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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,981 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,981
Reviews: 1,644
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,530
Gots: 2,236 | FT: 154
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: 4,981 | Reviews: 1,644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of derkfromwi
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100
Wanted to review something I enjoy, I enjoy it enough that my 2010's never made it to 2012.

2011 Best After 8/4/12 Poured into Duvel glass

A: 3/4 inch dark mocha head that retains well and eventually dissipates to a nice ring around edges of glass, jet black color, very good carbonation for style, decent lacing for an Imperial Stout

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, variety of wood, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, as it warms a touch of bourbon comes out

T: Licorice, dark chocolate, cherry, oak barrel, molasses, bit of vanilla, and as it warms the wine flavors poke through and add some sour and dry, but not too strong, still very pleasing

M: Smooth, creamy and velvety, carbonation takes a back seat but is there, medium-full bodied, nicely balanced

O: Very good Imperial Stout, I enjoy the journey through The Abyss every time, can't wait to taste the bottles left as it ages and changes

derkfromwi, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of deereless
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 Reserve Batch A: Nice thick head with solid lacing and good retention, obsidian black that blocks all light, a swirl of the glass indicates noticeable viscosity – 5.00, S: The smell is quite boozy and with loads of licorice, there is also a good deal of char/ash and a thick sweetness that resonates on the nose, reminds me of dark fruitcake, oak is detectable but not aggressive, in the depths of the beer I detect a slight melon - 4.50, T: For a monster of a beer this has a wonderfully smooth flow, very slight astringency, licorice and pureed raisin, a little burn from the alcohol but nothing offensive, lots of roasted malts and sharp bitter bakers chocolate – 4.5, M: Mild grittiness and delicate syrupiness – 4.5, D: Extremely drinkable for an 11.1% beer, I ignored the ‘Best After’ date of Nov 1, 2013 by several months which may have compromised the experience a bit, but overall this is an exceptional beer – 5.0

deereless, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%

MLaVioletteJr, Tuesday at 03:26 PM
Photo of Auraan
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a deep inky black with a thin tan head. It looks quite nice, very much true to form for a RIS. Scents of rubbing alcohol, slight roast malt, faint hints of black coffee, some vinous wine, brown sugar, molasses and slight licorice. Very nice aroma. Deep, complex and strong. Taste begins with black coffee, rich roast malt, bittersweet cocoa and vanilla bean, with notes of oak, licorice, very faint hints of wine and hints of oak and bourbon in the background, especially as the beer warms. Finish and aftertaste are bitter, roasty and strong in black coffee. Very well done, balanced, yet assertive, aged, yet not dank. An excellent flavor. Mouthfeel is medium-thick bodied, sticky with a faint alcohol burn. Quite nice, very much a sipping beer. Overall this is another excellent, deep, complex Imperial Stout. It's strong, assertive and bold, yet balanced. Well worth drinking.

Auraan, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the Ithaca Luminous release thanks to stillmatic2232.

Pours dark black, with a one inch tan mocha head, and some lacing.

Smells include roasted malt, dark fruits, sherry, and espresso.

The taste is pretty similar. Can definitely taste this is a combo of wine and bourbon aging- some nice dark cherry flavors, plus lots of chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and oak. No real hop flavor, just luxurious malty and barrel-derived flavors.

Thick, syrupy, viscous mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Very drinkable considering the ABV, and very warming.

Another awesome BA stout, this is one of the all-time classics and tastes like it.

GreesyFizeek, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of 3sheets2wind
4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like a wanker for reviewing this beer. I have drunk it several times on draft and in bottle and I have grown to like it more and more every time. Reviewing the 2013 batch, black wax.

A: Tiny bubbles in black ink. Tan head dissipates. "Tis a fine looking Russian lass.

S: Great toffee and maple syrup aromas. As it warms, the bourbon and oak come out a little more. LIght fennel/anise aroma underneath there.

T: There is a pleasant hop kick to this beer. Good bitterness, though not as bitter as Speedway or Founders Imperial. Definitely a bonus to have some good hop in a RIS. Hits that nice toffee/maple note from the smell and some chocolate too, but this is drier than you would expect. Very mild sweetness that is played off of the bitter hop aspect.

M: That fine carb really helps to coat the mouth. My mouth feels like I ate a bag of Werther's caramels without those pesky little clumps that get stuck between your teeth and gums.

Overall: Find this beer and drink it. Duh.

3sheets2wind, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 version.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter and impenetrable abyss (sorry, couldn't resist) of black. Held up to a bare lightbulb and not light could poke through.

The aroma was licorice, molasses, vanilla, dried plums, burnt grain, dark chocolate, and firewood-roasted marshmallows. Complex and inviting.

The taste followed the nose perfectly but with the added bonus of espresso in the middle. I didn't get the aroma of coffee/espresso in the nose but it was there in the flavor. The taste gets considerably better as it warms and blends together. I didn't think it possible but the sweet vanilla (from the wood) grows stronger the warmer it gets.

Smooth, oh so smooth. Molten chocolate cake in a glass. I know there's alcohol in here but I can't taste it all.

This is what other Imperial stouts want to be when they grow up. I can only imagine how good this gets with age on it.

BuckeyeOne, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of lawlerj
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Mackenzie's in Minneapolis.

A - pours a deep chocalety looking blackish brown. Rich khaki head. Completely opaque.

S - strong coffee and dark chocolate aroma dominate the nose. Roasted malt, sweet and rich.

T - chocolate and coffee again, strong rich roasty flavors as well. So complex and so delicious.

M - almost like chocolate milk - rich and creamy, feels amazing.

O - overall, a delicious amazing beer. I'm glad that I got a chance to sample and will have to find it again.

lawlerj, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of MMAJYK
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night; no light is passing through here. Head is a darker brown color and fairly thick and fluffy. Lacing is awesome with thick sheets down the sides of my snifter.

S- Oaky, chocolate, coffee, cocoa, a little bit creamy, sourwood, molasses, and licorice.

T- Cocoa and chocolate with the bourbon sneaking in and alcohol tastes midstream. The oaky taste hits the tongue on the end and finishes bitter-sweet. Licorice is subtle while cooler, but comes out more as it warms. Roasty malts are present on the back. Just a tad burnt to me.

M- Thick and somewhat chewy and low to mid on carbonation.

D- As a stand alone beer to split with a friend, just right.

Overall- I have heard the hype, and it lives up to it nicely. Rich, full, and very, very complex. I was not let down one bit.

Thanks to JohnGalt1 for throwing this one in as an AWESOME extra in our past trade.

MMAJYK, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of hopsbreath
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Undated notes from a recent trip to the Portland brew pub. Served in a 300 ml conical glass and paired with an elk burger and sweet potato fries for lunch. Wet dreams are made from lunches such as this.

It's been a while since I've had un-infected Abyss and this was my first taste of the 2010 batch. Boy-oh-boy what a revelation this batch is...

A: The previously described conical glass arrived to the table with about two inches of tight espresso like foam sitting on top of text book inky blackness. The lacing that The Abyss puts off is just amazing in this format. The foam NEVER faded. 5/5

S: Strong cocoa powder is supported by anise and soft bourbon notes. A treat in a glass is promised. 4.5/5

T: Light vinous notes meld well with the decadent chocolate richness that is amplified to the mousse level by the nitro. Brown liquor is gently warms and brings with it some nice caramel. Bitter cold pressed coffee rounds out the finish and lingers alongside the bourbon notes. This is just a rich complex dessert in a glass. 4.5/5

M: Again the nitro helps improve the score. The creamy elixir is just so damn smooth of the palate. Like a thick chocolate milkshake, a mustache of foam can be left on my upper lip and complete my audition for any future "Got Abyss" billboards. 5/5

D: Fuhgit abaht it... Bahtendah... Ahl 'ave anothuh. 5/5

hopsbreath, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of nataku00
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Previously reviewed 2009 Abyss that was on tap in fall of 2010, but was able to get a few bottles of 2010 release and this deserves another review.

A fresh 2010 bottle poured into a snifter. Beer is as black as a stout can be, with just a small amount of dark brown large bubbled head. Lots of alcohol clinging to the glass when swirled, and just a hint of carbonation bubble right at the edge of the glass every now and then.

Nose is nice complex, coffee, dark fruits, dark chocolate, slight bitterness from roasted malts, a hint of vanilla and licorice.

Drinking this before the suggested drink by date because of other comments about the 2010 release drinking very nicely right now and it doesn't disappoint. Alcohol presence is definitely there, but just a nice mixture of coffee, fruitiness, chocolate, and oak upfront. The finish is long and lush, bourbon presence definitely making its presence in vanilla, caramel, and chocolate staying on your tongue minutes after swallowing.

Full bodied and perfectly carbonated beer, rich and creamy but not overwhelming in its delivery of flavor. Lasting finish makes this a sip and savor, a beer to spend a long night with, to enjoy its complex and deep flavor. Need more bottles of the 2010 to hang onto and see how it develops over the years.

nataku00, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$6 for a draft glass at The Front Door in Boise... I had to make it down there before they went through their last keg.

Lite brown head never dropped .... I waited about 15 minutes before I took the first sip... Totally pitch black.. no light escapes.

Aroma is all roastiness on sooo many different levels.. espresso ... dark chocolate .. not as much oak as I remember from last year but it's still prevalent.. Brenda smells licorice.. me not so much... throw in a lite handful of fresh raisins for good measure.

Satiny viscous body.. creamy.. thick rich imperial stout flavors... dark caramel and bakers chocolate .. just enough sweetness to really tie everything all together... dark malts and more vanilla than last year ... and less bourbon than the '06.. a little char... sip this one slowly and savor it... very little alcohol but it is a little warming in the belly and the brain... simply fantastic...

Pick it up and enjoy while you can and definatly cellar some ... Some Boise BA's and I did a massive imperial stout tasting in early December and my favorite and at least a few others were the '06 Abyss... close second was the '06 Bourbon County.. but I really do love this beer.

The only thing I can really "complain" about is it needs a little more time in the bottle to meld completely.

JohnGalt1, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ncvbc for the beer.
Opaque in color. Large everlasting chocolate colored head. It's the darkest head I've ever seen. The head has more texture than a topo map of the Appalachian Mtn range.
Smells of licorice, chocolate, and bourbon.
The richest roasted malts that I've tasted yet make up the backbone of the flavor. Mixed in is sweet licorice, dark chocolate and a bourbon like bitterness. It's what I imagine a chocolate flavored bourbon would taste like.
Thick chewy mouthfeel.
Forget about the 11% abv, I could drink this all night long. It lives up to the hype. Please, someone send me another bottle.

wcudwight, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of mtbdonn
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bottle Abyss, 2010 from the cellar at approx 50 degrees, served in a Karmeliet tulip glass.

A- Looks perfect; black with nice chocolate, brown head and nice lacing, leaving a thick, sticky residue of foamy head on the glass.

S-Delicious, definite hints of molassass/syrup, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and subtle hint of smoke (oak). Because of the large bottle, the second glass definitely had a nicer aroma as the beer warmed a bit. But light to the nose, expected a little bit more?!

T-The taste is lighter than it looks and lighter than expected. I've always heard about the licorice with this beer, and I was hesitant to try because I absolutely hate black licorice, but I did not notice licorice at all. The taste was very smooth, nice mild carbonation, and a nice crisp finish, with no heavy alcohol on the back side. At 11%, you the alcohol blended very well.

M-The texture of the beer is nice also with the light carbonation and the flavor carrying over in the aftertaste and not the alcohol.

Overall, the is a delicious beer, but I honestly don't think it is a 100 beer, but definitely a mid-90's; a 95/96! I am torn between my favorite stout, the Goose Island Bourbon County and this; very comparable!
I have a CBS that I have just acquired and can't wait to compare between the top 3 I. Stouts of my U.S.

mtbdonn, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of scottoale
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Brien's on tap, served in pint glasses. Ultra dark brown with a tint of red when light penetrated this thick ass brew. Light brown head of 1/2" that settled to a ring and left a bit of lace clinging to the glass. A fine looking Imperial Stout!

The smell is sweet with rich dark fruit, molassas, licorice, some roasty notes followed by an everlasting alcoholic fume. The nose became much more apparent as the chill wore off.

The larger than life flavor is full and rich, very sweet but never cloying. Very complex with licorice, plum, molassas, some chocolate and coffee with a very pronounced alcoholic punch, and a tasty one at that. Big and bold, this is a huge stout.

Smooth, syrupy mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. Dangerously drinkable if you like a big RIS...top notch stuff on tap, I'd like taste the bottled version to compare some day.

scottoale, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of cptnspeed1
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle of the 2009 vintage, the fourth in my friend's miracle case that *knock on wood* has produced 4 or 4 non-infected bottles. Poured into a snifter.

A: From the bottle comes a dark brown, but appears black in the glass. A 1/2 inch of dark tan head tops things off before dissipating.

S: Roasted malt with hints of vanilla, oak, and a touch of smoke. Licorice comes out strong as the beer warms.

T: Roasted malt again, but this time the licorice comes through a touch more. The vanilla and oak make an appearance 2/3 of the way through. The smoke isn't as present, but if I look for it I can find it. The big additions are a heaping helping of chocolate and a bit of coffee to round out the flavor.

M: A smooth texture to complement the thickness of the beer. A bit of heat creeps in at the end.

O: A pleasure to drink. I couldn't take the suspense any longer and had to see if it was infected or not. So glad it wasn't. Looking forward to my non-2009's that much more.

cptnspeed1, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of Scorpious
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very nice flavor and aroma. Poured in to glass and allowed to warm for about twenty minutes. After the warm up session certainly noticed the bourbon and Pinot Noir characteristics start to develop more. I didn't however notice the Licorice flvor, but the beer might have still been too cold... Also has a mild caramel finish while still being rather pleasing on the palate..

Scorpious, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of digita7693
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pitch black, as expected, with an excellent dark brown head with wonderful lacing

S very malty, roasted coffee, chocolate

T Im blown away, delicious bitter coffee taste (think a nice fresh espresso) with some cacao, very rich and creamy

D wonderful amount of carbonation in this, very smooth beer
simply delicious

notes: im a huge fan of stouts, but I often think the chocolate is overdone and hides some of the other flavors. this is not the case here. this is perfect, quite possibly my favorite imperial stout now!
Though Founders IS would be a very close second, would love to try them side by side

digita7693, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

2011 Edition.

A: Pours an opaque inky black in color with some very faint dark brown hints when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall dark tan head that reduces by about 50% but a nice thick flavor remains covering the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Wow, this beer has a really enticing smell. Lots of dark chocolate (almost fudge-like in smell) and some dark cherry fruit sweetness. There are some more subtle hints of anise, coffee, and some oak/wood.

T: This beer has a full dark roasted malt body but with quite a bit of sweetness. There is a great sweet dark chocolate almost brownie-like flavor with some great dark cherry fruit flavor. Lots of freshly brewed coffee notes and some hints of anise. The bourbon also really comes through in the flavor with the contributions of oak, tannins, and some vanilla.

M: Full bodied with low to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: This is a really phenomenal stout - I really enjoyed the dark cherry fruit contribution to the flavor and smell. Amazingly complex but well balanced. This is a great beer and I want more.

dbrauneis, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of vkv822
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Abyss on nito-tap.

Beer is black at the bottom of the glass, though as it gets closer to the head it does give some faint brown highlights. The carbonation adds some tan rising bubbles.The head is a brown fluffy cloud sitting atop the the beer. It leaves beautiful lacing that leaves a thing foamy cover of the entire side of the glass. There are thicker rings of foam lacing that show where each sip was finished. Gorgeous.

The aroma gives smooth notes of roasty malts, cocoa, espresso and molasses. The anise notes are there, though only as a faint back note.

The taste follows the nose, with an emphasis on the sweeter chocolate and espresso aspects of the beer. It gives way to more of the black licorice anise and a lightly boozy bourbon note in the finish.

The mouthfeel really blew me out of the water. Amazingly thick, full bodied and creamy smooth. The first thing I said in regards to the mouth feel was that it was like a beer milkshake. Now with all that said, it in no ways becomes heavy on the palate. It actually gives a wonderful fluffy airiness. Hard to describe.
I wish I could score the mouthfeel higher.

This beer is easily one of the most enjoyable and drinkable beers I have had. One word to describe the aroma, taste and mouthfeel? Smooth. Incredibly well balanced flavors, and an out of this world mouthfeel. Also it completely hides 11% ABV which really just makes it dangerously drinkable.

vkv822, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade with sry23, thanks Scott!!
Shared this 2008 vintage with two non-BA friends at a homebrew session

A- Nice and dark with a lighter orange brown halo around the edges. Good size head and decent lacing

S- I got notes of oak, alcohol, nicely roasted malts and touches of the molasses

T- Very complex flavors going on here, I can see how it would age well and the booze would calm. Again with the oak and some bourbon

M- Thick and viscous the way it should be

D- Yes! If it was easier to get, I could drink this once a week but I was glad to have help with the bomber, couldn't/wouldn't drink one by myself

brokenleadedcask, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Reserve into a snifter.

A - Pours a dark, used motor oil black, plenty viscous, with a creamy, tan, 2 finger head with a good amount of lacing. Not a ray of light penetrates this beer.

S - First smell is a bitter cocoa, like baker's chocolate chips, with hints of caramel, some dark fruit, and just a touch of bourbon.

T - Wow, lots of tastes going on here. Up front is a bit of dark fruit and that baker's chocolate. In the middle comes that oakyness from the barrels before fading into a delicious, roasted coffee taste. This is such a complex beer! It's like it actually changes the way it tastes as it goes through your mouth. Absolutely remarkable.

M - The beer was full, but silky. Some of that bitterness lingered in the back of the throat, and I just now remembered that this beer is 11% ABV, because the alcohol is completely hidden. I love the way this beer permeates through the mouth and pretty much hits every taste bud.

Overall - Phenomenal. A great beer deserving of the hype. The most interesting thing about this beer is how much different is tastes from it's smell. I found the smell lacking to be honest, but when you take a drink of it, every single little flavor comes out. Remarkable beer. Glad I had the opportunity to try this.

BeerBuckeye, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of PuckX
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first review, and while I was going to wait until I had more experience drinking good beer before taking a stab at reviewing this but this one was so incredible I had to write down what I could. Previous to this my experience with stout had been Guinness. I apologize in advance for my lame noob review. :)

A: Poured into a large mug, very dark, and thick. Two inch brown head that stuck around awhile.

S: Chocolate, rich dark chocolate. Also the alcohol cleared the sinuses.

T: Dark chocolate flavor is real dominant, followed by the sweet mollases aftertaste, and alcohol warmth.

M: Thick, and smooth. I read someone elses review that said this was thinner than previous years, since this is my first Abyss I have no basis to debate that. But this was thick in my book, ecspecially when I let it warm a bit. Nice slight carbonation, not too much, not too little. Went down real smooth.

D: I could drink this all night long, it is smooth, flavorfull, and enjoyable. The ABV is high so obviously I would be limited to probably 2 before passing out, but that is ok as I drank this real slow to enjoy the flavor anyways.

Docked a half point on drinkability due to the strong alcohol that will most likely smooth out with age (which is why I am aging some). This is by far the best beer I have ever drank. Now with my limited experience that may not be saying much, but I think other reviews of this beer pretty much say the same thing and I will definately get my hands on this whenever available.

PuckX, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of bfields4
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a motor oil black not a tint that I can see. Large but tight beautiful golden mocha head.

Sweet milk chocolate and roasted espresso hit right away. Not long off are vanilla, tobacco, oak and a hint of bourbon.

Cocoa and vanilla rush in with a sweetness. Then it is nicely balanced out with the bitterness from the roasted malt. A slight touch of molasses. Don't detect the bourbon aging as much as in the nose with the exception of vanilla. The flavors here are not the most complex, but are done to perfection.

A lot smoother than what I had expected. A very velvety mouthfeel. Wonderfully drinkable for the abv. Was not let down one bit and cannot wait for a couple of these bad boys to age.

bfields4, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of coldwarkid
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BAM my first review in probably a year. Sorry BA community. I figured I had to make a comeback with this amazing beer. I'm listening to Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam and Tom Waits' Real Gone while drinking it and it's a totally radical experience.

The legendary 2009 Vintage

22 oz wax dipped bomber aged in my cabinet. I couldn't believe that it had been more than a year since I bought these two bottles. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Appearance: Pours completely pitch black with a big frothy cocoa colored head. I was amazed the carbonation was so perfect and vigorous even after a year. Impressive lacing for an 11% ABV, that wax dipped seal totally did the trick. This is the darkest, most opaque beer I've ever seen in my life--I'm holding it up to a halogen desk lamp and not one shred of light is coming through. The abyss is the perfect name for this beer, I feel like I bought a bottle of water from the river Styx.

Smell: Like a Tom Waits song - boozy, dark, complex, and completely badass. Notes of bourbon, molasses, cocoa, licorice root, and sweet pipe tobacco. Dayum.

Taste: The taste is blowing my mind: dark chocolate, oaky bourbon, molasses, coffee, dates, a faint tartness like rum soaked cherries. I cant even detect the alcohol. A lot of times I have problems with imperial stouts tasting a little like soy sauce or beef jerkey. This beer does not have that problem. In fact it has no problems.

Mouthfeel: Super silky and creamy. Not cloyingly sweet or syrupy, due to the perfect carbonation.

Overall: I haven't had too many rare beers and beers on the top 20 but for now this is probably the best beer I've ever tasted.

coldwarkid, Mar 24, 2011
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,981 ratings.