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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,301 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4301
Reviews: 1609
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.49%


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)
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Ratings: 4,301 | Reviews: 1,609 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of NWer
NWer

Washington

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed a sampler at the brewery in Eugene, on tap at a local establishment, and on nitro at the Deschutes Public House in Portland. It's about time I tick off a review - from memory.
The nitro was the most memorable but in no way demeans the beer I had on-tap. Poured dark of course into a funny looking slender/tall glass.
Sipping it slow. Want it to last forever. Smooth. Flavors: what they said. No need to be repetitive.
Can't say enough about this beer. Alcohol well hidden. No burn at all.
I am so glad I've built up a stash of the '10 and '11 to savor over time. Clearly one of the great beers.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-08-2012 23:21:20 | More by NWer
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 Nitro, does it get any better than this. This is my second time having this. The first was during the 2011 release on November 15, 2011. Served in a half pint glass.

A - Served a dark chocolately brown with a nice dark tan head. The head never fades a bit and it leaves solid lacing down the entire glass.

S - The smell is strong chocolate, some slight coffee, nutty, with touches of vanilla and toffee.

T - The taste is very similar to the smell. The vanilla and toffee are a bit more pronounced here. Just an absolute delight to drink.

D - Silky and smooth, nitro baby. A touch of bitterness in the finish, but again. World class.

O - I made a special trip tonight just to have this beer on nitro. I am so glad I got to have it again. If you can, hunt this one down.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-02-2011 04:24:45 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of colts9016
colts9016

Idaho

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marcellar put the Abyss on Nitro and it is awesome. Poured into a snifter at 47 degrees. From my notes I write this review.

Appearance: The head is a dark tan color and is foamy and creamy; furthermore, the head has really good retention with lacing on the glass. There is a lot of carbonation in the beer, visible from the sides of the glass. The clarity of the glass is opaque; it is like trying to look through tar. There is a lot of lacing on the beer glass.

Nose: A nice roasted malt, strong coffee, and chocolate aromas. There is a molasses like note with floral ester, resin, biscuit, and toffee. There is also a slight port aroma to the beer. You can smell the burnt character in the beer and the oak. The bourbon barrel age in the beer comes out very brightly and aromatic.

Taste: A very rich roasted malt, oak, espresso, chocolate, and a molasses are the initial flavors. In the background of the beer there is bread, oak, toffee, and a burnt character in the beer. The age in the bourbon barrel give the beer balance and flavor. The hops is subtle but there is floral, pine, and a hint of grapefruit.

The mouth feel is a full bodied brew that is very creamy, coating, and smooth.

Overall: The body of the beer is thick and the finish is full and last for a while on the palate. The beer is very well balanced and beautifully made. With beer being poured on a nitro tap, it just brings a whole new level the beer. There is not much to say, other than a great brew.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-16-2011 03:50:50 | More by colts9016
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-08-2011 07:52:14 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-08-2011 22:06:43 | More by vkv822
Photo of boMD
boMD

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Nitro tap from Deachutes' Portland Pub....

Poured opaque black with a light brown head. Head retained about a centimeter on the surface and plenty of lacing along the walls of the glass.

Nose was roasty, chalky, coffee, and cocoa. Palate was velvety smooth. Which masked the alcohol quite a bit allowing this to be very drinkable. Notes of licorice, chocolate, molasses, burnt brown sugars, ginger, and a whiskey-ish vanilla malt sweetness.

I would say this is one of the best Abyss experiences I have had. Whether fresh or aged. The nitro version is just to die for.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-19-2010 23:54:05 | More by boMD
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/18/2010

2010 vintage on nitro at the Portland pub before my flight. 

A: Appears impenetrable black with a gigantic light brown creamy head. Great retention. Looks like a beast, like a gaping crevasse affording the viewer a glimpse of nothingness and totality simultaneously. 

S: Aroma is anise and a moderate roasted malt profile with big blackstrap molasses notes. Dark chocolate is pervasive, and there's an earthy quality present. 

T: Rich and decadent, the beer boasts a big blackstrap molasses presence accompanying bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, and some booze. The bitter chocolate finish is warming and dry. The beer strikes a nice balance between dry and sweet. Simply delicious. 

M: The nitro mouthfeel is silky and smooth, the body is full.

Overall: Outstanding batch this year. Not overly aggressive and great flavor.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-19-2010 03:18:45 | More by HopHead84
Photo of jwilly03
jwilly03

Oregon

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a Nitro 2010 Abyss at the Bend Public House on December 1st...liquid bliss!
Rich and creamy from the first sip to the last, and what a great nose. Served in a snifter so all of those glorious aromas can gather in the bulb, hit your nose, and tell your brain that this is going to be a great experience! Very much a beer I will enjoy until the last keg blows! Cheers!!

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-06-2010 19:37:20 | More by jwilly03
Photo of Oldbagofbones
Oldbagofbones

British Columbia (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not much more I can add other than that I just had a nitro tap at the Pearl brewpub. Hint of marmite on the nose and ovaltine on the palate as the silky elixir slithered down my throat. Sublime.

As much as others may suggest food pairings, resist the temptation and enjoy it on it's own. It deserves your full attention.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-06-2010 06:54:24 | More by Oldbagofbones
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New serving type tick! Seriously though, nitro-Abyss '10 on tap at the Pearl brewpub in Portland was a thing of beauty. Having it side by side next to the tap version was an eye-opening experience. Huge thanks to ramnuts for hosting me and taking me around to try these awesome beers.

A: Pours, as does the regular version, a viscous-looking black with a menacing dark mocha head. The bubbles are fine, cascading up the glass as is characteristic of a good nitro pour. The retention is great, and the lively appearance is exquisite to behold.

S: Unlike the tap version, the sweeter elements emerge here. I typically find nitro beers dull and muted, but here the aroma is still pungent. Strong emphasis on anise, dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and a smattering of espresso.

T: As in the nose, the sweeter flavors take center stage. It's almost candy-like, with a concoction of dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, and anise. I seem to pick up marshmallow here, too. Espresso, vanilla and bourbon flit in and out, but the woodiness of the tap version is barely detectable. Near the top of its category.

M: Much smoother than the tap; the fine bubbles give it a creamy, velvety texture. They also suppress the astringency in the finish, seemingly enhancing the sweetness. Bu there is still enough hop presence to prevent it from becoming treacly. Can't criticize anything here, except that it has a mild heat to it.

D: Abyss was the beer that made me interested in craft. I've tried dozens, probably closer to a hundred, barrel-aged imperial stouts since then. I have a small nostalgic fondness for this one, but I feel it's justified given that Deschutes actually hit it out of the park on this one.

If I had to rank the beers in the flight, I'd say...

'10 nitro and '07 tap (tie)
'10 tap
'09 tap
'08 tap (it was still boozy for some reason)

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-05-2010 20:24:11 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of cbarrett4
cbarrett4

Oregon

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The most perfectly crafted beer I have ever consumed (again)!

This review is for the 2010 release. Tasted with 2010 nitro, 2009, 2008, 2007 releases at the Portland Deschutes brewpub on December 1st, 2010 (Abyss release day!) Sadly they sold out of the limited number of 2007 and 2008 bottles within an hour!

2010 regular tap: showing very well, though youthful with a ton of astringency that will mellow with bottle age. This baby is heavy, rich, unctuous, and lively! The aromas and flavors definitely dwell on the dark and somewhat evil influence of dark, bitter chocolate with fruit notes from the licorice and hops. Tons of freshly ground espresso beans on the nose and palate. Also, there is a rich note of oak with grippy tannins on the palate. Sports a finish that goes on and on and on....

2010 nitro: same as above just slightly more texture and less astringency. Great for drinking now while the bottle and regular tap are a little intense. (Too bad it won't be around long!)

2009: tasted several times over the last year, and this was my latest taste. Still very young with emphasis still on rich tannins and hops. Needs 1 more year of cellaring!

2008: my personal favorite. This vintage is a little slutty ~ lots of rich chocolate on a polished and more subtle texture than the newer vintages. Cellaring has definitely made an improvement!

2007: if the '08 were an Oregon pinot, then '07 would be Burgundy. This vintage is smoky, velvety, yet subtle with more of the fruit and licorice notes present; also has a lot of espresso and some hints of toasty oak. My second favorite!

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-02-2010 23:33:04 | More by cbarrett4
Photo of Beernoisseur
Beernoisseur

Utah

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are times in one's life where you realize that you are in the presence of greatness. These moments are fleeting, and seem to come at the most unexpected of times. Such was the case with this beer. I walked into Marcellar's in Idaho Falls, Idaho (of all places) and they had this on nitro tap. If God drinks beer, he's got this on tap. I'm stoked to be the first reviewer to have had it on nitro.

Everything about this beer is sublime. I would give it straight tens, if that were an option. It was absolutely beautiful in the Chimay goblet. The nitro gave it a totally smooth, 3/4 inch cappuccino head, but the beer itself was straight espresso beneath. "The Abyss" is a truly the perfect name for the appearance.

The nose was subtle but sophisticated. Coffee, toffee, toasted nuts, and vanilla were all present. Not overwhelming, but very very pleasant.

The flavor was absolutely savory- the zenith of what this style should represent. Dark roasted coffee, toffee, toasted marshmallows, and sweet vanilla all surround very delicate herbals. The malt and the sweetness comes out strong (not too strong) in the beginning, but there's a powerful hop presence through the middle, and an especially bitter kick on the finish. This is everything you could ever expect from a beer, and more.

I could imagine that this beer, in and unto itself, would have incredible body and mouthfeel. The nitro tap, however, is like adding an exponent to the feel of this sensory extravaganza. Absolutely amazing.

Assuming I had enough of a supply, I could happily drink myself into oblivion with this utterly superb brew. Nitro is the way to go here.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-29-2009 00:16:46 | More by Beernoisseur
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro

Illinois

4.86/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a waxed 22 oz. bottle (2012 vintage) into a Deschutes Brewery Public House branded snifter/short stemmed tulip

Pours a viscous dirty motor oil dark brown to black capped by a fluffy two finger dark tan head. Excellent retention with significant splotchy lacing. Complex nose; rich, dark chocolate, underlying roasted malt, toffee, charred oak, hints of red wine, dark fruit notes, just a faint touch of bourbon, and some pleasant booziness. The flavor is even more dense. Dark chocolate leads joined by plenty of dark fruit, most notably black cherries dominant, supported by raisins and prunes. Rich molasses with toffee join in along with caramel and dark chocolate notes. Oak and vanilla take the lead joined by some roastiness and anise. Finishes with some very light hints of red wine and warm booziness with a slight accent of bourbon. Big full body that means to be reckoned with. Moderate to low carbonation creamy, smooth, fairly velvety on the palate. The Abyss is truly a work of art and is among the top tier of both barrel-aged imperial stouts and blended barrel-aged brews.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2014 03:18:01 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.66/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 00:33:25 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark brown, oily body, that settles into the glass looking very dark, with a very thin tan head. A swirl of the glass leaves some sticky lacing behind.

S- A lot going on. Dark fruits, sweet sugar, hints of sweet bourbon, charred oak, roasted malts, hints of coffee.

T- A lot of depth in the taste as well. Starts of seeming like a bourbon barrel imperial stout, but about half way through there are waves of coffee, chocolate, charred oak, then the wine barrel characteristics come in and present some red grapes and a slight hint of oaky funk on the finish. The molasses flavor rounds out everything, as it comes through in all of the waves of flavors.

M- Medium-high carbonation, thick and oily, but not as thick as I would have thought.

O- A great blended barrel-aged beer. Really complex, bold flavors, that hint of wine barrel is just fantastic and works well with the rest of the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 23:00:36 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good luck improving the look of this beast. Pours like used engine oil. It's thick and syrupy. Extremely dark. The head forms slowly, a deep rich brown color. Good retention. A thin lace is all that remains.

You can smell just about each ingredient. Dark roasted notes. Char. Cherry bark. Licorice. Vanilla. Alcohol. It's all there.

Same goes for the taste. Lots of woody tastes. Cherry. Vanilla. A bit of licorice. Expresso. Smoke. Alcohol.

As I poured, a few stops rolled slowly down the bottle. I slid my finger along to pick up the drops and licked my fingers dry...you could taste the manliness of this beer. But with a full sip, it's remarkably smooth for something so strong. Sweet and fruity up front, warm and bitter in the end. It's creamy til the finish. A bit of heat tempers the swallow. Very full bodied. Thick and chewy.

It's an extraordinary beer. I wouldn't change a thing. I had the 2013 vintage and it said not to drink it until four months from now. I couldn't wait, I can't imagine it could be any better.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 02:49:27 | More by RickS95
Photo of ELS
ELS

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been wanting to try The Abyss for some time. I've been a fan of Deschutes Beer having many of their offerings on tap when visiting Portland but never The Abyss. Then when visiting San Francisco I came accross a great little bar called the Amsterdam Cafe that had in on tap. I couldn't believe it! I know that many times you build up your expectations for a beer and are usually let down. Not this time. The Abyss was amazing! The appearance was as dark as black ink with a thin foamy head. It smelled like coffee and chocolate and tasted like it smelled with a hint of vanilla. It had a couple more flavors that I couldn't quite recognize but it blended so well and tasted so great that I wasn't really paying close attention. The alcohol is extremely well hidden but definitely is felt when walking out of the bar. The mouthfeel is perfect with a thick, smooth feel that goes down easy. Overall, this was one of the best beers I've ever had and for the time being my number one beer drinking experience.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2014 04:09:29 | More by ELS
Photo of leveejr
leveejr

Texas

4.54/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had 2012 vintage on Tap at Holy Grail Pub.

Poured pitch black with small tan head. Slight bourbon smell along with nice roasted notes. Tastes insanely good. Slight bourbon sweetness. Big roasted flavor and earthy almost tobacco finish. Outstanding beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2014 15:00:24 | More by leveejr
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, brown head. Settles pretty quickly leaving a foam blanket and a beer ring. Persistent thick spider web lacing.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, and raisin.

T: Espresso and licorice. Dark, unsweetened chocolate.

M: Thick, syrupy, and hearty. Earthy, with a slight bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark and intimidating, with a fair head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is roasty, and chocolatey with sweet and bitter components. Coffee with bitter licorice and unsweetened chocolate. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 01:45:31 | More by bmwats
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. Best after 11/1/13. Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours thick and black like motor oil...or the abyss. Very viscous. Super dark black...no light coming through with backlighting. 1/2 inch dark mocha head that fairly quickly recedes but still leaves a skim. Thin lacing also coats the glass.
S: Intoxicating aroma can be appreciated a few feet away. Black strap molasses, dark caramel malt, hint of sweet cherries, anise, and a bit of charred wood.
T: Smooth dark chocolate and cherries up front, followed by charred wood, black strap molasses, and a strong backbone of dark, roasted, and sweet malt. Wonderful transition across the palate. Anise and vanilla come through with warming.
M: Super silky smooth and creamy up front. This transitions to dry and bitter and finishes with the same. Excellent lingering and maturing on the palate...leaves a lasting footprint. Heavy feel.
D: Wow!!! This one lives up to the hype. An excellent sipper. A phenomenal brew...seek it out!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 03:01:01 | More by mwilbur
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bottle (2012 Reserve, best after November 1, 2013) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces almost two fingers of dense, medium-dark-brown head. The retention is pretty good at roughly two minutes and the head leaves some nice lacing on the glass as it fades. The beer is appropriately named because this stuff if black as an abyss and still looking.

S-The aroma is deep and full of dark chocolate and molasses with a nice roasted/lightly charred component. There is some vanilla and oak, and bitterness is lighter than many big stouts. There is also a little hit of tart cherry or sourness. A lot going here.

T-The taste, like the smell, is full of flavors. I get caramel and molasses, some dark chocolate, vanilla, a moderate bit of sweetness, some roasted/toasted malt, hints of tart cherry fruit, and a spicy, licorice/anise flavor on the finish. The beer says 11.1% ABV, but I don't taste it beneath all the other flavors.

M-The feel is medium in heft with some chewiness. The carbonation is mild, fine, and smooth. It is easy to drink for a beer this big and with this many flavors.

O-This is a hugely complex and well-crafted beer, but I'm not sure I enjoyed it as much as other big stouts. The Abyss definitely looks and feels the part with great appearance and mouthfeel, but I think some of the flavors here just did not click together on my palate. This feels a bit like experimentation to me and perhaps I just am not in the mood for the multitude of flavors tonight...anyway, high marks for complexity and structure, but only good marks for taste and smell.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 16:31:29 | More by spoony
Photo of N_Schleret
N_Schleret

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
A: Pours a very dark brown with a one finger chocolate head that dissipates slowly, And nice lacing.
S: Strong dark fruits with hints of chocolate, molasses, and smoke. This is pretty complex on the nose.
T: Licorice, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and smoke. Sweet and complex.
M: Heavy and thick. Slightly bitter but very smooth, although the alcohol is there.
O: A complex stout. Good but not worth the headaches tracking it down. I have a couple to age, will revisit down the road.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 18:33:23 | More by N_Schleret
Photo of SHODriver
SHODriver

California

5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage

A: pours black as night with a half inch of dark tan head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of bourbon with notes of vanilla and caramel. Also smells of roasted malt and coffee
T: taste is caramel, vanilla, molasses, chocolate, more bourbon, coffee and roast malt. swallow is roast malt, bourbon, molasses and coffee
M: thick and smooth in the mouth with soft carbonation
O: this beer is insanely good and flies off the shelves for a reason. It's phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 06:44:17 | More by SHODriver
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013 (I know the best after date but I like to try everything fresh first)

Appearance: a pitch black color. completely opaque. two finger tan head that fades slowly and leaves a good strong lacing. extremely viscous and leaves a slickness on the sides. a pretty spot on look for a big stout.

Smell: chocolate, roast, dark fruits. wood, slight smokiness. slight molasses. all these and more are there but its not the strongest and most profuse scent.

Taste: opens up with rich chocolate that mixes with a slight roastiness. lots of woody characteristics, mostly oak and some strong cherry wood are strong. ends with some licorice and slight molasses. also at the end a strong cherry wood and a very slight bourbon comes through. very strong alcohol comes and goes through.

Mouthfeel: extremely viscous and thick. strong alcohol kick and warmth. some bitterness from the roast and alcohol.

Overall: This is a great and complex beer. lots of good flavors but fresh it is very rough. but if you enjoy beers that have harsher tastes, like me, than go for it young. shows great expectations for aging as suggested by the bottle. certainly lives up to its name and reputation. Only thing that is really lacking is the weakness of the smell

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 23:29:05 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.94/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I once that this beer to be rare (at the time it was not sold in Nebraska), this was a few years ago. I made no effort the attain it and I was able to get a half dozen bottles or so, which I guess meant it was never rare. Now it is available in the state I work and live. Guess I should post a review for it now.

Dead black. A darker color is not possible. Floating onto of the abyss was a narrow tan head. The appearance was the model of the style. Textbook and perfection.

The nose is assertive but not aggressive; more tantalizing then blunt. Rich notes of molasses and melt with coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla and sweet, creamy chocolate. The aromas feel complete and not as choppy as say Yeti or Expedition. The barrel aging adds tremendous complexity and a gentle smoothness. A nearly perfect bouquet.

Oh so… smooth. Insanely complex. A bite of licorice is matched with espresso, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of smoke and oak. Molasses-like sweetness is balanced with an underlying hoppiness. Malty from start to finish. It’s a full-on assault of creamy-roasty-black maltiness rounded from time in a barrel. A brilliant piece of brewing magic. As good as an RIS can get.

Full, rich, vinous mouthfeel; low (and perfect) carbonation. Ideal mouthfeel.

Big and bold and stupid drinkable. One of the best beers I’ve had. Worthy of the attention, worthy of the hype. Seek it out. Drink it. Share it. Enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 14:30:16 | More by bditty187
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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,301 ratings.