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Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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1,108 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: 1,108 | Ratings: 3,729
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer at my local grocer. The best by label suggests it's still good for about a month. Poured right from the fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours coffee black--looks a bit like used motor oil as it goes in--with an inch khaki head that dissipates after a bit and leaves good cling on the glass.

S: Roasted malts dominate the nose. There's coffee notes present, along with a bit of vanilla. Very nice bouquet.

T: Big roasty malts at the front with a healthy dose of coffee and vanilla in the mix. Dark chocolate comes through a bit in the middle, along with some clear alcohol. Just a touch of black licorice. The back end has plenty of the malts carry over, but there's some definite hop bitterness that stays on the palate for a bit. Well-rounded and balanced flavors in this one.

F: Full-bodied and creamy. Very nice carbonation on this one. It's smooth with some nice bitter brightness at the back end.

O: This isn't a flashy stout, but it's impeccably balanced and smooth. I don't like being blown away by coffee or chocolate notes in a stout--I like to know that I'm still drinking beer. This one definitely delivers in that respect. Hats off to the Deschutes brewmaster in crafting such a lovely single stout.

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Photo of Schmittymack
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Next to last brew for me tonite at my local watering hole; finally getting around to reviewing it. Poured a dark brown/nearly black with a very creamy head that disapated rather quickly. Nose picked up a little roasted malt; nothing else. Taste was great. Chocolatly malty goodness with no bitter after taste. As it warmed, it just got better and better--I even splashed a bit of Lindeman's Framboise into the last three ounces or so to make a GREAT raspberry stout. I don't think this little brother of Abyss gets any respect: I'd do more than a couple in a sitting.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass (Best by 4/23/13)

A- Poured black with big frothy mocha head that left dense glass coating lace. Exactly what a stout should look like.

S- Huge roasty, bready, caramel, mineral, and dark chocolate notes. Very bold aroma and well-balanced between roasty and sweet.

T- Big roasted notes, dark fruits, caramel, bready, smokey, mineral, and dark chocolate notes. Balanced and bold like the aroma. Quite a bit of coffee bitterness especially on the finish.

M- Full bodied, creamy, super smooth, dry, and a soft mouthfeel

O- A really great balanced stout with huge flavors, highly drinkable, great mouthfeel, and like all Deschutes six packs an incredible value.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Rogue in SF.

A: Eerily reminiscent of a Guinness Draught actually (which is the one saving grace of a Guinness, i.e. the look). The nitrous obv has much to do with this.

S: Chocolate espresso with a slight vanilla kick.

T: Burnt chocolate malts, slight espresso hints, and a smooth vanilla end.

M: Creamy and dry.

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Photo of goschool
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours about as close to black as possible with a reddish-tan head. The mouthfeel is chewy and the carbonation level is noticeable, nice and not too high. The flavors are remarkably complex- roasted malts, coffee and chocolate followed by a bitter hoppy finish. Obsidian is a top-notch stout.

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Photo of budgood1
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours out an opaque blackened brown colour with a cascading dark tan head an inch high with viscous staying power. can't really look any better. the aroma is a conglomeration of dark unsweetened chocolate, dark roasted malts, nougat, toffee, java and NW hopping. smells delicious. the taste is a malt and yeast driven pillowy black patent maltiness with hints of funk and ripe red fruit. there is underlying cocoa and caramel layer complimented by a slight alcohol note and cascade type hops. tastes solid. the body of this stout is full and heavy, with a thick, rich and luscious and somewhat chalky mouthfeel. this is a very drinkable beer but one you'll want to take your time with due to the well rounded nature.

overall an american stout that brings it all to the table. this may be the quintessential example of domestic stout brewing. good stuff here and definitley recommended.

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Photo of katybee
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful beer, full of flavor and character.

deep dark brown in color, true to the type it is totally opaque, with a 1" big, rich, cocoa tan head when poured, and lots of residual lacing.

There is no unusual smell to speak of, neither over the glass or after the pour emptied. Although if it is there, it is only lightly hoppy.

the flavor is wonderful roasted malts. I didn't detect any real coffee or chocolate notes, and no excessive sweetness. There is some light hops, and a slightly bitter dry aspect, that while it can be savored and rolled over the tongue, it is more of a pounder beer, rather than a sipper. Very different from the average lager. Solid flavor, not too much alternative aspects, just straight on toasted malt.

medium bodied, very smooth but not excessively creamy, with little if any carbonation tickle.

Highly drinkable when first poured, it did seem to lose a little of the flavor character and became slightly hoppy sour when flattened to room temp, but nothing really to complain about-- just not as sweet as some barelywine type ales.

Overall a straight-on great stout, very true to it's pedigree type, and the slightly higher alcohol content packs more punch than an average lager...just not as memorable as some of the other more flavored varietals--such as Lagunitas cappuccino stout.

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Photo of spidermite
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.75

So crisp and clean, one of my favorite go to stouts when I can find it.

it's just so smooth and tastes like it should be thicker smells like roasted malts and goes down so smooth, the appearance is spelled out in the name and I love seeing peoples eyes pop when they see it for the first time. Cant have just one though....

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Photo of MikefromDormont
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured black with a creamy dark tan head. I detected a coffee aroma and enjoyed the thick creamy body that this beer had. I love beers that look like motor oil and I enjoyed the roasted malt and sweet chocolate flavors. Oregon residents are fortunate to have this brewery in their state.

I first encountered Deschutes beers in Washington DC in 2001 when I stopped at the Brickskellar and at Chevy Chase Wine and Liquors. Chevy Chase charged $14.99 for a six pack of Deschutes beer. Unfortunately, I've not seen this beer in DC since 2001. I've had to depend on a schoolteacher friend bringing some of this beer back from the western US when he vacations there.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination IPA
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: June 4, 2013
Consumed: June 11, 2013
Misc.: Best by Aug. 12, 2013

Poured a black tar color with 3-4 fingers of tan and light brown frothy head. Good amount of circular lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled chocolate, dark caramel, espresso and roasty malts. Seemed to be stronger than 6.4 percent, more like an RIS. Very good nose and had me looking forward to the taste.

Tasted similar to the nose, only better. Got rich chocolate, fudge, dark caramel, toffee, roasty malts, chocolate milk and chocolate malt.

Full-to-medium body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish.

A fantastic stout. I am only upset that it took this long for me to figure it out.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Deschutes Brewery & Public House, Portland, OR.

The beer arrives with a thick, gorgeously cascading two-inch cap of unifrom custard head. Immaculate retention and thick lacing left behind a, how should I put this..."Obsidian" colored body. Volcanic glass, indeed. Roasted chocolate malts, some caramel & smoke are evident in the aroma, alongside musty, earthen hops which balance the malts quite well.

The flavor is a plethora of dark, rich coffee and chocolate, which coat the palate with a milk-like sweetness before giving way to a dark chocolate and spicy, organic hop bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is uber-creamy, velvety, thick-bodied, and oh so drinkable, but tends to get a little thinner as the nitrogen wears down. All in all, an excellent beer, and one I'm glad I got to try not only straight from the horse's mouth, but on Nitro-tap, too.

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Photo of da_beers
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful oil black with one and a half fingers of an awesome tan, bubbly head. This is what you want your stout to look like!

S - Deep dark, chocolaty, coffee - like a mocha. Has a syrupy smell to it. I get walnuts as well. Smells like walking into an old coffee shop with oaken walls.

T - Great taste. It hits with this great bitterness from the hops. It has this great nuttiness as well. Chocolate at the end, but very faint, as well as the coffee was bigger than the taste.

M - Has a sharpness from the bitterness. Medium bodied. Close to full bodied, but a touch lite. Has good drinkability and the lowish carbonation is spot on.

O - Was very excited for this one. My first form Deschutes. Nose was huge! Taste a little below that. I would recommend to anyone, especially those who love a less smooth stout. Spot on with the bitterness and hops!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently, the name of this magnificent stout has something to do with volcanic flow. Whatever, this is one superb beer: it looks like a stout should; deep and dark, tar black body beneath a finger of vanilla froth.

Breath it in; the nose of sweet cocoa powder with a little whiff of musty basement to make it interesting. There is a mildy chewy malt backbone here, one that supplements a sleek balance of malt and hop, all of which ends in a sweet miasma of bittersweet chocalte. (maybe even some coffe thrown in for effect?) Yet, neither ingredient overwhelms the other - call it simpatico.

I anticipated quaffing this beauty and mourned the finishing of it - we all can't live in Oregon. Truly a worthy stout. Wo to the sad bastard who has never tasted this one.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a thick cream head of deep tan color that last and last. The body is to dense to see any sign of carbonation.

S- This beer has big smells of chocolate malt and black roasted malt with a light hint of cream in the background. Very fresh quality to the aroma.

T- This beer has flavors of dark roasted and black roasted malts with dark chocolate malt notes in the background. There is a rich creamy flavor to the malts. The finish has a green herbaceous note with a slight chalk taste to it. The bitterness at the finish hangs on after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel that becomes more full in the finish. I think the thick head really adds to the body.

D- The bitterness is not distinctly hops and not roasted malt but a blend of the two which is interesting. Nice rich malt flavors make this a full flavored stout.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a thick and dark black, with a medium head that shrank but never disappeared. Lace is minimal.

The smell is dominated by roasted malts. The taste brings more roasted malt up front with a touch of smoke flavor. Hops come through in the finish and leave a long taste of bitterness. The mouthfeel is pretty full, while drinkability is great for the alcohol content.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with a brown head.
Aroma of heavily roasted malt. Notes of bitter chocolate and mild coffee.

Taste follows aroma and is big in the heavily roasted malt department. A MILD coffee flavor with just a hint of smoke. Hops are there only to balance and don't make much of a statement.

Good, full-bodied mouthfeel.
Very drinkable for a 6.7% ABV stout.

Overall, this is one of the better stouts out there. An enjoyable beer. Give this one a try if you can.

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Photo of JohnnyJam
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this in my beer refrigerator for four months and it was buried in the back and I had not reviewed it. Deschutes Black Butte Porter is always on hand and I deviated to try this. I'm glad that I did. It is so good. The date code is 9/16/13 but I will review it anyway. Did it get better?

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with the date code clearly visible (9/16/13) into a pint glass and got 2+ fingers of head.

A: Pours black and opaque. I get a huge 2+ fingers if tan head that dissipates slowly to more than just a covering on the top of my glass that lasts to the end. Huge amounts of off-white lacing from top to bottom.

S: Dark coffee, vanilla, and charcoal.

T: Charcoal, strong coffee, burnt toast, and molasses. Really complex. Finishes with the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate.

M: Medium bodied and carbonated. The carbonation is similar to an effervescence that dances on my tongue. It goes down good.

O: I really like it. It is really satisfying and tasty.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the blue dog.
Appears quite black with a rocky tall head that dense and lingers for a long while. Looks to be about average carbonation. Lots of sticky lacing to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is rich and robust with roasted malts and esspresso hints of molasses comes through too.

Taste is of rich roasted malts and black coffee.
Some hop bitterness comes through to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Slides down nicely.

This was a good stout with lots of flavor.
My second from the folks at Deschutes, and there proving to be a worthy brewery in my opinion.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown color with a tall tan head that leaves some cool lacing. Smells of roasted malts, and chocolate. Taste includes the roasted malt and chocolate notes, but I also picked up sone coffee notes. A slight sweetness at the end of the taste. I didn't really notice the hops in the mix. Mouthfeel is medium/heavy with light carbonation. Overall this beer exemplifies the style. I am not much of a stout guy, so I tried to judge it by style.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Taste is of roasted malt, coffee beans, and the chocolate chip cookie dough flavors. A very mild roasty and sweet flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout that is very tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 1/1/13 first beer of the year

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, large and loose mocha foam slowly falls to a thick film leaving some random lace well down the glass

S lots of dark roast but there's some citric hops still shining through, there's some bakers chocolate, raisins and cold coffee with a little sweetness and char coco powder, smells fairly straight forward but its very strong and exactly what a stout should smell like

T again its a great mix of dark roast and hops, the malts a little darker in the mouth, quite rich and tasty I'm pretty stoked with this one

M lighter side of medium bodied with a good level of carbonation, a hoppy char aftertaste lingers quite strong for some time

O great stout going on here, hits all the spots and I could and will drink a few with no issues at all

Big dark roast notes with a hop kick, this is what I look for in a stout and I'm so very stoked to see this at my liquor store, great example of the style

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Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IntriqKen was kind enough to send this along as an extra in Double Trouble GIF. Thanks Ken!

Very dark, faint chestnut edges with a fluffy, dark tan head. Plenty of lacing and good head retention. Nice aroma! A mix of roast, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, biscuity malt and a hint of licorice. The flavour's top notch as well. Along with the solid roastiness, there's a lot of anise throughout. Notes of bittersweet chocolate and light fruit round things out. Moderate to low bitterness. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation and a silky texture. Great stout with a nice balance of flavours. Definitely a winner.

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Photo of markman
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes Obsidian Stout:

Obsidian-black pour under a smallish but dense head…roasted malt and hints of peanuts fill the nose. Leads with a rich roasted mocha-ish burst, and finishes with a silky chocolaty bite. An excellent stout, layers of flavor and about as complex as they come. And at cellar temperature, this stout is hard to put down.


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Photo of msubulldog25
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Dark as the stone this beer is named after...a creamy mocha-colored 1-finger+ head which lingers a long time and leaves trailing lace.

S: Big brown sugar & roasted dark malt, dark chocolate and some juicy ripe cherries. Espresso beans and a hint of alcohol.

T: Bittersweet chocolate upfront with a tangy lemon-citrus sourness. Roasted coffee and ample bitter hopping - transcendent flavors - extremely good.

M: Full creamy mouthfeel with a nice full body and mild carbonation. A little clinging bitterness.

D: Just a terrific stout...I'm fortunate to live in Oregon where I can get this one anytime. It's been a while since I've had this, I'd forgotten how delicious Obsidian is. Highly reccommended.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a great week. After never coming across Deschutes, I've had a chance to try Black Butte Porter, IPA, and Obsidian in the course of a few days. This is my favorite of the three I've tried so far. Just the faintest trace of light shows through the inky darkness. The head is a tan monster that sticks to the side of the glass and leaves little islets over the top of the beer. Roasted malt, coffee, and just a trace of nut swirl around nicely. A nice hop bitterness kicks in at the end to make things even more interesting. Drinkability? It could be dangerous at this abv.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,729 ratings.
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