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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)
View: Beers (132) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,605 | Reviews: 1,622 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by smchenry75:
Photo of smchenry75
smchenry75

Indiana

4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This will be my first Abyss (2010). What a better way to pass the time while I sit in the garage and brew some cream ale. This puppy pours black as night into my New Belgium snifter with a 2 finger dark mocha head that looks like it might stick around for a while. It smells of chocolate and coffee.

The first sip is solid but a bit bolder than I was expecting. The initial taste is of dark chocolate and coffee, licorice and possibly wood with some alcohol presence. As I continue to drink and things warm up, the coffee, licorice and oak are really coming out. Things are starting to sweeten up but not overly so. I'm not tasting any bourbon.

In the home stretch as the beer really warms, the licorice, oak and alcohol are dominating and some hop bitterness is coming through.

This is a very solid RIS that reminds me quite a bit of Stone's IRS. Very good overall but I'd like to store one of these guys away in the cellar for 2 to 3 years and see what some age does to mellow
things out a tad.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 02:10:55 | More by smchenry75
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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.