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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,868 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,868
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: 4,868 | Reviews: 1,641 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iSrALE
5/5  rDev +10.6%

iSrALE, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks notyourdadsbeer.com for the bottle!

Pours like motor oil. Pitch black with barely any head to speak of.

Smell is rather sweet. uh oh. Roasty malts are there somewhere and covered up by sweet cherries and sugar.

Taste is beautiful. Its roasty and smokey, very smokey at first. The malt is thick and sweet (exactly like an RIS should be). After the initial roasted malts subside, the subtle flavors come through nicely. In no particular order, I get vanilla, cherries, oak, bourbon, and licorice. Whats nice is all the flavors are still there after about 10 seconds. Probably the best beer in terms of mouthfeel I have ever had. The oak barrels are almost an after thought, but add a nice finish on what would be a very sweet, almost dubbel like beer.

Well done Deschutes and Thank you Marc!

VncentLIFE, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Fatehunter
4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle I found in the corner of a little beer store a year ago.

Poured into a glass goblet. Pitch black with a half finger of tan head.

Rich smell of molasses, roasted malt and burnt wood.

The taste is a ride in the following order: malt, milk, burnt malt, alcohol heat, whiskey burn at the end. Amazing. Each taste blends with the next in a wonderful experience.

A crisper texture with a little cream to it. Almost no carbonation.

One of the most enjoyable of the imperial/barreled style that I have had. Great smell and taste without being a burden to drink.

Fatehunter, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of 1koolspud
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

1koolspud, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Leftofthedial
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Leftofthedial, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of tatyler
5/5  rDev +10.6%

tatyler, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of kevflaherty
4/5  rDev -11.5%

kevflaherty, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of arcticstout
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage - 22oz bottle

A: Dark and foreboding, like a cold winter night. Nice and thick, and it almost seems to suck the light from the room. Light brown head which fades but leaves a distinct lacing.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, with some faint notes of bourbon and oak.

T: Roasted malts and chocolate right away, with undertones of wood, vanilla, and bourbon. The high ABV is apparent in the flavor, but not overpowering. Overall a very smooth brew considering it's strength. Can catch you off guard.

M: Very thick, coats your mouth nicely. Finish is smooth and sweet with caramel making an appearance.

O: A wonderful, wonderful beer. For an 11% imperial stout I can drink it and drink it and drink it. It's simply beautiful. Any lover of porters or stouts should try this.

arcticstout, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of trojankeg
5/5  rDev +10.6%

trojankeg, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of GarrettMD
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, pours extremely thick and syrup-y. Dark tan head, half finger thick, fades quickly to a ring around the edge.

S - A touch of alcohol, lots of roasted malts mixed with sweet chocolate. A touch of leather is there as well.

T - Chocolate, lots of chocolate. Dark chocolate and a bit of coffee are absolutely dominant in this. Roasted malts round out the backbone, the leather is almost completely gone. I get a touch of whiskey, not too much, but it's there.

M - Thick heavy body. Coats the entire mouth with chocolate and hints of whiskey. Finish is where the whiskey and leather comes back. The finish is slightly sweet and sticky with hints of fading chocolate with bourbon and leather.

O - I had this infected before, and it was still good, but this is fantastic. Much more chocolate than I was anticipating, not as much bourbon, but still fantastic.

GarrettMD, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of MattHop
5/5  rDev +10.6%

MattHop, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of JohneHoodlum
5/5  rDev +10.6%

JohneHoodlum, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of grogstah
5/5  rDev +10.6%

grogstah, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of gameface23
5/5  rDev +10.6%

gameface23, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of darkmoon66
4.25/5  rDev -6%

darkmoon66, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Abrahammer
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Abrahammer, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Centennial
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Centennial, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of fizzyted
5/5  rDev +10.6%

fizzyted, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of jrohrbacher
5/5  rDev +10.6%

jrohrbacher, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of BuckettOfBeer
5/5  rDev +10.6%

BuckettOfBeer, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of bravejoejoe
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Believe it or not, poured from a tap at Capones on Black Friday. According to Matt this keg was left over from Philly Beer Week and is the 2010 version. Poured into a small snifter glass, probably 6 ounces.

A: A thick jet black color that leaves no light through it. A small light brown head sits atop. Lacing is minimal.

S: Dark roasted smells with huge chocolate notes. Some espresso mixes in with a decent amount of woodiness. I get some sweet fruits with the sweet chocolate.

T: Massive dark chocolate flavors mix with some roasted malts and some espresso/coffee notes. The chocolate just keeps coming with some caramel sweetness that gets overtaken by the wood and smoke flavors. If I try, I gets some bourbon and vanilla from the barrels too. Just dark and dank, but oh so delicious. Alcohol creeps in on the finish but is totally welcomed.

M: Full, coating, thick, some alcohol and nice carbonation for this thick of a stout.

O: What else can I say. On tap this beer is just as great as in a bottle. This is a stellar barrel aged beer that does not punch you in the face with barrel aging. Great beer, award winning.

This was hear for Philly Beer Week and I wish we got it on a regular basis, hopefully soon. If I could get this and Black Butte, I would be totally happy.

bravejoejoe, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of rpaul2012
5/5  rDev +10.6%

rpaul2012, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of BigB415
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured into my Bruery tulip at room temperature. Thanks to my old manager who was kind enough to just give me this without expecting anything in return.

A: Pours pitch black with a thin mocha colored head. Little to no lacing. When there is little lacing it holds up pretty well.

S: Smells heavenly. I can smell the bourbon. I could smell the bourbon when I opened the bottle and I can smell the bourbon from a foot or two away after I poured it into the tulip.

T: Bourbon, dark chocolate, licorice. For some reason I also get chocolate orange flavor which is I like.

MF: I get a lot of after flavors so it stays close to the stout name. This isn't a thin stout and I'm glad for it's complexity.

O: This is still one of the best stouts out there 3 years later. I'm glad to see it hasn't gone down hill while sitting in my cellar and more thankful that this was a present. Now if only I can get some of the 2011 vintage.

BigB415, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. I've had fresh and cellared of '09 and '10, and I almost missed this years too. Anyway, here's my thoughts on the 2011 version.

Pours out as black as the name. The head is deep tan and slow to surface. It disappears pretty quickly leaving no lace.

So far I like the smell of this years the best. Chocolate and molasses sweetness start it off. Oak and the wine barrel come through next. The hint of wine barrel really jazzes up the smell. Some earth and bourbon are noticeable near the end.

The taste has a nice heat to it. Semi sweet chocolate, charred coffee beans, molasses, oak dryness and slight grain lead off the taste. The licorice taste is more of a background note this year. The barrel notes (bourbon/wine) are right at the end, with a hint of hot cocoa. Sweet, but not cloying. Goes down so smooth it's crazy.

Another top notch year for The Abyss. Probably my favorite after the aged '09.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of surlytwinsfan
5/5  rDev +10.6%

surlytwinsfan, Dec 15, 2011
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,868 ratings.