The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

The AbyssThe Abyss
Liked This Beer
4.48 w/ 7,127 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,127 |  Reviews: 1,969
Photo of aquazr1
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 reserve served in a tulip.

A - Pours deep black with a large caramel colored head.

S- Licorace with a hint of the molasses.

T- Lots if flavors coming through. Caramel, toffee, coffee and licorace.

M- Full bodied with little carbonation.

O - A well balanced, full bodied beer with lots of flavor. Can't wait to open this years batch.

 348 characters

Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jroberts8811
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of d5001986
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Abyss 2012 Reserve - aged 14 months. Bomber poured into tulip.

Pours heavy pitch black with huge foamy brown head. I wish every stout could look like this.

Smell is definitely complex. Sweet. Chocolate, caramel, and vanilla up front, followed by a little boozy red wine.

Taste is again sweet, but not overly so. So much going on here. Chocolate and vanilla with the soft boozyness, followed by molasses, cherry, and a very slight alcohol burn. So complex and delicious!

The feel of this one is wonderful. Incredibly smooth and creamy. Very heavy bodied, the carbonation barely comes through.

Overall this was a treat! Not sure how much the 14 months age did for it as I haven't enjoyed this fresh before (instructed to at least age a year per the bottle). I'll definitely be looking forward to the annual release of this in the future.

 841 characters

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

Photo of tmaestro
4.75/5  rDev +6%

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

2013 Reserve
22oz waxed bottle poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with no light penetration. 3+ fingers of foamy, dark brown head with great retention.

Fudge, cocoa nib, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, espresso, licorice, molasses, roasted barley, light oak and fruity esters.

A plethora of different chocolates; dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge and cocoa nib. Espresso, peanut, overripe black plum, raisins and fig. Some toffee, molasses and black licorice. Moderately light oak and tannins but beautifully blended. Flashes of bourbon heat, tobacco, leather and vanilla ice cream along with touches of fruity esters.

Full bodied, smooth, silky and creamy.

World-class, no doubt! Extremely complex and damn near perfection.

 773 characters

Photo of FPWolff
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Beernye
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of MannyBats
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Abyss 2013 reserve
This beer has a best after date so I had to get two will be updating my review again once I try after that date as well which is 8/16/14

Being how hyped this beer is

A: dark brown pretty much inky black lives up to its name

S: roasted malts chocolate bourbon small hint of vanilla and coffee

T: how a stout should taste smooth chocolate coffee burnt notes and aged

M: perfect carbonation a heavy brew but super smooth

O: crafted to perfection will be looking forward to trying after the best after date... If I can wait that long...

 561 characters

Photo of guido19
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of aslamm75
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of wiltznucs
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of soonerchamps
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Tone2467
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of serebeerdrinker
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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%

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 96.4% out of 100 with 7,127 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.