The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

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The AbyssThe Abyss
BA SCORE
4.47/5
Outstanding
7,267 Ratings
The AbyssThe Abyss
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States
deschutesbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#138
Reviews:
2,004
Ratings:
7,267
pDev:
9.4%
Bros Score:
4.13
 
 
Wants:
2,959
Gots:
3,940
Trade:
330
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,267 |  Reviews: 2,004
Photo of Jps715
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Release

12 characters

Photo of jspaner
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2017 Abyss. Pours a beautiful oily black, with some slight tan head which quickly dissipates. The smell is a mixture of bourbon, chocolate, and slight vanilla. The taste is amazing. By reading the label, which mentions molasses, licorice, vanilla, spices, cherry bark, and aging in several different barrels, one might think it'd be overdone with too many competing flavors, but it is quite tasty, and somewhat milder than one might expect. It starts with the bourbon & chocolate, and ends with the cherry, licorice, and a slight tartness, due (I presume) to the aging in pinot noir wine barrels. Velvety smooth, and none of the flavors are harsh or overpowering. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but about what I think it should be. Can't find the abv rating, but past versions of the Abyss were 11-12%, so I presume this one is also within that range. But there is no overly strong alcohol flavor. Very nicely done. Highly recommended.

 945 characters

Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SirFolmarv
4.74/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ivorycannon
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of brentusaurus
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of penguinBOMB
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of weareallfalafel
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into a teku glass. Bottled Dec 8, 2016, so just past this bottle's first birthday. Pours jet black and thick as tar, I was expecting very little head, so poured with a good bit of vigor, and got about two inches of stable, tight, tan/khaki colored head that is stable as all get out and leaves loads of lacing on the glass as you drink. Absolutely beautiful in the glass, albeit a tad unexpected. The aforementioned thick head gives off a huge nose of vanilla, oak, and chocolate, with less bourbon that I'd anticipated, and with most of the emphasis being on the chocolaty/vanilla character, with a touch of licorice. Taste brings a lot more layers of the same characteristics. You first taste the chocolate and the molasses makes its presence known, you then get a big hit of dark coffee, vanilla, bitter dark malts, and the taste finishes with oak, a touch of bourbon, and dark red wine, with a dryness similar to that of a Bordeaux Superieur, leaving you wanting another sip. In the finish, there is also a lingering hint of the licorice, which I appreciate a lot. Feel of this beer is very full in body with a thick, luxurious mouthfeel, but only the smallest trace of alcohol as you swallow. Overall, absolutely phenomenal stuff. The best part definitely being that all of the flavors of all of the different flavorings and techniques come through gracefully along the palette without blacking out any others. Complex and layered, its definitely something to sip, to let warm in your glass , and to savor over the course of a few hours. Perfect for late, cold, late december nights.

 1,608 characters

Photo of jtransel
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hreb
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2016 Reserve The Abyss, bottled on 12/08/16, carefully aged by me before chilling. The 22oz bottle is awkwardly topped, above the standard metal cap, with black wax. Served in a chalice style glass. The beer pours black and oily and is topped with a thick, richly colored brown head. But before you can even look at this brew the smell of bourbon is overwhelming. No, aroma has not diminished too badly with age. Inhaling deeply, I get sweet oak in addition to the boozy vanilla bourbon. The first sip is alarmingly delicate. This year was 11.1% ABV, and I was afraid it was going to be a mass of ethanol, molasses, and barrel. There's a grape-y fruit sweetness from the wine barrels and cherry bark. It may be the age (I believe this is my first experience with The Abyss), but the spicing is very subdued, only really making itself known as an anise note in the aftertaste.

More than anything I'm impressed with how complex and delicate the flavors in this beer are. It absolutely lives up to its hype, and there are no punishing, harsh, or otherwise out of balance flavors which detract from the experience. This is no session beer (...for the sane-minded...) but I would absolutely pay the price of admission again.

 1,244 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a chocolatey dark brown with a finger-and-a-half of tan foam. Soupy lacing.

Red wine, cherry, sherry, oak, licorice, molasses and vanilla in the nose. Honestly, it's more red wine forward than I'd like and had me a little worried that it may have turned -- but I don't believe that's the case.

Kiss of sweet vanilla and chocolate up front upon sipping, then assertive bitterness with a mix dark chocolate, grassy hops, wood, leather, tobacco, molasses and red wine. Some alcohol burn lingers with the strong bitterness in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied with sufficient heft and carbonation.

I love the bitterness in this one, but the red wine character isn't my jam. Wish they'd stuck with bourbon and oak barrels, and skipped the wine barrels. Still great to try. 2012 Reserve.

 794 characters

Photo of evanwoertz
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of JJH1018
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoubleDaisyCutter
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cmukid87
3.68/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Albianfire
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle opened mid Dec 2017. Bottle was 18.00 but I have been searching for The Abyss. Look - pitch black like an Abyss. 1/2 finger dark creamy tan head that quickly dissipates to just a tan ring. Lovely!
Smell - leather up front for me. Dark fruit like plum but not raisin. Some red wine.
Taste - smooth moving very quickly to bitter and again quick to back off. Again a dark red wine (not woody) but just the deeper notes. Some dark chocolate but no coffee. Leather but no tobacco. Alcohol present but not hot or boozy. Very complex and balanced.
Feel - exquisite, thick luscious, silky. Am I describing a beautiful girl? This is damned lovely! Maintains an effervescence to bite.
Overall - this is worth the price to me at least to have experienced it and added it to my beer belt notch. I would get it again . . . And now know where!!!

 846 characters

Photo of kingholmes
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of beerman2017
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DOCRW
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GrumpyGas
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz draft pour is a deep, dark mahogany brown, only at the lighted edges, and capped with a light coffee brown layer of erratic bubbles, leaving some spotted lacing.

Aroma is a strong bitter roast mix of cocoa and coffee bean with a booze backbone. Slight leather, oak, and dark fruit in the background.

Flavor matches with a slight emphasis on cocoa powder up front.

Mouthfeel is medium, leaning lighter with a heavy booze aftertaste.

Overall a very nice beer from the NW.

 478 characters

Photo of brocktune
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Isarnan
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of prokopt2
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of spav
4.79/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Narkee
3.94/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 7,267 ratings