The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,605 | Reviews: 1,622 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by harrymel:
3.55/5 rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Vintage 2012, Best after 01NOV13
From the bottle: "brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, with cherry bark and vanilla added with 6% aged in oak bourbon barrels, 11% aged in oak barrels, and 11% aged in oak wine barrels"
Near black ale with a sheet of tan foam that creeps up the sides. Smells of oak, too much oak, smoke, some licorice, some molasses and a bit of hops (never had this experience in this beer previously). A resiny, bitter character on the nose. Flavor is alcohol, oak, bitter, licorice, toasted malts. I really, really want this to be better, but this is simply the worst iteration I've had. Full bodied with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. I am concerned the prestigious heritage of this beer is faltering. While this is far from the best vintage, this is still a nice beer, and I'm happy to have a couple cases in the cellar, I probably wouldn't have done that had I known about the deviation.
Vintage 2011, Best by 04AUG12
4/4/4.5/4.5/4- 4.28 on 29NOV11
A: pours a dark, dark ale with nearly two fingers of really dark chocolate foam. This falls to a thick sheet of the same only dissipating once the beer sits for nearly an hour. Cobweb lace when foam present.
S: The bourbon barrel is present (surprising given the low percentage aged), some more oak, molasses, vanilla (subtle). The wood is quite strong when cold, as it warms the cocoa, coffee, molasses and bourbon come through much better.
T: The beer is roasted! Lots of toasty oats, oak, cocoa, bourbon, vanilla. Super refined tannins. Good bitterness to it. The vanilla is there alongside american oak. Black coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
M: Burly body with lower carb. Nice, long, sticky finish with semi dry resonance.
O: This beer is good, but I don't know how many I will be picking up this year for the cellar. I've found through some recent tastings, that I may prefer this beer fresh. All the better! Makes me long for it in the off-season!
Serving type: bottle
12-01-2012 07:48:24 | More by harrymel
More User Reviews:
4.4/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
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.
Serving type: bottle
07-07-2014 06:18:19 | More by biboergosum
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,605 ratings.