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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,274 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4274
Reviews: 1608
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.49%

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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Ratings: 4,274 | Reviews: 1,608 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lsummers


4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a thick chocolate black with a half finger cocoa colored head that leaves some fine lacing and alcohol legs.

Smells of oatmeal, slight bourbon, chocolate, and some roasted nuttiness.

Taste has the smell notes but also more woody notes and some subtle dark fruits. Very complex and nicely sweet yet the ibu's do come through. This one hasn't been aged so I'm sure that's why the ibu's are coming through more prominently, which I like. I can't talk more about the woody, sweet, brownie,and subtle bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel is nicely thick and the carbonation is mild. Overall this one is pretty dangerously tasty. I compare it to the slices of chocolate cake I only get once a year for fear I'll overdue it.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 02:26:07 | More by lsummers
Photo of vfgccp

New York

4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opened less than 12 months old. 2013 bottle, opened Jan 2014.

A - Thick, motor oil black body. Towering cap of milk chocolate brown head. Awesome retention and lace.

S - Fresh toasted wheat, sesame seeds, vanilla, bread dough, and dusty grain silos.

T - Toasted grains and warm bread crust permeate the flavor profile. Milk chocolate, vanilla, and caramel sweeten the center, and are balanced by ash, soft tannins, oatmeal, and molasses. Touch of anise and burnt chocolate through the finish.

M - Outstandingly creamy. Smooth, full body.

O - Surprisingly little barrel character, but the quality of the blend comes through in the smoothness and balance of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:23:51 | More by vfgccp
Photo of winningwes91

North Carolina

4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- typical, beautiful motor-oil black. Surprisingly big cinnamon head for an 11-percenter that disappeared slowly.

Smell- Wonderful. Chocolate, Cherries, Molasses, Bourban, Oak, Wine.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Follows the nose perfectly. A pure joy to drink. I have never been a big wine fan, but this beer makes me feel completely different. The wine-aging has done wonders to this already complex brew. The mouthful is a little thinner than expected, but a minor problem.

Overall- This is a beautiful, well-made beer that is only surpassed by BCBS itself. Worth every penny of the price/shipping to get this. Am aging a bottle right now, and would like to see how it tastes in about a year.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 05:49:42 | More by winningwes91
Photo of evanforbeer


4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date best AFTER 10/2014. Whoops.
Pours a glorious jet black with sludgy light brown head

Nose- great nose, not immensely potent- bourbon, semi-sweet milk chocolate, caramel, raisins/figs

Taste- begins with smooth and sweet bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and subtle chocolate, turns a bit sweet and fruity with dark fruits and soft citrus. Finishes light with vanilla/oak with a little bit of char

Feel- surprisingly light for this big of a stout, sweet, lush, roasty

Fantastic. I think I should've let this sit til October, not as complex or robust as I had hoped

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 06:58:34 | More by evanforbeer
Photo of PBIU


4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very fortunate to try this one in bottle form and tap within a two week timeframe.

Appearance is jet black with a creamy tan head. For the style it is right on point

Smell is so complex you can just spend a few minutes thinking about what you are taking away. Oak, dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon. But all components are not overpowering. They marry well together.

Taste is decadent and so smooth the ABV is really well hidden. Chocolate, Coffee, Oak, Fig just to highlight a few things. Again, like the nose they are all very well balanced together.

Mouthfeel is rich and coats the palate pleasantly.

Overall just an outstanding example of the style and worth the investigative trip to find. This beer is a must try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2014 19:32:28 | More by PBIU
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle into a teku glass.

pours a pitch black with a slight head. the smell is pretty complex with a ton of oak and dark chocolate...taste is very bitter for a stout, lots of coffee and oak. no sweetness at all. might be too hot? alcohol definitely apparent. full bodied for sure. correct carbonation.

overall an extremely bitter stout. not my favorite...needs age. will re review in a year or when i drink an older vintage.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:47:29 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of Alron


5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding. I absolutely love it. A very Stout with just the right amount of barrel aging. Not the over the bourbon smell of some others. I'd say that's a fair description. Complex for sure.
-Appearance is thick and dark, dark brown with a tan finger of head. Gorgeous.
-Smells of Sweet Coffee with a hint of fruit, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Fantastic.
-Taste is similar to the smell with Chocolate and Coffee backed up by Cherry, Oak, Bourbon. Then it finishes with a roasty coffee and vanilla taste. Man the 11% is hidden so well.
-The Mouthfeel is thick and slightly carbonated that lingers with a hint of bitterness.
-Overall, I really couldn't ask for anything more. It's Terrific. A bourbon aged stout is honestly my favorite smell on the planet right now. This one does not disappoint. I've cellared another and can't wait to find out how it ages. :)

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 07:39:48 | More by Alron
Photo of Stevedore


4.21/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #100!

Context: Shared bottles of '11 and '12 vintages with Dactrius and lunarbrew today, 6/10/2013; blinded & in snifter glasses. The review is based on my preferred vintage, 2012.

Aroma: Really really complex stuff. Smells incredibly mellow with a good chunk of chocolate and dark fruits. A little bit of roasted black coffee. The rest is pretty boozy. It promises a heavy night ahead for us. (4)

Colour: Typical imperial stout. Very dark brown, nearly black and opaque beer that is incredibly thick. Pours with a small <1 cm mocha head that sticks around as a thick film on top of the beer. Very tasty looking, but not necessarily heads and tails above other imperial stouts I've seen. (4)

Flavour: Nice! Super smooth but it roundhouse kicks you in the face with the sheer booziness and dark fruits. Very, very aggressive dark fruit (figs, dates) sweetness with a wee bit of vanilla. Not much oak, which isn't surprising as Abyss isn't even half barrel aged. But I really enjoyed the flavour profile on this beer. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Really, really thick bodied and creamy in the mouth. Carbonation was OK, nothing special. The beer leaves a thin brown film when I swirl it, really thick beer. The lacing wasn't anything special, but damn this beer is really thick and creamy, very enjoyable to drink. The only thing that detracts from here is the booziness- you can taste the heat even from the beginning. (4.5)

Overall: the '12 was incredibly mellow, creamy and tasty. The '11 was a bit more subdued, not as "punch in the face" as the '12, but I appreciated the greater intensity of the flavours in the '12. It's a very excellent imperial stout that I would definitely grab a bottle per year if I had better access to Deschutes beers. (4.25)

Re-review: 2013 version, on tap at Verdugo Bar in Glendale, Los Angeles. 12oz poured into a snifter glass yesterday, 1/6/2014.

Appearance looks just like the '11 and '12, at least how I remember it. At the very least, it looks black and foreboding, opaque. Smells smoothed out actually, no booziness at all. Similar and very complex nose. And flavour is great- dark fruits, roast and dark malts, chocolate and coffee, a little licorice. Complex and not boozy at all. Medium bodied, creamy, not hard to drink at all. Very smooth and hides ABV well. I'm starting to think that while Abyss is good to drink years later, I suspect that with the decrease in % barrel-aged components, you might as well start drinking it fresh. Because fresh '13 vintage is the best I've had so far versus 1-year old '12 and 2-year old '11.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 02:33:25 | More by Stevedore
Photo of goochpunch


4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Version

Pours out pitch black with a thin head that looks like whipped hot milk on top of a hot chocolate. In the nose, I get chocolate, coffee, vanilla, berries, stone fruits, and a punch of booze. Up front in the flavor there is loads of roasted malts and dark berries with a touch of tartness. Chocolate come out in the middle with coffee on towards the finish. Vanilla pokes its head out around the middle, but is not beating you over the head, like typical barrel aged stouts. I pick up some buttery toffee as well. Chocolate covered cherries linger on in the aftertaste. Delicious. Boozy touch in the finish, but not as prevalent as in the nose. Light acidity refreshes the palate. I'm glad I sat on this for a year. Mouthfeel is full, but not overly thick as the flavor profile would suggest. Mild carbonation. This is a fantastic stout, utilizing a blend of non-barrel aged stouts alongside different barrel aged expressions. An excellent example of blending skill over aging a stout 100% in cloyingly vanilla-forwarded bourbon barrels. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 02:23:34 | More by goochpunch
Photo of KYGunner


4.04/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


This poured with an obvious thickness that oozed into the glass to display the darkest of onyx hues. The head grew out of nothing as there seemed to be little carbonation in the pour. The head was a deep brown foam that left significant lacing.

I catch some thickness in the nose as well as maple, caramel, molasses, raisin and malt come through.

The flavor, though, is more dry with pronounced chocolate malt, slight coffee, licorice and molasses.

This is smooth on the tongue with a light carbonation and a relatively viscous feel.

This is very good, not as rich and diverse as I expected but it may have mellowed over the years.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 01:48:58 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Or80rowley


4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This was a outstanding complex smooth beer!

A. Dark,opaque, two finger red velvet head

S. Licorice, chocolate, coffee

T. Coco,leading into dreamy morning coffee, hint of licorice, nice clean finish

M. Smooth satin throat massage

O. All beer lovers must try, this is a romantic beer for a special occasion

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2014 18:26:15 | More by Or80rowley
Photo of metter98

New York

4.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a thin dark tan head that died down, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of dark, roasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of oak from the barrel aging.
T: The taste starts out with lots of flavors of roasted malts and is accompanied by complimentary notes of bourbon, cherries, dark fruits, molasses and oak flavors. The roasted malt flavors linger from start to finish. The cherries become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: As a mixture of blends, this beer is extremely well balanced and doesn't have any one dominant flavor. The taste is very complex.

Note: 2013 Reserve

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 01:15:05 | More by metter98
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.73/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 abyss from Sara
Looks amazing, dark black with a thick creamy coffee tan film, great lacing. 4.75
S- dark cherry, spicy oak, lots of black strap mollasus, walnut nuttiness, huge depth Of interesting flavours, dark chocolate, lots of coffee, with a subtle dark fruit edge. 4.75
T- mollasus, dark rich spicy notes, lots of wine tannins, cherry and black current, pepperiness stand out on the tongue. Quite a bit of oak. A moderate touch of initial sweetness then tends into a deep dark abyss of alluring flavours, flavour and balance truly defy description. More oak than I expected but what an amazing stout. 4.75
M- big body, with a moderate carbonation, creamy and spicy with lots of oak, hints of strapping alcohol but for the strength it really isn't overbearing, dry finish with oaky mollasus spiciness. 4.5
Certainly one world class stout, brings a huge complex flavour at this strength with a ton of richness and no heat. Deep dark molasses flavour, lots of spicy oak. Amazing balance and complexity, haven't had it fresh but aged is really inspiring, great complexity and spiciness. Definitely one of the best stouts I've ever had. If I could but a case I would. 4.75

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 00:14:04 | More by mick303
Photo of hopsputin


5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled 2012, drank 1/1/14

a: deep, dark, rich black with just the slights hint of brown. large 3 finger mahogany tan head that sticks around nicely

s: the smell on this is unreal. dark chocolate, leather, plums, raisin, fig, sweet black licorice, oak, dates, rich toffee. has some berry esters as well. this is crazy complex and amazing. you can pick up the various barrels - coconuts, vanilla, and very slight vinous notes.

t: very similar to the nose. rich chocolate and toasted malts hit you right away. next you're hit with the oak, tobacco, and the dark fruits - raisins, prunes, figs, pomegranates, and brown sugar. i'm picking up cherries in here too - sweet cherries, its real nice. then it fades to a rich molasses and creamy toffee. the flavor then circles back around and ends with the toasted malts.

m: heavy mouthfeel, with a nice amount of carbonation - not too much

o: perfect. this deserves 100. do yourself a favor and make sure to inhale through the nose as you take each sip

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 22:07:15 | More by hopsputin
Photo of aquazr1


4.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 reserve served in a tulip.

A - Pours deep black with a large caramel colored head.

S- Licorace with a hint of the molasses.

T- Lots if flavors coming through. Caramel, toffee, coffee and licorace.

M- Full bodied with little carbonation.

O - A well balanced, full bodied beer with lots of flavor. Can't wait to open this years batch.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 06:36:07 | More by aquazr1
Photo of d5001986


4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Abyss 2012 Reserve - aged 14 months. Bomber poured into tulip.

Pours heavy pitch black with huge foamy brown head. I wish every stout could look like this.

Smell is definitely complex. Sweet. Chocolate, caramel, and vanilla up front, followed by a little boozy red wine.

Taste is again sweet, but not overly so. So much going on here. Chocolate and vanilla with the soft boozyness, followed by molasses, cherry, and a very slight alcohol burn. So complex and delicious!

The feel of this one is wonderful. Incredibly smooth and creamy. Very heavy bodied, the carbonation barely comes through.

Overall this was a treat! Not sure how much the 14 months age did for it as I haven't enjoyed this fresh before (instructed to at least age a year per the bottle). I'll definitely be looking forward to the annual release of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 02:00:28 | More by d5001986
Photo of justintcoons


4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Reserve
22oz waxed bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with no light penetration. 3+ fingers of foamy, dark brown head with great retention.

Fudge, cocoa nib, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, espresso, licorice, molasses, roasted barley, light oak and fruity esters.

A plethora of different chocolates; dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge and cocoa nib. Espresso, peanut, overripe black plum, raisins and fig. Some toffee, molasses and black licorice. Moderately light oak and tannins but beautifully blended. Flashes of bourbon heat, tobacco, leather and vanilla ice cream along with touches of fruity esters.

Full bodied, smooth, silky and creamy.

World-class, no doubt! Extremely complex and damn near perfection.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 13:26:18 | More by justintcoons
Photo of MannyBats


4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Abyss 2013 reserve
This beer has a best after date so I had to get two will be updating my review again once I try after that date as well which is 8/16/14

Being how hyped this beer is

A: dark brown pretty much inky black lives up to its name

S: roasted malts chocolate bourbon small hint of vanilla and coffee

T: how a stout should taste smooth chocolate coffee burnt notes and aged

M: perfect carbonation a heavy brew but super smooth

O: crafted to perfection will be looking forward to trying after the best after date... If I can wait that long...

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 04:56:04 | More by MannyBats
Photo of garuda


4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thick mocha head that has excellent retention and lacing. Don't know how a stout could look better.

Very complex, and all of the flavore are well integrated and not "in your face". Roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, bourbon... Then as it warms, vinous character comes out with some dark, dried fruits. Abv stays well hidden, the mouthfeel is full but maybe a touch lighter than I want.

Excellent beer, one of the best I've had overall so far.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 20:54:22 | More by garuda
Photo of alexk307


4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Reserve

A: Thick black. Lives up to the namesake

S: Smells just like a BCBS. Coconut, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla.

T: Much more bitter than I had imagined it to be. Lots of dark chocolate and roasted coffee.

M: Thick and full bodied

O: Not blown away, YET. Wanted to try this somewhat fresh but I think that might have been a mistake. Going to cellar my other bottle for a few years. I think age will do a lot for this beer as others have pointed out.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 23:32:46 | More by alexk307
Photo of McStagger


4.29/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"Some Nietzsche quote."

A: Lives up to its namesake. Seems to absorb light, like a black hole. Finger and a half of tight, creamy head. Lacing is stellar, as is retention. Head is espresso in color, with some large bubbles present. Looks intimidating.

S: Moar ingredients. The barrel isn't immediately present in the nose. Big roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, baker's cocoa, milk chocolate, slightly woodsy/barky, (whattya know, cherry bark!), leather, some cigar box and cinnamon. Some herbal hoppiness hidden way underneath. I read a review that mentioned a savory or soy sauce element in a RIS. That's present here. It's a biggun.

T: First off, this is a monster beer. Not so much in the ABV's or the mouthfeel, but in the awesome torched bitterness present. It is seriously overpowering. Believe the bottle when it says best after. Underneath the roaring roastiness are big coffee and bitter chocolate notes with...black pepper? Definitely prickles the sinuses. These mellow out. Vanilla pops up, as does oak and the same leafy/bark quality, raisinied fruit is there, baker's chocolate, espresso grounds. The barrel characteristics play second fiddle to the other flavors in this beer. Oak, vanilla and bourbon pop up, but are mostly background to the insane malt bitterness of this beast. This one lingers. The charring, almost astringent malt sticks with you long after you have taken a sip. Truly a beast.

M: As jumbled as the flavors are, the mouthfeel is spot on. Some slight alcohol heat greets you in the end, but otherwise this one strikes a perfect balance. The carbonation is ample, without being distracting. The body is sufficiently heavy, without being cloying. Excellent.

O: This one needs to be lain down for at least a year. It is delicious, no doubt. However, as of right now, this beer currently rides a fine balance. At colder temperatures, the roasted malt dominates every aspect of the experience. As the beer warms it mellows, but the alcohol heat accentuates some of the spice characteristics and this tends to overwhelm the beer. There are a lot of awesome flavors in here, but I think they do need some time to settle down.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 08:01:23 | More by McStagger
Photo of BastardKing24


5/5  rDev +10.4%
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 themind

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What an amazing complex beer! notes of wine, chocolate, smokiness and roasted coffee dominate the flavor profile. The beer pours almost no head yet the mouthfeel is crisp and smooth. The taste is fantastic but as it warmed a smoky taste became more pronounced....I am not a smoke fan. The aroma was a little weak but everything else made up for these short points. Overall this is a World Class beer deserving of the hype.

Bottom LIne: Amazing, complex beer worth the jingle.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 02:28:26 | More by themind
Photo of cooler4life

Quebec (Canada)

4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Edition

A: Poured the blackest of balck into my Duvel tulip. A thin ring of mocha colored head graced the the pour like icing on a cake. Carbonation appears fine, and plentiful. As the blackness recedes, lacing adorns the glass like fine strings of crystal from a chandalier. The viscosity is thick and smooth. No other characteristics can be determined due to the lack of light pentetration into the glass.

S: Layer after layer of aroma. First, you get a wallop of ground coffee beans followed by something richer; vanilla and smoky oak. Hints of tobacco, dried figs, and coconut round out the edges.

T: Begins with a strong coffee and dark chocolate flavors with essenses of toast. Strong malt backbone, this is certainly a full bodied brew. Vanilla and oak echo in the dark. The flavors transition mid palate which I think speaks to the complexity of this beer. Finshes very sharp with a taste that can be described as smoked weeping willow with an alcholic sting. I wasn't expecting this. No doubt due to the variety of barrel aging involved in it's creation. Speaking of the barrell aging, it lurks in the background, it's not the highlight, but contributes strongly to the overall flavor profile.

M: Carbonation is perfect. Lucious and velvety, with just the right level of stickiness, nothing has been lost on the year of aging. Oils the mouth in all the right ways. Finshes relatively dry, but I like that. Keeps you coming back for more.

O: This beer lived up to the hype. It's one to sit back and sip, take in the sights and sounds, and appreciate. Even though it may be snowy outside, Abyss will take you to somewhere....delecious.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 01:17:30 | More by cooler4life
Photo of Kuaff


4.74/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Abyss. Cellar temperature. Snifter.

Now that presentation is just killer. Three fingers of THICK, gorgeously creamy, rich brown froth sits atop a beer that looks... well, like an abyss, appropriately. The head makes a smooth mound that just won't go away, and lovely lacing is left behind when it finally recedes a bit. A true stunner.

Yikes. The aroma is also killer. It packs so VERY much delicious complexity, it just overwhelms me. Let's see... RICH milk and dark chocolates, vanilla, molasses, this refined (as opposed to out of control) smoky, woody oakiness, freshly ground coffee, and some earthy raisins... maybe some plums and subtle licorice. There are probably other things going on too, but they're too mysterious for me to know how to describe...

This stuff UNLOADS flavors of chocolate and earth on the palate without reserve. It has a maltiness that's milky-sweet at first, moves to tart, chocolate-covered rasins, and then turns to more bitter things like coffee and unsweetened, pure chocolate. The finish is quite special. Once again, I'll say it has a REFINED, complex, and distinctive woody character that goes along very well with the abundantly earthy aftertaste. I think I can TASTE the complexity that things like the cherry bark and various partial barrel aging imparted onto this beer. And it's totally delicious.

The feel is thick and chewy, with lax carbonation that makes for a silky-smoth body.

I must say, the Abyss delivers a devastating dose of chocolate, oak, and earth, wrapped up in a bunch of other things that just enhance the overall stout experience. An imperial stout that boasts expertly controlled, balanced power and intensity.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 03:17:22 | More by Kuaff
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,274 ratings.