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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

5,120 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,120
Reviews: 1,659
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,582
Gots: 2,270 | FT: 163
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: 5,120 | Reviews: 1,659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed vintage 2007 on 03-04-10 courtesy of PhiDelt
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Black in color like coffee with a finger of foam at the head and a tanish/reddish ring of lacing. Couldn't tell how much lacing is present

S - Strong malt aroma, coffee and bits of fruit in the mix, Sweetness lingers, kind of like chocolate and black licorice

T - Full bodied, warming feeling after the first sip. Maybe too cold out of the gate but after it had warmed up a lot more of the flavors came through. Coffee, dark chocolate, maybe some licorice. No real hop presence seems hidden pretty well.

M/D - A nicely aged 2007, still full bodied with a strong malt flavor with the right amount of coffee and dark chocolate. Highly recommend this brew. I had it with some time on it and hope to try a fresh batch someday and update the review

FreshmanPour77, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of elliot23
4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from the bottle like unrefined oil... black as a deep night. What a sight!

The smell from this is very subtle but bold once you really get your nose in there. Licorice, molasses, and roasted malts are dominant.

The taste... espresso certainly! Cocoa, a little vanilla, toffee, some black fruits, slight alcohol. All in all, very smooth; dangerously so I must admit.

If heavy cream had an evil and dark brother this would be it! This stuff just coats your mouth in a very good way. Carbonation is perfect for the style.

Epic IS! At the top of my long list of favorites. Only have 3-4 left... must resist urge to drink them all right now! Can't wait for the next though. Should age really well. Would love to a vertical taste with these.

elliot23, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jmoore50 on this one. Poured into my snifter from a 22 oz. bottle.

A: Pitch black in color with a light tan head that never settles. For it's style and strength, the head retention is unlike anything I have ever seen. Lacing is amazing as well.

S: The nose of this beer isn't very strong, but it's all malt. Coffee, chocolate, and a hint of oak, along with a slight fruity character in the backround.

T: Yeah... This is what I have been looking for all of this time in an imperial stout. Coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and molasses, with just a hint of the licorice. Oak is faint, and the aging lends a nice hint of vanilla. The hops are actually subtle, but still present, drying out the finish.

M: This is liquid velvet! Full and rich, this beer coats the palate and does not go away. Warming and extremely smooth.

D: For it's strength and body, The Abyss is very easy to enjoy. Hands down, the best Imperial Stout I have ever tasted to this day.

WYVYRN527, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of bosco7
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells of lactic acid, slight coffee, dark chocolate, and raspberries.

Starts with kind of an acidic bite and coffee then moves into sweet caramel and vanilla flavors. This is all rounded off with a myriad of chocolate flavors and booze. Bitterness is apparent yet soft.

Actually a little more attenuated than expected. Carbonation is also a little high. I like this as it increases digestability in this big assed beer.

Well worth seeking out. Complexities found only in the best Imperial Stouts. Highly recommended.

bosco7, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Pawel
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kevin and Karen for sharing this one. Big coffee, with everything else coming after that. Smooth, partly due to the oak-aging I'm sure, with some other more subtle tastes around it, mostly chocolate.

Re-rate: 2006 bottle. This is like an entirely different beer, so smooth, well-blended, and delicious.

Pawel, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Gyle41386
4.08/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle.

Thick, thick black pour, with about a finger of mocha colored foam. Nice rings of lacing on the glass.

Sweet, lightly bitter nose. Black licorice, molasses, roasted barley, vanilla, and a light boozy touch from the bourbon.

The heat I noticed in the nose is never present in the flavor. Little bit of soy, then a nice sweet touch of licorice, molasses and chocolate balance nicely with lots and lots of coffee-like roast.

Nice, thick body. Surprisingly easy drinker. Will have to compare notes with an 08 bottle.

Gyle41386, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of randawakes
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at the Brown Jug, Anchorage. Poured into wine glass.

Appearance: Black color with tan head.

Smell/Taste: Vanilla, Cocoa and caramel sweet notes, warming sensation that is smooth and holds taste for awhile. Deep dark flavors with a cover of whiskey/bourbon.

This was not as thick as I had imagined it would be like the Berserker, so I have to admit the drinkability was pretty awesome, overall great beer!

randawakes, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of Tomdee74
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2008 edition.

A - Pours a dark brown/black color with good head.. great lacing.. a very good looking stout..

S - Smells pretty impressive.. chocolate coffee smell lets you know that you are in for a treat.. definitely a dessert smell.. something you know is not a session beer but just for a nice occasion..

T - Not super blown away.. Just a very good stout.. I think it may be a little over hyped. I still say this is an A beer and worthy of great acclamations; however, I think many good stouts can compare to this. Very complex chocolate coffee taste with alcohol very well hidden. this is a great brew no doubt..

M - thick, chewy, good carbonation..

--- edit on 12/20/10 - reviewed 2009 edition

the worst feature of this great brew.

T - This was very good. I don't know if it's supposed to be even better?? Def no drainpour here. It was so awesome. Taste the molasses and the sweetness here. You get the oak and just a ton of flavor. I would rate it super high here with no alcohol taste.

M - It was thick but not too thick. I liked it a lot.

D - I had no problem taking down a glass of this and am thankful smutty33 split it with me. Awesome brew and I have no clue if it was infected, but it was an A beer nonetheless.
D - I wouldn't want many of these as it tastes like something I would just want with dessert.. it's a powerful heavy drink.. alcohol is hidden very well.. i'm glad i got to try this!! much thanx to smutty33 for sharin this one! Cheers!

Tomdee74, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black coffee close to pitch in color, thin milk chocolate head (possibly affected by pour) affected but great lacing

S: lots of coffee verging on espresso with some notes of cream, some cocoa but not nearly as much as others have noted

T: lots of coffee with a very mellow bean character, great hop bite on the back end, slightly dry finish, cappuccino notes on the mid-palate with slight chicory, decent smoke

M: incredible mouthfeel, even for the style, extremely round, clean on front with dense finish

D: hides the booze incredible well, great coffee character

WOTO97, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Descutes "The Abyss" 2009 vintage wax top

Appearance: A hard pour yeilds a large head with oily bubbles that are shining on like crazy diamonds. She is pitch black with garnetlike highlights. Yellowish brown head that provides some lacing along the glass.

Smell: Initial waves of Chocolate. Some mocha/coffee notes. Dirty, roasted malt. Smoke. The aroma is full of complexity. Alcohol comes though as it warms. Everything comes together and smells quite inviting.

Taste: Well hello there. Molasses are apparent right away as well as a strong roasted chocolate malt flavor. Wood/Oak flavors come out a bit. A slight earthyness on the back end, could be the hops. There are many levels of flavor. Some pine notes come through and a hint of spearmint. Vanilla and raw cocoa as it warms. Definately oaky and thats just fine. Lived up to hype/expectations.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with sizzling carbonation and some mild astringecy. Warming alcohol present early on in this endeavor but not overpowering. Roasted coffee finish and very smooth after some gentle swirling. Finish is drying.

Drinkability: While I would love to sip on this all day (and its been a solid hour) I would have to rate this as merely "good". Its strong flavors are wonderful but it is a big assed beer! Though short of perfection, this beer is a legend for a reason.

Stinkypuss, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of SShelly
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black with two inch dark head, an awesome looking stout.

Aroma is dark coffe, dark malt, some hot bourbon.

Flavor is burnt and dark, lots of roast almost gives it slight tart quality. Finishes a little light and fairly dry.

Had this a year ago and didn't review, wish I had, that bottle was leaps and bounds better than this one, will hold the bottle for a while and try this again.

SShelly, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle thanks to DuffManSW. Black pour with a 1-finger, loose, tan head and nice lacing. The aroma is deep, bitter black coffee, licorice, strong dark chocolate and a hint of bourbon and alcohol. The flavor is intense bitter black coffee and pure dark chocolate followed by a touch of oak and vanilla and then a hot, alcoholic bourbon finish. The body is oily and full with moderate carbonation and a big alcohol bite on the end.

punkrkr27, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.53/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ok, bottle was tried in 2007, I didn't review one in '08 (good luck finding this in India), so when I saw this on tap at Vine Street Pub in Denver, I fainted. Then I ordered one.
8oz.
But of course, black pour. Ruby tints on the edge after I drank about half. Not much head due to pour. Great lacing, a bit filmy

Slight boozey nose. But a lot going on. Chocolate instant, then anise and molasses. Coffee in there and dark unripe plum.

Boozey taste a bit. Taste follows aroma. A 'juicy' taste to it. Seems the chocolate is melted and coffee is fresh. Not too powerful, they blend well. Vanilla and caramel come in and say 'hi' then quickly leave. Very slight woodiness, too.

Warming, but not burning. Very easy drinking with enough booziness to remind you that if you drink it too fast you may fall...into the Abyss (oh, that's cheesy)

Mebuzzard, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Crittervision
4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edit: adding notes from a recent tasting, but leaving my original scores from my 02-27-2009 review, which is further below.

2007 vintage consumed on 02-22-2010 (almost a year after the previous review):

appearance was much the same as i remember (nearly identical to black tuesday and marshal zhukovs as well), deep black with a creamy tan head that is just a touch lighter than black tuesday).

coffee roast and toast, and that same pretzelly smell from before.

taste is smoky, a bit acrid, big and roasty, underneath that is the stated molasses. ashy.

mouthfeel is big and milky. substantial, but a tad bit chalky, which may just be an effect of the ashiness in the taste.

drinkability could be a lot better (and has been much better in my experience with the 2008).

luckily this isnt the first time ive tasted the abyss. id be quite disappointed. this one still retained some good qualities (appearance and mouthfeel), but fell pretty short of matching what i remember the abyss to be. oh well! next beer...

2008 vintage reviewed on 02-27-2009:

i figured id make this my first review. now.
my memory is something funny so we will see how this goes.
beavers poured two super snifters and a tulip of this. for himself, sean, and i. i had one of the snifters. about half an inch of head, looked beautiful, a pillow of consistent medium-sized bubbles that disappeared about halfway through drinking, prompting some swirling towards the end.
so ill just throw this out there: im not totally in tune with all the wonderful tastes that i read and hear about, so maybe youll know some of the things im talking about -- that i dont exactly.
let it warm up a bit in the glass. smelled.
i smell something that reminds me of alcohol, but isnt an alcohol that im familiar with. something that hits far up in the nose, separate from any other scent im perceiving. cant place it. this was not a bourbon or whiskey alcohol though, to me. whiskey is my favorite spirit and i picked up none of it here.
i also pick up -- i would say -- 10% of the scent is pretzel. a salty doughy smell. just like pretzel.
no traditional alcohol taste.
a texture that makes me think of either thick milk or a light cream. half and half? i also get confused as to whether i taste this, feel this between my tongue and the roof of my mouth, or both. its very pleasurable. mmhmm!
the same amount of pretzel that i smelled comes through in the taste. i dont pick it up every sip, but when i do, it is pronounced.
brown sugar was also brought up. i agree it is there.
the typical dark fruits as well, although very much in the back of my mind, or perhaps actually not very present in the beer anyway. there are other new and unusual things to pay attention to and think about, that these dont really register.
the following aspect was a combined effort at extracting, and one i was hesitant to bring up to the company i was enjoying this with... about midway through, the beer warming slowly, i noticed a nursing home urine smell, and when drinking, a nursing home urine taste. not prominent, but certainly present. now this may sound kind of bad (which is why i at first wanted to wait til we were done drinking to talk about it), but i want to express: this wasnt a bad thing. we talked through it and came to the conclusion that it was not so much urine as it was the chemicals or solution used to sterilize it in places like nursing homes. and then finally, that it was the smell of a numbing agent used on the inside of your elbow before you get a shot. so that is that. again, this urine/sterile mixture is not bad, but not heaven. and it is there. slightly. but noticeably.
so.
eleven percent -- imperceptible.
texture is super creamy and delectable. swallowing feels wrong, as this texture is quite perfect and silky. wheeee. so i would give mouthfeel a six actually.
so easy to drink.
brings up great memories of nursing home visits involving bingo, youth group people singing carols, and body parts sagging below the bottom of one persons normal, waist-length shirt.
what could be better?

Crittervision, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of digita7693
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A pitch black, as expected, with an excellent dark brown head with wonderful lacing

S very malty, roasted coffee, chocolate

T Im blown away, delicious bitter coffee taste (think a nice fresh espresso) with some cacao, very rich and creamy

D wonderful amount of carbonation in this, very smooth beer
simply delicious

notes: im a huge fan of stouts, but I often think the chocolate is overdone and hides some of the other flavors. this is not the case here. this is perfect, quite possibly my favorite imperial stout now!
Though Founders IS would be a very close second, would love to try them side by side

digita7693, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #500! My first milestone worth noting, and what better beer to review.

Got this bottle in a trade way back when with DeaconBluez. Thanks Chip a ton for this long time mega want!

2008 Vintage, one of my most looked forward to beers in a long long time.

Pours pitch black, absorbing all light cast into it much like a black whole. Thick like motor oil, leaving a nice brown film around the glass. Lighter head than I expected, sort of a dark khaki color. It has excellent retention and leaves very nice lacing.

This is roasty, chocolatey, sweet and bitter, fruity and rich. Incredibly complex and all the individual components work together to form one incredible smelling brew.

Rich and flavorful, with vanilla and bourbon, an earthyness, sweet and roasted malts, chocolate and toffee, dark fruits and so much more. Maybe the single most complex RIS I've ever had the pleasure of trying.

Thick and heavy bodied, rich and creamy. Everything a RIS should be and more. Drinkability is amazing considering the amount of flavor and alcohol. This is one to sip and savor, enjoy for the entirety of the drink, as it's a priveledge to drink it, not a right, and it's gone before you know it.

An absolute fantastic RIS, one of the best I've ever had. I don't think I could have chosen a better beer to have at 5pm on a Friday for my 500th review. This is truly a treat, and I look forward to seeing how my other bottle, a 2009, changes over time.

Mistofminn, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of TheBeerCarl
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Abyss has a dark brown almost black in color with a dark brown brown head with little retention. The aroma is of roasted barley and rich coffee. This stout imparts an intense coffee flavor on your palette with minor hints of chocolate. There is very little carbonation which allows for the coffee flavors to really stand out. This is one of the few reserve series that Deschutes puts out that you can really taste the heat. There's not a lot of residual sugar to mask the 11% ABV so despite its looks, it rolls through the mouth with a light body feel. Overall though I think this is another great reserve beer from Deschutes and I can see myself drinking it whenever I have the option.

TheBeerCarl, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate black with a dark tan head.

Strong smell of Chocolate, roasted malts, tobacco, oak, residual sweetness, some licorice, and definitely some hop presence.

Taste of ashy sweet malt, milk chocolate, caramelized sugars, a tiny slightly astringent / tannic flavor from black patent as the tongue dries. Tobacco not tasted since Adam from HOTD. As she warmed vanilla definitely became more strongly spoken as with the nice oak character. The oak is not overdone, and I like that only a third of the beer was oaked as it lends itself to a more mellow oak flavor. The bourbon is almost masked entirely by the oak and dark malts, even though I love bourbon, this beer tastes much more mellow than many other bourbon barrel aged beers I have had lately. So much so that the bourbon aspect is nearly unnoticeable. Sprecher Scotch Style bourbon barrel and Brooklyn Black Ops come to mind in this category. This is a well put together Stout with nice balance.

alpinebryant, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of BS68280
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I acquired this beer from my first ever trade. Big thanks to Beerisheaven for this one and for a great experience that led to many more for me.

A: Poors black as the abyss (lame but i had to do it). About an inch of brown head that actually stayed around for a while. As I drink it there is nice retention and it is leaving traces of itself down my glass.

S: Savory roasted malts... coffee, chocolate. Soft oak and vanilla, there is a bit more going on I just can't figure it out. Dark sweet prunes or raisons also.

T: Amazing blend of so many things that combine so perfectly. A vanilla oakeyness (is that a word?) gives way to a sweet chocolate that then fades into a burnt bitter coffee taste. Another sip gives me a dark fruit liquorish taste. As the flavor left in my mouth is that of the dark fruits, burnt malts and tobacco.

M: Full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation for this beer. It is thick and creamy and coats the mouth for long after you have finished the sip. The only beer I've had that is more full bodied, creamy, and silky then this is 08 DL which i had last night.

D: 11%... I can tell a liar when I see one, there is no way this is true. There are the slightest hints of the alcohol but in no way are they harsh. I am going to finish this bottle with ease and struggle not to open an 07 and 09 to go along with this.

BS68280, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of cleverbeername
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

50* snifter, bottle

A natural beauty. Dark brown tan fingers, chewy brown black. nice carbonation, head sustains well

S malty, yeasty, sweet savory, dank cave. the dank smell is very enjoyable and unavoidable.

T intense and varied. Mid roast coffee, costco muffin studdle icing, artifical yeast taste. sweet hint of bourbon and oak. maybe maple and birch, reminded me of the life and limb, but just hints.

M mid heavy, but not overtly robust in feel. sip and think beer, quite thought provoking

D want.on.draft. yes, worth the price, would cellar one for a few years.

cleverbeername, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of hophead247
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black head with a dark brown head- really good looking stout. Aroma holds cocoa, vanilla, cream, oat, molasses, anise, and a bit of oak. Nothing too aggressive on the nose, but smells delicious. Flavor holds lots of burnt sugar, ash, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, caramel, and a definite milk or cream aspect to it. Alcohol, bourbon, and oak comes through at the finish as well. The burnt and charred flavor at the start is really delectable, and that same quality is what makes the finish and aftertaste so appealing. Palate is extremely smooth and immensely easy to drink for an 11% impy. Top notch imperial stout.

hophead247, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of khumbard
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 2 separate occasions: 12/26/09 and 1/15/10

2009 vintage
This was tasted after a KBS (my favorite stout).... I started off a little skeptical. However, this won me over as it warmed. Nose is complex for sure, goes along with the stellar taste. All of the flavors melt together into one indescribable taste. It's a combination of roasted malts, chocolate, licorice, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and an unknown smoky/spicy flavor. It also has a little bitter dark chocolate finish. This beer holds all the flavors so well. Abyss deserves the hype, and is one of the top stouts around.

khumbard, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this as part of the Central New England BA meetup #1.

A: Super dark, light can't even escape it's grasp. Pours with the viscosity of dark matter in liquid form. I swirl it a bit, and see legs so long it would make Cheryl Tiegs blush. A small but very dark thick head rises on the pour and seems to sit there, enjoying the beverage on it's own.

N: Loaded with roast and chocolate. I think I could give it to a few bakers and they would be satisfied for years. The rich stout aroma it gives off also adds a nice touch.

T: Taste is just, ooohhh, ahhh! Super rich, creamy, thick, dark, delicious. Again tons of bakers chocolate and roast, but also adds some dark chocolate, a little milk chocolate, tobacco, coffee, toast, a slight booze, and that aged stout smooth flavor. I think Marlboro cigarettes would love this beer in their commercials. It's so thick and rich it just seems to fill the pours all over my mouth and lingers with the deliciousness. Semi sweet with some malty flavors as well.

M: Thicker than blood, which is in turn thicker than oil apparently. Very little carbonation, good for the style, but so thick I think I need to chew it before i swallow.

F: Looong lingering roast and chocolate finish, as it coats the mouth well. It's still semi sweet, with more bakers chocolate and milk chocolate at this point. It also has a bitter stout like earthy roasted char flavor.

Amazing stout, perhaps my favorite now. It's very good, hides the booze well, and is much more drinkable than Black Tuesday or Dark Lord.

jlindros, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes.

2008 Vintage. This is it. One of the most fantastic RIS's ever. I am privileged to have acquired a good sample of this. Blackest of black, a black hole into which light is forever drawn in and spit out in the form of a tannish head that clings to the glass. The depths are endless and I am taken down into the rich, roasty, and vanilla aromas that swell around me. The chocolate and deep blackberry tones are abundant and mix well with the hints of licorice and bourbon. Rich and intense, sweet and powerful, this beer is certainly one to covet and savor. Such a treat.

DmanGTR, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of theghost3
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to drgonzo3705 for the 11/08 bottle of the Abyss. Cellared for about 1 year. I cracked it open in celebration after SB XLIV.

Pours a pitch black with a 2-finger cafe au lait head. Just a ring of retention remains. Minimal to moderate lacing.

The smell is strong of sweet, black forest chocolate cake along with caramel, molasses, earthy hops and there's a boozy quality too. The taste starts with sweet roasted malts but there's are strong flavors of molasses, dark chocolate, and coffee. There's an earthy & citrusy taste in the end. The creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel is balanced well with the carbonated, alcohol-warmed booze.

This is a drinkable stout. Completely lived up to it's top stout billing. The taste was a little more bitter than I like but the smell & flavors are so remarkably apparent that this can be overlooked. A bit strong in the ABV area to be sessionable. It pairs well with chocolate desserts.

theghost3, Feb 09, 2010
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,120 ratings.