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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

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

4,862 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,862
Reviews: 1,640
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,482
Gots: 2,203 | 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: 4,862 | Reviews: 1,640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikey711
4.53/5  rDev +0.2%

This is the 08 vintage.

A: Black as black can be. only a mild amount of mocha colored head, that did not retain very well. Only a touch of lace is present.

S: Very nice roastiness, with some coffee that is held up by a a nice wood and vanilla note. Some of the bourbon comes out as well and provides a tough more sweetness.

T: Very nice chocolate note to start. The chocolate is both sweet and bitter. The wood is noticeable and provides some vanilla and bourbon flavor. It has a bit of breadiness/ chocolate chip cookie sweetness.

M: Super creamy, smooth, and full bodied with out being overwhelmingly heavy, cloyingly sweet, or chalky. Also, there is no booziness present at all.

D: Very easy to sip on for a long period of time. The best part is how like this feels despite being such a big beer.

mikey711, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of BDJake
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%

Bought a bottle stating: best before 11/1/2010, but I refused to wait on this one:

A- black, no hints of other colors whatsoever. Dark brown head that left lacing at every sip.

S- coffee notes, with some of the licorice and bourbon slapping you in the face with a bit of unsweetened cocoa

T- coffee and licorice up front, with the dark chocolate and bourbon notes immediately following- very much like the smell, just enough hoppiness to balance out the dark malts and also tasting the alcohol in this beast of a stout

M- decent carbonation, hiding the alcohol rather well, but still very chewy

D- exceptionally well for the strength of this one, understandably burly yet smooth

It isn't perfect, but it really hits the spot, and I will very likely buy one to cellar and sample in the future.

BDJake, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of Genghis22
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%

Best After 11/1/2010 on the bottle.

I've had several vintages of The Abyss, but this is first bottle I've sat down to review. Here we go!

A - Pours a deathly dark black. This isn't just a clever name folks. Zero light gets through, no highlights at the edge of the glass when held up to the light, this thing is BLACK. Big, brown head, with amazing lacing.

S - Everything a RIS should be. Big malty, smokey flavors. A decent amount of oak. Bits of sweetness and coffee. Smells awesome.

T - Strong. Lot of alcohol. This one needs some age. Yee Haw! Big coffee flavors. Roasted malt, smoke oak, vanilla, cocoa, alcohol, and just when you can't handle any more, the hops hit you and balance it out. The flavors have not harmonized yet, that is for sure, but each one is there, and delicious. This will only improve over time. The aftertaste is bitter sweet, like a good cup of coffee, with more touches of oak. (This would be a "5" if I sat on it for a year.)

M - Excellent. Full body. Thick, chewy and amazing. Moderate carbonation, which works very well with a beer this big. The finish is crisp and dry. The alcohol dries the tongue nicely.

D - Whoa! While this beer is easily in my top 3 all time, it is one and done. The flavors are amazing. The mouthfeel is perfect. It's just too much to have more than one at a time. The only way I'd crack more than one bottle of this, is if I was doing a vertical with some friends (which I plan to do next year). Fantastic beer, but really, one is all you need.

Genghis22, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of DNA
4.28/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured at room temperature into a snifter. This beer is aptly named, there is no light penetrating this stuff. The appearance is silky dark, thick, and rich. Just looking at it I can already anticipate the flavors and mouthfeel. The barrel aging shines through in the aroma. Very delicate but noticeable leathery smell. Very pleasant and warming. The taste starts out chocolatey but the alcohol quickly punches through in the finish. Some licorice but that's more in the aroma than the taste. Very complex flavor that probably changes with age. I'll have to save a bottle for a few months and compare. This beer is pretty darn thick. Definitely a sipper.

DNA, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of velosuds
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Edit 3/25/2011 from the 2010 edition.

The 2010 The Abyss is aging extremely well. Best after 11/15/11 according to the label, which is still over 6 months away and this is the very best imperial stout I have ever had. It may be the best beer I have had. I rated the un-infected 2009 very high (4.78 as adjusted for the new weighting), but this is perfection for style IMO. I can't imagine a better imperial stout.

The aroma is intensely fragrant. I think Deschutes should develop and market a men's cologne under this trademark. I would wear it gladly. Aroma is a wonderful array of bourbon, vanilla, anise, chocolate and caramel covered graham crackers - yes smores. Awesome for a beer.

Of course it looks absolutely beautiful, for spacious skies, for dark amber waves of barley grain - I get carried away. And very easily on this dark journey that genuinely sheds light. Most mysterious. Has the characteristic Deschutes two finger head and generous lace. Dark as a moonless night. It is the antithesis of the white color spectrum. Truly gorgeous. Finer than any masterpiece in a dusty museum.

Taste is from the nether regions. Deschutes' brewers may be soothsayers, wizards, magicians, or angels, in addition to great cyclocross racers. There is the bourbon from the barrel aging, but there is also a complex sensation of dark chocolate, carmelized brown sugar, molasses, licorice, vanilla bean, and cherries. I love this craft: it is truly amazing what barley, hops, water, and yeast can produce at the hands of the skilled artisan brewer.

Mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall, this may be my favorite beer. It is a great imperial stout. At $12 to $13 a bomber, it is a better value than anything fermented from grapes. At 11% ABV it is a magnificent dark barleywine. Hats off Deschutes. Do you have something even more marvelous in the works called The Stoic? I am ready to submit to the natural law of the brewer.

Only The Abyss, and Pliny the Elder, are beers I have gone out of my way to obtain. Recently, I stopped at every beer store from Portland to Salem in search of this great Abyss that seemingly mysteriously vanished from the shelves early this summer. I found a jackpot in Corvallis, Oregon and bought nearly a case to get me through the winter.

Highest commendations Deschutes.

"The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey."

- From the label.

2009 Reserve. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Best after 11/1/2010. Couldn't wait. I was already drawn in.

A-Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through the Abyss. A two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and heavy lacing ensues. A gorgeous craft beer.

S-Deep, dark chocolate covered caramel, licorice, old fashioned molasses, and bourbon. Aroma was wonderfully intense and prominent. Very nice.

T-Caramel and roasted malts with tantalizing tastes of dark chocolate, carmelized brown sugar, espresso, molasses, licorice and vanilla bean. I would love to try an ice cream with these combined flavors. The depth and complexity is amazing, and a credit to the brew master's skills. Taste definitely improves as it warms. I imagine this will also improve as it ages.

M-Robust, but very smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-This is a great beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. The rich, complex flavor profile drew me deeper into the Abyss with each sip. I definitely enjoyed the journey, and enjoyed sharing it with my son.

velosuds, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of vtfan77
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%

I haven't reviewed anything in nearly forever. The list of reasons for this is long and distinguished (like my johnson) and, as such, shall not be written here. I will, however, write a review for the Abyss, a beer that I have been keeping around for about a year for various reasons, most of which are some variation of "I was waiting for a special occasion" or "I was too lazy to cut through all the wax on the bottle." Tonight, being neither a special occasion nor a night on which I'm feeling particularly productive, is, nevertheless, the right night for reviewing this beer. So, without further ado...

A- Black as the very night, which is a bit of a misleading description, as the night is not actually entirely black. Neither, though, is this beer, so it's quite appropriate, actually. The dark liquid is topped by a fantastic brown head that is, in fact, so fantastic that I briefly lost my breath upon viewing it.

S- Thankfully I found my breath in time to inhale the aroma of the beer, which was quite nice both because the aroma was excellent and because I didn't die from lack of oxygen to the brain. Dark chocolate, espresso, burnt toast, buttery vanilla, and a hint of whiskey are all present in the aroma. Although that doesn't really do the aroma justice, as it is much more pleasant than I would expect something consisting only of dark chocolate, espresso, burnt toast, buttery vanilla, and whiskey to be.

T- I take a sip, and I hear an angel cry. Or it may be a baby on the TV, I'm not sure. I turn the TV off and take another sip. Nothing. I guess it was the TV. Anyway, the taste is much like the smell, only instead of smelling it, I can actually taste it, which is better. The dark chocolate taste predominates but it is complemented by a wonderful burnt edge. The whiskey flavor is not immediately apparent but it comes through in the form of a richness that doesn't exist in most stouts. That's what this beer's flavor has over most other beers in its class: complexity. Although my palate is not nearly refined enough to pick out all the subtleties in the taste, I can certainly appreciate this beer's depth of flavor. The finish is moderately bitter with an aftertaste of burnt paper... which, somehow, is a good thing here.

M- Extremely smooth, extremely rich, not really extremely thick but thick enough, and extremely good. To the extreme.

D- Well, I wouldn't normally want to drink an entire bomber of an 11% ABV imperial stout in one sitting, but I want to drink this one. I suppose that's a plus. As far as imperial stouts go, this one is superb in the drinkability department.

I had a Stone IRS, which at one time was one of my absolute favorite beers, last night to see how it would compare with the Abyss. The Abyss beat the life out of it, resuscitated it with a defibrillator, and beat the life out of it again. Now, you might look at the scores I've given these beers in my reviews and ask why this score isn't higher and the Stone score lower. I'll reply by saying, "look, isn't that Garrett Oliver?" and running away. Then, after I think of something to say, I'll come back and tell you it's because I reviewed the Stone IRS a long time ago and my palate and/ or the beer has changed in that period of time. So there. Anyway, if you've been reading this "review" (which we'll call it for the sake of brevity) and wondering if I'd ever get to a point, then wonder no more, because here it is: this is a good beer. If you can get some, I would recommend that you do so at your convenience. Thank you.

vtfan77, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

2007 Release drank from the bottle into a chalice for my 250th review.

It pours a motor oil black with a very dark tan head. It stays pitch black even in the light. The head rises about 1 finger and stays there for about a minute. Tht lacing is light and watery, little small raindrops clining to the glass.

The aroma is very strong. As I write the review I start to get whiffs of yuminess from about 2 feet away. I really like this smell because unlike most stouts its biggest note isn't coffee. The coffee is there but very subtle so it allows other things to come to the front. I get a lot of sweet cherry, vanilla, bourbon, a smidge of alcohol and a little oak. A very nice combination all the way around.

The taste is a little of a let down from the aroma because its not as complex, balanced or as sweet as the aroma. Don't get me wrong it is very good, just a little below the high expectations of the aroma. The main taste is coffee from start to finish with a little bitterness, and alcohol at the end. There is also a little vanilla and oak.

The beer itself is full bodied and heavy, and its very long lasting on the palate.

The beer is pretty drinkable for its abv, but comes up a little short of some other stouts.

jrallen34, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of yuriruley
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%

2009 reserve bottle.

Appearance - Very dark all the way down to the bottom. Nice tall tan head that holds well. Very frothy looking, the foam sticks to the glass on the way down.

Smell - First thing I notice is a good licorice smell with a toasted hint to it overlayed with the molasses with hints of vanilla and bourbon.

Taste - Toasted flavors with a good molasses/vanilla flavor, can taste the alcohol right at the end. The flavors all tie together really well compared to most beers I have had.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability - Full body, very creamy and pleasing to the palate. Not overly carbonated, I find it incredibly easy to drink which was surprising for such a big beer.

Notes: Easily my new favorite beer. I am a big fan of deschutes beer and this easily the feather in their cap. It has the strong flavors I have come to expect from them because of their beers like Black Butte Porter, and Obsidian Stout. Along with easy drinkability which is something I appreciate about their beers.If you haven't tried this, find a way to you won't be disappointed. I am going to visit my mom this weekend or the next and she lives close to Bend where the brewery is, so I will hopefully try it on tap. I bought three bottles of this, the other two are getting cellared for special occasions. If I had the money I'd go back and buy a case, but alas I am a poor college student so these will have to do for now. Can't wait to try this after it has reached the "best after 11/1/2010", maybe I will save a bottle for next Thanksgiving or Christmas seems like it would go well with a holiday meal anyway.

yuriruley, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of sterstar1
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%

Excellent beer. Enjoy it every time I have the chance. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's high in alcohol but not so much that it's over powering. I taste hints of candy, perhaps red vines or another red licorice. but then it balances out to a great finish. If you haven't tried it, you really should. You'll be glad you did.

sterstar1, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%

review #200 - dedicated to the 6 month * 1/2 birthday* of my son, Alec.

Vintage 2007 Poured into a Bells stemmed Tulip

thick jet black and as the tulip filled, the mocha head rose leaving almost 2 inches worth at the top. slowly disappeared leaving mocha lacing.

HUGE sweet candy and bourbon notes with subtle hints of dark chocolate and light coffee. quite sweet. a bit of booze. huge for a stout, just huge.

sweet coffee and roasted malts up front. a subtle bourbon flavor mixed in and on the lips. light hints of chocolate buried at the bottom. molasses and licorice were very dominant in the finish and even in the aftertaste. the flavors really have emerged after 2 years. not much booze for 11% ABV.

thick and syrup, light carbonation and crazy smooth

i am QUITE glad i have a few more of these as this is dangerously drinkable. Deschutes really set the bar high with this release. amazing flavors have me forcing myself to hold back.

perfect

hooliganlife, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

A huge thanks to armock for the trade. This is a 2007 bottle.

A: Pours an opaque black color. I am truly staring into the abyss. A two finger tan head rises with great retention. Tons of sticky spiderweb lace is left behind.
S: Toasted dark malt. Layers of chocolate and vanilla. Some dry woody oak aromas. Light licorice and syrupy molasses.
T: Follows the nose. Dark toasted malt, but not roasted. I find that interesting. Most stouts of this nature are just overwhelming roasted flavors. A bit more coffee flavor than was in the nose. Some bitter chocolate and vanilla.
M/D: A huge full body that is low on the carbonation. Velvety smooth and creamy. Alcohol is still noticeable a little after two years. I am having no problems finishing the bottle though. A great beer to sip on.

I have had this several times. The first few times, the bottle was pretty much brand new. It was a little raw and rough around the edges. There is still some alcohol here, but it is much more mellow and subtle than previous tastings. Overall, one monster of a beer that is indeed world class. Get some.

champ103, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of Wiessmonkey
4.97/5  rDev +10%

Wow, a beautiful beer with an oatmeal cookie head and this head stood the test of time.
Head was very malty, a golden brown and not overly sweet. The beer itself had a rich deep color but was not so thick you cannot see light through.
Nose is a good balance of alcohol, malt and has a floral tint.
Taste was great. rich and thick up front. Middle was slightly nutty with malt and a touch of hoppiness. The finish lasts and made me want to sit back and wait for a while before returning.
The head just stayed on top making great lines around the pint glass I was drinking out of.
the body of this beer was well balanced nt too thick but a good coating was left to help sustain a lasting flavor.
I wish i lived closer to where i had this, i will definitley make the trip to get more.

Wiessmonkey, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of Arceo
5/5  rDev +10.6%

This is one of my favorite beers of all. If you haven't had the chance to try this, do so if you can.

Cracked one of these open while camping at about 9 months after release, so it had some age on it.

A. Dense dark and opaque. I can't see any light through this even at the edges. Brown medium head that stays there for a minute, then settles to a thin film that never leaves. Lacing is present.

S. Wow , just wow. Dark chocolate, bourbon, cant wait to taste it.

T. Chocolate and caramel at first, then some mild bitter flavor for just a second, sweet toffee , maybe some coffee, more flavors then i can think of really, each sip of this I can pick out different ones until its gone. Yummy beer, almost like candy really, its that sweet and tasty.

D. Cant detect the alcohol in this at all , its very hidden, but it does have a kick, so cant drink a whole lot of it, but for the % its so damn smooth.

Arceo, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of biggied
4.7/5  rDev +4%

A - Muddy brownish black into a snifter. Thick as paint.

S - Smells of molasses, chocolate & alcohol.

T/M/D - Taste is unbelievably smooth for how it smells! Sweet licorice, molasses, followed by a smoke flavor.

Awesome Imperial Stout and it is everything everyone has raved about. Absolutely amazing beer wish the -OH was a little more hidden as you can taste the strength on the tongue.

Its smells strong of alcohol and is well hidden until the end but still very smooth.

Serving type: on tap at Callahan's

biggied, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of auroracrisis
4.88/5  rDev +8%

2007 Vintage that I got in a trade from Solomon420. Thanks again Damian, never thought I'd be able to try this vintage!

Pours an oily pitch black with little splashing and a decent two finger head. Lots of legs on the lacing with tiny bubbles throughout the foam. A great looking beer for sure.

The smell is delicious. Dark molasses is up front with a bit of oak in the back, as it warms I can smell a tingle of alcohol coming through in the smell.

I began reviewing this midway through the bottle due to how good it tastes. I have had the 2008 vintage before and felt the same way about it but with another year on it this beer really shines. Dark molasses, oak, fudgey chocolate cake and alcohol all come through in this. It's such a perfect double stout that I wish Deschutes had the ability to brew this year round and have it available for me to consume locally.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but it does not take away from it at all. I like it this way for some reason, if it were any more thick it would take away from the drinkability.

Drinkability is through the roof. I could drink a case of this in one night if I could power through the alcohol.

Overall, this is a must try. When I can, I'm gonna try and get as much as this as I can afford and Liquid Solutions will allow me to order. A fantastic beer.

auroracrisis, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.97/5  rDev +10%

2007 Reserve 22oz waxed capped bottle sent to me in a trade (well over a year ago) with BeerTruth, Thanks Adam!

Served in a snifter this beer is pitch black with a brown head that thinned to a layer but still left bits of lacing.
Excellent aromas fill the nose, oak, coffee, chocolate and black licorice.
All that is in the smell is in the taste, absolutely delicious and delightful.
Full bodied, rich, creamy and smooth.
So very easy to drink, slow down and enjoy this one sip by wonderful sip.

*Note: I cellared this beer for over a year because I wanted to save it for my 1000th review...
I made it, Cheers!

JoeyBeerBelly, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

Vigorous pour resulted in two fingers of thick, mocha colored head. It is slowly subsiding, leaving an almost complete coating of lace along the circumference of the glass, though it does slowly slide down into the finished product.

Smells surprisingly of flora, oak, hot cocoa, and cookie. The bouquet is actually quite bright. Tastes of intense dark fruits, oak, complex sugars, a touch of licorice. Chocolate liqueur on the midpalate, finishes with black malts and sugar cookie. The flavor is quite intense and palatable for something so strong. A lot of residual sweetness makes this one something to share for me. I'd like to have this beer 100% aged in a spirit barrel.

vacax, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of MadeInOregon
4.43/5  rDev -2%

wow, yall are crazy for this beer! haha! never had barrel aged beer before? ;)

unlike what a lot of peeps here probably did, i tried to be patient and age mine and wait for a special occassion rather than cracking it open the night i bought it. so, after letting it sit for 10 months i opened it and was not disappointed.

poured into a wide mouthed wine glass the abyss is fairly thick and black as tar. it has a surprisingly large head for such a thick beer. overall, it looks like most all the strong stouts and porters i've had. nothing too spectacular.

what i like the most about barrel aged beers is their smell. this one smells awesome! bananas and toffee are the most dominant. the bourbon barrels are well represented. one whif and i'm salivating.

the taste went something like this:
vanilla/bourbon --> licorice --> chocolate --> stout

each sip provided a complex experience which ended prominently with the same flavor as deschutes' obisdian stout...as well it should since that is the building block of the abyss. however, what's so surprising about the abyss was how much it really DID taste like their obsidian stout. once all the tremendous sweetness and strength faded what remained on the palate was dang near identical to the stout. the aftertaste was the same as well. this was kinda disappointing, especially considering i let it age for an additional 10 months--i was hoping for something a little more unusual. i like the obsidian stout, but it's not my favorite stout. it's not bad though, so having it be at the tail end of the abyss isn't a let down. it will be if you don't like it.

i think the reason people like this beer so much is because they first like the obsidian stout so much. the complexities and flavors of the abyss are to be expected from a bourbon barrel-aged brew, and they are pulled off well here. but if a different, nasty stout was used from the get go i doubt peeps would be fiending over this one. oh yeah, and the cult-following the brewery has along with the nice bottle sure don't hurt the rating either!

peace.

MadeInOregon, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of NorCalYeti
4.33/5  rDev -4.2%

taste- roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, oak, hints of licorice

color- dark chestnut

clarity- opaque but it pours clear

smell- some kind of tart character that dominates the nose, dark chocolate, bacon, bourbon, wine, bread

body- medium weight, smooth mouthfeel, oily bitter coffee finish

appearance- dark, pours with a thick brown head that backs off to a thin brown ring around the glass with residual carbonation across the top of the beer

overall impression- complex, above average imperial stout, warm alcohol, not for the faint at heart

notes- this review is for a 2008 vintage

glassware: tulip

serving temp.- 53.9 degrees

song- "eyes of the world"

NorCalYeti, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of Freethyhops
4.7/5  rDev +4%

2007 22oz bottle served in chalice

A HUGE THANKS GOES OUT TO JohnGalt1 for randomly sending me an 07 Abyss. I love BA

A- the names Abyss what do you expect. pitch black liquid produces the darkest of brown head. can't ask for a better looking stout.

S- so much going on here. a ton of smells bouncing around, daring you to dive in. here I come

T- I feel overwhelmed when having to think about describing this beer. the depth of flavors is incredible. I pick up big flavors from the coffee, chocolate, oak barrels and licorice. more in the back round is another layer, what I taste includes a nice subtle hint of the bourbon barrels, dark fruits, and just enough bitterness from the coffee hop combo to notice that it is bitter.

M/D- perfect viscosity for a stout of this magnitude. thick and oh so rich. the carbonation really sets off the bitterness provide by the coffee. rarely do I taste a beer and notice the mouthfeel enhancing the beer as well as this.

Can't give The Abyss a perfect score here. as a lover of a good stout I would drink this all day long, or atleast untill I pass out drunk, but I definitely drink this one a good bit slower than most of my other beverages. whether its the fact that I don't want this beer to ever leave my side or it's just a fact that it's a BIG beer and can't be dominated, I'll never know.

Freethyhops, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of steadydose
4.88/5  rDev +8%

07 bottle w/ a siglo III Cohiba

A: Pours black w/ traces of brown at the edges. Head is brown w/ reddish hues. Tons of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Looks very hefty and thick. Fine looking stout.

T: Wow, lots going on here. Bitterness from hops or grains, can't tell but its good. Dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, port wine all blend together for me into a long delicious finish. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had.

M: Smooth, creamy, lush, silky, pretty much spot on perfect.

D: Beer is so well integrated at this point. Well balanced between the coco sweetness and bourbon vanilla sweetness. Two years has treated this beer well. Can't imagine it could get any better.

steadydose, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of davexisxrabid
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%

Murdered about a dozen people or so over the course of a year before this 2008 bottle landed into my hands. Hard as hell to come by, guess I wasn't quick enough on the draw when it first came out. What that being said, I split this bad boy with a buddy of mine. It was his birthday and I'm glad I could split it with my homie.

Poured like used 40W motor oil. Almost black, inch high brown head that fizzled out quickly. Blame it on the al-al-al-al-cohol... sorry, I'll stop that now...

Aroma of dark chocolate, raisins, and piney hops. Diidn't expect to have any hop aroma and was actually surprised.

Dark chocolate/bittersweet flavor, licorice, caramel and smooth as hell. Couldn't taste the booze in it.

Thick mouthfeel, full bodied and heavy on the palate. This stuff coats your tounge and gets all up in your palate.

I could drink this silky smooth crack all day if I didn't value my liver or figure. True, it may not be the best I've had, but damn Gina! One fine as hell RIS. I just hope the next bottle doesn't require me going to the ends of the earth (or Oregon) to get it.

davexisxrabid, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of mothman
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%

2007 Vintage.

Poured into rare vos gold rimmed glass.

Pours 1 finger of dark tan head. Amazing retention with great lace walls. Color is a deep motor oil black. Wow, this is one of the best looking beers I have seen.

Aroma: Cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, oak, licorice, roasted malts. Wow, this beer flows so well. Very complex and rich. Simply awesome.

Taste: The components of this beer blend so well together. Rich oak, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts. I really can't taste the high abv except in the smooth bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth, creamy, and just the slightest amount of heat. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a fairly clean aftertaste, a little dry and roasted malt flavored.

Overall, this beer is simply stunning. I split this with a buddy and my half is going fast. I wish I had an entire bottle of this for myself, but I am happy to share it. Drinkable, amazing, great. I want more.

mothman, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of boralyl
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

22 oz bottle served in a chalice glass.

A - 1 1/2 inches of dark tan head holds it's own before leaving some nice lacing. The beer is pitch black, just as the name states, an abyss.

S - Heavy roasted malts, and sweet molasses. There is also a slightly boozy, bourbon aroma.

M - A full-bodied stout with a smooth, creamy feel to it. Well carbonated.

T - Strong roasted malts up front followed by some molasses and dark chocolate. There's also a bit of dark fruit and then it finishes up with a roasty, dry aftertaste.

An excellent Russian Imperial Stout. The alcohol content is well hidden, and this makes a perfect night cap.

boralyl, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%

22oz bottle at Toronado in SF, then again as a Christmas gift from my boss (awesome!). This was my last beer of the night at Toronado, and it floored me.

A - Jet black with a lasting brown head.

S - Dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate. Chocolate really dominates. Aroma is pretty intense overall.

T - Toasted malts, strong coffee and molasses flavors. Loads of milk chocolate. Also some hints of dark fruit and oak barrel.

M - Thick and oily but not to a fault. Creamy, full, and smooth on the palate.

D - Actually very drinkable for an RIS. Maybe my tolerance for this type of beer is higher than other peoples'.

nickd717, Sep 08, 2009
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,862 ratings.