Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

1,128 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: 1,128 | Ratings: 3,807
Photo of BillyB
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My mother-in-law is from
Portland so whenever she goes out to visit family she brings me back a couple local beers.

Appearance is dark black with a brown head.

Big chocolate and coffee aromas. Slightly smokey. Carmelized sugars.

Taste is roasty, toasty caramel, toffee, coffee with slight whiskey, winey alcohol.

Full bodied. Nice alc. warmth.

Great drinkability.

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Photo of beerme411
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Very dark brown, with a thin light brown head that fads quickly but leaves a nice lacing.

S-The roasted malts are present. I'm unable to pick out different smells as they mostly mix together. I also get some metallic in there as well, although I tend to find that in most stouts.

T-Big roasted coffee and bitter chocolate up front. There is an almost metallic taste, but in a pleasant way on the sides of my tongue. No alcohol tasted. The dark coffee bitterness lingers for a good while.

M-medium, but on the thicker side with a good amount of carbonation. The right amount of body to match the taste. Often I find stouts on the lighter side that detract from taste.

O-Definitely a great non-imperial stout that I doubt you'd find a much better regular american stout. I tend to taste more metallic flavors in stouts which can make many of them unenjoyably, this one only really had it on the nose. Luckily for me it's always available for $7-9 a six pack. If you enjoy this make sure to check out Black Butte Porter as well.

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Photo of lighthabit
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

really not much to say. this was one of my first craft brews, and it is the (very affordable) standard to which i compare other stouts. others might has more complexity to work with, but this is such a solid and easy to drink stout with an incredible price . . . how can you go wrong?. flashlight shows just the faintest deep garnet red near the bottom. thick, dryish head dies down to thin layer, i'd like to see just a bit more lacing though. chocolate, coffee, malt and barley are all here. if your friends are thinking of checking out crafts, this would be a great way to begin.

update 7/19 - note to self - when chilled more that usual, picks up a smokiness i hadn't see before . . . but it mostly goes away as it warms and the obsidian comes to life

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Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Six pack purchased at the grocery store.

Pours impervious black with a medium-bodied chocolate milk head. Some foamy scraps of lace left on the glass.

At the top of the smell is burnt chocolate followed by a roasted malt depth.

Taste begins with a slight hop bitterness flooded with a roasted malt sweetness -- almost sour, but just slightly -- and then the chocolate and coffee depth come through, with an aftertaste of singed malt.

Mouthfeel has a nice airy creaminess to it.

Not a bad stout!

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Photo of ricke49
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great several finger head, which itself tastes nothing short of delicious. This beer in many respects is clearly relative of the more potent 'The Abyss'.

Smell: roasted malts...some chocolate

Taste: roasted flavor is predominant....but not to the exclusion of hops. If you like the roasted taste, this brew is for you.

Mouthfeel: extremely smooth

Drinkability: A wonderful stout that makes up for the fact that The Abyss is not always available - or desired (i.e. if you are looking to 'go session').

Overall this has to be one of the best values out there; often in the sub-7 dollar range for a sixer. Quality like this at that price is one of life's small pleasures.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brownish black with a tan head. Light to moderate lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee, a mix of bitterness and sweet underlying malts. Not a very strong aroma at all.

T/M: Really tasty and smooth. Rich chocolate and licorice up front, followed by some milky coffee flavors, and some bitterness, from the hops and the lingering coffee taste, in the follow-through. A trace of alcohol shows up in the aftertaste, along with that rich coffee. Very delicious. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.

O: An very good all-around stout that gets better and more layered as it warms up.

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Photo of bambam2517
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into an imperial pint glass, served at 55F.

A - Pretty standard fare for a stout, maybe a shade darker than the garden variety but its still got a small creamy topper that laces decently down the glass. Having this nitro-style would probably bump it up tremendously for me.

S - Nice notes of coffee and roast malt, a little sweet toffee and nuttiness.

T - Coffee and brown sugar, nice malty bitterness backs it up.

M - Just a little thin but it does have that nice slightly bitter aftertaste.

O - I am a Deschutes fan so dont think im putting this down, but it isnt good enough to be top 250 in my opinion. What I think it is: A readily available, approachable stout with more care and thought put into it than the Big Irish we have over here...

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is excellently balanced in all aspects from appearance to flavor and feel. My favorite part is the feel, its not extremely heavy and doesn't overpower the palate, and it also doesn't overcompensate with extreme amounts of roasted malts. Excellent brew.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For some reason I haven't gotten around to writing up this beer despite it being a staple at my house. My wife's favorite beer, I certainly can't complain!

I consistently get a great, long-lasting rocky head of an appealing brown. It leaves lots of sticky lace as the utter blackness that is Obsidian easily disappears from the glass.

Coffee, dark chocolate, dark roasted grains, earthy and citric hops all mingle pleasingly. Aromas are concentrated and intense, way ahead of the pack of most American stouts.

The dark malts and hops blend together nearing perfection, mirroring the aromas. It's a good, complex beer that lingers long and dry. I keep going back and forth, not sure if I wish the feel had just a little more to it. It's not watery, but certainly doesn't try to be an oatmeal stout.

I find this is a very versatile stout that goes well with food or holds its own alone. Here in Oregon it is ridiculously affordable and easy to find. All that together makes this one of the most drinkable brews around. Keep it up, Deschutes!

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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.

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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).

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Photo of jminsc76
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent head, the body dancing with a slight whoosh! from the carbonation. The head is a light, chocolaty milkshake brown; the body a dark brown, with a faintly black, almost tar-like tinge. A great contrast. Decent lacing as the head settles but it quickly dissipates.

At first the smell is minimal. Small hints of coffee aromas, but little improvement upon agitation. Then I transferred it from a pint glass to a tulip and bam! came the aromas (all of the aforementioned visuals were greatly improved as well). Smells of deep roasted coffee with a touch of sweet fruit.

Flavors of coffee and molasses right off the bat. Not too intense, but noticeable and oh so good. A slight tingling sensation in the mouth as I continue to sip - always a lovely touch. Upon warming a bit, the strong coffee taste gives way to more flavors: cherries, currants, and a little bit of raspberry. The mouth feel is lighter than some of the heavier stouts I have had but not too light. A good middle ground.

Overall, a great beer. Very refreshing aromas, flavors, and mouth feel combine to offer both complexity and variety. It's not transcendent by any means, but it is highly enjoyable, and at an ABV of 6.4% virtually a session beer that invites repeated pourings and indulgences.

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Photo of tbizzle0
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle, solid black in color with a really nice mocha colored head.

Lots of chocolate and a bit of coffee on the nose, with that dark roasted malt smell and a bit of hops

Taste followed suit but there was a lot more prominent hop flavor on the finish, as well as a bit of tobacco. Definitely a tasty beer

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

Deschutes Obsidian Stout: Continuing my sampling of dark beers, and moving from Porters to Stouts, I begin the stout segment with the Deschutes Obsidian Stout. This beer is as black in color as beer can be. The head was nearly brown, nice and fluffy, but did fade away early on. There is a smoky, roast malt aroma, but it is not as strong as I would have expected. Flavor is intense roast malt, smoke and has a bitter rasp on the finish. Big long aftertaste. I can drink Guinness all day, I enjoy a porter now and then, but American Stouts are just a bit too much beer for me. I give the Obsidian a good rating in a style of beer I have yet to grow into.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack, poured into a snifter.

"Obsidian Stout gets its inspiration from one o the world's largest obsidian flows at Newsberry Volcano - just a few miles south of the brewery."

-- from the bottle

L: Deep black, but transparent around the edges, 1 finger of head. Looks about average for a stout.

S: Wonderfully bittersweet and crisp. Simple and single-mided with a clean and crisp finish. Touch of coffee and the tiniest bit of sweetness in the back.

T: Starts slow and sweet, building into a burnt-coffee middle, then descends slowly back into sweetness. Touch of burning bitterness in the back, but decent balance overall.

F: Smooth and creamy, not too thin. Bit boozy feeling for only 6.4% ... not unwelcome.

D: Enjoyable for the bitter side of stout-land. Well conceived and executed.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep black, red glints on the pour. Creamy brownish head and excellent lacing.

A: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, charcoal, caramel biscuit, herbal hop. Very clean, crisp and rich aroma.

T/M: Firm bitterness upfront, big coffee/charcoal and dark chocolate, wheat tartness. The middle reveals some herbal hop caramel biscuit adding some richness to the roasted flavors. The mouthfeel is full and the finish has some lingering sweetness, but it is heavily out-wayed by the drying roasted flavors.

Overall, what a stout. Extremely complex and balanced, bringing flavor from many places. The wheat malt was genius, I would have never thought to put that in a stout, but it works beautifully with the charcoal roasted notes. A real winner, I cannot think of a better year-round offering available in my state.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

black as night with nearly an inch of tan head that leaves plenty of thin lace.

woody, smoky charred malt in the aroma, along with some floral, piney hoppiness. faint hints of bitter chocolate and some soy sauce as well.

roasted and chocolaty malts in the flavor with a bitter, smoky, lingering finish. medium body with a medium-high carbonation; seems like it should have a bit more weight to it. flavors are passable but stiffly bitter finish hurts the drinkability.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade with Younger35.

This pours a deep black with slight ruby highlights when held up to the light. A thin tan head sits on top of this beer that didn't hold very well and collapsed quickly, but did leave decent lacing on the glass. Smells like a great stout should with heavy scents of roasted barley and a touch of coffee in the nose. The taste is a real treat with a solid combination of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a touch of hops are well balanced in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout, but is still quite creamy with low carbonation. Drinkability is very good on this. It's a well balanced and well made stout that I wish I would have more access to.

Thanks for the trade on this Dan!

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Photo of BreakfastStout
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours night black into my pint glass with a massive tan head. Burnt coffee flavor, with a mellow char smokey nose. Subtle bitterness, with a slight java espresso taste. Just a bit thinner than my favorite stouts, but then I tend to favor RIS. Doesn't coat the tongue, and actually tends towards a nice porter. I like it and would buy it again. Nicely done.

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

Deschutes has not disappointed me so far. On to Obsidian.

Out of the bottle, this brew pours extremely dark for a single stout, dark, dark brown that comes so close to black. A one-finger, mocha-brown head sits atop and takes a minute to trail off. Lacing left on the glass is mildly sticky and splashy.

A deep inhale of Obsidian reveals a thick, rich milk chocolate aroma, complemented by a very mellow roastiness and a nice, round coffee aroma. A little brown sugar and molasses reside in there, too.

Well, that is probably the most well done and tastiest single stout that I've imbibed. Just the right amount of roasted malt and bitter hop flavor lands on the sides of my mouth, while a rich chocolate and molasses package lands squarely on my tongue. The finish has quite a bit of a coffee-esque bite on the whole of my palate and pairs well with the rich sweetness.

A rich, full feel lands on my palate with each sip, accompanied by a very nice bite from the roasted malt and hops. Great body, great bite.

This is a really great stout. While only 6.4% a.b.v., it has a more in common with an imperial stout than a single in terms of appearance, flavor, and feel. Very full, creamy flavor and feel. Delicious.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark coffee black color.

S- Smell of roasted malts brings out a coffee hint and hops and sweet caramel smell from the wort.

T-Hops and malts bringing out a bitter coffee note. And the wort bring a caramel note sweet.

M- Creamy and smooth to the pallet strong robust malts brings out coffee notes and hops bring a well balance flavor.

D- Very good beer. Tasty and good smell. Well balance flavor.


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Photo of frothy_80
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The body color is black with dark brown highlights around the glass. A foamy light khaki colored head that left thick lacing throughout. Dark chocolate and coffee/espresso dominate the nose. There are hints of tobacco, licorice, and dark fruits that came out as the beer warmed. The coffee and chocolate bounce back and forth as the beer passes over the tongue, along with a roasty character that balances the two. Dark fruits, tobacco, and licorice stay in the background but aid in adding more layers. Malt driven sweetness that ends dry with a good hop bitterness keeps it interesting. Smooth and slightly creamy from a full medium body that is properly carbonated. It's no surprise that this hit all the right notes coming from a brewery that has a robust porter as a flagship beer. Truly fantastic! I believe I have found my go to stout for winter.

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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.

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Photo of isualum12
4.56/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pure bliss....it's that simple

pours black with a carmel tone on the edge. darker creamer head then most which holds it's self up. The smell and flavor comes off the head to perfection.

Smells sweat with bourbon.

You can taste the bourbon on your tounge as soon as it hits it. There is some great spice in there as well.

I am really excited to try and pair this beer up with some great beer.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great buy at 1.39 a bottle. My bottle has a different design.

Appearance is exceptional due to the huge creamy, rocky, tan head. Pours like a root beer float.

Good smell of roasted malts, coffie, and chocolate milk.

Tastes of hops, alcohol, coffie, chocolate and anice....if I am not mistaken other herbs such as rosmarie. A nice balance of tastes. Very sweet profile overall...almost too sweet..but followed by some nice sting of alcohol and hops. Some grainy flavors I do not like...leading to a "tar" like flavor.

Moutfeel is just about perfect for a stout. Nice and sticky up front with a dry aftertaste.

This drinks good.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,807 ratings.
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