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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,518 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,518
Reviews: 1,732
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,604
Gots: 2,691 | FT: 204
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2006

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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,518 | Reviews: 1,732 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 12packpoet
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of rawfish
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of j1knapp
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BCross
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

From the tap at Uptown Brothers in Denver.

A - Perfect fit for an Imperial Stout. Nice creamy head and color.

S - Roasted barley, some chocolate and coffee noticeable. Not overpowering and very pleasing.

T - The server recommended letting the beer warm up a but before sampling to really bring out the full flavor but I couldn't resist. Slightly sweet but very favorable. Very easy to drink. The taste of chocolate malt lingers for and is quite tasty.

M - Rich and full. Very solid.

D - An excellent beer and if I didn't know better I would have thought it was lower in ABV due to how smooth it was and easy to drink. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 12-30-2010 20:46:25

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

A bottle Abyss, 2010 from the cellar at approx 50 degrees, served in a Karmeliet tulip glass.

A- Looks perfect; black with nice chocolate, brown head and nice lacing, leaving a thick, sticky residue of foamy head on the glass.

S-Delicious, definite hints of molassass/syrup, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and subtle hint of smoke (oak). Because of the large bottle, the second glass definitely had a nicer aroma as the beer warmed a bit. But light to the nose, expected a little bit more?!

T-The taste is lighter than it looks and lighter than expected. I've always heard about the licorice with this beer, and I was hesitant to try because I absolutely hate black licorice, but I did not notice licorice at all. The taste was very smooth, nice mild carbonation, and a nice crisp finish, with no heavy alcohol on the back side. At 11%, you the alcohol blended very well.

M-The texture of the beer is nice also with the light carbonation and the flavor carrying over in the aftertaste and not the alcohol.

Overall, the is a delicious beer, but I honestly don't think it is a 100 beer, but definitely a mid-90's; a 95/96! I am torn between my favorite stout, the Goose Island Bourbon County and this; very comparable!
I have a CBS that I have just acquired and can't wait to compare between the top 3 I. Stouts of my U.S.

Photo of Stouttyme
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of rodenbach99
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 reserve from a 1pt 6oz brown bottle with black wax on top, offered by Julien and Pierre-Luc. A young beer that is best after 8/4/2012. Thick dark black-brown ale with a nice brown head. A very complex empiromatic nose with some coffee, vanilla (oak), nice smokiness and balsamic vinegar. This ale is long, round and velvety. It's easy to find tobaco, coffee, smoke and a hop finale that taste like dust. The rostiness of the malt brings out good flavor. Not an easy drinking beer, it's a sipping beer to share with friends.

Photo of jnaustxdom
5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of sammo
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Antonion10
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of phisigben
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle tasted in 2011

Pour black as used motor oil, with a nice dark fudge colored head about two finger width and it remains for a little while. The nose has settled on this one the chocolate is subtle along with coffee, oak/bourbon, and dark fruits. The flavors have mellowed and came together extremely well no one flavor comes right out all of them are subtle when this was fresh the chocolate and coffee were the first two flavors and the lingered on your palette. Now those flavors have settled and the oak/bourbon and roasted malt have came through more and more with age. The mouthfeel is wonder nice and creamy with good carbonation and has thinned a little with age. Over all this is one of the best aged beers that I have ever had.

I had four botles of this and every year I have cracked one sadly this was the last '08 but I would have to say every year this beer has gotten better and better with age. Now I am going to cry a little bit that I don't have any left in my cellar.

Photo of blinkypalerrmo
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of dachp
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.97/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just received a batch of 2011 Abyss from a great trading partner: Johngalt1. We decided that we wanted to review a bottle of 2011 fresh and compare with fresh notes from last years. I had to mark this serving type as a 'can' as, for whatever reason, I can't review a different vintage with the same serving type.

Appearance aside, this really smells and tastes like a completely different beer. High SRM but not quite black. This really borders on coffee black than true black with plenty of ruby around the edges. Low, but evident carbonation, makes a small 1/4" head that quickly fades.

First impressions of the aroma are caught up in roast and chocolate malts. Very fudgey while chilled, more wine-like aromas come up as Abyss creeps towards room temperature. I smell delicate white wine and chardonnay. This has much more oak in the bouquet than the 2010 did. No fruity aromas like the previous year, a bit of fruit comes out in the flavor. Oaked white wine and baker's chocolate are centerstage in the flavor. Very simple on the tongue. Earthy hops. Smooth mouthfeel. Velvety.

All in all, this is still a fantastic beer but logic tells me that the recipe has changed... Can this even be the case? Oak and wine are much more prevalent whereas fruitiness is mostly absent. It'll be nice to do a vertical soon.

Photo of Tmappin
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jegross2
3.86/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery. This is universally hailed as one of the top imperial stouts made in America.
Score: 87

November 2011 vintage bottle -- best after 08/04/12 -- served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/22/12. I have three of these bottles so I'd figured I'd have one relatively fresh, one at the "best after" date, and one a year after that.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque, pitch black color with two full fingers of foamy dark tan head that settles into a thin layer across the top of the glass. Amazing lacing -- as the head settles, it leaves a thick, sticky residue of foamy head on the side of the glass. 5/5

Smell: Creamy milk chocolate, roasted chocolate and coffee prominently featured. Roasted malts, light brown sugar, light cherry and some vanilla complement the coffee/chocolate aromas. There is a light anise (black licorice) aroma, mixed with hints of alcohol, in the background. If you swirl the beer, the creamy chocolate aromas exponentially increase. As it warms, more cherry notes come out in addition to a hint of dark berries towards the back end of the nose. 4/5

Taste: Creamy bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee upfront. Some dark licorice and "dark cherry" on the midpalate. Very light notes of dark berries towards the finish. Finish is quite coffee heavy. Not getting a whole lot of barrel characteristics, though there are hints of oak and vanilla at points as the beer layers. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Finish is bitter and slightly acidic. 4/5

Overall: A solid, but nothing special imperial stout when drank relatively fresh. The bottle implores you to wait nearly a year after picking it up before drinking it, so it will be interesting to see how this one improves with age. Certainly an interesting beer to seek out, but I'd recommend aging this one rather than drinking it fresh. Not because I know how it'll age, but rather based on reputation. As it drinks fresh, it is not worth going out of your way to seek out.

Recommendation: Age this one. It does not live up to its hype -- at least not when drank fresh.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $14.99

Photo of dlello2
4.5/5  rDev 0%

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,518 ratings.