The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

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The AbyssThe Abyss
BA SCORE
4.47/5
Outstanding
7,300 Ratings
The AbyssThe Abyss
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / 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:
#143
Reviews:
2,016
Ratings:
7,300
pDev:
9.4%
Bros Score:
4.13
 
 
Wants:
2,959
Gots:
3,955
Trade:
333
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,300 |  Reviews: 2,016
Photo of dafla67
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Definitely under appreciated. Pours dark black. Lots to smell -- licorice, vanilla, bourbon . Sweet smelling. The taste is incredible. as the smell is complex so is the taste. we get the licorice, vanilla, bourbon but also coffee, malts and some hops. The finish is slightly bitter from the hops. Amazing stout that does not get the love for some reason.

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

Happy birthday to me! Not only is it my birthday, but I’ve also got a beer I’ve been waiting to get my hands on since I joined BeerAdvocate and began my craft journey all the way back on Jan 13th 2011: Deschutes The Abyss. Even saying the name of this beer out loud fills me with a sense of awe (and trepidation at the 11.4% ABV within) this brew is going to be BIG in so many ways, with headline ingredients such as: black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark, vanilla bean, and 50% aged in bourbon, wine, and new Oregon oak barrels - PHWOAR! Let me repeat myself for emphasis: PHWOAR! The only [first-world] problem I’m facing is the prospect of finishing off a 650ml bottle by myself... yes, it’s not a terrible situation to be in.

Poured from a 650ml US Bomber sized wax-sealed bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Inky black like the expansive vacuum of space, with a deep tan head that hangs around for as long as I’ve seen in any Stout north of 11% before fizzling out leaving a patchwork of bubble and lace. Peering down into the glass is like looking at a mini universe - epic in many ways this beer. 9/10.

S: Red wine really comes through in the first whiff, then licorice, molasses, dark fruits (plum and prune), oaky vanilla/woody tones, espresso coffee, and finally a sweet lick of bourbon. Incredibly complex aroma that shifts as it gets warmer - it’s hard not to like it, there’s something in this that every Stout drinker will like, and the name is fitting - it really is like peering into the abyss. 9/10.

T: Yep, Deschutes nailed it. Flavour incorporates all of the above: red wine (Shiraz I think), licorice, molasses, dark fruits, oaky vanilla/woody tones, espresso coffee, and a touch of bourbon. Then it throws in a bit more: burnt sugar, light bitter herbal notes, red coffee cherries, touch of smoke and a hint of cinnamon. Possibly one of the busiest Imp Stouts I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. Balances a tad on the sweeter side, though more herbal bitterness comes through in the aftertaste with a delayed reaction. Brutal and inspiring this brew is. 10/10.

M: Heavy bodied and viscous, it’s about a Barry White on the Founders Scale IMO. Carbonation is dying star dense and lush almost to a fault. 9/10.

D: As I imagined all these years? Yes, this beer terrifies in name and in taste - it’s every bit the behemoth I dreamt it would be, and Deschutes does not disappoint. As far as the bottle goes - I am going to struggle on my own, this is too big a brew for one man, but I’ll go down fighting the good fight ;). 9/10.

Food match: Replace the after dinner port with this beer, and cigars: yes.

 2,651 characters

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

Outstanding!

12 characters

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

Photo of Nace4
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of pdcleff
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of David_Porter
3.99/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Fridge72
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful aroma, dark color, rich flavors. Consistently one of my favorites from Deschutes. I grab a few bottles every year when they release it. Highly reccomend.

 163 characters

Photo of grapeshops
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thick, dark, black color from a tall beer. The aroma is incredible....chocolate, licorice, and more. Smokey. The taste is intense...slightly sour though, with a plastic note and lots of spicy, smokey, deep fruit. Light bitterness. The taste does have an overdone licorice flavor. Full in body, Thick and satisfying.

 322 characters

Photo of Oak26364
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016

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Photo of Wade-S
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage, drinking on 3/28/18.
Pours jet black with thick tan head that dissipated pretty quick. Dark cherries and currants on the nose, with booze and a little molasses and a little roasted malt. It's really more carbonated than I anticipated. Upon taste I immediately get dark fruit, burnt molasses, dark roasted malt and a surprising amount of bitter hops. The alcohol is there, but not overpowering. It's honestly not nearly as sweet as I thought it would be, definitely more bitter. It's sips sweet at first then shifts to bitter. I had this beer beer fresh but honestly don't remember a lot about it, it was pre beer advocate for me. Overall a solid ba stout. I wish I would have noted my first so I could comment on what age did for this stout.

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Photo of ejmontoy1
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First smell comes off with the sweet molasses and vanilla. Taste at first is smooth and what you would expect from a good barrel aged beer. Unfortunately the aftertaste comes off almost too sweet. Tough to finish the bottle as the sweetness of this beer is overpowering. Overall a good beer!

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Photo of Sonray61
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LA_Hue24
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pirateclem
3.33/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.25

2017 Vintage. It was ok. Not necessarily complex, just dark, dark fruits, molasses, espresso by barely. Honestly it need to age. Good I picked up a couple of these. Going to let one set for a year or better.

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Photo of Jpb123
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChrisG523
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Bum4ever
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of fossage78
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Johng19751
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Nedster10
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours black with thick mocha colored head that lasts forever. Lots of lacing.

Aroma - Roasted malts, vanilla, rich chocolate, oak, slight vinegar aroma, alcohol comes out pretty well.

Taste - Smooth smoky taste, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, molasses comes out well, cocoa, not getting the vinegar I was expecting.

Feel - Full bodied creamy smooth feel, light heat from the alcohol that warms you up.

Overall - Well done stout pretty complex flavors that all work well together.

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 7,300 ratings