The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)
Deschutes Brewery

The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)
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From:
Deschutes Brewery
 
Oregon, United States
Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
12%
Score:
96
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 7.87%
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
273
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Oct 08, 2022
Added:
Nov 10, 2015
Wants:
  55
Gots:
  188
For those of you who adore The Abyss and look forward to its release each year, we have a special treat for you. The Abyss Cognac! This remarkably rare release is 100% aged in its barrels. The incredibly old Cognac barrels are from France, and according to Barrelmaster, Jake Harper, impart an interesting sour-like characteristic to The Abyss and is just around 12% ABV.

Since The Abyss rested calmly in these barrels for a year, this version will be quite strong and boozy and take flavor from what was in the barrel prior to this beer. Look for dried fruit, wood, and a roasty finish in the Cognac version.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
2015
22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger foamy dark khaki head that reduces to a thin film floating on top

S- smells of heavy char, black strap molasses, black licorice, dark cherries, and dark chocolate. Plenty of cognac to be found with notes of stewed figs, raisins, leather and old wood

T- bold and rich up front with notes of charred malt, black licorice and chocolate. Mid-palate gives a huge notes of cognac, adding some boozy elements, as well as raisin, fig and prune, complimented by notes of old wet wood. The finish gives a sweetness of black cherries, cherry tobacco and charred malt, the cognac cask sticks around on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety, warming finish

O- the cognac cask takes front of stage with this variant, and mixes fantastically with the base beer. Dark fruits, plenty of oak, even some vinous notes. Well done
Oct 08, 2022
Photo of gatornation
Reviewed by gatornation from Arizona

3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours a thick dark mohogany color with a mocha head . Smell is toasty with chocolate ,wine and dark fruits. Taste has dark fruits and chocolate with a wine barrel with sour notes molasses and tobacco. Mouth feel is semi bitter chocolate with licorice cognac wine like notes
Aug 26, 2022
 
Rated: 4.18 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

May 23, 2022
Photo of zonker17
Reviewed by zonker17 from Texas

4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Color and head consistent with other variants. Taste not holding up with time. Cognac hints subtly on nose, a bit more on taste. Oxidation present more than expected.
Dec 08, 2021
Photo of SpeedwayJim
Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2015 vintage. Waxed and capped bomber into a Founders snifter.

Dark mocha head with thick, oily legs that really hug the sides of the glass. Pitch black color. Nose is anise, molasses, tobacco, and oak. I get hints of smoke, roasted malt, and slightly tart soy sauce also. Super aromatic and rich. Beer opens oak, straw, slightly tart chocolate, and marajuana. Sweet soy sauce, chocolate, molasses, and salty caramel in the middle. Roasted malt, tobacco, and wet wood at the finish. Almost peaty. Fantastic complexity. Body is full with low carbonation. Smooth and oily on the palate and goes down dense and sticky. Long, lingering aftertaste.

Very good but one of the lesser variants of this beer to be sure.
Jun 24, 2021
 
Rated: 4.42 by cd34 from Illinois

Apr 12, 2021
 
Rated: 4.5 by shigg85 from Japan

Apr 11, 2021
 
Rated: 3.54 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

Apr 02, 2021
 
Rated: 4.29 by shelby415 from Oregon

Mar 01, 2021
 
Rated: 4.34 by ncherf from Washington

Feb 14, 2021
 
Rated: 4.47 by arini10 from Oregon

Oct 30, 2020
 
Rated: 4.35 by Birdlegs from Washington

Sep 23, 2020
Photo of mntlover
Reviewed by mntlover from Tennessee

4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours black no real head or much lace from soft poor. Aroma is loads roasted malts, cognac, wood dark fruits. Good and boozy with fruits. Tastes is spot on to the nose, big nice stout, dark fruits, woody and cognac boozy notes. Finish lingering coffee, boozy, woodsy, and some hops to mellow or all the malt. Mouthfeel full big bodied brew. Overall about what you can expect from the Abyss line. Very nice, very tasty.
Jun 11, 2020
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2015 bottling that my brother has been hanging on to for some time. Split into pint glasses.

Honestly one of the DARKEST pours I've witnessed; impressively opaque used-motor-oil body with an equally-impressively-dark brown head. Smoky booze and dark fruit/grape/cognac aromas pour out of the glass. The full, sticky-viscous body opens up the palate with flavors of oak and spices, rich dark fruits and espresso. Absolutely NO boozy burn at this age...REALLY nice, I enjoyed this one more than I had expected to.
May 26, 2020
 
Rated: 4.27 by Sound_Explorer from Washington

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of GoBearsWalter34
Reviewed by GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Circa 2015.
Pours black with a creamy, tan head.
Sweet, malty and bakers chocolate smell. Big Barrell notes.
Taste follows nose. Conagc Barrell puts off bitterness. Sweet stout taste. Very complex. Great roast ones and port wine.
Worth the wait.
Feb 02, 2020
Photo of LiquidAmber
Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a nearly pitch black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a half finger light brown head with good retention and nice solid lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, cognac, light cherry and vanilla, cocoa and oak. Flavor is dark toasted malt with light to moderate char, dark fruit and cherry, cognac, charred wood, light chocolate and coffee. Finishes with charry wood and dark fruit with a slight astringency. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. Another bottle that spent more time in my cellar than I planned, don’t know why I never reviewed this; I'm drinking most of my cellared stouts in a couple of years or so, as I'm not a fan of the effects of long cellaring on this style. This one, though, has held up very nicely. As often is the case, I regret that I did not taste it fresh to compare, but probably a little hotter. The heat is tamed now and the malt and barrel effects seem mellowed. This has more wood character than I remember from other Abyss variants, and it fits the malt well. The dark fruit from the Cognac really melds with the light cherry notes and with the dark fruit already in the malt. There is a slight astringency in the finish, but the taste stays rich and interesting throughout. Possibly one my favorite variants so far. I hope we see it again.
Jan 29, 2020
 
Rated: 4.44 by RMW66 from Australia

Jan 08, 2020
 
Rated: 4.35 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Oct 13, 2019
Photo of Zythophile
Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle Date: 2015
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Color is dark brown with minimal color at the edges. Fair amount of fine carbonation, medium chocolate head, and very little lacing.

The first smell that comes to mind is a spiced liquor. So, there's a ton of cognac influence. Dark chocolate, black licorice, and rum. Nutty, too. It's pretty strong, too.

In the taste, lots of raisins, shading toward prunes. There's also a ton of charred barrel. True to the liquor on the nose, it's there in the taste. The few tastes are not subtle at all, but the cognac plus charred wood combination doesn't go together as well as I'd hoped.

Weight is heavy, even for the type. Aftertaste is mostly charred wood, but there's some dried dark fruit back there. Carbonation is nicely integrated. Alcohol, as already mentioned, isn't as hidden as it can be, but it's not overwhelming.
May 01, 2019
The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 273 ratings