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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,868 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,868
Reviews: 1,641
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,486
Gots: 2,208 | FT: 156
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: 4,868 | Reviews: 1,641 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MightyDog
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

MightyDog, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of quine
4.25/5  rDev -6%

quine, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

ThePeskyDingo, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of brewskifan55
4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version. Anticipated and enjoyed at a recent tasting. Thanks for bringing this beauty, Gus!

A: Dark brown to black with a tan half-finger head that lingers. Light lacing.

S: Mmmm. Toasty malts, coffee, smokey, chocolate, vanilla, oak barrel, dark fruits.

T: Follows nose with a heavenly flow, bringing in a bit of anise, raisins and figs. Robust, sweet and finely charred. Alcohol is well hidden, but will catch up with you soon for a pleasant buzz.

M: Medium to heavy with lighter carbonation than I expected. Smooth and creamy.

O: Never thought I'd get to try one of these highly sought-after stouts, but I got lucky. One of my bucket list beers and it was worth the wait. A year of aging made it memorable.

brewskifan55, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of anders36
4.25/5  rDev -6%

anders36, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of Randyfultz
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Randyfultz, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of Sonofalime
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Sonofalime, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of lokieman
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

lokieman, Sep 23, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

socalbrewlvr, Sep 22, 2013
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4/5  rDev -11.5%

Dareibreathe, Sep 22, 2013
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4/5  rDev -11.5%

SwG237, Sep 22, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

ryko, Sep 21, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

ctwybeerguy, Sep 21, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

mdidonat, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of end_27
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

end_27, Sep 20, 2013
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

wesside89, Sep 19, 2013
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

JDM44, Sep 19, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -17%

IrishColonial, Sep 19, 2013
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5/5  rDev +10.6%

chileman, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of Wantbeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Wantbeer, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of jake65
4.74/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A bit of a cumulative review here, as this is one of the imperial stouts that I have had the most contact with over the last seven years. First tasting was via bottle (’06) to snifter on New Year’s Day ’07. An immensely dark brown, near black pour with a huge brown head. Strong aroma of coffee, chocolate, and heavy roast. Lightly woody. Thick and creamy, but slick, mouthfeel leads to layers of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, roast, and bourbon. A charred wood trailer comes through with hints of the 11% ABV. A very, very strong debut. Looking back it kills me that I only picked up 5-6 bottles of this release when it retailed at $4.99/bomber.

2007 batch, mid-February, draft at the Bend brewpub. $5 pours… sign me up! The first thing I notice is the aroma is much deeper and complex than I recall from bottle tastings. Dark chocolate, vanilla, heavy roast, and a subtle reminder of the bourbon barrel treatment. The layers of flavor are consistent again; maybe a little more coffee and bourbon/vanilla sweetness. Huge creamy mouthfeel. Overall I would deem this 10% better than the ’06 batch. Convinced myself to buy a case to cellar at $5.99/bomber which later on turns out to be a steal.

2008 batch, mid-February, draft at the Bend brewpub. I just love how the complexities of this brew come forth in the aroma when served on draft. Sitting on one of my favorite brewpubs probably does add ‘bonus points’ to the experience, but it’s hard not to feel like a million bucks right now. The only negative I can pick up on this batch is a little more smoke than before and that reduces the sweetness from vanilla and the barrel treatment. I’ve appreciated the small amount of char in the prior servings and IMO that is the perfect amount. Still excellent and I went on the next day to drink several more at the KLCC Microbrew Festival in Eugene. TFD Boise got kegs of this too; awesome.

2009 batch, bottle, mid-Janurary enjoyed at home. I picked up a few of these, again, and was fortunate that none of them were infected, as the brewery suffered some growing pains while doubling the size of the release. Seems to have a little less char, which is good by me, a balanced amount of vanilla/bourbon sweetness to the dark chocolate, espresso, and heavy roast. Also picked up some anise for the first time. Very good.

2007 batch, bottle, 2/13/2010. Drinking really great right about now. This cellared bottle is as close to the same aroma and flavor profile as the draft version that I’ve had so far. I’d proclaim that fresh on draft is king, but this bottle with two years in the cellar is quite excellent. Roast, chocolate, vanilla, espresso, moderate barrel notes, and a touch of smoke. Such a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Such a balanced and rich experience really make me glad to have cellared a decent amount yearly. Overall this comes in merely a hair below my pub experience in ’07.

2010-2011 batches, via bottle. This is where I stopped updating my notes. Time to sit back and enjoy. Other than Dark Lord, I’ve never kept notes for various vintages of the same beer, but I’m glad I did. I’ve shifted gears at this point, now that the price has crept up to $12.99+/bomber. I’ll buy one or two each year, usually on the trip back home for the holidays, but mainly I wait until I can get a fresh pour somewhere. This is easily one of my Top 5 beers and I’ll be darned if consolidating my notes hasn’t tempted me into a cellar raid for my only 2012 bottle.

jake65, Sep 15, 2013
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4/5  rDev -11.5%

bernat1971, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Mayo2323
3.75/5  rDev -17%

Mayo2323, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Thirsty_Moe
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Thirsty_Moe, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage; jumping the gun by a month or so from the "Best After" date, but I wanted something significant for my 1500th review. Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass; a half finger brown head with good retention and lacing.. Rich aroma of dark toasted malt, vanilla, chocolate, hints of dark dried fruit, a bit of ethanol. Flavor of toasted, lightly charred malt and charred coffee, vanilla, oak, dark dried fruit and dark cherry, finishing with chocolate and more charred malt, coffee and wood. Nice heavy body, comparable to a quality oatmeal stout. One of the world's great stouts, complex and flavorful. This vintage seems to have more char flavor than earlier ones, but there is enough hear to support it well. The alcohol noticed in the aroma is well covered in the taste by the other flavors. One of the earliest beer I ever wrote a review for, but it was not up to BA standards, simply "Ecstasy, best beer I've ever had." I have had some wonderful beer since then, but that is still not a bad succinct summary.

LiquidAmber, Sep 13, 2013
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,868 ratings.