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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,098 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,098
Reviews: 1,654
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,577
Gots: 2,257 | FT: 160
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Abyss Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,098 | Reviews: 1,654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CasanovaCummins
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The D'Yquems of beer. The dark nectar of the gods.

Penetrating and deep. This is an encyclopedia of the very best vanilla/chocolate/coffee flavors that deepen as it warms. Hints of beef bouliion, gingersnaps, and cocoa. Lots of depth.

Silky smooth texture. Almost too easy to drink this.

A femme fatale who kills you slowly. And you like it.

Top O' the heap. This really is my ultra-uber favorite right now because it has lenghtning flavors that are like a Willy Wonka everlasting gobstopper- new flavors and nuances just keep popping up, retreat, and popping up again.

The Abyss waits for you.

CasanovaCummins, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Joshgonzales79
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Joshgonzales79, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of SgunnarW
5/5  rDev +10.9%

SgunnarW, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of n2185
3.43/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage

A: pours black with three fingers of dark tan head that fades into a thin cap with decent lacing.

S: graham, cocoa, vanilla, and some roasted coffee. Fairly muted.

T: very roasted tasting. Lots of bitter chocolate and some coffee. Faint vanilla and bourbon notes toward the finish with a slight alcohol burn.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer is nice and creamy.

O: a pretty decent imperial stout. The bourbon is almost nonexistant and the nose is very muted, though. Decent enough, though not worth the hype.

n2185, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of jreamer
4/5  rDev -11.3%

jreamer, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Souleman
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Souleman, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Jpwv
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage
Best After: 11/15/11
Drank on: 01/09/12

A- black with 1/4 inch mocha head
S- molasses, dark chocolate, maybe some bourbon sweetness
T- much the same as the nose ending with a slight hop bitterness. Great barrel woodiness lingers as an aftertaste.
M-full mouthfeel. Not Kate or Darkness creamy but still a solid mouthfeel
O- solid stout with really good flavors and mouthfeel. I would rate this as one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had. Definitely the best readily available BA stout out there.

Jpwv, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured unto a chalice. Vintage 2010 bottle served 01/09/2012.

Appearance: Pours a superior jet black, head is about 1/3" like a dark tan right off the body. Not too bubbly settles within the first sip.

Smell: comes off a bit of dark chocolate and molasses. I wish I could rate it more but it goes into your nostrils as quick as it leaves. In all seriously it still smells great.

Taste: Not so overly complex hints of molasses and incredible dark chocolate. This flavor is so intense but so smooth that it leaves you wanting for more.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, very easy to drink and easily fall in lust with.

Overall: I seriously took my time drinking this diamond in the rough, I say that because this beer is extremely rare here in NY and it is one of my top beers PERIOD! It is definitely well crafted and beautifully put together. If you see it buy it, you will thank me later flavor so potent that it hugs your cheeks. Salud!

BlurryVisi0n, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of buckyp
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

buckyp, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of schwaeh
4/5  rDev -11.3%

schwaeh, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Soxfanmcgee
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Soxfanmcgee, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Cstromberg57
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Cstromberg57, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of NWer
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed a sampler at the brewery in Eugene, on tap at a local establishment, and on nitro at the Deschutes Public House in Portland. It's about time I tick off a review - from memory.
The nitro was the most memorable but in no way demeans the beer I had on-tap. Poured dark of course into a funny looking slender/tall glass.
Sipping it slow. Want it to last forever. Smooth. Flavors: what they said. No need to be repetitive.
Can't say enough about this beer. Alcohol well hidden. No burn at all.
I am so glad I've built up a stash of the '10 and '11 to savor over time. Clearly one of the great beers.

NWer, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of will1256
4/5  rDev -11.3%

will1256, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of JimmyTango
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is black and thick with a super thin brown scummy lookin' "head." Smells like dark chocolate, coffee, a bit of leather, toasty grains, brown sugar, and a touch of tobacco. There aren't really any hops in the nose. Reminds me of an old oak cabin. The taste follows the nose with molasses up front, a nice balancing bitterness without any herbal hop flavors, and some extra black licorice in the background. I can't believe how well the booze is masked! This beer basically tastes like an old fashioned candy store tour; licorice, molasses, bitter chocolate, vanilla, and some stale coffee... no sugar or butter in sight : ) Sticky, thick, and somehow still dry without being astringent or burnt. This is amazingly smooth. I reckon anyone could get into this beer... there are none of the burnt, raisiny, sugary, boozy, or overly oaky flavors that non-stout drinkers usually poo-poo in stouts.

JimmyTango, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of 10shb
5/5  rDev +10.9%

10shb, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Idesofmarch89
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Idesofmarch89, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of kevfujii
5/5  rDev +10.9%

kevfujii, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Urprimeminister
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Urprimeminister, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of kjritt
4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

served from a bottle into a glass.

a. black as midnight in a windowless closet buried underground and your eyes are closed. good dark brown head and nice lacing.

s. molassas, smokey, and delicious. the smell of this beer is better than most other beer tastes.

t. again, molassas, with chocolate, and tangs of bourbon and a hoppy aftertaste which is surprising and extremely delightful. gets better with each sip, deeper and more complex.

m. obviously quite thick and sticky and certainly lingers even after it is gone. a meal in a glass.

o. may be the best beer i have ever had. which is difficult to say considering all the arrogant bastards and ten-fidys i have consumed. a special occasion beer to be enjoyed with your closest beer buddies. awesome.

kjritt, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of CLBizzle
5/5  rDev +10.9%

CLBizzle, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of towlea25
5/5  rDev +10.9%

towlea25, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown glass bomber with waxed pressure cap served into a Gouden Carolus goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. I had this on tap recently, less than a month ago - and I liked it. Let's see how she holds up when I have a higher volume and more time. Purchased at an off-license adjacent a Whole Foods in Colorado. Cost was 10.99 USD.

A: Pours a half finger head of tan colour, good cream, good thickness, and decent retention considering the ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black.

Sm: Rich chocolate, caramel, nuts, wonderful cream, vanilla, toffee, and light roast. Rich and decadent. Exquisite. A moderate strength aroma. Definitely a pleasant and inviting one. I can't wait to sip this.

T: Exquisite rich cream on the open, with a consistent chocolate tone throughout. Creamy and brilliant. The roast is a bit understated, but nevertheless enjoyable. It's quite cocoa-y. No coffee is present, except in perchance the finish, where it adds yet another layer of complexity. Exquisitely balanced. The caramel is just about perfect for the flavour profile - not over or understated. The nuts from the aroma never seem to make an entrance, but I think this is a good thing. Some vanilla. Heavy toffee. The alcohol doesn't come through. Most prominent - let me emphasize - is the richness of the flavours, predominantly chocolate and cream. It's really damn good.

When I look for them, I find the oak and bark notes, but they're rather subtle - which was definitely the right approach.

I don't detect molasses or licorice. Just sayin'.

Mf: Delicately smooth and incredibly delightful. Quite creamy - to its benefit - and wet. Near perfect. Not too thick or too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV (and even the style). It's a notch above even most beers in the style. They went the distance for this one.


I've copied my original on-draught review below; it was removed from the site during the duplicate serving type review. My current 4.28 rating reflects the bottle review above, not this tap review, but I thought the additional notes might be of use. The review was dated 12/11/11, but I can't remember exactly when I actually took the notes.

Served on-draught into a 5 oz sampler glass in Orange, California. This was the 2011 vintage. Expectations were wildy high due to its reputation. Reviewed from notes. I don't recall the price.

A: Pours a half finger tan colour head of nice cream and good thickness. The retention is bad - attributable no doubt to the high ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Chocolate, toffee, coffee, nuts, cream, and caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T: Chocolate/toffee form the flavour base alongside the subtle roasted malt foundation, with coffee and caramel atop and about. Fantastically milky - which I didn't expect. Perhaps cream is a better descriptor, but it isn't so in the Bailey's sense. Very complex without compromising its balance. Quite rich. Wonderful. Built very well. Bravo.

Mf: Smooth, creamy, and wet. Suits the flavour quite well. Not too thick or thin.

Dr: Highly drinkable; very rich and complex. I wish it were more available. It's marvellous on tap. I'd have it again.


kojevergas, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of AndresR
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

AndresR, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of littlespeaker
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

littlespeaker, Jan 07, 2012
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,098 ratings.