Obsidian Stout | Deschutes Brewery

3,848 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,848 |  Reviews: 1,140
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dunt for this bottle. Best by 1/27/11.

A- This beer pours with a big, rich cascading head. The glass is absolutely plastered with tan lacing. The beer is an obsidian black indeed. Quite a deep little stout.

S- The aroma has a little bit of a vegetal hop smell. Lots of roasted husk, bitter dark chocolate, tootsie rolls and coffee.

T- Very nicely balanced. Bitterness comes from lemon-grass hops and a nice even roast. Sweetness comes from tootsie roll-like chocolate and a creamy vanilla/toffee. The finish leans toward roasty bitter.

M- The carbonation is too high. The feel is very much a dry roastiness.

D- Really highly drinkable. I would like to see many more well constructed stouts with lower abvs like this one.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A massive head, with a stylistic dark body.

A traditionally coffee smell, with sub-tones of sweetness and malt.

The taste is relatively subtle, considering the style. With a sweet roasted coffee-flavor dominating, with hints of caramel and vanilla.

Overall, a very good stout that could very much become a go-to beer when there is a lack of interesting seasonals.

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Photo of zac16125
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

Thanks to 3hops for sending this one over as an extra.

A: Pours a thin appearing black with some browning on the edges and 2plus fingers width of mocha colored head, which dissipates down at a moderate rate to a thick film that hangs around throughout the entire drink. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, burnt wood, heavy cream. The roasted and char notes are by far the most prominent aromas, and I dont get much else.

T: Follows the nose. Roasted malts and charred wood. Some mild dark fruit notes that I didnt get on the nose. A bit of anise and some medicinal phenolics. Surprisingly bitter on the finish, not necessarily in a good way.

M/D: Smooth, appropriately low carbonation, good drinkability but somewhat limited by the odd lingering bitterness on the back end. Could be creamier too.

O: Overall, not bad, but not terribly good either. Seems pretty mediocre, and I dont really see why the ratings are so high. Ive had a number of American standard stouts significantly better than this one. Its not bad, but its just slightly above average in my book.

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Photo of tourdot
4/5  rDev -5%

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

Wow! BC brews very few stouts, but the rest of the "Cascadia" (read: American) region does a damn good job of their stouts. I picked this up "across the border" in Bellingham on a mad-dash-who-gives-a-damn beer spree. This is a strong, full stout that beats almost anything brewed in Canada (with a few exceptions).

This is what a stout should be: black, with a coffee-and-cream head. Black, like obsidian. When held up to the light, a faint bit of ruby shows through.

This smells like ovaltine and roasted malt. There is a definite malt smell on the nose as this excellent beer warms. I can taste coffee, chocolate, and burnt malts. There is a faint alcoholic sweetness that blends nicely with the "dark" flavours.

Overall, this is a very well done stout. The only detractor from drinkability is the abv, which at 6.4% is a bit high for a standard (i.e. non-Imperial) stout. Despite this, Deschutes has come up with an outstanding beer that I wish I could obtain easily.

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Photo of brbrocc
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sazz9
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a solid mocha color head that goes into a swampy state of bubbles. Creepy and mysterious.

S- Sweet roasted barley goodness. Cocoa and intense espresso lead the way. Graham crackers and roasted nuts also make for a well presented nose.

T- Very rich. Lots of roasted grains and oatmeal character. This beer refuses to roll over and go away softly. Straight up toasted goodness. Outstanding balance of hops and dark malts.

M- Mid body bordering on full. The intense nuttiness of this one makes for a nice drinkability.

O- Just another outstanding feather in the cap of Deschutes. This brewery does it right and continues to impress me. Its a stout that is hard to beat at its price.

$7.99 for a 6 pk

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

Obsidian is a type of naturally-occuring glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. Ok pours a typical black color with a darker tan tinted head that remained through the whole tasting. Some lighter brown hues around the edge.

The nose is limited overall but some US stout smells with roasted malts mostly coming out. Some lighter coffee and chocolate touches. Some DMS in the nose as well. I also pick out a touch of esters as well.

The taste is more balance and more distinct than the nose indicated. A nice roast presence with a more balance chocolate finish. Some astringency with black malt. The coffee flavor is also more prevalent but is light compared to the roasted malt. Some touches of caramel and as it warmed it was picking out DMS in the taste as well. A real deterrent in this beer.

The body is good with more of a mid than full feel. Even with the astringent bite there is a sweetness that stays even after tasting. A nice stout found in liquor store, but not sure if naturally occurring or not.

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Photo of speedvagen
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of deadliest
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of jwinship83
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a trade with user azurescens. thanks! drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- the pour yields an opaque black body with a small bit tight khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a while before falling and leaves behind small rings of lacing. very nice.

S- the first thing i pick out of the nose are roasted malts. after that i get a bunch of dark chocolate and a lesser amount of milk chocolate. espresso/dark roasted coffee at the end. not the most complex nose, but a really solid one.

T- the taste starts out with more of the dark roasted malts that i could smell. after that i get the blast of dark chocolate. the milk chocolate follows and adds a small level of sweetness. rich and dark roasted coffee moves in towards the end, along with some earthy hops. very well done.

M- the body is on the upper edge of medium. the carbonation is spot on. lingering aftertaste and bitterness. leaves my mouth feeling dry.

O- this is an excellent example of the american stout. this is one that i would buy often if it were available to me. something to check out for anyone that loves stouts.

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Photo of JDizzle
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rdooley
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of jp32
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a huge tan head on top that sticks around for a while. The aroma is of roasted malts, with stone fruit and coffee in the background.

Flavor of coffee, roasted malts, dark bread, and a subtle hop bitterness. The beer is full-bodied, but maybe only medium-bodied considering it's style. They made it very easy drinking without sacrificing too much flavor.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: Best by 2014-03-11
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Deschutes' Obsidian Stout is a very good American stout (though, honestly, not too hard to brew your own) with plenty of roasted and black barley characters alongside base malt sweetness to satisfy cravings for those combinations. This is an affordable, solid offering that satisfies most in the colder months: one I would return to.

Pours a 2cm tall head of light brown to dark tan foam, which has average retention time of about one minute. The head fades to a thick ring around the glass and a large island of foam atop the body of the beer, which last for the duration of the drink. Lacing is excllent, with substantial rings and intriciate webbing clinging to all inner sides of the glass. Body is black in color, with light bringing out only the slightest of brown hues around the perimeter of the beer. Carbonation is not visible through the opaque body.

Aroma of roasted and acrid black malt that give charred toast, a bit of freshly poured espresso and very dark and smooth chocolate, and woodsy hops in the background.

Major flavors of roasted and black patent malt lending acridity, charred bread, roasted chocolate and coffee beans, with woodsy hops adding mild accents in the background. Front of palate features roasted and black patent malt yielding acrid, charred bread with chocolate syrup sweetness, and smooth, though very dark, chocolate. Mid-palate yielding acrid burnt toast, very bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, chocolate syrup sweetness, vanilla, and woodsy hoppiness. Back of palate features strong acridity from roasted malt and hop usage, with charred toast, cocoa powder, roasted coffee beans. Aftertaste of roasted malt acridity, charred toast, hints of very dark and smooth chocolate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, reuslting in a smooth (2/3), somewhat foamy (1/3) mouthfeel that is suitable for the beer and the style. Ethanol not detectable. Closes dry, with heavy stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

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Photo of LukeGude
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of bzach
3.55/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gemini6
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of hopsolutely
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Library Ale House in Santa Monica; a stunning stout.

Poured a beautiful near-black with impressive chocolate coloured head. Mouthfeel is super creamy and wonderfully smooth. Aroma of chocolate and roasted dark malt sweetness. Well balanced flavour of sweet malted barley with an underlying dry backbone. Impressive chocolate and coffee tones in the lingering, cleanly bitter finish.

Would highly recommend!

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

Thanks JohnGalt1 for this one.
Best by 05/15/08.

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter, it is pitch black with a very nice chocolate colored head that drops a bit too fast, but leaves a lot of lacing.
Delicate aroma of roasted malts and chocolate, opening to a smooth taste of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. It is very nice, well balanced, but lacks some "edge".

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Photo of Prospero
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of RDW
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 3,848 ratings.
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