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The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
The AbyssThe Abyss

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,760 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,760
Hads: 6,054
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 4.44%
Wants: 2,758
Gots: 3,196 | FT: 278
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 (152) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,760 | Hads: 6,054
Photo of 100floods
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am reviewing the 2007 Vintage with the eager anticipation of getting the 2008 batch in my grasp.

Poured into a tulip glass. Pours ink black with a dark tan head. Heavy malt/chocolate and lesser alcohol aromas. Overall it's very sweet smelling. Nothing harsh.

Nice middle-full body. Super roasted malt flavors, even in the little sips. You're really experiencing the malt first and the alcohol second. The licorice aspect kind of has a dry feel at first, but when you take a breath, you can taste it's sweetness, a very subtle difference from the alcohol. After letting it breath the sweeter attributes start to dominate. Everything as advertised is definitely there. This is a complex beer. It's hard to focus on one flavor at a time, but it's all there.

I'm glad I held on to this for a year. I'll probably wait even longer with this year's batch. (855 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First and foremost, thank you Toby (JohnGalt1) for giving me the opportunity to try this amazing beer for my 50th review.

2007 vintage poured into a snifter.

A- Jet black. Nice finger sized tan head formed and dissipated quickly. Some lace work stuck to the glass as the beer was consumed.

S- The aroma only gets better as it warms up. Very distinct smell of chocolate, roasted malts, and molasses.

T- Complex as all hell. Initially the chocolate and molasses dance on the tongue delivering a delicious flavor. This is capped off by distinct oak flavored, malt bitterness. Again this is a complex beer, even after a year. Really have to try this one for yourself.

M- Thick and viscous. Very smooth and coats the tongue nicely. Just perfect.

D- Highly drinkable given the viscosity and the 11% abv. Drink this slowly and enjoy it for all it's worth.

Toby, thanks again! This was truly a great experience. The complexity this beer offered was amazing. I sipped this beer so slow and tried to drag it out all night solely for the reason that it was the only bottle I had. This beer really makes me want to move out to the Northwest. Can someone send me more, please? (1,174 characters)

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

2007 release served cellar temp.

Wax is cool but I sure hate trying to get it off the bottle.

This beer pours thick and black. No brown around the edges, just plain black. Nice thick tan head on top settles to about an inch and lingers nicely with lacing left behind. A very nice looking stout.

Aroma was there as soon as I popped the cap. There's certainly oak and red wine comes through too. Chocolate and roasted malts. Nice sweetness overall.

The flavor is super intense. It starts slightly sweet, some carmel, some dark chocolate. Then it hits hard with roasty bitterness that totally fills the mouth. Dark roasted coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and dark malts all at play here. Cherries, figs, and other dark fruits that make it wonder if a Belgian imperial stout might taste something like this.

It's super strong and the alcohol is only slightly hidden. The mouthfeel is good for the style in that it's smooth yet robust. I love the way it coats my mouth and throat in a wonderfully warming way.

Drinkability is great for something this big.

Overall a great Russian imperial stout. I can't wait to try the 2008.


2008 reserve

Poured into a highball glass, it has inky black color and a thin layer of light brown head. The head lingers briefly before settling but leaves a nice rim of lace around the glass.

Aroma has lots of vanilla and oak with roasted malt and hops in equal abundance.

Flavor is excellent, possibly better than the 2007. The dark malts are big but they aren't the center of attention as I remember. The hops seem fresher and more flavorful. The oak is certainly more noticeable. Malts contribute dark roast coffee, caramel, and dark chocolate while the oak aging gives it vanilla and possibly cherries.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but bitterness (both from hops and malts) and the burn of 11% all come through.

Drinkability is excellent for the style and considering the strength of this awesome beer.

Overall very impressive and ceratinly worthy of its place on BA's top 10. (2,023 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to all of those who traded me The Abyss (Hoppiness, largadeer, and flexabull from the UGLY Duckling BIF), finally decided to crack into a bottle after some months of having them in my possession for my 400th review.

2007 Reserve aged in Oak barrels.

Pours into my snifter dark and viscous, black with no light being able to penetrate, a large amount of tan head that fades slowly with some decent lacing on the glass.

Smell is mostly roasted malt, slight coffee aroma, very mild chocolate presence, some alcoholic heat even after almost a year.

Taste is a hit against the mouth, strong coffee-ish bitterness right up front and melds into a decent sweetness, prickly carbonation, the licorice is very evident (not much a fan of that though, but that's personal taste).

Certainly glad I've got the chance to try this beer and glad I got a couple more to age and see how it develops, I think maybe another year will do wonders. (949 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - 2007 reserve - though it does exhibit a cola-ish color coming out of the bomber, in the glass it is as black as can be. A chocolatey mocha head forms up and leaves a thin veil of mocha lace around the glass.

Aroma - heady roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee notes all in abundance. Maybe a little too much going on to really pick up the oak, at least in the smell. Great resilience though, a start befitting the buzz so far.

Taste - roasted malts, heavy coffee flavors here, espresso-like. Mild sweetness really helps enhance/offset the roast. Light anise and plenty of oak on the swallow. More sweetness with a mild but gaining bitterness as the palate clears. A light abv warmth puts a fine finish on this one as the oak, roasted malts, and intense coffee flavors meld so well. Lengthy finish, too, I find it to be an outstanding flavor overall.

Mouthfeel - a slight heaviness, plentiful body and a proper fullness in the mouth plus a fine silky smoothness. The carbonation is mellow but bubbly too.

Drinkability - worthy of the acclaim; I will cherish the remaining bottle or two for a few more years. (1,126 characters)

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

Pouring this one up in celebration of Obama from a 2007 22 oz. black waxed bomber into a snifter.

Appears a thick and viscous fifty year old motor oil black with a tan one inch head that gradually forms after the bubbles make their way through the thick liquid. No light is getting through this one. Not much lacing is left behind.

Aroma is full of coffee, chocolate, molasses, with some hints of vanilla, oak, and tart cherry.

The taste begins with an explosion of dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and some oakiness. Becomes more bitter during the swallow with more of a coffee presence, with the other flavors still lingering on subtely.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, thick and velvety, smooth and creamy...I think that's enough.

So far this is probably the tastiest RIS I have tried to date. Just an explosion of delicious flavors. Get this beer! (855 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, wax dipped, bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a dark, dark (motor oil) black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of roast, coffee, caramel, molasses, and very light wood. Tastes of roast, dark fruits, licorice, espresso, very light vanilla, and chocolate. Almost a coffee with cream / latte.

Smooth body that was way too easy to drink. Alcohol content hidden. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Notes from and tasted on 1/18/07. (447 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
4.36/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours thick and black with a one finger heavy tan head on it. the sent of licorice was verry faint. smeled of burnt malts and dark coffiee. the taste is full and rich, bitter at every stage. bitter chocklate, hops, and coffiee are the tastes of the begining. the middle is a hint of licorice and a mild sweetness that gets sour then the end is sweet alchoal and a bitter bite that wont let your tastebuds go. world class all the way! (433 characters)

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

Damn DUDE!

Pours a thick, disgustingly delicious blackness that can only be compared to a black hole. Nice 1.5" mocha colored head that fades slowly with a lot of sticking left behind :)

Molasses but not DL molasses. I don't know much about the stuff but this is different than that. Fudgey with a nice whiskey nose [from the barrel]. Prunes or some other dark fruit is present and bringing in the rear of aromas.

Thick, rich and nasty (in a good way). This is one bad Larry! The thickness has an eruption of chocolate, molasses and whiskey oak. A very good and slightly bitter combo!

Feels nice and heavy but goes down so smooth you can't tell your about to be attacked by some serious flavors. A must pick up and try!

Have one, have two. This is one damn damn great beer. It's up there with the DL and Kate IMHO. (820 characters)

Photo of kallay
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at GABF for the first time. Probably the most orgasmic first encounter with a beer I've ever had!

A - Dark brown/almost fudge-like, with a rich 3-fingered head of tan.

S - A walnut brownie dunked in a cup of espresso.

T - Dark flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and dusty cocoa.

M - Full bodied, goes down like melted pudding, but with nice acidity.

D - Seriously, like someone melted your favorite decadent dessert and married it with a mellow stout.

I cannot remember being blown away by a first impression like this in quite awhile. (555 characters)

Photo of Goliath
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After sitting on this bottle for a while I decided it was finally time to open it. Shared with EmperorStan yesterday for a mini tasting.

Pours black and completely opaque. A thin brown head on the pour. Retention was ok, but no real lacing.

The aroma is awesome, I was really in love. Huge roasty malts with big chocolate and coffee notes going on. It was a bit boozey, and slightly floral at times. Just incredible.

The taste is very good and I enjoyed it more and more with every sip. Burnt malts, chocolate and coffee taking the lead. The licorice is noticeable and plays a nice role balancing the vanilla. It's slightly sweet up front and then slightly bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied with a nice moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is high. It's got great flavor, great nose, and it's crazy easy to drink for 11%. Just loved it. (861 characters)

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

2007 Vintage. Picked up a single in Casper at Poplar Wine and Spirits. I have been waiting for quite some time to be in the perfect mood to enjoy what I have heard to be the definition of the style.

A: Poured a viscous oily, black. Absolutely no light penetrates this beer, no garnet highlights, no color, just blackness, it practically sucks the light out of the room. After a vigorous pour a brown, head emerges, about two and a half inches thick that reduces down to about half an inch. Excellent strata of lacing as it reduces. Beautiful.

S: So many beautiful things going on, brown sugar, chocolate, raisins, figs, booze, licorice, whiskey, this one has definitely been in oak barrels. Cinnamon. Smells like dark breads. So many things going on, very hard to place everything. Coffee. Even some bitter, piney hops way underneath all the other things. This is delicious.

T: Chocolatey, heavy coffee, very bitter, brown sugar, a lot of the smells are coming through in the taste, the hops are definitely a lot more present in the mouth than in the nose. Very citrusy in the hop department. Whiskey is in the taste as well, but a little more subdued than other whiskey aged beers. Very heavy on the dark chocolate malts. That really pops out all over the place. Aftertaste is off coffee and piney hops. The alcohol is quite subdued and hidden very well. This is absolutely fantastic and complex. The deepest beer I've ever enjoyed.

M: Thick, rich, and malty, like a milkshake. Very heavy, not a lot of boozey burn. This is a one of a kind. Absolutely right on with the style. A great thick beer.

D: As heavy, bitter, rich, boozey and dark as this may be. It goes down very very easy. I wouldn't drink many of them but I could. This is a very fantastic beer, and I have not been let down in any way. This is a truly spectacular beer. Right on with everything this style is for. Perfect. Truly perfect. (1,910 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with one finger of a creamy, dark tan head and a sharp ring of lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, oats, chocolate, coffee, raisins with some oak and a hint of alcohol. There is a lot going on here, and even with a big complex scent this one managed to be balanced very well.

Taste of oak and roasted malts initially with some coffee immediately afterward. Bourbon, raisins, sugars and a hint of alcohol fill the flavor out extremely well. Finishes with roasted malts and oak, with a slight heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick and heavy, charging its way through the mouth and down the throat elegantly.

An incredible beer, one of the very best I have ever had. I can't wait to get some more of this stuff. (732 characters)

Photo of ph2001
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle in snifter

looks a little thick, black as can be. a hard pour gets two fingers of deep brown foamy head that settles down into a thin layer on top. smells of booze and chocolate. the mouthfeel is fantastic. rich and thick, but still very creamy and velvety. it is surprisingly smooth and drinkable. the alcohol warms the chest a bit but the alcohol taste is not present. rich chocolate and carmel and coffee flavors with light hops floating in the background. very complex and well balanced. (504 characters)

Photo of udubdawg
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

more pints than I will admit, on tap at the Eastsde Club in Olympia, WA, September '08...

I find I can barely wait to get back to my table, to finally taste what I have so long awaited.

The '07 bottles haven't yet aged into the magnificence of the '06 version, however '07 on tap blows either away. My current score would be 4.65 for '06 bottles, and 4.3 for '07 bottles.

Inky black beer slides slowly out of the glass and into my awaiting mouth. A dark tan head originally tops the rim of the glass and fades slowly to a ring by midglass, then only a whisper by the bottom. Time for another! Certainly no Dark Lord, but quite viscous nonetheless. Black is beautiful.

I can't decide on a 4, 4.5 or 5 for aroma. A few years ago I'd call this "perfect!"...now I've smelled most of the world's best imperial stouts, and find that while there is no fault here, the sheer complexity and strength of some of the others have raised the bar. This beer is lacking...at least compared to a rare few stouts on this earth. Does that mean I can't give it a 5?...Hmm. Chocolate abounds, some coffee here, thought it increased drastically as it warmed, ample molasses richness/sweetness. Barrel notes are light, but there.

There is no debate for flavor. As the 2nd sip hits my lips, any doubt is squashed: what was good from the bottle instantly vaults into my personal top 10 from the tap. Wow. Vanilla and chocolate, roasty and smooth, bitter and sweet. Everything is blended together in breathtaking fashion. Plenty of heavily carmelized/molasses notes, coffee again pretty strong but managing to remain blended in. Other than the body, the lack of alcohol warmth is the single biggest difference between the last several bottles I've consumed and this. There is nothing here to slow me down from sipping this monster until I collapse. I suppose I could rate the beer lower for being "dangerous" or some shit like that...but c'mon: "Too drinkable" is just something people without a designated driver" say!

Silky smooth in my mouth, not too thick, but far from stretched across my palate. My tongue luxuriates in the sensation, and I don't want to swallow...but I know there is a full keg left to be drained, making the sweet/roasty finish less saddening. Back to work!

My compliments to the Deschutes team. Can't wait until the next version, but until I then I'll take solace in my bottles. (2,386 characters)

Photo of jamesm7485
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just cracked open one of my cellar bottles from 07 enjoyed on october 3rd 08, it was a tad different, the coffee notes were much more pronounced oddly enough, simply divine even with just a year on it, perhaps not my favorite ris, that honor goes to kentucky breakfast stout however this is a very amazing beer im glad i stocked up on, im looking forward to the 08 and plan on buying alot more than i did of the 07

This is my first review and im just entering the beer snob scene so bear with me.

The beer lives up to its name with its pour, pure black with a reasonably decent head.

Smell was amazing with hints of licorice and chocolate

Beer was incredibly smooth and easy on the palette, very easy to drink as well.

Despite being a beer snob for only a few weeks now I can see why this beer gets the respect that it does (829 characters)

Photo of BrewMonkey
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark coffee color to black with loads of dense tan head. Sticky lacing on the glass when the head finally recedes.

Aroma is almost smoky, with hints of chocolate, a nuttiness similar to hazelnut, butterscotch or toffee.

Taste of bitter chocolate followed with a roasty flavor, nuts, vanilla, some residual sweetness and a little oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich, with decent levels of carbonation to break up such a big brew. Finish is both sweet and bitter.

Great beer. This was our last bottle of about 8 or so we tried over the last 10 months or so. We've also had the pleasure of having this on tap. Terrific stuff. (644 characters)

Photo of abedenbaugh
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It pours a dark brown, almost black, color with a dark brown head.
S: In the nose there is roast and coffee. Also with a sweet and malty aroma.
T: Roast and coffee up front. A smooth mid-palate. A little bit of a smokey flavor in the mid. Also a sweet woodsy flavor in the middle (maybe oak).
MF: Medium body and medium carbonation. Also a very smooth mouth feel.
D: Very drinkable. Complex flavors. Good mild roast flavor in the end. Very enjoyable. (453 characters)

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

On tap at Water Street Brewing & Ale House, Port Townsend WA in May

A- Black, just like an Imperial Stout should be. 1 finger tan head.

S- The smell is great! Roast, leather, chocolate, bourbon, licorice.

T- The best Imperial I have had to date. Bourbon not too overpowering, Slight licorice taste, roast and chocolate. Great balance all around.

M- Nice and smooth. Coats the tongue nicely.

D- So drinkable they even let me take a growler with me. (453 characters)

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

2007 edition. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. It was pitch black even against a strong light. It was very thick and poured almost like motor oil and DL. It had a huge dark brown head that stuck around as a thick foam throughout the session. No visible carb but tons of lacing.

The aroma was heavy on coffee and roasted and chocolate malts. Lots of sweetness as well. Good strong aroma and really set the stage for what came next. The taste pretty closely followed the aroma. Nice bitterness from the coffee and roasted malts. Touch of smokiness as well. Starts off really smooth with a touch of watery and then the real flavor hits with the bitter bit then fads right at the end so as not to linger too long. I was pleasantly surprised that very little of the oak aging came thru. I as not a fan of that trend and was worried that this one would be affected by it. It wasn't and it tasted great. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy.

Overall, an excellent beer that is worthy of the high ranking and hype. Most highly recommend. Get your hands on some now! (1,069 characters)

Photo of jojox
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"2007 Reserve"

a - not much head. The blackest black!

s - oak. Whiskey, raisins? Rich and malty, black molassis. Some beers you can smell even before your pour - this is one. Very very rich aroma and it's pretty damn cold too. Vanilla and Oak. Boozy, whiskey, heaven.

t - how to explain. Aroma is so impressive, the taste is there too. Super rich, COFFEE, some sweetness, roasted ROASTED. Nicely balanced regarding the oak and whiskey. Bitter at the end, but not too much. There is licorice if you look for it, in the aftertaste and mouthfeel.

m - thick. Bitter, but not so much from hops but from the Charcoal-ish-ness.

d - f-ing great. MORE MORE MORE!!

Really, really top rate, A+. I have another and I would like to wait 2 years to see.. but we'll see what happens. (776 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber shared with newtonty tonight while watching the Cincinnati Reds kick Milwaukee's ass (no surprise there lately - Reds are on fire and the Brewer's are icy cold). This is a 2007 vintage.

As expected, it poured a super dark brown/black with a gorgeous, very dark brown 2 inch head. Minimal lacing.

Smelled of heavily roasted coffee, dry chocolate, vanilla and black licorice when it was freshly poured. Interestingly, the smell changed as it sat and warmed.

Tastes like a wonderful combination of black licorice, molasses, charred malts, freshly brewed coffee and trailing with rich, dark chocolates. Wow... Mother, may I have another?

This is an intensely flavored, moderately complex and full-bodied beer. If you're a fan of vanilla, molasses, licorice, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee, then you'll need to try this one. There's a shitload of crafting mastering in this one, what a treat! (906 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to robotgod for this spectacular beer! Split this one with my girlfriend and poured it into a pint glass...2007 Reserve

A: This one rivals Dark Lord for the darkest beer I have ever seen. Held up to a light, the Abyss is just that - a labyrinth of darkness squeezed into a bottle. It has a one finger head that is deep mocha brown and lasts a while. The viscous brew laces and clings like glue to the side of the glass.

S: Complexity is the key here. Tons of roasted malts hit you right in the face. A tad of whiskey shows up, but just slightly so it is not overpowering. Dark cocoa and dark fruits - Figs and raisins show up slightly.

T: The most complex beer I have tasted without the viscosity of syrup. Chocolate covered cherries surround your mouth while roasted malts soaked in slight whiskey engulf your taste buds. The coffee flavors finish nicely in the end as well combined with a nice vanilla-malty-nutty flavor.

Overall, this is perhaps my favorite beer to date due to the reasons aforementioned. It comes with a slight punch to it, so I believe this one is best shared! Grab it if you get the chance! (1,124 characters)

Photo of waltonc
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Colorado Liquor Mart and imported to California.

Appearance: Pitch black. Creamy tan head presides over the top. Poot-like, and very appropriate for members of the San Francisco DRA.

Smell: Molasses, coffee, soy sauce, and smoke. Very intriguing.

Taste: Same flavors as the smell, along with seriously roasted, burnt maltiness, campfire charcoal (even though I don't know what the hell that tastes like, it seems like it would taste a little like the Abyss), and grilled steak. Very little sweetness, and the finish is fairly dry. Upon closer inspection, one notices some hops camouflaged somewhere in there too.

Mouthfeel: Trump tight. In other words, awesome. Thick, creamy, choclate-shaky, with ample carbonation to support it.

Drinkability: Such a powerful, high alcohol stout that there's no way you could guzzle this. But why would you want to? That said, Abyss should have also been available in smaller bottles. Yes, we all enjoy sharing a bottle of tasty beer. But if it's a week night and your wife doesn't like good stouts, you end up having to waste some or get hung over. (1,111 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Drank from a 1 PINT 6 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a snifter
Thanks to my roommate Mel for bringing this one back from Oregon.

I decided to save this gem for review #350.

The beer poured a viscous, absolute pitch black with a thick, creamy, one-finger, cocoa colored head. The head stuck around longer than I have ever seen on a beer of this magnitude, eventually fading to a bubbly film. Thick sheets of lacing coated the lower half of the glass and spotty drips trickled down from the top with each sip. This was unquestionably the most impressive looking Russian imperial stout I have ever seen.

The aroma was dark and intense. Super roasty, oaky and bourbony with semi-sweet notes of vanilla, licorice and molasses. As the beer warmed, the booziness became more apparent.

The taste was deep, dark and complex. Ultra roasty, oaky and coffee-like up front. Somewhat burnt. Licorice came through in the center along with notes of bakers chocolate. The dry, lingering finish was a mix of intense, piney and resiny hops, burnt malts and bourbon. As the beer warmed, the hoppy bitterness on the finish became even more intense (almost a bit overwhelming), as did the alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel was ultra creamy, frothy and smooth. Super thick and rich. The beer felt like a blanket on my tongue.

This is a fierce Russian imperial stout that definitely lies on the more extreme end of the spectrum for the style. With a bit more aging, this stuff could be amazing. (1,485 characters)

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
100 out of 100 based on 1,760 ratings.