Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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:
774
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,115 | Ratings: 3,761
Photo of brewdoc75
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The name doesn't lie as you watch this obsidian black liquid pour into the glass. A beautiful, off-white, brown-tinged crown sits on top. A least an inch and a half at first, but dwindles down to a steady 1/4 inch. Moderate carbonation. Some brown and mahogany hues. Dark and lovely. This looks like a solid stout.

S: Roast, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, and a hint of chalk in the aroma. Not as aromatic as some, but definitely smells nice. Maybe even a touch of smokiness. The hops don't come out strong, but seem to add a faint floral aroma in the background.

T: Beautiful dark chocolate flavors hit me at first. These are followed up by a deep roasty flavor reminiscent of a very dark roasted coffee. This is followed by some more, middle of the road chocolate flavors and even some nuttiness. In the back of my throat I get some smoky flavors as well. The hops provide ample bitterness without getting carried away. I don't get any specific hop flavor other than a slight citric twang in the back of the throat. There may be some slight piney flavors too, but they aren't present in every sip. Overall, the chocolate, roast and smoky flavors make this beer very rich and flavorful for the style. At the same time it isn't overpowering. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied, slightly chewy and very smooth. Finishes slightly astringent and dry. Some stickiness in the back of the throat. What stands out to me is the smoothness of the mouthfeel.

D: This was a damn fine stout. Like many craft brew drinkers, I grew up drinking Guinness. Had this been given to me instead, i would have thought Guinness tasted like water. This beer has wonderful flavors and equally beautiful drinkability. The only thing more I could ask from it is maybe just a hint more hop flavor. Otherwise this beer is pretty damn close to perfect.

 1,827 characters

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

A: Two fingers of a creamy/bubbly light brown head. Black with only the slightest ruby hues on the outermost edges. Good retention and lacing.
S: Roasted barley, hints of both milk and dark chocolate and coffee.
T: Big flavors of roasty, sweet chocolate and coffee malts. Twang of citrus and hops pull through at the end of the sip. Great bitters stick around after.
M: Creamy, fully-bodied with great carbonation for the style.
D: Smooth, filling, and tasty. Just another day with Deschutes!

 492 characters

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

Appearance: Would you believe.... very dark black and opaque? Poured into a pint glass. 1/2" to 5/8" of tan head quickly settled down to traces which stuck around to the bottom of the glass.

Nose: Typical of a stout - Roasted barley, hints of coffee.

Taste: Follows from the nose pretty well - roasted barley, some coffee notes. Bitter chocolate. Smoother than expected. Very creamy mouthfeel. Slight hops finish to round it out.

A very drinkable, balanced beer. Definately recommended.

 497 characters

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

Purchased at BevMo (hallowed be its name) in Natomas (Sacramento, CA). Sixer for $7.79, March '07.

A: Half-inch tan head, nice tan lacing. Totally opaque, "say it loud, 'it's black and it's proud.'"

S: Slight coffee notes.. I'm olfactorily challenged, sorry.

T: Coffee and chocolate, fading to a pleasant bitterness.

M: Smooth and slightly chewy.

O: One of my favorite stouts of all time; I highly recommend this beer. I first had this beer at the brewery on a family vacation up to Sunriver, Oregon. The brewery's in Bend, an easy 15 minute drive. I buy at least one 6-pack of this a month now that we've finally got a Bevmo near our home. I wish the ABV were lower, because I love to drink this stuff.

 720 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Stout. Rating adjusted on 7-11-2011. 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Original scores in ()

A: Very dark, pitch black, no light coming through. Decent viscosity for a non Imperial Stout. Nice 2 finger tan head, with superb retention and awesome lacing. Medium sized bubbles in head. Head reduced to thin 1/4 finger layer but sticking around. (4.5)

S: Roasted malts. Hints of roasted coffee. Very light chocolate. Very, very light floral hops. Touches of smoke. Not a huge nose but good. (4.5)

T: Very smokey taste. Roasted/burnt malts. Light coffee/espresso. Slight chocolate notes. Very mild earthy bitterness. Faint sweetness. Smoked wood aftertaste. (4.5)

M: Medium to full-bodied. Cloudy/creamy feel on roof of mouth from the light layer of head remaining. A nice lingering smokiness throughout the mouth and nose. (4.5)

O: A great Stout, even though I've only had Imperials and Russian's thus far. Really can't see getting a whole lot better than this. Definitely will continue to purchase. (4.5)

Came into this re-review thinking I was overly impressed as this was my first stout period. But... It's just a great beer. Can't say much else.

 1,163 characters

Photo of billab914
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 my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a big inch plus head filling the rest of the glass. Right after the pour it's already leaving a thick lacing all over the edges of the glass. The lacing continued and ended up looking like a thick spider web all over the glass.

The aroma shows a good mix of coffee and chocolate to it. it's very smooth and balanced with both sweet and bitter flavors coming through. Very nice aroma for a stout.

The taste is fantastic. It has a great mix of bold stout flavors to it. A big bitter-sweet chocolate flavor turns into more of a burnt and roasted flavor through the finish. Coffee, chocolate, burnt, bitter, sweet, all come through at some point. Excellent flavor overall and just as much flavor as some stouts twice the abv.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. It's a great tasting and very flavorful stout. What really impresses me is just how flavorful it is for being below 7% alcohol. This is better then the majority of imperial stouts out there. Fantastic beer overall and would definitely be a regular purchase if that was possible in this area.

 1,197 characters

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

Color is deep reddish brown, almost impenetrable to light. The head is thick and creamy, and fades nicely. The smell is somewhat mild, reflecting the relative maltiness of this stout. The overall flavor is just a bit bitter. The finish is more chocolate than anything else, with some hops and sweet malt. The feel is as good as you would expect from the look of the head. Very drinkable and balanced.

 401 characters

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

12oz bottle to Samuel Smith oversized nonic.

A: Pours as dark and ominous as any Imperial Stout, with just slightest of hints at ruby red near the base of the glass. The rocky, frothy head is milk chocolate brown and laces the glass beautifully.

S: Charred, sweet roasted malt right off the bat, with impressions of smoke, espresso coffee, and hop bitterness.

T: Right in line with the nose, there is a huge amount of roasted malt character for a beer of this abv. Smoke, char, coffee, touches of bakers chocolate sweetness, and some hops/spices.

MF: Creamy, fuller mouthfeel with good carbonation and body. Not as dry as I was thinking it would finish.

O: A near perfect everyday stout and a wonderful beer. Can't honestly see improving this one without barrel aging or something of the like.

 798 characters

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

Perfectly pitch black color, and an impressive, towering, flowering cocoa-tan head that maintains it's majesty for some time before tumbling down.

Aroma: deep, rich, roasty, bitter, and invigorating.

Taste: remarkably flavorful, mouth-filling, and complex. Warm, tingling, tantalizing. This one feels good in the mouth, and slips down remarkably easy. Puts me in mind of an oatmeal stout, but I'm not sure it is one.Long, lovely, lively finish.

A very impressive, solid, satisfying stout, this one. I find myself scratching at the roof of my brain trying to find new, further ways to describe it's excellence.
If I lived in Oregon, this would get a lot of business from me!

 683 characters

Photo of Lofty
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: poured into a pint glass which revealed a thin film of head

S: smells typical for most stouts with a hint of chocolate and strong roasted malts

T: flavors are quite pleasant with a tiny bit of chocolate but the star is clearly the roasted malt which hangs around for a bit after some smoky oak-ness fades away. You can tell this is a high quality beer as there's definitely no watery, metallic, or alcohol-y flavors

M: the carbonation seems a little much for my preference and it sits a little heavy on the tongue, but I figure it's within reason for a stout

O: A solid offering from one of my favorite breweries. I would certainly buy another six-pack.

 660 characters

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

Served nitro-tap in a pint glass

A- Obsidian, the name says it all. Just a few light highlights in this hazy dark storm of a beer. Chocolate two finger head with great head retention and great lacing.

S - Delightful roasted malt with nice chocolate and hop pine balance.

T - Chocolate and smokiness as first follow by coffee bitterness in the back palate and a little dry. Tastes just slightly watery in the end, but well balanced overall.

M - Creamy, full bodied, good carbonation. Almost perfect.

O - Excellent stout, would be the best beer at many breweries. Just wish I would have drank this before, and not after The Abyss because that is one tough act to follow. Would get this beer anytime.

 702 characters

Photo of chrisms86
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost solid black (when held up to a light some brown shines through) with a fine layer of lasting head. Smells of alcoholic chocolate. Mouthfeel is very thick with just a slight tingle of carbonation, with a slight sweetness to complement the chocolate, coffee, and malt.

A fantastic stout. Recommended without a meal, as the chocolate and coffee flavors tend to be more dessert-oriented and aren't the best at complimenting food. A great after dinner beer.

 471 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours just a shade or two away from being completely pitch black with a nice tan head that provides some solid lacing. The aroma is dark and roasty with a good dose of coffee and chocolate. The taste is very well crafted with dark roasted malts with a good amount of roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. The drinkability of this stout is off the charts, I would love to be able to throw down a few more of these in one sitting. Overall, Obsidian Stout is a pretty damn tasty stout that is highly recommended.

 598 characters

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

Appearance – Jet black with a lot of nice tan frothy head. The lacing left is plentiful.

Smell – The smell is very strong of roasted malt. There is a little caramel and coffee as well.

Taste – Very nice roasted malt flavor off the get go. This is followed by some coffee and burnt wood. There is a nice balancing bitterness also. Excellent flavor.

Mouthfeel – Nice subtle carbonation and a substantial enough body to hold its own.

Drinkability – Amazing…it goes down like cold water on a hot day.

Thanks to elricorico for the bottle. A great beer which I hope to get more of soon!

 594 characters

Photo of Flashsp2
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Obsidian Stout into pint

Decanted pour is densely black with a thich beige head that tracks big
sticky webbing on the way down.

Nose is dominated by roasted grain, French roast coffee, and citrus.
It smells very roasty and bitter, walking the fine line of being
acrid, and its a touch smokey.

Starts off with a faint sweetness that is quickly run over by a clean
roasty bitterness, more French roast coffee, smoke, and a faint hop
citrus on the finish. The flavor is just intensely coffee focused.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a coarsely bubbled carbonation that
seems a bit rough.

Way easy to drink, with the abundant carbonation being the only
lackluster point. This is a well put together American stout that is
heavy enough to qualify for export strength.

 767 characters

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

Obtained from an exceptional trader, msubulldog25.

a - pours black with a one-finger tan head, retention around the edges, slight lacing

s - bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt dominate, not much alcohol presence, slight nuttiness

t - bittersweet chocolate up front followed by a smooth roasted malt, finish is slightly bitter with no noticeable alcohol

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish with a bit of warming

d - very drinkable stout, alcohol is not noticeable and the taste is quite smooth

Very good stout, not on the level of Cadillac Mtn., but excellent nonetheless. I could drink this all night and not get bored.

 664 characters

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

From bottle poured into tulip glass. Obsidian color just like the title. One finger head settles easy. Nice lacing.

Aroma not overpowering. Subtle molasses and coffee, roasty.

Dark chocolate overtones backed up by some nice roasty espresso flavors. Reminds me of chocolate espresso beans. A bit thin on complexity of the malt body.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Medium bodied and real creamy easy finish.

Outstanding beer and the flavor and experience that comes through given the ABV means you can have more than 1 and enjoy anytime.

 534 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Dense black color with a 2-finger mocha-colored fluffy head that tapers down to a thin film. There is a lot of sticky lacing left behind.

S- Dark roasted malt and strong coffee/expresso. It has quite an inviting aroma, there's a hint of sweetness as well, chocolate.

T-Roasted malt and coffee flavors are dominant for me. The chocolate is balanced by the 55IBUs so it's not sweet.

M- A little thin despite the good carbonation. Those coffee and malt flavors linger.The hop balance on the finish is near perfect.

O-This is a very good stout, too bad it's N/A in NJ.

 619 characters

Photo of beernut7
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is teh first American stout I ever had. It has a great thick body, higer alcohol content, nice creamy head and great roasted flavor from the heavy dark malts. This one'll keep you warm at night.

 201 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours jet black with a good tan head. Lots of lacing and good head retention as well.

S: Lots of roasted malt along with a whiff of some sweetness.

T: A solid roasted malt taste up front with just the right amount of sweetness. A bitterness cuts right through in the form of some roasted coffee. Nice complexity in this brew along with an incredible smoothness throughout which is even more outstanding with all the big and bold flavors.

M: Medium bodied with active carbonation.

D: Exceptional drinkability. An easy drinking and incredibly smooth beer to go along with all the big and great stout flavors.

 660 characters

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

Wow! BC brews very few stouts, but the rest of the "Cascadia" (read: American) region does a damn good job of their stouts. I picked this up "across the border" in Bellingham on a mad-dash-who-gives-a-damn beer spree. This is a strong, full stout that beats almost anything brewed in Canada (with a few exceptions).

This is what a stout should be: black, with a coffee-and-cream head. Black, like obsidian. When held up to the light, a faint bit of ruby shows through.

This smells like ovaltine and roasted malt. There is a definite malt smell on the nose as this excellent beer warms. I can taste coffee, chocolate, and burnt malts. There is a faint alcoholic sweetness that blends nicely with the "dark" flavours.

Overall, this is a very well done stout. The only detractor from drinkability is the abv, which at 6.4% is a bit high for a standard (i.e. non-Imperial) stout. Despite this, Deschutes has come up with an outstanding beer that I wish I could obtain easily.

 980 characters

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

Appearance – 12 oz bottle with hop cones embossed onto it, obtained in a trade with Gueuzedude. In my snifter this stout is black with a thin tan head. The head falls to just a thin coating within a few minutes, but there is nice lacing.

Smell – Coffee and chocolate with some milk sweetness. It is a nice stout aroma, with just a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste – Similar to the smell, coffee with a creamy sweetness that is really good. Very smooth flavor with just a hint of roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. Certainly not an overly complex flavor, but it is just really well done.

Mouthfeel – Full with medium-low carbonation. Just what a stout should be.

Drinkability & Notes – Easy to drink, because of the great flavor and perfect mouthfeel. In my experience this is one of the better American single stouts out there, I really wish this was available here on the East Coast.

 903 characters

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

A - This beer poured a deep black color that produced a nice fluffy brown head that had great retention and left a beautiful lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and molasses

T - This beer had flavors of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, some great molasses, a bit of vanilla hiding in the back, and a little bit of creaminess to it

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body that had a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was a wonderful example of a Stout, lots of flavors and complexity to it, a great beer, to bad Deschutes does not distribute down here

 663 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours "obsidian" black with a nice full finger mocha head, really sticky on the sides of the glass.
Rich roasted barley smell with a smokey edge, dark chocolate, burnt toffee, roasted coffee bean, light caramel. Some dark licorice and a really really faint whiff of citrus.
Wow, what a great taste! Rich roasted malts, grainy, bready, with a really authentic smokiness, feels like nice bread that's been left on a countryside bakestone for a few minutes too long. Nice chocolate to go with it, sweet with caramel and light toffee, a tiny bit fresh with some lemon zest, reeeaaally subtle. Hint of vanilla, dark licorice and burnt wood. Heavily roasted finish, but not ashy (as they usually are), which is really nice.
Long finish, the rich roasted malts heading to the aftertaste, with some coffee bean hints and cocoa. Medium body, smooth carbonation.
Wow, what a wonderful stout, just so damn tasty and rich in flavor!

 920 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe