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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,276 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,276
Reviews: 1,680
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,593
Gots: 2,394 | FT: 182
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: 5,276 | Reviews: 1,680 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ATXRyan
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of bluesplit63
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of mjn5036
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of PowDay
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Thecherryman
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of brealbg
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Rathakem
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best after 11/15/11.

A: Body dark as a moonless night. Thin brown head that dissipated pretty quickly leaving a thin ring around the edge and a few lily pads in the middle. Very oily appearance.

S: Some chocolate, dark fruits, dark roasted malt, nuttiness and molasses. There’s a little whiff of woodiness but not much barrel on the nose.

T: Yum. Sweet and woody to start with a little smokiness. The wood characteristic is as good as any beer I’ve ever had. Some caramel, dark fruit and coffee. Then the roasted malt eases you into a pleasing gentle finish.

M: Body is very full and oily (borderline syrupy). Carb is soft which I don’t mind at all in this case. Finish is slightly chalky but very smooth for such a big complex beer. Alcohol is very well hidden.

O: When I first read the label (licorice and molasses?) I had serious doubts about it. Who knew that it would become one of my desert island beers. Just amazing.

Photo of amart80
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.


A: Dark as a beer can be. No head, no lace, nuthin'. Just liquid.

S: Ground espresso beans. That stands out the most. Bittersweet, dark chocolate at the end.

T: Perfectly balanced between espresso, wood, and dark chocolate. They all come together to create a delicate yet robust flavor that fills the mouth with amazing flavors. The best roasted malt flavors I've ever experienced. Nothing overpowers. "Balance" is a rare word used to describe a Stout.

M: What can I say? One of the easiest drinking Stouts I've ever had. And it's an Imperial Stout. And it's around 11% ABV. Could have had several more glasses.

O: Deschutes, you've done it again. The Abyss is my Top 5 of all time.

Photo of chefduff2
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of Falcone
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of blandle12
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of jheezee
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of natemort13
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Reserve

Beautiful opaque black viscous pour yields a reasonable mocha head that dissipates into a splotchy puddle with a nice ring.

Nose is deep roasted malts with a hint of sweetness. Definitely get the molasses. Some brown sugar, a bit of leather, cappuccino, milk chocolate.

Taste is supremely roasted malts, black licorice, leather, tobacco, dark chocolate, dark cherry, espresso. Super complex. Layers and layers of flavors. Finish is quite dry and has me reaching for more.

Mouthfeel is excellent, velvety and full.

Overall this is an excellent imperial stout. Glad I got a second to cellar.

Photo of Steimie
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of derkfromwi
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100
Wanted to review something I enjoy, I enjoy it enough that my 2010's never made it to 2012.

2011 Best After 8/4/12 Poured into Duvel glass

A: 3/4 inch dark mocha head that retains well and eventually dissipates to a nice ring around edges of glass, jet black color, very good carbonation for style, decent lacing for an Imperial Stout

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, variety of wood, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, as it warms a touch of bourbon comes out

T: Licorice, dark chocolate, cherry, oak barrel, molasses, bit of vanilla, and as it warms the wine flavors poke through and add some sour and dry, but not too strong, still very pleasing

M: Smooth, creamy and velvety, carbonation takes a back seat but is there, medium-full bodied, nicely balanced

O: Very good Imperial Stout, I enjoy the journey through The Abyss every time, can't wait to taste the bottles left as it ages and changes

Photo of DSlim71
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

2011 Edition.

A: Pours an opaque inky black in color with some very faint dark brown hints when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall dark tan head that reduces by about 50% but a nice thick flavor remains covering the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Wow, this beer has a really enticing smell. Lots of dark chocolate (almost fudge-like in smell) and some dark cherry fruit sweetness. There are some more subtle hints of anise, coffee, and some oak/wood.

T: This beer has a full dark roasted malt body but with quite a bit of sweetness. There is a great sweet dark chocolate almost brownie-like flavor with some great dark cherry fruit flavor. Lots of freshly brewed coffee notes and some hints of anise. The bourbon also really comes through in the flavor with the contributions of oak, tannins, and some vanilla.

M: Full bodied with low to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: This is a really phenomenal stout - I really enjoyed the dark cherry fruit contribution to the flavor and smell. Amazingly complex but well balanced. This is a great beer and I want more.

Photo of Brown120
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

the 13th highest rated beer on BA huh? cool! had the pleasure to try a 2009 vintage side by side with a 2010 (lucky me, i know). the 09 was slightly lacto infected and so off just a bit, but smooth and rich and decadent and one of a kind, but ths review will be for the 2010 vintage. it pours an absolutely black abyssal color (hehe) with a fairly good size mocha head for a 2 year old beer on oak. doesnt let a lick of light through. smells insane. mental. especially as it warms here. smells really really dark malty roast. some espresso notes, fruity pipe tobacco, raisins, bourbon, old oak, and plenty of alcohol. wow. flavor is spicy up front, with notes of licorice and black pepper even. it mellows to a quick second of something sweet, but it isnt the molasses. i cant place it, and im drinking it too fast trying to figure it out, so for now suffice it to say a dark fruity sweetness, but just for a moment. maybe pruple grape even, like jolly ranchers, but not artificial. i just dont know. then comes the bourbon woody vibes. bigtime. the complexity here is through the roof. feel is deadset perfect. perfect. it starts sharp and strong, with a foamy rising expansion in the mouth thats like a whispy cloud passing quickly by. it feels so light because of this, airy even, but the body upon close assessment is not as heavy as you might think. scarily drinkable. it winds down with a very smooth alcohol burn, like a very fine glass of scotch at room temperature. aftertaste is espresso and oak and booze. im amazed how the carbonation still is active after 2 years and a some time on wood. mellow, but certain. overall im not sure this is the 13th best beer in the world, but i am confident its the best imperial stout ive ever had, and im not sure what i would change about it. the sex appeal here is massive. a wonderful bottle of beer, and i will look forward to my next. i will relent and say it is indeed worth the hype!

Photo of motorhed
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of oaktree42
1/5  rDev -77.8%

Photo of blindseer
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,276 ratings.