The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

1,936 Reviews
The AbyssThe Abyss

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in bourbon, Oregon oak, and Pinot Noir barrels.

65 IBU

Vintages (production numbers from Deschutes):
2006 - Released December 2006 (approx 90 BBL)
2007 - Released January 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2008 - Released November 2008 (approx 350 BBL)
2009 - Released November 2009 (approx 600 BBL)
2010 - Released December 2010 (approx 600 BBL)
2011 - Released November 2011 (approx 600 BBL)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2006

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Reviews: 1,936 | Ratings: 6,956
Photo of steenkampa
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Bottling

One of my favorites here, perfectly balanced huge stout. Slow drinker.

VERY dark, not too much carbonation, chocolatey brown head. Smells the way I believe a stout should.

Mild coffee / bourbon flavors, with a tiny hint of what I associate with anise.

I buy the max whenever I see this beer, and usually keep one for drinking THAT NIGHT, and the rest for the cellar...have several 2012s in there right now.

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Photo of NWer
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed a sampler at the brewery in Bend, on tap at a local establishment, and on nitro at the Deschutes Public House in Portland. It's about time I tick off a review - from memory.
The nitro was the most memorable but in no way demeans the beer I had on-tap. Poured dark of course into a funny looking slender/tall glass.
Sipping it slow. Want it to last forever. Smooth. Flavors: what they said. No need to be repetitive.
Can't say enough about this beer. Alcohol well hidden. No burn at all.
I am so glad I've built up a stash of the '10 and '11 to savor over time. Clearly one of the great beers.

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Photo of jamesm7485
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just cracked open one of my cellar bottles from 07 enjoyed on october 3rd 08, it was a tad different, the coffee notes were much more pronounced oddly enough, simply divine even with just a year on it, perhaps not my favorite ris, that honor goes to kentucky breakfast stout however this is a very amazing beer im glad i stocked up on, im looking forward to the 08 and plan on buying alot more than i did of the 07

This is my first review and im just entering the beer snob scene so bear with me.

The beer lives up to its name with its pour, pure black with a reasonably decent head.

Smell was amazing with hints of licorice and chocolate

Beer was incredibly smooth and easy on the palette, very easy to drink as well.

Despite being a beer snob for only a few weeks now I can see why this beer gets the respect that it does

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl and the Pig & fiddle and from a 22 oz. bottle in a 14.75 porter/stout glass.
A: Brilliant pitch black, very thin head, tan foam cap, lacy.
S: Faint roast, cocoa, vanilla, molasses, some sherry, some faint bourbon, very complex and layered nose.
T: Starts with a big dose of roast, espresso, cocoa, and an initial malty sweetness that dries out buy the finish. Sherry and bourbon notes are bigger in aged versions.
M: Chewy, medium low carbonation and rich and dry.
O: When it is available, buy it. A big ballsy beer well suited for winter evenings before the fire.

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Photo of mikeale
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in to my Dogfish Head snifter.

A. Pitch black, mocha head.

S. Coffee, licoric, cocoa...

T. Roasted malt, espresso, chocolate.

M. Creamy smooth, warming alcohol, roasty finish.

D. A sipper but drinkable.

This is one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of RickS95
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good luck improving the look of this beast. Pours like used engine oil. It's thick and syrupy. Extremely dark. The head forms slowly, a deep rich brown color. Good retention. A thin lace is all that remains.

You can smell just about each ingredient. Dark roasted notes. Char. Cherry bark. Licorice. Vanilla. Alcohol. It's all there.

Same goes for the taste. Lots of woody tastes. Cherry. Vanilla. A bit of licorice. Expresso. Smoke. Alcohol.

As I poured, a few stops rolled slowly down the bottle. I slid my finger along to pick up the drops and licked my fingers could taste the manliness of this beer. But with a full sip, it's remarkably smooth for something so strong. Sweet and fruity up front, warm and bitter in the end. It's creamy til the finish. A bit of heat tempers the swallow. Very full bodied. Thick and chewy.

It's an extraordinary beer. I wouldn't change a thing. I had the 2013 vintage and it said not to drink it until four months from now. I couldn't wait, I can't imagine it could be any better.

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Photo of umpquabrewer
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Klokke Roeland snifter.

A- Pours black and opaque with a one finger head that is the color of old leather. I LOVE the color!

S- Coffee, licorice, dark chocolate and hops.

T- Alcohol, bitter coffee, chocolate.

M- It's a lot lighter and cleaner than I expected. Nice carbonation.

D- It needs another year. Right now it's very good~ another year and it'll be amazing!

I waited all year for this and it was worth the wait!! I have two bottles left that I am cellaring. The first bottle I'll drink on the 2010 release next year and the other I'll try to save for five years- we'll see...

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Photo of DrewZ926
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage

Poured a bit below cellar temperature into a snifter. Reveals a jet black body with a small khaki collar. Appears highly viscous and creamy.

Nose is an unbelievably complex bouquet of toasted marshmallow, roasted wood, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Also getting a nice hint of sweet, cool, bourbon.

I thought the taste wouldn't be able to follow up the insane wafts I was getting, but oh I was wrong. An explosion of vanilla and chocolate bark. Coffee grounds and espresso add bitterness and balance. Proceeds to hit you over the head with molasses, brown sugar, and a subtle licorice bite. Finishes with the most well integrated bourbon aging I have experienced.

The feel is also perfect. Not too syrupy to be cloying, but full and rich enough to slickly coat the flavors onto your palate. Just enough carbonation for the style.

I've never given a beer a 5 before, but while consuming the Abyss, I wondered: how could this beer improve at all? The answer was: I don't know, in my eyes it can't. From the unbelievably complex nose, to its amazing depth and best-in-class balance of bold flavors, I would put this stout as the finest I have had. Absolutely seek this one out.

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Photo of pluto
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, allowed to warm for 1/2 hour from refrigerator.
Nifty wax sealed cap, indicates a candidate for some serious aging which I think this beer deserves.
Nose of cocoa, alcohol, roasted malt, slightly pungent.
Pours nearly black, subdued head, chocolate mlk colored head.
And finally the taste--chocolate, coffee, vanilla, yet dry with a slight bite of the oak. The thousand ways an imperial stout can err avoided. Astounding mouthfeel, the alcohol subdued in the mouth but warms the belly.
Astonishing. The sum is greater than the parts and this beer must be experienced. Bravo to Deschutes.
By the bottom of the bottle I am perfect.
Buy it now, it's an instant classic.

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Photo of gtermi
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Reserve

A: The Abyss pours a very dark black with a nice inch thick head, that quickly fades.

S: I am getting a good amount of roastedness and coffee. You can smell some bourbon and oak with a faint bit of toffee.

T: Where to start. This is like Willy Wonka made this beer and there are a million different flavors popping up. I am getting a nice coffee flavor and some type of wine sweetness. It gives you a nice warm feeling and has a nice alcohol flavor. I am also getting some chocolate and some vanilla.

M: The Abyss is exceptionally smooth. It has a tiny bit of carbonation, but its absolutely perfect.

O: I hate to give a beer all 5's, but this is a beer that deserves it. I was so excited to get this and it didnt let me down. I have never had a beer so amazing in my life. The tastes are so complex and its just so much to wrap my head around. Just perfect.

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Photo of scottyshades
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage, served for the family on Christmas, one of the most memorable beers I've had

A: This motor oil....Abyss pours pitch black with a dark brown, almost purple, color head. Retention is really good for the ABV, but not amazing for the style

S: Molasses, caramel, toffee, lactose, TONS of fruit (dates, figs, apples)...really impossible to summarize, and anything I say won't do it justice.

T: double rainbow shit! So complex...sweet, charred, smokey, nutty, woody (oaky), fruity, just wow. Absolutely tons of molasses. If you are reading this review for a reference, do yourself a favor and post an ISO thread instead.

MF/D: Perfectly viscous, creamy, velvety, super smooth. Carbonation is spot on, finish is lactose/awesomeness.

Notes: Truly remarkable. I really enjoyed this beer, and looking forward to acquiring another. Not over-hyped in my mind, and if you think so, I'll give you my address so you can ship it to me

As far as complexity...this is comparable to KBS for sure, but they are just too different from each other to compare in terms of which is better.

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Photo of SHODriver
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage

A: pours black as night with a half inch of dark tan head that fades quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of bourbon with notes of vanilla and caramel. Also smells of roasted malt and coffee
T: taste is caramel, vanilla, molasses, chocolate, more bourbon, coffee and roast malt. swallow is roast malt, bourbon, molasses and coffee
M: thick and smooth in the mouth with soft carbonation
O: this beer is insanely good and flies off the shelves for a reason. It's phenomenal.

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Photo of cbarrett4
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The most perfectly crafted beer I have ever consumed (again)!

This review is for the 2010 release. Tasted with 2010 nitro, 2009, 2008, 2007 releases at the Portland Deschutes brewpub on December 1st, 2010 (Abyss release day!) Sadly they sold out of the limited number of 2007 and 2008 bottles within an hour!

2010 regular tap: showing very well, though youthful with a ton of astringency that will mellow with bottle age. This baby is heavy, rich, unctuous, and lively! The aromas and flavors definitely dwell on the dark and somewhat evil influence of dark, bitter chocolate with fruit notes from the licorice and hops. Tons of freshly ground espresso beans on the nose and palate. Also, there is a rich note of oak with grippy tannins on the palate. Sports a finish that goes on and on and on....

2010 nitro: same as above just slightly more texture and less astringency. Great for drinking now while the bottle and regular tap are a little intense. (Too bad it won't be around long!)

2009: tasted several times over the last year, and this was my latest taste. Still very young with emphasis still on rich tannins and hops. Needs 1 more year of cellaring!

2008: my personal favorite. This vintage is a little slutty ~ lots of rich chocolate on a polished and more subtle texture than the newer vintages. Cellaring has definitely made an improvement!

2007: if the '08 were an Oregon pinot, then '07 would be Burgundy. This vintage is smoky, velvety, yet subtle with more of the fruit and licorice notes present; also has a lot of espresso and some hints of toasty oak. My second favorite!

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Photo of LinusBohman
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 edition, served into a snifter, shared with Asgeirr on a sunny evening in the arctic spring 2012.

A: Abyssmal darkness that descends into the utter void of reality. The light is banished from this infernal brew. Beautiful fluffy crown worthy an emperor. Perfect look!

S: The essential smell is cherryinfused dark chocolate. Alongside we pick up scents like butter, dark molasses, vanilla perfectly integrated with subtle earthiness.

T: Dark fruit, plums at first and then dark chocolate, soysauce, vanilla. There's also a burnt touchdrop of coffee and at the very end a hint of some tart chewy apples. Oh, the complexity!

M: Full, medium carbonation. Creamy. Lays gently on your tounge and whispers smoothly to your palate while creating gastronomic extasy!

O: Could this beer be better? I don't think so. It's got everything you could aske for in an imperial stout and all the tastes and smells are delicately integrated and balanced. This is the first beer I am willing to give straight A's! I went into the abyss and came back a changed man, an enlightened man.

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Photo of Droopy487
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I hate giving perfect scores. I really do. But, the look was great. What else do you want? The smell was of heaven. The taste was very nice. You can taste a lot going on. Very well thought out beer. Not boozy. Nice barrel notes. I's perfect for what it is. A+. If you don't like complex stouts then I guess you won't like it.

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Photo of Alron
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Outstanding. I absolutely love it. A very Stout with just the right amount of barrel aging. Not the over the bourbon smell of some others. I'd say that's a fair description. Complex for sure.
-Appearance is thick and dark, dark brown with a tan finger of head. Gorgeous.
-Smells of Sweet Coffee with a hint of fruit, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Fantastic.
-Taste is similar to the smell with Chocolate and Coffee backed up by Cherry, Oak, Bourbon. Then it finishes with a roasty coffee and vanilla taste. Man the 11% is hidden so well.
-The Mouthfeel is thick and slightly carbonated that lingers with a hint of bitterness.
-Overall, I really couldn't ask for anything more. It's Terrific. A bourbon aged stout is honestly my favorite smell on the planet right now. This one does not disappoint. I've cellared another and can't wait to find out how it ages. :)

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Photo of SDHoffers
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite possibly the most dangerous beer I've ever had. The smoothness of this beer makes me want to drink it all day long. The 11% would probably kill me after awhile but I'm kinda thinking it would be worth it. I put this on tap last year and can't wait til November to do it all over again. I will probably do unspeakable things to, for and probably with my Deschutes rep in order to get more than one keg but the jail time is most definitely something I can accept. Every nerve in your body tingles when you drink this beer. This beer reminds me of being a kid again. It reminds me of drinking chocolate milk while watching my favorite cartoon with my best friend bugs bunny and sitting in the middle of all my star wars and gi joe toys and basking in the glory of them bowing to me like I'm Gulliver or something. This beer reminds me of my best day ever. Anyways, this beer really is like a mocha chocolate milk. The coffee and malts are strong yet not overpowering. You want to drink this beer so fast but yet you find yourself weeping when you near the bottom. I would suggest this beer to novices and beer gods alike. Congratulations Beer!!!

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage, best after 11/15/11, time to crack this one open.

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Pours jet black with a thin tan head that leaves good lacing.

Nose is bourbon, licorice, vanilla and molasses.

Taste follows the nose with some alcohol warming. Right out of the fridge, the taste is muted. Let this one sit a while to warm up and release the complex flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with low carbonation.

This is an incredible beer, lives up to the hype, like to get my hands on some more of these.

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Photo of duffextracold
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark black color, with a brown, chocolate colored head. when i swirl it around it coats the glass and makes it tinted like sunglasses. I could just sniff this stuff all night long! smells like bitter chocolate, espresso, dried dark fruit, with a slight alcohol aroma. The taste is unbelievable. smooth, roasty, malty goodness. very complex, without being overwhelming. chocolate, espresso, dried fruit, faint hint of licorice. mmm...
Velvety smooth mouthfeel. creamy, but not thick. complaints here. very complex without being overdone in any aspect. very drinkable, well hidden alcohol content. as close to perfection as i've ever had!

A big thank you to donkeyrunner for sharing this one with me.

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Photo of FriedSlug
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not sure this beer is a perfect 100 for everyone but it is for me. I drank the 2014 vintage. Dark as night, awesome cocoa colored head and impressive lacing for a big stout. The amount going on in the nose and taste of this beer is ridiculous. Smells like wine, oak, coffee, molasses, chocolate, bourbon, tart cherries and roasted malt sweetness. The flavor is a very well balanced version of the aromas. I notice the wine, oak and licorice more in the taste than in the nose and there is a very nice finish that tastes like tart cherries and bitter black licorice. This is a really superbly crafted beer that is a must have for any beer drinker.

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Photo of 1whiskey
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap first at at the Ash Street Saloon in Portland, proper review from on tap at Old Chicago in Beaverton, Or.

Black, opaque crude oil appearance with a dark chocolate head. Absolutely no light gets through this. Impressive.

Nose reveals a huge burst of baker's chocolate, robust coffee, vanilla and slight smoke. Alcohol comes through a little, but I have no complaints.

H-U-G-E maltiness and Kona coffee notes bulldoze your taste buds, followed by burnt sugar and caramel notes. After intitial tasting more subtle notes become noticable. Bourbon and vanilla (just enough to compliment and not get in the way) are evident, playing off the chocolate and coffee flavors to please anyone with a sweet tooth. Soon after, the brightness of citus hops begins to shine through, lending balance and Zinfandel-like spicyness to the equation. Fruit flavors, notably fig, start to become evident as this warms. Make no mistake, this is a BIG beer. But the way all of the flavors are so delicately interwoven is amazing.

Believe the hype, this is obscenely good.

Great creamy mouthfeel, with suprisingly active carbonation. This is not as heavy as you would imagine. Drinkabily is amazing....but make sure to sip this one. At 11% ABV and $4 a pint, it may be toooo drinkable.

Get it now....if you still can. This is the must try beer for the year, and the new standard by which all other Impy stouts will be measured against. Simply incredible.

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Photo of jakon
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 Reserve

The first thing I do when I pop the cap is put my nose down there and give it a deep whiff. Wow. Smells like chocolate cake infused with coffee and bourbon.

As I pour, I notice that the head gathers steam very quickly, and is easily the darkest shade of brown that I've ever seen sit atop a beer. Its viscosity is evident as you watch the bubbles form and settle. This beer is beautiful. All Imperial stouts are black, but this one just has that little extra something to it.

The aroma is remarkably similar to the Obsidian Stout. If I had to give somebody a quick, generalized description of the overall aroma, I'd say that it's a cross between Oak Aged Yeti and Obsidian Stout. There's just so much going on here. It's got the coffee presence of the best coffee stouts, tons of bakers chocolate, oak, bourbon, and that's all I'm able to identify at first.

The taste is just plain decadent. Pleasingly bitter, a touch of sweetness, and that oak/bourbon presence to make you really feel as though it's a special occasion. The alcohol itself is nearly imperceptible behind this abundance of competing flavors. As it warms, the coffee and chocolate take about a half step back and allow the oak and bourbon to really shine. With that, a hint of vanilla exposes itself in the aroma and then in the taste. The molasses really comes through in the lingering aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is milky. Not a lot of carbonation. This is a dessert beer for special occasions. Truly decadent and complex. I'm not sure I've ever come across a beer that held a more fitting moniker than The Abyss. The only thing I can imagine improving this beer is age. As a youngster, I really think it's perfect. My favorite Imperial stout to date.

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Photo of hopsputin
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled 2012, drank 1/1/14

a: deep, dark, rich black with just the slights hint of brown. large 3 finger mahogany tan head that sticks around nicely

s: the smell on this is unreal. dark chocolate, leather, plums, raisin, fig, sweet black licorice, oak, dates, rich toffee. has some berry esters as well. this is crazy complex and amazing. you can pick up the various barrels - coconuts, vanilla, and very slight vinous notes.

t: very similar to the nose. rich chocolate and toasted malts hit you right away. next you're hit with the oak, tobacco, and the dark fruits - raisins, prunes, figs, pomegranates, and brown sugar. i'm picking up cherries in here too - sweet cherries, its real nice. then it fades to a rich molasses and creamy toffee. the flavor then circles back around and ends with the toasted malts.

m: heavy mouthfeel, with a nice amount of carbonation - not too much

o: perfect. this deserves 100. do yourself a favor and make sure to inhale through the nose as you take each sip

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Photo of velosuds
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edit 3/25/2011 from the 2010 edition.

The 2010 The Abyss is aging extremely well. Best after 11/15/11 according to the label, which is still over 6 months away and this is the very best imperial stout I have ever had. It may be the best beer I have had. I rated the un-infected 2009 very high (4.78 as adjusted for the new weighting), but this is perfection for style IMO. I can't imagine a better imperial stout.

The aroma is intensely fragrant. I think Deschutes should develop and market a men's cologne under this trademark. I would wear it gladly. Aroma is a wonderful array of bourbon, vanilla, anise, chocolate and caramel covered graham crackers - yes smores. Awesome for a beer.

Of course it looks absolutely beautiful, for spacious skies, for dark amber waves of barley grain - I get carried away. And very easily on this dark journey that genuinely sheds light. Most mysterious. Has the characteristic Deschutes two finger head and generous lace. Dark as a moonless night. It is the antithesis of the white color spectrum. Truly gorgeous. Finer than any masterpiece in a dusty museum.

Taste is from the nether regions. Deschutes' brewers may be soothsayers, wizards, magicians, or angels, in addition to great cyclocross racers. There is the bourbon from the barrel aging, but there is also a complex sensation of dark chocolate, carmelized brown sugar, molasses, licorice, vanilla bean, and cherries. I love this craft: it is truly amazing what barley, hops, water, and yeast can produce at the hands of the skilled artisan brewer.

Mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall, this may be my favorite beer. It is a great imperial stout. At $12 to $13 a bomber, it is a better value than anything fermented from grapes. At 11% ABV it is a magnificent dark barleywine. Hats off Deschutes. Do you have something even more marvelous in the works called The Stoic? I am ready to submit to the natural law of the brewer.

Only The Abyss, and Pliny the Elder, are beers I have gone out of my way to obtain. Recently, I stopped at every beer store from Portland to Salem in search of this great Abyss that seemingly mysteriously vanished from the shelves early this summer. I found a jackpot in Corvallis, Oregon and bought nearly a case to get me through the winter.

Highest commendations Deschutes.

"The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey."

- From the label.

2009 Reserve. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Best after 11/1/2010. Couldn't wait. I was already drawn in.

A-Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through the Abyss. A two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and heavy lacing ensues. A gorgeous craft beer.

S-Deep, dark chocolate covered caramel, licorice, old fashioned molasses, and bourbon. Aroma was wonderfully intense and prominent. Very nice.

T-Caramel and roasted malts with tantalizing tastes of dark chocolate, carmelized brown sugar, espresso, molasses, licorice and vanilla bean. I would love to try an ice cream with these combined flavors. The depth and complexity is amazing, and a credit to the brew master's skills. Taste definitely improves as it warms. I imagine this will also improve as it ages.

M-Robust, but very smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-This is a great beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. The rich, complex flavor profile drew me deeper into the Abyss with each sip. I definitely enjoyed the journey, and enjoyed sharing it with my son.

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Photo of kinupanda
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours into the snifter a beautiful creamy jet black. The one-finger head has a nice reddish tinge and the lacing while drinking is subtle but attractive. The smell is, for lack of a better word, divine: the chocolate and roasted malt are obvious, but the oak and molasses are the true stars. The taste is exactly what the nose advertises: a wonderful combination of the bitterness of the chocolate and sweetness of the molasses, with some bourboniness (is that a word?) for good measure. Very creamy and rich, and not overcarbonated. The alcohol is (perhaps dangerously) undetectable. Leaves a lingering warmth with almost no aftertaste.

FourthBeer potential: ABSOLUTELY. Plain and simple, this isn't just a beer, it's an experience, and is truly worthy of all 5s. And while I drank this entire bottle solo, this is one of those beers that I would enjoy sharing with others (especially given the ABV).

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 6,956 ratings.
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