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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,870 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,870
Reviews: 1,641
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,486
Gots: 2,209 | FT: 156
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: 4,870 | Reviews: 1,641 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of azorie
4/5  rDev -11.5%

azorie, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of unclejazz
4.69/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My recent trip out to Arizona provided some new beers in the cellar and my first chance to try Abyss, and even better on tap. Thanks to Manny for bringing me by a rather wonderful Whole Foods in Chandler. I had a 12oz. pour in a wonderful looking goblet and from first sight I was impressed. It was very brown almost black with a delcious looking and smelling short tan head that stuck around. It was malty, sweet, and just a bit hot; all in very good ways. Each sip was delicious and it wnet quite well with the sushi I had. Vanilla, chocolate and dark fruits were the predominant flavors along with a bit of Oak. Very nice mouthfeel, but it could have been a bit heavier and the bottled version might be just that. This is gonna be one I keep eyes out for in the future, because it is just that good.

unclejazz, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Kavon
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Kavon, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of newsage
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a Great barrel aged Stout no doubt, but with that said, I drank this side by side with the parabola from Firestone and it fell a little short. It felt a bit less smooth and less complexed and refined, but hey thats like complaining about BMW because Mercedes Benz is better. This is a Top Ten Stout/Porter!

newsage, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of hotmanflab666
4/5  rDev -11.5%

hotmanflab666, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of rawla
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a snifter on-tap at Bluepalms Brewhouse in Hollywood,CA.

A: Velvet chocolate in liquid form. Very few, if any bubbles/carbonation. The lacing is thin, but sticks around for a good amount of time. Not a beer to half-ass yourself into.

S: Wood bark, tobacco, and bitter Belgian Chocolate. Not smokey at all. Just a pungent decadent aroma. Mmmm...

T: Devil's Pie Chocolate cake with a hint of an amazing Cuban Cigar ( in an AMAZING way). Very subtle alcohol presence, considering it's 10.00% ABV. Toffee lingers in the aftertaste, but no alcoholic bite. Truly amazing stuff.

M: Feels like a grown-ups malt chocolate milkshake in the mouth. A beer this alcoholic shouldn't feel/taste this good.

O: The name says it all. You are staring down the deepest ends of the universe. Don't expect a straightforward beer. Intense Belgian cocoa, tobacco, wood bark, and hints of burnt toffee seal this amazing beer out. A...

rawla, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of yaccobe
4/5  rDev -11.5%

yaccobe, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of davey101
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Reserve. 22 oz bomber into an over sized wine glass at cellar temperature.

A - Pitch black body. Dark brown 2 finger head. Tons of sticky lacing and crazy retention.

S - Lots of roasty and oak aromas. Tobacco, smoke, leather, licorice, chocolate and some vanilla. More savory than sweet. There is a certain aroma that is rather dominant but I can't put a name to it. Perhaps its the cheery wood?

T - Very complex stout. Chocolate and coffee notes followed by some licorice, vanilla, and heavy roast flavors. The oak aging is present as well. Nice medium mouth feel that supports these huge flavors. Alcohol is warming but pleasant.

O - I think I prefer sweet to roasty/savory, but this was a very delicious and complex beer. Glad I traded for this one. Great stuff!

davey101, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of troutfish23
4/5  rDev -11.5%

troutfish23, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +10.6%

brez8791, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of riverrunt421
5/5  rDev +10.6%

riverrunt421, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of blnktapes
5/5  rDev +10.6%

blnktapes, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of cyrusthepup
5/5  rDev +10.6%

cyrusthepup, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Swervine44
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Swervine44, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of aliving1
5/5  rDev +10.6%

aliving1, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of vic21234
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 reserve bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle says "best after 8/4/12. This is the only bottle I was able to get my hands on, and no way am I waiting till August.

A- Pure black, seeing absolutely nothing through this beer. Nice brown colored head forms upon pouring which coats the glass, and some lacing is evident on the sides of the glass.

S- Coffee, chocolate, maybe even some vanilla in there. The oakiness is apparent, as is a bit of an alcohol bite.

T- Lots going on with this. Starts off smooth, with hints of coffee. At the back of the taste the oak aging hits you, with a definite warming alcohol feeling. There's so many other things going on here that I can't really pinpoint on.

M- Heavy, a sipper for sure. High alcohol content was apparent for me.

The Abyss is unlike any beer I've had. I wish I could describe it but can't. I hope to trade for some more in the future.

vic21234, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev -11.5%

theminutemen, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of baconbourbon
4/5  rDev -11.5%

baconbourbon, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of jjcote
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

jjcote, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of elephantrider
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

elephantrider, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Pencible
3.38/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, reviewed December 2011.

A: This poured completely pitch black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled sour and tart - clearly part of the infected batch, which is a shame. There was still some chocolate and oak and coffee, with a little smoked salmon and alcohol.
T: It tasted like sour and tart oak, with dark chocolate and roasted coffee, and a little molasses and smoked salmon. It had a tart and bittersweet aftertaste that was a bit dirty.
M: It was oily with moderate carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: As part of the infected batch, this clearly isn't what it's supposed to smell or taste like, but I thought it would be interesting to review anyway. And it was still enjoyable enough to drink my glass...similar to Le Coq. It still looked great, and had great body, and there were definitely signs of this being a great stout under all the unintended sourness. Now I really want to try a good bottle of this legendary beer.

Pencible, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of echrei
5/5  rDev +10.6%

echrei, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a Swiss wine snifter. I don't know how I have made it this far without trying this beer. First beer of 2012, which barring unforeseen disaster will most likely be one of the best years of my life so far. Cheers!

Pours pure black- darker than used engine oil. When I hold his up to the bright sun there are no highlights revealed. I mean this is totally black. The pour produces two fingers of doughy dark brown compact head that coats the glass. Looks awesome!

The nose is one of the most complex of any dark beer I have smelled in quite some time. A touch of smoke overlays a duo of roasty malt and hops. A further hoppiness pairs with tannic notes of woody oak. A slight touch of vanilla is probably due to the added vanilla and not bourbon barrel (only 6% of the beer in this bottles ever saw the inside of one) but then who know? Maybe it was a young set of barrels.

Well this beer is complex. I guess I will start with the basic stout flavors, which are present in this beer but there is so much happening on top of them that I have to think about it to isolate them. Hops are here in plentiful quantities and they pair with the roast of the dark malts in the typical big stout fashion. The most prominent non-traditional stout flavor is a pronounced woodiness. It almost reminds me of roasted chicory, or an over-oaked stout stout I brewed once. Anyway, this flavor almost dominates, but doesn't eclipse everything else. I do taste both licorice and a tiny bit of vanilla, which are both tasty. So I wonder if that particular woody flavor is the cherry bark?

The mouthfeel is rather dry and viscous, but not as thick and chewy as something like Bourbon County Stout. I think it is quite good, and I imagine that it is exactly what the brewers at Deschutes intended. Carbonation feels fairly low.

Conclusion: As expected, this is an awesome beer. It has so much flavor that it is walking the line between complex and muddled. I like it quite a bit, but find myself straying back the the purist mindset of doing little to a beer save for aging it in oak. However, this beer is doing something awesome and should be tried by anybody who has an interest in American beer or big dark beers of any sort.

allforbetterbeer, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of SWMeyer4141
4/5  rDev -11.5%

SWMeyer4141, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of asparkoflife
5/5  rDev +10.6%

asparkoflife, Jan 02, 2012
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,870 ratings.