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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

4,964 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,964
Reviews: 1,644
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 9.51%
Wants: 2,527
Gots: 2,230 | FT: 155
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Abyss Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,964 | Reviews: 1,644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large capped and waxed bottle, courtesy of wasatch. 2007.

Poured into a snifter, it is pitch black, with a big, foamy dark tan head, with great lacing and retention.
Aroma is rich and complex, from dark fruits including prunes and berries to coffee, molasses, dark chocolate and an abundance of roasted grains - the roasted smell here is the predominant note. There might be a faint oakiness, but I might also be looking to hard for it.
Full on the palate, as expected, it comes out with a strong roasted flavor, grainy, with some balancing fruity notes, but the dark chocolate, unsweetened coffee and overall assertive bitterness comes along and takes over the flavor. It is at times somewhat unbalanced towards bitterness, but still very impressive.
Alcohol is barely noticeable, if at all.
Very good, but perhaps not as good as a top 10. Incredibly worthwhile nonetheless; need to try this one aged a little longer to see how the bitterness evolves.

brdc, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to cracking one of these open- good thing too, its starting to get quite warm here! Let me say right off that this beer is a good deal mellower than I expected from all the hype and reviews. I like it, but not as much as Kate, Ten Fidy, Bourbon County, Rasputins, and a number of others. Its a solid RIS, but its a bit overhyped. Pours inky black, but lacks a solid head and what is there isn't as powerfully dark as a Ten Fidy. In the aroma, you can certainly smell the molasses as well as some light coffee notes, some late chocolate, some fairly mellow licorice atouch of brandied dark fruit, and the slightest bit of vinous quality. It isn't as long as a Bourbon County nor as vinous and complex and fruity as Kate, and overall a bit lighter than expected, but still quite nice. The taste is also quite smooth. Not very vinous, but instead it leans toward the chocolatey with a bit of ash, more dark fruit, molasses and quite a bit of sweet licorice. Well integrated and quite delicious, but not quite as deeply flavored as Rasputins or Ten Fidy, and not quite as complex as Kate. Still, nice interplay of flavors. The mouthfeel is a bit on the viscous side, but surprisingly light in the mouth and not at all hot. As it warms a bit of bitter licorice on the end creeps in, but surprisingly, little roastiness beyond a deep char that is almost ashy. Drinks fairly well considering it doesn't blow the top of your head off like Bourbon County and is exceedingly smooth. Exceptionally good, but not the top of the heap.

Georgiabeer, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of GoreStorm
4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - jet black, no lightening in color around the edges whatsoever, the head looks like caramel that you that i could dip popcorn in for caramel corn. good head retention, a handsome beer.

S - i didn't even have to raise the glass to my nose to get a strong wiff of sweet and roasty malt, on further inspection i smell coffee and chocolate as well.

T - starts off with a the roasted malt, then i get a some sweetness and chocolate and coffee flavors in the middle before a super long and balanced roasty and bitter finished. exceptional balance. he high ABV is masked very well.

M - a tad syrupy, but smooth and nice.

D - i would never turn one of these down, however, after a couple of rounds could become satiating due to the thickness....i should stop and say that the high alcohol would limit me...but in all seriousness i wouldn't think about it.

GoreStorm, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to RoBotGod for this one. I opened this one in celebration of my two kids acceptance into private school. I'd better enjoy the finer brews before the tuition starts. ;)

Poured from a bottle a deep black-black with a thin mocha colored head.

Aroma of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and charcoal.

Tastes of rich dark coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, licorise, and molasses. Slightly bitter finish. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden in this beauty.

Rich mouthfeel, smooth and creamy, and lightly carbonated.

This beer kicks all kinds of ass. Highly recommended.

Monkeyknife, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of mrkrispy
4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got a few bottles of the Abyss but oddly hadn't gotten around to trying one. I was thrilled to see it on draft at a local pizza/beer place.

Poured jet black with a caramel brown head. Head was retained thru several drinks.

Hints of roasted malt and chocolate with a very slight taste of coffee. Almost no alcohol taste, but definitely felt it by the end of the glass. Incredible balance.

I enjoyed the Abyss but wasn't overwhelmed by the flavor. I am more impressed with the covering of the alcohol burn, however I rarely choose a beer by its ABV. I am more curious if the taste is affected by the draft serving vs. the bottle, so I will have to crack open a bottle of mine.

mrkrispy, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deschutes- The Abyss

Huge THANKS to Pwood for this 1!!

A- Jet black, thick viscosity and a solid creamy and decent lacing head.
S- Deep dark chocolate with huge doses of burnt wood and vanilla coming through.
T- Sweet creamy chocolate with coffee beans. An equal measure of oak, black licorice, molasses, vanilla, and heavy cream really round off this one.
M- Sweet and slightly smokey up front but finishing off silky smooth and a small alc. bite in the throat.

Overall- Creamy smooth and delicious. Definitely worth the hype!

NJpadreFan, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of RickSawyer
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is about as close to perfect I have had.... Split a bomber with my younger brother in from law school, pretty sure it changed his whole perspective on life.

Pours about black as possible. Not completely opaque, some amber corners make way when held against bright light. Milk chocolate, buck hide leather head composed of tiny bubbles. Trace lacing leaves behind tiny footprints on the glass. Nose is rich, slightly peppery dark chocolates, espresso, hints of prunes and raspberry leathers. Taste is huge. Sweet and roasty, dark chocolate, hints of sweet raspberry syrup, mild dark coffee, some leathery undertones and a hint of oak and a touch of alcohol heat that warms the throat. Dropping a point on the mouthfeel is similar to looking at the Mona Lisa and saying, "I would have curved the smile up here." Really, its great, but everyone is a critic right? Just a touch to watery for me. I would prefer a little bit more creamy. Regardless, coats the mouth and lets you taste this fantastic RIS for minutes after each sip. 11% is hidden extremely well. You can argue that The Abyss is so good that you loose words to describe its greatness, or that the 11% creeps up so amazingly that you don't even feel it until you can't put together coherent words.

Awesome.

RickSawyer, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber gotten at Liquidsolutions into an oversized wineglass.

A. Dark black with just the hint of red tint at the edges. Large frothy mocha colored head with outstanding lacing.

S. This is a complicated yet pleasing brew. Licorice, mollases, dark rum, expresso. The smells keep coming! This is a brew to sink your nose into.

T. As complicated as it smells. The expresso and mollases seem to dominate, but the other tastes are evident throughout.

M. Very creamy finish. The alcohol is well hidden.

D. I would like to give this a 5, but the abv and the great lengths I had to take to obtain this beer limit this rating.

I am not a big fan of RIS's, but this is a brew that definitely deserves it's hype. Next year I will be buying a few extra to cellar away.

MarkSCCOT, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of ClassicBrad
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Tolann for the bottle!

Pours an opaque black with a dense and wet coffee brown head that's lacing doesn't last very long.

This is an exceptional stout that I will seek out again and again. Beautiful roasted malt and molasses flavor with an amazing roasty aroma. The alcohol leaves a hot sensation in the back of the throat.

Terrific!!

ClassicBrad, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A black brew with a mocha colored head - mottled, thick and long lived. The lacing is dense and copious. The glass changes color to a slight brown tint due to this beer's presence.

S - Sweet dark chocolate, dates, raisins, espresso. The smell is powerful and delicious. The alcohol has a presence, but it is completely dominated, seemingly serving mostly as an aroma conduit.

T - Dark chocolate, licorice, espresso, burnt malt, grassy hops, a twinge of ethanol on the finish, but overshadowed by thick lingering charred sweetness. At warmer temperatures, the alcohol is side by side with the other flavors. The sweetness is subtle, but overall amazing. The aftertaste is mostly a charred bitter flavor. It is the least pleasant part of the beer.

M - Thick - a beer that must be chewed, smooth, pretty refreshing all things considered.

D - Wow. Words can barely express how much this beer has blown me away. Honestly, age might render this perfection. I have never reviewed a beer this highly before (out of ~600). This is fantastic.

mrasskicktastic, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of josiahschlender
4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The amount of hype this beer got here in Portland was hard to believe. Opening this beer, I was cautiously optimistic.

Not having a snifter, but not wanting to pour into a pint glass, I ended up pouring The Abyss into a wine glass. Definitely the most viscous pour I've ever seen. I wonder how much more relative quantity of ingredients this beer has per bottle than the typical beer. Color is an impenetrable black with a moderate dark cocoa-brown head. Not really any lacing on my glass, but the Abyss definitely left a coating on the the inside of the glass.

Many layers of intense aromas mingle on the nose. Dark roasted coffee, chocolate, sweet dark fruits, plus alcoholic Bourbon and vanilla extract.

Flavors are more concentrated than any other beer I've tasted. It's like they boiled off half the liquid to make a stout reduction, then bottled it. Excessive dark chocolate, coffee, burnt malts, molasses, Bourbon, licorice, earthy bitterness and more all overwhelm my taste buds. I don't recommend trying to pair this with food, you want the full effect. This is such a complex, expertly balanced, flavorful beer. Just a small sip yields a mouthful of tastes!

The finish is extremely long with a heavy, viscous, slightly alcoholic body. It coats and sticks, not wanting you to forget its presence. You know how if you let chocolate melt in your mouth, then it lingers for a long time? Kind of the same thing happening here.

Of the top-notch Imperial stouts I've tried, (Rogue, Storm King, Old Rasputin, Samuel Smith, Nøgne Ø, Yeti) this one tops them all so far. Too bad it's not more readily available. I guess it's so we can't have too much of a great thing.

josiahschlender, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of illidurit
5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty snifter. I can't think of anything to which to compare the blackness here that hasn't been used a thousand times already (ink, midnight, motor oil), so suffice it to say this beer is really really black. The head is a devilishly dark tan that forms slowly through the viscosity, peaking at 2 fingers' height. It gradually shrivels back down to a hazy cap, leaving spotted lacing along the way.

Aroma is deceptively sweet, a siren's song that tempts you to indulge yourself. Powdery cocoa and milk chocolate tickle the nose, with faint notes of licorice.

There's a lot to be said for the chocolate/coffee flavor dynamic of the RIS world, and there are lots of beers that manage greatness confined within that dynamic. But The Abyss is so much more. The chocolate emerges early on the palate and joins forces with the bittersweet bite of molasses. The licorice is fleeting but apparent, as the beer fades into a sublime roastiness. It's never too sweet and never too roasty. You'd never know that this beer is 11% abv but for the pleasant warmth in your chest.

The body is thick and luxurious, but this beer still finishes dry. Carbonation is spot-on for the style and facilitates the velvety smoothness.

Drinkability is immense for such a high gravity beer. The balance and synergy of the flavors make for a phenomenal brew. This beer deserves its hype and its rating.

illidurit, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Cafe Boogaloo in Hermosa Beach ($5 per draw, same price as all other beers on tap). This beer communicated "Russian Imperial Stout" in every way. It was dark and opaque with a very thick brown foam, and the bartender let it settle a little before topping it off. Nice. The smell was roasted malts and sweet malts, a little hint of chocolate but maybe I imagined it. The taste was really rich and sweet, with a little bit of roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. Very thick too. Really this lives up to the hype, it's good.

TurdFurgison, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of aromatorio
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad while I was waiting for the Release Night party at the bottle shop. I have to say I enjoyed this a lot more on tap than I did from a bottle. It looked just as dangerous and smelled about the same. The head stuck around a bit longer than I recall the bottle doing. Taste and mouthfeel opened up to me here. It was still a little hot, but didn't have even slight over-roasted flavors. The cliched smooth, creaminess was in evidence here as well.

The only mistake I made was tasting this alone, before I had any food. On an empty stomach, finishing this pint gave me a noticeable buzz. Not sure I should knock it for that, but I had the bottle on a similarly empty stomach, without nearly the effect.

aromatorio, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a small, fizzy, short-lived dark tan head.

Smell: Aroma of dark roasted malts with notes of licorice, molasses, and a shot of alcohol. A good measure of oak in there without overdoing it, which is always nice to see.

Taste: Flavor loaded with roasted dark maltiness. Plenty of dark chocolate syrup, toasted marshmallows, and spicy anise. Relatively mild sweetness throughout. A taste of coffee that grows exponentially as it warms. Reasonable oaky presence. A strong, earthy bitterness helps balance the heavy malt. Tiny hints of bourbon. Chewy, earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Seriously, this is a fairly well-made imperial stout. Absolutely stupendous? Nah, but better than most.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of Scoobydank
3.58/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to largadeer for this one
L:Thick one finger chocolate milk looking frothy head. The color itself is thick black, like oil.
S:Big black burtn coffee beans. A very light hint of dark chocolate. A nice hoppy aroma.
T:A combined balance of coffee and dark chocolate while sitting in your mouth. Thick milk chocolate lingers. The hops seem steel like? Those hops are very prominent though. Sweet chocolate rounds everything off.
M:THe mouth feel is thick chewey milky goodness. It gives it a fat warm feeling
D:This is a good RIS. Definitely a sipper. I would like to lay this one down for a bit to calm down the hops. Would be interesting to see what that does

Scoobydank, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Abyss
22oz. wax sealed bomber

Poured into a snifter. The Abyss pours an impenetrable black, which makes the name fit perfectly. A dark tan head sits on top, with a low rate of retention that eventually leads to the halo effect. Decent lacing. Not a very overwhelming bouquet, but I did pull out some sweet malts, bourbon, woody/oak, some liquorice and molasses. The first thing that popped in my mind on the first sip was...holy crap! Malty, rich sweet roasted malts, burnt flavors, liquorice. Nice hop balance. Bourbon hits in the end and rolls under the tongue. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy for the style. Moderate carbonation. Not sure how much of this I could drink in one session, but it is amazing. I would love to be able to buy it at will. Thanks for the trade SAS.

paulthebeerguru, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of gmcfarre
4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into snifter
Decanted at approx. 48 degrees

A - Pours a seriously pitch black "abyss" with a 1/2 inch dark tan head. Lacing is well defined and hangs well after tipping. Couldn't ask for much more in appearance.

S - Sweet malt character with strong dark chocolate and coffee flavors. Touch of an oaked alcohol scent. Molasses and caramel. Maybe some plum and other dark fruit. Becomes more tart with more molasses character as it warms.

T - Taste starts with a dark fruit sweetness and a strong dark chocolate bitterness with espresso accents. Very similar to the scent, but that is definitely a good thing. Aftertaste expresses its hop component, with a bitter and drying sensation.

M - Low carbonation with a very smooth, viscous, and heavy body. Nice bitterness in the aftertaste.

D - A real pleasure to drink and beer that lives up to all the hype. Find it if you can! I see this aging well, but its a gem to drink fresh (or at least now). Alcohol is a strong component, but never cloying or over-apparent. Its 11%, so yeah, its not as drinkable as a session beer, but for a RIS its top-notch.

gmcfarre, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from the 2007 release. Split with fellow BA HopDerek. Thanks Derek!

This guy lives up to his moniker right off the bat, pouring an absolutely impenetrable pitch black. Probably the darkest Stout I've ever seen and I've seen em' pretty darn dark. The finger width of head is a nice crispy burnt dark tan color that beckons you to dive in and see how far down this Abyss goes. It retains into a beautiful full, creamy layer that leaves just thick swathes of lace down the glass. It's just a handsome looking beer and one that I could gaze into for hours on end. The aroma is a little more subdued than I would have originally thought. First notes are of sweet chocolate, espresso, some dark acrid fruit sourness, and roasted malts which are then followed by some of the barrel character, vanilla and a slight oakiness. There's a lot going on but that big bouquet just isn't quite there though.

The taste is full of big burnt bold flavors. Rich notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses sweetness, burnt dark fruits, licorice, charred roasted malt, some vanilla notes. I love the dry, lingering combo of burnt and hop bitterness and the overall way all that dark, roasted character is magnificently balanced by various notes of sweetness. The mouthfeel has a full and creamy feel that slides across the palette and down the throat. And that 11% ABV is so very, very well hidden. I think that any kind of alcohol presence just kind of retreats in the face of this guy's flavor profile.

This is a fantastic RIS, in its own way, and I'm glad that I've got a few extra bottles of this, as I'm sure it will age beautifully. Full, rich flavors and a fairly easy drinkibility for a beer its size, guarantees that this will be one Abyss you'll want to fall into again and again.

Kegatron, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of rudylaw
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hello new favorite beer! (Well maybe not favorite... but it's in the conversation.)

Pitch black, like an abyss! Upon pour, there's a light tan head that disappears almost immediately.

The smell is roasted chocolate and a tinge of coffee. Not at all overpowering. In fact, I'm a little disappointed by that. OK, I'm over it now because...

It tastes really damn good. Chocolate, creamy goodness at the start. Since I'm writing this as I go... I'm still waiting for the bourbon to kick in. Right now, out of the bottle, this is comparable to Darkness off the tap... just not quite there.

People say this is a sipper... fuck that, I could pound this down. In fact, I'm doing my best to baby it since I only have this one... all thanks to someone's credit card declining. Thanks dude! You surely missed out on one of the best beers out there!

rudylaw, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of scottoale
4.68/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at O'Brien's on tap, served in pint glasses. Ultra dark brown with a tint of red when light penetrated this thick ass brew. Light brown head of 1/2" that settled to a ring and left a bit of lace clinging to the glass. A fine looking Imperial Stout!

The smell is sweet with rich dark fruit, molassas, licorice, some roasty notes followed by an everlasting alcoholic fume. The nose became much more apparent as the chill wore off.

The larger than life flavor is full and rich, very sweet but never cloying. Very complex with licorice, plum, molassas, some chocolate and coffee with a very pronounced alcoholic punch, and a tasty one at that. Big and bold, this is a huge stout.

Smooth, syrupy mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. Dangerously drinkable if you like a big RIS...top notch stuff on tap, I'd like taste the bottled version to compare some day.

scottoale, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of DHGranstrand
4.85/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No question about it, this is simply the best beer in the stout category I have ever had and even better on tap! I just had the opportunity to taste this on tap at our local beer shoppe!

Exceptionaly dark pour, rich creamy head, intricate lace residue left on inside of glass, wonderful aroma/taste with cigar smoke, dark molasses, coffee and bitter chocolate at the forefront.

Just the most incredibly complex taste I have ever experienced. It is the best! This is my second review of the Abyss and I am very surprised that the tap brew is very different than the bottle. Very pronounced cigar smoke aroma/flavor at the forefront.

Very nice! I will enjoy the growler I purchased this coming weekend.

DHGranstrand, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of pkasten
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: jet black, torched motor oil.. no light escapes this monster. deep tan head with good lace

s: toasty, bourbon, vanilla, anise, no warmth to speak of, which I found surprising

t: big malt/molasses/anise up front, followed by soft red fruit notes, nice bourbon/oaky finish with just a hint of warmth in the aftertaste. this is the week of release. had it again on tap last week, and the bourbon/oak are much more prominent, masking the fruit a bit. reminded me a bit more of the 2006, which I had on tap a few weeks ago, where the bourbon and oak are really taking over and masking some of the nuance

m: not as heavy as expected. certainly a full body, smooth/rich feeling with nice carbonation, but not overly heavy on the palate.

d: what amazed me the most is how well this beer masks the high alcohol content. the bottles I have are a bit warmer, but certainly not hot. I suppose they could use a few more months to mellow out a bit. on draft the alcohol was pretty timid... just a bit of warmth in the finish, and no notable boozy aroma.

pkasten, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a surprise shipment from Liquid Solutions today and couldn't resist ripping into one of the bottles I preordered months ago. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I got any at all.

All right about the beer:
2007 edition.
Pours a solid black with a huge tan head that subsided a bit, but lasted through the glass. Aroma gives up some chocolate, some oak, a sweet lactose type smell, some hops in the background. Really a lot going on here. Taste hits with some chocolate, some ash, there's some alcohol and an almost vinous and bitter character in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and a little gritty. Great complex stout, I can't wait to see how the other bottles develop.

johnnnniee, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep reddish brown when held up to the light in my Dogfish Head snifter. A thin outer ring of foam forms with a semi-vigorous pour. Kaki colored micro bubbles rise to the surface in the center of the glass due to the nucleation etching on the bottom of the glass. Lovely to look at.

Nose is dark belgian chocolate with notes of vanilla and oak. Slight molasses and muscavado sugar overtones. Bourbon is definitely noticeable as well as fresh green piney hops.

Taste is not as sweet as I expected, but not in a bad way. Alcohol is upfront as are caramel, expresso and bourbon flavors. Dry, slightly acrid (from the licorice perhaps) with a mild astringent untamed hop finish.

Mouthfeel is lush and slightly viscous.

Drinkability is good but will certainly get better with aging. In two years this could really round out and be a stellar brew. As it is now, I like several other big barrel aged imperials better.

Rochefort10nh, Feb 26, 2008
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,964 ratings.