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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

5,501 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,501
Reviews: 1,728
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,610
Gots: 2,673 | FT: 203
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 (116) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Abyss Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,501 | Reviews: 1,728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wulfie85
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of CraigPWalker
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of JCAMPBELL
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phocion
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle, reviewed January 22, 2015. Bomber pours into a tulip a dark almost jet black with just the slightest mahogony highlights when held to the light. A small but resilient finger of creamy khaki head that finally settles into a thin crown but leaves thick streaks of lacing throughout the glass.

Massively complex nose. Thick roasted malts of dark chocolate along with a bit of molasses. Dark fruit and anise. Raisins and wood flavors; bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Age has been kind to this beer and the flavors blend extremely well.

Flavor follows the nose. Chocolate turns more to a sweet cocoa than the bitter dark chocolate flavor in the aroma. A bit of molasses and toasted sugar. Slightly bitter roasted coffee. Raisin, anise, and slight booziness from the bourbon. The virgin barrels aren't overpowering but definitely noticeable. Lightly tart anise flavor. Raisins and just a tiny hint of cinnamon spice and vanilla sweetness.

Heavy body and moderately carbonated. Thick but soft, creamy, and velvety mouthfeel. No astringency and moderate alcohol warmth.

This is one of my favorite beers, and 2010 was one of my favorite years. This was the last release that wasn't aged in wine barrels and as of now (just a hair over four years on) it is drinking amazingly well.

Photo of beer-n-dogs
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014. (I own & have tried 2010-2014, in their made year, and also as a quad vertical this past winter. My personal faves were '12 & '13)

Photo of neruda11
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MizzouBeerNerd
3.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BradenMK
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had it fresh. It blew my mind. If it had a thicker, more milkshake-y mouthfeel, it would be the greatest beer I've ever had. It was in no way lacking in heft. It was superbly smooth and quite thick and complex on many levels. The barrel-aging was so perfectly done, I can't even imagine this improving in 10 months. I was hesitant to try this for all of the negative reviews, especially the negatives regarding freshness. Don't wait. Drink up, me hearties, this beer is astonishingly good.

To get more in depth - there is a ton of ashy malt flavor in there, but the various barrels, even the 6% bourbon barrels, play their own parts in influencing the overall flavor. The cherry and the red wine are the stars here, putting their own spin on the semi-sweet chocolate notes of the exceptionally dark malt backbone, but the bourbon is still detectable, and for someone who has grown a bit weary of bourbon barrel beers, not only is the bourbon character perfect, but it is still there while being, wonderfully, a background nuance to the other amazing qualities in this beer. I actually can't perceive any flavor additions from the licorice or molasses or vanilla, but honestly that's fine with me. Vanilla can get a little played out in stouts, and licorice is not really my thing. Molasses can have the tendency to dry out a brew more than flavor it, and maybe it's simply cutting into the sweetness overall, which is fine. Having some subtle cherry and wine notes in a super-rich, dark-chocolate, ashy malt menagerie is plenty complex for my palate, and holy crap was this a treat. As close to a perfect beer as I've ever experienced. Just off-the-charts wonderful. The only beer I've had that could hold a candle to this is Founders Imperial Stout, and soon we'll see which I actually prefer.

Photo of CraigTravor
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Fusebuddy
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scottwurst
3.68/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Petegrieco
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WoostaBia
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of nearengine
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of benloho
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Danielr26
4.91/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Rons35
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Benesi88
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JavaNoire
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Brihon
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of caahare
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Diaper-Daniels
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,501 ratings.