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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,836 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,836
Hads: 6,431
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,872
Gots: 3,495 | FT: 320
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 12.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2006

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)
View: Beers (163) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Abyss Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,836 | Hads: 6,431
Photo of d0ggnate
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage. I bought this last January and have saved it until now.

A: Poured like a thinned chocolate syrup. Rich black/brown with coffee brown and over-frothed head. Tight lacing down the glass.
S: Strong bitter coffee with dark and a bit of milk chocolate aromas. Somewhat noticeable smokey/roasted malt characteristics.
T: Milk chocolate and dark bitter chocolate flavors, cold high-end coffee. Deliciously complex.
M: Exquisitely smooth, rich and creamy. Slides down the hatch like rapidly-stirred chocolate milk. Silky deliciousness.
D: I am so glad I waited a year with this one. I've had it fresh before and it is still phenomenal, but in a different way. This tasting wowed me above expectations. I didn't think The Abyss could get that much better. This makes me want to seek out additional vintage bottles. Future vertical tastings? I'm in.

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Photo of erikm25
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: 2008. Whether for numerology, the occult, or mysticism I had to make this review number 111. Poured like motor oil and molasses with blackened chestnut coffee highlights. That is still giving it credit since it is darker than any description can do it justice. It's doom metal in a bottle. Perfectly formed powdered chocolate brown head with subtle amber tints. Sheets of lacing sticking down the glass. This destroys any sense of the holidays with its blackened and blasphemous colors.

S: Scents are enticing. Dark fruits with slight hints of vanilla and coconut. Milk chocolate with roasted nuts, ginger, and a slight pine hops. Brown sugar coupled with cocoa crispness. Oaked grapefruit toasted with a sweet candies. Tempered ripe orange peel like hops. A bit of bourbon. The smell is sludge greatness like an Eyehategod or Grief album. But despite the ABV the alcohol is low key. Overall, a very massive nose with lots of complex aromas.

T: Both on tap and from the bottle I found the tastes to be pure and delicious perfection. Coffee and chocolate hit the tongue immediately and you know from the start this is going to plow every sense. Plums with a stout caramel richness. Malted and toffee roasted sweetness balanced against a sharp fruit tartness. Red wines and red cherries with a silky baked fudge finish. Black licorice with grapefruit spine. There are some slight darkened citrus hops in the backdrop but overall this is as blackened and charred as it looks. Alcohol is present and adds kick to each taste along with the spices.

M: Full body with a rich and creamy texturing. Silky and massive. Might as well be a solid since it ends up being so chewy.

D: Tried this from the bottle on Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. Also, had a couple snifters on tap at Collins in Seattle. Quite frankly I could not get enough of this beer. With or without food this is an absolute treat and an absolute recommendation. If the 1974 movie Black Christmas had to be summarized into a beer then here it is. Don't go in the attic unless you're ready to be wrapped in plastic. This goes well with loud music or loving company. "Drugs; sex; every sort of filth. And you hate the police, don't you?"

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.42/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On to my quest of finding the best RIS. Next up for audition is a 2008 Abyss. Have some more for cellaring.

Pours a really black thick color with a beatiful brown foamy head that leaves some lacing behind.

Licorice, Molasses, vanilla, dark sugary chocolate

A little sweet upfront with a slight bourbon taste to it.Then its too much of a coffee bitterness which leaves you with a dry bitterness aftertaste.

I could not have more then one of these unlike Black Albert.

Overall I would say its nothing more then an average RIS, but it surely does not live up to the hype it gets

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Photo of damienblack
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage courtesy of akorsak... thanks so much, man!

Pours jet black, thick as motor oil. Excellent head builds up nicely, big and frothy with great lacing. A lot more carbonation than I would have expected. Looks and smells like alcoholic chocolate milk.

Immensely complex palatefull of tastes from this. The finely roasted cocoa taste is there, that much is obvious. Probably because of the aging, I get a finer taste from this, also. I get tastes of licorice, and vanilla bean. Not sweet tastes, just hints of where this beer has been in the past. There's not much of a hard-liquor presence from the aging, its more of an oaky flavor. Again, it's not real direct at all, just a hint in the foundations, what seems to me a "lightening" from other Impy Stouts. Not a lightening of flavor, far from it, it just seems so airy for something so dense. A little bit of a hop presence, but no bitterness to speak of. Perfectly balanced. Nice and creamy, just sits on the palate, while being full-bodied and chewy at the same time. Incredible drinkability, I thought this would be a slow sipper, but I find myself drinking it faster than is probably good for me. I'll probably be burping up cocoa for the night, and that's a good thing. I hate giving out perfect marks, but across the board, this is so close. If I were someone who would make the other marks perfect if the taste is perfect, this would be a perfect 5 no questions asked. If you have the opportunity to try some, I suggest you do so!

I don't know how much of the difference is due to aging. I've not had 08, but the 07 was very mellow, no alcohol heat behind it at all. Yet it still manages to pack all kinds of flavor in. A hotter version of this would probably lose half a points ranking for taste and drinkability, I would imagine. Now I wish I had some 08 to compare.

PostScript: I can't help but compare to Brooklyn BCS, I get so many of the same flavor profiles here. BCS is a little hoppier in the finish, and a little rougher on the initial drink. I can't help but wonder what happens when the BCS in my cellar gets a year on it. But Abyss is like an even awesomer version of BCS.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, so much beer. Thick, rich incredible...chocolate molasses cake in a bottle. The best beer of this style I've had yet for sure.

Appearance: It is absolutely opaque with a beautiful small brown head and slight lacing.

Smell: a little yeasty with thick chocolate malts, no alcohol in the nose which is a good thing for an 11% beer. Smells a bit like a heavy Belgian quad.

Taste: Beautiful bitter cocoa and dark chocolate malts, a little burned dark coffee notes but not overwhelming. You can definitely pick up the licorice, but again it is not dominating.

Mouthfeel: My only 5 for mouthfeel thus far - stays around a long time, hits big and feels heavy and thick, but somehow not too syrupy.

Drinkability: Great for a beer of this style, no harshness or oddities whatsoever.

Stoked I found this one.

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Photo of drnknmnky
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours thick, black. tan coffee color head that lingers and settles in a thick collar

S- black licorice, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate.

TM- DELICIOUS, and good too. Remarkable. sweet, mellow in the beginning. finishes with a wonderful chocolate and roasted malt bitter then a hint llight hoppy bitter. doesnot taste hot at all. nice warming buboun feel. A little thin from what I expect'd but delicious. the thinner mouthfeel makes it only mo0re drinkable for me.

d - I want a bomber for every night of the week.

pjeagles; You da man now dawg!

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Photo of schroederm
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, very very dark brown - almost black. Chocolaty light brown head that lingers and settles into a strong collar.

Smelled ourbon hints filled with vanilla, oak, and a little bitter/dark chocolate. Also got hints of walnut.

Taste was remarkable. Abyss starts out sweet, mellow and delicious and finishes with a wonderful chocolate bitter that fades into a hoppy bitter. The finish and aftertaste are both very warm in a bourbon fashion, but I have to admit: this beer hides it's 11% ABV very well. Does not taste hot at all.

Abyss could feel a little thicker. Still, it's silky with a good level of carbonation. Also quite drinkable, except for the part where a couple bottles would probably put me right to sleep... that 11% takes a toll.

Shoutout to pjeagles for his generosity. He bought this all the way from NM to MA for me and my buddies to share. You, sir, are a beer hero.

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to pjeagles for bringing 3 bottles of this to me all the way from New Mexico.
Split this beer with Schroederm and Drnknmnky.
Endlessly black, light stands no chance of penetrating this black beauty. Dark rich head that had two separate layers from two separate pours.
Anise, hints of whiskey, and some subtle hop hues.
Roasted characteristics, both dark and milk chocolate. A friend pointed out that the citrus characteristic in the beer is blood orange. The finish is bitter initially a Belgian chocolate aftertaste followed by a hop bitterness that sits on the tongue.
Great mouth feel, very creamy due to the fantastic head. The body is rich but could be a little thicker.
I wish I could drink this beer more often. I will buy as much of this black beauty as I can get my hands on in the future. World Class.

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Photo of RodBurg
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'08 vintage on tap at Toronado in San Diego. Jet black in the glass with a beautiful mocha brown head that left a lace ring with every sip.

Smells like frickin chocolate milk. Dark cocoa, coffee, and sweet milk mingle with lighter notes of licorice, roasted grain, Kentucky bourbon, oak and vanilla bean.

Silky smooth on the palate, almost like an oatmeal stout. Chocolate notes are bitter and sweet at the same time. Excellent espresso, vanilla and bourbon notes stnd out deliciously in the background. More carbonation than expected, which is a pleasant surprise.

By far the best stout I have ever had. Amazingly complex, delicious, and drinkable. I wanted to dip oreo cookies in it.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, reviewed 03-20-08
pours a totally opaque black with a thick, frothy brown head. Heavy coffee nose, with chocolate and a bit of caramel. Taste is similar, with the chocolate flavors a bit more present, and a very mild bitterness at the end. Incredibly smooth.

2008 Vintage, reviewed 01-04-09

Similar to original tasting, but more oak and bourbon is noted than before. Solid oak presence on the palate, adding a touch of tannic astringency. Still rich, smooth and creamy. Top notch.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle that's been staring me down since i bought it and after enjoying this one i'm really glad that i still have a few bottles left.

Lets start on the bottle, first off i love the waxed dipped look it just tells you that there's no way it's been tampered with. Second i like the fact that the brew year is right there on the bottle and third i think that it's awesome that they dont change the label. there seems to be a lot of limited releases that change every year and while i love the art that some of the breweries put on the label, i also enjoy the simplicity of keeping it the same.
I don't have any sniffer glasses so i poured this into a Chimay goblet:
The Abyss pours out with a pitch black almost motor oil look to it. it's a dark dark beer that doesn't allow any light to penetrate it. There's a 1 finger mocha colored head. didn't really notice much lacing, but it's not expected
The smell is of chocolate, black licorice, molasses and some oak
The taste is about the same as the smell with bitter chocolate and oak aftertaste. The ABV is well masked here
mouthfeel is thick, this one takes a while to enjoy but the time is well worth it.
Drinkability is also amazing. although i dont think i could have more then a few before i'm feeling buzzed / drunk, after finishing it i really do want more..

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Johngalt and Bring for hooking it up, I'll be set on abyss for a while :)

A. Dark black with no head pour. I mean this thing is solid in color and form. Syrupy but not in an over the top fashion. Bravo Deschutes!!

S. Phenomenal, tons of coffee, vanilla caramel and sweet chocolate, with a sense of dryness. There is a lot of complexity in the nose, I like it.

T. Sweet bourbon, oak dryness, all smells mentioned above, bitter coffee all the way through al little rough on the mix of flavors but still great. Creamy and crunchy. I would categorize this along with Bell's Expedition Stout as being a bad boy of the style. Its not a smooth and user friendly drink. It kicks you in the mouth and really makes you dig deep into you palate to savor the greatness of this beer.

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Photo of EnigmaticDream
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. By far the best beer I've ever had. I had a bottle of The Abyss from 2007 that I let age a year in my basement. So here goes.

A - The look is pure darkness. There is absolutely ZERO and I mean ZERO light that came through the beer. The second you begin pouring this beer you know it will have you. The head is nice and dark. Definitely can tell this is a proper imperial stout.

S - Smells of chocolate, coffee, licorice and more.

T - An explosion of flavor that has such character that it makes you want to take another sip. Each sip is unique with the finding of new tastes in each one. Chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, licorice, heavenly goodness. I noticed the bourbon taste has subdued due to aging.

M - Love the mouthfeel on this beer. It is thick and delicious and definitely not watered down.

D - This beer is really not meant to be drunk quickly being rich with flavor and 11%. However, the explosion of flavor beckons you to drink again, and again, and again. I wish I had a keg of this beer.

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Photo of schellsbeer
3.29/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes from Early December 2008.

World Class...yeah...Not really. I really don't understand what all the hype is about. From our night of tasting, there were some many better expamples of Russian Imperial Stouts that we sampled.

A - Great example of a RIS. Black and thick syrup. Very nice.

S - Clean but really not much there.

T - Cream. Dark. Thick. Dark chocolate but no bitterness. Molassas. No alcohol present which is a definite plus but sort of bland on taste. Just average in my book. Single layered. No fuss. Plain and simple in my book.

M - Love the thickness. For this reason...a 5.

D - Ok if I could find this but can't. Also, at 11%, little high....just right though for a RIS. Would I drink again? Yes but I think a few more years of aging would do this beer wonders.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 edition.

A- Poured into my New Belgium snifter, The Abyss pours deep black with a dense brown head that leaves thick layers of web-like lacing as it settles. A thin cap sits atop the beer for its duration.

S- Chocolate of both the milk and dark, bitter variety. Coffee, black licorice, molasses and a bit of oak char as well. The 11% ABV is pretty well-hidden.

T- Flavors of chocolate and roasted/burnt malts hit the palate first, followed by a substantial espresso bitterness on the warming and slightly boozy finish.

M- A silky-smooth texture with medium carbonation.

D- This is really drinkable for an 11% ABV beer. The high alcohol content provides a nice warming sensation after each deliciously smooth sip. Both the sweet and bitter flavors work extremely well together.

The best imperial stout that I've had thus far. I can't wait to see what a few years of age will do to this beer.

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Photo of Buebie
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Finnman and gford for the bottles recieved from out Darkness trade. I dont know which one of you gave me this bottle, so I'll thank you both at the same time.

This is a 2007 bottle.

Poured from my wax dipped brown bomber, into an oversized brandy snifter.
Black in color, no transparency or glowing. 2 finger frothy, bubbly dark brown head. Receeding to a frothy cap of retention. Many globby bubbles sit atop the cap. Thin streaks of dark colored lace line my glass. Then slowly fall back into the beer. Leaving an inky streak on the glass walls.

Aroma of black licorice, moist sweet chocolate cake, coffee, chocolate nib nuttieness, hints of spice, some grassy hay aroma almost like dryed straw.

Slick, creamy mouthfeel, with medium amounts of carbonation. A bit too much carbonation.
Its very sweet upfront, with a kind of gourmet creamy hot chocolate like sweet flavor. Becoming increasingly dark and bitter in the chocolate flavors. Increased nuttieness after the swallow with a long bitter dark chocolate linger. Dark roasted Coffee comes into play through this lingering period.
Some peppery spice through the swallow that quickly fades.
Alcahol warming throught its time in my mouth. Its not overkill, its just right.

This is a fantastic RIS and really has many layers of flavors that are noticeably occuring through the tasteing process. I love it for that.
Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated. This is a year old bottle, so I cant really be too judgemental, as its not fresh as intended by the brewer. To me though, the older the better.
So far though, Darkness is still my favorite RIS, but this is a fantastic brew.
I'm very much grateful to have been able to try it.

Thanks again Grant and Matt!


2010 Bottle

Poured from the bottle into an oversized snifter. Producing a little less then half an inch of head.
Leaving a ring around the collar. Black, no light penetration.
Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa nibs, lactose, smokey wood and a hint at coffee as well as brewers licorice.
Taste starts out chocolatey and sweet, mild, heating up and delivering a punch of rich and robust bitter grain flavors, blasting with a delayed response of massive bittering. roasted toasted wood, bitter bitter.
Mouthfeel is slick and not as creamy as I remember it being. Well carbonated. Good beer, but not as I recalled it.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draught at Freakin' Frog in Las Vegas. Pours black as night with a medium and foamy light brown head that has good retention. Rings of lacing on the glass. Big aroma of cocoa, roasted malt and bourbon. Rich body with bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and a bit of spice. Light smoke and bourbon in the background throughout. The finish is full and moderately bitter coffee and hops with a sharp alcohol aftertaste. Would probably benefit from aging a bit. Overall this is a very good Imperial Stout.

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Photo of JWD
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- this beer is black as black, there is no light to be seen through this wonderful brew. Hard pour with a dark tan head that dissipates quickly.

S- Old coffee grounds, very roasty

T- Coffee, roasted malt and vanilla, with a slight oak detection

m- Thick but not BCS thick, however your mouth will be coated in flavors.

D- I have alot of these which is dangerous as I could drink a couple of these pretty easy in a good night, superior drinkability for the abv.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alright, didn't think I was going to make it but it's time to review beer number 400. And HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks go out to ThirstyHopHead for getting me not one, not two, but three of these beauties.

First thing I notice is how thick the wax on the bottle is lcaked on, no air is getting into this bottle. Thick and black, a dark bloody orange and muddy brown head that slides ever so slowly down the side of the glass after each sip. Not much lacing, I figure the hops in this beer are fighting an uphill battle against the ABV in order to get some sticky lacing going.

Yes it's hoppy but not that over the top craziness that so many west coast imperial stouts like to do. Rich chocolate, bourbon, oaky, vanilla, buttery brown sugar

Opens with a quick hop punch , vinous and slightly fruity, then moves quickly into a sugary, chocolate and boozy concoction, the closing is a punch to the tongue, after a quick flame out of alcoholic heat a massive coffee bomb is dropped in my taste buds, rich, super roasty and quite bitter. Next sip slight raisin, more chocolate more boozy heat and again with that charred coffee and chocolaty finish. Mouthfeel is not as coating as, say, Goose Island BCS, which is (for me) the bench mark of oily and thick mouthfeels, instead it is surprisingly dry with only a glimpse of greasy thickness. Take that back, this beer is thick but chewier than anything else, like eating a chocolate bar. There is a lot to be said about this beer and a whole hell of a lot going on in even in this rather young bottle. Licorice, molasses and almost a meaty, tobacco-like quality, honey, bourbon. I think this one gets a five for taste and feel, I am a huge fan of BCS but this one has more to offer than BCS does, tons of complexity, thick and viscous mouthfeel wins if for me, just some fantastic things going on here.

I think for beers this size drinkability has to boil down to how enjoyable a beer is to drink, not how easy and following this line of thinking this beer is an absolute joy to drink, so complex, so thick and rich. Each sip brings something new to the table its hard to imagine how anything could improve on this, but I suppose only time will tell. So glad that I have more than one of these. Easily lives up to the hype, absolutely wonderful beer.

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Abyss is truly the best name they could have come up with for this thing. Black Hole is the only other thing that even comes close, because absolutely no light shines through this mother. Beautiful tan head as well. Smells like coffee and nuts and some whiskey notes with a little hop scent buried in the back. Huge licorice flavor with notes of chocolate, molasses and bourbon, very roasty as well. Beer doesn't get much more perfect than this one, I just wish they'd produce more every year!

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Photo of tedpeer
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to brewczar for this in a trade

2007 poured into a tulip.

A - Pours black with a half inch brown head that subsides to a thin whispy layer.

S - Sweet, roasted, and then bourbon and alcohol.

T - Blend of chocolate & coffee. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Smooth,creamy. Lightly carbonated.

D - Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

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Photo of prsguitarsr4me
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle - drinking it a month after the release. I've got a case of this and will be having a bottle hopefully every Christmas.

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. Just outstanding in every possible way. Having his with some chocolate and tiramisu right now. One of the most complex tasting beers I've had the pleasure of tasting. The chocolate, coffee, licorice and bourbon are so well balanced with the 11% alcohol that I could drink 10 of these. Smell is like an open fire under your nose. Probably the most 'warm' beer I've ever had. There is so much going on here. I want more!!!!

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 Abyss in a 22oz wax-top bottle!

A: Black as can be - memory tells me that only the Stone 12th Anniversary brew pours darker. Small, lasting brown head that leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Fruit, roasted malts, coffee, licorice, chocolate...it's all there. Raisins, plums and espresso dominate the nostrils.

T: Each sip, each gulp brings out new highlights. To me the licorice and toasty malts stand out. The brilliance lies in the balance achieved by the dry, bitter finish to what initially is ever so sweet.

M: Like I imagine a lighter crude oi. Feels smooth and has just enough carbonation.

D: Began drinking this hours ago, and am now polishing it off. It is both the ideal winter aperitif and the perfect dessert. I was craving a stout all day and knew I had to pull another Abyss out of the cellar.

Every bit as delicious as I have been led to believe. It lives up to the hype and then some. Deschutes is the heavyweight champion of darker ales.
The "problem" with the Abyss is that it sets a new benchmark for imperial stouts. Or put another way, will I be able to age the remaining four bottles before the craving sets in?

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Photo of Reino
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Appearance- A careful pour into my goblet produces a solid 2 fingers of creamy, dark khaki head. The body is black. No light is sneaking through, not even when held up to it. Good lacing squirms down my glass, but doesn't completely cake it.

Smell- Roasted malt, dark drip coffee, milk chocolate, caramel, molasses, cookie dough, some vinous type sweetness, or maybe that's the licorice, a bit of heat, and a nice dose of floral hops. A pleasant smell that has good depth.

Taste- Bitter chocolate (I'm talking 90% cocoa type-bitter chocholate), espresso, roasted malts, and oak, take the lead with vinous and hop sweetness that tags along and finally assert themselves in the finish with the booziness of a strong wine. You can totally pick out the licorice and molasses used if your looking for it, and the same goes for the oak. I wish more vanilla would have been picked up from the bourbon barrels, but I suppose that's nitpicking. After the initial bitterness of the first few ounces wears on my tongue and mouth, the sweetness becomes more of the star and the chocolate smooths out. I also start to pick up more bourbon notes, but not the vanilla I was looking for. The nuances of this beer have been well documented, so I'll stop now and say that it is complex, and quite enjoyable; however, I feel like there is room for improvement.

MF- A full body is kept at bay by a medium level of carbonation. The bitterness is drying on the tongue and the roof of my mouth, and there's still plenty of beer left to do more damage. The heat crawls up your nose a little bit, but not as much as some beers at this abv.

Drinkability- I'll be putting down this whole bomber by myself, and I'm not complaining, but this is a complex, big beer that would satisfy me just as much in smaller portions. I doubt I'll crave another Impy stout once I'm through with this bomber, and I almost find that Abyss has me craving copious amounts of water along side it.

*Bonus Reino comments* I've had quite a few Abyss bottles, even some with age on them, but I just now got around to reviewing it. I've always loved it, but it's never been my favorite big stout. I feel like their are a couple better, and a couple that are just as good. Anyways, it's a great beer and kudos to Deschutes for not raising the price this year, and making it available to more people.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful black color with a thin mocha colored head that quickly diminishes but has some nice lacing.

S- Molasses first hits my nose with a pleasant oak distinction. If you take it in deep enough you get this slight burn from the alcohol. I'm guessing that's the bourbon but it is very subtle. I also get a nice roasted/charred smell coming out of the oak. Now that its warmed some the bourbon comes out more but its still not overpowering like other BA stouts I've had.

M- Thick and creamy with a slight hop presence but just enough to remind you you're still drinking beer. A nice oiliness to coat your mouth for the aftermath.

T- Dark bitter chocolate and mocha sweetness with the underlying bourbon that gives it a slight burn going down. Very complex beer with a lot of stuff going on but still manages to stay balanced.

D- I could drink this all night. I know the 11% will catch up but if done in moderation it would be well worth it.

Overall I would have to say this is one of the finest crafted beers I've had. Definitely worth the hype! I wish more BA stouts could be so well put together.

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 1,836 ratings.