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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,109 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,109
Reviews: 1,656
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,582
Gots: 2,263 | FT: 163
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,109 | Reviews: 1,656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chrisrose30
5/5  rDev +10.9%

chrisrose30, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -16.9%

duceswild, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of H0rnedFr0gs
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

H0rnedFr0gs, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

oldp0rt, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. 2011 Reserve. Best after 4 August 2012...so I'm a week early. Couldn't wait any longer. 11% ABV. Brewed with black strap molasses and licorice, with cherry bark and vanilla added. 6% aged in oak bourbon barrels, 11% aged in oak wine barrels, 11% aged in oak barrels.

A: Black, but not as intensely so as I expected. A tight, thin mocha head has a hint of creaminess and fades rather quickly. The beer is rather cold at the moment. Good lacing.

S: Mmmm. Stern and stout. Coffee, roasted malt, bourbon barrels, and a touch of something dry, either the malt or trace hops. Nutty and woody, with no hint of vanilla but perhaps some of bark (whatever that might smell like). Pleasant, but unimpressive.

T/M: That is a mighty first sip, though I'm afraid my impatience has gotten the better of me...I should let it warm up. Loads of flavor lingers interminably. Rich, smooth, roasted malt that is only accentuated by time; a bit of warmth results in a velvety smoothness that is highly pleasing. Chocolate, vanilla, hints of strong stuff...perhaps whiskey. A dry, bitter endtaste worthy of a Russian Imperial Stout. Lightly dry at times, partially from the dry malt and somewhat from the alcohol content. Not heavy though, but light, sippable, and sometimes fruity. The wine parallels are almost certainly my imagination, but are also not entirely inaccurate. The blending is excellent and the extreme alterations in flavor -- from sweet to bitter, fruit to coffee, soft vanilla to dry-strong molasses -- are executed with subtlety and nuance. I'm impressed, but not overwhelmed.

O: Is this a good beer? Absolutely. However, I'll try to an older vintage to say whether or not it's overrated...as it stands, it receives high marks, but not my adulation. Still, recommended.

EDIT 6 February 2013: 2012 Reserve, best before 1 November 2013. Pretty fresh I guess. 11.1%. Brewed with black strap molasses and licorice, with cherry bark and vanilla added. 6% aged in oak bourbon barrels, 11% aged in oak wine barrels, 11% aged in oak barrels.

This is fresh, as was my last sample, and it surprises me naught that I'd change very little from my initial review (save perhaps giving the appearance a 5/5).

AgentMunky, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of dtmets84
3.5/5  rDev -22.4%

dtmets84, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of cyrusturbak
5/5  rDev +10.9%

cyrusturbak, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of bergdj
5/5  rDev +10.9%

bergdj, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of StubFaceJoe
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

StubFaceJoe, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of icanhazbeers
5/5  rDev +10.9%

icanhazbeers, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of BeerNW
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

BeerNW, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a touch of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, oak, vanilla, molasses, cherry and other dark fruits with some licorice, Bourbon, wine, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with roasted chocolate malts with vanilla, cherry, molasses, and some licorice. Through the middle, some oak comes through with some Bourbon and wine and some more dark fruit flavor. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, oak, vanilla, wine grapes, molasses, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. The blend of barrels really adds a wonderful complexity to the beer and the balance is spot on.

ngeunit1, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of LambicKing
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

LambicKing, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of Hanzo
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Hanzo, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of HardTarget
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best after 8/4/12 (opened 7/22/12), 11% abv.

Appearance: Black glass shows an angry blood red edge that intimidates. Holds it's dark tan head with a large bubbled halo. Watching the legs slowly drag spots of lace off the glass about the speed of a sunset.

Smell: Boozy oak tannin overwhelms most of what's going on. Hints of sweet burnt sugar poke through.

Taste: Bourbon oak aged flavors are on top of everything, but with some sophistication, like a well worn leather chair. The boozy wood barrel serves as the bitter to balance out the sweet malty base that slowly fades out to an alcoholic vapor. Pipe tobacco, leather, black strap, with a surprise piney citric hop flash at the top.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation combines with the molten lead texture to give a very silky smooth feel with a serious chew.

Overall: A wonderful combinations total out to a great experience. A slow evening worth of happy sips. Solid show, will seek more.

HardTarget, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of IlludiumQ36
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

IlludiumQ36, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of bonez05404
5/5  rDev +10.9%

bonez05404, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of bmcwood
3/5  rDev -33.5%

bmcwood, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of ellswrth
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

ellswrth, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of JebediahScooter
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

JebediahScooter, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of ncaudle
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

ncaudle, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of tjfilippo
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

tjfilippo, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of skunk242
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

skunk242, Jul 16, 2012
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ssjkyle
5/5  rDev +10.9%

ssjkyle, Jul 14, 2012
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,109 ratings.