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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

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

4,775 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,775
Reviews: 1,634
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,450
Gots: 2,181 | FT: 148
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: 4,775 | Reviews: 1,634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.8/5  rDev +6.2%

"If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."

--Friedrich Nietzsche

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
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dagubna

California

5/5  rDev +10.6%

08-22-2014 08:17:26 | More by dagubna
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BEERschlitz

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -17%

08-22-2014 03:42:08 | More by BEERschlitz
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Furlinator

California

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
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ottodyer

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -6%

08-21-2014 22:01:10 | More by ottodyer
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deuce9259

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

08-21-2014 14:50:30 | More by deuce9259
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afi4lifer

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -11.5%

08-21-2014 14:21:38 | More by afi4lifer
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JohnG190

New York

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

2013. Pours pitch black with a thin brown head and decent lacing. Lots of chocolate and vanilla on the nose with notes of bourbon, oak, molasses and licorice. Like the aroma, chocolate and bourbon on the tongue with some roasted barley and licorice. Full bodied with very little carbonation. Finishes dry. A standout in the crowded BA Stout market!

08-20-2014 23:45:11 | More by JohnG190
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rstenson

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-20-2014 16:55:21 | More by rstenson
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northstar23

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -6%

08-20-2014 02:19:09 | More by northstar23
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Liondiscs

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

08-19-2014 23:34:20 | More by Liondiscs
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Bengg


4.6/5  rDev +1.8%

08-19-2014 19:40:12 | More by Bengg
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Norseman

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -6%

08-19-2014 12:15:03 | More by Norseman
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Justin-m


4.08/5  rDev -9.7%

08-19-2014 01:18:55 | More by Justin-m
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nathanmiller

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

08-18-2014 18:02:02 | More by nathanmiller
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mhind52

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-18-2014 17:35:58 | More by mhind52
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atrocity

Virginia

4/5  rDev -11.5%

08-18-2014 12:21:52 | More by atrocity
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blee0891

Illinois

4/5  rDev -11.5%

08-18-2014 02:25:15 | More by blee0891
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mojuyt

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-18-2014 00:42:12 | More by mojuyt
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Tyecko

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-17-2014 23:59:28 | More by Tyecko
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Bgonzo

Kansas

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-17-2014 13:57:13 | More by Bgonzo
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Rowen

Illinois

4.48/5  rDev -0.9%

08-17-2014 05:34:18 | More by Rowen
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Dmitchsd

California

4/5  rDev -11.5%

08-16-2014 15:03:22 | More by Dmitchsd
Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
Hop-Droppen-Roll

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +8%

Broke this one out of the cellar for my 100th Review!

The look is flawless. It's BLACK. The head is this sexy dark masterpiece and it refuses to go away. It's like the beer is wearing dark brown lingerie. The nose is perfect. Doesn't knock you out like some other Barrel Aged wonders - it's inviting, not intimidating. Taste is the same. There's a lot going on, but the brew invites you to look for the notes - like jazz - I'd compare it to KBS which is like a heavy metal song forcing those notes and melodies down your throat. This is smooth and mellow and fascinating. Listen to this one in an easy chair with the lights off. I particularly enjoy the mouthfeel, which is a testament to the quality of this beer. I normally have to think circles around myself to come up with something intelligent to say about the way a beer feels in my mouth. It's dry, with a gentle carb. So very smooth - I'm honestly having a hard time coming up with descriptors that aren't sexual - not because I want to try to be funny, but because its literally just that kind of sensuous sensation.

Overall: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

08-15-2014 23:30:43 | More by Hop-Droppen-Roll
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getkrunkhoe

California

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

08-15-2014 22:31:42 | More by getkrunkhoe
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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,775 ratings.