The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

7,110 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: 7,110 |  Reviews: 1,968
Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer.

A: black, black, black. No sediment, seems clear and clean black..if that makes sense. Frothy choco lately head. Nice. Perfect head pour.
S: chocolate, coffee, cherry
T: chocolate, coffee, caramel, cherry
M: smooth, clean
Overall. Excellent.

Sorry for the brief review, but I'm really focusing on flavors and notes.


My friend likes this , but likes BCBS better is what he said

 407 characters

Photo of mattafett
2/5  rDev -55.4%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 bottling enjoyed in December of 2013. Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The beer pours out very black with about a finger of tan, well-sustained head. As for the nose, let's just say I could smell this the moment the cap came off. Tons of fudge along with some vanilla and oak. There are also hints of coffee and dark chocolate. There's a lot there and it would take a while to identify a lot of it. I can't wait that long...

Very full body with a monstrously rich flavor and a superb feel. (This beer has the creamy feel down pat!) Lots of dark, roasty, espresso, chocolate, and charred fruit notes abound. It's like a super-concentrated Russian Imperial Stout. There's just so much going on! The molasses, malt, and barrel-aging all contribute to make this thing taste like a burnt-coffee-and-chocolate-cake-milkshake. I also get just a hint of ruby port on the back of the palate. Not sure if I'm getting the licorice or vanilla, but it doesn't matter. The flavor of this beer just blows me away. It's delightfully complex and perfectly toes the line between bitter, sweet, and savory.

I can see why they call this beer ``The Abyss''. The roastiness combines with the molasses to make a beer with an RIS flavor so intense, your tastebuds get lost in it. If you are a fan of Russian Imperial Stouts, you need to get yourself a bottle of this. I can see why it's considered a classic and why its release is so anticipated every year.

When you look into the Abyss, the Abyss also looks into you...and says ``Drink me''.

 1,538 characters

Photo of dylntbrown
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of jeg518
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Maverickdp
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful Russian stout
Smell brings out the wine barrels
Look: has a great head with good lacing
Taste: like the best Russian Imperial Stout I've ever come across
Overall: this has always been one of my favs, wouldn't miss this years abyss for anything. Drove 40 miles for the bomber and got 3: one for me, one for a friend and one to save for next year.

 355 characters

Photo of Petcha
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Jammer42
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of gkoz
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Completely inky black with a one-finger brown head. Decent lacing.

S - Very powerful blast of bourbon, vanilla, charred wood, molasses and chocolate. Smells inviting and complex.

T - Follows the nose well with chocolate being even more prevalent; hints of prune and date as well. Oak detectable in the mid-palate. Espresso bean notes throughout. Nice smoky finish. All flavors deep, robust, and complex. Delicious.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied; medium carbonation. Very slick and slightly oily on the tongue. Honestly, a bit of flaw here and I really wanted it to be bigger and chewier to match the awesome flavor profile.

O - A delicious and robust stout that lives up to the hype. Had a fresh bottle last year and lots of hot bourbon in the taste; aging this beer has benefited it immensely. Worth the price!

 860 characters

Photo of shirtless_mike
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of MNMike
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of ChanceK
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of anson42
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of jlee185
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Eric15
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Jtrigonis
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of kustard
3.25/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of TruePerception
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dechutes' The Abyss, 2014 Reserve. Imperial Stout brewed w/ black strap molasses and licorice, w/ cherry bark and vanilla added; 6% aged in Bourbon barrels, 11% in wine barrels, and 11% in oak barrels. 11.1% ABV.

A: Pours and extremely dark brown, nearly black. Pitch black in the glass. About 1.5 fingers of chocolate milk brown head. Black, with a dark golden brown edge, in the dimple. Nice, yet slightly thing, multi-tiered lacing. A faint sheeting.

S: Chocolate cereal, with a light note of black licorice, and faint char. A slight woody note. The fainest hint of a floral note.

T/MF: Velvety smooth on the palate. More dry cocoa/chocolate cereal. Moves into a sharply sweet licorice flavor, before finishing with more char, and a faint bit of graphite. Very dark chocolate, as it warms. Ends a little dark for my tastes, but all in all, fairly good. A definite improvement over the '13.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Original review: Deschutes' The Abyss (2013 Reserve). Stout brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark, and vanilla. 6% aged in oak bourbon barrels, 11% oak barrels, and 11% oak wine barrels. 11% ABV.

A: Black with half a finger's chocolate brown head. Decent, fine lacing.

S: Some decent bourbon and cocoa aromas. Some notes of a finer wood than oak, like a new desk. Hmm, it gives me that odd sensation where sniff it causes a perfumey sweetness on the tip of my tongue. Not sure what that's from. I'm not getting as much smell from this as I would have expected, so it may still need to warm up. A slight licorice/char note in the background.

T/MF: Okay, a little more complexity here. Char, very dark chocolate, light coffee, slight licorice, artificial sweetener, some kind of floral note. There is a dry white wine backing of some sort. Sauv Blanc, maybe? Almost creamy texture. Bourbon comes through as it warms, towards the back

Pretty good, but not one of my favorite stouts. Thankfully, I didn't pay for this one. I would have been quite disappointed if I had forked out $16 for it.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Petrus chalice.

 2,117 characters

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

2013 vintage served on tap into a teku glass

A- Very thick and intensely black with small mocha colored head that left very little lace.

S- Big coconut, roasted coffee, chocolate, acidic red wine notes, vanilla, cherry, some bourbon and oak. Intensely aromatic

T- Big rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, acidic red wine, cherry, plums, raisins, bourbon, black licorice, and coconut. Some vanilla and oak notes. Really decadent, complex, and delicious. Pretty high bitterness but it is cut really well by the alcohol presence.

M- Thick, full-bodied, super smooth and creamy, big warming, but no alcohol burn. The ABV is well hidden and although it is a sipper it goes down so easy and smooth.

O- Easily one of the greatest beers I have ever had, pure perfection. I have not been a huge fan of some of the more highly regarded imperial stouts, but this one absolutely lives up to the name.

 894 characters

Photo of EZEKIEL_F
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of xabyss
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this guy. A tough find this side of the Mississippi, this feller is. Poured into a Chimay chalice and glorious fumes are already wafting my way. Pours solid black with just about the darkest head I've seen. I think I could get drunk from the aroma alone: layers of rich, intoxicating chocolate, molasses, licorice and more barrel than expected. Faint coffee notes linger deep in the complex goodness. Wonderful flavors, but way hotter than expected. I guess that's what I get for cracking my 2013 vintage before its "best after" date. Rich chocolate, smoky malts, espresso, bourbon and I'm definitely picking up more of that licorice note I detected on the nose. Complex and nuanced, with some age this would be just about perfect. Mouthfeel is thick and wonderful but compromised somewhat by the alcohol bite. Very glad to have tried this. A little peeved at myself for not aging it just a bit and waiting for that "best after" date's fruition. But it's okay - I have another bottle! The universe is mine, or something.

 1,044 characters

Photo of falconxman
4/5  rDev -10.7%

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 7,110 ratings.
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