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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,628 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,628
Reviews: 1,749
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,629
Gots: 2,825 | FT: 226
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)
View: Beers (153) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,628 | Reviews: 1,749 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Miamilice
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of brydeen
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ChaseT
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of eerbayman
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Agold
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of avaldivia
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Bobbydigi
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of wsucoug96
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of BrianTheBrewer30
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +11.1%

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

2011 vintage 10 oz pour @ busters

A-pours a midnight black color with a tan head,nice lacing very thick looking in the glass

S- is great rich cocoa,wood smells,licorice and roasted malts

T- the same is delicious rich chocolate.roasted malts,taste of both vanilla and licorice, has a tweak of oak

M- silky creamy smooth all over the palate

O- in a league of its own, a pleasure for the beer taste buds

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black. Oily and viscous. Thick brown head with nice retention and lacing.

Beautiful rich and robust nose. Bursting notes of rich dark chocolate brownie, faint bourbony oak and faint leather.

Flavor is amazing and bursting with flavor as well. Faint black licorice hidden nicely behind bold dark chocolate brownie and bourbon. Mild oakiness. Mild alcohol warmth. Faint back end cacao-like chalkiness.

Mouth is rich and full bodied with a lovely velvety viscosity. Carbonation is low and creamy.

Overall an amazing beer with Alot of complexity and a wide range of flavor and good balance. A must find/try.

Photo of 2xHops
2.87/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage bottle opened and poured into a Maudite glass.

Man, this stout is dark, dark, dark, dark, dark, dark, dark. It really did look very appetizing.

The smell seems so strange. It doesn't appeal to my nose at all.

The taste is not quite what I expected. It was very good, but it was heavy on the coffee flavor profile than I expected. I certainly can taste a hint of molasses coming though, the oak coming through slightly.

The mouthfeel is very, very dry. I felt like my mouth was shriveling up worse than a prune. This is after letting the beer breathe for a long while, and I feel like something's wrong. It's not normal.

Overall, I don't see the hype. I am starting to think that I may had gotten a bad bottle that is skunked or something. I imagine I will need to try another bottle to truly see if the consistency is there. I prefer Goose Island's Bourbon Rare Stout far more to this one. It's incomparable, so I only consider this to be a decent beer, but not world class at all.

So far, so what.... I'll have to revisit this review when I somehow get another 2010 bottle, or at least try the 2011 vintage somehow.

Photo of DavidST
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter, best after date of 11/15/11. This pours a thick pitch black with an okay Mocha colored head which quickly dissipates. The smells are of dark roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate and licorice with a tad alcohol heat. The feel is thick and creamy with a mouth coating bitterness. The taste is outstanding, loads of roasted malt bitterness along with the tastes associated with the smells above. Excellent beer I wish it was more available.

Photo of DividedAvery
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vinatge
Poured from 22oz Bomber into a snifter

A: Pours obsidian black with a brown head that lingers for a short period of time

S: Sweet licorice and chocolate upfront, some good coffee flavors and booze in the back

T: Wow there is a lot going on here. I can definitely taste the licorice and chocolate. Coffee comes next just like the smell would say, roastiness and molasses comes up on the finish

M: Smooth and clean. Really nice body and feel on this one, the barrel aging is evident here in the smooth feel.

O: Great beer. One of my favorite things in this world is barrel aged stouts and this one ranks high up with the other greats.

Photo of eyeenjoybeer
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a Founders tulip.

Appearance: The body is quite dark brown to black. Head is a medium brown that grows to 8 cm or so and then slowly subsides. Light brown lacing is left.

Smell: Dark malt and light wood blend with the faintest hint of licorice. This smells beautiful. A touch of vanilla sugar comes in and out of the aforementioned notes.

Taste: Well, it's delicious. The choco-malt starts and quickly turns into a deep but not burnt roastiness. This is balanced by the sweetness of the molasses and moves into a slight oakiness with a vanilla ghost. The last, long and slow-fading notes are the molasses. I am left with the most pleasant char. Damn, this is good.

Mouthfeel: Velvety as hell. It coats, lingers, and leaves just before it might be too much. The other beer this reminds me of in mouthfeel is Black Note - another knockout.

Overall, I think this beer deserves all the praise that it has been shown before this review. I love it. Truly a masterpiece.

Photo of eat
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a trade with pintplease, thanks a ton! This is one of the rarest beers I've managed to acquire (living in Canada...) and it makes a great choice for my 400th review. Aged three years, no less (2008 vintage). Looking good as soon is it hits my glass with a super thick and oily viscosity. Pitch black body. A thin-but-dense cover of mocha head forms, leaving a little lacing.

The nose is soft and smoothed-out; all kinds of stout complexity but very integrated: oak and bourbon, black olives, salty Scandanavian black licorice, subtle lactose, lightly-smoky roast, good earthy hops. Zero alcohol. Huge, dark and earthy nose.

The Abyss is quite a fitting name here as this beer displays some of the deepest malt I've experienced, just completely saturated with huge amounts of roast malt. Light coffee and 99% dark chocolate, a perfect blending of bourbon, dry oakiness, minerals and the right hint of alcohol (insanely smooth for 11% ABV). I'm not picking up on any licorice, not even the salty variety I found with the nose. I'm not sure how this one tastes fresh but I suspect three-years' time has really smoothed-out and tied it together.

Creamy, oily, viscous body. Just the right touch of carbonation. Perfect feel for a big stout like this one.

While this beer is certainly amazing, the complexity I was hoping for somehow isn't quite there. Maybe the aging has smoothed out all the edges, I'm not sure. Sitting at #15 on BA's top 100 beers creates certain expectations and I'm not sure they were completely met. Still, this is easily one of the best beers I've tried and I would definitely seek it out again.

Photo of lurpy1
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Blue Nile. Dark black pour, hints of red peeking through. Smell, whoa, molasses, cocoa, malt. Did I mention alcohol? The Abyss doesn't do much to mask the alcohol; like the Honey Badger, it don't give a shit. No matter. Thick dense flavor waves of all of the above, with fruit coming in now and then. Thick and syrupy without being cloying.

Great drinking experience, one of the best stouts I've had.

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,628 ratings.