The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

The AbyssThe Abyss
7,142 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,142 |  Reviews: 1,971
Photo of Denzo
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of AOShabaz
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Peter1977
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Scubasteve-o
5/5  rDev +11.6%

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. :)

 860 characters

Photo of BringbakFavre
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Beersnake1
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 poured from fridge temp in 2017. Jet black with little carbonation. Nose is really heavy on molasses. A good amount of smoke and roasted malts. Some barrel coming through. Taste is nice - definitely bitter licorice and molasses. Almost a bit too bitter for me. It's an aftertaste that won't go away.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 bottle. Dark brown in color. Little to no head. Bitterness is still there. Holding up well. Lots of dark chocolate, tannic. On the thin side. Some slight oxidation. Pretty good.

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Photo of hoerr
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Anvilfarm
3/5  rDev -33%

Photo of detrockcitey
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of BuckTuckian
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of iBorracho
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Hirshi
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of schimschim
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of yancot
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stevedore
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #100!

Context: Shared bottles of '11 and '12 vintages with Dactrius and lunarbrew today, 6/10/2013; blinded & in snifter glasses. The review is based on my preferred vintage, 2012.

Aroma: Really really complex stuff. Smells incredibly mellow with a good chunk of chocolate and dark fruits. A little bit of roasted black coffee. The rest is pretty boozy. It promises a heavy night ahead for us. (4)

Colour: Typical imperial stout. Very dark brown, nearly black and opaque beer that is incredibly thick. Pours with a small <1 cm mocha head that sticks around as a thick film on top of the beer. Very tasty looking, but not necessarily heads and tails above other imperial stouts I've seen. (4)

Flavour: Nice! Super smooth but it roundhouse kicks you in the face with the sheer booziness and dark fruits. Very, very aggressive dark fruit (figs, dates) sweetness with a wee bit of vanilla. Not much oak, which isn't surprising as Abyss isn't even half barrel aged. But I really enjoyed the flavour profile on this beer. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Really, really thick bodied and creamy in the mouth. Carbonation was OK, nothing special. The beer leaves a thin brown film when I swirl it, really thick beer. The lacing wasn't anything special, but damn this beer is really thick and creamy, very enjoyable to drink. The only thing that detracts from here is the booziness- you can taste the heat even from the beginning. (4.5)

Overall: the '12 was incredibly mellow, creamy and tasty. The '11 was a bit more subdued, not as "punch in the face" as the '12, but I appreciated the greater intensity of the flavours in the '12. It's a very excellent imperial stout that I would definitely grab a bottle per year if I had better access to Deschutes beers. (4.25)

Re-review: 2013 version, on tap at Verdugo Bar in Glendale, Los Angeles. 12oz poured into a snifter glass yesterday, 1/6/2014.

Appearance looks just like the '11 and '12, at least how I remember it. At the very least, it looks black and foreboding, opaque. Smells smoothed out actually, no booziness at all. Similar and very complex nose. And flavour is great- dark fruits, roast and dark malts, chocolate and coffee, a little licorice. Complex and not boozy at all. Medium bodied, creamy, not hard to drink at all. Very smooth and hides ABV well. I'm starting to think that while Abyss is good to drink years later, I suspect that with the decrease in % barrel-aged components, you might as well start drinking it fresh. Because fresh '13 vintage is the best I've had so far versus 1-year old '12 and 2-year old '11.

 2,579 characters

Photo of instinct2
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of sclitch
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of mikediesel124
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of bizweasel
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of jkball01
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of goochpunch
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Version

Pours out pitch black with a thin head that looks like whipped hot milk on top of a hot chocolate. In the nose, I get chocolate, coffee, vanilla, berries, stone fruits, and a punch of booze. Up front in the flavor there is loads of roasted malts and dark berries with a touch of tartness. Chocolate come out in the middle with coffee on towards the finish. Vanilla pokes its head out around the middle, but is not beating you over the head, like typical barrel aged stouts. I pick up some buttery toffee as well. Chocolate covered cherries linger on in the aftertaste. Delicious. Boozy touch in the finish, but not as prevalent as in the nose. Light acidity refreshes the palate. I'm glad I sat on this for a year. Mouthfeel is full, but not overly thick as the flavor profile would suggest. Mild carbonation. This is a fantastic stout, utilizing a blend of non-barrel aged stouts alongside different barrel aged expressions. An excellent example of blending skill over aging a stout 100% in cloyingly vanilla-forwarded bourbon barrels. Excellent.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


This poured with an obvious thickness that oozed into the glass to display the darkest of onyx hues. The head grew out of nothing as there seemed to be little carbonation in the pour. The head was a deep brown foam that left significant lacing.

I catch some thickness in the nose as well as maple, caramel, molasses, raisin and malt come through.

The flavor, though, is more dry with pronounced coffee roast, chocolate malt, slight coffee, licorice and molasses.

This is smooth on the tongue with a light carbonation and a relatively viscous feel.

This is very good, not as rich and diverse as I expected but it may have mellowed over the years.

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 7,142 ratings
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