The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,679 | Reviews: 1,626 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BrownNut:
4.25/5 rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2011 vintage drunk in December 2012, served starting at 60 degrees F in a tulip.
A - 4.5 - Black, with a thick, textured, lingering, tan head. Only with a Sam Smith's head could it score higher for me.
S - 4.0 - Dark chocolate, a little malty coffee. I thought I got something slightly vinous and then saw on the label that a small percentage of it is aged in wine barrels, so maybe that's it. Possibly some vanilla. Near the end of the glass, after a swirl, a nice, mild, milky coffee note really came out.
T - 4.25 - First impression is wood, more than desirable. Barely noticeable under that is unsweetened chocolate, kind of a powdery version of it, and some coffee. Later, as the head dissipates, the wood notes recede and the other flavors come forward, with the chocolate going a bit sweeter into dark chocolate territory, to make for a better balance. No booze is evident. The label mentions licorice and bourbon barrels but I don't get any of either (I get the wood from the barrels but no bourbon). I wonder if they'd have been more prominent when fresh. No idea what cherry bark, also mentioned on the label, tastes like - presumably wood. I don't taste the vanilla or wine either. Leaves me with a bitter char aftertaste, and later with that plus a sweet chocolate syrup note.
It's interesting how the experience changes from the top of the glass to the bottom, and not just due to changing temperature. Both of the glasses I poured from the bomber, over about 30 minutes, went through the same transition rather than a single transition spread across both glasses as it warmed.
M - 4.5 - North of medium bodied but not as heavy as some of its puddinglike peers. Smooth and creamy. A pleasure.
O - 4.25 - This is a well made and subtle stout with mature flavors. Very well done overall. I'd drink it again for sure but wouldn't chase it via trade again. I'm glad I tried it.
Serving type: bottle
12-29-2012 02:05:17 | More by BrownNut
More User Reviews:
4.69/5 rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance - Black as midnight, the head is leather in color and near 2-fingers thick. Good retention, settling to a thin, persistent layer of suds. One swirl of the glass causes a nice lace to stick to the side, and it clings impressively.
Smell - The same classic Deschutes bitter chocolate and coffee aroma you'll find in their Black Butte and Obsidian, but also a bit of dark fruit, raspberry, vanilla, molasses and a hint of alcohol that one should expect with an Imperial. Moderate anise notes.
Taste - Again, the classic Deschutes bitter chocolate/coffee roasted malt makes it's presence known, then notes of vanilla and oak come into play. Complex and deep as hell. Dark and jammy fruit undertones. Molasses, hints of vanilla and anise creep in at various stages. Burnt malt and a bit of alcohol comes through toward the finish and into the aftertaste; not uncommon for the beer style.
Mouthfeel - Perfection. Thick and creamy, but goes down with impeccable smoothness. The smoothest imperial stout I've ever had. It disappeared from my glass far too quickly.
Overall - Wow! This is the best Imperial Stout I've ever had. It's near perfect. For a beer as big as it is, to have such smoothness going down is remarkable. My only gripe is that this beer isn't more widely available, because it is a champion amongst it's peers. Now my 5th go-around with this beer, and it sits easily in my top 5 beers of all-time.
Serving type: bottle
07-31-2014 03:55:56 | More by TheSixthRing
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,679 ratings.