The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

7,061 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,061 |  Reviews: 1,959
Photo of mattafett
2/5  rDev -55.4%

Photo of CBlack85
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 vintage, got in a trade from dpchuger and cellared since the release. Served in a Southampton IRS release day snifter.

Look: solid, black body with dark red highlights around the edge of the glass when held to the light. Thin, reddish brown head forms with good retention but not a whole lot in terms of lacing. Good looking stout.

Smell: rich aroma with a big brownie batter aroma, chocolatey, a bit of licorice, and a light bourbon barrel smell. Of all the barrel aged stouts I've had, this might be the best smelling. Exceptional.

Taste: follows the nose with roasted chocolate, a small bit of bourbon and oak, a slight tannic taste, some licorice and molasses with a bit of vanilla as well. A good level of complexity, nothing is overdone, and everything is done well. Very, very great.

Feel: a little on the thin side, but still medium-full, light alcohol presence, dry, and slightly astringently bitter. Moderate carbonation. I can't give it higher than a 4 though, because an 11% stout needs to have more body, but otherwise, quite good. Its a sipper because you want to savor this beer, the same way you would take your time eating a decadent slice of cake.

Overall: a really amazing stout, certainly worth all the hype. I'm glad that I received this in a trade and wish that Deschutes distributed to New York so I could buy this by the case. If you haven't had this yet, what are you waiting for? Cheers!

 1,427 characters

Photo of rden4654
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew was aquired via trade for an Andechs Dopplebock. While I was sad to see the Andech go into a UPS box, the very same bottle that I'd picked up from the monestary, packed ever so carefully, and then sent across the country in trade, I was indeed tickled to see a bomber of Abyss show up on my doorstep in exchange.

But is it worth it?

Hell yes. I will not get into Abyss' flavours, or how smooth and complex it is, or how it feels silky smooth on the tongue. All that notwithstanding, this is one damn fine stout. I love Expedition. The Abyss keeps all of Expedition's flavour, but smooths it out and makes it into a beer that's even stronger, but will be hard to find a tongue that doesn't like it. A really nice beer, and worth seeking out.

 752 characters

Photo of Lerxst
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage poured into a tulip

A-Black as night. Small mocha colored head that hangs around for a while then disappears leaving a bit of lacing. Its looks good, not exceptional.

S-Roasted malt, some coffee, licorice, whiskey/bourbon, dark fruit. I suppose time has tamed the booze a bit, so even at 11%, the alcohol is just a nice compliment and not a dominating factor. This smells exceptional. It is a very strong, yet pleasant nose.

T-Everything on the bottle is prominent: Oak, bourbon, licorice, molasses as well as dark fruit, roasted malt and coffee. It really is amazing that each flavor is bold, yet not overbearing. The aftertaste is of coffee and bourbon, which for me is a good thing. This beer is living up to the hype.

M-Creamy, viscous, slicks the tongue nicely, oily back end. Full bodied and delicious. I want to chew this beer.

D-For such a big beer, this is surprisingly (and dangerously) drinkable. I had no problem putting this bomber down and looked forward to each sip.

This beer is really hyped up so I was truly expecting to be let down. But I wasn't. This beer lives up to the hype. Is it the #3 beer in the entire world? I dunno. Others can debate that. I'll just say that this truly is a world class stout without question.

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

2008 vintage poured into a large snifter to review.

Pour is rather thick. The head is ultra dense and a very dark brown in color (one of the darker heads I've seen). A thin layer of dark retention and great lacing. Black in color.

This is a complex and inviting nose. In order, I detect roasted malt, dark cocoa nibs, creme, oak, bourbon, smoke, leather and tobacco. All very intense, yet well balanced.

In the mouth is much more of a roasted coffee taste with very dark chocolate. As it warms, the creme flavors become more pronounced. Not detecting much of a molasses presence as indicated on the bottle. Also no licorice aroma or taste either to me. Alcohol well disguised in both taste and smell.

Very full body, thick and creamy, bordering chewy. Lightly carbonated and a long finish of nice roasted malt, fine coffee and dark chocolate.

A fine Imperial Stout that fits in with the best.

 897 characters

Photo of beerforpresident
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of jwenzel019
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kash2112
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Glibber
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the aged 2010 and 2011 yesterday on tap at the Front Door in Boise. Had tasters of both and decided to go with the 2010. It seemed a bit sweeter. Black coffee pour with a finger of espresso foam that did not dissipate as quick as I was expecting. Was initially hard to pull much aroma, but as it warmed up the boquet of wisky and dark chocolate came out.
I could taste some dark fruit, but cherry really came out with light coffe and chocolate hints. I really milked the pour to allow other flavors to come out as it warmed up- and was not dissapointed. I was expecting quite a bit going in and was very satisfied.

 618 characters

4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: pours with a syrup viscosity with a brown head that dissapates quickly. Medium-heavy lacing.
S: a bourbon sweetness at the front with dark chocolate and smoke blend. Cherries and raisin.
T: the bitter chocolate and natural sweetness is balanced amazingly well. It is difficult to describe the sweetness but it brought a cherry/orange alcohol taste to my palate.
M: little carbonation. Left after the years but sits medium and very surprisingly light for the style.
O: th balance of bitter chocolate and alcohol sweetness makes this one of the top stouts. I personally would like a little more alcohol notes but an amazing beer!

 636 characters

Photo of Honus1
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Phil_H
3.5/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of BWCampbell
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Arenbeer
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to Weibull for this great RIS!

22oz bottle into a DFH Snifter Glass.

A- Pours jet black like a stout should with a thin 1 finger brown head.

S- Coffee, Licorice, molasses, with a great roasted nose and hints of vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

T- Dark roasted malts hit you up front followed by a bunch of complex flavors. Strong bitter coffee, sweet dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, and a slight alcohol finish that brings out the bourbon and oak.

M- Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a brutal bitter almost chalky dryness that leaves you wanting more.


 590 characters

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big shout out to my Sasquatch friend from Oregon for sending me two of these -

Poured From 1 pint 6fl oz bottle - 2010 reserve -best after 11/15/11

Poured a dirty oil black with one finger head that dissipated quickly leaving behind a thin tan lacing , decent carbonation.

Smell - Toasted malts , anise , licorice

Taste - Wow this brew blew me away , The first sip was molasses with warming bourbon, licorice and toasted malts, mild coffee hints ,with maybe a touch of vanilla.

Drinkability - considering this is a 11% abv brew the drinkability is extremely high - every sip gives you hints of complex flavors - you can taste a lot of great things in this if you enjoy it slowly very well balanced and blended brew.

 723 characters

Photo of Thedaver4220
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mj81
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wisconsinality
1.65/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bomber poured into Delerium tulip.

2009 Vintage.

A- Pours a deep brown with a big two and a half finger mocha head. The head takes a while to die down and leaves some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S- My fears about this beer has come true. I have an infected Abyss. Smells like a wild stout. Some funkiness dominates the nose to go along with sour cherries, roasted malt and a little bit of milk chocolate.

T- Lots of infection, I mean funkiness. Sour cherries, a little smokiness and some chocolate notes. Nothing else is very apparent besides the tartness.

M- Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Dry on the finish but I am not sure if that was the way it was intended or due to the infection.

D- Pretty much a drain pour. I was hoping I would be one of the lucky ones but alas, I was not. Looking forward to trying to '10 though.

 850 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11/21/08 marks my five year anniversary and what better way to drown my sorrows, er, celebrate this joyous occasion than by cracking a very-hard-to-replace bottle from the cellar. I told the misses to pick anything we haven't tried. She passes up our recently acquired Darkness, Dark Lork, and Firestone 11 and says "the Abyss." I have an '06 and an '07 and I've never even tasted Abyss before. WTF? So here we go at 53 degrees with an '06 Abyss oh hell yeah.

How dark do you think the Abyss is? I'm looking right at it and I can't say. It's dark. Sumbitch is dark black. Incredible head of dark tan mush. Monumental retention. An absolutely gorgeous beer. I've been waiting for something to give a 5 for appearance and I've found it. Hate to do it, but I don't have a choice. Enough staring, let's move on to sniffing.

I get raisins, figs, dark dark chocolate, and cocoa. Does it need anything else? Powerful and pleasant scent.

Taste is remarkably similar to the nose but in reverse order. I get the cocoa first, then the chocolate and dark fruits.

Of course it tastes good, but what shines here is the silkiness. Smoothest beer ever!!!

Alcohol is .... well, where the hell is it? I feel it a little but sure don't taste it. I know it's there because I'm in a great fucking mood. Just offered to help the brother-in-law move a couch. In 20 minutes.

Did the deed and came back to one more glass of this marvelous monster. It was a little too strong for the missus, so, like the knight in shining fucking armor that I am, I courageously drank her share. Fair trade since I did all the cooking today.

Overall: an awesome brew

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Photo of nicole309
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of VBWharfRat
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of clausr
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 7,061 ratings.
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