The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

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1,898 Reviews
The AbyssThe Abyss

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States | website

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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Reviews: 1,898 | Ratings: 6,752
Photo of mattsander
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A: Pure black. One of the darkest stouts I've seen, even compared to some that are 3-5% boozier. Small ring of creamy brown head.

S: A beautiful harmony of dark fruits, dry chocolate, some sweet vanilla-like oak, a bit of peppery cinnamon and caramel. Very refined, it feels almost modest in some ways.

T: This is a wonderfully well crafted beer. The age is apparent - layer upon layer of deep roasty and fruity flavors. The barrel blend is there but its not the star. Finishes long and dry with a molasses-chocolate vibe.

M: The mouthfeel is elegant - a wonderful sipping beer.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage... Pours a deep dark, near black with beautiful khaki colored head. Great retention and lacing. Smell is an great earthy blend of dark cocoa, medium roasted espresso beans, vanilla, oak, sweet molasses with hints of spice such as anise. Taste is a touch more blended, smooth and mild then scent dictated, with all of the above charachters noted. The oak aging really makes this beer smooth, mellow and creamy, but feels thinner than i had hoped. Very good beer, but maybe didnt live up to the hype as much as i had hoped.

UPDATE: Upon revisting this brew, a 2009 vintage, I found the scent to contain less of the coffee and a chocolatey dark cherry and alcohol tone. Still pleasant, but different. Taste is a touch more aggressive at first, but as the palate is coated, the impact lessens. A bigger bozzy kick on the tongue, guessing this needs a little more age. The body is improved, thicker and more coating. Still a good beer, be interested to see how my other '09 tastes in a few months.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010. Drank before the best after date(could not help myself had to try this beer!)

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Great looking stout! Pitch black dark motor oil colored body of this beer. 1 finger of dark mocha brown head. Not really expecting any head on this beer as thick as it looks while it was poured.

Smell: Roasty expresso, smokey like acampfire and charred oak.

Taste: Big roasty expresso and rich dark chocolate notes. It tastes just like it looks intensely dark. Smokey and roasty for sure, i think some leathery and earthy notes are tasted also. It got a mild hint of booze that starts midtaste and goes thru to the finish. As this ber warms the black licorice and molasses seem to immerge from the deep roasty malts and give a sweeter taste to the beer. Might be some raisins in there also.

Mouthfeel: This beer is full bodied with a carbonation thats stands on the high end of low carbonation; almost moderately carbonated. This beer is so thick that it is almost syrup. Almost perfectly carbonated.

Overall: Really awesome beer. This beer shows that Deschutes puts alot of "TLC" into the reserve series beers. The beer is well made and well named! I can see why it so high up on the lists on BA.

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Photo of iD9
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a cognac snifter at 360 Pizza in Vancouver, Wa

Appearence: Head looks dark, very dark. A deep, pleasing tan color. Head pours thick and rich, it dissipates quickly however. I've had this beer a number of times and this is usually not the case. Perhaps its because I'm getting it off the tap, the vintage or something to do with the glassware? A thin film remains on the edges of the glass when swirled. The body of this beer is completely black. No light penetrates the liquid at any point on the this stout. As black as the Abyss.

Smell: Heavy notes of bourbon and dark roasted malts. Dried chocolate and slight licorice notes make their appearance occasionally. Also a whiff of dark fruits perhaps? Perhaps dark cherries or plums?

Taste: A very "dry" tasting beer. In place of bourbon there are heavy flavors of dark licorice. A slight bitter timbre is discovered through the middle of the beer. This is a sipping drink, do not attempt to quaff this or you will be very displeased with the results. Many roasty, toasty, oaky flavors are present throughout the Abyss. Allow this beer to warm up. The bitterness of the beer is more up front when served cold and many of the deeper flavors are covered up. This drink has amazing depth and complexity. Wish I could give this a 4.25.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, almost to the point feeling physically heavy. The beer starts nice and full in the front, becomes creamy in the middle and then dries out on the back of the pallet. Again, a lot going on here.

Drinkability: A difficult value to quantify, I rate the drinkabliity of this beer highly. That being said it is dark, complex and unyielding. This RIS should be sipped over an extended period of time. Guzzling this beer results in a number of mish-mashed, unpleasent sensations. Respect the Abyss.

One of my favorite beers of all time. I wait all year for its release. The 2009 seems a little harsh compared to my recollection of the 2008 vintage. I plan on aging a few of these '09s. I have the feeling this beer will benefit greatly from the extra time. I have a few '08s here in Washington and can't wait to see what a year adds the beer.

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Photo of rayjay
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've never reviewed this beer as it's one of my favorites. 2007 vintage, poured into a Deschutes stemmed snifter.

Great appearance with a solid 3 finger head from a vigorous pour, which is chocolate colored. Sticks to the glass.

Aroma of dusty baker's chocolate, dusty chocolate malt, and some isopropyl alcohol.

Rich flavors, more of the dusty chocolate. Firm but faded noble hop bitterness. Lots of maltose sweetness, finishing with an aromatic roasted bitterness like chocolately coffee. Some higher alcohols, a tiny bit hot, which I attribute to bourbon barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is creamy, sticky, and slightly chalky. It's nearly perfect for the style. Some of the smoothness of oatmeal and a bit of the drying tannins of the oak.

Drinkability is good for the style. It's a sipper that keeps you interested.

I admit I'm biased because I like the 2006 the best, and I didn't care for 07 or 08 nearly as much fresh. 07 has turned out to be much more to my liking, and it has a long way to go in the cellar before peaking. Cheers

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a surprise shipment from Liquid Solutions today and couldn't resist ripping into one of the bottles I preordered months ago. I was actually pleasantly surprised that I got any at all.

All right about the beer:
2007 edition.
Pours a solid black with a huge tan head that subsided a bit, but lasted through the glass. Aroma gives up some chocolate, some oak, a sweet lactose type smell, some hops in the background. Really a lot going on here. Taste hits with some chocolate, some ash, there's some alcohol and an almost vinous and bitter character in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and a little gritty. Great complex stout, I can't wait to see how the other bottles develop.

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Photo of adrock7309
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2009 into a Chimay goblet. Very pleased that the bottle I got in a trade was not infected.

Nice two fingers of mocha foam with little lacing present as it receded.

Smell is a mix of cocoa powder, coffee, a bit oakiness and some alcohol in the nose.

Flavor is a lot of the same. A very smooth chocolate and toasty coffee present. There is not much of the burbon coming through.

A phenomenal brew

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle enjoyed at a unofficial BA Tasting.

Poured a motor oil black into a DFH snifter.
Light head.
Lacing and some graininess on the side of the glass.
Aroma was hoppy and some chocolate and roasty notes.
Taste : Wow! what a complex profile. I can't describe them all. Chocolate, coffee, nutty. As I continued to drink it and it continued to warm more flavors arose. This is an incredible brew!

The alcohol was very well hidden by the mouthfeel and the strong flavors.

I can't wait to drink this after a year or so.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: almost black, just hints of brown as it pours from the bottle. Beautiful. Medium brown head, coarse lacing, decent persistence. Would rate higher if lacing were finer.

Smell: Malt, licorice, plum (?). Mild. Fine. Expected deeper smell after seeing the dense dark color.

Taste: malt, licorice, molasses. Sweet and bitter simultaneously. Holy crap, this is dense, intense stuff. Demands your full attention.

Feel: Rather rich, corresponding to the deep color and taste.

Overall: Nice, well integrated finish. Long, licorice. Moderately intense.

This is a really nice beer - more for a special occasion, the flavor is unusual - wouldn't fit in my regular rotation - but really nice.

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Photo of capybara
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pitch black with dark tan head. head is present, plenty of carbonation for this style of beer
S. very sweet. Molasses, vanilla, and chocolate come through the most upon intial smell.
T- Similar to smell the beer starts out with a very sweet mouth. Initally i get vanilla and molasse. That fades to more roasty flavors of chocalate and some burnt wood. At the end is when you begin to taste the barel aged flavors and the fades to a slight hoppy finish. The barel aged flavors are very finite and blend to a point where they are hard to point out. If anything the oaky wood is the most present.
M- Thick as it should be. Not overbearing, but allows the beer to linger in your mouth after swallowing enough to get all flavors. Leaves good lacing on the glass.
O- Defanitly great. This years abyss does not disappoint. Has all the characteristics of a great beer.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a rich brown head. Molasses, liquorice and oak in the nose. Slightly bitter.

Definite molasses and dark chocolate in the flavour, with strong oak note, tempered by bourbon and winey notes. Nice coffee presence, light vanilla but not much cherry (though it does say cherry bark, which might contribute to the woody-ness). Bitter black coffee after taste.

Great mouthfeel, good boozy profile. An excellent dessert beer.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into my trusty New Belgium globe

Pours a big 3 finger dense head that looks like chocolate ice cream. Body is pitch black in color. Head retention and lacing are pretty good.

Smell is big on roasted chocolate malt and some coffee. Hops and alcohol are faint in the background

Taste is a very good balance of malts and hops. First the burnt, roasted malt is tasted, then the earthy bitter hops come in. The alcohol is present but not too much and leaves a slight warming sensation down the back of my throat. The after taste is of smoke from the oak and malt and some bitterness from the hops. Very tasty and complex

Head gives a nice creaminess to the beer. Almost perfect amount of carbonation, livens up the body making it rich but not too heavy

Drink ability is good. Very flavorful and rich but still semi session able. I love stouts and this one is definitely one of the best. It kind of reminded me of Stone IRS but with the benefit of aging. Will need to pick up alot more of these when the new batch comes out in the fall

*Update- had a 2010 vintage on 06/02/14, flavors seem to have dulled noticeably

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter. Shared with a fellow BA.
2010 vintage.

A- Two finger frothy brown head, dissipates to a nice bubbly ring around the glass, dark pitch black color, nice lacing and retention.
S- The aroma is pretty boozy but not off putting, coffee aromas come out up front followed but roasted notes, the aroma is fairly bitter with some hints of chocolate/cocoa.
T- The taste is similar to the nose, nice coffee flavors, roasted malt, slight vanilla taste, definitely taste the oak from the barrels, bitter aftertaste, molasses comes out as well.
M- Big mouth feel, thick and chewy, well carbonated, smooth in the finish, sticky on the palate.
O- This is definitely a solid quality RIS, it deserves the praise it gets on a consistent basis, would I say it’s one of the best in the World….No but I would drink this on more than one occasion. Looking forward to ageing a couple bottles and trying them in the future.

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Photo of jamescain
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into a Saint Arnold’s sniffer

Appearance: Black with a thick tan head…that’s the way an imperial stout should look like.

Aroma: This is the part that made me worry, there was the very distinct sour aroma emanating from the bottle. After it was poured I could detect other aromas, vanilla, licorice, coffee, chocolate, and the slight sour aroma, which was not overwhelming, but did add some character.

Taste: Incredibly complex, coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, oak, licorice. The sour aroma was barely provided any sour taste. The sourness from the infection was more like a stout aged on cherries, then one that was infected.

Mouthfeel: Thick and rich with medium carbonation. This one is a sipper for sure, yet there is no apparent alcohol.

Overall: Even though it was infected it was still very good. I can’t wait to break into one of me 2010 bottles and get to experience this one in all of its glory.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First bottle was $18. Didn't want to drink it, so went back to the restaurant in Sandusky, Ohio after a second visit to Cedar Point where I got the first one and was given the next one for just $10. Massive thanks to the owner of the restaurant for this one. I've been looking forward to this beer for quite a long time... and now I have a base to compare my next bottle to in a year or two. Both bottles have a 11/10/15 "best after" date, so I'm breaking some rules drinking this one early.

Appearance: Pours what I'd expect -- a pitch black color with a surprising finger of a creamy, dark brown head... it's called The Abyss for a reason. Sipping down the glass there's actually quite a bit of very nice thick lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer, especially at 11% ABV.

Smell: Man, is that ever interesting... this is an Imperial Stout you need to smell to really understand. Though the bottle says this beer is only aged 11% in wine barrels, I'm getting a significant amount of wine on the nose -- it's a definite, readily apparent warming-to-the-nose, dark red wine smell. There is the slightest hint of oak in there, but I can't say I smell any actual bourbon from the bourbon barrel aging, which is a bummer, for sure. The wine aroma seems to be the most pronounced thing, at least to my nose, and then a deep roasted coffee kind of vibe as well. Of course, this beer smells pretty damn boozy. I can feel the warmth in my nose. I may also get a little bit of the licorice that's listed on the label, but it's faint. There's also apparently molasses and cherry bark in here, but I don't get the former, at least. The cherry bark may be adding to that fruit and roast aroma. I enjoy the smell of this beer, but I feel like the wine manages to take the forefront, which is both surprising and a bit disappointing.

Taste/feel: This is quite a lot different than the smell, and honestly, a letdown. All the flavors coming together makes this beer a bit of a mess, in my opinion, but thanks to Deschutes' ridiculous brewing expertise, it manages to still taste pretty damn good regardless. This beer hits with some alcohol and wine tartness right away. A little oakiness comes in through the middle, and the beer finishes extremely roasty... too roasty. Honestly, like-burned roast, and it sort of gives me an off-putting almost acrid bitterness. The very end of this beer has a deep, deep, deep coffee roast vibe. I mean like putting a teaspoon of coffee rinds in your mouth sort of bitterness, and it keeps me coming back to the beer for all the wrong reasons. I really shouldn't be wanting to get a flavor out of my mouth. I mean I guess I'm fluffing it a bit... it's not THAT bad, but it's certainly not something I enjoy. The feel is actually not super full-bodied -- it's moderately high in body with a pretty pleasant carbonation that is super subtle and barely there.

I enjoy this beer a fair amount, but I am definitely not blown away. The Abyss just has too much of a wine barrel vibe to it. While I can certainly enjoy some beers aged in wine barrels, this one would likely be better without it. It goes in with all the flavors meddling together in a not-so-great fashion, and finishes with a bit of an off-putting intense burnt coffee bitterness. I would certainly recommend trying this beer simply because it's one of the most loved beers on this site, but I would recommend more-so drinking this beer after its "drink after" date, which I intend to do with my second bottle. Hopefully by then that intense bitterness mellows out, and I expect it to. Very good beer, Deschutes, but you definitely have done better work... I may be the only person in the world who prefers Black Butte XXVI to this beer, at least right now. I'll edit this review when I have my second bottle of The Abyss in a year or so.

Mid-bottle update: As the beer's warmed up after about forty minutes or so, the wine barrel-y nose has changed a lot. Suddenly I get more of a milk chocolate sort of aroma with a fair amount of oak and a little more bourbon. There's definitely some dark fruit in there as well, which only adds depth. Adding a quarter of a point to my smell rating because of that. Additionally, the intense roast bitterness fades a tick. It is still very strong, but it detensifies as it warms. For that reason, I'm giving the taste and overall ratings a quarter of a point bump up as well... I should have known not to drink this beer immediately out of the fridge. Its sweet spot seems to be about 40 minutes at room temperature before drinking.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is for the 2011 vintage:

A: It is a black/dark brown beer with a very minimal head.

S: The smell of alcohol is very strong. In the background there is hops and malt.

T: The taste is strong malt, hops, and caramel. Very strong and well balanced.

M: Very thick and slightly under carbonated.

O: This beer was good but not great when served cold. This beer is best served at room temperature so be sure to do so. Well worth the cost.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Cafe Boogaloo in Hermosa Beach ($5 per draw, same price as all other beers on tap). This beer communicated "Russian Imperial Stout" in every way. It was dark and opaque with a very thick brown foam, and the bartender let it settle a little before topping it off. Nice. The smell was roasted malts and sweet malts, a little hint of chocolate but maybe I imagined it. The taste was really rich and sweet, with a little bit of roasty bitterness in the aftertaste. Very thick too. Really this lives up to the hype, it's good.

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Photo of daledeee
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from a friend who brought this back from Oregon. It was the 2009 release. It says best AFTER Nov. 2010. Now I read about the 'infected" batches. So let's find out...

I poured this into my favorite glass and got a wonderful shiny black body as it poured and an equally opaque body with a rather robust tan head. It goes away gradually as I type but leaving lace as it goes. A good start.

The nose? Will this tell me anything. It is chocolate, malt and yes some bandaid.

Taste is...(drumroll) Very bitter at first with a dark coffee finish. Wow!!! This is a strong flavored beer. It is like double charcoal. I know that is a made up term, but I struggle for words here: charcoal, oak, bitter, malt, cocoa. The flavor remains in your mouth for a while. No need to hurry this one. Drinking this bomber by myself. The second glass is way better. More creamy mouth feel, flavor is changing for the better.

Mouth feel is similar to another I had recently. It feels like there might be some cocoa granules in the mix. Not all that carbonated and not as "thick" as some others. Alcohol is not bashful. All in all I don't think this is one of the infected ones which I felt were described as being a little sour. This beer is different than most stouts I have had. It is not as sweet, but then again this one has already been around awhile. I hear rumors that Deschutes may come to the Midwest. I would like to try another one. For me to wait a year after bottling to drink a beer is rare. I am not patient.

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Photo of julian
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this as my first beer of the night on tap at Uber Tavern in Seattle.

A: jet black, no doubt about the color here. no light passing through whatsoever. thick and somewhat fluffy mocha colored head with decent sticky lacing.

S: smells of sweet malt up front, followed by chocolate, coffee, creamy marshmallow, somewhat earthy and burnt essence.

T&M: thick bodied (almost syrupy) with medium carbonation. initial flavors are a peppery and spicy hop taste, roasted and burnt coffee, chocolate, dark sugary malts, slightly vanilla (or marshmallow) and a wooded/earthyness. evened out by a warming boozy taste.

D: this is a rich, full bodied beer with relatively high ABV. Almost a meal in a glass, but a delicious one at that! 2-3 at most in a given session would be appropriate.

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Photo of hero27
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

Wasatch hooked me up with a bottle of this highly sought brew, thanks again!

Pours an ominous, charcoal black..a thick, tan head rests on top and slowly recedes to leave streams of lacing in it's wake.
Aroma of slow-roasted coffee & dark Bavarian chocolate malt.
Flavor consists of a delicious combination of sweet molasses, burnt caramel, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, licorice, and a touch of dark fruits.
Creamy texture rests upon a full body and allows this drink to dish out all the flavors to each individual tastebud.. succulent.
A standout Imperial stout for sure, and certainly one worth tracking down.

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Photo of KingEdward
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 version, chocolate, oak, and vanilla. It is very dry, maybe due to the wine barrels. The mouthfeel is a little thin. First version of this i have tried and would like to see how the others stack up to this.

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Photo of zep9865
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into aecht snifter. Nice jet black color with a quarter inch of tan foam head. Lacing is minimal

Smells like cigar, high bitter roasted malts, dark chocolate, and vanilla

Taste is all dark chocolate and coffee.

Beer has great cocoa and cofee from the get-go, with milk chocolate and 70 percent cocoa on the backbone. IBUs must be at least 80

Great stout. Roasted malts on this beer own the way einstein does with their coffee

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Photo of Spider889
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by MbpBugeye, what an awesome beer to share. Thanks bud!

This was an amazing beer to pour - the black liquid inside the bottle poured in a smooth black velvet rope of oil. I was left with a very minimal dark coffee head. The head and lacing suffered since we were sharing this between 3 or 4 people.

The aroma is built upon layers of soft vanilla oakiness mixed with sweet chocolate brownies and very light bourbon heat and astringency. The barreling are interwoven exceptionally in this brew. Light roasted milk coffee adds additional depth and richness.

This is one of the smoothest drinking stouts I have ever crossed. Lots of nice espresso and dark roast coffee, but it's not burnt like some beers can taste. The malts are deep and luscious. Mild vanilla from the barrel mixes with sweet black chocolate and anise. I was actually hoping to get a lot more licorice flavor from this to be honest. Bourbon is present but very subdued - just enough to add richness to the brew.

Again, this is a very smooth beer. Light on carbonation, but that is only appropriate for a thick stout like this one. It wasn't hot at all for me despite the 11% abv.

I found The Abyss to be extremely drinkable, nay, craveable. It's one of the more deep and complex stouts out there. Is it the best American Imperial Stout on the market? Hard to say. But I think it is worthy of its praise and certainly worth seeking out.

Thanks again Seth, a real treat!

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Photo of Alf7247
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A truly awesome beer! Served in a 22oz snifter. 2009 Reserve.

A- Pitch black with a dark brown head that leaves quickly, leaving a thin layer on top of the used engine oil.

S- Roast, malt, bourbon, and molasses. Alcohol never poked its head through.

T- Roast, malt, bourbon, molasses, dark chocolate, faint licorice, and an appreciated hop bitterness. Alcohol was very faint, even when it was at its warmest.

M- Thin to medium. Quite thin compared to others, but that may be because Ive been on a Barleywine binge.

D- This a surprisingly very drinkable beer, but definitely a sipper.

With the beer being this great at 6 months, I cannot wait to give it a go at a year or older!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010: This poured out as a deep jet black oily looking brew, it forms a nice even sized brown head on top. The lacing is scattered and and has a light amount of retention. The smell of this beer is loaded with dark malts and some herbal notes. In the mix there is also a good amount of barrel aged aromas coming off of this one as well. The taste was really nice, sweet bourbon-like notes with some fresh oak in there too, there is also plenty of smoked and chocolate flavors in there. The mouthfeel is thick and oily, very smooth and highly drinkable. Overall I was hoping to get more of the Licorice flavors from it but regardless it's a killer brew. Very enjoyable.

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The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
99 out of 100 based on 1,898 ratings.
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