The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged) | Deschutes Brewery

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The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)
240 Ratings
The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged)

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by WCKDVBZ on 11-10-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 240 |  Reviews: 62
Photo of stratusjeans
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deebo
3.87/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Bottle poured into a Deschutes teku glass, a thin finger of a deep, dark brown head atop an abyss of darkness.
S-Delicious and complex aromas, bakers chocolate, molasses. Some real nice barrel notes, dark fruits, wood, boozy.
T-The big, dark malts and molasses pop first. An interesting viney note with rum raisin notes. The aroma is a bit better than the taste.
M-Has a lingering finish which is a touch boozy and sticky. Not the heavy mouthfeel that most RIS have.
O-A very interesting version of the Abyss. The cognac definitely leaves it's mark. A sipper and meant for sharing. This should hold up very well to aging and I think I'll let my remaining bottle age at least a couple more years.

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Photo of Hopstout
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beergoot
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black body with a thick, tan colored head. Roasted, charred grain aroma with a mild wine background. Outstanding deep roasted grain flavor with notes of cocoa and bitter chocolate; a fine blend of cognac is in the mix; very little boozy quality. Heavy bodied; lush and velvety; somewhat dry despite all the heavy grain presence.

What a fine, fine barrel-aged imperial stout. Deeply complex throughout the drinking experience with deft balance of the malts, ABV, and barrel-aging characteristics. This beer has aged well over the past two years. It probably would have aged over several more, but sometimes, you just need to treat yourself. What a treat!

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Photo of StArnoldFan
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with a thin dark tan head of small bubbles that leave wonderful lacing on the glass. The aroma is decadent dark chocolate, dark fruits and cognac. Wonderful flavor follows the nose. Nice thick feel and overall a fantastic beer that I wish now I'd tried harder to find more than one bottle.

 325 characters

Photo of Gtwreck45
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tvenne
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aleigator
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours oil black with a big and stable darkbrown head.

Smell is quite unique, the cognac barrel definitely shines, due to a fruity, wooden and boozy melange. This gets met by earthen and roasty malt flavors, together with bakers chocolate, spicy molasses and prunes. Leaves me with a vivid impression on the nose, which at the same time, doesn‘t conceal its huge and decadent body.

Has a velvet taste, with just a light carbonation peak to it, showcasing the bigger body of the beer in a great, throughout well balanced fashion.

Tastes of booze bathed raisins, old orange peel, a whiff of salted caramel and soothing toffee, playfully coating the uprising alcohol bite. Whipped cream gets enriched by licorice and wood bark, while the raisins turn younger, adding a subtle tartness to the rich chocolate foundation of the beer. Finishes with a dry bite coming from both the cognac as well as from matured hops, which blend into the decadent, sweeter chocolate flavors of the beer, which still do remind me of a oak accompanied brandy praline.

Sweet and fruity, chocolate and grapes - this takes you onto a unique and very tasty journey, tasting unlike any other stout out there. The barrel does its magic, while the characteristics of the base beer work incredibly well with it, creating a throughout satisfying beer.

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Photo of Zekenyce
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bbtkd
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes Abyss Cognac Barrel-aged Stout, 12% ABV, 86 IBU. Pours black with a slight head. Nose is sweet cognac, soy sauce, and moleasses. Taste follows, not much sweetness, licorice, a bit of bitterness, salty flavor got worse as it warmed. Dry, excellent mouthfeel. Overall sub-meh. Maybe this has degraded at 20 months.

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Photo of billab914
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of krl2112
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of impending
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2015 poured in 2017
cognac whacks you in the mouth followed by pancake syrup wonderful
absolutely superb
a tiny sip an explosion of flavor, swishing to extend the flavor you wish you'd started swishing sooner
absolutely fantastic

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Photo of KShophead
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zaphog
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beergorrilla
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
2.65/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

L: pours very thick and black with a half finger of head that fades fast
S: cognac and molasses
T: chewing tobacco, molasses and yak
F: thin and just gross.
O: damn this is bad

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kidzord
3.61/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stortore
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 12/18/15, had 1/7/17.

Pours dark, near black, thick and oily looking, with a short, quickly dissipating head of darker foam and some spotty, oily lacing. Smells great. Medium roast malts, chocolate- like fudge, vanilla, cognac- more as it warms, molasses, cherries, figs, some dates, light red wine. Tastes every bit as good as it smells. Medium roast malts, cognac, cherries, figs, vanilla, oak, dates, much less fudge than the nose, a fair amount of alcohol. Smooth, a very solid full body, well carbonated.

Awesome variant of a great base beer. Bursting with flavor and aroma. Feel pretty lucky to have had it.

 664 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, shared by my good man Stephen at rogerdandy's latest typically epic bottle share.

This beer pours a solid black, um, abyss, with no highlights, no edges, no how, and one finger of aggressively foamy, rocky, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some connected mitochondrial lace around the glass as it slowly but surely recedes.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, soy sauce umami, weak white wine lees, bittersweet cocoa, black licorice, some free-range ashiness, and a burgeoning alcohol presence. The taste is smoked caramel malt, biscuity toffee, mildly saucy brandy, chocolate mole, cafe-au-lait, anise spice, and a meek leafy, weedy, and perfumed floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is very tame in its gentle frothiness, the body a sturdy medium-heavyweight, and nicely smooth, with a mild creaminess that joins the party later in the game. It finishes sweet, but not cloying.

Overall, this is certainly a well-made big-ass stout, but the Cognac flavour is muted, though not entirely absent. Quite pleasant to drink, but from what I remember (yeah, yeah) not all that different from the 'base' brew - which is not uncommon for Cognac barrel aging, in my admittedly limited experience.

 1,216 characters

Photo of J_Mueller
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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The Abyss (Cognac Barrel-Aged) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 240 ratings