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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: 3,727
Photo of Kelly88
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Snifter. Huge thanks go out to stxOOlax (Jacob) for such an amazing extra

A- very dark color of... Obsidian. nice mocha head that is leaving some sporadic lacing on the glass. Just a classic looking stout.

S- again very classic stout smells. Dark fruit like plums and raisins. Cherries and chocolate coffee are rounding out the waft.

T- starts out tart and sweet that is followed by huge roast. Bitter chocolate adds complexity to the finish. A nice bitter end to a great brew

M- a little on the light side for a stout but enjoyable none the less. carbonation is a bit high as well. Leaves some room for improvement but feel is not a total put off.

Overall this beer is great. Classic stout but a top quality classic stout. Huge dark fruits and roasty characteristics that are in harmony and deliver nice flavors. Mouthfeel is a little weak but the other aspects take up the slack. Great Stout

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Jet black and totally opaque. Generous 1.5 finger, rocky, tan head retains well and leaves near perfect sticky lacing rings.

Smell - Nice coffee and cocoa notes coming in right away, roasty/nutty malts, licorice/fruity sweetness, earthy grassiness

Taste - Much like nose, but with a nice little hop bite on the end. Coffee/cocoa roastiness throughout, a touch of charred malt bitterness, a bit nutty, nice presence of fruity yeast esters, slight earthy/grassy hop nip on the end cleans, balances, and adds some mild bitterness in the offdry finish.

Feel - Creamy smooth and well carbonated medium-full body. Thick and rich feel, yet avoids feeling heavy. Doesn't exactly feel "sessionable", but that's not what it's going for anyway.

Overall - What a kickass stout, and for an insane value to boot ($7.50 a sixer for me). As you can see from my review, I think this beer rocks on all levels, and there just isn't much more to say about it than that.

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Photo of Gump
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My label is tan, not blue.
I've heard that Obsidian Stout is very good, so I had my Dad bring some back from his visit to Seattle.
Carbonation is evident from the open.

Deep, rich, black pour with a dark head that overtakes the glass. It takes awhile for this one to settle down. Stiff dense head, like is was whipped into shape.

Coffee, maple syrup and moss-like earthy aromas. (Hey, this might make good breakfast beer:)

The dry bitterness is rounded out by a creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of rembrant
4.73/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Great name,beautiful bottle,a wonderful Stout,not "Imperial" but close in many ways and more drinkable and affordable than most.
This is...alas...the last bottle of a few I brought from California when moving back east.

I looked at the other reviews after my tasting...any most are quite true. Obsidian has an abundance of subtle details and you may find a new one with each sip. I guess one could get an old or sub par bottle but most folks will find something in here they like a lot.

Look....Black Obsidian. A rich tan head,moreso than typical of a stout,lots of lacing.

Scent....Aromatic and complex,though not ultra intense. Malts + hops are present with traces of fruit,choco,coffee,hickory smoke,Dark brown sugar....

Flavor...The magic is that nearly any flavor you might expect in a Stout from an ace brewer is THERE and if you didn't catch it on this sip,just wait, it's in the next.
The Big dark roasty stuff leads,smooth, not a massive/abrasive sledgehammer but warm and intimate beer sex.
The hoppy touches come soon, with fruits,and deep woods pine,juniper,earthiness.

It all seems in harmony with a lot going on but no single element too dominant. As others note, not a high ABV,and out west,not a brew that's scarce or a budget buster. Alas,of my "Top10 USA Breweries", Deschutes is the one I can't find around here. Yet.

Mouth?feels beefy,substantial the cabonization seems delayed and comes on with the hops and a slight caramel syrup cling for a nice finish.

Drinkable? Hell...if I could GET a bottle, I'd drink it now.

Robust,not a big Alcoh slam,and I like 'em chilled a bit more than recommended for Stouts. It's got ample flavor for that.

Bell's Expedition is the best Big Stout I've found (that's not enhanced by add-ins or barrell) and Obsidian is damn close and just over half the $.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at LiquorMart in Boulder, CO in March...

Appearance: Pours like the darkest time of night. Completely opaque. No light comes through at all. Not even the slight sliver. A nice light brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lots of glorious lacing. Pretty!!!

Smell: Roasted chocolate malts, some hints of coffee and vanilla, some caramels mixed in, but mostly chocolate on the nose.

Taste: Mmmm, malty, heavenly goodness. The smoothness is a bit overwhelming in such a good way. The coffee taste lingers on the back of the tongue, but as quickly as the smooth came, it went and it begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel: I believe I already said it's smooth. The chocolate malts shine here and create a very rich, very smooth stout.

Drinkability: At 6.4% ABV, this might be a slightly more sessionable stout. The richness and the complexity of the taste profile challenge you to drink just one. If I had more in the fridge, there would be more going down the hatch tonight. Oh well! All in all, this is one hell of an American Stout.

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

P: 12 oz. Squat brown bottle, best by 01/12/08 is stamped on the label, 6.4% Alc. by Vol.

A: Dark India ink pour with a thick-burnt dark sugar foam head that dissipates to a thin cover and enough lacing for three beers.

S: Sweet brown sugar, roasted malt, and thin alcohol vapors at the end of the nose.

T: Starts with a slightly thin roasted malt, bitter espresso and then slowly dissolves into a very slight sweet finish.

M: Gives the entire mouth a workout, in a good way! This one is a sipper to be enjoyed as it lowers in temperature.

D: Could do one or two at a sitting I am classifying this as a great nightcap drink to be savored rather than an all out session.

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Photo of tylerprince
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pitch black with a one-finger head. Poor head retention and no lacing. It looks like others have had a better looking pour...perhaps I have this beer a little too much TLC.

S: Roasted malt and coffee primarily, undertones of chocolate. Alcohol twang at the end.

T: Roasted malts with hints of coffee and chocolate, pleasant bitter coffee and alcohol finish. Tasted better with each sip.

M: Medium body, quite creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

O: A very satisfying stout, airing towards an imperial. I'll stick to the Green Flash double, but this one comes in at a not too distant second.

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

Pours like 40 weight -- a beautiful thick, dark brown, with a small but creamy brown head to match. Smelled like malted coffee, but not as strong as I expected (or would have liked). Thick mouthfeel that actually felt 'heavier' than other beers to me -- like my tongue was getting a workout just bearing the weight and pushing it back into my throat. Rich roasted flavor with hints of hickory. Very enjoyable for a dessert beer or treat, and taste-wise I could drink a few, but I think I'd either get full or a tired tongue before I drank too many.

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Photo of mschipper
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aggressive pour into pint glass. A: pitch blackt yielding two finger light brown head that leaves thick lacing throughout the full drink. S: bread and dark fruit with hints of caramel and malt. T: dark fruit, chocolate and caramel notes, malt, and hints of bread with an aftertaste of dark fruit and bitter hops. F: smooth, and very milky. O: great beer. I would drink this year round, but definitely accents the winter season.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Clear laser marked date best buy 8/26/06.

Pitch black in color, with an amazingly frothy, mocha colored head, about 3/4 of an inch in height. Decent retention, leaving a good amount of delicate lacing. Mostly smells of dark chocolate, espresso, hints of dark fruits and some sort of musty smell. Tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Quite delicious! A good balance of hops and malts, finishes clean. Very creamy and smooth, and not too heavy. This is a pretty awesome beer. Super easy too drink and very refreshing. A great example of an American stout. I hope I can trade for more of this. Seek this one out!!!!

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Photo of bradford
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great stout. A little hard to find at times in my area of California, so whenever I see a six pack floating around stores, I usually grab one.
Poured out of a bottle into a Chimay chalice. Dark, dark brown, almost black, close to opaque. A thin, swirling head, with little retention on the ring around the edge of the glass. Smell was a little weak for me, perhaps I had a bit of an oncoming cold, but nothing spectacular here. Taste is most excellent. Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, everything you would expect from a stout of this caliber. Mouthfeel is smooth, but dry, very easy going down. If it weren't for the 6-something% abv on this, I could drink this all day. Very drinkable stout and one of my favorites. I think Deschutes gets a bad rap around here because the Mirror Pond and Black Butte are the only widely availabe selections from them and they are a bit weak in all categories. But this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Dogfish snifter. Served at cellar temp.
A-Inky black, no showing of light whatsoever. Mocha brown head, fluffy.
Ar-coffee, dark chocolate, earthyness
T-creamy chocolate immediately followed up by coffee and earthy hop bitterness, carbonation. Very well balanced. Slight booze on finish. Slight yeasty flavor
M-medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Exactly what I would expect.
Overall- perfect American stout. So well balanced. I prefer to drink this at at least 50 degrees or warmer because it adds creaminess and even more balance. My favorite beer by deschutes and my favorite stout ever. Flys off the shelf

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

This beer pours out black like the devil's heart with a frothy tan head. Smell is of chocolate and caramel malty goodness. Taste is hearty with a dry coffeelike roasted malt taste underpinned with a bit of sweetness from crystal malt. Hop character takes back burner but in balance and typical for the style. Neverending dry roasted malt aftertaste. Silky mouthfeel but not too heavy in body. Good alcohol content but presence is masked. This beer is very drinkable but still puts hair on your balls.

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as the dead of night, you will not see light through it. A nice creamy 2 fingers of brown head. It is fairly persistent and leaves a sticky lace.

Aroma: Coffee, malt, chocolate, caramel.

Taste: Espresso coffee, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt. Moderately bitter with a dry finish.

Mouth feel: Medium bodied, creamy and slick. It sticks with you for a while.

Overall: This a great beer for a cold night. If you are a stout lover this a great beer anytime.

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Photo of 911CROFT
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle into a Tulip. Paid £3.10 for a single bottle.

Pours an opaque, pitch-black body that remains unchanged when held to the light. A three-finger in height, rocky, dark-tan coloured head gradually reduces to a dense cap, leaving behind an excellent amount of thick, sticky lacing.

Rich, dark, roasted malts, burnt barley and heavily roasted coffee beans dominate the nose. Noticeable in the background are a touch of molasses and sweet milk chocolate. The taste follows suit, leading with deep, rich, dark roasted malts and tangy bitter roasted coffee. Towards the middle a flash of brown sugar and molasses provide a fleeting amount of sweetness before quickly fading as the moderately bitter, earthy and herbal hop profile builds. Medium to full-bodied with a small amount of fine carbonation, the mouth-feel is luxuriously soft, smooth and creamy. Charred, roasted dark malts, a mildly acidic hop bite and traces of milk chocolate combine to give a drying bittersweet finish, which lingers forever on the palate.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Incredibly well-crafted, well-balanced and hugely drinkable. The intense roasted malt profile, present from start to finish, creates an amazingly characterful robustness, but still allows the other elements of the beer to shine. Sadly none of Deschutes’s beers are easily available to me in the UK, if I spot another bottle though I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up. Recommended.

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

Appearance: pours pitch black with a sizable, lingering tan head.

Smell: roasted barley and malts were easily detectable. Mild coffee scents were present as well.

Taste: the full-bodied malty construction of this beer is built in to compliment the roasted complexity throughout the finish. Chocolate and subdued hops are evident.

Mouthfeel: I percieved the mouthfeel to be somewhat similar to an Irish stout. Creamy and frothy, but with more weight and viscosity.

Overall: A brilliant beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

08.26.14. Best by date.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.06.14.

A: Completely opaque black. 1/2 finger head.

S: Cocoa, chocolate, roasty malt. Some sweetness too.

T: Roasty malt, chocolate.

M: Creamy smooth.

O: I poured some of this over ice cream and it was very good. On its own, this did not have any weird hop bitterness, which I can't stand in a stout. The roasted malt kept the sweetness in check. It is an excellent example of the style.

Rating: A-

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Photo of Brewfan
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH brandy snifter type glass I like to use for stouts. Plenty of room for the head and nose.

Plentiful light chocolate brown head. Lasted 5 min or so, and eroded to fine whisps of lacey streaks. Dark, dark, dark. Deep chocolate brown body with hints of ruby when held to the light. Almost impenitrable.
Immediate aroma of inviting chocolate dusted coffee, malty sweetness and a crisp hoppy bite. Smells roasty and dark.
Roasted dark malt and a nice hoppy bitterness mixed with dark bittersweet chocolate on the tongue. Creamy and smooth. Very drinkable. Reminds me of an oatmeal stout in terms of drinkability and mouthfeel. Not overly thick, but it does stand up the 20 degrees outside that we're sitting through. Finishes dry and nicely bitter. The hops definitely comes out more at the end of the beer. Nicely done.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A- Black, Cave black. Dark mocha colored head. Seductive.

S- Coffee, roasted chocolate. Smells very sweet.

T- Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. A roasted character lingers within. Pretty sweet for the style, but it doesn't ruin it.

M- Creamy, medium body. Dry finish.

D- I found the beer very filling after about 2, regardless its an excellent beer that is hard to stop drinking. Excellent ABV.

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Photo of JesseMurdock
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

this is a terrific stout. a rich aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and toffee. The first flavor is a nice rich coffee combined with unsweetened chocolate followed by a nice slightly yeasted roasted malt taste that stays with you long after you swallow. Rich, smooth, thick mouthfeel. Leaves a velvety feel on the tongue.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours thick and black with a two finger chocolate brown head. Good lacing.

S - Delicious dark roasted coffee smells mixed with hints of chocolate and a great hops smell. very strong smell.

T - Mmmmm, extremely chocolatey. Malt is perfect as is the hops to balance. Good coffee notes and even some milk tastes in there.

M - Thick bodied with medium carbonation, nice and creamy, coats the mouth perfectly.

D - Very drinkable, not sessionable really, but it's a good treat and I'd like to use it for a float too.

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Photo of bgraney
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich black color with a tan/cocoa head which left an impressive lacing.
Sweet, roasted malt aroma, balanced, not overpowering.
Delicious roasted flavor with a coffee-like background. Just the right amount of bitterness.
Full, rich mouthfeel, the roasted malt expands throughout the mouth and nose.
If you ever want to knock down multiple stouts this is a good one. I imagine you would get too full before you'd get tired of drinking the Obsidian.
A great stout from Deschutes.

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Photo of jmd1978
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black color with creamy tan head. Nose coffee heavy, with notes of chocolate and roasted malt. Taste espresso with bitter chocolate and a little happiness. Finish lingering like morning cup of coffee. Very drinkable stout.

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Photo of MobBarley
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites that I finally tracked down in Reno. Pours velvety black with a glint of reddish-amber light at the bottom of the glass. A handsome, two-finger cocao brown head that leaves smudges of lace graces the top. The aroma features big toasted barley notes with the underlying Deschutes-level dose of Cascade hops. Chocolate, chicory and toasted rye also come to mind. The taste is something to behold and it makes this one of the finest tasting stouts around. Big chocolate flavors lay the foundation, with a sweet, almost fruity middle before a pretty dry, bitter and toasty finish. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but not so much so that it precludes warm-weather drinking. Drinkability is fantastic. They don't come much better than this.

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Photo of braker649er
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Frankly, I had forgotten this beer. Several years ago, it was a standout before I was really geeking out. This time, I got in the mood for solid stouts, and revisited this old friend. I couldn't believe the quality at the price and availability!! Overall, it delivers what it says it will on the label--coffee and dark chocolate notes. An honest stout.

L - this wowed me. The head was thick, foamy and stuck around. The color lived up to the big word in the name. A good word, obsidian.

S - not the highlight, but not bad. Gave a sense of what was to come. Maybe hard to decipher this mysetery through the foam, though.

T - as noted. True to labeling: Rich and dark and a touch of coffee and dark chocolate. not a sweet chocolate for me. More roasty.

F - very good. Oh, that foam contributed.

O - again, I was impressed by a beer I'd abandoned for a while. Very available in my area, and very good.

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Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,727 ratings.
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