Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

The Abyss | Deschutes Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,909 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,909 | Ratings: 6,847
Photo of dboon
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

08 bomber courtesy of JohnnyJ. This is one bad mutha fu. SHUT your mouth. But i’m talkin bout shaft. Seriously, I have never poured a beer that had so much freakin’ aroma. HUGE chocolate and molasses nose. The color was Joan Jett black with a big brown head. The taste was outstanding with massive molasses, bitter chocolate, dark roasted malt, and subtle oak. It’s chewy and perfectly balanced. This is one of my top 5 imperial stouts....

 445 characters

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

I love this beer. By far the best beer I've ever had. I had a bottle of The Abyss from 2007 that I let age a year in my basement. So here goes.

A - The look is pure darkness. There is absolutely ZERO and I mean ZERO light that came through the beer. The second you begin pouring this beer you know it will have you. The head is nice and dark. Definitely can tell this is a proper imperial stout.

S - Smells of chocolate, coffee, licorice and more.

T - An explosion of flavor that has such character that it makes you want to take another sip. Each sip is unique with the finding of new tastes in each one. Chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, licorice, heavenly goodness. I noticed the bourbon taste has subdued due to aging.

M - Love the mouthfeel on this beer. It is thick and delicious and definitely not watered down.

D - This beer is really not meant to be drunk quickly being rich with flavor and 11%. However, the explosion of flavor beckons you to drink again, and again, and again. I wish I had a keg of this beer.

 1,026 characters

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

A-Black as T Woods eye when his wife found out the details.
S-Like a good steak after waiting forever at a high end restaurant
T-as good as water would taste in the desert
M-like chocolate cake
D-Can't. Stop. Drinking. Unbelievable.

This beer is seriously unbeatable, you can keep your Dark Lord.

 297 characters

Photo of jwilly03
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a Nitro 2010 Abyss at the Bend Public House on December 1st...liquid bliss!
Rich and creamy from the first sip to the last, and what a great nose. Served in a snifter so all of those glorious aromas can gather in the bulb, hit your nose, and tell your brain that this is going to be a great experience! Very much a beer I will enjoy until the last keg blows! Cheers!!

 375 characters

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

pours deep, dark black. I held it up to the brightest light in the house and nothing came through. Pours thick with a dark brown milk chocolate head that perfectly complements it's black body. fantastic smell. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and molasses. I also noticed the licorice for the first time tonight... this beer just keeps getting better!

the best part of the beer, is, of course, the flavor. An overwhelming sensation of as many flavors as could possibly be put in a single brew, the flavor lingers long after you drink, and each sip is like the first. Again, hints of chocolate, coffee (though not as much as expected from the smell), molasses and licorice. the after-taste is of roasted coffee beans, and tootsie-roll. The barrel aging is subtle, smooth, and awesome.

As thick as expected in the mouthfeel! Smooth as silk. As if the flavor explosion isn't enough for your mouth to handle, this beer's thickness makes a statement. gentle on the palate, and very warming. perfectly carbonated. extremely drinkable. The most I've had in a single night was two 22oz bottles and I felt like I was going to explode (although I ate a huge meal before that which probably didn't help). It's the kind of beer that you look at when you only have one drink left and think to yourself, "I better savor this sip more than any other." Goes down easy and fills you up, leaving you wanting more.

 1,392 characters

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

On tap @ Elliott Bay Pizza and Pub

A- Black as night - as true to form as it could be.

S- Smells of coffee, bourbon, chocolate - everything you would expect from the style.

I'm going to just stop this review. This brew is fantastic! I have had multiple vintages on tap...this is one of the most excessible. Very drinkable - just like the others...I'm sure it will age nicely. Seek out, rob and or pilage for a bottle.

 420 characters

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

My longest beer love affair. I've been buying a couple bottles a year since 2011, and it's consistently been fantastic, both fresh and aged. The type of beer you can just sit there and smell for hours.

 201 characters

Photo of Keananmichael5
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable beer!!! Notes of chocolate, coffee, and light burbon. Very oily feel that leaves a glaze on the glass. I would drink this beer every single day if I could!

 168 characters

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

Bomber, Says best after 11/15/11. I can't wait that long....

A: I can't see a damn thing, black as night with peanut brown head disapearing quickly. beautiful lacing sticking to glass.

S: Coffee notes in the forefront, some chocolate undernieth, alcohol is present in the nose.enough is enough lets drink!

T: Holy Shit!, I can't believe the taste of this. I don't know what to say. I don't taste any alcohol in this. It is unbelievably balanced. very complex with initial hints of licorice and molasses leading into subtle wave of coffee notes. ending with a perfect bitterness to dry out the palate so more is a necessity.

M: best mouthfeel of any stout hands down. so smooth. wow.

D & Overall: As this warms its getting better, if thats possible. I received this in a trade. If i lived on the west coast I would by cases of this and live a happy happy man. stouts are style and this is tops to me. perfect 5s all the way around. the hype is justified. I only received one bottle so this is the 2010 version. I NEED to get another to age to compare. wow. just the best...

 1,079 characters

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

This was a mammoth beer -- absolutely terrific. Pitch black color that you can't see through. Velvety smooth. The taste was perfect -- definitely the right amount of barrel aging and bourbon. 2014 Reserve aged until December 3rd.

 229 characters

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

Pours opaque black with a billowy tan head. The nose is coffee, chocolate liqueur, licorice, vanilla, chestnut, and bourbon. The flavor is almost as complex as the aroma with the bourbon, and Merlot being more muted than I expected, but not in a "they’re almost undetectable" sort of way. Rather, those flavors serve as underpinnings (in an almost catalyst-likemanner) that bring out the intensity of the more obvious esters like bitter chocolate, roast coffee, vanilla, licorice, toffee, chestnut, salt, and almost a smoky bacon quality. At first I thought the body was a tad thin to support such a dynamic flavor profile, but then I realized that if it were thicker, it would make the flavor almost too mouth coating and intense to be as drinkable as it is. I agree with the other reviewers who think this beer will be an aging marvel, but for me it is already an absolutely ideal imperial stout, which I find even more rounded and complex than Speedway, and even more remarkable for achieving its decidedly coffeeish flavor component without the actual addition of that ingredient. The finish is incredibly long, and the balance is wondrous for such a big brew. Wow!

 1,171 characters

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

2014 Reserve bottle, third one down this past weekend - the others over the last two years. From what I can remember there was not much change in my opinion on this beer over that time. Absolutely black ink in color with almost no carbonation. Thick, oily, smelled awesome with molasses and cherry hitting my nose predominately. Very warming mouthfeel soon extended to the brain. Love this beer, a sipping beer - where is my cigar? This is a world classic, very complex notes as it warms. Highly recommend.

 508 characters

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

A: About as dark as anything I've ever seen. Huge mocha colored head. Looks-wise, tough to beat.

S: The smells coming off this one change every few seconds. I love it. Persimmon, dark chocolate, plum, coffee and a bit of a charcoal smell. Pretty much the everlasting gobstopper of smells.

T: Full, smooth, complex and sweet. A lot of dark chocolate and coffee along with some dark fruit. Hides the alcohol well, but there's a nice warming sensation as you drink this. Without a doubt, the best beer I've ever had.

 516 characters

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

really excited about this one...so going into this with some high expectations. 2010 bottle.

a - if you ever want to make a statement about the ability to age your beer and specialness of cracking it open, waxing the cap would be it. i cut the wax with a straight razor and made work on the waxy cap. after a little bit of work it came off and revealed "Bravely Done" on the inside of the cap...another nice touch. poured a generous portion into my oversized snifter. gorgeously silky black with a soft tan creamy head. leaves a nice spotty trail of lacing when swirling the glass. so far, so good.

s - malty chocolate with a subtle bourbon tease. non offensive and not overly boozy at all. every part of the flavor compliments every other part.

t - YUM. caramel, chocolate, roastiness, subtle wood and bourbon.

m - smooth and bready with a nice bourbony tingle. the wood effect is subtle and creamy and the mouth is cooling.

d - as a really big fan of black ops, this is a beer that brings back that same joy of discovery as my first taste of that beer. i'm glad that i have a few more bottles of this and i'm glad that i opened this now. i only wish this was easier to come by for me. it is beautifully balanced and a real treat in every way. a really fantastic beer. this beer stepped to the plate, pointed at the fences...and then hit a home run on the first pitch.

--- edit --- 2011-11-30
4.5 - 4.5 - 4.5 - 5 - 5
really excited to try the 2011 version of this. thanks a ton brad for zipping this out to me as soon as it hit your shelves! SUPER appreciated.

a - pried the wax and removed the cap...bravely done. filled my cbs snifter. ah...there she is in all her golden silky black glory with that creamy mocha head, seems a bit more frothy than last years. my mouth is literally watering.

s - BAM! milk chocolate roasted malt perfection. i'm not getting the bourbon as much, but looks like the mix is a bit different. the label says with cherry bark and vanilla with a mix of small percentages aged in various barrels (oak bourbon, oak, and oak wine). definitely tamer than last year...i can pick out a bit of the cherry and white wine, but the bourbon is not in the smell at all...and the oak is overall more timid...

t - again, the first thing that jumps out at me is the lack of that bourbon blast. thick decadent chocolate with some mellowing from the oak. the wine seems to shine through most on the flavoring from the barrel and there is a slight hint of cherry.

m - smooth and creamy

o - overall, still a solid beer. that being said, i don't understand how they could've played with such a perfect beer and changed the blend. i guess i'll have to hold my 2010's a bit tighter since 2011 is different and lacks a lot of what i love about 2010. still great, just not as great. much more milk chocolate.

--- edit --- 2012-02-17

5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5

VINTAGE 2008! (thanks pintplease)
pried the wax off to reveal a 20th anniversary (1988 to 2008) cap. excellent. opened carefully and filled my deschutes snifter.

a - stunning. deep black with a creamy mocha tan head...milkshakey lacing. doesn't get any better than this.

s - deep rich chocolate milk. creamy...perfect.

t - amazing. decadent. the bourbon has been perfectly blended and this is a slice of godiva chocolate cake.

m - unreal feel. creamy and smooth.

o - abyss is my favorite beer. the 2010 blew me away, the 2011...not so much, 2009 i don't like to talk about (infected) but the 2008...OH 2008. what a year! and the time on this beer is simply perfect. this is a real treat and i'm psyched to have 22oz all to myself! iso this beer!

 3,624 characters

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

Bottle of Abyss from 2013 bought in Philadelphia, not aged.

A- Pitch Black, dark tan bordering on light brown head. Can't wait to taste this.

S- Molasses, coffee, oak and bakers chocolate, mmm tasty.

T- The tastes on the smell are present and magnified with the addition of BIG molasses taste which dominates, with chocolate, dark cherries, coffee, faint black licorice and everything is oaked.

M- Creamy and smooth, like a mixed drink with a cream base, absolutely outstanding.

The finish on this beer has the slightest and sweetest of burns. I have hunted down the best beers that I can get my hands on (spent more of my income than I care to admit), and as far as stouts go this is second only to Dark Lord in terms of complexity and deliciousness. I can safely say that you can believe the hype and go for this beer, a complete joy to drink. Cheers!

 860 characters

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

Bought a 2009 bottle on a business trip to Oregon...didn't really know what I had until myself and my beer cohort opened it one Friday night. Getting into it is a bit of challenge (wax sealed without the help of a tab a la Maker's Mark) but once we were in this beer is easily top 3 of any beer I have ever had. Complex smells of vanilla, caramel, and coffee along with a thick and darker than basically anything else I have ever poured
Taste is strong but just not too strong as the 11% ABV is well hidden. I could taste the licorice right away. That and the vanilla notes are really what set this Imp Stout apart for me. I plan to get another few bottles of this beer if I can and age at least one to retry as I am told this will mellow out any of the ethanol taste that exists in a newer bottle.
Overall, aside from Rochefort 10 and possibly the Duck Rabbit Imperial Stout (which both hold a special place in my heart) I feel this beer is easily the most complex and interesting that I have ever consumed.

 1,025 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 drgonzo3705
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Beautiful black color with a thin mocha colored head that quickly diminishes but has some nice lacing.

S- Molasses first hits my nose with a pleasant oak distinction. If you take it in deep enough you get this slight burn from the alcohol. I'm guessing that's the bourbon but it is very subtle. I also get a nice roasted/charred smell coming out of the oak. Now that its warmed some the bourbon comes out more but its still not overpowering like other BA stouts I've had.

M- Thick and creamy with a slight hop presence but just enough to remind you you're still drinking beer. A nice oiliness to coat your mouth for the aftermath.

T- Dark bitter chocolate and mocha sweetness with the underlying bourbon that gives it a slight burn going down. Very complex beer with a lot of stuff going on but still manages to stay balanced.

D- I could drink this all night. I know the 11% will catch up but if done in moderation it would be well worth it.

Overall I would have to say this is one of the finest crafted beers I've had. Definitely worth the hype! I wish more BA stouts could be so well put together.

 1,111 characters

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 flydudehsv
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle 2012. Pours solid blackish brown with a healthy espresso head. The aroma is top notch coming strongly from the tulip glass. Big coffee notes with vanilla, tart fruit, black licorice and subtle traces of bourbony goodness. The taste is complex with coffee, chocolate mousse, and sweet rock candy up front followed by oaky vanilla, graham cracker and a little heat from the bourbon. There’s beautiful bubbly lacing hanging about the glass. The palate offers a slightly syrupy texture with a good bit of carbonation to balance it. Awesome Imperial Stout!

 566 characters

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

Vintage 2011 poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Black black black. Pours quite viscous with about a finger of a mocha colored head. Beautiful stout.

Smell: Wow, there is so much going on here. Big notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Getting woody overtones from the barrel aging and hints of vanilla. A bit of alcohol on the back but hidden pretty well for its ABV.

Taste: What can I say.... Perfection. A perfect blend of chocolate and coffee. The woodiness shines through more on the taste with the vanilla becoming more apparent. Getting a hint of cherry as well. The aftertaste on this is just wonderful.

Overall: Excellent. World-class stuff here.

 656 characters

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

2007 Vintage. Picked up a single in Casper at Poplar Wine and Spirits. I have been waiting for quite some time to be in the perfect mood to enjoy what I have heard to be the definition of the style.

A: Poured a viscous oily, black. Absolutely no light penetrates this beer, no garnet highlights, no color, just blackness, it practically sucks the light out of the room. After a vigorous pour a brown, head emerges, about two and a half inches thick that reduces down to about half an inch. Excellent strata of lacing as it reduces. Beautiful.

S: So many beautiful things going on, brown sugar, chocolate, raisins, figs, booze, licorice, whiskey, this one has definitely been in oak barrels. Cinnamon. Smells like dark breads. So many things going on, very hard to place everything. Coffee. Even some bitter, piney hops way underneath all the other things. This is delicious.

T: Chocolatey, heavy coffee, very bitter, brown sugar, a lot of the smells are coming through in the taste, the hops are definitely a lot more present in the mouth than in the nose. Very citrusy in the hop department. Whiskey is in the taste as well, but a little more subdued than other whiskey aged beers. Very heavy on the dark chocolate malts. That really pops out all over the place. Aftertaste is off coffee and piney hops. The alcohol is quite subdued and hidden very well. This is absolutely fantastic and complex. The deepest beer I've ever enjoyed.

M: Thick, rich, and malty, like a milkshake. Very heavy, not a lot of boozey burn. This is a one of a kind. Absolutely right on with the style. A great thick beer.

D: As heavy, bitter, rich, boozey and dark as this may be. It goes down very very easy. I wouldn't drink many of them but I could. This is a very fantastic beer, and I have not been let down in any way. This is a truly spectacular beer. Right on with everything this style is for. Perfect. Truly perfect.

 1,910 characters

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

This is as good as they say. I've had the '08 on tap and the '09 on tap and in the bottle.

I confess; I'm not impartial. I waited in line the day they released this at the Portland pub. I'd only tasted it twice before ('06 bottle and '08 tap), but I knew I wanted more. Releasing it on a weekday at 2pm guaranteed that only the unemployed or those who value beer more than their job would be there (sorry boss).

I've been sampling other Imperial Stouts to calibrate my taste so I can give some context. I've had Storm King, Rogue's Russian Imperial, and Obovoid in the last week. This beer stands up and surpasses them all. It doesn't have the oakiness of Obovoid or the hops of Rogue's, but it does have the complete package.

In a word: balance. There's some oak here, but it's subtle. It is, of course, hoppy, but it doesn't leave *any* harsh aftertaste like Rogue's (which I love, btw). It is a truly a Goldilocks beer. Not too thick, not too thin, not too hoppy, carbonated or oaky.

This is one of those beers that just brings a sense of calm to your entire body. If you've had a beer like this, you know what I'm talking about.

It does get better with time. I had the '08/'09 side-by-side flight at the Portland Pub and the difference was definitely noticeable. Not pronounced, but definitely there. Have some restraint and age this a year if you get more than a bottle.

I'm not sure there's a single beer in the world I'd rather have.

 1,447 characters

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

I had the 2009 vintage on tap at Stone Brewing Co. This is, by far, the best stout I have tried yet.

A - Black...period. Colors of dark maroon and cola are present when this beer is swirled in front of a light. I had a decent light brown head with excellent lacing that was retained till the last drop.

S - Scents of coffee, chocolate, molasses, and roasted malts are dominant with mild hints of oak in the background. I could not pick up any hop notes.

T - Delicious!!! Bold and sweet flavors of malts, coffee, and molasses initially followed by a dry hoppy finish. The oak and the bourbon flavors where obvious, but the licorice could not be detected.

M/D - This beer had a creamy and silky mouthfeel. Not as bold as I expected it to be considering its rich appearance. And considering that it is an 11% ABV, this was a very easy drinking beer.

 852 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Release

Snagged a bottle in a beer trade a couple years ago, cellared it and decided that today was the day. 2008 Release. Pours jet black with a golden highlight shimmering at the top. The brew pours with a thick chocolate colored frothy head like a Wendy's Frosty, do I need a spoon? Aroma is beautiful, chocolate, espresso, marshmallow, caramelized sugars, a little oak and hint of citrus. This beer is thick as hell and velvety smooth. Like a milkshake! The first pour out of the bottle gives me a glass of beer with some serious legs but the head mellows when I pour the second half of the bottle. ABV is a bit numbing and the palate is slick. This beer is incredibly smooth and drinkable yet incredibly complex. It starts of sweet, chocolaty, full of licorice, molasses and roasted malts. As it warms and I continue to sip, more espresso, roasted flavors, hop bitterness, oak and alcohol come through. There is a really nice overlaying touch of bourbon in this beer but not enough to overpower the malt and hops, really balanced perfectly! The beer has maintained a nice roasty, bitter finish over the past three years. My palate is left incredibly numb and dry after each sip. I can't imagine what a fresh bottle must be like. This is really a great beer, delicious! I'd like to try more of Deschutes beers.


 1,330 characters

The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery
4.48 out of 5 based on 6,847 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!