Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,129 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,129 | Ratings: 3,808
Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black like coal with the perfect thick tan creamy head. Aroma and taste of bitter roast grains. Coffee, chocolate immediately come to mind. Deserving of it’s score for sure. Another beauty from Deschutes.

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

Its deep black and has a light tan head that leaves a alot of lace. The aromas are a blend of chocolate, coffee roast, and some deep grain. There are no hop aromas to be found. which is good, and very easy to take. The taste is a perfect balance of the aforementioned aromas but it blends into a sweeter flavor. The chocolate dominates the other two, but it is balanced with the roasty bitterness. There is a real sweet finish, almost a caramel flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth, and doesnt dry out too bad in the end. This is one of the best American Stouts Ive ever had

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

A big thanks to NCVBC for giving this to me in a recent trade as an extra!
A-Like it's name, it's a beautiful black colored body with nary a hint of light shining through the edges. A cocoa colored head makes a brief appearance, then gradually fades away to a thin ring around my glass.
S-Aromas of chocolate and roasted grains with a mild hopiness hiding in the background.
T-More of the same... Mild tastes of chocolate, coffee, toasted (close to burnt) grains and a pleasant bit of hops riding shotgun.
M-I'm so used to Impy stouts that this feels thin, but actually its very nice for a regular stout. Coupled with some good carbonation and it's got a nice feel.
D-While not overly impressive in any one area, this is a completely solid stout in all areas that I think a person would be more than happy to drink multiples of.
I'm sure this will go excellently with the fudge walnut brownie that I have sitting beside it. A very nice beer from Deschutes that I'm happy to have tried!

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Photo of popery
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 7/16/11. This is such a tasty stout. It’s got a big, rich combination of roast, chocolate and coffee, all backed up by some caramel. The body is creamy and smooth. It’s fairly bitter, which helps tone down the malt sweetness. Black body with a mocha head. Bubbles stick all over the glass prettily. It drinks easily, despite all of the flavor. Good stuff. Edit: Tried from a nitro tap. Excellent beer for nitro. Smooth and creamy. Not quite as much flavor, though.

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Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black, with dark raisin colored highlights on the edge of the glass. Has a two finger medium tan head, which settles down to one finger, and has nice retention. The aroma has dark roasted malt,espresso, earthiness and some dark bitter chocolate.

The flavor has dark roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate, espresso, and there are some hops in the background. This beer becomes slightly sweeter as it warms.

Medium bodied with nice carbonation, and a bit of a burnt coffee aftertaste. This is essentially a classic style American Stout. Not quite as smooth and creamy as I would like, but still a very good beer.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a luscious pitch black color with a creamy tan head and a few fingers of lacing on the glass, a very inviting looking stout.

S: Open with aromas of dark chocolate, and a strong bitter espresso flavor, some dark roasted malt, and char follow in the background. Very little hop presence. A slight bit of fruit in the nose.

T: A strong dark chocolate, with a strong bitter espresso flavor, dark roasted malt, and char follow in the background. A slight bit of fruit, and very little hop presence. The bitterness is slightly strong on this beer but other than that it is a really nice stout.

F: Very smooth and creamy and full body.

O: The bitterness in the taste is a little strong compared to the rest of the beer, but otherwise this is a fantastic stout.

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Photo of mattmeiske12
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle of this at Mari's Six Pack & More in Reading, PA.

Appearance - Thick, dark brown in color. I didn't get much head retention though.

Aroma - Smelled very nice... lots of coffee/expresso, some chocolate.

Taste - This almost reminded me of an irish dry stout. It's not quite what I was expecting, but none the less it was very smooth and chocolatey.

Mouthfeel - Very silky, light on the palate. I didn't like that it thinned off at the end, would've enjoyed some coffee or chocolate.

Overall - This is a very "session-able" stout, something I could keep drinking all day and not get sick of. This was also the first time I've had Deschutes here in PA and I'll keep looking for more.

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Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 9/06/11. Whoops, couple years too late. Probably 3 years old overall. Lots of dust.

A: Nice black pour. Enormous and fluffy medium brown head. Great retention as it fades very slowly. Great retention ever after these years have passed. Nice.

S: Milk chocolate and malt balls. Interesting. A little bit of caramel sweetness in fact.

T: Chocolate and...malt balls again. Malt Balls, the candy. Must be a side effect of the age. Mild cocoa in the aftertaste. Showing some effects of age with a little bit of cardboardy oxidation but not horrible. This is my last one out of the 6pack from 3 years ago, alas.

M: Silky smooth and medium bodied.

O: One of the best accessible stouts out there. This one has suffered a bit from age but still quite good. Wish Deschutes distributed out here.

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Photo of PaleZombie
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large wine glass.

A - Very dark brown black color with about 2 fingers of tan head that disappeared fairly quickly.

S - Sweet caramel roasted malts, brownie chocolate, strong coffee.

T - Roasted malts, followed by the coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Good amount of hop at the back end leaving a slight bitterness. Nice.

M - Fairly heavy and syrupy. This one seemed slightly over carbonated though.

O - This stout has some excellent flavor and a surprising amount of hop in the taste that I was not able to pick up on at first through the smell. For the price its a wonderful stout which may become a regular.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blind tasted alongside Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout and Sierra Nevada Stout.

A - Patchy carpet of mocha head lingers. Good retention.

S - Burned caramel, alongside peat and char.

T - Follows the nose but without the sweetness of caramel. Char and peat predominate.

M - Thick and velvety.

O - Well-constructed. Literally a stout beer.

Ranked Obsidian the highest, with Barney Flats second, and SN Stout slightly behind in third.

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Photo of nickd717
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro tap at Rose & Crown.

This beer pours black, like the volcanic rock (sorry, I stole that from the description) with a two-finger tan head and great lacing.

Aroma is a little muted by the nitro foam, but a little straining of the nostrils reveals a pleasant smell of rich chocolate and roasted malts, with maybe a little coffee as well.

This is a solid, satisfying beer with a rich roasted malt flavor (sorry, stole that from the description again). Damn, this one is chocolatey. The dark chocolate Ghirardelli chips I am eating for breakfast this morning as I write this (breakfast of champions I know) remind me of this beer. It is roasty as well, with notes of coffee and charred volcanic ash, which is fitting given the name.

Extremely smooth on the mouthfeel, which I know is helped by the nitro, with medium-full body. Some slight drying from the roastiness.

This beer reminds me of the world's largest obsidian flows at Newberry Volcano--just a few miles south of the brewery. "The Big Obsidian Flow," as they call it, covers more than 700 acres with shiny black obsidian. (Yep, stole that too.) Ok, here's something original: This beer was good. I liked it.

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

Glugs a solid black into a pint glass with nary a highlight to be seen, even when held to the light. Half inch of dense mocha foam settles to a thin cap and throws some random sticky lacing.

Nose is pleasant albeit a bit reaching. Roasted malts and a bit of earthy hops blend well, becoming a bit more evident with some warming.

Taste follows and adds a bit of a coarse chocolate texture with a hint of cherry and a nice full body. Nicely balanced sweetness is just enough to smooth out the roasted flavors and provide some body without getting in the way. Finish becomes a bit drier as the carbonation lessens, remaining quite drinkable.

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

Pours a deep dark chocolate with nice initial head and great lacing. Smell is a ricjh blend of coffee, burnt malt and hops. Taste follows a similar pattern with the balance of malt and hops doing quite well. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, rich and chewy. Easy on the drinkability scale...smooth yet with a light dry finish.

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a finger and a half high dark tan head that died down but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malts are present in the nose; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the flavors are intensified and the roasted malts really stand out and linger through the finish.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and a little dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a well-crafted stout that is very flavorful and nearly as complex as a Russian Imperial Stout, despite its lighter body nature.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Deschutes Obsidian Stout for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this one for a while to see how it stacks up, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design and it's just a little eye catching. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had a little over two and half fingers worth of nice tan head that left lots of patchy lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the roasted and charred malts being the first to show up with a nice balance between the two and there's some nice chocolate like aromas that show up in the background. Up next comes a medium coffee aroma with a little yeast that goes into some sweet malts with just a little bit of a grainy aroma. This beer has a good aroma, it's just what I would expect from the style.

T- The taste seem to be very similar to the aroma with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the roasted and charred malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma and they retain that same balance with the same amount of chocolate showing up in the background. Up next comes a little coffee with the yeast imparting a little bit of doughy aroma. Towards the finish there's smokey flavors with a medium amount of bitterness with smokey, roasted and charred flavors showing up in the aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it's true to style and it has no off flavors.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is good, but I wish it was just a little thicker.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and it's a very nice example of the style, it has everything that I look for in an American Stout and there's nothing there that shouldn't be there. This beer had good drinkability, I could drink a couple of these without it being to filling or getting bored with it. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and how true to style it is, it's just what I want in a stout. What I like the least about this beer is the body, I wish it was just a little thicker. I would buy this beer again when I'm in the mood for a good stout and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the style. All in all i was very happy with this beer and it lived up to what I have heard about it. it's one of the better Stouts i've had and it's one of the better beers i've had from this brewery, good job guys, this is one tasty beer.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard so much about this I finally had to try. Poured into chalice, nice and dark, all but black, with nice two finger light brown head, good lacing. Smell is of toasted grains with a slightly burnt touch, coffee, and dark chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same. Very nice blend of dark chocolate, coffee, toasted grain, some dark malts. Very complex yet suprisingly smooth. One thing I did like is that the mouthfeel wasnt too heavy. Some stouts its like drinking motor oil, this was a little lighter and easier to drink. While it doesnt stand out as an amazing beer, it is a very good one.

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

thanks MADhomebrewer!

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. pours a watery black, but settles rich. very generous creamy tan foamy head. sticky lacing. looks great.

s - roasted malts with some coffee bitterness. kind of creamy and a touch smoky. mostly roasted malts.

t - very classic. great roasted malt with some bittery backer's chocolate. some burnt stuff.

m - creamy and smooth. carbonation is light. leaves a cooling feel. bitter. little tingly. super creamy.

o - overall great stout. classic to style. wish this was local as i'd have it regularly.

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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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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,808 ratings.
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