Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,103 Reviews
Obsidian StoutObsidian Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,103
Ratings:
3,697
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
17.58%
 
 
Wants:
552
Gots:
743
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 3,697
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Fathers Office in Santa Monica, CA on 7/10/11

A - Poured dark black with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a mild bitterness present as well. A nice nose.

T - Bitter espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts and a subtle overall sweetness to balance it out. This is an exceptional stout.

M - Almost feels like this is nitro (perhaps it is?). Medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

O - Another great offering from Deschutes.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a thin head and left some frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The coffee and chocolate malts dominated the nose with roasty, slight oat grains, and faint lacto notes. The coffee is more potent on the palate with oat grains, chocolate, and roasty accents. It did have coffee bean and vanilla bean notes in the background as well. The brew was full in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, slight astringent, malty, and creamy silky finish. It drank decent but was really tasty. Can't believe why I would avoid this brew for so long.

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Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Do I have a bad bottle or just not like this beer? It smelled a bit like molasses, and while there was a decent bitterness in the aftertaste, the overall flavor is nothing to brag about. Roasted coffee-like (but not really coffee flavored) grains with a bit of cocoa. I was expecting something exciting like a Shakespeare Stout, but didn't get any depth like that.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades. The aroma is great. It has a rich, dry black malt scent with a roasted element that is very aromatic. The taste is good. It has a very earthy black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes smooth and rich. It is a bit dry and creamy. This is a very flavorful stout. It is uncompromising with the use of black malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good stout. It has excellent black malt flavor and a smooth finish; a good drinker.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy smacks! This was on nitro-tap at Vine St. Pub in Denver, CO. This place has Mountain Sun house beers with guest taps...a nice mix.

Pours a black, rich beer. Nitro gives the foamy white head a nice completeness and contrast to the body. Much like the famous Guinness pour. Head stays throughout at 1 finger.

Coffee aroma, dark chocolate and roasted bread. Lovely.
Coffee aroma settles a bit in the taste. More dark chocolate comes out towards the end. Dark fruits blended well (some plum, prune, raisin).
Darn smooth. Very easy drinking. A touch sharp in the middle.
very nice nitro version

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Photo of Tone
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, alcohol, sweet malt, slight spice, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of an American Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee, sweet malt, slight dry hop, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, and body.

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

Appearance: black in color with a 2" fluffy tan colored head that lasts quite a while. Thick fluffy lace sticks to the glass.

Smell: wonderful coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolates. Great nose on this beer.

Taste: the roasted malt is very hearty with a strong coffee flavors. Some dark chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of licorice comes through too.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long aftertaste of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

Drinkability: this is the example of a liquid meal. Very flavorful and these can be quaffed for a while. This beer should be had by everyone.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.

The beer pours a deep, black color with a large nitro-induced tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolate, just as I expected. The flavor is where the nitro really takes away from the beer. I get quite a bit of chocolate and roasted malt, but the nitro thins out the mouthfeel and makes the beer taste watery. There is also a little bit of coffee in the flavor. Thin to medium, watery mouthfeel.

Hopefully I will be able to try this beer in the bottle or on regular tap so I can re-review it, since I am sure it is a better beer when not on nitro.

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Photo of Duff27
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best By: 04/09/12
0134 J

A- Aggressive pour yields a three finger-width, mid-mocha head on a black beer. Gread head retention with clumpy lacing.

S- A whole bunch of roasty, chocolatey, cola notes on the nose.

T- More roastiness, chocolate and even a hint of smokiness on certain sips. Perhaps some coffee thrown in there somewhere. Leaves a taste of bitter chocolate on the palate.

M- Smooth, medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D/O- Highly drinkable. First time having this Deschutes offering, I've been missing out. Thanks ruizjoseph for the long time want!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just another part of my make-your-own-6-pack from Town and Country, on to the beer:

It pours thick from the bottle into a pint glass with a beautiful contrast of black and tan. There's plenty of roasted barely in this beer, one that's very bitter from the burnt flavors. Pretty drinkable. I had this after eating some greasy pizza, and my palate welcomed the rush of roasted bitterness.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a half finger khaki head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, chocolate, hints of vanilla, coffee and hops. Flavor is dark toasted malt with char and little smoke, boiled coffee, chocolate with hints of vanilla; finishes with charry dark malt, coffee and grassy hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation. A nice toasty stout with a surprising amount of coffee and char, considering what a long time workhorse this stout has been. I'm impressed that Deschutes was making something this aggressive for so long. It's hard not compare this to Abyss and it is not as rich and complex, but really quite nice for a readily available, widely distributed stout. It's been a long time since I had one of these and I will revisit it more frequently now.

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

12oz bottle into a Penn Pilsner pint glass. Thanks Jwelsh for the extra.

A- Obsidian Stout pours a dark black color with some brown showing towards the top. A aggressive pour yielded a 1 inch and building tan head so I slowed down. After the head settled it left a skim on the surface and spotty lacing.

S- I could smell this from 2ft so I know it has legs. A huge roasty profile with a deep malt scent and some chocolate and black coffee. This is near expiration so i'm guessing the hops have faded some but they show up. Charcoal and somewhat burnt.

T- A lot of burnt charcoal throughout with some sweet chocolate and coffee in between. getting some of the yeast as well. Burnt malt giving off slight toffee. After some time some bitterness comes forth so I guess some hops survived. Some fruit off in the distance.

M- More bitterness presided in the mouth as well but overall this one is a smooth sipper. Obsidian is a full bodied stout with ample carbonation. This one finishes a bit dry. The malts stand out the most and stick around the longest out of the flavors.

D- A great American Stout at a low abv which is great in this land of imperials. Not quite a session beer but I would drink a few. The burnt malt may wear thin after some time. Either way this was a treat and I would drink again. Would like to try a freshie to compare.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 7 Sep 15
12 oz. Bottle
Best By: 11/02/15

Been many years, since I've last had this brew.

Pours a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice one-finger creamy light tan head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice chocolate/toffee notes, nice sweetness, Medium body, slightly dry/bitter finish. Overall, for the price/abv, one of the best American Stout's made, I believe.

A - Pours a dark brown color, nice dark tan creamy head, nice carbonation, nice lacing throughout the drink.

S - Scents of sweet malts, toffee/chocolate.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/malty, with some nice toffee accents.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. An very tasty stout from Deschutes, highly recommended.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Date December 2006, Sampled January 2006
Pours a deep black color and is topped by a three-finger thick, light brown colored head that slowly recedes in a large bubbled mass. The aroma is dominated by roasted notes; I get notes of deeply roasted espresso, acidic notes of cold black coffee, and some sweet dark chocolate aromatics up front. The aroma is quite nice.

The taste is sharp, with a burnt acidity to it up front. This is balanced by a soft creamy mouthfeel that starts in the middle and carries through almost to the end. The finish is dominated by roasted notes quite similar to the finish of an espresso; acidity and roasted / burnt notes. For all of the roast character it is quite smooth, it is lack that burnt-husk astringency that can be found in some stouts. Having said that, the roasted acidity here is a bit too much; there needs to be a bit more something (sweet malt would do it) to balance it out. Perhaps a bit of age would do the trick as well; I have a feeling this might mellow out over 6 months or so.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from the Coop shared with my brother, my half from a Shaker pint.

Black.. not brown... black. Tan head with rings of lacing that last the entire glass.

This is what an American stout should smell like.. roasted barley .. dark and chocolate malts.. has a sorta creamy fruity finish.

Big dark malt flavors mix perfectly with dark caramel.. I am sure there are hops in there... but oh well, I can't pick em out. Creamy body.. dark malts and lingering tasty finish.

No doubt, this is my favorite "locally available" American stout.. and it is exactly what I expect out of Deschutes and other PNW breweries... bigger is sometimes better...

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR,

A: Pours a dark opaque black, with a thick, tan head, very appealing, I like the way this stout looks.

S: Dark roasted malts, burnt sugar, and a bit of coffee.

T: Burnt, very burnt, this is probably the bitterest stout I have ever had, in response to the roasted malts. There is a hint of black cherry flavour as well, very tasty.

M: Smooth, thick, well carbonated for a stout, no trace of the 6.40% alcohol, very rich for its alcohol content.

D: A great American stout, I could drink this all day, one of Deschutes best beers, better than their porter, which is also pretty good, an American classic.

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Photo of plaid75
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Deschutes Brewpub, Portland, Oregon.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a elements of roasted barley, dry coffee, dark chocolate and a touch of smoke.

The taste consisted of roasted barley, semi-sweet chocolate and charcoal.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a nice lingering bitterness.

Overall an above average stout.

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

Nearly black colored beer with a strong brown colored head that almost spills over the edge of the glass.

Smell is clean and fairly full of chocolate with fainter coffee and smoke aromas. Nice hop aroma that is herbal and minty more than citrus. Malt is mostly scorched sugar and caramel in scent.

Taste is roasted coffee and wine like acid in the first sip with a nice bitterness in the after taste. After about half the glass this has changed in flavor to more sweet chocolate than coffee and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Really smooth drinking stout here that just gets better the more that you drink it. This beer strikes a nice balance between interesting and mild to drink just about perfectly.

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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 Kelp
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black brew poured into the glass. Slight tannish head with about two fingers. Light lacing that followed down the glass.

Heavy malts on the nose along with a bit of chocolate and espresso.

A nice roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate in the background. Ends with a hint of espresso that doesn't last long on the tongue.

A bit over carbonated for me, but a nice smooth almost silky feel across the tongue. A medium body body that seems a bit thinner than expected.

A good almost great session beer. Enjoyable, but not quite as good as I was hoping for. Definitely could enjoy as few but there are better stouts out in my area that I would drink, rather than trade for this again. Thanks Sugit.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely, utterly black, the color of its namesake. One finger of dark tan foam subsided to a thin coating after a couple of minutes. Looks damn good.

Smell: smooth, rich roasted aroma. The smell is deeper than just the standard coffee and chocolate descriptions -- it just smells like roastiness. Quite nice.

Taste: rich roasted flavor; like the aroma but with a lot more punch. It is slightly tanniney; if I didn't know better, I might have guessed that this thing was oaked. Hops provide just enough bitterness to edge out the malt in prominence; if anything, I'd call them floral, but they're not particularly expressive in flavor. Overall, it manages a great stout flavor and stays smooth nonetheless. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an appropriate level of carbonation. There's just enough cling to it to make sure you get that great lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: definitely one of the most drinkable richly-flavored dark beers I've ever had. Its flavor builds on the palate, so there's a cumulative effect at work here, but the flavor is just so smooth and lacking in detriments that I don't mind. A classic.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I used to drink this all of the time out of the bottle, and I thought it was prety decent. Much better on nitro-tap, and normally I prefer regular taps over nitro but this beer really benefits from the extra creaminess imparted. Pours black with a huge creamy head and phenomenal lacing. The smell has a verylight aroma of cream and some relatively light roastiness. The flavors of light roastines, huge creaminess, lingering licorice bitterness, and touch of malty sweetness are very well integrated and balanced. Delicious. Super creamy, easy-drinking mouthfeel, somewhat light but easy going. I always thought this beer was a little overrated, having it this way changed my mind.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cola colored body with a huge rocky tan head. Excellent retention and lacing. Looks extremely appetizing.

Not super aromatic, just a nice blend of roast malt, coffee, light notes of bittersweet chocolate. Flavor delivers a bit more, however, bringing all of the above into higher relief. Roasty and charred, a bit bitter, herbal and hoppy. The overall effect is quite tasty but not overly pronounced and ends up being very mild and easy drinking. The chocolate and underlying malt character in both the aroma and flavor are nice but somewhat subdued.

Medium body and carbonation with a fairly clean, dry finish and a lingering bitterness. Really a very nice beer that goes down smoothly. I’d drink this again if I didn’t have to trade for it.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jacks...
Appears a pitch black with the typical nitro head that never fades away. A thick, 1 finger, tan head of foam is retained through the entire duration. Lots of clingy lace is left around the glass.
Smell is of mocha, roasted nuts, ripe fruit, espresso, ripe fig, light pipe tobacco.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas though the richness is very subdued from the nitro-mix. A little like Young's Double Chocolate, IMO.
Mouthfeel is as smooth as can be with roasted nuts, figs, plums, and mocha standing out along the palate. It reminds me a little of an Irish car bomb minus the Jamison.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a grey-market import in Australia. I figure at least a stout will survive better in whatever conditions we get it in.

Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a very deep brown head. Much darker than usual, with a complex and intricate lace on the inside of the glass. I love the lace, which forms in honeycomb patterns, so beautiful. Body is pleasantly thick and heavy. Looks very decent.

Nose is roasty, but soft, just giving some subtle dark notes to an otherwise oily and supple-sweet character. It's not terribly complex, but it has some pleasant aromas.

Taste is nicely roasty. For the ABV, you expect this level of char, because it doesn't have the extra body to bring it into heavy sweetness. Some ash, a bit of toast, burnt grain, with a lightness in the feel that actually aids drinkability, if it doesn't aid the palate.

Yeah, this is a nice stout, without being astounding. It's certainly good enough to be worthy of a couple of retries, and is certainly something I'd happily drink as a session brew, if I wanted something dark. I think that's the mark of a good simple stout.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.
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