The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,819 | Reviews: 1,637 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +6.2%
"If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."
2006 Reserve. Obliterative black that threatens to suck all ambient light from the room. Okay, that's probably over the top, but the beer is aggressively dark. The molasses hued cap is one of the darkest I've seen and is a treat for the eyes. It's thick and rich and long lasting and does a great job blanketing the glass with sheets of finely bubbled lace. In a word: perfection.
The nose is very good without being an absolute stunner. It may be that my expectations were too high, but I expected something with more pungency and more complexity. I can appreciate chocolate fudge and blackstrap molasses. Where's the black licorice? Where's the bourbon? The label says 'aged in oak barrels', but it doesn't say whether or not those barrels previously held bourbon.
The Abyss is *definitely* deserving of the hype. What amazes me most is how it's such a gentle giant. It tastes as if this bottle has been aging for several years rather than barely one. The various flavors all get along beautifully together, as if they've had all the time in the world to get acquainted.
The alcohol delivers just enough warmth to let you know you're drinking a massive beer that needs to be respected. Completely declawing and defanging a beast like this one is never a good idea. In case you're wondering, the 2006 is drinking splendidly right now.
A huge amount of roasted malt (and assorted other ingredients) delivers flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, caramelized sugar, molasses, licorice and sugared vanilla bean. The depth and complexity is close to overwhelming at times. If you love RISs and have the opportunity to buy a case of The Abyss, do so. You won't regret it.
Sweetness edges right up to the 'too sweet' line, without putting a toe over. The key is a surprising amount of citric, sprucey, resionous hops. On second thought, given the region of the country in which these guys brew, I'm not a bit surprised. There's no doubt in my mind that the flavor deserves the ultimate score.
The mouthfeel is a veritable feast for the senses. Like almost every other attribute of this fantastically delicious ale, it finds that precise sweet spot between too much and too little. It's heavily silky and glassy smooth and... well, it's simply perfect.
I have gazed into The Abyss. I've also smelled it, tasted it and felt its creamy lusciousness. This is a Russian Imperial stout for the ages and is one of the finest beers that I've ever had the pleasure to imbibe. Believe the hype and buy all you can get your hands on. Bravissimo!
02-02-2008 15:17:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.39/5 rDev -2.9%
2013 vintage. Best after 08/16/14.
Pours opaque black. The 1/2 inch tan head fades to a thin cap on top and leaves faint spotty lace.
The smell is of spent coffee grounds, dark chocolate, vanilla, faint dark fruit and a hint of alcohol.
The taste is of bitter black coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla and faint black cherry.
The texture is heavy bodied and syrupy with low carbonation.
This is a very impressive coffee forward imperial stout. The taste improves as it approaches room temperature.
08-22-2014 02:43:55 | More by Furlinator
4.5/5 rDev -0.4%
Deep black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of khaki colored head resting on top. Brussels lacing. Sweet aroma of raisins, plums,and dark roasted barley. This beer is definitely on the sweeter side. It starts off with fig and plum notes. The back of the palate showcases bitter dark roasted barley and coffee notes. The mouth is thick,sticky,and silky.
09-01-2014 03:32:55 | More by Franziskaner
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,819 ratings.