The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,686 | Reviews: 1,626 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tewaris:
4.43/5 rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
10 oz. of 2010 Reserve on tap at Stub & Herb's on 12/16/2010, served in a wide mouthed chalice like glass. Described by Deschutes as, "Stout brewed with licorice and and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels," and, "It's dark. It's deep. It's mysterious. This imperial stout has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich complex profile. The flavor of this special brew draws you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey."
Poured pitch black with a tiny muddy hued bubbly head that dissipated soon into a thin collar and a mocha like thin sheet of foam on the surface, leaving some lacing behind. Couple of swirls coaxed a darker and bigger head, and some legs. Looks the part.
Sweet chocolate and coffee notes in the smell. Roast. Bourbon. Lots of harmonious notes that were weak to begin with but got stronger as the beer warmed up and the glass got emptier. Quite complex aroma but closer to a Russian Imperial Stout in my opinion because the roast and coffee seem strongest and barrel character is subdued compared to other barrel aged American Imperial Stouts. Still, the oak-vanilla notes come forward later and meld well towards a unified goodness.
Perhaps it was the cold serving temperature, or the fact that the style itself is very wide, or perhaps it's not as good as the respect it commands, but the first sip was thin and underwhelming. But things got better with temperature bringing forward a bourbon like sweetness, bright coffee like acidity that could be lacto derived, and a superb finish that's massive on roast, medium-dry, with a very long aftertaste that is full of dark chocolate.
Again strongly dependent on temperature, the beer felt thin and overcarbonated at first but got rich and silky later.
A very good tasting and smooth drinking beer that matches well to its alcohol content too. Not my favorite interpretation of the style but a very well done brew.
Serving type: on-tap
12-29-2010 21:28:27 | More by tewaris
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 4,686 ratings.