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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,798 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,798
Reviews: 1,634
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,455
Gots: 2,183 | FT: 149
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,798 | Reviews: 1,634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oaktree42

1/5  rDev -77.9%

04-14-2012 16:29:22 | More by oaktree42
Photo of Treadinfree


1/5  rDev -77.9%

12-28-2011 02:35:13 | More by Treadinfree
Photo of bmf0


1/5  rDev -77.9%

12-20-2012 16:29:18 | More by bmf0
Photo of acfullerton


1/5  rDev -77.9%

12-20-2012 06:24:16 | More by acfullerton
Photo of henryspam


1/5  rDev -77.9%

12-11-2011 03:05:29 | More by henryspam
Photo of Athomsen06


1/5  rDev -77.9%

08-26-2014 04:50:33 | More by Athomsen06
Photo of Zhum14

1/5  rDev -77.9%

10-09-2012 14:27:18 | More by Zhum14
Photo of Jsads

1/5  rDev -77.9%

08-04-2012 17:32:30 | More by Jsads
Photo of pmccallum86


1.18/5  rDev -73.9%

2009 Reserve

Pours a dark oily color body with a big bubbly tan coffee colored head that last forever.

Smell is of big chocolate and coffee with a funky barnyard smell normally associated with sours. Kind of strange, this must be one of the infected bottles.

Taste is chocolate and barnyard funk. Some acidic and vinegar notes as well. Yup, this beer must be infected. Imagine a wild ale had sex with an imperial stout, this is their lovechild.

Mouthfeel has high carbonation with a dry leathery feel. Not good.

I guess the rumor is true, the 2009 Abyss batch has gone bad. I am truly disappointed as this was my first Abyss ever and I was eagerly awaiting drinking it.

07-02-2010 03:46:55 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of JamesMcPolin


1.27/5  rDev -71.9%

In honor of finally getting my hands on a couple 2010 Abyss bombers, I'm cracking open an infamous 2009 release. I'm hoping and thinking it's not contaminated because I was aging two bottles. When I first heard from my buddy Jeff that they might be tainted I opened the other one a long time ago, just to see if mine were among the bunk ones. The other one still tasted excellent so here we go.

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A beautiful looking brew. Thick, black, plenty of head that looks like frothy hot chocolate. Mmmmm, delicious looking. Good head retention while waiting for it to warm just a bit. (the garage was a bit colder than proper serving temp)

Uh-oh. Nose seems way off, getting a slight metallic smell or something that shouldn't be there. Maybe im just trippin because I'm nervous.

Ahhh damn it, this sucks. It's totally infected. Man, a year's worth of aging wasted. I should have listened to everyone's advice on BA and drank them all the minute I knew this was even a possibility. Anyways, at least I have a 2010 Release to open and comfort me. I'll review the 2010 and hit re-review later but right now I'm mad at both myself and Deschutes quality control lab for wasting my time and precious money. This 2009 is an F - literally "avoid". For anyone else out there that still has one in the cellar, hurry and drink it now to at least catch a buzz for your thirteen bucks because I think it's only getting worse with age. Mine's already pretty tough to even drink.


01-19-2011 16:10:14 | More by JamesMcPolin
Photo of Wisconsinality


1.58/5  rDev -65%

Bomber poured into Delerium tulip.

2009 Vintage.

A- Pours a deep brown with a big two and a half finger mocha head. The head takes a while to die down and leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S- My fears about this beer has come true. I have an infected Abyss. Smells like a wild stout. Some funkiness dominates the nose to go along with sour cherries, roasted malt and a little bit of milk chocolate.

T- Lots of infection, I mean funkiness. Sour cherries, a little smokiness and some chocolate notes. Nothing else is very apparent besides the tartness.

M- Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Dry on the finish but I am not sure if that was the way it was intended or due to the infection.

D- Pretty much a drain pour. I was hoping I would be one of the lucky ones but alas, I was not. Looking forward to trying to '10 though.

11-27-2010 21:48:37 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of Skye1024


2/5  rDev -55.8%

09-25-2012 14:28:25 | More by Skye1024
Photo of TheDudeRules


2/5  rDev -55.8%

05-09-2012 01:50:41 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of SIEVS


2/5  rDev -55.8%

02-08-2012 22:48:38 | More by SIEVS
Photo of CityofBals


2/5  rDev -55.8%

01-31-2013 23:13:12 | More by CityofBals
Photo of mattafett


2/5  rDev -55.8%

12-10-2013 03:10:54 | More by mattafett
Photo of Jpepe08


2/5  rDev -55.8%

01-22-2014 02:48:13 | More by Jpepe08
Photo of chrislouden


2.15/5  rDev -52.4%

Purchased from Side Door Liqour Store in El Paso Texas. $13

Bottle dated as best AFTER Nov 15 2011

Appearance: Darkest beer I have ever seen. Aptly named.

Smell: Strong malt smell followed by molasses

Taste: ... nothing kind to say

Mouthfeel: meh

Overall: Did not enjoy this beer at all. High expectations based on description on bottle.

05-02-2011 05:41:52 | More by chrislouden
Photo of Tbone


2.3/5  rDev -49.1%

2009 Vintage

This beer is infected. The nose and taste are dominated by an offputing lactic sourness.
A very slight bitter roast note comes through. But any complexity, oak, or bourbon is gone.

Sad. I wonder if its a victim of the growing problem I've been hearing about of brewery's wild brews contaminating their non-wild brews.

02-23-2011 01:55:46 | More by Tbone
Photo of FlikkerDans


2.3/5  rDev -49.1%

This beer...I mean, really? I missed the last release so I had been looking forward to trying this "gem" for almost a year now. Needless to say, when it was brought out this past Friday night it felt like life was finally looking up. I quickly finished what was left in my glass and eagerly poured a small sample to taste. It was much thinner than I had expected. I was anticipating a thick, syrupy imperial stout, but it was mostly just thin and bubbly, with a small and fizzy head. The smell wasn't bad, but nothing amazing. Burnt chocolate and coffee were the first things that come to mind. The first taste is what killed my hopes and dreams, and pretty much my entire outlook on life. It had a much too fizzy mouth feel, and tasted like a burnt stout. Not a stout with roasted notes to it, a burnt stout. Burnt chocolate and burnt coffee, like the smell. It was also way too bitter; as bitter as t0rin0 when his female roommates man-handle the bathroom on a Sunday morning. The only thing that saved the night was LL Cool J's "I'm Bad" faintly playing in the background.
This beer is completely and offensively over-hyped. I guess somewhere along the lines we never gained a strong sense of shame. Apparently the schools can't teach us everything. I heard that last years was amazing and much better than this years, and I would believe it. But for now I say screw this beer and the horses' ass it rode in on. Shame on those who give this an A just because it's hyped up...shame

02-17-2009 15:39:28 | More by FlikkerDans
Photo of HereforBeer


2.5/5  rDev -44.7%

01-01-2014 21:58:00 | More by HereforBeer
Photo of AleWatcher


2.5/5  rDev -44.7%

11-15-2011 12:25:13 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of AlkaholTester


2.5/5  rDev -44.7%

03-10-2014 03:34:06 | More by AlkaholTester
Photo of eulerthegrape


2.5/5  rDev -44.7%

02-20-2014 18:52:34 | More by eulerthegrape
Photo of charlesw

New York

2.65/5  rDev -41.4%

So, yeah. We had an RIS tasting. This was to be the highlight of the event.

Black. Nice head that lasts. Perfect. Unreal. Beautiful. Opaque like nobody's business.
Smells like an RIS - rich, dark, sweet, chocolate, coffee and more coffee, burned mesquite.
Tastes like mesquite ashes and coffee grounds. Bleh. Little residual sweetness. Lots of dark and bitter things going on. Another over-the-top beer. Sure, i can see why beer geeks would go crazy over it but it's not anything like, well, a good beer. Where is the balance in there, hmm? I'd think it would need more sweetness and a lot more time before being released before it was even close to being ready.
Seems to me that the body is on the thinner side but that's prolly just 'cause i don't think it sweet enough (for balance with all of the other stuff going on). It would prolly be fine if you toned the flavors down.
I would not seek this out (or even drink it) if it were readily available to me except for trading purposes because you all are so crazy for it.

So, in terms of the RIS tasting this was SOUNDLY panned as being poorly made, unbalanced, not very interesting. My score, here, is greatly inflated compared to the remarks given on this one. Heck, it was one of only 2 or 3 out of 20+ bottles we drank where there was some left at the end of the night - and we had this one fourth. So not worth the hype it isn't even funny.

07-25-2009 23:18:21 | More by charlesw
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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,798 ratings.