The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery
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Ratings: 4,771 | Reviews: 1,632 | Display Reviews Only:
4.55/5 rDev +0.7%
A: Jet black with a thin and wispy mocha head that recedes to a thin ring after half a minute.
S: Big notes of raw cocoa, light roast coffee, and brandied cherries. Oak and vanilla each make themselves known mid palate. Very complex.
T: Chocolate covered cherries, macerated dark fruits, and slightly acrid/smoky malt flavors. Tannic vanilla represents the oak and bourbon barrel portions of the blend. A hint of dry red wine in the finish. Drier and less sweet than most BA stouts, which serves this particular beer very well. As with the nose, very complex.
M: Medium/full bodied and tannic. Palate coating texture causes the flavors to linger long after each taste.
O: An exercise in balanced complexity as opposed to the pure potency of flavors found in most stouts. Beautifully crafted.
08-07-2014 05:07:03 | More by More_betterness
District of Columbia
4.59/5 rDev +1.5%
2011 Bottle poured into snifter
A - black upon black with more black
S - oak, char, black strap, and roastiness
T - barrel, not much bourbon barrel though, char, roast, oak, black strap, molasses, and vanilla.
M - lighter than expected but still full
O - incredibly complex. I look forward to updating when I crack the 2013 vintage.
08-06-2014 23:44:24 | More by hops202
4.6/5 rDev +1.8%
Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with what appears to be a double-dipped layer of black wax around the neck and crown. I suppose a beer like this is worth the effort. This is the 2013 vintage, so I'm just a little over a week ahead of the "best after" date. Based on my experience, it was close enough to be excellent. Poured into an oversized 33 oz snifter.
Appearance - Pours an inky jet black liquid that reveals it's viscosity just by looking at the silky, almost melted chocolate way in which it pours. It builds a one finger head of mocha colored foam that doesn't stick around for long before transforming into a ringlet and just a wafting of film across the surface of the liquid. Lacing is all but nonexistent, but when I tip the glass, it reveals excellent legs from the almost syrupy liquid.
Smell - A rich, almost suffocatingly delicious aroma reveals a cacophony of characteristics, with strong notes of cacao and licorice as well as burnt molasses and rich, roasted malt. There is also a hint of sweeter notes from the barrel aging, with vanilla and subtle vinous red fruits reminiscent of pomegranate and red wine must weaving their way through the richer elements of the nose.
Taste - Picking up right where the aroma left off, there is a core of bittersweet chocolate and sweet vanilla initially that give way to char and roasted characteristics from the malt and black strap molasses. The licorice is just present enough to give this one some depth, but it doesn't come through in an obvious way, allowing itself to make it's presence known by how it enhances the other flavors, similar to the way the negative space in a painting works to accent the objects. The barrel-aging is extremely subtle, with faint notes of bourbon and wine must as well as some of that buttery oak characteristic you get from new barrels.
Mouthfeel - Full-bodied and rich, with moderate to low carbonation, allowing the liquid to coat the tongue similar to cough syrup, but in this case the taste and feeling is all wonderful, rather than unpleasant.
Overall, one of my favorite barrel-aged stouts around. The use of multiple types of barrels and the lower percentage of the overall blend allows the barrel characteristics to complement and accent rather than taking over the beer. And in this case, the additives work perfectly with the base stout and barrels to create a symphony of a beer--but this is no Mozart. While it's clear precision is at work here, the dark, overbearing stormy temperament to this beer is more akin to Mahler.
08-05-2014 05:10:45 | More by LambicPentameter
The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 4,771 ratings.