The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged)
Deschutes Brewery

The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged)
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Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
Stout - American Imperial
4.36 | pDev: 5.28%
Yesterday at 08:27 PM
Dec 10, 2016
The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged)The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged)
Notes: The most multifaceted liquid truffle ever fashioned. Dark cherries brined in light peat smoke and popped into the heart of a prune. Then drizzled with toffee and flamed caramel, crusted with white and green peppers, and dipped in honey infused molasses. This beautiful construction is then delicately coated with rich dark chocolate and finished with a luxurious coating of milk chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder and gold flakes. Served on a chard shard of oak with three sultanas and pieces of vanilla suffused marzipan.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
4.34 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana on Yesterday at 08:27 PM
Photo of zonker17
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by zonker17 from Texas

2016. Near black, brown head does not linger, no lacing. Nose wood, liquor, chocolate. Taste more of the same, some oxidation at 5+ years, boozy. Heavy body and light carbonation.

Feb 18, 2022
4.34 by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania on Jan 03, 2022
4.5 by NickMunford from Wyoming on Jul 18, 2021
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by SpeedwayJim from New York

22oz. waxed and capped bottle into a Founder's snifter. 2016 vintage.

Nose is molasses, liquorice, baker's chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, a touch of boozy sweetness, and tobacco. Great complexity, deep, rich, and robust. Beer opens semi-sweet chocolate, sweet soy sauce, and a slightly tart roasted malt. Another sip yields molasses, oak, peat, and tobacco. End is chocolate, fudge, and more oakiness and smoke. Delicious! The smoke is subtle but it builds and builds in the aftertaste. Body is full with low carbonation. Smooth and rich on the palate and goes down luscious, silky, and boozy with a long, lingering, layered aftertaste.

I was skeptical of the scotch barrel aging but this has turned out wonderfully. Well worth trying.

Jun 10, 2021
4.36 by BKotch from Texas on May 23, 2021
4.27 by cd34 from Illinois on Apr 25, 2021
Photo of nicholas2121
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by nicholas2121 from Ohio

The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged) brewed by Deschutes Brewery, with an ABV of 12.20% This American Imperial Stout pours out of a Bomber bottle into a pint beer glass. The color is a deep brown color with a nice light brown head. This brew has the look of coffee, not saying that is a bad thing. There is also a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass. The smell is Rich with scotch notes roasted malts and grains. Hops are mild an clean in the smell. So far this is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. You pick up on a nice smokey notes mixed with roasted grains and malts. Lots of mirror sweet notes as well. This is a well put together brew. It is really hard to pick up on the 12.20% ABV it is just that smooth. This brew would go nice with dinner or an nice after dinner brew. The body of The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged) medium heavy, but not to heavy. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. The mouth feel is Bold, Rich, Scotch, Roasted, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I am going to give The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged) a 4.75 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again givin the opportunity to.
Deschutes Brewery , did a super nice job with this American Imperial Stout.

Oct 17, 2020
Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by SHODriver from North Carolina

A: Poured into a snifter to a 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 minimal lacing.
S: Smells surprisingly restrained on the nose. There's some chocolate, coffee, and a little oak along with some sweet scotch notes.
T: Taste is dark cherries, chocolate and coffee with some nice scotch barrel notes. Slightly smoky with some charred wood as well. Burnt sugars and creme brulee, with a ton of nice roasty notes. On the swallow it's more scotch barrel, chocolate, coffee, smoke, charred wood, and burnt sugars.
M: This beer is lighter than expected but still full bodied. Carbonation is a little lively for the style but not to the point of being detracting while the beer has a drying finish due to the high ABV.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some great flavors and a killer amount of complexity. Very smooth and well incorporated with the flavors seamlessly coming in and out instead of harsh and abrupt flavor notes.

Jul 06, 2020
4.5 by zenithberwyn from California on Jun 04, 2020
Photo of Zythophile
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 2016
Palate Contaminants: none

Super dark brown color that doesn't leave much room for description. Fine, dark brown head, but not much of it.

The smell is really nice. Vanilla right up front. Sweet prunes. A little smokiness, spicy molasses, and barrel. Good intensity for a stout that has yet to warm up all the way.

Lots of dark wood up front, and raisin is the dominant dark fruit. I definitely get some peat, too. There's moderate sweetness to start, but it fades away surprisingly fast. Bitterness increases toward the back. Barrel, too. Alcohol taste is present. Definitely a sipper.

Medium-light weight for the type. Good character, but more alcohol than I'd prefer, even for a thirteener. Carbonation is a little light. Aftertaste is the bitter smoke, although it's not overbearing.

Apr 19, 2020
4.43 by TheHopsman from Nebraska on Mar 29, 2020
Photo of ovaltine
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ovaltine from Indiana

Pours onyx black with zero leakage on the edges, underneath a thick, foamy tan head. Absolutely gorgeous beer. The nose is filled with rich dark chocolate, cherry, and vanilla aromas. There’s a boozy note that I’ll attribute to the scotch barrel.

The cherry and dark chocolate flavors are front and center on the taste, and the vanilla smooths things out a bit, leading to a smoky, boozy finish courtesy of the scotch barrel.

I love the base beer, and this is better, IMHO. Exceptionally well done by Deschutes on this world-class beer.

Feb 29, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Treyliff from West Virginia

22o bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 12/9/16

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

S- aroma opens with cherry pipe tobacco, chocolate, caramel, toffee, black licorice, prunes and molasses. The barrel adds notes of honey, light peat smoke and oak. The complexity seems to increase as it warms

T- bold dark cherry notes up front, along with bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, pipe tobacco, prunes, raisins, toffee, black strap molasses, black licorice & burnt brown sugars. Mid-palate starts to bring out a subtle, but noticeable scotch note, adding subtle peat, floral honey and a hint of brine. The finish gives more dark cherry, chocolate and subtle barrel

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

O- as with most scotch BA stouts, with the exception of an Islay barrel, the barrel notes were subtle. However, it worked very well with the base beer, adding a nice honey sweetness and just enough smoke and salinity to be noticed

Feb 09, 2020
Photo of BEERdedCharmer
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by BEERdedCharmer from New York

2016 variant opened January of 2020

Black as my ex girlfriends soul but with more warmth.
Chocolate. Caramel and toffee, right off the pallet. Wishing I had a vanilla ice cream sandwich to enjoy this beer with.
Mouthful is fantastic, and AbV has dropped over the aging period.
10/10 would recommend

Jan 24, 2020
4.25 by Birdlegs from Washington on Sep 09, 2019
4.52 by buzzedup from Pennsylvania on Aug 25, 2019
4.19 by captainkrad from New Jersey on Aug 24, 2019
4.49 by kmoen from California on Aug 23, 2019
4.37 by BAsbill from California on Aug 23, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

22oz bottle. Thinly waxed bottle. 2016 vintage.
Black colored body. Tan head just stays around. A few spots of lacing stick to the glass, but most slide back down into the body.
Aroma is deep and dark. Dark roasted malts bring up chocolate and caramel. There is dark fruit hidden in the middle. The barrel wraps all in peat.
Taste is a swirl of dark roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, sweeter dark fruit like cherry and denser dried dark fruit, and the barrel. The Scotch barrel infuses all with peat and vanilla. Not bitter at all. Has a touch of black licorice.
Very smooth, more thick than medium mouth feel. Hides the high ABV% well; no appreciable vapors nor burn. Some supporting carbonation.
The denseness of the flavors really inhibits a rapid ingestion of the beer. Allow each sip to envelop the olfactory and tasting areas in order to realize the full depth and breadth of this beer. Quite a positive drinking experience.

Jul 23, 2019
4.25 by TylerJ from Iowa on Jul 13, 2019
Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas from Texas

Consumed 6/28/2019

Would I buy this again? Its a great beer, but Id only buy again if it gets bottled in smaller portions. The bomber is expensive and a lot to put down in a single sitting.

Jun 29, 2019
4.69 by YvesB from Belgium on Jun 11, 2019
4.52 by johnnyboy76 from Oregon on May 10, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

15 months bottle aged. This was good. Quite good. I expected to enjoy this one less than the brandy variant, but was very pleasantly surprised. An improvement on a stout with the addition of that wet stone scotch characteristic that I personally loved.

May 02, 2019
4.32 by MickeyHops from California on Apr 21, 2019
Photo of brother_rebus
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75
by brother_rebus from Maine

drank it in 2019. kinda soy sauce to start. actually got better as it warmed. still was missing elements it likely had back when. also little to no scotch.

Apr 21, 2019
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - From the bottle, the beer poured a thick oily black color.

Smell - there was a definite smokiness from the scotch barrels. The alcohol content was somewhat evident.

Taste - The smokiness from the scotch barrels was evident. Thick chocolatey malts followed. There was a measured level of booziness, but it was not hot. The smokey after was very pleasant.

Mouthfeel - As one might expect from a Abyss, it was thick and oily.

Overall - I was surprised how much I like this, since I normally don’t like scotch. It had all the smoke of scotch, without the peat.

Apr 20, 2019
4.25 by jakecattleco from California on Apr 07, 2019
4 by scottiethebody from California on Mar 22, 2019
4.5 by Montanabeerz from Montana on Feb 10, 2019
Photo of brenn79
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by brenn79 from Idaho

22 oz bottle- Pours inky black with a medium mocha colored head that reduces to a thin blanket. Aroma is chocolate, barrel, leather, tobacco, a bit of dark berries. The taste is leather, tobacco, cocoa, milk duds, velvety smooth, alcohol is barely detectable, touch of berries, oak really drys everything out. Very tasty.

Feb 06, 2019
Photo of angrybabboon
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by angrybabboon from Massachusetts

Consumed 1/16/19

A: Deep, dark brown - opaque - pours with a medium sized brown head that slowly fades to a few wisps but retains a medium-large collar

S: Nice balance between The Abyss aromas and Scotch barrel, the barrel does not dominate like some other Abyss variants - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, lightly burnt and roasty notes, dark coffee, overcooked brownies - dark fruit and black licorice - nice notes of barrel, nice notes of Scotch, lingering booze

T: Dark and roasty with loads of chocolate - dark chocolate bars, semisweet chocolate, some notes of milk chocolate - fudge brownies, lightly burnt fudge, dark chocolate cake - dark fruit, chocolate covered raisins, notes of spice and some anise - cooked sugar and notes of molasses - barrel notes, with some wood, some nice woodiness, with some peaty Scotch flavors - touches of smoke - more Scotch in the aftertaste

M: Heavy body, carbonation on the low side of medium, very smooth, lightly oily finish

O: Wait, this isn't a Scotch ale?!

I've had the opportunity to have a multiple of these Abyss variants, and I've personally found them to be too barrel-heavy. Despite not being the biggest fan of Scotch, in general, I think this works oddly well. I would happily drink this again, if it is made again.

Jan 17, 2019
Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by pathman from Ohio

11/22/18 bottle (2016)

Jan 01, 2019
4.24 by TastyIsBeer from Illinois on Dec 21, 2018
Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by zeff80 from Missouri

22oz bottle. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of booze, peat, smoke, chocolate and toffee. Sweet maltiness with chocolate and toffee. Smoky and peaty, too.

Dec 02, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by AyatollahGold from Indiana

Pouring this beer dated 12/09/16 from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter glass this beer pours out chocolate in color with highlights running throughout until formed in the glass. It formed a half pinky width of caramel colored crown that didn't want to stick around too long and chose rather to just form a ring around the glass. (4)
The smell is burnt bitter chocolate mixing with earthy wood, molasses and dark fruit all backed by a somewhat smokey background. (4)
The taste comes in with an earthy soil like presence before turning to that bitter, burnt chocolate. Wood, dark fruit & molasses all still present as well and the smoke finishes it off. (3.75)
The mouthfeel is, I would guess, past it's prime, because it is rather flat with no carbonation bounce. Other than that, it's slightly smoky, earthy and dry. (3.5)
Overall, this was my least favorite out of the variants I had of the Abyss, but that does have some to do with the carbonation levels of it. I always enjoy that bitter, burnt chocolate in the Abyss and liked how this one had a slightly smokey presence tangling with it. While I would definitely drink this again, it wouldn't be anything I would search out in the future. (3.75)

Nov 25, 2018
Photo of colts9016
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by colts9016 from Idaho

I peeled the wax off the bottle and cracked the cork a mist of beer wafted from the bottle. The beer is 50 degrees and served in a tulip glass. The beer is a dark ale with a strong odor of Scotch. The pour of the beer produced a one finger head with fair retention. The head dissipated quickly leaving no head on the glass. The beer has the appearance of a high alcohol content probably past 10 percent. The head is velvety and airy and has a dark brown color. The color of the beer of the beer is SRM 36 a dark brown nearly coal black. The head did leave a velvety ring around the glass.

The initial aroma of the beer is this earthy musty aroma mixed with the sea. Additional aromas in the beer are anise, soy sauce, wood, vanilla, dark roasted malts, toffee, chocolate, grassy, medium roasted coffee, char, burnt sugar, Maillard reaction, and herbal.

The initial flavor in beer is earthy, wood, and dark chocolate. Additional flavors in the beer are anise, soy sauce, smoke, char, burnt sugar, molasses, toffee, grassy, herbal, coffee, vanilla, dark roasted malt, and alcohol.

The mouthfeel of the beer is dry, musty, and coating.

The body of the beer is full, medium carbonation, and a full finish.

The beer is dark stout aged in a barrel. Found out it is a scotch barrel. The flavors align with peat and smoke. The beer is thick and coating. The balance in the beer is close to equal. The harmony in the beer is a skosh off kilter for me. The beer has this roughness like a cowboy. A rugged beer but dangerously tasty.

Nov 23, 2018
4.21 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Sep 04, 2018
The Abyss (Scotch Barrel-Aged) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 230 ratings