The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

7,082 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: 7,082 |  Reviews: 1,961
Photo of hopsonhopsonhops
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Academymike
3.94/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Tbulling
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lochraneg
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Everydayoff
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into a snifter. This one is 2015 vintage, drank May-2017.

Murky black in color with pretty thick dark tan head as an inviting showcase, the head retains itself with good retention before gradually collapsing to a long-lasting bubble sheet on the surface and leaving lots lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

The aroma is infused with mellow yet aggressive barrel-aged Imperial Stout character. It harmoniously discloses the notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted, dark bread, dough, and charred nut as a typical Stout aroma. There comes closely thereafter the depth of the other characters like molasses, licorice, vanilla, cherry, oaky, winy, woody, spicy alcohol, grape, and fruity zest.

It is nearly flawless through the palate sensation. Kicking off with fruity, grape-ish and winy notes, then comes the rich malty goodness of coffee, chocolate, roasted, dark bread, dough, and charred nut just exactly like the aroma. The addition of molasses, licorice, cherry, and vanilla making it more complex and tasty together with notes of barrel aging of spicy alcohol, woody, oaky, and winy taste, the end and aftertaste is lasting with roasted and BA character.

Full body with some bold touch and creamy smooth mouthfeel through the palate, the feeling is just right with suitable amount of crispness and moderate carbonation to carry all the things well. Finish is pleasantly dry.

“The Abyss”, it is big and bold yet hefty and intense. Anyway, it is also delicate yet very tasty through its sheer complexity but pretty easy to enjoy with and excellent for sipping. Everything is very well harmonized and categorized. It is truly a masterpiece.

 1,672 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Gingerbread is the start and as it warms up it gives way to a hint of black licorice and oak. It finishes on the back of your palette with a dark chocolate covered cherry exploding in your mouth. Delicious

 205 characters

Photo of Budlum
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jonnydrinker
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zonk
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Keffa
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mrosenfeld32
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tvenne
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Scooter131313
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This review is for the 2015 bottling of Deschutes Brewery The Abyss an American Double / Imperial Stout

It features a very robust ABV of 12.20% and a nicely balanced 65 IBU.

It's got a long head on the pour, a bit bitter on the first sip, but after letting it sit a few minutes it mellowed a bit with a rich mouthful of licorice, scotch, with a hint of dark chocolate followed by a long finish.

 397 characters

Photo of Thecalmdrinker
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Gajo74
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased a 22oz bottle from Tavour. I waited a long time to crack this baby open. Finally found a friend willing to share. Totally worth the wait!
Poured onto the glass I loved what I saw. Pours a viscous dark brown that looks jet black in the glass. A fantastic creamy foam mocha head rises up invitingly, it's enticing and a predictor of the richness in aroma and flavor that is to follow.
In the nose there is chocolate fudge sweetness. It is redolent of a rich and decadent dessert. Playing a supporting role is an aroma of roasted malt, coffee, oak and dark fruit, of which cherries will figure prominently in moments to come.
In the mouth there is just so much going on, it is that complex; even more so than the aroma. I'll start straight away with the mouthfeel, body and drinkability. It is fluffy, velvety, creamy and smooth. It fills the mouth like soft clouds, floating and weightless. Yet, the dichotomy of this is that the body is full, robust and sipper despite the fact that it's drinkability is dangerously high. Does this thing even have alcohol? I didn't notice it until 3/4 of the way through. Whoa!!
But this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of how dynamic and complex this brew is. At the beginning, the elixir coats the mouth with rich chocolate fudge, dark caramel and creamy sweetness; a true dessert treat. Yet, there is so much more to it. The roasted malts and espresso tones add support. However, where this stout truly becomes special is with the woody, oak like, earthy, tree bark tones which add a nice bitterness. In addition, there is a moderate but bold serving of grassy hops that compliments things and adds a lingering aftertaste. The cherry on top-so to speak- is that the bark comes from a cherry tree; very apropos because there is a slight cherry tartness that that adds a light counterpoint to the full bodied chocolate darkness. Notes of licorice are present, as well as a bourbon, which incidentally sneaks up on you.
Wow! I feel that as I gain more experience in reviewing beer, I tend to be more critical and shed the superlatives of my earlier reviews. Yet, this might quite possibly be the best imperial stout I have ever had!

 2,187 characters

Photo of sd123
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of osubeav2003
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Luckydog91
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For a shelf beer, I'm impressed! Interesting mix of toast, wood bark, anise, red wine, and oak. Suppose I could use a bit more sweetness, but who couldn't, these days?!

 168 characters

Photo of SuiGeneris1
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of adamette
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Found (on tap!) at Red, Wine and Brew in Mentor, Ohio earlier this evening. Cost of $8 for a tulip glass.
A: Head is moderate brown with an absolute motor oil body underneath. Curtain like lacing left on the inside of the tulip glass with repeated sips. Look cannot be improved upon.
S: Somewhat distant which is true to the style but I cannot rate it with the highest rating since it was not very distinctive.
T: Simply great. Dark roast malt, chocolate notes. This may be THE example of a RIS. Wow!
F: This is an absolute asset of this beer. Smooth, silky smooth. Oh yeah. Late in the taste is a grainy aspect but this is top feel.
O: World class Russian Imperial Stout. Such a treat to find it here on tap (who knew?)

 737 characters

Photo of Phurley2
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ThaneMcC
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 Reserve
Pours a deep dark black with brown head -2fb. Smells of cocoa, coffee, leather, smoke/leather. Taste is cocoa, hint of vanilla, smoke/char with a lot of burnt notes, acidity, sweet malts and a somewhat flat finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, minimal effervescence, well hidden abv. A somewhat powdery quality.
Overall, interesting – my palate isn’t refined enough to note all the differing elements. Not bad – but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find this. There are better (and cheaper) barrel aged stouts

 527 characters

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 7,082 ratings.
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