The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged)
Deschutes Brewery

The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged)
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From:
Deschutes Brewery
 
Oregon, United States
Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
13.4%
Score:
95
Avg:
4.28 | pDev: 6.07%
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
192
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Sep 27, 2022
Added:
Dec 10, 2016
Wants:
  10
Gots:
  78
SCORE
95
World-Class
The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged)
Notes: Enticingly ripe, earthy fruit rudiments awash in the open salt air of Normandy, lightly augmented with mushrooms grown in the depths of the Tron̉«ais forest. Delicate notes of Livarot glazed with an orange reduction and textured with toasted coconut shavings. Distinct aromas of cinnamon and ulster cherry, foxtrot in time with tangs of vanilla and brown sugar. Balanced, approachable wood zests meld charmingly with the finish of figs and Allegheny plums.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.48 by scottyshades from Florida

Sep 27, 2022
 
Rated: 4.09 by dshansen1184 from Washington

Feb 19, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Nov 27, 2021
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
22oz glass poured into a snifter

Pours black in color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that reduces to a ring. Smells of dark cherries, raisins, red grapes, chocolate, licorice, caramel and oak. Taste has all of the classic Abyss flavors; dark cherry, licorice, char, chocolate and caramel, with the barrel enhancing the dark fruit notes, as well as the caramel. Slightly oaky finish with more dark fruit on the linger. Medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a velvety warming finish
Aug 26, 2021
 
Rated: 4.4 by BKotch from Texas

May 16, 2021
Photo of zonker17
Reviewed by zonker17 from Texas

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2016 on Apr 17, 2021. Pours black with thick beige head, slight retention minimal lacing. Nose brandy, marshmallow, wood. Boozy, anise, molasses, cocoa. Slight oxidation but not an impairment. Full body and mild carbonation.
Apr 18, 2021
Photo of aleigator
Reviewed by aleigator from Germany

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours pitch black with a big, fluffy, beige head.

Smells of spicy licorice, earth and old oak among dried, booze enriched fruits.

Drinks thick and smooth, producing a decadent, fuller body, together with a silk carbonation which turns slightly effervescent during its finish.

Tastes of bakers chocolate, glazed toffee and char accompanied, prominent licorice among alcohol soaked grape skins. Turns a little warmer then, with milk chocolate and sugared cherry, balanced by matured, burned wood. Finishes with more burned malts, bitter chocolate, a flowery hint of vanilla and dry, slightly bitter oak.

Tasty, boozy, smooth and warm with a strong roasti- and bitterness, making this intense and silk at the same time.
Jan 23, 2021
 
Rated: 4.25 by zenithberwyn from California

Jun 04, 2020
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A: poured into a snifter to a deep black beer topped by a dense and rocky finger of dark tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with some lacing.
S: Smells of coffee and chocolate with some dark cherry like notes along with a touch of oak and brandy.
T: Taste is coffee and cocoa powder with some nice brandy notes, roasted malts, charred wood, burnt sugar, and oak with a touch more brandy. On the swallow there's more oak and cocoa powder with more brandy, coffee, roasted malts and charred wood.
M: This beer has a thick and silky feel on the palate. Carbonation is on the low end but it's adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish which is expected.
O: Overall this is really awesome. Abyss is such a great beer already and this is a really nice twist. Great complexity and a really nice blend of flavors make this an outstanding drinking experience.
May 24, 2020
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle Date: 2016
Palate Contaminants: none

You guessed it, color is a nondescript dark brown. Good amount of fine head, although it doesn't stick around or leave much lacing.

Smell has light anise and fudge, but the brandy I carries the day. The brady helps some other scents appear, like plums and dates, but it all goes right back to that wonderful distilled grape liquor.

Taste has a ton of charcoal and black coffee up front. (And in the middle and end.) The bitterness batters down the sweetness that was on the nose. Overall, it's an odd amalgam of bitter stout, smoky scotch, and brandy. (The brandy is the best part, but it's so buried.) Good amount of alcohol in the taste, to boot.

Aftertaste is lingering bitterness. Nicely integrated carbonation. Moderately sticky sweet, somehow. Aforementioned alcohol heat. But that bitterness, though...

I'm disappointed that it's below par for the type because I was really looking forward to this one.
Apr 30, 2020
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I haven't had abyss in years and hated it when I last had it. It was too roasty, bitter, and dirt like. I cellared what I had and thought maybe a few years would change them.

Fast forward to today and my tastes have changed. I appreciate a more roasty and less sweet stout.

I don't know if it's my tastes or just this being a brandy variant but I'm finding it much more palatable. I still wouldn't give abyss the praise that it gets but this is so much more tolerable than previous times having it.
Apr 21, 2020
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Rated by beer_banse from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
650ML Bottle - Waxed Top - Bottled December 2016 - Great beer and variant
Apr 13, 2020
 
Rated: 4.33 by warrendietrich2001 from Nevada

Feb 20, 2020
 
Rated: 4.5 by MTKATL from Georgia

Sep 21, 2019
 
Rated: 4.68 by buzzedup from Pennsylvania

Aug 24, 2019
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Reviewed by rudzud from Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle with me. It's been in the queue for quite some time now, 3 years. 2016 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black with a thick mocha head that fades to leave light wisps and a thin blanket.

S - Aromas of faint brandy, smokey, flashes of licorice, almost dirty laundry like.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with loads of salty licorice, tons of toasty char and light. Gets more and more salty as it warms.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, creamy, alcohol hidden well but the finish is terrible

O - Overall this was an incredibly underwhelming beer. Can't taste any of the greatness that is the base abyss. An utter shame.

Serving type: bottle
Jul 28, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
22oz bottle. Bottled on '12/08/16'.
Black colored body. Two finger mocha brown head, which settles back to a creamy cap. Leaves partial rings and spots of lacing.
Aroma of dark roasted malts and dark fruits. Just a hint of brandy barrel.
Taste is more complex than the smell, but still has the dark roasted malts and dark fruit, and also orange. There is also chocolate and vanilla. The brandy barrel is there but still not prominent. There is some woodiness in the flavor. Very little bitterness.
Medium mouth feel, with a thicker texture. Good carbonation.
For the higher ABV% this beer drinks drinks incredibly easy. Seems "brighter" than some of the other Abyss beers, probably due to the brandy barrel and the dark fruit flavor.
Jul 27, 2019
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
2016
Decent foamy thinner tan small head fades fairly quickly, decent lacing, long legs, pitch black beer

Nose sweet mess, molasses, candy syrup, dark chocolate, woody and big vanilla, dark fruits, cherry, raisin, oak, fair anise and spice, light brandy

Taste fair anise and spice again, wood bark and big bitter spice, spicy bitter spices, dark chocolate, little cocoa, light brandy not much, raw vanilla and vanilla oak, tannins, lingering bitter spicy tannin

Mouth is fuller thick bod, medium carb, some alcohol head

Overall meh, base is ok but too harsh bitter tannin, very little brandy, high expectations and I'm really disappointed
Jul 27, 2019
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Reviewed by tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Pours opaque, black in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste dark roasted malt, black cherry, black currant, and vanilla powder. Dry, roasty, heavy bodied, low carbonation. Makes for an excellent sipper. Super dry and roasty. Another winner from Deschutes.
Jul 22, 2019
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Rated by D35TR00 from New York

4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Really enjoyed the 2016. I wish I got more brandy but still, all things considered I give this a 4.5
May 22, 2019
 
Rated: 4.56 by kkarimi from Texas

May 20, 2019
 
Rated: 4.32 by SayBoom from Ukraine

May 09, 2019
 
Rated: 4.33 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 02, 2019
 
Rated: 4.08 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Apr 07, 2019
 
Rated: 4.35 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Apr 01, 2019
 
Rated: 4 by scottiethebody from California

Mar 22, 2019
 
Rated: 4.31 by TylerJ from Iowa

Mar 17, 2019
 
Rated: 4.29 by dmk82 from California

Mar 14, 2019
Photo of JBowenGeorgia
Reviewed by JBowenGeorgia from Georgia

4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Black pour with two fingers of tan head that hung around awhile.
Dark fruits, roasty malts, barrel on the nose.
Taste follows with roasty malt, bit of coffee, cherry and plum, barrel, vanilla.
Full bodied, carb level is good.
Overall a tasty one!
Mar 02, 2019
 
Rated: 4.25 by FLBeerGuy from Florida

Feb 03, 2019
 
Rated: 4.21 by jakecattleco from California

Jan 27, 2019
 
Rated: 4.52 by kinmundy77 from Illinois

Jan 20, 2019
Photo of bbtkd
Reviewed by bbtkd from South Dakota

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Deschutes 2016 Brandy Barrel Abyss, 13.4% ABV. Pours black with an incredible two+ finger brown foamy head, which left heavy lacing. Nose is brandy, dark fruit, and citrus. Taste is complex; roasted malt, brandy, salt, bitter orange peel, something earthy, and dark fruit. Mouthfeel is excellent. Overall excellent, though definitely a unique brew. I passed on this in 2016 due to reviews, but figured I would finally take a crack at it since I happened across one.
Jan 11, 2019
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Rated by pathman from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
10/5/18 2016 bottle
Dec 25, 2018
 
Rated: 4.35 by kaseydad from California

Dec 22, 2018
 
Rated: 4.31 by KShophead from Kansas

Dec 20, 2018
 
Rated: 4 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands

Dec 16, 2018
Photo of CaptainHate
Reviewed by CaptainHate from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
10/08/2016 650 ml bottle poured into a DFH tulip. Very dark brown body under a finger tan head which dissipated slowly leaving some lacing. Smell is mainly of dark malt and fruit aromas; only a slight hint of the brandy remains. Taste reveals more of the brandy but the roasty malts and complex vanilla flavors are taking over (I assume, I never had this fresh). Mouthfeel is fine for a sipper like this.

Just a very good experience.
Nov 25, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
Reviewed by AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pretty excited for this one. From the ones I've had (rum & tequila), these Abyss variants have been for me. Oddly, since I didn't care for the regular. Pouring this 22 oz. bottle dated 12/09/16 into a snifter glass. This beer pours out very dark brown and forms a gorgeous one finger creamy caramel colored crown. I just want to jump inside the crown. So dense. The smell is complex with burnt sweetness, some wood funk, slight orange notes. The taste comes in with fruit notes like orange zest and dark cherries mixing with wood and slight chocolate. Even has some fig like present. This one is very mellow and smooth. Less chocolate than the rest but very tasty in its own aspect.
Nov 22, 2018
 
Rated: 4.25 by y2kawakami from Hawaii

Nov 04, 2018
The Abyss (Brandy Barrel-Aged) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 268 ratings