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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,725 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,725
Reviews: 1,768
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,666
Gots: 2,934 | FT: 242
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: 5,725 | Reviews: 1,768
Photo of korguy123
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special bottle from my birthday box. Special thanks to mdaschaf for this. Best after 11/15/2011

A- Totally opaque black pour, quite viscous. Finger width dark tan head that disappears quickly. Lacing is surprising for the age and bourbon aging.

S- Bourbon up front with coffee, molasses and dark chocolate. There is a slight smoke smell. The oak adds a slight vanilla and brown sugar. Alcohol is there but slight.

T- Right off the bat is huge coffee taste, followed by bakers chocolate. Molasses and licorice are much more subdued than the bourbon and vanilla from the oak barrels. Bitter aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, creamy and smooth. Slight alcohol warmth, quite chewy.

O- Awesome stout, would be interested to try fresh.

Photo of nmbr0ne
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter from 22oz bottle. 2010 reserve.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a thick tan head. Only a little bit of lacing on the sides of the glass, and head diminishes to a few broken up rings.

Smell: Espresso, dark chocolate notes, and the slightest smell of bourbon. Little alcohol is recognized, which I like.

Taste: Coffee that was very lightly sweetened, but it is balanced out with some bitter dark chocolate. The bitterness isn't overwhelming and it is only present until you swallow the sip. No intense detection of alcohol. Sense hints of vanilla and a tiny bit of smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not too thick. Carbonated a good amount. Too smooth for my own good. I find myself wanting to drink more and more, but this is definitely one I have to savor.

Overall: Spectacular beer. Ridiculous complexity in flavor. I love how smooth it is and how drinkable. It doesn't kick you in the face with the alcohol. It's a great beer. Hope I can get my hands on more.

Photo of Nightrain87
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of andrenaline
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Little on-line rating session with my BA bro joemcgrath27. Been saving this one since the beginning of the year, so pretty stoked to take it down.

A - Pours pitch black, two thumbs of dark mocha head, solid retention and nice chunky lacing. Superb!

S - Nice dark cocoa notes, sweet milk chocolate, touch of ABV detectable on the nose. Candied cherries and hint of peat.

T - This is a rich brew, loads of flavour with the chocolate malts dominating. Touch of ABV sweetness, some leafy hop notes, a hint of licorice and molasses lingers on the palette. A bit of oak and peat are also coming through alongside some tobacco.

M - Comes across a tad thick, but the carbonation is fitting for the style, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Perhaps the anticipation of this ale jacked up the ratings, but this is certainly a fantastic ale and made for a very memorable experience. Glad I could enjoy this alongside my BA bro and well worth the wait.

Photo of gkangas
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of rwmiscik
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of johnbjaeger
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of johnhenryconway
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage picked up by fluke in Whitefish Montana last February with my BA in crime andrenaline, he's since moved away but we're doing a team tasting over the web, STOKED
A - straight blackness, thumb of deep brown head that was not going anywhere, globs of lacing
S - very rich malt, chocolate and licorice with compliments of vanilla, and subtle woody aromas
T - BIG beer, a bold mix of roasty and sweet malt, dark chocolate with some candied cherry sweetness, mild hints of vanilla and licorice, finishes with a charred woody flavour, and the high octane keeps you warm and sweet, way too good!
M - syrupy thick with a full sticky feel, just a little dry from the alcohol
O - what can I say, its huge in all aspects, i could easily drink this all day and night at home, just hoping I can find a few more bottles on my next snowboard trip to Montana

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of CoryR
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of beefandbean22
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of wolfeman007
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bamadog
4.05/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of youradhere
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2007:
Reviewed 3/3/2008
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

Vintage 2008:
Reviewed 10/1/2010
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

Vintage 2009:
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!

2011 vintage
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!

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4/5  rDev -11.1%

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4/5  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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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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5/5  rDev +11.1%

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,725 ratings.