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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

5,281 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,281
Reviews: 1,680
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 2,592
Gots: 2,399 | FT: 184
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)
View: Beers (115) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,281 | Reviews: 1,680 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adrock7309
4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2009 into a Chimay goblet. Very pleased that the bottle I got in a trade was not infected.

Nice two fingers of mocha foam with little lacing present as it receded.

Smell is a mix of cocoa powder, coffee, a bit oakiness and some alcohol in the nose.

Flavor is a lot of the same. A very smooth chocolate and toasty coffee present. There is not much of the burbon coming through.

A phenomenal brew

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Had a hard time waiting a year and here we are.
appearance: Just beautiful. I love a black beauty and I can't imagine a better example. Perfect blackness with a fat creamy, tan head.
smell: A little gentler than I expected but a lot happening. I don't get the licorice but the molasses is there along with a dark chocolate espresso taming the sweetness.
taste: Wow. Lots happening here too. The molasses and coffee vie for center-stage but pretty much balance out (in a good way). The finish is surprisingly dry and hoppy. It all works wonderfully.
mouthfeel: Velvety, silky, gentle but fat and strong. Can't imagine a better feel.
drinkability: This is amazing. I was going to go lower on the drinkability but as it warms it's just going down so easy.
2 more bottles of 2009 in the beer cave! Look forward to next November to see what happens to this beauty.
12/3/11: next 09 was unfortuneately infected. Drinking an 11 now and is delicious as the uninfected 09.

Photo of CooperEllis
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopsbreath for adding this as extra in a recent trade.

2009 - certainly not infected. Into 7oz tasting glass, split 4 ways. From notes

Dark pour, thin tan head - maybe a 1/4". Solid tan lacing moves with the beer, not too thin or too sticky.

Anise in the aroma, a bit of oak/wood. Heavy roated notes.

Amazing flavor depth: roasted malt, dark fruit and anise. Solid carbonation provides this think beer with a bit of lightness that prevents it from sitting heavy in the mouth.

Really solid sipper. I belive splitting this 4 ways was a little thin, but I also can not envision drinking an entire 22oz bottle myself. It was served at a few degress below room temp and allowed to breathe for short time in the glass. The armoa didn't change much, and the flavor was very full from the outset to the finish.

(38)

Photo of Lazerlobe
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009-Not infected

A: Heaps of velvety cappuccino head and viscous black body

S: Roast, bourbon, baking chocolate, creme come together very well integrated. No one note is domi'noting' here.

T: Roastiness is the most pronounced with some faded bittering hops, concentrated french roast espresso, a little bourbon heat (read very mellow) and cocoa powder. I do not like ashy tasting beers but the other elements are working synergistically, even helping to pick up the slack for the over-roast.

M: Creamy with great viscosity, low carb and no appreciable heat.

D: Great beer, happy to be enjoying this.

Photo of HalfFull
3.4/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having had this beer on tap a couple years ago I thought I'd give it a go in the bottle and a bit closer to the brewers intentions I would guess. Bottle cellared for about a year and opened after its 'best after' date of 11/01/10.

Wax sealed bomber poured into a large wine glass. Pours dead black with a rich mocha head and offers good retention and lacing. A notably better pour than the draught version.

Nose is a bit of a reach. I pick up some oak but more of a wine barrel than whiskey, quite vinous in nature. Nice but not as advertised and with notable wine esters. Bit of earthy chocolate comes out with some warming, along with some sweet cherry.

Flavor is a bit thin for the style yet offers a lingering finish. Offers a touch of the whiskey barrel as the beer warms but still remains subdued. Feel is a bit thin as well. Overall a different animal than a fresh tap pour, pleasant yet unremarkable.

Photo of Jeffo
4.83/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Abyss. Every stout lover needs to try this one. Multiple bottles provided by multiple traders. Thanks goes out to DanLucky, NewGeneric and NYCWheatFanSC for providing some of the newer vintage, and a special shout goes out to akbeerfiend for a bottle of the '08.

It's due date time for the '09, so let's hope the bottle I brought back to Holland is alright.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2009

Infected. This is a nasty infection too. No foaming or anything upon opening, and the aroma coming out of the bottle didn't smell overly off either. The pour looked decent, though a little overcarbonated, and the nose left me only a slightly concerned. The taste, however, was wretched. Drain enjoyed the full bottle. Undrinkable vinegar.

Let's try again.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2008

APPEARANCE: Pours out thick and black, looking pretty sludgy. Pour cascades to a medium-thick looking, two finger, mocha colored head with great retention. Jet black and thick body with no real carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and a bit of foam, leaving sheets of clingy lacing. A splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end, leaving touches of lacing down the glass. Great looking stout for sure.

SMELL: A bold nose of roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate and a good dose of molasses. Slight notes of bourbon and oak in there as well, but heavier on the chocolate and molasses. The barrel is really well integrated here, without overpowering.

TASTE: Fantastic stuff. Roasted malts, dark pure chocolate and lots of nice molasses again. Some bourbon and oak notes with hints of booze in there, but everything blends together really well. Bold flavors and a big aftertaste of roasted and charred malts, molasses, dark chocolate, and some well measured bourbon flavors, with a touch of heat at the swallow. Wonderfully integrated and put together. Beautiful.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium, soft, velvety carbonation. Very soft and creamy smooth on the palate, velvety, goes down smooth and finishes somewhat dry on the palate. Very soft, creamy, and smooth. Very nice.

OVERALL: This was unbelievable. I was disappointed when the '09 bottle was infected, but now that I know what the Abyss is all about, the infection problems with the '09 is nothing less than a world-wide disaster. This was sublime. The base stout is fantastic as it is, and barrel aging is done in a manner that compliments the beer wonderfully, as opposed to dominating it. Lots of great, bold flavors that work really well together. This is a world class brew, and one of the best stouts I've ever had. Luckily it is relatively easy to come by, so we'll hope that this year's release is clean. Thanks again akbeerfiend for sending one of these beauties my way.

Photo of pants678
4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage: 2009

I wouldn't say black, but it's about a deep, dark brown as it gets. The head is a dense brown foam that retains well.

Smells of straight dark chocolate or mocha, wood and then toward the end there's vanilla.

This is not a subtle one. A licorice wraps an oak flavor that combines well with bourbon overtones. Sweet molasses lines the edge, almost giving way to mint/vanilla, but really it's closer kin with tobacco. Slight hinting at ginger. The dry-hopped finish has a certain tartness that's not quite cherry and not staining either. The alcohol's not completely masked, but it's not piercing and not a bother.

Not the filling stout I expected.

Photo of elricorico
4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes I forgot to put in a while back. 2009 Reserve.

Dark, dark brown, not as black s expected, but very little light passes through even on the edge. Two fingers of creamy mocha head that lasts forever. Lots of lacing.

Aromas of rye and cola, vanilla, roasted malt, smoke, licorice. Every sniff shows something a little different.

Licorice and tobacco are first noted by the tongue. Lots of roasted malt. Molasses flavour coats the tongue. Smooth flavours leaning towards the sweet side of things but not overly so.

Full smooth body with subtle carbonation and. Very pleasant feel.

This is a monster beer that is hard to put down. Much easier to drink than I expected. Really an amazing brew.

Photo of phreak1983
4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best after date of 11/1/2010. I actually planned to drink it earlier for fear it would be infected, but drank it today on coincidence and I'm glad I waited.

A- Beautiful! Pitch black with a large head. I've never seen a head like this on an imperial stout! The head did recede into some nice lacing after about a minute.

S- Malt, licorice and a nice subtle bourbon scent.

T- Malt, oak, a little licorice, and a wonderful oaky bourbon in the finish.

M- A little thinner than I would have guessed, but it does have nice carbonation for an imperial stout.

D- Good for the style. I think I could drink another bottle if I had one!

Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage enjoyed (relatively young) on 28/10/2010.

Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. Naturally, it's only fitting that a beer with such a name neither emit nor allow even a single shred of light. And yet it possesses an inexpressible charm which attracts us. Solid, resolute blackness and a lining like clotted blood which insulates it, the beer appears both intriguing and intimidating. But I'm not content just to gaze, it's time I delve deeper into the Abyss...

The Abyss does indeed beckon, or at least its aroma does. Sharp notes of bourbon hit the sense of smell straight on and rupture in the nostrils powdery notes unrefined cocoa, moist and mildewing wood, an unusual black tea of ancient origins, baked molasses, a dash of paint thinner and tobacco that has been chewed and spit. The amount of scents the nose can pick out is constrained only by the amount of time spent smelling it.

Bourbon barrel aging can add a ton of depth and complexity to a beer - it can also add a lot of booze and obnoxious bourbon character. And that's why I, personally, am a fan when breweries use the bourbon-aged beer not entirely unto itself but rather as part of a blend. The fact that only 33% of The Abyss was aged in either oak or bourbon-barrel allows it to retain most all of its heavy, roasty, malty, decadent stout character...

While at the same time benefiting from striking distinction and exceptional depth. Hardly a drop of bourbon or a splinter of wood can be tasted outright and yet to the palate is still treated the lush flavour of vanilla, tastes of cigar and tobacco leaf, the hint of singed wood and a generous dash of ginger-like spice. Like a crash of thunder, bitterness resonates over the palate with vivid notes of licorice, cocoa and coffee bean.

Some Schlegel guy said it about God, but it's no doubt true of this beer as well: "within Him do all spirits dwell. He is an abyss of individuality, the only infinite plenitude". Indeed, this beer hesitates between exotic spices, simple fruit, burnt coffee, sweet malt, intoxicated wood and unsweetened chocolate with a combination of dry, waxy and grassy notes in the background. The carbonation provides strong enough legs to hold it all up.

I just caught myself fondling the bottle. Maybe it's the booze, or maybe it's just been too long since I last put this wondrous nectar to my lips; the Abyss is certainly intoxicating, in both the literal and figurative sense. There is more to it than I alone can note and attest. If you ever find yourself staring at The Abyss, for God's sake buy the damn thing, as much as you can afford, because, true to its name, this is about as deep as beer gets.

Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this at our stout tasting. enjoyed chilled slightly from a tulip.

A big black oily looking formidible ale with medium brown cap which hangs on for a while, lace sticks and bead is tiny. The smell is vinous, very dark cherry and somewhat brett influenced, but not over the top, slight charred scents add to the complexity. The feel is is viscous without being cloying, bitter dry strong and semi tart w/ a very dry finish with slight warming and bitter texture.

The Imperial stout is unique to say the least. I have had this before without signs of infection and loved it, but this bottle had some cherry-like brett aspects which implies it is definitely a beer with some oak presence and with lots of black patent type charred flavor of french roasted coffee and alcohol was moderate in the taste with subtle hop complimenting with mild pine and pepper. The flavor is intense and finishes dry and roasty. I would have liked to have this sooner to see what the beer was like before the slight infected flavor had a chance to creep in, but it was mild and I still enjoyed the beer a lot -a high quality Imperial Stout -thanks Tim!

Re-review -1/16//11 '10 version thanks to John Michaelsen for sharing, poured semi chilled into a taster.
A 4.5 S 4.5 M 4 T 4.5 D 4.5
The look is deep brown tobacco colored with a lot of opacity and thick med tan cap. Lace stickage and retention are good and beading is tight. The smell is like chocolate cake w/ slight smoke and mellow bitter toasted oak w/ mild caramel and hint of woody notes that blend in with the alcohol esters well. The feel is dry bitter and strong with slight cocoa roastiness and mellow carbonation w/ mild creaminess and lots of char w/ moderately high alcohol.

The taste is very flavorful right off the bat with roasted flavor that is very high -almost 'meaty' with smoked and woodiness bringing out an umami flavor with slight dark cocoa and light spice w/ vanilla adding to the flavor. There is some alcohol in the taste, but not over the top for the strength. The slight cookie flavor is nice w/ slight astringent/bitter flavor from the highly roasted malts. I enjoyed this way more than the '09, a great Imperial Stout which is very solid and I am glad I got to re-review it. I feel the light infection detracts both from the taste/body so this is way better worthy of its high ranking here and it is more enjoyable in its unfettered form.

Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hooray-my 2009 was not infected!

Poured from a 22oz bomber to a snifter

A: Pours thick. Pitch black with a generous coffee colored head. After finishing the glass, you can see the level of the beer after each sip in the lacing-beautiful!

S: Oak and bourbon dominate, with cherries and molasses coming into play as well.

T: All of the aromas come out in the flavors, but are joined by a light smokiness, tobacco, and roasty espresso (not coffee, but espresso). Bourbon is big, but not overpowering. Midway through, I notice a very subtle hint of leathery funk. This beer is surprisingly more bitter than sweet, but a rich, roasty, dark chocolate sort of bitter instead of a hoppy bitter. Very rich and satisfying. Lots going on here, but it is all very well integrated.

M: Thick and viscous. This beer coats your tongue and won't let go. I can taste each sip for a fair few minutes (not hints of taste, not aftertaste, but a thick coating of beer still clinging to my tastebuds!). Carbonation offers a sharpness that counters the richness of the beer nicely.

O: This is simply a beautiful beer. It's thick, rich, and strong enough that I couldn't have too much of this in a sitting, but that's not really the point of this beer. It's one to be sipped slowly over the course of the evening, and what an evening it was!

Photo of elgiacomo
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #300, and it's a good one!

22oz bottle, 2009 vintage, best after Nov 1, 2010. Wanted to crack this right around the 1-year mark although I was getting tempted to open it earlier due to threats of possible infection but it appears this bottle is safe! Whew!

Pours thick black with a large foamy brown head, holds a light cap and leaves a few random clumps of lacing.

Aroma is heavy on the oak, bourbon, and vanilla, a lot of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and anise round things out. Good strength. Give it some time to warm and the aroma gets even better...had to bump it up another point as the strength improves as well as the complexity and an added smoke character and more chocolate, although the main stars are still the wood, bourbon, and vanilla.

Flavor is rich and malty, a ton of dark roasted malt, heavy doses of chocolate and coffee, vanilla and oak are also very prominent with a hint of bourbon, some anise, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, incredibly complex and delicious. Alcohol is pretty much non-existent although the second half which was left to warm on the counter has a bit of an alcohol bite on the finish.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy, good for the style, however the carbonation can be a bit prickly at times but subsides a bit as it warms.

There are a bunch of adjectives I could throw down here but I'll just use one: Magnificent. A work of art.

Photo of jsanford
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, poured into my Stone IRS tulip

A - Pours inky black with a thick, mocha-colored head. Ridiculous lacing and retention, the head refuses to disappear.
S - Notes of dark cocoa powder, vanilla, dark roasted malts and licorice. Smells like a dark chocolate truffle.
T - Dark malt and the darkest-of-dark chocolate dominate, with molasses, licorice, and dark stone fruits playing in there, too.
M - Thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Coats your tongue and lasts forever on the palate.
D - Way too smooth for being 11% alcohol, my portion was gone quickly.

Photo of antioch
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a review before the infamous "souring".

A: Black/Dark Brown with a surprisingly decent dark brown head. Quite viscous with a tiny bit of lacing and nice carbonation.

S: Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, anise and a slight aroma of oak and bourbon.

T: Almost all of the aroma comes through the same for the flavor. A punch of coffee, chocolate and anise with a nice warmth from the bourbon and a slight amount of oakiness that doesn't overwhelm. Amazingly balanced and not too over the top for anything.

M: Full mouthfeel but not overly viscous for a large stout.

D: Dangerously drinkable for the high ABV.

Photo of jfunkk79
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 2008:

A: Black as night. Dark brown, rust colored head. Some lacing and little islands of bubbles once it settles down.

S: A little stuffed up so mostly what I'm getting is some roasty, coffee aromas, a little bit of chocolate.

T: Sweet molasses and chocolate, a really awesome vanilla in there as well. Some alcohol but very rounded out.

M: Mouthfeel is medium but there's some lingering roastiness on the palate.

This is my third tasting of this beer and I'm having trouble remembering the others after tasting this. It's one of the tastiest stouts I've had in a while. Up there with Older Vis and Black Albert easily.

Photo of Adamdc
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08 Bottle poured into tulip

A: Beautiful opaque body with 1/2 inch of dark tan foam. Active carbonation continues long after pour and head settles down to about a quarter inch.

S: Initially, when cool, it was lots of coffee and dark chocolate. Then, as it warmed, the molasses, oak, bourbon, licorice and even some anise and a touch of vanilla came out.

T: The chocolate, coffee, licorice and molasses are wrapped up in a nice barrel-aged basket. The oak and bourbon are just right.There's a little heat also.

M: Very full mouthfeel--not quite DL-like but nice and full.

D: The 11%'s not too debilitating. This is 'big' yet drinkable. Me likey!

Photo of dragonWhale
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, well, my old friend. Now we all know what this beer is supposed to be, and what it usually is - a fiery hellhole of heat, sulfurous, viscous, with licorice intertwined with the wood from the barrels. It is black venom with dark brown spittle.

2009 Bottle - My first in a while, 2nd since the infection was reported
The loud pop augers the infection right away, the bubbles fizz and dissipate, the pour looks thinner, and the smell is of a tart and muted version of everything above. That said, this is one fantastic infection. To all lovers of wilds that had bottles blow, I am sorry. And to all stout lovers who venture not into the world of sour beers and poured theirs out, I again am sorry.
While I would still prefer the thick and angry Abyss to my funky one, I was not the least bit disappointed.

Score is a reflection of how I feel about the Abyss. Eagerly awaiting its triumphant return..

2010 Bottle - "sampled" 1/14/11

BEEEautiful, black with a tentacled brown head striving to swallow me from below. Chocolate, roast, molasses and alcohol aromas with some licorice in the background. And fuck, I just touched my nose after cutting a golden hot pepper. So now my nose is gone for the rest of this beer that I just opened. Who is this asshole? Thankfully I open beer at cellar temp. It's just proper to me.
Thicker than my solar cell textbook, but brutally efficient. Wow, actually, way less heat than usual for a fresh batch of Abyss. Kinda missing the brimstone. The thunder makes this beer. It's there in the back of the finish, but chocolate, molasses and wood dominate. Still damn good, but I need Satan smashing boulders in the back of my throat.
Still awesome. I'm just so harsh on my boys..
5-4.5-4-4.5-4.5 (total score adjusted accordingly)

Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 2009 bottle thanks to Speakorspasm. I was surprised to find a balanced sour or brett character. Overall the beer is a mix of smooth, sweet chocolate with herbal lemon sour character. In the background there's toast, bitter black grains and more molasses in the aroma. I'm not always a huge fan of the style, as I find most of the beers to be heavy, and while tasting, uninteresting. This, however, is very quaffable, and enjoyable. This is a delicious and fun beer to drink. It has a balanced share of lambic character with an imperial stout background.

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle I opened to make sure it wasn't infected. It wasn't:)

A-The darkest black of an Abyss:) Foamy tan head. Deep lacing.

S-Molasses, licorice, roastiness and chocolate.

T-Licorice, molasses, roasted coffee, chocloate, oak.

M-Smooth and inviting.

D-Simply amazing for the ABV.

Photo of GabrielM
4.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A - as dark as you'd expect a beer named The Abyss to be, but with a surprising inch of toffee-colored head on top.

S - coffee and oak right away, then perhaps some chocolate truffle and caramel. Licorice is faint, but there.

T - somewhat bitter espresso, oak, vanilla, and truffle on the front. Smoother on the back, but with some hop dryness that's followed by a bit of bourbon/alcohol burn.

M - very thick presence, good carbonation, but still a little hot.

D - this is a great brew, but it still needs more time. The alcohol is definitely there as well as some hop bitterness, but another year should give it exactly what it needs.

On a side note, there were a lot of infections reported for the '09 batch. This is the fourth I've had from my case and I'm very happy to say that none have been infected, so the rest will be put down for enjoyment over the next few years.

Photo of Chaney
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special shout out to Matt for sharing a vintage 2008 bottle with me. Not only did I get to try this sought after brew, but I got to drink half of the 22oz. bottle. Wowsers!

A: Wow, what a great name for this brew. It looks dark, angry even, but with a cottony white head with light brown notes to bring out it's gentler side.

S: Molasses first, then raison, burnt roastiness, and of course high grade dark chocolate.

T: Very smooth for being the high octane monster that it is, and the thick oaked chocolate milk quality, along with the mild bitterness works its way into the palate in a very pleasant way.

M: Not hot in terms of ABV at all. For people who looking for a coffee style IS with that kind of bitterness, they need to look elsewhere. This one is pure molasses and God bless it for that!

D: Like I stated before, very smooth. When I got to the bottom of my glass, I actually wanted a bit more.

Photo of dougofthefuture
3.75/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009, best before 11/1/2010. Eh, close enough. Time to see how this is doing.

A. Nice thick motor oil pour with a delicious foamy tan head. (Maybe a little too foamy...) Abyss is obviously a fitting name - this could blot out the sun.

S. As it warms, there is a tart cherry, tannic sourness that dominates the nose. It isn't offensive, but it is enough to hide some of the other components that can still be detected - oak, molasses, chocolate... I can almost imagine this without the sourness and it would have been great.

T&M. At first, There is a lot of toasted oak, chocolate, burnt bitterness. Then, the vinous tart cherry kicks in. The change has affected the body as well, adding an effervescence that is at odds with the richness of the stout. It isn't that the tart fruity character is at all bad, it just doesn't combine well with the rest of what is happening here.

D. I am confused. However, that keeps me coming back and trying to understand this incredibly complex beer.

This bottle is infected. It is not a complete loss, but I am let down that it didn't age as it was supposed to.

Photo of msmezher
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've now had The Abyss twice, first from the 2008 batch on-tap and second a 2009 Reserve in bottle (I'm keeping a second to age).
The Abyss is one of the best stouts I've ever had and is definitely deserving of its ranking as a top quality beer. The Abyss is one of the most beautiful pouring beers I've ever encountered. A thick, tan moon-scape like head forms with excellent retention, with beautiful lacing appearing well into the drink. The beer is a deep black with brown around the edges.
The Abyss is rich with strong notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee and molasses. A sweet oaky finish from the portion of the Abyss aged in bourbon barrels really helps polish off The Abyss, and set it apart from many stouts of similar stature. As The Abyss warms the 11% ABV finally becomes apparent, and a pleasant warming boozy taste presents itself.
I highly recommend this beer, take it slow, feel it out as it changes temperature, as the head dissipates, you'll probably agree with the hundreds of other reviewers giving this beer an A+ rating.

Photo of calir1
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this on many occasions. I do not rate like most people because most people do not really read other people's ratings. I have had the privaledge of having this beer multiple times and the best thing about it is the price. It is a top rated beer and the price is stil low. Some of these pricey beers are rated way lower and seems to me that this is the way to go...

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,281 ratings.