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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,614
Reviews: 1,623
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,407
Gots: 2,141 | FT: 143
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,614 | Reviews: 1,623 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thecherryman


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

04-23-2012 19:44:59 | More by Thecherryman
Photo of brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a dark brown almost black color with a tan/coffee head almost an inch thick. A thin ring sticks around afterwards.

S - Licorice and molasses stick out very well along with hints of dark chocolate and faint scents of coffee and brown sugar. No booze smell but a nice mix.

T - Licorice and some dark fruits. Some hints of dark chocolate and coffee as well.

M - Just a smooth creamy texture with a slightly bitter finish. Very nice.

O - Excellent brew. can't wait to have another one!!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 04:12:19 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of Jparkanzky


5/5  rDev +10.6%

12-02-2011 20:14:21 | More by Jparkanzky
Photo of sanford_and_son


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

01-22-2013 21:20:55 | More by sanford_and_son
Photo of guitarmage


4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown, no light gets through at all, foamy coffee ice-cream colored head dissipates into a thin lacing with inviting bubbles.

Smell: Rich coffee, roasted malt sweetness, anise, a hint of bourbon alcohol, hops I can't detect in the smell.

Taste: Complex, a hint of citrus rind upfront, then a big round coffee and roasted malt flavor, an espresso acidity throughout, then a huge dose of aromatic hops in then nose, alcohol is not especially present in the flavor, dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and full bodied, near perfection for this style, lightly carbonated and easy to drink.

Drinkability: Well at 11% ABV, you must be cautious, but for this style it's very well crafted and drinkable, very complex, flavorful, and actually clean in the finish. Thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 03:15:33 | More by guitarmage
Photo of kasper

New York

4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage breached 9/6/2008 and served at just-above cellar temperature.

A: Thick and vicious, nearly black with a single-finger, tight creamy brown head that settles to a blanked and leaves polka dot lacing patterns all over the place when swirled or sipped.

S: Smoke/smoked meat, charred wood, tad of licorice.

T: Very similar to the nose: smoke, roasty bitter chocolate, sort of a palate-coating woody finish. There's also this subtle underlying presence of molasses throughout.

M: Thick, creamy and velvety. A perfect example of how I love my RISs. This baby is smooth. Mild carbonation. Perfect 10 here.

D: 11% ABV is masked really well. The velvet (almost biscuit-like) texture and smokey/sweet flavor could easily pull me through a bomber and a half, tho I'd probably be knocked the hell out if I finished two. Awesome representation of a RIS. Was not let down by this one. It's not the best beer I ever had, but its up there with the best of them.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 02:11:11 | More by kasper
Photo of JNewbs


4/5  rDev -11.5%

10-22-2013 14:15:54 | More by JNewbs
Photo of GradyS1


4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into snifter, very thick consistancey, opaque black, nice 1/2 finger head that sits nicely. Great looking beer
S-chocolate and mollases,black licorice. I can smell subtle amounts of Oak and bourbon, the oak is more distinct. Light malt smell after all that
T-I have had this beer numerious times and it never ceises to amaze me how good it is. Chocolate licorice. A bit of sweetness that is balanced out nicely the malts. There is a nice amount of oak and bourbon in the finish.
M-this is my favorite part, for such a big beer, this is silky smooth, small amount of carbination as it gets a little dryer in the finnish.

Time after time, this beer always stands out, I will look forward to the next time.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 02:53:58 | More by GradyS1
Photo of Vancoubeer


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

11-22-2012 02:19:21 | More by Vancoubeer
Photo of BastardKing24


5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer a year ago (2008 reserve).
It exceeded my expectations in every way and has become
one of my favorites. Black wax adds to the evil look of the bottle. 2009 vintage.

A - Sometimes hard to open the cap, as the wax can be thick and have to muscle it off unless you have a knife laying around.
Pours a deep opaque brown, very close to a jet black. Some caramel color at the edges but otherwise dense. Big tan head and nice lacing

S - Very inviting smell of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, oak, bourbon, maybe some dark fruit

T - I am in heaven, same as the smell in the taste , and also an interesting flavor maybe from the molasses and licorice. This is truly world class and original of a taste.

M - Thick and luscious, this is a dessert for the beer lover.
I don't see how you can make mouthfeel better really, it isnt too thick or thin.

D - Really drinkable, minus the 11% alc , need to sip this one or share with friends. They'll be glad you shared too.

I'm glad that Deschutes has increased production of this, as i have 5 bottles aging in my closet. This is my favorite beer of all time, so I'm giving it a perfect score!
Revisiting this beer for 2013 vintage.

Pours very black, with a huge tan head that holds nicely.

Smells of huge chocolate and coffee, fresh coffee, with dark cherry, plums, figs, tobacco, oak, some red wine notes, huge complex smell.

Taste is out of this world. Big oaky taste, with cocoa and coffee, with some bourbon, vanilla, bitter hops, kind of harsh at this point but super complex.

Feel is perfect. Can't get any more smooth with loads of flavor per sip and generous carbonation. Slick and delicious.

I am in love with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 19:51:47 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of gonzowestwood


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

11-06-2012 02:30:33 | More by gonzowestwood
Photo of hopluva1


5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 served at 55 degrees in a brandy snifter.

Pours a deep black with a two finger tan - light brown head that sticks around. It is text book in the glass. Aroma is strong roasted malt, sweet toffee, caramel and coffee. It tastes like nothing i have ever had, tons of flavors, mainly sweet coffee that finishes bitter oak. Very complex, I love it! Savor this one.

You get a few different aromas and flavors as it warms. I like it on the warmer side. My suggestion start at 55 degrees finish at 60.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 03:38:58 | More by hopluva1
Photo of DARIVA


4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was from 2011:

Beer is a beautiful dark brown black color with minimal head.
Very soft beer with a little tingle.
Beer is sweet and ends with a bitter aftertaste.
Furthermore, I sense the presence of dark chocolate, nougat and "bokkepootjes" many flavor tones.
Taste remains long in the mouth and has a very long finish.

This one was from 2010:

A: Black beer with a very good head. (5)

S: The smell of chocolate, caramel and a bit nougat. (4)

T: The taste of coffee, mocha and chocolate. (4.5)

M: Good mouthfeel and a nice bitter aftertaste. (3.5)

O: Prima drinkable and good relationship. (4)

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 09:28:30 | More by DARIVA
Photo of Softestdog


4/5  rDev -11.5%

03-14-2013 02:38:05 | More by Softestdog
Photo of Irish12


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

02-23-2013 14:41:31 | More by Irish12
Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

02-05-2014 21:43:22 | More by bennett_loves_good_beer
Photo of RidiculedDisplay


4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to RoyMunson for the bottle.

"2006 Reserve" (So, in other words, 2007 release).

Poured into an Oversized Wine Glass.

Appearance: Pours with a one finger burlap sack/coffee-colored head. Really wonderful. Lasts for the good portion of 2 minutes. Lacing is very prevalent, with fine calligraphic patterns as well as spots and arms. Body is the blackest of black, truly an "Abyss."

Smell: Wow. Slight alcohol on the front end, but underneath are some wonderful aromas: coffee, espresso, tira misu, coffee licquer - in other words, a lot of coffee, but in deep, flowing complex waves. Not one-note at all. I mean, one expects to find coffee aroma in a stout, much less an RIS, but this really does a fantastic job in that regard. Chocolate truffle. Some dark fruits, general cream, slight licorice, and wood linger underneath, but I'm going have to stop smelling now because I can feel the olfactory fatigue coming on. I didn't really detect much in the way of bourbon. Wonderful, though.

Taste: Wow. All the flavors in the nose. The bourbon comes out a little bit here, rounding its head around the other flavors, but doesn't smack you in the face, say, a Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island does. The oak imparts some vanilla and overall smoothness to what is otherwise a huge, huge, huge, huge stout.

Mouthfeel: A bit spicy and hot, but not overly so.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable. Exceptionally smooth at the same time that it is unendingly complex. Overall, one of the best RIS's I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 01:48:16 | More by RidiculedDisplay
Photo of mrunseen


4/5  rDev -11.5%

11-18-2011 02:40:40 | More by mrunseen
Photo of gonzo138


4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 release

A - Pitch black, big rich head that looks like chocolate mousse.

S - Sweet, rich, like chocolate with a bit of anise and oak.

T- Roasted malt, bitter sweet. A bit like strong coffee. Even a bit fruity at the finish, reminds me of a Belgian ale in that aspect.

M - Viscous and thick, also with a fair amount of carbonation so its not overly syrupy.

D- A great beer, would be quite the undertaking to drink more than one, finishing this one will signal its time to go to sleep for me.

I would have trouble saying anything bad about any of Deschutes' beers. A fantastic beer and one of my favorite IS's.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 08:10:19 | More by gonzo138
Photo of nycwinter


4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009. This is bottle one of four, because I couldn't wait. The rest will be aged a little longer.

Briefly: Poured it into an over sized wine glass, plenty of head, smelled like molasses and anise, taste went well with a Cuban Cohiba, feel was exceptional, shared this bottle but wouldn't mind drinking the entire thing.

More to come in 2010.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 16:06:47 | More by nycwinter
Photo of grrrah


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

03-27-2013 01:31:42 | More by grrrah
Photo of ScrimshawFan


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

11-18-2011 02:18:05 | More by ScrimshawFan
Photo of mendonjoebeer

New York

4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

12-14-2011 01:14:04 | More by mendonjoebeer
Photo of pawpaw


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

03-19-2012 00:29:36 | More by pawpaw
Photo of kdmcguire10


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

06-14-2013 01:16:43 | More by kdmcguire10
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,614 ratings.