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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,284 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4284
Reviews: 1608
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.49%


Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Aged in bourbon, Oregon oak, and Pinot Noir barrels.

65 IBU

Vintages (production numbers from Deschutes):
2006 - Released December 2006 (approx 90 BBL)
2007 - Released January 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2008 - Released November 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2009 - Released November 2009 (approx 600 BBL)
2010 - Released December 2010 (approx 600 BBL)
2011 - Released November 2011 (approx 600 BBL)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2006)
View: Beers (118) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,284 | Reviews: 1,608 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the Ithaca Luminous release thanks to stillmatic2232.

Pours dark black, with a one inch tan mocha head, and some lacing.

Smells include roasted malt, dark fruits, sherry, and espresso.

The taste is pretty similar. Can definitely taste this is a combo of wine and bourbon aging- some nice dark cherry flavors, plus lots of chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and oak. No real hop flavor, just luxurious malty and barrel-derived flavors.

Thick, syrupy, viscous mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Very drinkable considering the ABV, and very warming.

Another awesome BA stout, this is one of the all-time classics and tastes like it.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 00:33:25 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark brown, oily body, that settles into the glass looking very dark, with a very thin tan head. A swirl of the glass leaves some sticky lacing behind.

S- A lot going on. Dark fruits, sweet sugar, hints of sweet bourbon, charred oak, roasted malts, hints of coffee.

T- A lot of depth in the taste as well. Starts of seeming like a bourbon barrel imperial stout, but about half way through there are waves of coffee, chocolate, charred oak, then the wine barrel characteristics come in and present some red grapes and a slight hint of oaky funk on the finish. The molasses flavor rounds out everything, as it comes through in all of the waves of flavors.

M- Medium-high carbonation, thick and oily, but not as thick as I would have thought.

O- A great blended barrel-aged beer. Really complex, bold flavors, that hint of wine barrel is just fantastic and works well with the rest of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 23:00:36 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good luck improving the look of this beast. Pours like used engine oil. It's thick and syrupy. Extremely dark. The head forms slowly, a deep rich brown color. Good retention. A thin lace is all that remains.

You can smell just about each ingredient. Dark roasted notes. Char. Cherry bark. Licorice. Vanilla. Alcohol. It's all there.

Same goes for the taste. Lots of woody tastes. Cherry. Vanilla. A bit of licorice. Expresso. Smoke. Alcohol.

As I poured, a few stops rolled slowly down the bottle. I slid my finger along to pick up the drops and licked my fingers dry...you could taste the manliness of this beer. But with a full sip, it's remarkably smooth for something so strong. Sweet and fruity up front, warm and bitter in the end. It's creamy til the finish. A bit of heat tempers the swallow. Very full bodied. Thick and chewy.

It's an extraordinary beer. I wouldn't change a thing. I had the 2013 vintage and it said not to drink it until four months from now. I couldn't wait, I can't imagine it could be any better.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 02:49:27 | More by RickS95
Photo of ELS
ELS

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been wanting to try The Abyss for some time. I've been a fan of Deschutes Beer having many of their offerings on tap when visiting Portland but never The Abyss. Then when visiting San Francisco I came accross a great little bar called the Amsterdam Cafe that had in on tap. I couldn't believe it! I know that many times you build up your expectations for a beer and are usually let down. Not this time. The Abyss was amazing! The appearance was as dark as black ink with a thin foamy head. It smelled like coffee and chocolate and tasted like it smelled with a hint of vanilla. It had a couple more flavors that I couldn't quite recognize but it blended so well and tasted so great that I wasn't really paying close attention. The alcohol is extremely well hidden but definitely is felt when walking out of the bar. The mouthfeel is perfect with a thick, smooth feel that goes down easy. Overall, this was one of the best beers I've ever had and for the time being my number one beer drinking experience.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2014 04:09:29 | More by ELS
Photo of leveejr
leveejr

Texas

4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had 2012 vintage on Tap at Holy Grail Pub.

Poured pitch black with small tan head. Slight bourbon smell along with nice roasted notes. Tastes insanely good. Slight bourbon sweetness. Big roasted flavor and earthy almost tobacco finish. Outstanding beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2014 15:00:24 | More by leveejr
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown head. Settles pretty quickly leaving a foam blanket and a beer ring. Persistent thick spider web lacing.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, and raisin.

T: Espresso and licorice. Dark, unsweetened chocolate.

M: Thick, syrupy, and hearty. Earthy, with a slight bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark and intimidating, with a fair head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is roasty, and chocolatey with sweet and bitter components. Coffee with bitter licorice and unsweetened chocolate. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 01:45:31 | More by bmwats
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. Best after 11/1/13. Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours thick and black like motor oil...or the abyss. Very viscous. Super dark black...no light coming through with backlighting. 1/2 inch dark mocha head that fairly quickly recedes but still leaves a skim. Thin lacing also coats the glass.
S: Intoxicating aroma can be appreciated a few feet away. Black strap molasses, dark caramel malt, hint of sweet cherries, anise, and a bit of charred wood.
T: Smooth dark chocolate and cherries up front, followed by charred wood, black strap molasses, and a strong backbone of dark, roasted, and sweet malt. Wonderful transition across the palate. Anise and vanilla come through with warming.
M: Super silky smooth and creamy up front. This transitions to dry and bitter and finishes with the same. Excellent lingering and maturing on the palate...leaves a lasting footprint. Heavy feel.
D: Wow!!! This one lives up to the hype. An excellent sipper. A phenomenal brew...seek it out!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 03:01:01 | More by mwilbur
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bottle (2012 Reserve, best after November 1, 2013) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces almost two fingers of dense, medium-dark-brown head. The retention is pretty good at roughly two minutes and the head leaves some nice lacing on the glass as it fades. The beer is appropriately named because this stuff if black as an abyss and still looking.

S-The aroma is deep and full of dark chocolate and molasses with a nice roasted/lightly charred component. There is some vanilla and oak, and bitterness is lighter than many big stouts. There is also a little hit of tart cherry or sourness. A lot going here.

T-The taste, like the smell, is full of flavors. I get caramel and molasses, some dark chocolate, vanilla, a moderate bit of sweetness, some roasted/toasted malt, hints of tart cherry fruit, and a spicy, licorice/anise flavor on the finish. The beer says 11.1% ABV, but I don't taste it beneath all the other flavors.

M-The feel is medium in heft with some chewiness. The carbonation is mild, fine, and smooth. It is easy to drink for a beer this big and with this many flavors.

O-This is a hugely complex and well-crafted beer, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it as much as other big stouts. The Abyss definitely looks and feels the part with great appearance and mouthfeel, but I think some of the flavors here just did not click together on my palate. This feels a bit like experimentation to me and perhaps I just am not in the mood for the multitude of flavors tonight...anyway, high marks for complexity and structure, but only good marks for taste and smell.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 16:31:29 | More by spoony
Photo of N_Schleret
N_Schleret

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
A: Pours a very dark brown with a one finger chocolate head that dissipates slowly, And nice lacing.
S: Strong dark fruits with hints of chocolate, molasses, and smoke. This is pretty complex on the nose.
T: Licorice, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and smoke. Sweet and complex.
M: Heavy and thick. Slightly bitter but very smooth, although the alcohol is there.
O: A complex stout. Good but not worth the headaches tracking it down. I have a couple to age, will revisit down the road.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 18:33:23 | More by N_Schleret
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage

A: pours black as night with a half inch of dark tan head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of bourbon with notes of vanilla and caramel. Also smells of roasted malt and coffee
T: taste is caramel, vanilla, molasses, chocolate, more bourbon, coffee and roast malt. swallow is roast malt, bourbon, molasses and coffee
M: thick and smooth in the mouth with soft carbonation
O: this beer is insanely good and flies off the shelves for a reason. It's phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 06:44:17 | More by SHODriver
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013 (I know the best after date but I like to try everything fresh first)

Appearance: a pitch black color. completely opaque. two finger tan head that fades slowly and leaves a good strong lacing. extremely viscous and leaves a slickness on the sides. a pretty spot on look for a big stout.

Smell: chocolate, roast, dark fruits. wood, slight smokiness. slight molasses. all these and more are there but its not the strongest and most profuse scent.

Taste: opens up with rich chocolate that mixes with a slight roastiness. lots of woody characteristics, mostly oak and some strong cherry wood are strong. ends with some licorice and slight molasses. also at the end a strong cherry wood and a very slight bourbon comes through. very strong alcohol comes and goes through.

Mouthfeel: extremely viscous and thick. strong alcohol kick and warmth. some bitterness from the roast and alcohol.

Overall: This is a great and complex beer. lots of good flavors but fresh it is very rough. but if you enjoy beers that have harsher tastes, like me, than go for it young. shows great expectations for aging as suggested by the bottle. certainly lives up to its name and reputation. Only thing that is really lacking is the weakness of the smell

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 23:29:05 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I once that this beer to be rare (at the time it was not sold in Nebraska), this was a few years ago. I made no effort the attain it and I was able to get a half dozen bottles or so, which I guess meant it was never rare. Now it is available in the state I work and live. Guess I should post a review for it now.

Dead black. A darker color is not possible. Floating onto of the abyss was a narrow tan head. The appearance was the model of the style. Textbook and perfection.

The nose is assertive but not aggressive; more tantalizing then blunt. Rich notes of molasses and melt with coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla and sweet, creamy chocolate. The aromas feel complete and not as choppy as say Yeti or Expedition. The barrel aging adds tremendous complexity and a gentle smoothness. A nearly perfect bouquet.

Oh so… smooth. Insanely complex. A bite of licorice is matched with espresso, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of smoke and oak. Molasses-like sweetness is balanced with an underlying hoppiness. Malty from start to finish. It’s a full-on assault of creamy-roasty-black maltiness rounded from time in a barrel. A brilliant piece of brewing magic. As good as an RIS can get.

Full, rich, vinous mouthfeel; low (and perfect) carbonation. Ideal mouthfeel.

Big and bold and stupid drinkable. One of the best beers I’ve had. Worthy of the attention, worthy of the hype. Seek it out. Drink it. Share it. Enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 14:30:16 | More by bditty187
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BubalooBrewMaster for this one.

2013 Reserve.Pours a pitch black color with a 1/2 inch of dark brown head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is a great mix of oaky vanilla, cherry, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate and earth. The taste is more dark chocolate and coffee along with molasses and roasted malts. Nice notes of dark cherry, oak and vanilla throughout. Some boozey oak at the finish with more hints of cherry and earth as well a chocolate syrup. Velvety, slick mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a lot going on with this beer. I would love to try one with some age on it but it's hard to imagine it any better than this. Overall, outstanding beer I'm glad I finally got to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 02:44:58 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3sheets2wind

Texas

4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like a wanker for reviewing this beer. I have drunk it several times on draft and in bottle and I have grown to like it more and more every time. Reviewing the 2013 batch, black wax.

A: Tiny bubbles in black ink. Tan head dissipates. "Tis a fine looking Russian lass.

S: Great toffee and maple syrup aromas. As it warms, the bourbon and oak come out a little more. LIght fennel/anise aroma underneath there.

T: There is a pleasant hop kick to this beer. Good bitterness, though not as bitter as Speedway or Founders Imperial. Definitely a bonus to have some good hop in a RIS. Hits that nice toffee/maple note from the smell and some chocolate too, but this is drier than you would expect. Very mild sweetness that is played off of the bitter hop aspect.

M: That fine carb really helps to coat the mouth. My mouth feels like I ate a bag of Werther's caramels without those pesky little clumps that get stuck between your teeth and gums.

Overall: Find this beer and drink it. Duh.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 22:52:37 | More by 3sheets2wind
Photo of jjdc
jjdc

District of Columbia

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful beer on the pour. Abyss is appropriate for the inky, black liquid that oozes into the glass like Quik. It bubbles up with a gorgeous tan head. The nose is a bit muted, but smells of cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is luscious, almost as thick and rich as chocolate milk. Cocoa dominates the palate, but there are also notes of oak and molasses. This is definitely a little less barrelly than some big BA stouts like BCBS and also a touch less boozy. Overall, a great beer. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 01:22:55 | More by jjdc
Photo of dheacck11
dheacck11

Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Papago brewing.

Black as dick cheneys soul. Massive amount of frothy lacing, unlike dick cheneys soul.

Smells like licorice and the woods. The dark mossy damp woods. But with a little bourbon and espresso too. A nice dark woods. Dick Cheney doesn't live there.

Tastes like some sort of illegal drug. I've never used black tar heroin, but I would guess this is what it tastes like. Burning. Boozy. More bourbon. More burning. Then you die.

Feels like beer.

You should not drink more than one glass of this at a time per the FDA. Buying a bomber is stupid unless you are having a get everyone really drunk party.

I like bcbs more.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2014 01:57:30 | More by dheacck11
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a black color with a brown mocha head.

The aroma has tons of chocolate notes, coffee, roasted malt, hints of dark fruit, oak character.

The flavor follows again with different notes of dark and milk chocolate and cocoa. Some coffee bitterness and roasted malt character. As the beer moves along, there are hints of woodiness and oak, but not dominating as the beer is only partially barrel aged. Very drying and roast on the finish.

Having had a few vintages at a bottle share, the beer does not seem to change too much (at least compared to the Chocolate Rain vertical we had).

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 05:28:44 | More by dar482
Photo of eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This 2011 bottle was drank alongside the 2012 and 2013 (shared with others) this past weekend; review is from notes taken during the tasting. The 2011 was my favorite of the three (and my review is thus of it), though the 2012 was the popular choice.

Pours black with a centimeter of caramel-colored head fueled by a constant stream of bubbles from the base of the snifter. The aroma is of bourbon, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramelized brown sugar, caramel, oak, and roasted malts. May pick up some anise if consciously looking for it, but it’s subtle if there at all. It tastes of bourbon, chocolate, rich/roasty malt, sugar, oat, oak, vanilla, raw molasses, licorice, and a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel is wet and viscous up front with a velvety finish that is warmed by the ethanol. Overall, this is a complex and delicious stout that does a great job of balancing and showcasing a wide variety of flavors and ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 01:45:53 | More by eclipse54
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle pours opaque black.

Both the aroma and flavor are amazingly complex yet balanced.. The complexity leads to different aspects of the brew coming forward in successive sniffs, with some featuring the wine barrel effects, another the BBL and yet another the dark roasted grains. Excellent sweet/bitter balance.

O: Admired even more than I like it: It is created with a very complex brewing process, but all the pieces come together artfully.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 22:30:54 | More by chinchill
Photo of JohnParadee
JohnParadee

Delaware

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottled into chilled tulip glass (served just a little cooler than room temp). Deep, dark color in the glass. Virtually no immediate head, but nice tan collar and lots of tiny bubbles. Excellent, sticky lacing throughout. On the nose, lots of chocolate licorice and molasses, with hints of vanilla/coffee. On the palate, heavy roast and carbonation cut the intensity of the flavors, which replicate the nose, except that there is more smokiness to the taste than the nose would reveal. Ample, chewy mouthfeel.

All in all, very pleasant. But I must say that, based upon the hype, my expectations were disappointed. Honestly, to my taste, Parabola is twice as good as Abyss.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 02:03:49 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle of Abyss from 2013 bought in Philadelphia, not aged.

A- Pitch Black, dark tan bordering on light brown head. Can't wait to taste this.

S- Molasses, coffee, oak and bakers chocolate, mmm tasty.

T- The tastes on the smell are present and magnified with the addition of BIG molasses taste which dominates, with chocolate, dark cherries, coffee, faint black licorice and everything is oaked.

M- Creamy and smooth, like a mixed drink with a cream base, absolutely outstanding.

The finish on this beer has the slightest and sweetest of burns. I have hunted down the best beers that I can get my hands on (spent more of my income than I care to admit), and as far as stouts go this is second only to Dark Lord in terms of complexity and deliciousness. I can safely say that you can believe the hype and go for this beer, a complete joy to drink. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:05:49 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of Samuel906
Samuel906

California

4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking forward to trying this for a long time; despite the tumult of praise I've heard, I'm managed to avoid the bottle that's been sitting in my fridge for 4 months. Today is the day, and I'm encouraged by the simple quote on the inside of the waxed cap: "Bravely done". You too, Mr. Beer, you too. Onward! Pours the most delightful thick and syrupy black I, one of the heaviest I have seen. Smell is not super in your face, but some lighter notes than typify stouts. I got lots of cherry, raisin, vanilla, bread and molasses. Taste is wonderful, loaded with toasted oats, sweet tobacco, coffee and some cherries and grapes at the end. Huge flavor from start to finish, leaving some roasted goodness to linger. There is a very slight hint of some tartness, and it works well especially with the slightly higher than average carbonation, for the style. Feel is heavy, and smooth. Coats your entire mouth.

Overall, an absolutely incredible beer; it lived up to its hype 100% for me. Delicious, unique, full of flavor. Not much more I could ask for.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 05:11:21 | More by Samuel906
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best after: 8/24/2014, Consumed: 1/28/2014. Wanted to have a yard stick by which to measure the effect of aging this beer.

A – Impenetrable darkness, the like of which was last seen when camping on a moonless night in the middle of a Pacific Northwestern forest. That’s very dark. Burnt toffee head which maintains perfectly ordered bubbles. The foam clings like foam-scum on a river but in an attractive way. Excellent retention.

S – A little muted. Mainly getting roasty toasty scents. Not very much coffee or chocolate.

T – Not as much hotness from the alcohol as I had anticipated which is a pleasant surprise. I expect age to add complexity to this beer; developing some sweet toffee or caramel notes to balance the bitter chocolate finish and burned, toasted malt-bread flavours. The vanilla, molasses, cherry bark and liquorice which are mentioned on the label don’t really make an appearance at this juncture. I do get some woodiness from the various oak-agings it undergoes, however. The booze arrives with scotch flavours mid-sip and fades to ash on the finish.

M – Already spot on. Thick, rich, hearty and satisfying. The thickness of the mouthfeel is visible even on the pour. This is a beer of significant substance.

O – I’m still pretty new to imperial stouts in general but this is certainly a very well-rounded beer. From memory it seems to be on an even keel with Narwhal, albeit with a richer body and less caramel or maple on the palate. I look forward to seeing how this beer ages.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 01:55:42 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of SD-Alefan
SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.95/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage
Poured from a 32 oz. growler into a snifter.

The appearance is remarkable; a deep, dark brown, almost black. Very little head on this beer and it quickly dissipates to a light trail around the outside of the glass and a dusting on top of the beer.

The initial smell is boozy and slightly fruity, certainly not a true indication of what's to come.

The taste is incredible. This beer explodes on your tongue with amazing complexity. There is coffee first, maybe some deep, dark chocolate, then a hint of fruit (raisin, maybe even prune) and then a bit of charred oak flavor. As it warms, you get a hit of the hoppy bitterness.
Although there is not a lot of carbonation, there is a lingering tingle on the tongue. This is a very complex beer!

The mouthfeel is wonderful. Full and substantial and a little creamy.

Simply put, overall, a great beer. One of the best I've ever had. Bravo Deschutes!

Serving type: growler

02-02-2014 03:37:10 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of NilocRellim
NilocRellim

Minnesota

4.04/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2012 Release

Poured from the bottle.

The beer poured jet-black.

The nose had chocolate, berry, raisin, coffee, and charred oak notes. It also had a sweetness to it.

The beer tasted like charred oak with dark molasses, and finished with coffee. Another sipping-beer.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 19:52:51 | More by NilocRellim
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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,284 ratings.