The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

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The AbyssThe Abyss

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,751 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,751
Hads: 5,990
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 8.44%
Wants: 2,728
Gots: 3,148 | FT: 274
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% 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 (149) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,751 | Hads: 5,990
Photo of iconoklaztor
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured semi-aggressively into a wine glass. This results were a oil black sludge with a beautiful dark brown head! LOVE IT! The smell is what you would expect. A sweet, syrup, smell with hints of bourbon. This beer is complex. The taste is bold with a creamy mouth. I can taste the alcohol which I think actually compliments this beer. I think its best to age this brew for a last 6 months to a year. I think at that time it will be phenomenal! The drinkability is a little low for me because this brew isn't for the weak. It will put hair on our beer geek chests.

Overall, this beer is magnificent! I think with a little age this beauty will be an exceptional brew! (668 characters)

Photo of bassmantin
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to iconoklaztor for a sample of this one.

Pours a dark brown with a moderate thick brown head. Smell is sweet. Excellent flavor, very subtle and complex. I can taste the cask aging. And is that licorice I taste? Yes, according to the bottle. The hops are also quite impressive, definitely apparent but certainly not overpowering.

This is a very unique stout. I've never tasted some of these flavors in a beer before.

Highly recommended. One of the best stouts I've ever had. (484 characters)

Photo of PhxHorn
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very very dark brown, no light coming through from the other side. Smells of coffee, malt, a bit of chocolate, but not a very strong smell. Tastes like a rich version of Obsidian, which was really what I was hoping for, as Obsidian is my favorite American Stout. Coffee, chocolate, burnt nuts and malt. A very nice balance of flavors. Overall, not as thick and intense as some other imperial stouts, but this isn't really a bad thing because it's a great combination of flavors. I don't really care for a sludge-like beer. Extremely drinkable for this style. A first rate beer. (585 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage, 22oz bomber served at cellar temperature and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a hugely thick and evil looking jet black molasses looking sludge into my pint glass, hitting the bottom of the glass like a thud. Such a rich dark color, there was no chance at all of any light coming through this one at any point what so ever. A huge dark tan colored head rose up from the depths of this one reaching a height of easily three inches which never really did settle down to much, leaving a constant pillow of brown of top that at the most settled down to around an inch and a half. Very nice cascading of the foam when this was poured, almost like a nitro-tap pour, very full. The side glass lace was tremendous, leaving behind thick stringy webs of brown that coated the entire glass, and to be honest were still coating the glass the next morning when I woke up. This was one serious monster to be reckoned with, and I can see where its name came from, it looked like anything that fell into here was never coming back.

S - The aroma was spectacular, engaging, and simply full beyond expectations. The first thing I noticed was how sweet it was, tons of sugar here in the aroma, thick molasses like smells that really sweetened it up. Mixed in were the slightest hints of French roasted coffee and dark chocolate, really giving this that big dark aroma that you look for in the style. It never really did lighten up any, as even an hour into the bottle it was still evolving. No hint of any alcohol in here at all, which was insane to think about. It really had the aroma that was pegged as a dessert, so rich and full, and soo sweet. The only thing I could say was as it warmed it started to let off some more coffee notes along with a noticeable hint of vanilla that again confirmed how sweet it was.

T - I really do not even know where to start with this one. I had waited a long time to try it, and have read all the hype and was really hoping this would be as good as I wanted it to be, I have to be honest, it was better! I really have not had many things that were as good as this one was, I am not even half way through my review and I know the score here is going to be a perfect one, but enough of that. The first flavors I was picking up were rich caramel and molasses sugars that were layered upon a coffee like base. This gave it such a rich, complex and sugary profile that I was not even sure what was going on. As it warmed subtle notes of chocolate and licorice started to come though and blended in very well, keeping it sweet, but at the same time confirming its dark nature. Hints of vanilla were then layered on top of that, so complex, but at the same time, so simple and elegant. This was like the mother of RIS's for me. Towards the finish you could pick of trace flavors of oak in it that was evidence of its aging. The finish had a surprising amount of dry bitterness to it, that really caught me off guard being how sweet this was for the entire session, but this was nice really drawing it out and letting it bring you back in again for another round. In a word amazing.

M - This had to be the thickest, smoothest and creamiest beer I have ever had. I crave a good stout that has the consistency and feel of a chocolate shake, this almost one upped that, really setting a bar so high that I do not know if I can ever find something that can top it. The carbonation was superb, really putting a show and giving it that silky feel. There was no, none, not even a though of this being anything but a superb offering. Insane really how good this was.

D - I was waiting for this category to make mention of the fact of how good this was as a night time sipper. Now the bottle says 11%ABV, bit heck it could have been 5%. There was just no hint of it anywhere in here. Which is amazing if you thick about it. I sipped on this one for a good hour, and by the end it was probably close to room temperature and was just as good a when it came out of the cellar. This was just amazing. I really would love to be able to have this one on tap, in my house, once a night it is just that good.

Overall the style is easily one of my favorites, and bounces back and forth with an IPA for the top really, and this was the best I have ever had. It was just perfect. The aroma was perfect, the taste, feel, appearance, everything I just could not think of anything that could improve here as it was the epitome of the style and I am so glad I waited so long to try this one as my palate has really evolved and allowed me to appreciate this one more fully. Could not think of a better selection for my 800th review. This was perfect and anyone who can get this and does not try it is a fool. (4,718 characters)

Photo of MMAJYK
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Black as night; no light is passing through here. Head is a darker brown color and fairly thick and fluffy. Lacing is awesome with thick sheets down the sides of my snifter.

S- Oaky, chocolate, coffee, cocoa, a little bit creamy, sourwood, molasses, and licorice.

T- Cocoa and chocolate with the bourbon sneaking in and alcohol tastes midstream. The oaky taste hits the tongue on the end and finishes bitter-sweet. Licorice is subtle while cooler, but comes out more as it warms. Roasty malts are present on the back. Just a tad burnt to me.

M- Thick and somewhat chewy and low to mid on carbonation.

D- As a stand alone beer to split with a friend, just right.

Overall- I have heard the hype, and it lives up to it nicely. Rich, full, and very, very complex. I was not let down one bit.

Thanks to JohnGalt1 for throwing this one in as an AWESOME extra in our past trade. (882 characters)

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at Stone on tap, and it was simply fantastic. The tour guide in the brewery recommended it, and I thought that was odd, since it wasn't a Stone beer. However, I must say it was well worth it. For those who think that beer can't be more complex than wine, this is one to try.
It has a very dark color with a nice tight brown head. It smells roasty, chocolate, and a little like raisins. It has a multitude of flavors that make it more like a desert than a beer. I wouldn't recommend having more than one, but I could sip on and enjoy one of these near the end of any meal. It is full bodied, and not cloying or too dry--it is balanced just right. Excellent beer overall. (685 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition, 22oz bottle. Grabbed this a month ago and decided to drink it the other night with some friends. I really enjoyed it but I wish I had bought 2 bottles as this beer really needs to sit a few years.

It looked awsome when poured into the pint glass. It was incredibly dark with no light coming through. The head was dark brown heading on black and was very thick and sticky. Great retention and lacing. I let it sit for about 10 minutes to warm up as it was too cold and the head didn't budge. This beer truly begs the question "It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black"

The smell was strong of fresh oak. I beleive the oak used was fresh and hence my comment on this could stand to age for a few years. It had that strong peat smell that you would get in a young scotch. Also there was tons of wonderful black raosted malts and some dark sweet chocolate coming out of the glass at me. Even the foam smelled of RIS. The aroma of this beer was wonderfully strong and inviting, just young. No alcohol on the nose.

The taste was almost as good as the smell but the strong oak presence wasn't quite balanced as well as it could be by the malt. My estimate is 3 more years in the closet and this beer would get all 5's in a review. The rich roasted flavors and the nice sweet chocolate blended together well. There was some alcohol in the taste which did get more pronounced as the temperature rose but the oak also came out with the heat. So despite 11% abv it was still tolerable.

Very thick and viscous and wonderfully drinkable. It will catch up with you though so be sure to enjoy it with someone or make it your only drink of the night. Remember, that even though the bottle is $10 or $11, buy a couple to age.

2008 edition purchased at Hollingshead's a week ago. 22oz bottle.
A - 4.5 S - 4.0 T - 3.0 M - 3.5 D - 3.0

It was nice to try this beer again after a year and even though I've had this years vintage on 2 occasions prior to tonight, I hadn't actually given it enough attention to take good notes on. I'll say this: this beer is a huge let down after last years.

Pours the same as the other vintages, pitch black, nice dark brown foam, good retention, good lacing. Both lacing and retention could have been better but nothing to complain about. Looks very nice indeed.

This years vintage is much heavier on the roasted malt and thats evident in the aroma. Coffee and chocolate with a harshness that I remember from the 2007 that comes from the oak and booze. A little harshness (basically synonymous with freshness) is alright in a big stout in my opinion. No real complaints here either except the overdone coffee qualities.

Flavor is interesting. Maybe my palate has changed considerably but I remember the 2007's flavors blending a bit better. The coffee flavor dominates but is completely seperate from the chocolate, the oak (fresh oak), and the booze. I guess thats what aging is for. Also, very dry and bitter, too harsh to enjoy thoroughly.

Being dry is usually a good indicator that the body is going to be thin and this is no exception. Not thin in an absolute sense but thinner and less viscous than the 2007. Low/med carbonation, just right. Over all the beer is nice, but again a let down. (3,279 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deschutes The Abyss 2007 Reserve (Released Early 2008), 22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pitch black and opaque with two fingers of brown head. Lots of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell is like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Some chocolate aroma as well. Probably the most inviting aroma of any Imperial Stout I've ever had.

Tastes pretty much like it smells, with lots of coffee and chocolate. It also tastes fairly smoky, which is not very appealing to me. Bitter finish rounds out the taste well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. This is like drinking a coffee and chocolate shake. Flat out delicious, and perfect except for my dislike for the smoke flavor. (674 characters)

Photo of ChillMike
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a really dark brown with one of the darkest tan heads I've ever seen and it's not really even lacing as it is a coating....There's hardly part of the glass left untouched. Wow!

S: Smells of coffee, nuts licorice, caramel and molasses. Very nice smell.

T: Wow, where to start....Very dark and smoky tasting. The wild ride this beer takes you through is crazy. Full of nutty, coffee, licorice a hint of caramel and I get just a wee bit of a flash of fruit taste. It leaves with a nice chocolate coffee taste.

One thing I failed to mention, and this is a testament to the beer, it buries the alcohol in an avalanche of flavor.

MF: Full bodied beer that feels just right, thick like a stout should be.

D:The only two things that keep this from being one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had is the cost (roughly 10$ a pop) and the high ABV...other than that this beer has it all. (896 characters)

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (1,513 characters)

Photo of Monsone
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a small one finger brown head that quickly dissapates to thing skim

S - Coffee, chocolate, roasty grain, with slight woody scent and a touch of alcohol

T - Pretty close to the smell. Lots of roasted grain, coffee, chocolate. Not as much barrel flavor as I expected. Alcohol is well hidden. Not too bitter or acrid.

M - Full bodied (duh!). Coats the mouth well. Not much in the way of carbo, but I wasn't expecting much.

D - Pretty good sipper for a huge beer.

Overall, this is a great beer. Huge and complex without being too much. The barrel flavors are not dominant but instead pop up to add spice. Definately a great RIS. (651 characters)

Photo of Tolann
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - very dark in color. Opaque black in color. Head is more of a frothy brownish. The head fades like you'd expect for a Stout.

S - I can smell it from here and the glass is 2 feet from me. This will only get better as it shakes off the cold. There's some chocolately notes for sure. the smell is very rich.

T - Chocolate taste with some roasted coffee. Bitter after taste. Nothing is too sweet or syrupy. Mostly chocolate taste.

M - Leaves a little dryness after the sip. Medium or heavier body. Smooth feel and not too carbonated. Can feel the booze in the taste afterward, but The Abyss is 11% so there's no surprise. It's not an offensive boozy taste, but a lil warming.

D - Don't think I could drink this too fast or have too much. Really good tho. really good beer. I'll really enjoy this beer.

Yum really good! (822 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage consumed fresh. Pours a two finger dark brown head, like hot cocoa color. Liquid is pitch black and poured thick. Not as thick as Ten FIDY (made by Oskar Blues, a local brewery), but still quite thick. Smells cigarette ashy, roast, chocolate, potent hop grassiness. Caramelled peaches. Light-colored fruits and clean alcohol sting.

Tastes potent roast with a rising sweet followed by a rising chocolate. Lightly sweetened baker's chocolate is dominant on the flat of the tongue before the swallow. Ends dry with coffee aftertaste. Milky sweet character balances the dark grains and hop grassiness. Pretty yummy. Alcohol sting is present, but buried under the sticky sweet. It hangs around in the aftertaste on the edges as a bit of an edge. Aged in oak barrels?...maybe some raw oak tannin, but not bourbon or vanilla. Near the end of the glass, the alcohol is quite wearing.

Moderate carbonation and thick body with a slick viscosity. Decently drinkable now, but is sure to improve with time in the cellar. (1,022 characters)

Photo of Fishdawg71
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Deschutes Bond Street public House.

First apprearence is jet black with very little head. What little head there was is brown and creamy looking.
Aroma, wow..dark roasted coffee, caramel and oak..I have to say this on one of the best smelling Imp. Stouts..Really amazing.
Flavor..Dark bitter espresso, with a hint of caramel and very subtle oak. Very nice. I was afraid this beer would be over oaked but that is not the case. Very well balanced.

After my initial notes I finished this snifter with a piece of Deschutes Chocolate, Stout cheesecake and I have to say this beer was even better. The richness of the cheesecake was not only complimented but cut slightly by the roasted character of this beer. Truley an amazing combination.

I do think that I have finally found the best Imp Stout that I have had the pleasure of tasting. I really enjoyed this beer. (890 characters)

Photo of grandq
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mondo thanks to Cloudskipper for the 07 bottle. Pours a deep dark brown with ruby hues eking in on the sides of my snifter. A nice dark khaki head. This smells initially of vanilla, heavy on the oak, and coffee. A bit of cocoa in there.

Nice sweet and malty upfront with some honey sweetness lingering on the tip of the tongue. Coffee and oak come through in perfect harmony, keeping each other from dominating the brew. This doesn't taste like what was in the barrel, it tastes more like the barrel itself. I love licorice and am hunting for the flavor but can't really identify it, possibly toward the bitter, vanilla end. The hops are put to fantastic use here, nice and citrus/grapefruity, the kind I associate with West Coast IPAs, appealing under and to the sides of the tongue the n bittering the finish along with the coffee/oak combo. Both sweetining and bittering the beer. For me, this is what distinguishes this RIS from others.

Upon warming, the licorice is a bit more apparent upfront and the smell is decidedly boozier.

Mouthfeel is lush and silky and while the abv is knocking me out, its going pretty unnoticed in the flavor.

Overall, just awesome. Glad I didn't wait to try it as there's such a lovely hop profile in the back. I'd be curious to see how it ages but feel like it might suffer from the hop-loss. Leaves off a little bitter for my liking and the oak becomes a bit more dominant as it warms, but not overwhelmingly so. In the end, a great RIS with characteristics unto itself. (1,514 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

many thanks to DIM for the gift of this fine beer! great guy, great trader. glad to have had the chance to share a couple of pints and hang out!

A - thick pitch black. almost hesitant to release a brilliant thick tan head. Once released this thick tan head just caps of a wonderful looking beer!

S - Strong notes of espresso, roasted grains, molasses, licorice.

T - wonderful, roasty notes start off first. as the beer warms up really nice oak, molasses, licorice, vanilla and warm alcohol notes emerge. It blends smoothly, and softens nicely as it warms

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth, lingering roast and chewy.

D - a sipper for sure. wonderfully complex, complimentary flavors with a rich full bodied satisfying nature.

glad to have tried this one! Definitely worthy of the work many have gone through to try this! (837 characters)

Photo of Progenitor
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Light struggles feebly to penetrate the wonder that is Abyss, when it gets a good punch in, you can just make out burnt sienna wrestling through the black. Pours dark and rich screaming it's name into the bowles of the glass. Black is it's color and it makes no excuses for it. Looking into this beer is akin to looking into veiled nigrescent houri eyes. A salacious tanned head, rests atop, one finger thick, begging for that first forbidden tender bite.

A: Like I said, akin to the gaze of a veiled nigrescent houri. A thick creamy tan head leans towards mocah tones refusing to die. Lacing is tight and persistent. Very sticky, won't quit.

S: With cupped hands over the glass and a deep breath molasses strikes first followed by dark roasted malts and rich coffee wafings

T: Sapid. Licorice is bold with the first sip but if you let it wander coffee, molasses and oak come through. Roasted chocolate too.

M: You have to bite into this beer snd make sure to chew well before you swallow. That is a good thing.

D: Bold, exceptional, take your time, take an hour or more. Sup accordingly. (1,094 characters)

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahh, its my favorite time of the year again! The Abyss is on-tap and in bottles all across town.

Had on-tap at the Deschutes Public House on Bond St. half-pint snifter.

Pours inky black with tough mocha head that won't go away, sticks to the sides of the glass with vigor.

Aroma is of bourbon, chocolate, toasty wood. Alcohol pop there too.

Delicious! Rich and deep with the illusion that it has been aging in the barrel for a year or more. Molasses, licorice, chocolate, coffee...

Mouthfeel is great, velvet and almost creamy. Your mounth will immediatly salivate after the first sip. The alcohol kick is there, and as it warms up, you really get the flavors even more pronounced.

Great for after dinner, you'll be happy sipping this one for an hour or more. (768 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition
Pours pitch black and lightless with 1 inch of bubbly tan head that fades fast leaving good lacing and an oily residue. Smells are very salty, like soy sauce and leather. Coffee grounds, chocolate, anise, and some oak come out as it warms up, along with a slight bourbon nose, but not as prominent as I was expecting. Tastes are of room temperature hot chocolate, with faint licorice, molasses, and oak mixing in from time to time, with a good coffee backbone and a bitter hop finish. Full bodied, smooth, and creamy with a good dry finish. Hides its alcohol content very well. A very unique brew, even amongst the other Russian Imperial Stouts. Though it's oak aged, the aging doesn't cover up the other flavors. I'm sure this will age nicely and could be even better down the road. (796 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Dave at the Brick Store Pub. Soapy head on dark chocolate colour. Yeast in a rich aroma, Bourbon is not as prominent as licorice, yeast, mollasses and chocolate. Taste is coffee,mostly. Roasting and charness and a bit of wood. Drying mouthfeel. Second bottle two months later, noticed soupy pea head of dark brown.And fuller body. (349 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with the firmest mocha head I have ever seen; sticks almost permanently and leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Charcoal, grapefruit, espresso, dark chocolate, licorice and molasses; a touch of oak, but less than I expected

Taste: Right from the start, the grapefruit citrus jumps out and tangoes with the traditional espresso and dark chocolate flavors that would be more expected in a RIS; once they settle in, the sweet and fruity, black currant flavors burst forward; after the swallow, there is a burst of alcohol, followed by a strong roasty element but the finish is pure grapefruit hops

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost viscous, with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: This is a great beer, with plenty of complexity and an unusual take on the style; it will be interesting to re-visit in a year, when the hops settle down (which I did, by the way, but the hops still made their presence felt while allowing the coffee and chocolate flavors to shine in their complexity) (1,050 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into Stone Levitation Tulip

A - Dark, dark, dark. Initial 1/4 head leaves fast. Lace small bubbled and thick initially, also leaves fast. Did I say Dark?

S - A wonderful blend of bourbon, leather, cocoa and chocolate.

T - Viscous, Nestle Hot cocoa texture. Lingers with some bitter at end. Really nice.

M -Full coating mouth. Carbonation low and great for this. Fulfilling sip.

D - Too big and demanding for all night, but a TERRIFIC beer! (444 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

2007 Bottling

I was lucky enough to get this in a recent trade, big thanks goes out to you Bill. Abyss gurgles from the bottle and appears as a black mass in my snifter. The tan head grew to one finger as I poured and left some quality drink lines after each sip. The head eventually falls to a skimming with a thick ring surrounding the body. A good looking stout for sure.

The aroma doesn't have as much of the noticeable barrel aging as I expected. As this beer warms the aroma gets better and better. I left this one sitting out of the fridge for probably 40 minutes before opening and still the aroma just keeps getting better. Each time I bury my nose in the glass I find myself inhaling healthy doses of roasted grains, freshly ground coffee, and molasses in order from most aggressive to least. Hints of anise, oak, and spicy alcohol make ghost like appearances here and there along with a solid pine hop presence toward the back.

Flavor follows in stride with the aroma. If you want to read about the flavor profile take a look at the paragraph above. Everything is smooth and balanced for such big flavors. I'm not sure of the IBUs but they're in a good place considering they're not only balancing out the malts but also making a show of themselves. There's a solid roasty bitterness on the swallow to create a good finish.

Body is full without a doubt. Starts off moderately full and as it works its way through becomes creamy and coating. Sluggish carbonation keeps this one working at it's own pace and lets each flavor work on the taste buds.

This beer sips along smoothly for an 11% monster but after I kill off this bomber it's going to be bedtime.

This is a beer to sip throughout the night. Another excellent Imperial Stout. The barrel aging was done very nicely for this beer. The barrel compliments instead of takes over like what happens with so many other barrel aged beers. (1,917 characters)

Photo of SacoDeToro
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage on tap at Liars' Club grand opening.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a nice dark brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and ash. Some young oak and tobacco in the aroma as well. Not too much bourbon to speak of.

The flavor of the beer was focussed on roasty malts to the point of being slightly ashen. Mid-palate could've used a little more molasses/dark fruit sweetness. The hops seemed slightly citrusy and pretty up front. The finish had a faint tobacco note as well. The oak note was somewhat green, like young white oak. Not so much the vanilla-laden caramel that comes from a nice toasted barrel. I didn't get a whole lot of bourbon either.

The mouthfeel was full, but was not too heavy. It finished pretty dry for a RIS. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

This beer is good, but overhyped IMO. There are much better imperial stouts out there that eclipse Abyss in both complexity and drinkability. KtG, DL, and BCS are few that come out ahead IMO. (1,027 characters)

Photo of MiScusi
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Whole Foods Market in Tustin, CA. Poured into a large flute style glass, ~10 oz.

This poured with a pitch black appearance though ruby at the edges, and a rough dark brown head that almost blended in with the body of the beer. If there was anything that could remind me Older Viscosity (one of the most amazing beers I've had recently), then this was it. Right from the first whiff you could tell this was one rich beer, chocolate, roasted barley, and coffee like flavors abound. The flavor was dark chocolate soaked in bourbon, though the bourbon doesn't give off too much of its own flavor, more just like a warmth to the overall taste. The mouthfeel was perfectly slick for this type of beer. Thick but not too viscous, it was able to go down pretty easily. A very rich but easy drinking high gravity beer. (820 characters)

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 1,751 ratings.