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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,115 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,115
Ratings:
3,761
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
17.58%
 
 
Wants:
561
Gots:
773
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,115 | Ratings: 3,761
Photo of josiahschlender
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For some reason I haven't gotten around to writing up this beer despite it being a staple at my house. My wife's favorite beer, I certainly can't complain!

I consistently get a great, long-lasting rocky head of an appealing brown. It leaves lots of sticky lace as the utter blackness that is Obsidian easily disappears from the glass.

Coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted grains, earthy and citric hops all mingle pleasingly. Aromas are concentrated and intense, way ahead of the pack of most American stouts.

The dark malts and hops blend together nearing perfection, mirroring the aromas. It's a good, complex beer that lingers long and dry. I keep going back and forth, not sure if I wish the feel had just a little more to it. It's not watery, but certainly doesn't try to be an oatmeal stout.

I find this is a very versatile stout that goes well with food or holds its own alone. Here in Oregon it is ridiculously affordable and easy to find. All that together makes this one of the most drinkable brews around. Keep it up, Deschutes!

 1,043 characters

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

Best by 2/6/08 consumed on 2/5/08
Thanks to Oxymoron for this!

Whoa! totally black, opaque with an amazing 2-finger deep and very dark brown head that is full of bubbles and very clumpy but obviously sticky. Dissipates real slow, it's more like clumpy chunks of foam slowly dissolving. A true heady looking brew that leaves large clumps all along the edge of he glass.

Roastie but caramalized sweet malt scent with oats, grains, vanilla, black coffee...the malt aroma is huge on the nose but also has a decent, spicey hop effect. slight heat buzz, not too strong, later on, blueberry pop tarts.

This is a very well balanced stout, with a semi-sweet vanilla and dark chocolate flavor over roasted nuts, peanutbutter, covered coffee beans, all in the malt flavor which makes this pretty complex. An herbal, if not zesty hop flavor adds that balance I mentioned. As the brew warms to room temp you start getting red-tropical fruits, roastbeef and olives. Finishes with a semi-bitter coffee aftertaste and grassy, green hops.

full bodied, but with a certain crispness that is rare, very clean feeling going down, not at all heavy. Goes down slick and smooth.

This is a wondeful Stout, the moderate ABV makes this very drinkable, but the quality is very high and very clean. If you like stout's you're going to want another.

 1,330 characters

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

a: Black body with a big fluffy head. Good lacing and retention.

s: Roasted malt and chocolate.

t: Loads of sweet roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate with a light citric hop bitterness in the finish.

m: Creamy, smooth, typical carbonation.

d: Highly drinkable. Very good stout. More hop bitterness than most, tons of malt, good stuff.

 350 characters

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

big ups to jhammerly for this one

12 oz poured into snifter

A. Jet black with no light getting through. hardly a tan head that fades quickly

S. Chocolate and coffee dominate. a little smokiness, and some fruits

T, black bitter coffee and bitter chocolate dominate. Mild taste of fruits on the finish

M. Eh, a little thin nothing impressive

D. while not a session beer, it's fantastic for a one or two a nighter. all in all a very good try

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nearly opaque in color. Burnt toast brown with white wheat colored head. Dissipates into a minimal film, small amount of lacing.

Nose is chocolatey and roasted grain filled.

Full of chocolate and more roasted grain on the tongue. Nice bitterness as well. Chocolate, some slight dark fruit flavors. Slightly sweet. Pretty dry and somewhat husky and bitter on the finish.

A nice beer. I have been hitting the stouts pretty hard lately and this was no slouch.

 550 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to younger35 via BeerTruth for this one. Thanks guys!

Pours pretty much pitch black, with about two fingers of creamy tan head. Head recedes to a thin patchy lace and leaves a decent amount of stick.

Smells strongly of coffee, along with chocolate malt and some roasted in there, too.

Coffee is also the dominant flavor as it was in the smell, and it's complemented wonderfully by some chocolate and roasted flavors. There is some dark fruit in there, too, and it finishes with a slightly bitter, roasty aftertaste. Also somewhat dry through the finish.

Mouthfeel could maybe be a touch softer as the carbonation is a little too tingly, but it's medium bodied with a nice creaminess. Quite dry through the finish.

This is one hell of a stout. I've been impressed with every Deschutes offering I've had and I wish I could get my hands on them more easily. Awesome brew that I'd stock my fridge with if I could.

 922 characters

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

Within months of the best by date. The blue packaging currently depicted is out of date. An opaque darkness in the glass, but you can see through the pour. I nice fluffy tan head that fades to sticky lacing patterns. The smell is similar to the last bunch of Stouts that I've sampled in that the aroma through the head is different than the surface smell. An agitated whiff reveals a creamy alcohol, like a barrel aged treated product, dark chocolate and caramel that is altogether creamy. Closer to the surface exposes a roasted malt and coffee notes. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is medium, but the rich full flavors take you to a heavier place. The flavor is special. A creamy, milky semisweet lightly roasted malt with subtle chocolate and a perfect little grainy coffee and alcohol flavor that lingers really nicely. This is an easy drinker. I'm surprised how much of the 6.4% ABV that you sense in the nose and taste but it's all a pleasure! Highly recommended. Shout out to drumrboy22 for the opportunity.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian is a type of naturally-occuring glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. Ok pours a typical black color with a darker tan tinted head that remained through the whole tasting. Some lighter brown hues around the edge.

The nose is limited overall but some US stout smells with roasted malts mostly coming out. Some lighter coffee and chocolate touches. Some DMS in the nose as well. I also pick out a touch of esters as well.

The taste is more balance and more distinct than the nose indicated. A nice roast presence with a more balance chocolate finish. Some astringency with black malt. The coffee flavor is also more prevalent but is light compared to the roasted malt. Some touches of caramel and as it warmed it was picking out DMS in the taste as well. A real deterrent in this beer.

The body is good with more of a mid than full feel. Even with the astringent bite there is a sweetness that stays even after tasting. A nice stout found in liquor store, but not sure if naturally occurring or not.

 1,014 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle; received from ncvbc

A: Pours a dark black under a big brown head. Brown head covers lightly through out, no lace.

S: Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, sweet cream, light coffee, dark fruit.

T: Very well done sweetness settles into a roasted malt and bitterness, a little bit of coffee, maybe hint a touch of very light chocolate and even lighter smoke. Transition from start to finish is just flawless, incredible balance.

M/D: Full bodied and wow, what a smooth, full body. Carbonation does nothing but lend to a smooth, creamy, velvety body. Drinkability is top notch. It's just so damn smooth and easy drinking. By far the best of the style I've ever tasted.

 695 characters

Photo of tayner
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz purchased last week

Pours black with a creamy tan head

smells of roasted malts, not much of a hop on the nose

tastes of roasted, almost burnt, malt. Not much hops, only slight finishing hops to help dry the palate

Not as creamy as i would like a stout to be, the black butte is much creamier.

I can drink several of these in a sitting, definitely sessionable for a 6+% beer.

 386 characters

Photo of peck95
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

just finished off a six pack of this that ive been to compare to other stouts. drinking this beer for years. I still love it and luckily for me this is one of the few good beers i can get without having to drive 50 miles.
appearance is a dark black with a good head and nice lacing all the way to the end
smell roasted coffee malts are prevalent followed by a soft chocolate aroma.
has a smooth roasted coffee tasted but the chocolate is a little faint,
mouthfeel is very smooth a nice medium body with a very slight taste of alcohol very nice
drinkability this beer is smooth, and tasty. unlike some other thick and sweet beers it is easy to drink a few of these at a time which is usually good.

 696 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black body, nice cascading head of a couple fingers. Modest tan lacing with nice retention.

S: Extremely roasty, more coffee than chocolate.

T: Sweet chocolate in the front of the palate with a huge dose of roasted coffee in the back. Finish is dry with a roasty bitterness.

M/D: Carbonation is great, body is rich enough to support the big flavors. Easy to have several in a sitting.

 390 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got two bottles by mistake in a sixer of Buzzsaw Brown. The label has changed since the review photo was posted. It is similar in shape but the background color is now tan.

Pours a dark chocolate color with a scant 1/4 inch of light brown head. The lacings are like rings that follow the descent of the liquid level to the bottom of the glass.

Big flavor of strong coffee and unsweetened chocolate, a good roasted malt, and a sightly bitter hop presence. The mouthfeel and body are both fine. This is a fine Stout, Deschutes Brewery are to be commended for taking on such a challenge.

 587 characters

Photo of hwwty4
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a generous trade from bennetj17. Thanks a million.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Chimay Chalice. Poured a dark black with light mahogany tones around the edges when held up to the light. Had a thin mocha head that vanished quickly. Taste is roasted malts, dark chocolate, and creamy coffee. There is a slight astringent taste at the finish. Mouthfeel is more medium bodied then full with just a little carbonation. One of the better stouts on the market.

 465 characters

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

Received this in a trade with Younger35.

This pours a deep black with slight ruby highlights when held up to the light. A thin tan head sits on top of this beer that didn't hold very well and collapsed quickly, but did leave decent lacing on the glass. Smells like a great stout should with heavy scents of roasted barley and a touch of coffee in the nose. The taste is a real treat with a solid combination of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a touch of hops are well balanced in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout, but is still quite creamy with low carbonation. Drinkability is very good on this. It's a well balanced and well made stout that I wish I would have more access to.

Thanks for the trade on this Dan!

 748 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deschutes- Obsidian Stout

Huge thanks to Pimpp for this 1!

A- Deep reddish brown with a thick frothy head. Good lacing down the glass.
S- Thick cocoa and coffee bean. Light touch of pine hops.
T- Big thick sweet chocolate with cream and coffee. Buttery toffee and caramel appear with a touch of earthy green hops.
M- Sweet and rich with a huge flavor throughout. Creamy and buttery near the end with a bite of hops.

Overall- This stuff is good!! 1 of the best stouts I can recall!!

 484 characters

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

Appearance
Looks thick as it pours; develops a tall, rich, fluffy tan head; head does not dissipate quickly, and it leaves thick clumps of lacing; too dark to see the carbonation

Smell
Smells really nice—roasted barley, dark chocolate, cookies, and a hint of plumb; smells also a bit like an imperial stout

Taste & Mouth Feel
Very flavorful and balanced. Surprisingly thinner in mouth feel than I expected, but it has flavor from front to back, first with espresso bitterness followed by chocolate chip cookies. The malt profile on this is very enjoyable. It leaves a nice aftertaste of cookies, chocolate, and espresso. Yum!

Overall
A fantastic stout that fits my preferences nicely. It really tastes like dessert with it's cookie sweetness. Thankfully it's not overly sweet and there's just enough bitterness and malt heft to round it all out. I used to think I preferred especially roasted tasting stouts, but this has shown me I can really enjoy maltier ones too. It's a nicely done stout, and one I wish was readily available.

 1,036 characters

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer Thirty Tasting - thanks younger35 for providing this one.

Two finger mocha head. Aroma of chocolate and coffee. Taste is well balanced. Smooth. Creamy...very nice mouthfeel. If this was local to me I could see making it a go to beer. Good stout.

 251 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color. Quite the nice cocoa head on top. Ok aroma-not much there. Some roasted malt-somewhat metallic. Heavy roasted flavor. Mild espresso tinge to it. Soft, cocoa taste. Very clean in the finish. Good solid body. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. I could see this being a regular for me if I could get it all the time.

 335 characters

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

Opened 12 oz bottle and poured into Nonic Glass.

Formed nice 1/4" mocha colored head, which dissipated quickly. Brew is opaque black, some bubbles come to the top. Light lacing around edges.

Smell is of malts, slightly chocolaty and hints of coffee. Typical stout taste: a bit nutty. Hops shine through with subtle bitterness.

Although carbonation is present, mouthfeel is creamy, nice and full with a good solid finish and no unpleasant aftertaste.

All in all, a great brew.

 479 characters

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

Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that settles fairly quickly. Aroma is highly roasted, heavy notes of coffee and touches of cocoa. Flavor is chock full of roasted malt goodness, along with lots of unsweetened chocolate type flavor. Mouthfeel is very smooth, some carbonation is noted on the finish, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great buy at 1.39 a bottle. My bottle has a different design.

Appearance is exceptional due to the huge creamy, rocky, tan head. Pours like a root beer float.

Good smell of roasted malts, coffie, and chocolate milk.

Tastes of hops, alcohol, coffie, chocolate and anice....if I am not mistaken other herbs such as rosmarie. A nice balance of tastes. Very sweet profile overall...almost too sweet..but followed by some nice sting of alcohol and hops. Some grainy flavors I do not like...leading to a "tar" like flavor.

Moutfeel is just about perfect for a stout. Nice and sticky up front with a dry aftertaste.

This drinks good.

 638 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from the Coop shared with my brother, my half from a Shaker pint.

Black.. not brown... black. Tan head with rings of lacing that last the entire glass.

This is what an American stout should smell like.. roasted barley .. dark and chocolate malts.. has a sorta creamy fruity finish.

Big dark malt flavors mix perfectly with dark caramel.. I am sure there are hops in there... but oh well, I can't pick em out. Creamy body.. dark malts and lingering tasty finish.

No doubt, this is my favorite "locally available" American stout.. and it is exactly what I expect out of Deschutes and other PNW breweries... bigger is sometimes better...

 643 characters

Photo of genog
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours such a black as night color with plenty of bubbling two inch tall head. The once bubbly head fades away and leaves plenty of lacing clinging to the side of my snifter. Smell is doughy and dried fruit with chocolate notes. Smell is not quite black licorice but more of a slight anise smell. This one started out strong but there was not a lot of flavor here. Some chocolate, coffee but it is all muted. Mouthfeeling is way too carbonated and makes this one not very drinkable. I had such high hopes for this beer coming from the makers of The Abyss.

 554 characters

Photo of irishevans
1.75/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I agree with the akbelgianbeast, extremely overrated. it starts off with hints of epoxy, maybe some asphalt, the middle and finish have the taste and texture of some low-end cheap hairspray, and that nasty array of not so nice flavors lingers for far too long, this brew is definitely the shame of the DeSchutes line-up. bahh!

 326 characters

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,761 ratings.
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