The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,125 | Reviews: 1,596 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.9/5 rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage. Thanks to codewarrior for trading me this bottle.
Appearance: Free pour yields a frothy, one and a half inch head that dissipates steadily leaving a big ring of lacing. Pours black with red brown highlights. Leaves occasional large sweeps of lacing that travel slowly back down into the liquid on the beer's giant legs.
Smell: From the bottle: chocolate and coffee. From the glass: Chocolate cake, molasses, some surprisingly fresh and potent (and welcome) hops, a mild but already growing fig/date/ambiguous dark fruit note, some coffee beans.
There's a lot going on (and all of it good) at the start, but with time it just keeps getting better. This might be the best smelling beer I've ever experienced... the smell keeps developing, with vanilla sweetness coming up, then nuttiness, dark, bold coffee and chocolate notes, more lush, earthy hop aromas mixing with dark fruit, etc.
Smelling this beer is like holding an auction, where the bidder had you won over long ago but he just keeps throwing in more money for no reason. This beer is out of control; the complexity is endless, but every note is heavenly.
Taste: The first sip is coffee ice cream, some chocolate, and roasted malt. Moderate bitterness throughout. Great mix of coffee, chocolate, and roasted bitterness in the middle (with a hint of oak), leading to a coffee-with-cream sweetness in the finish. Chest warmth is the only indication of the 11% ABV here--there's no booziness whatsoever.
The flavor was good, perhaps even "exemplary of an imperial stout" at first, and I was ready to drop a 4.0 or 4.5 to praise this beer, like Founder's Breakfast Stout, for perfecting conventional flavors even though it hadn't blown my mind. Then, as with the smell, the flavor really opened up, and ventured deep into 5.0 territory. All kinds of new flavors prominently emerge; the various dark fruit notes from the smell, licorice, tobacco, vanilla, all carried along by that perfect amount of hop-and-roast bitterness (bottle says 65 IBUs, which is indicative of how it actually tastes). It's deep, refined, and insistently delicious.
Like many of the great beers of the world, The Abyss continues to generously reveal more beautiful nuances throughout the bottle. This beer is a masterpiece, and deserves every bit of praise that it gets.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, very creamy, just enough carbonation. The bitterness aids the flavor by (among other things) keeping it from getting too rich, and it aids the feel by keeping things nice and lively.
Drinkability: With the effusive praise in the "Smell" and "Taste" sections, I think you can guess that I am not having any trouble consuming this beer, and would happily buy more.
I occasionally talk about my time "visiting the abyss" when I mention my self-destructive college/grad school antics, or general hatred. While I can see that one would want to drink enough of this (very strong) beer to go to the abyss, I would say that this Abyss is a much friendlier place. Sort of reminds me of the Kids in the Hall Simon Milligan sketches, in that The Abyss is less hellfire and more "here, let me shower you with gifts far beyond your expectations, and here's even more to boot."
Serving type: bottle
03-13-2011 03:07:01 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
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
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,125 ratings.