The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

7,063 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,063 |  Reviews: 1,959
Photo of garuda
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thick mocha head that has excellent retention and lacing. Don't know how a stout could look better.

Very complex, and all of the flavore are well integrated and not "in your face". Roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, bourbon... Then as it warms, vinous character comes out with some dark, dried fruits. Abv stays well hidden, the mouthfeel is full but maybe a touch lighter than I want.

Excellent beer, one of the best I've had overall so far.

 483 characters

Photo of trentbrown89
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of CaptainPancakes
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of alexk307
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 Reserve

A: Thick black. Lives up to the namesake

S: Smells just like a BCBS. Coconut, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla.

T: Much more bitter than I had imagined it to be. Lots of dark chocolate and roasted coffee.

M: Thick and full bodied

O: Not blown away, YET. Wanted to try this somewhat fresh but I think that might have been a mistake. Going to cellar my other bottle for a few years. I think age will do a lot for this beer as others have pointed out.

 469 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of McStagger
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"Some Nietzsche quote."

A: Lives up to its namesake. Seems to absorb light, like a black hole. Finger and a half of tight, creamy head. Lacing is stellar, as is retention. Head is espresso in color, with some large bubbles present. Looks intimidating.

S: Moar ingredients. The barrel isn't immediately present in the nose. Big roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, baker's cocoa, milk chocolate, slightly woodsy/barky, (whattya know, cherry bark!), leather, some cigar box and cinnamon. Some herbal hoppiness hidden way underneath. I read a review that mentioned a savory or soy sauce element in a RIS. That's present here. It's a biggun.

T: First off, this is a monster beer. Not so much in the ABV's or the mouthfeel, but in the awesome torched bitterness present. It is seriously overpowering. Believe the bottle when it says best after. Underneath the roaring roastiness are big coffee and bitter chocolate notes pepper? Definitely prickles the sinuses. These mellow out. Vanilla pops up, as does oak and the same leafy/bark quality, raisinied fruit is there, baker's chocolate, espresso grounds. The barrel characteristics play second fiddle to the other flavors in this beer. Oak, vanilla and bourbon pop up, but are mostly background to the insane malt bitterness of this beast. This one lingers. The charring, almost astringent malt sticks with you long after you have taken a sip. Truly a beast.

M: As jumbled as the flavors are, the mouthfeel is spot on. Some slight alcohol heat greets you in the end, but otherwise this one strikes a perfect balance. The carbonation is ample, without being distracting. The body is sufficiently heavy, without being cloying. Excellent.

O: This one needs to be lain down for at least a year. It is delicious, no doubt. However, as of right now, this beer currently rides a fine balance. At colder temperatures, the roasted malt dominates every aspect of the experience. As the beer warms it mellows, but the alcohol heat accentuates some of the spice characteristics and this tends to overwhelm the beer. There are a lot of awesome flavors in here, but I think they do need some time to settle down.

 2,172 characters

Photo of davegray
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of nuckbuc
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Dolfan907
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of TxUltraRunner
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of travisdiener32
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of sansho
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Monkeypuker
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Sarunas7
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of RobNoxious22
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of timontheroad
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of carlitos92
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mre4b
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Sudsday
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of DayMD
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mweso2000
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of BastardKing24
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer a year ago (2008 reserve).
It exceeded my expectations in every way and has become
one of my favorites. Black wax adds to the evil look of the bottle. 2009 vintage.

A - Sometimes hard to open the cap, as the wax can be thick and have to muscle it off unless you have a knife laying around.
Pours a deep opaque brown, very close to a jet black. Some caramel color at the edges but otherwise dense. Big tan head and nice lacing

S - Very inviting smell of dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, oak, bourbon, maybe some dark fruit

T - I am in heaven, same as the smell in the taste , and also an interesting flavor maybe from the molasses and licorice. This is truly world class and original of a taste.

M - Thick and luscious, this is a dessert for the beer lover.
I don't see how you can make mouthfeel better really, it isnt too thick or thin.

D - Really drinkable, minus the 11% alc , need to sip this one or share with friends. They'll be glad you shared too.

I'm glad that Deschutes has increased production of this, as i have 5 bottles aging in my closet. This is my favorite beer of all time, so I'm giving it a perfect score!
Revisiting this beer for 2013 vintage.

Pours very black, with a huge tan head that holds nicely.

Smells of huge chocolate and coffee, fresh coffee, with dark cherry, plums, figs, tobacco, oak, some red wine notes, huge complex smell.

Taste is out of this world. Big oaky taste, with cocoa and coffee, with some bourbon, vanilla, bitter hops, kind of harsh at this point but super complex.

Feel is perfect. Can't get any more smooth with loads of flavor per sip and generous carbonation. Slick and delicious.

I am in love with this beer.

 1,699 characters

Photo of Theogre83
3.25/5  rDev -27.5%

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 7,063 ratings.
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