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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,682
Reviews: 1,626
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,422
Gots: 2,159 | FT: 145
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,682 | Reviews: 1,626 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jfcaa193


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-30-2012 01:29:18 | More by jfcaa193
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.

This was a very impressive looking pour for an 11% stout. Deep, rich blackness. The head took a while to build, yet continued to hang around and refreshed everytime I swirled the glass. Bits of lace clung to the class, and thick legs held onto the sides.

Aromas mainly of alcohol and liquorice. Quite boozy. My friend smelled a lot of bourbon aromas, but I didn't notice them like he did.

The taste was excellent. Be sure to let this one warm up, as the flavors continued to improve all the way to the bottom. Hard to really pinpoint everything that was going on. Noticed the liquorice, some sweeter maltiness, some burnt sugar and some alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel was my favorite part of the beer. You could literally chew the beer before swallowing. Rich and velvety.

Overall, a very nice imperial stout. Not the best that I've had, but certainly a special beer. I think another year of aging would have been good on this, as it was stil quite hot after a year in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 23:36:28 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Smurf2055


4.79/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

In a growler from Chuck’s 85th Market, 2011 vintage. Pours a nice head. Two finger, tan head. Completely black. Aroma was so inviting. Chocolate, strong coffee, vanilla, so much going on, this was amazing. Taste is incredible. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, molasses, caramel...so many sweet flavors and yet they still have the powerful flavors of a regular imperial stout. Says it is best aged, and it does get better, but it's also drinkable fresh. Mouthfeel goes down so easy, still very carbonated, but I can tell that this becomes better with age. Very viscous, and lingers well. This is incredibly drinkable. This is still easily in my top 3 of all time. Delicious, drinkable (and completely masking an 11 percent), and the favorite style of beer on this sight. I know this is a Winter Seasonal, and hard to get, but this is an amazing beer. Great great great imperial stout, everyone should try this at some point.

Serving type: growler

01-29-2012 22:57:31 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of lonestar4lunch


4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into my Brooklyn snifter and it is very deep in color and the head lingers for a good while. The nose is huge with toasted grains, dark chocolate and bit of burnt sugar. The tastes follows the nose but has a bit more of dark chocolate bite at the end. The sweetness is not over powering and seems to even out after the first sip washes over your tongue. I really enjoy the dryness on the aftertaste and at this point is pretty drinkable for the alc%. This is the 2011 version so it is still young but wanted to try now and again after the "best after" date.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 21:58:38 | More by lonestar4lunch
Photo of 4thelvofbeer


4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice big, dark stout. Opened a 2010 vintage on 1-27-12. I had a full bottle that was slightly chilled to about 50 degrees or so. Smell and tastes are deep. Taste really opened up as it warmed. Deep licorice tastes, really nice. A little pricey for what the market is currently bringing on this, but overall a really, really nice BAS (barrel aged stout)!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 15:10:13 | More by 4thelvofbeer
Photo of Fux


4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2007 vintage.

A: Very thick beverage. Very dark color with a dark thick head which fades quickly.

S: Incredible nose. This is a true fall in the abysses. Complexity is extraordinary. Roasted, dark chocolate, dark fruits, soaked red fruits, bourbon, vanilla, sweet finish on bitter chocolate and caramel malts.

T: More incredible than the nose if possible. Roasted, toasted, dark chocolate, huge presence of the bourbon and the vanilla, fruity (same as the nose), wooden, finish on the bitter chocolate which settles very slowly on the long-term.

M: Skillful blend of sweetness, deepness, balance and length on the palate.

O: Tasted for dessert with a home-made brownie after a huge, massive dinner. This exceptional beer has been the icing on the cake of this evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 14:19:25 | More by Fux
Photo of Jefe73


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-29-2012 13:20:34 | More by Jefe73
Photo of Billakowski


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-29-2012 06:06:08 | More by Billakowski
Photo of mdcrouser


4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For me, that's a perfect looking beer - steady, dark, monster head and like India ink below. The head sticks to the sides of the glass in clumps.

Predominantly roasted - like having a front row seat to the mash itself. Everybody else seems to comment on chocolate, coffee and other scents - to me, it's all wound up in those dark grains.

Like chewing on the grains themselves, this beer delivers them without measure. Roasted with licorice, I'd swear that it might actually roast the tongue with each drink. Being as high in ABV, it's very well hidden, only revealing itself before it comes to temperature.

Thick, like they've blended a portion of the grains in prior to bottling, rather than filtered them out. Akin to chocolate milk, with a steady foundation and a hint of sweetness.

Not for the faint of heart - this is a heavy drinker - one of the bigger Impy Stouts I've had. Some pepper on the tongue through the carbonation. A beer you can really drown into. A bottle will do you for the night though.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 04:08:24 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of Hawkfish


4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Deschutes Pub as well as the bottle.
One of my favorite RIS out there.
Dark black.
Viscous, syrupy, and full bodied.
Coffee, dark chocolate, creamy maltiness, roast, vanilla, oak.
Smooth and warming.
Faint carbonation.
One of the best!

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 03:26:01 | More by Hawkfish
Photo of alli4051


4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle with a "best after" date of 11/15/11 into a tulip.

Pours the deep, viscous, black that I love in a good stout. Pour produces a surprisingly large brown sugar head that leaves some thin lacing as well as a thin cap. So much going on in the nose I really can't pick everything. What I can pick up is roasted malts, cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is a roasty, almost charred, flavor up front with molasses with a smooth milk chocolate finish. Also some faint licorice and hop notes throughout. Definitely full bodied with a clean finish, somehow feels a bit thinner than it is. A great brew, glad I hung onto it as long as I did, but now I'm sad I only have one.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 03:25:14 | More by alli4051
Photo of 12packpoet


4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

01-29-2012 00:09:01 | More by 12packpoet
Photo of rawfish


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-28-2012 23:38:03 | More by rawfish
Photo of j1knapp


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-28-2012 22:21:23 | More by j1knapp
Photo of BCross


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-28-2012 22:08:11 | More by BCross
Photo of hopfacebrew


4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

From the tap at Uptown Brothers in Denver.

A - Perfect fit for an Imperial Stout. Nice creamy head and color.

S - Roasted barley, some chocolate and coffee noticeable. Not overpowering and very pleasing.

T - The server recommended letting the beer warm up a but before sampling to really bring out the full flavor but I couldn't resist. Slightly sweet but very favorable. Very easy to drink. The taste of chocolate malt lingers for and is quite tasty.

M - Rich and full. Very solid.

D - An excellent beer and if I didn't know better I would have thought it was lower in ABV due to how smooth it was and easy to drink. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 12-30-2010 20:46:25

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2012 17:55:12 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of mtbdonn


4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A bottle Abyss, 2010 from the cellar at approx 50 degrees, served in a Karmeliet tulip glass.

A- Looks perfect; black with nice chocolate, brown head and nice lacing, leaving a thick, sticky residue of foamy head on the glass.

S-Delicious, definite hints of molassass/syrup, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and subtle hint of smoke (oak). Because of the large bottle, the second glass definitely had a nicer aroma as the beer warmed a bit. But light to the nose, expected a little bit more?!

T-The taste is lighter than it looks and lighter than expected. I've always heard about the licorice with this beer, and I was hesitant to try because I absolutely hate black licorice, but I did not notice licorice at all. The taste was very smooth, nice mild carbonation, and a nice crisp finish, with no heavy alcohol on the back side. At 11%, you the alcohol blended very well.

M-The texture of the beer is nice also with the light carbonation and the flavor carrying over in the aftertaste and not the alcohol.

Overall, the is a delicious beer, but I honestly don't think it is a 100 beer, but definitely a mid-90's; a 95/96! I am torn between my favorite stout, the Goose Island Bourbon County and this; very comparable!
I have a CBS that I have just acquired and can't wait to compare between the top 3 I. Stouts of my U.S.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 17:40:55 | More by mtbdonn
Photo of Stouttyme


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-28-2012 14:35:09 | More by Stouttyme
Photo of rodenbach99

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 reserve from a 1pt 6oz brown bottle with black wax on top, offered by Julien and Pierre-Luc. A young beer that is best after 8/4/2012. Thick dark black-brown ale with a nice brown head. A very complex empiromatic nose with some coffee, vanilla (oak), nice smokiness and balsamic vinegar. This ale is long, round and velvety. It's easy to find tobaco, coffee, smoke and a hop finale that taste like dust. The rostiness of the malt brings out good flavor. Not an easy drinking beer, it's a sipping beer to share with friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 19:37:27 | More by rodenbach99
Photo of jnaustxdom


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-27-2012 16:21:35 | More by jnaustxdom
Photo of CummingsK21


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-27-2012 04:24:30 | More by CummingsK21
Photo of BlakeMatt


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-26-2012 23:55:11 | More by BlakeMatt
Photo of NORM4


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-26-2012 02:46:35 | More by NORM4
Photo of raverjames


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

01-25-2012 20:52:41 | More by raverjames
Photo of beast464


5/5  rDev +10.6%

01-25-2012 20:02:31 | More by beast464
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,682 ratings.