dominated by a pretty strong roasted aroma that stays with you for a while after you've swallowed a gulp. Pretty complicated for a straight up stout, and very nice.

The mouthfeel here is a little thinner than I would expect. Medium bodied, but on the low side. Solidly moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty damn drinkable stout. Definitely something I could drink quite a few of.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - black as it gets no light shining through. Massive rocky dark tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Hints of coffee and chocolate and sublte yeast.

T - Extreme bitter black coffee and bitter chocolate. This beer is phenomenal.

M - Very silky and smooth.

D - I want this beer to be part of my life.

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

A- Pours thick black with a brownish-tan head that lingers for awhile before disappearing while thickly lacing the glass.

S- Roasted malts and coffee.

T- again, roasted malts and coffee, with maybe a hint of dark fruits and chocolate.

M- on the lighter side of full-bodied. very smooth on the palate.

D- if i can get through a six pack of it and it is a stout, then it has pretty damn good drinkability.

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

Acquired via a secret santa with mwompus.
Poured an inky, opaque black with a thick two fingered dark tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Mochachino aroma, with maybe some alcohol soaked fruits as well.
Creamy choco coffee flavor with a finishing of bitter hops, cocoa, spiciness.
Mouthfeel was medium, with a creamy felling.
Extremely drinkable stout, especially with the ABV not blowing you off your seat.

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

Pours black as coal into my snifter. Medium pour produces about a half a finger of dark brown head. The head dissipated rather quickly but provided some nice lacing.

Smells like roasted malts, with some coffee and chocolate notes. The scents are subtle, nothing overpowering the senses.

Taste is bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts but with nice balance. Just a bit of an alcohol taste on the finish, but nicely done.

Smooth drinking, nice body. Creamy on the tongue and smooth going down the throat.

Nice work on an American Stout. One of the better ones that I've had the pleasure of drinking.

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

This was my first beer from Deschutes. I've heard nothing but good things for a while now but I never once saw any of their offerings at my local bars/stores. So, I was pretty excited to see this on the guest beer list at Bulldog in Ginza. It lived up to the hype.

Great looking pour. Completely opaque, silky looking beer with a thick tan head. lacing abound. Smell was nice, but not really strong. Roasty malt, coffee and just a hint of hops peeking through.
Tastes fantastic. Really powerful malt presence. Coffee, chocolate, your parents breakfast cereal. Hops are present, adding the perfect amount of bitterness and a hint of grassy fruit on the back end.
Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied. Just how I like my stouts.
Not too big not too small. This beer is really well balanced. I'd gladly drink a bunch of these in a night.

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

Appearance- Pours out thick and black a tan head with nice stickey lacing

Smell- Roasted coffee like malts

Taste- Roasted black malts, Italian coffee, dark molasses, bakers chocolate and lots of carbonation for a stout.

Mouthfeel- High carbonation and very gooey think liquid. I found myself chewing mouthfuls and enjoying this immensely. Swish it in your mouth, suck in a very small quantity and feel it expand like a marshmallow in your mouth, fun.

Drinkability- Very easy dinking yet a substantial beer. Outstanding overall.

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

A sharp crisp pssstt, and my obsidian stout is free. It pours an enormous tan, brown, rocky head composed of tiny bubbles. Creamy! Large bubbles are mixed in but soon break.

Dipping my nose in I get dark chocolate and caramel notes. A second whiff detects some piney and grassy aromas.

The color is BLACK. Especially the center of my beer glass which is totally opaque, nothing shines through the inky blackness. The edges reveal a dark maroon with sinister brown tones.

Tasting reveals slight caramel sweetness up front, assertive carbonation and a bakers chocolate bitter finish. Creamy and mouth coating.

I could only have one of these in a sitting but that is because it only takes one to be satisfied.

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

A classic of the style. I remember when this was one of the "biggest" beers commonly available.

This is my favorite general drinking stout. A rich blackness. A crisp roasted barley aroma. Full bodied without being overly sweet. I've always loved the sharp bite from the roasted malts and hop bitterness and how they balance the chocolatey malt. The ethanol is perhaps overly apparent with this beer, but I think that's a defect that adds a little charm. Keeps it from being boring. Same goes for the uncharacteristic aggressive hopping. This is a flavor profile I seek to emulate in my homebrewed stouts

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours black with a thick tan head that fades. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee. Flavor of roasted malt and bitter chocolate as the beer warms. Thick, full mouthfeel. This is pretty good!
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

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

Picked up a six pack for $6.99 at Albertson's in Magnolia WA. Had a few while watching the Seahawks game before Xmas. Poured into a pint glass. Dark black color, like obsidian (to borrow from the name). Brownish white head. Decent lacing. Smelled like roasted barley, and the alcohol was a bit noticeable too. Taste was way above average. Dark, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors abound in this brew. A bit dry in the finish, and like I said, after a few, the alcohol is present. A textbook example of a great stout from an excellent American brewer.

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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 ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet,
Obsidian Stout is black with a very dark tan head that quickly settles to a thick skim, leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very robust, freshly ground coffee and bakers chocolate. I could stand just a flash of sweetness, but it's really phenomenal. I should start mixing this with my coffee for those lazy fridays - or painful mondays!

Taste is also very intense, but really well rounded, lots of bittersweet chocolate, a flash of condensed milk and hint of herbal hops. A bit of waxy phenols that I could see tampered is my only complaint. Lingering, roasty finish, normally this kind of profile would be too astringent for me, but this is just so damn good, truly in a league of it's own.

Mouthfeel is awesome, super creamy, espresso like, for a bottled beer, wow. They cite the krausening on the bottle, and it really shines. Still, a touch thick for the heft.

Drinkability is dangerously high. If you like American stouts, this is one of the best, period. The fact they they can maintain such a luscious mouthfeel in the bottle is a true testament to their skill. A masterpiece.

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Photo of Bung
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black/brown pour with a creamish colored head. Real nice roast malt aromas, some mocha. Flavors mimic the aroma. Roast malt and chocolate up front, finishes with good coffee bitterness. Roast coffee lingers. Drinkable, solid medium body. Real nice brew, the first I've had from Deschutes.
Side note, their bottles have some nice ornamentation.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,843 ratings.
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