The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

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5,929 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,929
Reviews: 1,811
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 2,700
Gots: 3,099 | FT: 266
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 (153) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,929 | Reviews: 1,811
Photo of DenverHopHead
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap, poured into a snifter.
Appearance - motor oil is darker, I suppose.
Smell - a blend of chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit and fudge.
Taste - the nose is more powerful, but the taste follows brilliantly!
Feel- bold and robust; smooth and easy to sip!
Overall - lives up to the hype; about as good of an imperial stout as you'll find!

Photo of Boccu
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Exceptional stout. Deep rich flavors.

Photo of Karnivool1
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW!! I can't imagine a beer getting much better than this.

Photo of dertyd
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black wIth the smell of dark chocolate covered blueberries or cherries, the taste is very dark chocolate covered fruit with a nice lingering bitterness you can taste the wine and the oak in the end very very very great beer

Photo of hurricanes56dan
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was amazing, no single flavor was overpowering than any other, and the hints of cherry and licorice and molasses all makes for a delicious beer.

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Phennomenal brew. Pours deep black with slightly tan head. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and vanila. Drinks very smooth and very complex due to combination of aging methods.

Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.49/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2014 vintage on tap at Hopleaf. Now I understand the reason for a "best after" date on the Abyss bottles- this is clearly way too fresh and hot. Liquid black liquorice - taxing to finish.

Photo of Trentt2
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So don't get me wrong. A great complex beer. But it just didn't quite grab me like Oscar blues Ten Fidy.

Photo of JonnyBoyy
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage

Smell: Vanilla, Oaky, Chocolate smell.
Taste: Strong bourbon taste up front.
Feel: Somewhat flat, a bit light for a BA beer
Overall: Being a big fan of BA beers I felt this beer was one of my top 5 BA beers. Only negative is the light mouth feel. I like a more thicker feel for BA beers.

Photo of bismarksays
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A couple notes on this rating that seems way out of whack. Style expectations is a big part. No discernible chocolate or coffee notes, lack of both malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Barrell aged? Other than mouthfeel to some extent, you would never know. No oak, no vanilla present at all. Burnt cherry wood is bursting and dominates the profile, leaving little to no room for anything other than molasses which creates a strange but not all unpleasant BBQ sauce. At the price of this beer, I wanted more than what maybe an amazing marinade for lamb or beef.

Photo of CrazyCarl
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I assume it will be better with aging. Good now though. Looking forward to great.

Photo of ZombieHead
3.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tastes of dark fruits, like plums and raisens. It was pretty good, but a little too fruity for my taste

Photo of Bigdoc91
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a nice chocolaty colored head. Aroma comes off sour, most be the 11% of it aged in wine barrels.

Taste: Sour hits you first. Fruity/cherry components come through in the middle with a nice oak smoky (BBQ) flavor as it goes down your throat.

Outstanding beer. Wish I had another one.

Photo of bmeGT
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a chocolatey head that stuck around for the drink. The smell was fruity, boozy, very strong cherry scent. When you taste, you initially taste the cherry, then the bourbon. Just the right consistency for a imperial stout. One of the most complex brews I've had.

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at approximately 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours pitch black like its namesake, and forms a fairly thick head of brown froth. Lacing is quite present.

Smell: The aroma primarily reminds me of red wine and dark chocolate, mingled together. There is a tart red grape and cherry presence, and I'd say around 80% - 85% cocoa dark chocolate.

Taste: At the opening, this beer follows the nose, a blast of pure slightly sour red wine with cherries and baker's chocolate. As it moves along, the flavors flow into a dark yeasty bread mingled with scorched toffee, with notes of vanilla along the edges. By the finish, the flavor profile is entirely black bread, earth, and oak. As the beer warms, the flavor transitions smooth out. The barrel notes, while present, do not overtake the entire beer, and the ABV lends just a pleasant touch of warmth.

Mouthfeel: Full and fairly creamy, though a bit thinner than one would expect for a stout this black.

Overall: Quite a good stout, showcasing both complexity and intensity of flavor. I'm glad I happened upon a bottle of it sitting on the shelf at a local shop as I breezed in for some birthday shopping.

Photo of PaulyB83
4.04/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter.

2014 version. Pours black, getting a lot of molasses and roasts in the aroma, not much barrel at all. Same thing in the flavor. It's a good beer but for the price it really needs to have the bourbon barrel more assertive. I don't know maybe a year of age changes this thing totally. Still a great imperial stout but I do feel I have to knock it down a bit for being at least a portion barrel aged but not giving me any in the flavor or aroma.

Photo of SierraFlight
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle shared during #bottlecherwednesday at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into a tulip. This beer is black, black, black - opaque and unyielding. A two-finger brown head forms before collapsing to a film and leaves patches of lace in the process. More lace rings are deposited on the glass during the session. The aroma is as advertised, but deliciously so - roasted malt, unsweetened chocolate, molasses, oak, anise, coffee, and barrel notes of vanilla and bourbon. Taste opens up with roasted malt sweetness, molasses, coffee, anise, and vanilla. Some bitterness creeps through on the finish featuring oak, coffee grounds, a little citrus hop bite, keeping the surge of sweetness from washing out everything else. Only trace alcohol flavors come through, surprisingly. Quite full bodied, thick, creamy, silky slick texture, soft carbonation, drying and warming on the finish. Delicious.

Photo of Fcolle2
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours jet black with a big tan frothy head that retains nicely. Smell has a slightly woody aroma with loads of charred malt, licorice, and hints of Star anise, cocoa and coffee. Taste follows the nose with loads of charred malt forward with a somewhat harsh bitterness intensified by a dry oaky almost tannic mid section. More oak, hints of vanilla, coaco, coffee and a dominating inteste bitterness in the finish. Medium to heavy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a dry bitter finish. Nice complexity but it could definitely use some time to balance out.

Photo of mikedogg195
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is very difficult. I had a vintage fight 2010-2014. The 2011 and 2012 was best. If you are to rate this, i suggest letting it age at LEAST two years.

Photo of ryanmextorf
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aging my second bottle of this one. Hopefully it'll meld these flavors a little better and the wine barrel won't be so over powering. Still a very enjoyable brew but I can't wait to see what a year does to this beer!

Photo of MajorBuckeye
3.54/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps I need to try a second was decent but not as good as I was anticipating.

Photo of Brittonnash
2.66/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Good smell, appearance and feel. Taste was not to my liking.

Photo of Graffy
3.68/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

BA said I had to justify my rating

Photo of abuswell84
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely the best beer I've ever had. Incredibly smooth for the ABV and not overpowering on the bourbon taste. Can definitely taste the molasses and is just oh god amazing.

Photo of chIAhawks89
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage was great, very smooth

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 5,929 ratings.