The Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged | Deschutes Brewery

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The Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-AgedThe Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged
446 Ratings
The Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-AgedThe Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)!

Added by WCKDVBZ on 11-10-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 446 |  Reviews: 91
Reviews by TheSixthRing:
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. Dark tan, quarter-finger width head that fades quickly to reveal a mostly barren surface with a razor thin ring of suds around the edge of the glass. Not much for lacing outside a few spots here and there.

Smell - Chocolate, deep roast, molasses, lesser vanilla and a bit of booziness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted malt, some dark berry jamminess. faint notes of vanilla and smoke. Finishes with coffee roast and a lingering peppery rye spice bite.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth, then a dry finish.

Overall - Much more in tune with the normal Abyss, and smoother than the Cognac variant at this point. Very delicious and quite drinkable now, though I'm glad I've grabbed two more for aging.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DefenCorps
4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the Portland pub.

I grudgingly admit that this is a hair better than the Cognac version of this beer. While more conventional in that there are a ton of good, excellent even, rye barrel beers out there, this beer really shines in its harmony and how wonderfully constructed it is. The rye is noticeable up front,no two way about it with the spicy notes, some rye, vanilla all very well integrated with the base beer with its cocoa, chocolate, roast and a little toffee. The palate is near flawless, especially once the initially overcarbonated feel settles down, allowing the rye to shine on a thick, luscious body.In beautiful harmony, the rye, vanilla and cocoa play off each other, accentuating the best aspects of the base beer - Abyss would be great, even without a barrel aged component - the licorice and molasses and harmonious here. Initially overcarbonated, once this settles down, this is full, creamy and wonderfully constructed. A joy to drink

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Photo of Jjski
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I don't find standard Abyss too exciting. This is different. Great cherry notes and molasses is prominent in mid palate. Not hot at all compared to fresh BCBS. The rye barrel presence is moderate. Is this epic when rated against comparable RIS? I may slightly prefer the Elijah Craig Eclipse or Black Tuesday, but that's splitting hairs. If you suffer from IPS (imperial palate syndrome), as I do, this may not blow you out of the water like an 18% ABV Avery beer. The mouthfeel is so smooth it could be considered too light by some. Comparisons do not bring to light the attributes of this masterpiece. The Abyss Rye exudes deft prowess in the art of brewing with nuance and higher goals. It's assertive yet accessible, complex yet cohesive, bold yet balanced and decidedly delicious.

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Photo of KevSal
3.45/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

final ready to break this out! been hanging onto them for a year, plan is to crack whiskey tonight and cognac tomorrow

looks great in the glass

nose is a bit lacking but whiskey comes thru nicely!

taste falls flat. nothing going on here to write home about, it's an average ba stout. i've had plenty better for far less

feel is ok, lots of alch in the finish

overall this is right middle of the road unfortunately, lots of hype on this one and for the price tag i can't find any reason to get this again. i don't think i'll be opening the cognac, ones now for trade lol

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A brilliant, thick black beer with a dark brown head. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, rye, oak and vanilla. The taste is a balanced blend of those flavors found in the nose. Thick and sweet with a big hit of bitter dark chocolate with some vanilla and rye at the end which give way to some warming from the booze. This is an amazing beer.

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Photo of WelshBrewer
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Dark to borderline Black, small chocolate head
Smell: Chocolate, Whiskey (not overbearing)
Taste: Chocolate, Molasses, Whiskey
Feel: Thick, Smooth
This beer is a big step up from the regular Abyss, Still love the original but this is one to hang on to but also great fresh out of the tap.

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Waiting for this for a while, shared with rudzud, best after 12/18/16, vintage 2015

Pours a nice mocha fluffy head but it fades quickly, nice legs, pitch black

Nose some cocoa, lots of cookie dough and dark chocolate, mild whiskey, a little toasted barrel, caramel fudge, maybe a touch spicy rye whisky but hard to tell, nutty, pretty light in general.

Taste big creamy lush dark malts, dark choc, creamy milk choc and cocoa, little licorice anise, little powdered cocoa, into vanilla barrel, creamy vanilla and little oak, lush choc shake, a touch of baking spice, touch dark fruits, faint smoke too, and bitter spicy hop.

Mouth is med to fuller bod but creamy, decent carb and no booze!

Overall decent but I expected a ton more.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As the story of the fabled "The Abyss" ventures into barrel-aged territory, this portion lies with rye whisky barrels for the roasty bliss that's expected but with a spicier, whisky complexity.

Black as night and polished with a glossy sheen, the stout's austere is capped with a regenerate creme swirl. Thwarting its robust perfume of espresso, drunken oak, boozy spice and cocoa, the nose is rife with the roast and barrels. But to taste, it's the power of blackstrap molasses and burnt sugar that frames the first impressions of taste.

But the brunt of flavor is just getting started as the premiere taste of high roast espresso sets the tone. Followed by bitter baker's chocolate, scorched toffee, and burnt toast round out the palate, a powerful whisky-soaked taste ensues- one with the bitter grit of rye and its earthen, husken spice that balances the caramel and vanillans to close.

Lavish and full, the beer's creamy, malty and starchy body plays on the mouth with a creamy roast that's not a far cry from coffeehouse espresso blends. Char, peppercorn and dry husk frames the finish with nuances of lightly grilled fruit playing close to its chest.

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Photo of mothman
3.36/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is like abyss, but minimally better. Still not even close to what abyss used to be like back in the day. Lighter bodied. Still a lack of barrel flavor. Nothing special. A very basic BA imperial stout.

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Photo of DanGeo
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of johnny_chimpo
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tvenne
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of doomrain
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of AlarmClock314
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, dated 2015, best after date of 12/18/16. Pours black with a medium sized brown head. Smells of bourbon, roasted malt, bittersweet cocoa, molasses, with a hint of dark fruit and barrel. The taste starts with roasted malt and cocoa followed by bourbon and molasses. Also has barrel throughout and a lasting molasses and rye aftertaste. Dry and bitter. Above average body and carbonation. It's a really unique IS; it has a lot of complexity and bitter flavors. Very similar to the cognac version.

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Photo of Dbrulet
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Hoppity1
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mctizzz
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I didn't drink for all of January and this was my first beer off the wagon, I planned to solo it but had to cap half for tomorrow, this is a big beer. Reminds me of a bitter BCBS, not hop bitter, more like unsweetened chocolate/espresso bitter. It's a big, dark, thick, boozy, bitter monster. Highly recommended. Now I hope the store still has the Congac version on the shelf.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The base beer for this is absolutely one of my favorite beers ever. This version while good is just not the original. They look the same, dark, almost completely black with a little brown head. The smell is almost all whiskey and barrel on this version. The flavor has a good amount of heat from the barrels but you get some vanilla, hints of coffee, and oak. Overall this is still a great stout but if i'm comparing it to the base beer it's just not as good. I get that the barrel age thing is all the hype and bigger flavors but I prefer tasting beer when I drink a beer.

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Photo of chossboss
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of buyyourfreedom
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of boogerisu
4.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of striker2160
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LXIXME
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Roasted cherries? This gets better and better as it sits while you enjoy it, probably would have rated it higher if it had lasted longer. Sorry, My bad.

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The Abyss - Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 446 ratings