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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

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

4,605 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,605
Reviews: 1,622
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,405
Gots: 2,135 | FT: 141
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)
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Ratings: 4,605 | Reviews: 1,622 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dawkfan:
Photo of Dawkfan
Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed Aug 18/10

A big thank you to my buddy Gregg for picking up this 2007 vintage last year for me while on a trip to the States.

This review is hopefully going to be a good one for me as it's my 32nd birthday and 100th beer review. I'm excited, so lets see what we have.

A- The pour is a thick impenetrable tar black. A good fingers width of head that seems just as thick as the body. Not much lace to speak of but a bold and powerful appearance non the less. This is the darkest and most viscous stout I've had to date.

S- Oh wow, I could just keep my nose stuck in this without ever having a sip. The licorice is definitely noticeable from my first wiff. Such a deep and dark roastiness to this, I can't think of anything that would compare. Everything is here that they describe, oak, bourbon, and molasses. There's a good amount of smoke & chocolate as well that just meld everything together beautifully.

T - initial tastes of roasted malts, chocolate & molasses and then out of nowhere a strong smoky/oaky flavor appear and met with a rich bourbon flavored finish. The licorice is lurking in the background throughout. I couldn't notice the alcohol at all in my first glass, but the heat is there although what do you expect for 11% abv. The smoke and oak really took over after half the bottle was done, but in an enjoyable way. So much going on for an Imperial Stout.

M- Definitely not as full bodied as you might think after seeing the pour. So smooth for such a big beer. Low carbonation and it really coates the mouth .

D- It's a shame that more people can't enjoy something this good. Believe the hype, this is a very special beer and thanks to my buddy I've got 1 more left in the cellar. I'm not much of a smoker, but a cigar is calling my name with the last couple of sips.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 22:53:44 | More by Dawkfan
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22oz black wax sealed bottle. The Abyss is a brew which has narrowly escaped me on a few past occasions, but thanks to the kindness of the good doktorzee, I now have the 2013 Reserve version, a frontal lobotomy. It's about a month until the ironically specified 'best after' date, but I think that they'll understand - my mother passed on early this morning, and so many things about this offering resonate in our shared world. This one's for her, full stop.

Into my Tamarack Brewing (such nice gentlemen!) shaker pint glass this falls, appearing nothing less than a veritable titular incarnation in its 'colour' (absolutely no light filters through this nightshade in June, awwww), with a slim handful of puffy, roiling, and creamy chocolate milk head, which leaves a solid paint job of Dofino Havarti cheese lace around the glass as it slowly backs down.

It smells of dark chocolate ensconced, dehydrated cherries , bready caramel malt, salted toffee, dried black licorice, raw dark demerara sugar, woody vanilla, and herbal, leafy, and slightly grassy hops. The taste is big, richly sweet chocolate, edgy, vegetal, and almost smoked-seeming molasses, plain toasted oak, a hint of red wine lees, warmed Rice Krispie squares vanilla, a bit of wet ash, Nordic licorice, bing cherry bushes in bloom, an ethereal (the best kind) bourbon barrel essence, and somewhat bitter leafy, earthy, and dead grassy hops - the big alcohol is but a gentle touch, when you are bracing for a smack upside the head.

The carbonation is actually fairly active, in a neat little frothy manner, the body medium-full in weight, the cocoa character smoothness firmly pushing the issue in the face of the gritty, muddled blend of woody, boozy, and hoppy neighbourhood kids. It finishes more off-dry than I had been anticipating - the aforementioned bitter players urging the chocolate sweetness to unravel even further.

Well, the hype around the Abyss might be just that, hype, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that this is a heady, soul-steadying, and, um, 'complicated' Imperial Stout, one engendered by its outright drinkability (before the after, eh?), and further enabled by the expertly integrated, north of 10 points ABV. Like the special person of my heart and mind, this is strong, American, unapologetic, and duly faded to black. R.I.P., with much love.

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,605 ratings.