1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

4,898 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,898
Reviews: 1,643
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,499
Gots: 2,215 | FT: 155
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: 4,898 | Reviews: 1,643 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoody11
5/5  rDev +10.6%

pwoody11, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of BeforeNoon
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucky enough to find this at the Freddy's in Vancouver, WA. No bottle limit, so there's one for the cellar.
2011 22oz. poured in my Smuttynose tulip.

A: opaque black with fine dark tan head.

S: semi sweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a hint of coffee.

T: very much like it smells (amazing), but with rich malty sweetness that I couldn't quite pinpoint on the aroma. I can definitely taste the molasses as the glass warms up.

M: full bodied. strong alcohol warmth and oak/bourbon hits first followed by a complimenting chocolate and vanilla sweetness. the end swirls the mild coffee bitterness with vanilla.

O: This may be the finest beer I've ever had. The problem I have with most oak aged beers is that it tends to dominate the entire profile of the beer. According to the label this beer was blended from 4 batches! I would have loved to been there when they figured out the ratios, because they nailed it. No single flavor overpowers the next. Here is a perfect example of a truly complex beer where it is evident that everyone involved is passionate about what they do. I want more. Much, much more.

BeforeNoon, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Ungertaker
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Fiftieth review!)
2007 Vintage poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours as black as a starless night with no light penetration. A half-finger mocha-colored head leaves a thick lacing with the first few sips, then fades to a thin ring.

S- A bourbon aroma accompanies the dark chocolate and cherries that radiate from this perfect beer potpourri. There is a sweetness in the scent that is somewhat of a combination of molasses and milk chocolate.

T- An absolutely perfect taste transaction of the aroma.

M- Not as thick as I thought it would be, but still on the thick side of medium or the medium side of heavy.

O- Unbelievable! The 2010 bottle I have left will definitely be remaining in my cellar for a few more years. I had this immediately after a pour of 2010 and this was leaps and bounds beyond the 2010 (and the 2010 was incredible).

Ungertaker, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of jm1229
5/5  rDev +10.6%

jm1229, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of vonbeer
5/5  rDev +10.6%

vonbeer, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Kshock
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Kshock, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage

A- Pours a small mid-mocha head on a black beer. Great lacing with above average head retention.

S- Slightly bitter chocolate aroma, somewhat muted.

T- Big roasty chocolate notes. No way this is 11%abv, booze is ridiculously well hidden. Small tastes of oak and bourbon. Leaves an awesome taste in the back of the throat.

M- Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

D/O- Delicious chocolatey goodness shared with my girlfriend! Very smooth, a real treat. The Abyss deserves every accolade it receives.

Duff27, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Jstark5150
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Jstark5150, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of kayrex
5/5  rDev +10.6%

kayrex, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of SirWilliam666
5/5  rDev +10.6%

SirWilliam666, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Abyss, sampled at the brewpub in the PDX pearl pub. The 2011 version seems to be built for the long haul, and is massively preportioned. The dark chocolate and molasses seemed to dominate the flavor profile, but with some noticeable licorice and bitterness in the finish. The intensity of flavor in the 2011 is impressive, and initially I found it difficult to drink/enjoy. However, the beer softened a bit as it warmed, and became increasingly enjoyable and drinkable. Regardless, this is an impressive effort, and is a beer that I suspect will only improve with age. I bought a bunch, so I guess I'll get to see. :-)

The 2012 version, sampled at the PDX brewpub in the pearl. Like the 2011, the 2012 is another RIS that seems to be built for the long haul. Massively built, there is plenty of coffee, dark chocolate and licorice in this beer, along with a considerable amount of roasty malt (mostly on the palate, but it comes across on the nose as well). The 2012 was a bit more approachable young than the 2011 (I had no problem drinking down my snifter), but still struck me as a beer that will likely improve with time. Unfortunately, the brewpub had already blown through their allocation (180 cases I was told), so will have to look around town to find some bottles to age.

2013 Abyss sampled at the brewpub in the PDX pearl. Really like the 2013 fresh, as it tastes like Deschutes has dialed back the hops a bit, with the beer showing a bit more richness and creaminess on the palate. This still comes across as a big beer, but there are some attrative nuances of wine and dark fruits (not sour) that seemed to mingle well with the considerable dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. I also don't seem to be picking up quite as much licorice this year, though it's still there (just more in the background). While I'm sure this beer will age well as always, it's also very attractive and sexy in it's youth as well (something that is not always the case with young Abyss).

John_M, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at the black friday event at Capone's. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a half finger of tan head. There is some very nice lacing and a good amount of retention.

Smell: Cocoa and roast with mild coffee. Sweet smells of molasses and some dark fruit.

Taste: Unbelievably smooth. Roasty cocoa and coffee notes up front. Quite sweet, mild dark fruit notes. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is just awesome! Lives up to the hype. Very smooth, sweet, and roasty. I will definitely have more in the future.

oline73, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Dizzy
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Dizzy, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of RMoeNay
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

RMoeNay, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of NVbeer
5/5  rDev +10.6%

NVbeer, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of touchmeimsac
5/5  rDev +10.6%

touchmeimsac, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of deapokid
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

deapokid, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of beav19
5/5  rDev +10.6%

beav19, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

tulip

2011 offering (so stoked to try the one I am cellering in a few years)

a - beautiful deep silky black/dark brown, very nice half finger stick around almost brown head and some sticky legs and lacing

s - OH MAN! Smells, like a beautiful fall/winter day, Best coffee smell I have smelled in a stout hands down, milk and dark chocolate, terrior, oak, vanilla, chocolate dipped cherries, smooth hand crafted bourbon but not boozey, slight dark berries from the wine barrels, tobacco, anise, molasses, candy sugar, toasted to perfection malts, a slight grassy almost hop like smell, some peat or maybe just Oregon soil and some slight toffee

t - bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, oak, cherries, toffee, soil, awesome bitter sweet, licorice, tobacco, tons of sweet and toasty malts, hop pop in the mouth, molasses, black berries, hints of a well done red blend and an almost fresh sod note

m - full bodied, well done complexity, well balanced, low acidity and huge long finish

d - if you don't like this beer, you may want to stop drinking or maybe even breathing all together. I am a fan of stouts, but people who hate stouts I think would enjoy this. The aroma, and taste make this beer one of the most enjoyable and very drinkable for any level beer fan

Final thought - if you don't have one get one. $12, 11% abv and everything you are looking for in a wonderful beer. Deschutes, you continue amaze!

whatthehull, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of barnzy78
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

barnzy78, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of BeerBodisafa
5/5  rDev +10.6%

BeerBodisafa, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of psychotia
5/5  rDev +10.6%

psychotia, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of teddyarrowhead
5/5  rDev +10.6%

teddyarrowhead, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of caninedevotion
5/5  rDev +10.6%

caninedevotion, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of TheFlern
5/5  rDev +10.6%

TheFlern, Nov 24, 2011
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,898 ratings.