Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,135 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,135 | Ratings: 3,826
Photo of sweetbrew82
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass; freshness date clearly stamped on the bottle:

P: Dark brownish- almost black upon pour out of the bottle. Densely packed light brown head with small bubbles. Good retention, sinking down to form a cap on top and leaving that beautiful lace on my glass that most great beers leave behind as evidence to their brilliance. Body is black in color, with tiny streaks of light only barely shining in on the edges of my glass. Looks very good!

A: Chocolate malts, coffee, roasted barley, and a nice and noticeable element of hops.

T: Sweet at the start with burnt sugar, barley, and roasted chocolate malts. Hops pop up, but stay out of the way of the malts until the latter half on the palate. They provide a nice bittering finish, and really balance this one out well. Also, a milk chocolate flavor seems to linger for awhile after swallowed. Extremely tasty, this one.

M: Obsidian Stout feels really good on the tongue. It's just barely a notch under being full-bodied, with a slight chewiness that feels just right. It's smooth as hell, and goes down so gosh-darned easily it's dangerous.

D: Absolutely! Beings that it's 6.4% ABV, it's a very drinkable stout. I can drink this one all night long (and have). Just be careful, it will lay waste to you before you even realize it.

Notes: Another delicious offering from Deschutes Brewery. A rich, creamy, flavorful stout that tastes great and is incredibly smooth. Easy to drink and a pleasure at that. This is one that I have made a regular in my beer diet. A truly delicious American-style stout that I thoroughly enjoy(and quite often at that).

 1,640 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured black and murky brown with a large creamy tan head. The glass was littered with random blobs of foam, clinging desperately

S: burnt coffee, roasted grains, maybe a whiff of dark fruits

T: heavy malts/grain sweetness, luscious mellow coffee flavor. Roasted malt is king within this flavorful . Big caramel sweets, a touch of brown sugar, and semi sweet chocolate chips. The hop content teases the tongue with bitterness for a nice added dimension

M: velvety and smooth paired with ample carbonation...good balance. Easy to drink is an understatement with the heavy lush feel

D: gotta love it! great brew and easy drinker. Nice flavors throughout

 658 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a thick oily black with a 1" light brown fluffy head.

S: The aroma is mostly chocolate and coffee. There is an underlying spice note (perhaps from hops) and a hint of dates.

T: The taste follows in line with the smell. Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. There is a residual bitter/spiciness that is quite welcome.

M: The mouthfeel is full and creamy with noticeable carbonation.

D: This is a very flavorful stout. Quite drinkable.

 458 characters

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

A: Pours nearly black (can only make out some dark brown near the bottom edges of the glass) with a mocha froth colored head that fades quickly.
S: Almost entirely of roasted malts and some malty sweetness. The other main smell is of yeast.
T: Taste is predominately of roasted malts as well. Some chocolate flavor as well; without the bitterness of the cocoa in a lot of stouts. It is a nice break away from the strong smoke and coffee smell and flavor of a lot of stouts I've been having recently.
M: Sticky and lingering, but a bit lighter that I may have expected from a stout.
D: Again, it is a nice departure from the strong smoke and bitter coffee flavors of a lot of stouts and is quite drinkable for a stout.

 717 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. a 12oz bottle with an average pour yielded a striking one-finger head of a burnt sugar and mahogany color, sitting atop a deep dark opaque abyss of black which only hinted at some ruby coloring when held up directly infront of a light. Lacing was light and didn't stay quite as well as I would have liked given the beauty of the color.

s. Malt with a sharp hop note. Sweetness and sour notes waft from the glass. Raisins, cocoa and burnt bread darken aroma, with hints of rum and just a touch of burnt (old?) coffee fill out the aroma. It's an interesting, unusual, yet pleasing aroma.

t. The malt is definitely present, as is the sharp hop note. There's almost a burnt sourness present, which lightens things up and gets away from that common roasty-smokey-cocoa-coffee taste that so many stouts fall generically into. Definite coffee notes, along with burnt figs, rum raisin, and floral hops round it out in a different but good way.

m. a touch light for a stout, with some decent carbonation and an interesting interplay between the sharp piney hop oils and the slightly sour burnt malt flavors on the tongue. I want a bit more chewy body to compete with the flavors, but the sweetness kind of warms me up to the lighter body.

d. definitely drinkable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bottle. This one has a bit of uniqueness that separates it from the generic stout, but that also makes it a bit strong in flavor to drink a ton of - it begins to wear at the tastebuds in a good way... the sweet, sour, roasted, and burnt flavors are incredible but take a turn away from sessionability in my mind. Definitely worth trying if you have the chance, if nothing else than do see what a stout has the ability to be. This one nears an Imperial Stout in the best ways.

 1,766 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep opaque black with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is an abundance of roasted black malts with espresso and cocoa notes. The taste is a nice abundance of fresh espresso, cocoa and a plethora of roasted malts. The beer is crisp and light with decent carbonation, very smooth drinking. This is certainly an enjoyable stout, one that I would love to see here on the east coast.

 385 characters

Photo of corey0212
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another tasty beer from raiser as part of the New Trader BIF Redux!!

Pours a midnight black, with some faint brownish highlights, foamy mocha colored head fading very slowly, with just a few spots of lacing left in the glass. Lots of milk chocolate in the nose, faint coffee, and nice burnt/charred edges. Taste follows right along, just the perfect amount of sweetness, nothing overly bitter. Creamy mouthfeel, medium level of carbonation. This is just plain delicious, and drinkability is completely off the map. Extremely impressive stout.

 543 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for largadeer for sending me a bottle of this from my favorite West Coast brewery.

I read some of the reviews that mentioned hops; hops? This was a malt bomb in my mouth. Malts were piled higher & thicker than Mississippi sediment. Normally not my thing, but these didn't appear to be lager-level malts, but gave the beer a rich, deep feel to it. The depth of the malts give Obsidian a fairly unique taste to me, & one that was easy to drink by Stout standards.

Good beer. I'd drink it again, happily.

 512 characters

Photo of mrkc
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a six pack of Obsidian Stout about a week ago, and I've been slowly working my way through it. I tried, I really did, to like it. Deschutes is generally such a great brewery, and I've been just flat-out impressed by their line almost each and every time. Almost, because this time, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't fall in love with this stout. It's malty odour is fine, but the taste of the hops and the burnt cocoa seem to war with each-other. each are too strong. The mouth-feel is watery, like and is acrid like a cup of coffee you left on the counter for four days. This beer is in dire need of a time-out to mellow it down just a bit, so drinking it isn't like getting beat in the face with a baseball bat.

I'm sorry, Deschutes, I really tried. It's me, not you.

 785 characters

Photo of TEXTONE
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer Name- Obsidian Stout
Style- American Stout
Brewery- Deschutes Brewery
Serving-12zo bottle

Look- Body is deep, dark, and black do not look for light through your glass. Nice creamy, caramel head with good carbonation to boot.

Smell- Dark roasted malts, sweetness, and coffee smell all blended together that is vary pleasant to the nasal passages yummy smell over all.

Taste- Mouth feel is full crisp from the carbonation. Dark malts produce a sweet creamy, roasted coffee taste and bitterness (burnt coffee flavor) with the combination of hops. There is a slight alcohol taste mixed in here also. This beer has become a current favorite of mine and I highly recommend this bier to friends and fellow members and bier drinkers.

 734 characters

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

Pours dark brown with three fingers of chocolaty,chunky head that leaves some massive Swiss cheese lacing as is drops at a snails pace. The nose is caramely with some light roasted coffee aromas. This Stout is rich and full of bitter chocolates and burnt coffee,some good hoppy bitterness on the tail. The body is full and just rite for my liking,this is a bit dry,and could use a touch more creaminess,but overall is a great stout with lots of character to spare. Very quaffable and a great example of the style.

 513 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is a roasty chocolaty affair with some dried fruit and a touch of hop aroma for good measure. Taste follows the smell, but lingers with a bit of ash in the finish. Full body, creamy texture, ample carbonation. If not for the ash in the finish I'd love this beer. As is its still good, just not spectacular.

 378 characters

Photo of jamesm7485
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very nice, a thick dark black pour with a light frothy dark tan head.

Smell is big time roasted malts a smell of coffee beans perhaps

Taste is very nice very upfront with the roasted malts

Mouthfeel is smooth but not dull like some stouts can be

Despite the darkness and abv this is easily a session beer and a regular purchase of mine, just took forever to get around to reviewing it.

 403 characters

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

12 oz bottle

best by 8/08/08

reviewed on 8/21/08

Obsidian pours a dark brown almost black color, only a small slice of a ruby red highlight peaks through at the bottom of the glass. It sports a small tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Its got a big nose of roasted chocolate malt, and semi sweet coffee beans. This beer is a roasted master piece, an awesome caliber of malt quality shines through right away followed by hints of caramel and coffee. A great, balancing, hop character on the finish and a bready yeast character. Its got a smooth medium body, slightly sticky and excellent drinkability. Awesome beer, wish i could get it here in NJ!

 656 characters

Photo of blackjack000
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Black with a milk chocolate head.

Smell: Black liquorice and baker's chocolate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Instant taste of dark, semisweet chocolate. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, instantly followed by perky carbonation that highlights the bittersweet aftertaste.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stout. So smooth and silky that you immediately crave another.

 394 characters

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.

 461 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super dark black, inky liquid that pours into my glass. Medium-sized bubbles that pack tightly together and leave awesome lace. Turns out that the retention is great too.

Roast malt leading the way initially along with a nice complement of bittersweet chocolate and plenty of herbal hopping. The powdery chocolate gets even stronger as the head recedes. Is it slightly smoky?

It is moderately smoky! Awesome mix of chocolate, coffee, and smoke. The malts have been absolutely roasted to within an inch of its life. Tons of complexity, without a huge amount of alcohol which is really cool. The finish leads toward the coffee side and it seems that the bitterness congregates here as well.

In the mouth it's medium-full, not super-chewy but great for style with enough carbonation to keep things in line. Great American stout, I'm sad I've not had it until now.

 865 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.77/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black...very deserving of it's name. The head is a dark brown one finger cap with some nice brown lace coating the glass.

S - Bitter espresso beans and dark unsweetened chocolate. This is one of the most coffee intensive stouts that I've ever smelled. Literally smells like the strongest dark roast espresso with a huge chunk of baker's unsweetened dark sugar lumped in.

T - Again, huge espresso and bitter dark chocolate. There are some woody campfire flavors in there too.

M - Bitter, medium bodied, with some raspy carbonation that is a bit too rough for the style IMHO. The finish is bitter and "stoutish" as hell, and will stick to your teeth for the next few hours.

D - Pretty good stout honestly. I prefer less dark bitter coffee, but I know that's exactly what a lot of stout lovers are looking for so I can't fault it for that.

 851 characters

Photo of AChamberlain
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Daniela for bringing this back from Portland. Poured oh-so black and beautiful. A lovely looking stout. Bit of hop aroma, roasty aromas for sure. Milky and semisweet flavors, yum. It had a wet almost to porter-ish mouthfeel. High drinkability, only the MF throwing me off a bit. I'd love to have this on draft.

 317 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that descends to a patchy cover. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate, ashy, earthy.

The taste is of roasted coffee, caramel/toffee, and chocolate, some anise. Wonderful roasted malt complexity. Smokiness and a bitter bite keep sweetness well-balanced. Finishes semi-dry.

Medium-to-full bodied.

This is a lovely American stout - nice mix of dark maltiness, smokiness and bitterness.

Try this with some lightly charred grilled steak.

Another great brew from a, so far, impressive brewery! Thanks again, Bill!

 628 characters

Photo of stcules
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black in color. One finger of a beautiful light brown head. Good stout appearance.
Roasted malt in the smell, light, very smooth.
The taste is quite intense, of a robust stout, with a good amount of roasted malt.
Some coffee notes here and there.
Very drinkable, smooth.
Good, but not exceptional.

 297 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

overall a good dark Stout. Poured from standard twelve ounce bottle into glass, first impression (this time, I've had it before and liked it):

darker than you realize when simply drinking out of bottle. nearly black, held to light and couldn't really see any level of light shining through, with dark brown head, thin and dissipated fairly quickly, though left enough on top to leave a residue on the glass as I drink it down. dark enough that I only see light through on the edges as I tilt the glass to drink.

definitely notice the deep coffee malt smell right off the bat. I didn't notice as much of the chocolate tinge as others have, but there is a very definite malty coffee-esque aroma to it. Before drinking it, you know what you are getting yourself into. Not overly complex, mostly driven by the roasted malts.

the taste brings further credence tow hat your nose first notices; a strong roasted flavour as the malts are at the forfront, again reminding me in some ways of a dark roast coffee. The chocolate flavour came to me later, almost after swallowing it, almost in little waves. the hops come into play later in the moutful as well, leaving a slightly bitter finish, that is not unpleasant

it is a little creamy, but not as much so as other stouts I've had, enjoyable and not overwhelming. doesn't coat the mouth the way some stouts do. the hops leave a lasting bitterness at the back of the tongue (where the bitter receiving taste buds are...)

overall a drinkable beer. Dark, but not overpowering or overly filling. Something I have drunk before and will drink again.

 1,591 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep, light absorbing black with a huge, fluffy tan head that lasts and lasts, leaving heavy coating.

S-Hefty wafting of dark roasted malt, a bit of sweetness, chocolate and an interesting sour twang...in a good way.

T-Rich, roasted malt sweetness up-front that is cut quickly by bitter raosted twang of the roasted barley. A bit of dark chocolate and espresso. Fairly strong hop bitterness provides a nice balance for the roasted barley.

M-Meadium body with a smoothness that doesn't quit. Rich, roasty flavours linger long! Nice aftertaste punch from the hop bitterness.

D-Man! "Only" 6.4% with all of that flavour, it's made year round and "easily" accessable! Fine work by the folk at DeSchutes, this is a world class beer. IMHO, this may be one of the best "everyday" drinking stouts around.

 805 characters

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

Another Treat from Deschutes here!

A- Poured a rich dark brown, nearly black but not opaque. Darker brown head around 1/2'', good lacing.

S- Wonderful rich coffee and roasted malt aroma with hops present as well. Hints of alcohol linger, almost like RIS, very complex smell, very nice.

T- Smooth, creamy upfront with roasted and chocolate malt present throughout especially vibrant in middle. Hops add nice crisp finish and make this hoppy stout wellrounded. Wonderful flavor from start to finish.

M- Silky smooth mouthfeel, medium body. Not the lightest stout out there but this little brother to RIS is perfect for stout lovers who dont want 10+ percenters.

D- Good for style, and the smoothness helps bring it up

Amazing Flavor out of this stout, making it my new go to for stouts, happy to have access out here in hawaii...highly recommend.

 850 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.16/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From Notes:

A: Poured a very dark brown, almost black with a tan head, about half an inch thick that receded to a thin film. Almost entirely opaque. Decent lacing. 4.0

S: Very rich, chocolate, and dark roasted malts, slight coffee hints as well. Very noticeable piney hops, as well, add a clean dimension, but seem somewhat out of place. 3.0

T: Smoky, coffee flavors up front, with a nice bitter lingering. Relatively little chocolate flavor though, very subdued. Hops are very clean finishing, but are a little too much. Slightly out of balance. Bitterness definitely comes from hops. Clean finish, but just a little too hoppy. 3.0

M: Fairly thick and creamy, doesn't coat the mouth, but still isn't half bad. A little too clean though. 3.0

D: Minus being overly hopped, the beer is fairly drinkable. It wouldn't be my first choice as far as American stouts go, but it is still a very drinkable beer. 3.5

 910 characters

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,826 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.