Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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1,107 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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: 1,107 | Ratings: 3,713
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 BigDaddyWil
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Clear laser marked date best buy 8/26/06.

Pitch black in color, with an amazingly frothy, mocha colored head, about 3/4 of an inch in height. Decent retention, leaving a good amount of delicate lacing. Mostly smells of dark chocolate, espresso, hints of dark fruits and some sort of musty smell. Tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Quite delicious! A good balance of hops and malts, finishes clean. Very creamy and smooth, and not too heavy. This is a pretty awesome beer. Super easy too drink and very refreshing. A great example of an American stout. I hope I can trade for more of this. Seek this one out!!!!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

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

This was very approachable, yet not boring stout. I really enjoyed its moderate roastiness, and thought it very drinkable.

It pours a slightly viscous black, with a fluffy tan (nude pantyhose colored) head formation of tiny bubbles. Aroma was light roastiness. Flavor was more roastiness with some good "burned pizza crust" character and some chocolate and coffee flavor notes. Slightly creamy, but definitely not an extremely thick stout. Highly drinkable.

I had a roommate from OR who said that Deschutes was available in most gas stations & c-stores there...how wonderful that would be! Far from the biggest and baddest in this style, but very nice. Highly recommended.

I bought this at Liquor Mart in Boulder, CO during a visit to attend the GABF.

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

A- dark as it gets, black. Big ol' tan head, fluffy, with great retent. Settles to a decent size ring of foam that remains til the beer is gone.

S- rich & sweet, roasted malts, and burnt caramel

T- roasted & burnt malt flavors. Slight grassy hop flavors. Tangy yet bitter bite from the brew. Finishes with a strong burnt malt bitterness/flavor.

M- great body, dry at finish, smooth & creamy

D- The burnt malt bitterness may be a bit hard to take sometimes, but if you can handle it, this is a lovely beer. The afterthoughts are just as good as the aftertaste.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nice deep black with big dark tan head
Smell: dark fruit, floral, roasty
Taste: roasty espresso and a little dark chocolate, very restrained sweetness - not as rich as expected. Moderate herbal hops. On the dry side. Opens up a lot as it warms - highly recommend serving at cellar temp.
Feel: smooth with medium body
Overall: The first time I had this a few months ago I remember thinking it was thin and lacking flavor compared to what I expect from a stout. After seeing the BA rating I figured I must have been missing something, or maybe I got a bad sample. Despite the very inviting presentation and a good balance I still found it to be lacking richness and flavor. In every other respect it is an excellent stout, and it is very drinkable - I will happily drink more of these. The Deschutes Black Butte Porter is more exemplary of its style in my opinion.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for this extra Todd. 12 oz. bottle into an Alpine pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours black, with no visible highlights. The head is gorgeous - it just looks creamy and smooth. One finger thick and mocha-colored, it really sticks around, too. Great lacing as well. Very pretty.

There's a lot going on in the aroma. My first impression is of roasted malts, but there's quite a bit of coffee at work as well. Notes of chocolate and toffee come through as it warms. There are a lot of sweet scents happening here, but that robust roasted quality tempers them.

The taste displays a similar balance. This is malty and rich, but the coffee character imparts a tempering bitterness, especially in the aftertaste. Still, though, I'm picking up huge milk chocolate notes in this one - not the worst thing in the world.

Deschutes nailed the mouthfeel of this beer. There are plenty of imperial stouts that drink thinner. This is so rich and thick, a real treat.

I can't remember the last time I picked up an American or Irish Dry Stout, but after this bottle I may have to rectify that. This was a very pleasant surprise, a beer that was totally off of my radar that I'm thinking about days later.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a 4 color label. tan with a black oval in the center. within the oval is an illustration of a mountain, valley and a river running through black obsidian-like rock. 6.4% abv displayed along with a best by date of 11/24/05. the deschutes logo is on the neck label, and there is an explanation of the stout and what's behind the obsidian stout name.

appearance: very dark almost black with dark, dark brown highlights in a snifter glass. pours a nice rolling 2 inch dark tan head. laces very nicely.

smell: first sniff is alcohol, flowery hops, barley and some sweet chocolate. some coffee as well. very clean and hoppy for a stout. some fruit, maybe bananas after the beer warms.

taste: resiny coffee flavor. light dark chocolate and lightly bitter in the finish. there's a hint of caramel and dark fruits as the brew warms. lightly acidic. aftertaste is bitter mocha coffee.

mouthfeel: light to medium body, but a little lighter than i like. good carbonation and swallow. almost every sip finishes with a light resin on the tongue. i'm not a big fan of the french press mouthfeel.

drinkability: fairly drinkable and would make a decent session stout. alcohol is well masked. aftertaste keeps you drinking.

overall: not a bad stout. i have to thank waldowin for this brew in a trade. like i said before, this would make a decent session stout, but the mouthcoating resin may become anoying after a while. not overly complex, and i've had better, but you could do much worse. a recommended good try.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

My 500th review! [insert loud, slow exhalation/fake crowd cheer here] The beer pours a verrrry slightly translucent deept brown, highlighted in dark garnet, topped by a relatively short-lived finger of light ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises deep chocolate, molasses, caramelized sugar, dark roasted malts, and a vague background sense of roasted marshmallows. The taste focuses on the roastier notes, though the molasses and newcomer and cousin maple syrup lead an attempted and vain coup on behalf of the sweeter notes. A touch of smoke finds its way into the finish. The body verges on a heavy medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth and somewhat thin feel. Overall, a more-than-solid stout, one that I could easily see myself drinking on a regular basis, if possible.

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Photo of Jeremiah87
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, almost opaque with a thin, amber silhouette. Almond foam, about one finger, that dissipates quickly. Black coffee taste up front with mild, lingering caramel after tones. Soft conditioning but not too syrupy.

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Photo of CJS
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice rich cocoa velvet color. More than a fingers witdh on the initial pour of collar. khaki in color.

S Rich in dark chocolate and coffee aromas. Smells a bit bitter

T slight bitter astringency at first. Develops into dark cacao flavors. Slight coffee appeal, but not a lot. A touch of sweetness mid mouth and more caramel and maltiness than anything. Then a dry breadiness on the way out.

M Has a viscosity appeal a bit more than thin. Not a bad thing for what it is.

O Def a competitor in its category and I would buy more if I got the chance.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a three-finger, mocha colored head of foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty with strong coffee notes. It had a slight floral aroma, too.

T - It had a good roasted malt taste with notes of coffee and oats. There is a touch of chocolate flavor hidden underneath the sharp bitter hop bite.

M- It was sharp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that is easy drinking.

D - This is a nice stout. It has oatmeal stout-like qualities.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Almost pitch black in color with red hues when held up to the light. Head is tan and magnificent, it seems to last forever. There is also tons of lacing going on. Fantastic looking stout.

S - Nose is full of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, smoke, floral hops, earthy grains. Very complex nose.

T - Delicious. Up front you get some lightly roasted malts and toasted coffee. Then it moves into a smoky middle with some nice floral tones and some soft earth characters. Finish is a bitter with a lingering roasted flavor.

M - Mouth feel is soft a bit chewy and well carbonated.

O - Damn fine stuff I must say. Ranks up there with the best. Hopefully they start distributing this stuff down my way.

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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 HiroProtagonist
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I’ve had this beer a few times already and I had an extra one lying around but since the best by date is of last month I decided to keep it for myself and not use it in trades. I did not plan on reviewing it but after pouring it into my pint glass it seemed that it still has maintained fairly well.

The color is of kalamata olives, yet not the darkest stout I have seen. About an inch of café au lait colored foam and settles to a nice ring.

Aroma is of baker’s chocolate, roasted nuts, coffee, malted milk, chocolate malts, roasted barley, and hints of vanilla and cocoa.

The taste is predominantly of chocolate malts and coffee upfront. Aftertaste is slightly roasted barley and hop bitterness and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium, a little thin for me. Easy to drink. A very solid stout.

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Photo of SargeC
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black brew with a frothy brown head.

Smell: Toasted malt, pumpernickel and brown sugar.

Taste: Toasted malt base embraces coffee flavors and a decent hop presence. Slight mineral presence in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body with a dry finish.

Drinkablity: A solid stout, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A massive head, with a stylistic dark body.

A traditionally coffee smell, with sub-tones of sweetness and malt.

The taste is relatively subtle, considering the style. With a sweet roasted coffee-flavor dominating, with hints of caramel and vanilla.

Overall, a very good stout that could very much become a go-to beer when there is a lack of interesting seasonals.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from late 2012 poured into a snifter. Jet black pour with a fingers worth of head.
Smells of chocolate, toasted barley and coffee which dominates
Taste: medium consistency - surprised not thicker. Very smooth with a chocolate and coffee notes shining through but not as smooth as others
Overall its good, would most definitely get again but not seek it out if I can't get it locally

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bytor2112 for this gift. I owe you one!

Obsidian is right, the color is a flat and bold black. Has a thin head of mocha-colored foam, which sticks around a long while.

Big roast in the nose, reminding of dark roast coffee, and there's definitely some fresh hop greenness lending another layer. Something kind of earth/soil about it too, but not in any kind of negative way.

That earth/soil organic vibe also comes through in the taste, which also, unsurprisingly, brings along a generous helping of bitterness, both in terms of coffee-like roast/char and that wonderful green budding flower we all know and love. Finished off with a subtle latte-like steamed milk sweetness. They could have almost passed this off as a coffee beer, had it actually been brewed with the stuff.

Just a little too tingly in the mouth for what's going on here, a thicker, creamier, rounder feel would have worked wonders. Body is thinnish, for a stout, but hardly watery. Not bad at all, can't really fault it here, just not what I think it should have been.

This is really good. Perhaps not the mindblower most Deschutes stuff is, but for a flavorful, accessible, very drinkable and just damn solid American stout...this one delivers.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of secret santa: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge medium brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of dry coffee with some roasted malt and black chocolate is very enticing. Taste is also a well balance mix between some black chocolate, dry coffee and roasted malt. Body is full with a perfect creamy texture and good carbonation. I very much enjoyed this beer from a brewery that I am starting to learn about.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into glass tulip.

$1.70 / ea.

A: Bright, opaque deep brown body topped with a small tight tan head of low retention that leaves behind light lacing and a thin creamy cover.

S: Coffee dominates with hints of chocolate and a deep roasted malt character. A bit lighter aroma than I would like to see, but the overall impression is prototypical.

T: Sweet dark roasted malt character dominates with hints of coffee and chocolate throughout. Hop bitterness is muted, and the beer finishes with a lingering roasted flavor.

M: Light body and medium carbonation. Silky and finishing crisp.

D: Wonderful session beer for the stout lover and beyond. Great flavor that isn't overbearing paired with a crisp feel, and moderate alcohol.

O: Very good beer, but I would expect nothing less from Deschutes.

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Photo of Dieffenbach
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown almost black - definitely one of the darker brews I have ever laid my eyes upon. Tan head fades quickly which would be acceptable if there was any lacing to speak of.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses and a hint of chocolate.

T: Average duration, light sweetness. Yeasty beginnings give way to a bitter cocoa finish.

M: Full bodied, oily and softly carbonated. Many feel this is creamy but I am not getting that reaction.

D: Solid American Stout definitely wirth drinking. My inexperience may be preventing me from awarding a higher rating...

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Photo of chilly460
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear shiny black , with a one finger tan head. Very creamy head and the body is honey colored on the edges.

S: I get some medium roasted malts, coffee, and dry cocoa in this one. Very clean smelling, plenty of punch, nice.

T: Enjoyed this, roasted malt and coffee are at the forefront. I get some smoke as well. It's a dry taste, not unlike an Irish stout.

M: Creamy, could use a little more body body not bad, carbonation was about right.

D: Could drink this all day long, very nice.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,713 ratings.
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