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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,652 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,652
Reviews: 1,626
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,416
Gots: 2,148 | FT: 143
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)
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Ratings: 4,652 | Reviews: 1,626 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pooba001


4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Friend of mine went to the brewery last September and wanted to get a growler of something that we couldn't get in Tucson. Was told they had a Russian Imperial Stout that was currently only on tap and thus a growler of this was delivered to my desert doorstep. Review was written and put away for a day when the beer was released and on BA.

Appearance is akin to the sky under a new moon, just midnight black. Tint of dark ruby when held towards light. Notes here also describe "damn good solid brown head". Smell is a subtle blend; malt, molasses, espresso and vinous notes are all apparent.

Tastes are also well balanced, including the sweet malt and molasses playing against a light espresso roast bite and noticeable hops. Alcohol is perceptible, but barely so.

Drinkability is quite good for the style, I could go for 4 or 5 pints of this. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than ideal, could use a little more leg. Nice dry finish though.

BTW, the growler is beautiful, its probably the nicest I've seen, be sure to pick one up if you're in the Bend area.

Serving type: growler

05-17-2007 03:53:50 | More by Pooba001
Photo of aforbes10


4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved as part of an eleborate 3-way trade with kdoc8 and msubulldog25. thanks! Pours big and black with a thin brown film of bubbles. looks pretty badass. I can smell it in my glass from 3 feet away. coffee and chocolate, brandy and bourbon, and scotch and some dark fruits. Taste up front is a sweet dark fruitiness. extreme bitter coffee grounds then move in, along with some sour coffee bean-iness. obvious oaky flavor with familiar hints of vanilla. Dry coffee woodiness and bitterness on the finish. Flavor lingers and lingers. Just fantastic. Mouthfeel huge and velvetlike. The only problem is that the coffee ground bitterness becaomes maybe one degree too harsh towards the end. But, anyway, a fantastic, humungous beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 13:18:50 | More by aforbes10
Photo of Crosling


3.3/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Around $ 9.00 per bottle in Colorado. I can’t appreciate subtlety in this style. Either smack me with hops (Yeti), blast me with oak (Bourbon County) or spank me with tons of malt (Expedition.) It’s a good, drinkable beer, but I didn’t find much complexity in my bottle.

Another bottle: I drank this one warm and still cant get why you people like it.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 06:20:41 | More by Crosling
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one from ArrogantB in a trade.

Looks bright and lively for the style with a dark blackish brown and a rim of prune where the light could get through. The head was a beautiful dark tan but fell to a collar in no time.

Smells big and stick with gooey barley and honey. There seems to be a grassy raspberry in the middle somewhere that adds a lot of balance. There’s also a barbecue chicken smokiness in the background.

Tastes similar with the sticky barley, honey and raspberry but it then takes on a lot of smoke and roasted coffee. In the finish there’s a warming, oaky, boozy alcohol that meshes well with a dry chocolate.

Feels light for the style but a bit sticky with a surprising dryness that accents the coffee character.

Very nice. I’d like to see more RISs that rely more on smoke instead of sweet. Its light body and clean finish make this an excellent sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 01:51:46 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Slats


4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Gold

Pours very dark. One of those beers you have to pour in front of people so you can see that "You aren't going to drink that are you" face.

Nice thick head but not over flowing with suds. Ring of lace lingered throughout my tasting.

Nose full of this tells you your in for a treat and your mouse begs for its turn.

Upfront caramelized maple flavor comes first followed by a sweet raisin flavor. Dig a bit deeper and the oak shows it's cards.

I could drink this stuff all day and die happy in my sleep.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 00:47:01 | More by Slats
Photo of bennetj17


4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to RoBotGod for trading me this beer... This stout pours looking black as night, although you can tell it's not that thick. The head is a thin, dark reddish-tan topping things off nicely.

Excellent aroma of roasty coffee, much like Founder's Breakfast Stout. The alcohol is not percieved and there is also a touch of vanilla oak sweetness.

The first sip is pure heavenly joy, amazingly smooth with intense bitter roast flavors. Lots of fresh ground coffee bean, smoke, and a hint of chocolate. The finish is puckering and bitter. The mouthfeel is only slightly thick, very smooth again, with fine but strong carbonation. The oak aging has smoothed this out nicely making it easy to swallow.

I'm amazed at how drinkable this sucker was. It seemed nothing like 11% at all. I really enjoy a stout that isn't overly sweet or thick, and this one fits the bill. I would seek this out if you can...

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 19:24:43 | More by bennetj17
Photo of tjthresh


3.85/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup dark brown color to used Quacker State black with a very slight brown head. If this thing is barrel aged, you sure can’t tell unless you are looking for it. There is lots of chocolate, cocoa, hops. Quite a bit of hops actually. The barrel character comes through more in the flavor. Very chocolatey. Sort of reminds me of Whoppers in the flavor and gritty mouthfeel. Certainly a damn fine beer, but nothing outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 21:37:12 | More by tjthresh
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to msubulldog for this fine beer. 2006 vintage.

a - pours like well-used motor oil, thick and black, one-to-two finger tan head with great retention and lacing, absolutely beautiful looking stout

s - bittersweet chocolate is dominant aroma, some burnt malts in the body, hints of oak and bourbon, slight alcohol notes

t - very smooth flavor, nice mix of dark chocolate and deeply roasted malt, slightly sweet, finish has quite a bit of oak and notes of bourbon, not much alcohol detectable outside the bourbon notes, but just enough to know it's there, so delicious

m - full-bodied and very creamy, coats the mouth well, mild carbonation, warming effect

d - so smooth for a big stout, alcohol is not harsh at all, easy on the palate but complex at the same time

Very complex and smooth RIS. One of my favorites and very nearly flawless. Had a Dark Lord the night before this and The Abyss is every bit as good in my opinion. While DL is more in your face and aggressive, this beer is more reserved and smooth but just as complex. Well worth seeking this one out. Here's to hoping Deschutes makes this an annual release.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 21:41:27 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Classy looking bottle. The black wax covering the top and neck...the bold, minimal label...my snifter is eager to receive.

Nice big mocha head doesn't stay big long, but it stays in some capacity for a good while before crowning. Head color is a gorgeous mocha, on top of an impossibly black, yep, abyss. Great dark brown lace too!

Aroma is less heavy and more "bright" than I would expect...toffee wafts through first, and something that resembles those soft maple candies from Brach's...and a good round alcoholic edge in the background, which becomes more pronounced (and less attractive) as the very slight chill dissipates.

A most interesting flavor, true to style but also unlike any other in its class. Slight alcohol burn hits first, acting as a bed for the richer, finer flavors to come: toffee, dark chocolate, espresso, fresh cream, smoke, roasted nuts, and a finish that lays on the bitterness of unsweetened baking chocolate. [and whaddaya know, a nice healthy burp reveals those big ol' hops!]

Mouthfeel isn't overly thick, but it is ridiculously creamy...feels like pure liquid velvet in the mouth. No stickiness, no post-sip pasty-mouth. Awesome.

Considering the combined flavor and mouthfeel, this has a breakfast-stout feel to it. And with such intense flavors and high ABV, it goes down incredibly clean and smooth. Thanks a ton to msubulldog25 for this fine specimen. You da man, Brian.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 21:59:23 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of nflmvp


4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour into my snifter, emptied this bomber completely, leaving a 2 finger head of mocha colored cream, topped by a rocky layer of bubbles. The body is nearly pitch black. Light barely penetrates the cap, reflecting back the mocha cap that is the creamy head.

Smell is mostly chocolate to my nose but there's some roastiness to it along with vanilla and just a hint of bourbon.

Taste is mostly chocolate again but the bourbon shines through in a light and pleasing manner. Hints of vanilla and roasted malts round out this beautiful sipper.

Mouth feel is full and smooth with well rounded edges.

Drinkability is good. I could sip this all night long....and I just may since I poured the whole bomber into one glass.

As it warms, this becomes even more tasty, although the alcohol also shows itself more so drinkability doesn't improve...not that I'm complaining ;-)

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 22:29:38 | More by nflmvp
Photo of lackenhauser


5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First things first-I hate wax sealed bottles! What a pain in the butt.

Gorgeous, silky smooth black color. Nice cocoa colored head on top. Really a nice looking beer. Deep, deep aroma-roasted malt and licorice. Somewhat fruity and caramel like. Thick roasted flavor. Black currants and licorice. Oakey with some great vanilla notes. Faint coffeeness to it. Very mellow sweetness. Perfect mouthfeel-doesnt finish too dry. No trace of any alcohol @ 11%. Really a fine beer and very drinkable. Perfect in all regards. Wish I had a case.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2007 00:51:08 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of hoppymeal


4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours oily black in color with an orangish tan head that slowly fades and leaves some light lacing. Nice roasty aroma, some light soft sugariness and some bourbony alcohol as well, but aroma is mainly a charred, burnt roastedness, coffee like. Very smooth and creamy as it hits the tongue. Again the sweet sugariness from the malts is quite soft and subtle but lingers slightly longer than in the aroma. Sweet sugariness has some light chocolate flavor and is followed by some acidity from the roastiness creeping in and growing stronger towards the finish. This acidic roastiness blends with some decent hop bitterness. An almost nutty roastiness in the finish as well as a decent amount of alcohol. Finishes dry with some alcohol burn at the back of the throat and an anise aftertaste. Very nice and roasty, extremely well balanced beer. Mouthfeel is great start to finish. Taste is solid and fairly complex.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 03:55:51 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of Domingo


3.83/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a DARK black color. Darkest beer I've ever seen! Forms a thin dark brown froth on the top.
Smells of smoky malt and like roasted coffee. Pacific northwestern Hops are in there, too.
Flavor starts off sweet, but then works it's way toward espresso and baker's chocolate. There's a little bit of spice in the finish. I think it's mainly due to the hops and maybe the licorice. As it warms, molasses starts to appear as well.
This brew is super thick, but that's good as it's a flavor bomb and needs that to keep it from seeming watery.
It starts off drinking very easy, but as you work your way down, you begin to realize what you're in for. Still, for an 11% brew, it's still amazingly easy. Definitely drinks easier than the vast majority of RIS's.
Probably the most potent Imperial Stout I've ever had, too. It doesn't quite have the flavor variety and dept of some others, but it's still excellent. I think I'm just more of a fan of the sweeter malts and dried fruit character, while this beer is all about roasted coffee character. I respect this brew a ton, but my own personal tastes lean in a slightly different direction.

(Edit, 2/14/08) I just tried the 2007 vintage and I have to say that it's MUCH more in-line with my tastes. More molasses, caramel, milk chocolate, and vanilla. It's still a little pricey and rare, but worth looking for.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 01:50:13 | More by Domingo
Photo of badbeer


4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black with a large, dark tan head. The head has amazing retention and leaves plenty of lacing. Smell has a hint of hops but this one seems more about the malt. I get plenty of roasty, chocolate-y, licorice and a bit of currants in the nose. Maybe even a little bit of oak and the slightest hint of vanilla. Taste seems to begin with some bittered chocolate and some licorice before dark fruit starts to come in, it ends up with a strong, roasty finish. I seem to get a bit of oak as well, some alcohol is noticeable too. Full bodied with carbonation on the lighter side; dry, roasty finish. This one is a sipper, but a damn good one. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 08:11:24 | More by badbeer
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very thick brown head that looks great! There is a very nice lacing left behind on this black as night beer. The smell is chocolately with some coffee, the smell reminds me of a chocolate wafer. The taste is smooth and full flavor of coffee hits you right away and the chocolate is left to the aftertaste. There's a lot of burnt wood in the flavor as well, kinda like when you put charcoal from the fire in your mouth (by accident). The mouthfeel is very silky and full bodied, very nice. Overall I would have this again after aging it a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 07:48:54 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at a slightly warm cellar temperature, sampled in celebration of getting my taxes done early this year. This looks absolutely incredible, with an epic burnt-sugar brown head, all creamy and dense and going nowhere fast. Cool reverse-cascade effect during the pour. The liquid itself blocks out any light source put to it -- black-hole type darkness here. Smells meaty and vinous at first. Then a bit of roasty char emerges, along with black plums, coconut, vanilla, caramel, Bing cherries, extremely mild citrusy hop notes, and just a promise of black liquorice. An amazing aroma, but the taste is mind-bogglingly complex: Big roasted black malt flavors, with dark cherries, prunes, fresh plums, raisins, all awash in just a hint of bourbon. Some char flavor sneaks in during the middle, along with vanilla notes and whispers of German chocolate cake. Black roasted finish lasts forever, it seems, with sharp vinous blackberry flavors interspersed among the panoply of burnt deliciousness and puckery oaky tannins. Alcohol flavor is noticeable, but melds expertly with bourbon accents. Slick, luxuriously silky mouthfeel. Not too heavy, but substantial all the same. The folks at Deschutes knew exactly how long to age this one before letting it out of the gate. This is something I could easily drink all night, every night if I could. Really, I couldn't ask for anything more in a Russian Imperial Stout. As close to perfection as I can imagine. I was lucky enough to get my order in to Liquid Solutions in time before these all sold out, but I wish I would have ordered more than three. At least it will be available again some time in 2008. You'd better believe I'm stocking up on this one at that time. Excellent, excellent beer. Seek out at all costs.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 01:29:48 | More by orfeu
Photo of ClockworkOrange


4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to johnmichaelsen for bringing this wonderful RIS for us to share. I had a small taste of The Abyss a few weeks ago at another BA gathering, but it was too small a sample to base a review on. Not this time. Poured from a wax sealed 22oz. bomber bottle the color of coal with a lovely two fingers of dark tan colored head. Smells of rich roasted malts and coffee, as well as dark chocolate, dried fruits, caramel, and molasses. Tastes of roasted coffee, cocoa, licorice, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla. Intense and delicious. Very smooth and full bodied. Wonderful. Do yourself a huge favor and seek this fantastic brew out. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 04:58:26 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of Phatz


4.83/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It was a real pleasure to meet BA johnmichaelsen this weekend. Much thanks to John for bringing a real special treat. Thanks for sharing the Abyss. This is an exceptional RIS.

Appearance: Pours a perfect absolute black color with a light brown chocolaty brown head. Even in a small glass it had nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Oh my goodness this is an enticing aroma. A bouquet of delightful chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, licorice, molasses, hints of spiced rum and suggestion of smokiness. Let the salivating begin. This is divine.

Taste: The nose is glorious and the taste is even more rich. It is loaded with sweet dark malts, fruits and chocolate flavors. The sweet soft milky chocolaty flavors and the licorice, molasses and toffee, are balance by just the right infusion of coffee espresso hop flavors and a light alcohol feel showing through like fudgy port. MAGNIFICENT!!!

Mouthfeel: This is a rich chewy full-bodied beer. The carbonation is low giving it a silky smoothness that is ideal with its big feel and bigger flavor.

Drinkability: This is definitely a big beer in all respects but I could really enjoy sipping this slowly all night long. This is truly a work of art. A masterpiece from Deschutes Brewery.

Thanks John for bringing this all the way from Oregon so we could have a chance to try it.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 21:44:01 | More by Phatz
Photo of Luchman


4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as black with a dark cocoa colored, big bubbled head. Dissipates rather quickly leaving some nice subtle lacing and clumps on the surface.

S: Smooth coffee and chocolate hit the nose first. A nice subtle oakiness is in the mix as well. Slight toffee and grassy hops.

T: Yum! The flavors here just love to "smooth" together.Coffee/roasted malts and chocolate are the leaders here surprisingly, with oak hints added. Yum. Some slight licorice, slight toffee, and a tad bit of bourbon notes round out this awesome flavor. Yum. One thing I'm wondering is... Where the hell is that 11%? Trace amounts of alcohol is around there, but nowhere does it even hint at 11%. Hops are there as well, leaving there presence on the tongue. Ends on the dry side. Again, yum!

M: Mouth feel is almost perfect. Smooth and creamy. Medium/full body with perfect carbonation.

D: My expectations for this was really high and it delivered. Definitely on my top 5 stouts, if not number one. Seek this one out for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 21:26:51 | More by Luchman
Photo of Wasatch


4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage
22oz. Bomber/Waxed

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head which leaves some small islands and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is sweet roasted malts, licorice, slight vanilla, deep chocolate/toffee and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious of sweet roasted malts, chocolate/toffee, licorice. This puppy goes down very smooth, with a slight dry finish. Full/Medium body, seems to me this years is very creamy, the ABV is hidden very well. Very Drinkable, another awesome batch from Deschutes.

2009 Vintage
22oz. Bomber/Black Waxed

Thanks deepsouth for this brew.

Pours a thick black color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head which lasted a couple of minutes, which then left some nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is sweet roasted malts, licorice, slight vanilla, deep chocolate/toffee and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious of sweet roasted malts, chocolate/toffee, licorice. This puppy goes down very smooth, with a slight dry finish. The ABV is hidden very well. Full/Medium body, a very nice well balanced brew. Very drinkable, definitely the best brew for me from Deschutes.

2008 Vintage
22oz. Bomber/Black Waxed

Thanks JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Pours a thick black color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head which lasted a couple of minutes, some oil slicks, and some nice lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet roasted malts, licorice, slight vanilla, deep chocolate/toffee and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious of sweet roasted malts, chocolate/toffee, licorice. This puppy goes down very smooth, with a slight dry finish. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body, a very nice well balanced brew. Very drinkable, definitely the best brew for me from Deschutes.

2007 Vintage
22oz. Bomber/Black Waxed

Thanks JohnGalt1 and Bitterbill for this brew.


Pours a thick black color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head which lasted a couple of minutes, some oil slicks, and some nice lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet roasted malts, licorice, slight vanilla, deep chocolate/toffee and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious of sweet roasted malts, chocolate/toffee, licorice. This puppy goes down very smooth, with a slight dry finish. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body, a very nice well balanced brew. Very drinkable, definitely the best brew for me from Deschutes.

2006 Vintage
22oz. Bomber/Waxed

Thanks msubulldog25


Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head which lasted a couple of minutes, some oil slicks, and some nice lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet roasted malts, licorice, slight vanilla, deep chocolate/toffee and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious of sweet roasted malts, chocolate/toffee, licorice. This puppy goes down very smooth, with a slight dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, definitely the best brew for me from Deschutes.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 03:12:51 | More by Wasatch
Photo of isaac


4.55/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the horse-brass.

A - Dark, dark, dark body with a small coffee head (came to the table 1-fingered) that sinks to a film very similar to the crema on a good espresso. left chunks of lace down the glass.

S - strong, pungent chocolate and roasted malts mix with a sort of cherry-like booziness.

T - velvety bitter chocolate (like baker's cocoa), dark fruits, a sort of oaky-whiskey flavor, and ever-so-slight PNW hoppiness in the finish.

M - so damn smooth! big body with low carbonation and a pervasive creaminess.

D - such a good beer! a bit heavy to pair with a plate of fish n' chips, but both were excelent!

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2007 23:04:43 | More by isaac
Photo of clickpush


4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: 22oz bomber to tulip glass. A thick opaque liquid pours out of the bottle, seemingly flat at first like heated molasses, but as it splashes into the glass a thick dark brown head forms over top, swelling and growing to about two fingers thick, looking more like chocolate whipped cream than the head of a beer. Very thick and slow to go away.

Nose: Like a cup of joe, seriously. This could be coffee. Burnt up toast, slightly vinous, something that could singe my nose hairs, thick roast malts that I can't wait to drink.

Mouth: Exactly like it smells, only stronger. Very bitter all the way through, like chewing on chocolate covered espresso beans. Coffee, chocolate, and burnt toast. Charcoal swallow, very dry. A bit viscous in the mouthfeel, something I would let sit for a year or two and see how it develops. Chewy thick body with consistent pestering of tiny little carbonation bubbles.

Seriously one of the best stouts I've ever had. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 17:27:30 | More by clickpush
Photo of 1whiskey


5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap first at at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland, proper review from on tap at Old Chicago in Beaverton, Or.

Black, opaque crude oil appearance with a dark chocolate head. Absolutely no light gets through this. Impressive.

Nose reveals a huge burst of baker's chocolate, robust coffee, vanilla and slight smoke. Alcohol comes through a little, but I have no complaints.

H-U-G-E maltiness and Kona coffee notes bulldoze your taste buds, followed by burnt sugar and caramel notes. After intitial tasting more subtle notes become noticable. Bourbon and vanilla (just enough to compliment and not get in the way) are evident, playing off the chocolate and coffee flavors to please anyone with a sweet tooth. Soon after, the brightness of citus hops begins to shine through, lending balance and Zinfandel-like spicyness to the equation. Fruit flavors, notably fig, start to become evident as this warms. Make no mistake, this is a BIG beer. But the way all of the flavors are so delicately interwoven is amazing.

Believe the hype, this is obscenely good.

Great creamy mouthfeel, with suprisingly active carbonation. This is not as heavy as you would imagine. Drinkabily is amazing....but make sure to sip this one. At 11% ABV and $4 a pint, it may be toooo drinkable.

Get it now....if you still can. This is the must try beer for the year, and the new standard by which all other Impy stouts will be measured against. Simply incredible.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2007 05:00:39 | More by 1whiskey
Photo of Westsidethreat


4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to cwier (aka Duckboy) for this gem

A: Pitch black, shiny and oily. A full, thick finger high mass of dark beige bubbles form a solid ceiling across the top of the body.

S: Milk chocolate, coffee highs, oak, vanilla and some recognizable hops.

T: Starts with strong Belgian chocolate and smooth tobacco leaf. Dark, robust chocolate personality begins to blossom, balanced well with a huge amount of bitterness aided by a copious amount of hops. As it warms, the chocolate really explodes and the hop profile develops too…really fresh, piney hops. Hops are almost minty with licorice aspects to them. Finishes with some vanilla, a lot of spicy chocolate and milky lactose.

M: Full body, nice mouthfeel and good carbonation.

D: Absolutely delicious imperial stout, but not a lick of bourbon anywhere near it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just a bit of false advertising. No negative points given because of that of course. Drinkability is superb, I’ll kill this 22oz by myself with out having much problem.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 06:41:46 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of BlindPig


4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- About a 1/4" mocha head on a black body. Thin lacing that just doesn't cover the whole top.
S- Some really big coffee notes. Light roasted malts also come through. Very faint dry hop aroma in there too. The malts come off a bit dry in the aroma.
T- Really big coffee malt flavor. Some roasted malt comes through also. Leaves a pretty dry taste in the mouth. Also a nice size bitterness but not sure if it is a bitterness from the malts or from hops. Can't really taste any hops in it. Maybe a tad bit of some dry grass hops. Some light oak mixed in it too. Nothing that comes off big at all.
M- Medium to full body (more on full side) with low carbonation and kind of oily.
D- It is good. There is to much coffee malts in this for me. I prefer it with more chocolate and roasted malts. Is pretty tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 05:38:56 | More by BlindPig
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,652 ratings.