The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged)
Deschutes Brewery

The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged)
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
American Imperial Stout
4.4 | pDev: 6.59%
Jun 21, 2022
Nov 10, 2015
The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged)
Notes: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Abyss we’ve bottled a 100% rye whiskey barrel-aged version for you to enjoy. This is a remarkably limited release so if you see it, grab a snifter on tap and a bottle (or two)!
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.43 by hopley from Massachusetts

Jun 21, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

May 23, 2022
Rated: 4.48 by bigpoppa67 from Wisconsin

Nov 28, 2021
Rated: 4.47 by GClarkage from California

Sep 23, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

Mar 07, 2021
Photo of russpowell
Reviewed by russpowell from Arkansas

4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours an effervescent ebony with a sliver of caramel head. Not a lot head retention or lacing

S: Dark fruit and little whiskey & vanilla shows up once warm

T: Cherry, figs, tobacco, dark chocolate & vanilla with a little Whiskey bite. Some Rye shows up as this warms along with plenty of dark fruit & chocolate. Finishes with a nice Rye Whiskey bite, dryness & dark fruit & chocolate

MF: Thick at first, light carbonation, body lightens a little as this warms, a nice warming presence

One of the best takes on this beer I've had in 4-5 years or longer, ABV is so well hidden
Feb 28, 2021
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
22oz bottle poured into a tulip
Bottled 2015
Best After 12/18/16

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark brown head that has great retention and leaves some lacing behind

S- chocolate, charred malt and anise on the nose up front, followed by black cherry, figs, dates and molasses. Undertones of leather, cinnamon, cherry pipe tobacco and just a hint of peppery rye, oak and vanilla to close it out

T- rich chocolate and charred malt up front are followed by sweet notes of black strap molasses, caramel, stewed figs and dark cherries. Mid-palate brings out notes of black licorice, as well as some peppery and spicy rye and oak. The finish gives rich chocolate and vanilla, as well as dark cherry. Lingers of spicy rye and barrel juice

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

O- the rye barrel is subtle, but seems to work seamlessly with the base beer
Feb 27, 2021
Photo of aleigator
Reviewed by aleigator from Germany

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours pitch black with a smaller, soon vanishing head, which leaves a small lacing behind.

Smells of molasses, burned oak, cinnamon and distilled rye. Has a caramel peak on the nose, balanced by leather and wood fire.

Has a full, smooth and creamy body, revealing a great complexity while maintaining its balance throughout.

Tastes of fresh brewed coffee, rock sugar and matured hops among an equally dry alcohol soaked oak barrel. Turns spicier, with molasses, cinnamon and char playing along with bitter chocolate and soothing whipped cream. Finishes with toffee accompanied vanilla, boozy praliné, toasted walnuts and a long going Bourbon glow, wrapped into spocy oak and bitter chocolate.

Fantastic, roasty, bitter and spicy stout with a lingering, taste defining barrel presence.
Jan 24, 2021
Photo of fstone
Reviewed by fstone from California

4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Been waiting a long time to try this. Unfortunately, the 5 years in the bottle did it no favors. Muted flavors with barely anything suggesting aging in a rye whiskey barrel.
Jan 05, 2021
Rated: 4.36 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

Dec 26, 2020
Rated: 4.46 by dshansen1184 from Washington

Nov 01, 2020
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Jet black body topped with a gorgeous light tan head, thick and creamy. Milk chocolate and cocoa on the nose; dark roasted grains and a very faint suggestion of coffee. The taste starts off with a rich American imperial stout sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of bitterness, and the rye sneaking up towards the finish and lingering long afterwards; some oak barely perceptible. Heavy body; smooth and velvety; oily and chewy; dully sweet overall yet with some alcohol dryness adding counterpoint.

I've had this beer for a while (five years), and I'm guessing some of the rye notes have faded with age, yet the beer still drinks beautifully and still offers a suggestion of the rye barrel aging. Ah, better late than never...
Jul 20, 2020
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Phenomenal 22oz waxed bottle, 2015 vintage, split into glasses. Poured jet black, opaque and viscous with a dark mocha head that fades quickly. Impressive nose is strong but balanced, the booze is subdued though the barrel character is relatively strong. Rye whiskey is prominent, sprinkled with aromas of licorice and molasses and dark charred sweetness. More of the same on the palate, for 100% barrel aged this leans towards smooth and balanced while still being full-bodied and popping with intense dark stout flavors. One of my favorite Abyss offerings for sure, wish I has another bottle!
Jul 13, 2020
Rated: 4.3 by 5EKF from Illinois

Jun 29, 2020
Rated: 4.46 by BKotch from Texas

Apr 10, 2020
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Reviewed by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
2015 vintage tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 1 pint 6 fluid ounces on March 24, 2020. Brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark with vanilla added. Aged 12 months in rye whiskey barrels. Best after 12/18/16. ABV is 13.2%. Excellent.
Mar 24, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by captainkrad from New Jersey

Aug 24, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Kolb from Montana

Apr 29, 2019
Rated: 4.43 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of Zythophile
Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottle Date: 2015
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Appearance is dark brown with minimal, but present, head. On to more important aspects...

The main scent is dried dark fruit, mostly raisins and figs. Behind that is light coffee and a little spicy bourbon, which all together is really pleasant. Unfortunately, those later scents fade pretty quickly. Moderately sweet.

The initial taste is dark fruit, and then it's followed up by tons of coffee. A flash of black licorice sometimes comes through. Plenty of whisky accompanied by charred barrel. I can even catch a little rye spiciness, which I might have misclassified on the nose. Unfortunately, the coffee covers most of the nuance from the other flavors, which is doubly weird because the liquid has to warm up in my mouth for a few seconds for it to really hit.

Moderate weight and well integrated carbonation. Plenty of coffee in the aftertaste, with a little sweet raisin behind it. Alcohol is very well hidden for a thirteener.
Jan 06, 2019
Rated: 4.94 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Dec 24, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by leroybrown10 from Missouri

Dec 08, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Kurmaraja from California

Dec 05, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by TheHopsman from Nebraska

Dec 01, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by shelby415 from Oregon

Nov 23, 2018
Photo of papposilenus
Reviewed by papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
From a 22oz bottle, best after 12/18/16. Served in a tulip

Pours an impenetrable black with a scant finger of rich, whipped-chocolate foam which doesn't last but a minute. A nice creamy collar and a webbery of lacing. Held up to the afternoon sun, there is no hint of a highlight, not even a faint glow along the margins.

Smells a bit like sticky date pudding but stronger, more intense, and boozier. The barrel smell isn't at all harsh, it's sweet and smooth, like vanilla extract.

The taste is rich, deep and robust, like molasses but lighter and less bitter. Caramel, eggy vanilla custard, boiled dates and tarragon-like herb which I guess we're going to attribute to the licorice. Notes of powdered cocoa and cold coffee develop late in the sip. The rye whiskey character is present and welcome from start to finish and in no way dominates or overpowers.

Feel is unctuous, rich, thick and super-silky smooth with low-but-adequate carbonation.

Sweet frigging mercy, that was tasty! I tend to steer away from thickly sweet stouts because I dislike that syrupy taste and feel but this was only moderately sweet and, although it was dense, it never approached anything like syrupy.
Nov 14, 2018
Photo of dafla67
Reviewed by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours deep dark. Aroma is quite sweet -- chocolate, vanilla & whiskey. Taste is a wonderful balance of the chocolate, vanilla & whiskey. Not over boozy. Medium body. Drank a 2015 bottle in 2018.
Oct 29, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by Mikeypnh from New Hampshire

Oct 15, 2018
Photo of BurtStL6
Reviewed by BurtStL6 from Missouri

4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Dark as can be. No head. Super thick and sludgey like all Abysses. Very nice but not overly powerful rye finish. There is a slight cherry flavor with actually a lot of licorice
Oct 04, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by Scott17Taylor from Iowa

Sep 07, 2018
Rated: 4.29 by IckyT2012 from Florida

Aug 26, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by durlta from Iowa

Aug 19, 2018
Rated: 4.16 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

Jun 27, 2018
Rated: 4.77 by TylerJ from Iowa

Jun 09, 2018
Rated: 4.54 by BarrelAgedG from California

May 15, 2018
Rated: 4.44 by impending from California

Apr 08, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by drunkenotaku from Missouri

Feb 14, 2018
Rated: 4.37 by arusso13 from Connecticut

Jan 14, 2018
Rated: 3.92 by bcsbeer from Florida

Jan 04, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by mdaschaf from Indiana

Jan 01, 2018
The Abyss (Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 465 ratings