The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,614 | Reviews: 1,623 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Well, I'm finally cracking an Abyss. I've been sitting on this one for a couple of years, and to top it off, it's an '09, so it could very well be an Abyss-ident, which I will actually be OK with as I really like tart beers anyway. I'm drinking this one to celebrate kicking off my next job search, hence, plunging into The Abyss. Here goes... Poured from the bottle into a snifter, review is from notes taken on 11/18/2011.
Appearance: Definitely looks like it should -- pour is a deep dark coffee brown/black and it starts with a pretty huge 2 and 1/2 finger head that looks like a milkshake sitting on top of the beer, and it has very good retention; beer is dark (duh) and entirely opaque; body looks moderately thick, and about where the American Double is at its best, but not as thick and chewy looking as a good RIS strikes me; thick, foamy sheets and rings of lacing are left behind on the sides of the glass.
Smell: Oh yes, it's infected. The second the cap is popped, it becomes more than evident. The most dominant smell is a funky, tart cherry ; a creamy and milky chocolate scent with some dark roasty/burnt coffee lies beneath.
Taste: It's actually really good, and I wouldn't mind if Deschutes wanted to bottle this beer including the infection on an annual basis; I thought that the tart/sour cherries would be the most dominant flavor, but actually, dark chocolate and strong roasty/burnt coffee (or even espresso?) is easily the most potent of the flavors, and the tart/sour cherries come in a strong second and compliment; bit of a lactic sour aftertaste lingers; alcohol isn't really present until I get some vapors in the back.
Mouthfeel: Body is a little thicker in the mouth than it appeared on the pour, and it's rather milky and creamy with a fair bit of grit sticking to the teeth; a thick and very sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth and it really feels like it's coating the whole way down my throat to my tummy, where there is a warming sensation from the sour/tartness, but also likely because of the higher ABV.
Overall: Definitely worth drinking. I've only had The Abyss one time prior to this (actually, it was a three year vertical tasting that I managed to get very small portions of), and I liked the uninfected version more, but this is definitely a drinkable bottle and I feel kind of fortunate that the infection didn't make it unbearable in any capacity. Deschutes is a solid brewery, and probably one of the most consistent in the nation, and I will continue to seek out their beers every chance I get, even when there are obvious mistakes in the process.
Serving type: bottle
11-19-2011 02:54:14 | More by bamadog
5/5 rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Awesome beer. Hop tarness at the back of the tongue followed by coffee flavors and a warming alcohol burn down the throat. Head retention is good, with the color similar, if not darker than the brown on the label on the bottle. Pours like cough syrup but drinks smooth. Only grip is gettin the wax capping off to open the bottle. Served in a pint glass at 45*.
A5 S4.5 T5 M5 D5
Vintage 2007 reviewed on 3/15/11
Pours black of course, brown head with chunky lacing. Smells of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, char and roast, a bit of smoke as well. Taste is chocolate, coffee and soy, licorice has diminished. Mouthfeel has thinned a bit, but still quite nice. Real smooth, carbonation medium high, and faaar too drinkable.
A5 S4.5 T4 M4.5 D5
Smells of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, sour cherries. Pours pitch black (of course), tan head. Taste is complex; chocolate and coffee with a well balanced sweetness dominate, toffee, cherries, vanilla, caramel notes. Alcohol heat has died down considerably yet plays well with the bitter chocolate and residual malt sugar. Medium thick and creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable. I can see that my stock of this will not see too many more years...
A5 S5 T5 M5 D5
Tasted on 20 March 2010
Poured into a Stella tulip at 40*. Pours thick, with a billowing tan head that slowly falls to 1/4" after several minutes. Black of course, what else would you expect from greatness such as this? Aroma is sweet and sour, it makes me think of sour cherries, charred oak and bitter chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick without being cloying and syrupy. Taste is mellow chocolate up front with a sour bitterness, followed by smoke and what I can only describe as black patent malt. A little on the boozy side but still one of my favorites, this one will mellow nicely in my cellar.
Vintage 2010; reviewed 11 December 2010.
Pours black of course, slight amber edges, thick cocoa head tha falls to nice lacing. Smells of cocoa, malt, sweetness, licorice, anise, oak and vanilla. The oak is a lil heavy but will age nicely. Taste is chocolate covered raspberry, oak tannin, slight licorice; mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, the fullest I can remember since the 06 vintage. Really heavy and coats the mouth, alcohol is subdued to the aftertaste, this will age beautifully. As it lingers on my palate I get more coffee and roast malt, burnt sugars, this is all 5s across the board!
Reviewed on 16 Nov 2011
Pours the obvious opaique black, ample tan head. Smell is just a hint on pine hoppiness, coffee, dark chocolate, and slight char. Taste is chocolate followed by muted coffee, vanilla, anise, and a cherry-like fruity tartness. Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is medium. Hot damn, alcohol is well hidden but present, another win for Deschutes!
Serving type: bottle
11-19-2011 01:50:16 | More by youradhere
4.7/5 rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2010 Vintage. Says best after 11/15, but couldn't wait, and drank on my birthday (11/6)
Poured from 22oz bottle into Bordeaux glass.
Aroma: Nice--hot cocoa, blueberry, fudge brownie, vanilla, and smooth, light bourbon.
Appearance: 1/2 finger dark tan foamy head. Charcoal-black body. A fine sheet of foam remains as the legs of the brew drip down the inside of the glass.
Flavor: Hoowah! Dark chocolate, molasses, some smoke, and bourbon. Light vanilla, some butterscotch, and black licorice contribute to a very well-integrated sweetness. At the end is a light mineral quality, and a nice bitter finish that lingers.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low creamy carbonation, medium-full body, and some nice warmth from the alcohol.
Overall: An EXTREMELY well-balanced imperial stout. It measured up to all of the buzz I'd heard about it. I wish I had another 2010 to hold onto for a couple of years, and might try to get my hands on one. You should too!
Serving type: bottle
11-18-2011 02:03:12 | More by mdvatab
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,614 ratings.