The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

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The AbyssThe Abyss
BA SCORE
4.47/5
Outstanding
7,332 Ratings
The AbyssThe Abyss
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate.

As for the great “drink it now or let it age” debate, we stand clearly on the fence. Distinct and delicious on release, the flavors meld and fuse into an entirely different pleasure after a year or more in the cellar.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2006

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#192
Reviews:
2,022
Ratings:
7,332
pDev:
9.4%
 
 
Wants:
2,971
Gots:
3,965
Trade:
335
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,332 |  Reviews: 2,022
Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark and rich looking Beer. Good thick and creamy head. Great lacing. Rich aromas of molasses and licorice and so many to ponder. Taste is lots of molasses and enough bitterness to know this is a beer. The alcohol is strong and that adds to the overall flavor. Overall this what we dream about in craft beer. On draft at Ron’s Corner Tavern. The 2016 version I’m told.

 382 characters

Photo of jgarvis
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jhavs
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LarrysDeerGut
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AyatollahGold
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a 2017 reserve from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. This beer pours out pitch black and forms a thick and creamy caramel colored crown. Bubbles of all sizes bursting with sweet and roasty notes to my nose. Almost a burnt chocolate smell with the molasses definitely being present. Black licorice is making its presence known with that sharp smell, (metallic too?) It's like a big roasty, burnt sweetness. It comes in with the taste being roastier than any beer I've had in quite a while, maybe ever. It's not like a coffee roasty though, it's like a burnt sweetness just like the nose. Its even almost metallic. The mouthfeel is dry leaving a smokey note. Overall, this is really not what I expected and I'm not quite sure if I like it. I like having something different and a change of pace, but I don't think I would grab this again. And the metallic notes were a little much for me.

 899 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 reserve. This bottle has a "best after" date of 12/08/2016.

Appearance - Pours a dark molasses brown with two fingers of mocha head.

Smell - Oak bourbon barrel, vanilla bean, earthy and leafy hops, black licorice, vinous and woody aromas.

Taste - Roasted malts, earthy and leafy hops, vanilla, licorice, warm woody oak flavour.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and slightly sticky with lingering oak notes and warmth from the alcohol.

Overall - A deep, rich Abyss brew from Deschutes. Even after aging for 2-3 years, the flavours in this beer are well-balanced and harmonious.

 622 characters

Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wolvmar
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pour: bottled 10/30/17. Poured into a tulip glass. Jet black, absolutely opaque. Two finger tan foam head. Slowly dissipates leaving cloudy bubbles on top and beautiful lacing. Initial temp about 45 degrees. Warmed to about — when drinking

Nose: red wine upfront, bourbon, dark fruit, oak, molasses. Lots going on and well balanced. Could smell this all night.

Taste (45-50 degrees): surprisingly bitter hops/dark chocolate upfront. Not at all what I expected based on the nose. Molasses sweetness in the middle and backend with a little oak. Even a little grapefruit aftertaste. Don’t get a lot of bourbon, wine or anything else initially.

Taste (55-60 degrees): Bourbon notes more pronounced as it warms. Much less bitter as well. Red wine notes now very evident and more dark fruit as well.
Less chocolate but still present. Molasses still there as well. But, this isn’t a super sweet desert beer. Definitely better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: low to moderate carbonation. A little thinner than expected but still substantial. Creamy but not overly viscous.

Overall: this is a really good beer but slightly disappointing taste relative to the description, expectations and the nose. Definitely let it warm. I will probably buy one more to cellar but have mixed feelings.

 1,289 characters

Photo of markjknowles
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Giggy
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cgwami
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dwbow48
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of brittanylicious
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wattie83
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of corneliustoad
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 505beergeek
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of macrosmatic
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from the 2012 bottling, 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass. Consumed on 7/29/17.

A: Very dark brown and opaque, with a thin tan head that lasts quite well. A fairly low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malts and oak, bourbon and chocolate. Tannins and vanilla, with some tobacco and licorice. Leather and cacao powder. Smells quite good and fairly complex.

T: Chocolate, roasted malts, and bourbon. Oak, vanilla, and some char with a mild smoke character. Tobacco and anise. Dry tannins and a mild coffee. Roasted bitterness, with a milder amount of hop bitterness, and sweet chocolate in hang.

M: A medium body for an Imperial Stout. Low carbonation overall, but probably average for style. The alcohol presence is restrained for the style, but certainly still warming.

O: Very enjoyable. The roasty and char and anise aspects add up to maybe not blowing me out of the water, but remains interesting, enjoyable, and complex. Big roastiness for sure though. In the interest of full disclosure, this my opinion of this may have suffered a bit from being drank directly after the Cycle DB Vanilla DOS.

 1,171 characters

Photo of jripley97
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Steveskk83
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BobMagruder
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

(2017 Bottle)
Pours into a small 1/2 pint glass with a dark chocolate foamy head. The Foam looks thick.
The smell is strong on roast and light on coffee.
The taste starts good and as it warms it changes to even more complex. I love the vanilla that comes through in a stout as it warms. I also taste hints of cherry as it warms.
Thick and delicious. Shared a 22 oz with 2 buddies will definitely find another bottle to put away in my cooler.

 445 characters

Photo of DavidR_9
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle. Craziest part was experiencing the change in flavor from the cold to warm. Went from ultra roasty, almost abrasively bitter followed by mollases dark coffee bean flavor/dark chocolate. Then it went to an impressively smooth chocolate roasted malt rounded out by dark fruit and oakey wine barrel with decadent red wine grapes. Truly an impressive and astounding drinking experience.

 394 characters

Photo of ChittyChambers
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Quizlock
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of liquorpig
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 7,332 ratings