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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
90 96 80 13 60 111

Latest news for The Abyss
Deschutes: The Abyss is Coming
Press Release: Seven Deschutes Brewery Ales Win at 2011 World Beer Awards
Review by sunscar22 on 12/20/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2013
Could smell the bourbon right off the bat. Super dark, no light getting through this thing. So many different flavors come out in it that it's hard to describe. They all blend so well. The bourbon and alcohol come out on top but don't overwhelm the rest of the character of this awesome brew.

Served In: Snifter

Review by James Kitchens on 10/30/11  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 10 19 5 9 2007
2007 bottle, drinking while we carve pumpkins for Halloween. This one has held up VERY well with 4 years in the cellar. The chocolate notes and even the molasses have held up. We've had some heavy hitter stouts today,a nd this one may have been the best of the bunch.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by everetends on 06/21/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2008
Old Review

2008 vintage, 22 oz bomber thanks to Rhinos00 and Wetpaperbag. This is actually the one Rhinos00 sent me for bags's will be saved for a vertical one day. Thanks guys! This beer has been on my hit list for the longest time and it seems fitting for tonight. Hopefully it lives up to the hype and my expectations. Served up in my Terrapin snifter.

A: Well it pours what so many people often call that used motor oil pour. It had that thick consistency on the look with a nice semi-glossy black in color. Fitting name calling this the Abyss as far as appearance goes for sure. A pretty vigorous pour got me almost half a finger of ginger bread colored head. Sadly, said head did not stick around too long. Fizzled out to a thin ring and an oblong, bubbly elipse of a floater in the center. That ring does what it can to throw up some lace but the stick is not that great. All lace slowly oozes its way back down into the body. The culprit is probably the somewhat syrupy, clear film that easily sticks to the glass on each movement. I was expecting a bit more from this but I have to be realistic and give credit where credit is due. This is a fine looking RIS, but it has room for improvement for sure.

S: The aroma is nice for sure. Getting a nice woody presence coming out. Some nice oakiness in here mixing nicely with the roased malts. Lots of vanilla extract type smell coming out and this might be a bit of a negative. That strong vanilla smell mixed with the alcohol makes an almost chemical like aroma that could have ruined this if it wasn't for everything else going on in here. That strange sweetness that can only be licorice is coming out. A big presence of molasses is forcing its way through. Roasted coffee rounds it out with a slight bitterness and more roast to mingle with that oak. There is a slight fruitiness coming in on the backend and its difficult to put my finger on but it may just be rum soaked raisin. Lovely with just a slight negative in that chemical type smell. I have been going back and forth on whether to give this a 4 or 4.5. I think I will lean higher because the other aromas do make up for that one negative smell.

T: I am absolutely shocked and amazed that I didn't get any chocolate type aromas out of this when I get hit with a big time fudge presence on the first sip. I mean a serious, rich, milk chocolatey goodness. This works well because that is quickly chased by some deeply roasted, espresso coffee qualities that are complimented with a nutty type flavor (could it be hazelnut, my favorite?). Then you can taste that oaky character sliding in, mixing and bringing a touch of wood and vanilla in here. Sadly not getting much of the licorice in the flavor though. Molasses and brown sugar leave some sweetness behind. There is a touch of alcohol coming across that could absolutely use some age to thin out a bit. All in all, this works beautifully.

M: Full bodied with a really nice thickness and almost syrupy quality at times. This is thick. It sticks easily to the palate and it is chewy to keep in moving down the throat. It is as if you might need a second swallow for each sip. Still it remains silky in texture. Carbonation is light, as it should be, allowing this to be thick and a sipper. ABV is much lighter in presence as you would expect from an 11% brew. Aftertaste is all fudge and coffee. Those flavors are great and should be the ones that linger, leaving you wanting more.

D: I am not going to lie, this beer is dangerously close to being too sweet of a brew. But . . . it works incredibly. I have to constantly compose myself, keeping me from gulping and slurping. It is dangerously easy to pound. Flavors are great and so are the aromas. I am glad that you get some things in the aroma that you don't get in the taste and vice versa, but that shows this beer has more growing to do and has more hidden within. Leaves you optimistic to what this beer can offer with some time. That slight chemical smell is probably the only negative I can find, but I imagine with the alcohol fading, it too will with time. This is a fantastic brew and i look forward to aging the other I have. This can only get better.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 05-07-2009 05:54:49

Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 02/16/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 8 16 5 8 2007
22oz Bomber

2007 Bottling

I was lucky enough to get this in a recent trade, big thanks goes out to you Bill. Abyss gurgles from the bottle and appears as a black mass in my snifter. The tan head grew to one finger as I poured and left some quality drink lines after each sip. The head eventually falls to a skimming with a thick ring surrounding the body. A good looking stout for sure.

The aroma doesn't have as much of the noticeable barrel aging as I expected. As this beer warms the aroma gets better and better. I left this one sitting out of the fridge for probably 40 minutes before opening and still the aroma just keeps getting better. Each time I bury my nose in the glass I find myself inhaling healthy doses of roasted grains, freshly ground coffee, and molasses in order from most aggressive to least. Hints of anise, oak, and spicy alcohol make ghost like appearances here and there along with a solid pine hop presence toward the back.

Flavor follows in stride with the aroma. If you want to read about the flavor profile take a look at the paragraph above. Everything is smooth and balanced for such big flavors. I'm not sure of the IBUs but they're in a good place considering they're not only balancing out the malts but also making a show of themselves. There's a solid roasty bitterness on the swallow to create a good finish.

Body is full without a doubt. Starts off moderately full and as it works its way through becomes creamy and coating. Sluggish carbonation keeps this one working at it's own pace and lets each flavor work on the taste buds.

This beer sips along smoothly for an 11% monster but after I kill off this bomber it's going to be bedtime.

This is a beer to sip throughout the night. Another excellent Imperial Stout. The barrel aging was done very nicely for this beer. The barrel compliments instead of takes over like what happens with so many other barrel aged beers.

Reviewed: 2/9/08

Served In: Snifter

Review by indiv on 12/07/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 18 5 10 2009
My first review and a great beer to start off with!
It's been in my fridge so it's slowly getting up to temperature. When it's too cold it has a fishy smell, but as it warms it gets better with an irish cream mixed with roasted malts smell. The licorice root is definitely noticeable. However, if you've never had raw licorice root you will not recognize the smell. The bourbon and molasses are also quite strong. Nothing in this beer is weak, yet the flavors get along surprisingly well.
The best thing about this beer is the way it hides the alcohol. Besides that ABV voodoo, there's nothing crazy or unexpected going on here. But, it's doing everything right and with undeniable quality.

Price: $11.00 Served In: Tulip

Review by OlieIPA on 06/07/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 18 5 10 2007
Tonight was the third time I had the pleasure to sip on this thing of beauty....and everytime it has left me with a grin on my face. I would like to say thank you to my best friend for opening it up. Happy 23rd buddy!

Appearance: Poured thick and black with a beautiful 1 to 2 finger tan head. Lacing was viscous and long lasting.

Smell: Extremely complex. Heavy molasses aroma with hints of chocolate, brown sugar, and roasted coffee.

Taste: Man!!! Where do I start? The first thing that I noticed was the molasses and chocolate flavors of the beer, but as the liquid continued to invade my mouth other flavors and characteristics came through. Coffee like flavors followed by hints of black licorice were the next to come. The finish was long lasting and concluded with slight bitterness in my mouth. Alchohol was hidden very well giving me only a slight warming sensation in the back of my throat.

Mouthfeel: Coated mouth with creamy sensation; very light carbonation.

Overall: Simply put...the best beer I have had up to this point. I had the pleasure of trying the Dark Lord in the same weekend...and the Abyss is clearly my favorite out of the two. This beer is nearly perfect.

Price: $9.99 Served In: Pint Glass

Review by seaoflament on 03/22/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 10 17 5 8 2009
*Uploading my old reviews, this one has a review date of: 1-25-08. If I can acquire the beer again I will re-review it*

So I’m finally diving into the Abyss tonight. I’ve heard and read much about this beer and I finally get to try a fresh bottle, any vintage at all. Thanks to Joey for reserving a bottle for me ;o)

The 2007 Reserve is a blend of 33% of oak and oak bourbon barrels. Served at around cellar temp.

The color really is like looking into an Abyss, dark molasses, and heavily roasted coffee been colored syrup in a glass. A thick two inch head of foam trickles down slowly to the Abyss. There’s some lacing and very good retention.

Aroma is quite complex, but I pick up right away some coffee, molasses, oak wood, musty barrels, and roasted malts. There is also a heavy presence of woodsy licorice, earthy hop notes, dark fruits like figs, dried prunes, and raisins. Then a third layer reveals some cocoa, milk chocolate, hints of chocolate covered cherries, and vanilla beans. Some vinous aromas and green grapes as well.

Wow, the taste is just like the aroma and then some. Chocolate cereal, chocolate malts, oak, cocoa, dark fruits and a bit of alcohol. The finish has a dry chocolate, and roasted barley bitterness feel.

Mouthfeel is really creamy with a little fizzy carbonation to keep it from being too thick. This definitely is a heavy beer, and a meal in itself.

The Abyss is a good beer, a very good sipping beer, but I think it can get even better with age and that is one thing I am looking forward to. The flavors seem a little rough and grainy but I’m sure these will settle within a couple months.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by odeed on 09/12/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 2 9 18 3 8 2006
after waiting almost a month i finally get to try this bad boy.pours a big black body with red highlights showing around the glass.the head was a super dark brown that left heavy lacing on the glass as it sat.aroma mixes up vanilla,bourbon,oak,coffee,chocolate,roasted malts.....damn it just keeps going and going.did i mention cocoa,mocha,and gram crackers?the first sip put me in impy stout heaven.all the characteristics of the aroma with a nice hop finish.the alcohol is well hidden and the barrel aging compliments the brew,instead of overpowering it.the mouth feel coats my tounge and throat for minutes after a sip.this is awsome.....nuff said.(2007 BOTTLE SHARED WITH FOOTBALM AND IRISHBOY)wow what happened to this beer?i couldnt really grab anything from the the nose and i got no oak or bourbon from the flavor.this is a night and day difference from last yeras give it a 3.9 at best.

Price: $5.00 Served In: Snifter

Review by nase on 03/07/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 10 18 5 10 2006

Price: $12.00 Served In: Snifter

Review by Tip Top on 12/29/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
96 3 11 20 5 9 0
Review from 01/18/07

This beer was pulled from the fridge and stood on the counter until it just had a slight chill. Probably 55-60 degrees is my best estimation.

A - I don't usually talk about the packaging, but I love the dark, matte style label that was on the bottle with a nice black wax dipped top. The name of this beer is very appropriate as this beer is black black black. Nice one finger cocoa head floating on the top and not going anywhere. Great lacing the whole way down the glass.

S - Big roasted dark malt, chocolate, light hoppiness and an ever so slight scent of vanilla, likely from the oak. Oddly enough, I didn't pick up any of the bourbon scent.

T - Your tongue really goes on a ride with this one. At different stages you get all of the following in very distinctive waves (too bad this review is from notes and I don't clearly have the order written down). Light coffee bitterness, molasses and rich chocolate, dark roasted malts, light bourbon. The difference between this beer and other bourbon barrel aged beers is that many tend to go overboard with the bourbon and overcome all the other great flavors, whereas this one does it perfectly, imo. Great balance between everything and the barrel aging just adds to it instead of overtaking the beer.

M - Rich and full bodied. Smooth and silky feel to this. Velvety.

D - This is dangerously drinkable for a big beer and one of my favorite big stouts. I would love to taste it side by side with some other great ones as I think that it will stack up very well. Best beer I have had in a while.

A big thanks goes out to Duckboy for sending me this fine brew.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tangfoot on 11/26/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
96 3 12 18 5 10 0
Incidentals: A celebration beer. In honor of finishing up my last college class. Wax-sealed bottle, 2006 Reserve.

Appearance: Inky black black with a one-finger dark tan head that dissipated in to a very fine layer of film and left behind good lacing.

Smell: Oh, wow! Bourbon, roasty malt, coffee, and more! It is simply beautiful.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, chewy, strong. Whoa.
This beer is an amazing concoction that just won't quit. It is crazy powerful, and just keeps going. The only tick against it is that it doesn't have as much of a RIS bite than would be expected of the style. The aging may have actually smoothed it out too much, if this is possible.

Drinkability: A permanent resident of my Wants. If you know of anyone who has this beer in stock, become friends with them, quickly.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tavernjef on 11/22/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 4 10 0
Thick vicious pour thats incredible to watch unfold its heft into the chalice. Sits black and thick as newly wettened tar and caps the top with a roof of dark brown foam that's thick, spongy, and lush. Inky glared stings of lace fling about after each sip.

Aroma is thick and oaky with a dark chocolate heft over a tang of rich molasses, cherry, fig, and the ever present oaky bourbon scent that helps add a bit a of wondefully fulfilling, nose whirling, heat. Trace of burnt coffee ensues with a nice addition to the profile.

Taste is immaculately woven with dark chocolate and a smoothly thick, lush body tranfused with all sorts of vanilla, molasses, coffee, and bourbon oakyness. A very well balanced and heavy treat. The chocolate is tenderly bittered with the heat and quite dark in its efforts. Anything and everything dark from the cocoa bean has been placed in every inch of its flavor. Spiced with a touch of peppery hops, coffee, and a terrific, if not down right perfect notion of bourbon hints wavered all throughout the chocolatey body.

This is some pretty thick stuff, noticed in the pour, felt on the palate, and rendered in the gut. Smooth and velvety, thick, lush, and firm with a great creamy sense of chocolate and cream. Nice feathery spiced finish that stays creamy and enduced within a deep, darl chocolatey depth thats quite incredible to behold. It really makes a solid impression.

A supurb stout!! Wonderfully thick, chocolatey, and lasting with a great impression of a well made brew. Deschutes has themselves a big time winner with this one! Wow!

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Kegergator on 11/21/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 12 18 4 9 0
Awesome pour out of this bad boy. Foamed up to about ahlf of the glass, and then settled out and into a lacy head. Smell is great. Poured it and I could smell it even when i set it on the other side of the table. Lots of roasts, and alcohol in the nose. Whoa, alcohol everywhere once this bad boy warms up. Esp. the bourbon, it’s there, just not overwhelming Awesome brew Duckboy, thanks.

Served In: Pint Glass

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