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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

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The AbyssThe Abyss

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5,516 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,516
Reviews: 1,731
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,605
Gots: 2,689 | FT: 204
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 (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,516 | Reviews: 1,731 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was lucky enough to open a bottle from 2009 with some fellow BAs on the Fourth

The appearance was pretty standard for an imperial stout. There was nothing too special but it looked good. It poured a smooth, yet viscous, midnight black with some sediment in the pour. There was a slight khaki head that laced the glass. It smelled of coffee, oak, and chocolate with some slight sweetness to it. As for the taste, it had a slightly oaky chocolatey bitterness. There was perhaps a scent of vanilla as well. The mouthfeel was good but nothing too special either. There was medium carbonation to go with the full body. The alcohol wasn't present in the taste at all, which was surprising. As for drinkability, I wasn't blown away by the Abyss. In fact, I was a little disappointed. I expected it to be more than it was, mainly due to it's reputation as a top ten beer. It was good, but didn't live up to the hype.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.
Original tasting: 6/11/2010

22 oz. bottle into brandy snifter.

2009 Vintage
*Note: No spoilage was noticed.

A: Small creamy tan head floating atop a liquid black hole. No observable thinning along the edges. This is a thick, viscous brew. Not much lacing, but a nice creamy cover lingers.

S: Powerful bitter chocolate aroma sweetened with a hing of molasses and caramel. Licorice notes in the background.

T: Bitter chocolate takes center stage with a hint of booze in the background. Dark sweet maltiness with molasses and perhaps a bit of vanilla. Very pleasing palate, something to be savored with friends. This would shine with a meal, but did just fine on the deck. A bit more time for the booze to mellow would help tremendously.

M: Creamy body with low to medium carbonation. A little hot, but no noticeable burn. Low bitterness on the tongue.

D: Great beer, but one bottle is plenty and sharing is even better. Goes down easy for the style, and I can't ask for more than that.

O: Worth the wait, and worth the effort to track it down.

Photo of pmccallum86
1.21/5  rDev -73.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2009 Reserve

Pours a dark oily color body with a big bubbly tan coffee colored head that last forever.

Smell is of big chocolate and coffee with a funky barnyard smell normally associated with sours. Kind of strange, this must be one of the infected bottles.

Taste is chocolate and barnyard funk. Some acidic and vinegar notes as well. Yup, this beer must be infected. Imagine a wild ale had sex with an imperial stout, this is their lovechild.

Mouthfeel has high carbonation with a dry leathery feel. Not good.

I guess the rumor is true, the 2009 Abyss batch has gone bad. I am truly disappointed as this was my first Abyss ever and I was eagerly awaiting drinking it.

Photo of Vaylaus
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 bottle. Add me to list who've jumped the gun due to the infection scare.

A: Black as night, with a big thick tan head that covers more than half the glass at first pour. Going to have to take this in 1/4 increments.

S: Oh my. Out of the bottle, a slight sour smell emanates...once in the glass, a sour bourbon smell wafts out, along with the normal hints of licorice and molasses as advertised.

T: At first, the sourness shows itself with the "normal" Abyss flavors (rich chocolate, a hint of black licorice, a nice bourbon finish), like that guy who shows up at your party claiming to be someone's cousin. But as time goes on, and the beer warms up, he passes out and goes to sleep. Translation, it's still the same good beer at the moment when it warms up and airs out a touch.

M: Thick, smooth, decadent. Everything a stout should be here.

D: Lethally smooth, once the party crasher fades. No alcohol evident, just the smoothest big stout I've come across.

I fear for the other five in my cellar, but they will soldier on. Hopefully whatever infection exists, will remain a minor annoyance. Still a world-class stout from a world-class brewery.

Note: I opened a bottle 3 months ago upon purchase with no signs of infection. Only difference was a little more alcohol "heat". Scores balanced against both tastings.

Photo of crossovert
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 2009 bottle previously I will give them a chance of redemption. 2010 bottle.

It pours a deep, rich black with a frothy, creamy dark brownish tan head that sparkles with bubbles and eventually leaves beautiful ringed lacing on the sides of my snifter. It sure looks great.

It has a thick-smelling molasses, caramel, and chocolate bonanza. There is some nice biscuity scent in there as well. The oak comes in slightly with oakiness and some vanilla. Roasted malts and coffee round out the scent profile. The one thing I'm missing in the scent is the advertised licorice. It surprisingly smells very similar to last year, minus the hint of sourness.

The flavor is very nice. This is a rich, robust stout with plenty of bitterness unlike some of the other big-name stouts. Lots of bitter cocoa, roasted malt, and coffee, it just comes in waves. The barrel aging doesn't present itself as much in the flavor. There is some oak flavor but not an oaky smoothness. It is woody but in a way that accentuates the bitterness. It could be just because this stout is so much more bitter than its counterparts. Usually you see the oak melding with the sweetness creating a smooth, rich flavor. This one instead opts for a woodsy bitterness. I love it. The sweetness is there though. It creeps up on you, most of it is chocolate. It isn't too harsh with the alcohol, but you can feel it is a pungent brew. The things it lacks in the flavor though are bourbon and licorice, but maybe they just blend in so well that I don't notice them.

This one stands tall in the imperial stout category. I think the reason people love it is it doesn't get over the top with the sweetness.

Photo of fear025
3.96/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:Upon first whiff, I get a slightly sour bourbon smell. There is just a hint of chocolate and caramel in the nose.

Appearance:This is a dark, dark beer, with a thick and creamy head, that you can cut with a knife. Very decent lacing.

Taste:Alcohol burn hits you squarely upon the first sip. The foretaste is a slightly sour bitterness with dark malts. The creamy dark malty flavor continues through the mid and aftertaste. The hops play second (or third) fiddle to the malts and bourbon.

Mouthfeel:Thick and creamy, with alcohol heat. Not very much carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability:This 2009 beer is Best After 11/1/2010, and could definitely use more aging. As the beer is still young, it makes sense that the bourbon is on the heavy side, but still an enjoyable sipping beer.

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

This was a 2009 bottle that was opened a few months prior to the suggested initial opening date by Deschutes.

A - Half fingered mocha colored head and is black as black can be. Looks very viscous and there no light getting through this black hole.

S - Very rich cocoa and bitter dark chocolate with mild amounts of molasses, oak, light vanilla bean, and anise/black licorice.

T - Mimics the nose but with more intensity. Has a dry oak complexity with a tobacco flavor intermingled with bitter chocolate, cocoa, molasses, and vanilla. Finishes dry and leaves a bitter chocolate/tobacco coating in the mouth that lingers on and on to remind you of the previous euphoric sip.

M - Smooth and creamy with a heavy and full body. Slides over the tongue like total silk.

D - Exceptional.

This is my opinion of how an Imperial Stout should taste and ranks as one of the most enjoyable I've ever had for the style. Too bad this beer is so hard to get, I wish I lived closer to the brewery! Every sip was savored in a snifter, simply amazing and not one of those overrated beers. It's not too often I get this excited about a beer, definitely worthy of its prestigeous status.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

09 vintage...

Probably wouldn't have poped this one so early if it wasn't for the thread; however, my paranoid persona got the best of me...

Poured from a bomber into a BJ's Brewhouse fathers day 2010 pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger dark brown head. Head retention is excellent, and there is lots of lacing that sticks to the glass. This one looks amazing...

Starting to get nervous...

This is the moment of truth...

Please let there be no signs of a sour smell...

S - I don't have the best sense of smell, but i'm pretty sure I don't pick up any hints of sourness. What I do get is; chocolate, licorice and a slight whiff of bourbon...Very nice...

T - Chocolate, licorice and roasted malt notes hit me up front. A very nice touch of vanilla comes through followed by the smooth warmth of Bourbon. This is how a beer is supposed to taste...

M - A thick full body with a decent amount of carbonation for how creamy this one is...

D - This is by far one of the best beers I have tasted . If i had the money I would drink these all day long. Had this on a fairly empty stomach, and caught a nice buzz. Looking foward to visiting this one again on xmas.


Photo of tegelaar
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another one pouring early due to the scare.. I smell a tiny bit of sourness in the nose but it is nowhere in the taste. Glad I opened it now. On to the review.

Pours a jet black with a coffee colored head. The head was very minimal and reduced to a film. Smells of bitter chocolate and sweet licorice. Smells a bit weak for my tastes. Taste is another story. This one explodes with licorice, chocolate and a nice burn of bourbon. This beer is quite bitter and I am finding it very enjoyable. This is extremely tasty. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I am used to for the style, but I actually prefer it. This is so tasty that it raises the drinkability despite the strength. Overall an excellent beer.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to kbutler1 for this one. Due to the recent infection scare, I've decided to do my own investigative reporting. Here are my results:

4.5 A: A suspicious syruppy black enters my snifter. Two fingers of medium brown, frothy/creamy hybrid head stares me down for a slightly better than average amount of time. Indeed, the last quarter inch beckons me to attempt a sniff. Tormented lacing covers all angles of the glass.

5.0 S: Half expecting lactobacillus to bring forth pain and destruction, I lean over my glass. Instead, I am greeted with a lovely bouquet of amiable aromas. Sweet chocolate is most apparent with vanilla oakiness and molasses tying for the silver. The next wave brings a subdued bourbon and brewer's licorice.

5.0 T: The taste is as magical as the nose. Bourbon and licorice step forward from their stealth positions take command. Vanilla and molasses are second. Oakiness, a mild bitterness, and roasted barley play their roles as well. Alcohol is apparent, but not overly so.

4.5 M: Lighter heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a moderate warming aftertaste.

4.5 D: The barleywines and RISs of my cellar rejoice. Their comrad has not been subdued by illness, but rather by Emporer DavoleBomb, who chuckles with delight as another great brew has done his bidding. Lots of great stuff going on with this one. I dare say this is better than the 08. One day an epic vertical will decide the true victor.

Photo of emmasdad
3.93/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Had to try one of these tonight, based on the recent thread. Pours jet black, with a huge rocky mocha colored head, which stays with the beer throughout. I initially get a very, very slight funky/sour smell, along with wood, charcoal, molasses and black licorice. Very smooth, with flavors of dark chocolate, black licorice, bourbon and charred oak. This one seems to have mellowed a bit over the last seven months or so, and is becoming a pretty solid beer.

Photo of stakem
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter The Abyss appears pretty much pitch black in color. When held up to the light it still is nothing but a black darkness in the glass. However, when swirled around to thin it out, light eventually gets a chance to shine through and display some ruby red hues. The head initially appears with 2 fingers of brown head that receeds to a thin half finger atop the brew that retains well once it settles in it's place. Appendages of lacing stick all about the glassware.

When the bottle was cracked and poured, I immediately shoved my nose in the glass and there was an abundant amount of metallic character to be noted. However, as it warms the metallic notes slowly fade and give way to a greater depth of complexity. This brew has a "best after date of 11/1/2010" and you can tell it would best be enjoyed with a little more time spent in the bottle. It is big and boozy but I couldn't resist opening this, I needed to try it. Behind the bold scent of alcohol there is a great amount of dark burnt grain character smelling of roasted goodness wrapped around and blended with notes of licorice and hints of dark sugary sweetness contributed by the molasses. Finishing out the aroma in the back is the sweetness from the molasses along with a bit of dark fruit character a bit like prunes and a woodsy scent leaves the last impression in the nose..

The flavors of this brew are all over the place perplexing the palate but always working together to be an enjoyable experience with every sip. The alcohol is bold and stands firm throughout the entire tasting experience. However, the boldness of the alcohol helps to accent some of the flavors of the dark grain bitterness that linger in the mouth. Other tastes of dry woodsiness are noted along with an ever present character of brewer's licorice and faint dark sugary sweetness brought forth by the molasses. Residing in the back of the throat with every sip is the burn of the alcohol along with a bitter dark grain flavor that at times has suggestions of hoppy citrus bitterness also being contributed. Furthermore there is a very light touch of sourness suggesting possibly the use of sourmashing techniques in this brew (or heaven forbid the early signs of infection.)

The body of this beer is much lighter than I expected. Perhaps it is the sterotypical assumption that dark beers have more body. Or possibly it was the incorporation of molasses that made me think this would be heavy...regardless it isn't. It is more of a middle of the road medium bodied brew than thick and viscous as I expected. The carbonation is pretty much spot on. Drinkability is about as good as it gets for a beer of this magnitude. This is a good one to sit down and enjoy over a length of time or share with some friends. I look forward to enjoying it again.

Photo of djmichaelk
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter. Best after Nov 2010 (but had to at least give this a try now).

A - Black as midnight, not even a hint of light getting through. It's a pretty dark room, but I think it got even darker when I poured this. Two-finger mocha-colored head that dissipates after a couple of minutes, with not much in the way of a cap. Rings of lace around the glass.

S - Burnt sugar and molasses at first, with just a little sweetness in the back of your throat. Roasted malt and coffee in the middle. Slight hints of dark chocolate and vanilla.

T - Much more of the roasty malts, and dark chocolate up front. French roast coffee, molasses, and now I get the licorice that I didn't get in the nose. Not getting a lot of bourbon, which is a slight disappointment, but it doesn't hurt the flavor at all. This is an excellent, excellent beer. Not much heat from the alcohol either. My only regret is that I don't have any chocolate to pair with this.

M - Thick, heavy, and nearly syrupy. I'm not sure where others are feeling that this is too thin; if this was thicker it might be almost too much.

D - I've had a bomber now and showing no signs of slowing down. By itself it might be a bit much, but being paired with some smoked gouda provides a counterbalance that keeps me wanting more. I might just go open a second.

O - This is truly a great beer. I'm glad that I bought a few; I might even go back to buy another half a case. Can't wait to see what a year or two will do for it.

Photo of jskoog
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me clarify by saying I normally don't drink stouts. I was however lucky enough to try this one as it was shared at a tasting by branimal9.

Pours a deep dark brown almost black color. Nose was dark chocolate and raisin. Almost conflicting tastes that really bring the flavor alive. Dark chocolate up front with a slightly tart raisin following closely behind. Although these aren't normally my style I find myself craving another glass. Wonderful...

Photo of chalsk
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, and alcohol. Has a sweet taste. More watery and alcohol biting up front. Then turns more malty and chocolaty on the back end. 2009 Vintage. Needs some aging. Too harsh and not worthy of a BA top 5 spot.

Photo of branimal9
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage, shared with my fellow Upstate BA'ers - 6/9/2010.

Pours a black hole of deep rich brown color, with milk chocolate, vanilla and a hint of raisin on the nose. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt sugar & cinnamon all make appearances in the taste. Oily & syrup-like in texture. Haven't tried any other vintages of this beer, but the 2007 seems to be doing quite well. Tasty!

Photo of sholland119
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the City Tap House, 6/13/10.

A-Pours deep brown, almost black, trailing to ruby brown with a pooling mocha head and good sticky lacing.

S-Caramel, dark chocolate, rum soaked dark fruit and some mild alcohol. In a word, awesome.

T-Really as good as this style gets. Complex, rich flavors. Roasted coffee and sweet chocolate and caramel, with a hint of tobacco and molasses. Finishes with a moderate amount of warming alcohol.

M-Medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation. surprisingly light on the tongue.

D-Not sure what vintage this was but boy was this smooth! Much more pleasant and easy to drink than fresh bottles I have had.. One of the best beers of Philly Beer Week!


Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up one of the last bottles at Whidbey Beer Works in Oak Harbour Wa. Drank it that night with Dad on vacation. When I opened the bottle ( the wax sucks to open) it at first let me down since the intial sips had metallic notes in the finish. With all the hype I wanted this beer to blow me away but things were starting off rough. Thankfully it warmed up and the metallic notes disappeared replace with a long luscious chocolate note mixed in with vanilla and dark malts. The nose also was inviting and complex. End result a great beer though not the best in the style I have tried. Maybe I should have taken it home and put it in the cellar?

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a sluggish jet black color with a nice brown head to it

S: Mmmm, lots of roasted malt, licorice, chocolate

T: A nice booze sting up front, roasted malt, licorice, dark and bitter chocolate, coffee, earthy notes

M: Bog on the palate, lots of flavor

D: If you are going to drink the style this is a must!

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the City Tap House for beer week, I love this city. Never thought I would see the day.

Off the tap and into the tulip, abysss looks black in the glass, dark night black, blackness, just like a stout. A firm inch of dark khaki brown foam on top with a milkshake consistancy. Smells include a nice big roasty presence mixed in with some chocolate and licorice with a slight presence of the oak aging, not much of the bourbon comes through. It's not the boldest nose, I'll admit. Taste picks things up with dark roasted malt goodness combined with some chocolate and light vanilla. Some anise squirts along with dark licorice. Mollases up front and not hop forward, there is some hint of em though. Off the tap this stuff is great, the feel is not as big as something of this stature should be. It went down all to smooth. Not overly sweet, or overly hopped, well balanced. A big body with nice light carb. If I was not driving I would of stayed longer and had a glass more, but no more than that. It's big, it needs to be respected.

Photo of Chizoad
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottling. Poured into a pint glass, and a big chocolatey head with fat bubbles bursting through as it settles over a few minutes down to a thin, brown layer. Inky brown-black. Gorgeous. This is how a beer really ought to look. I would imagine a nitro tap would be even better, but I can't imagine anything coming out of a bottle looking any better.

Nose fulfills with chocolate, coffee, bitterness, and ... popcorn? A little saltiness at least.

The licorice, coffee, and bitterness flows through in perfection. A little metallic. I don't think there's really much else going on here, but what is is nailed. Great stout here.

I'm actually a little surprised it's not heavier on the mouth. For the style it's probably perfect. Good carbonation. The nitro bubble size would improve it I think.

Very drinkable. The alcohol doesn't burn through ever, and it's not too heavy at all. If your tolerance can deal, you can drink a lot of this. Of course at 11% you might have to get a 2nd liver.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at city tap house. In the best beer town on earth during beer week.

A- comes my way with a good finger of chestnut brown frothy head that settles quickly to some suds on top and bit of lace. Pitch black with hints of brown at the very edges.

S- tons of brownie batter and the darkest roasted coffee I've ever experienced in a beer. Anise and a mild oaky char. Hints of the bourbon but very fleeting.

T- the espresso and dark chocolate take the lead and roll ever so smoothly into the semi sweet anise and dark roasted malts. A bit of a bitterness breaks through the murk and adds to the roast and plays with the sweet nicely, I can't tell if its from some hops or some of the roasted beans. the oak and char open up with warming and bring a hint of the bourbon with it.

M- thick and chewy but the perfect amount of carb on draft brings this brew to a new level and I love it. Dry finish.

D- for a beer of this depth of flavor, boldness, and abv this is amazingly drinkable. I've had the bottle but on draft is crazy.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.21/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery tulip. 2009 vintage that's been in my cellar. Didn't realize I hadn't reviewed this from the bottle yet.

Pitch black with a three finger khaki head. Takes awhile to die down to a layer of bubbly foam. Some lacing left down the side of the glass.

Cocoa nibs, oak, vanilla and dark fruits.

Cocoa nibs and oak up front. Then some dark chocolate, smoke and a hint of vanilla. There are dark fruits and coffee bitterness in there as well. Tobacco and a hint of caramel on the way out. Smoke, oak and tobacco remain pretty strong in the aftertaste. The beer is a little too charred bordering acrid, otherwise it would have gotten a higher rating for taste.

The beer is on the low side of full bodied, somewhat creamy and a sharp bite on the end. Slightly hot on the way down.

Quite drinkable. Not much bourbon presence, unfortunately.

Photo of AWolf
4.06/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jared (jespo80) for getting this to me in a trade, I've had a few tastes but I've been waiting a long time to try this in a meaningful amount. Shared with the parents before I leave home for my first REAL job : /.

Pours very dark with a nice dark brown head. Very little head initially, but after the pour it increases substantially. Not much of a smell for me, I get my nose very close but I don't detect much other than alcohol and coffee.

The taste is great, however. It has some very definite coffee and chocolate undertones, as well as a bitterness I can't quite put my finger on - perhaps leather? I'm really not getting any bourbon at all, my dad claims to pick up on some though so maybe my sense of taste just isn't acute enough to pick up on it. Mouthfeel is great, just what you would want from an imperial stout. It coats my mouth completely and I can taste it long after I take a drink. Great beer overall, if you get a chance to try it don't pass it up!

Photo of liquidcraft
3.83/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009. Certainly a deep dark brown, it wasn't as thick and oily as I would have expected from something called the "abyss". Small tan head revealing the carbonation. Scents of roasted malts and coffee as expected, others of licorice, soy and booze.

It tastes like it smells. Mildly charred malt flavors and a little coffee...kind of salty. Way less boozy in the taste, not much bourbon. I like a lot of bourbon barreled beers, but the barrel and bourbon always seem to be dominant. While classic bourbon flavor wasn't there, some residue sweetness was there along with hints of wood...It was good but not great. Assuming they make a 2010 release I'd go try a bottle of that too, but I don't think I'd line my shelves with it.

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,516 ratings.