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RATINGS: 1397   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.21   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 68   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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This special Reserve Series brew will only be offered December – February (limited distribution)
The Abyss: Stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasureable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
WVHouseofBeer (808) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - AUG 18, 2014
Pours an opaque black with a big tan head that leaves a lot of lacing. Wonderful aromas and flavors of licorice, cherry, chocolate, smoked nuts and just a hint of bourbon/alcohol. Full bodied and silky smooth. Awesome beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hawthorne00 (2410) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - AUG 16, 2014
2013 bottle. Black with a tan head that fades but laces very well. Intense roasted malt aroma with mocha, licorice, dark berries, molasses, oak. Oily, lowish carbonation, quite silky. Lots of bittersweet chocolate, roast is fairly heavy but not as full on as suggested by the smell. Berries have a touch of sourness about them. Bourbon notes peek out but beer is _just_ about driving the show, although the fruit and barrel treatments gain prominence after a while. Bitter and quite oaky at the end. A slow drinker but not overly boozy. Excellent - just lacks a bit of inviting softness and seems slightly contrived. But excellent. Best after today apparently, so mayhap there’s a timezone issue.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
jeremyh70 (693) - Missouri, USA - AUG 15, 2014
Pours completely opaque black with a dark tan head good lacing. Aroma of cherry, dark chocolate, licorice, umami, nuts and an ashy roastiness. Taste of molasses, dark chocolate, cherry, leather, a nuttiness, oak, vanilla and an ashy char. Finishes dry with a roasty bitterness. Mouthfeel is oily with a light/ medium body and low carbonation. An excellent stout with so much flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
kambei70 (588) - - AUG 15, 2014
2014 bottle. Jet black with a cinnamon brown head. Aroma is cherry, vanilla, tobacco, licorice. Taste has the same with molasses, oak, leather, ash. and roast. A light, slick mouthfeel. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
fluffy (1602) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2014
this one was a little thinner on the palate than i thought it was going to be. nice but not seeing what the fuss is for.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
wisdomsolo (438) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2014
Had this at a fantastic tasting and had such a great time with great people and great beers!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GRM (2968) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 1, 2014
Brown bottle, 1 pint 6 ounces, 2010 vintage, best after 11/15/11, trade with rfraga7 (thank you!), savoured on August 1 2014; eye: black, opaque, nice sheet of brown head that turns into a tiny ring, light lacing; nose: molasses, bourbon, woody, anise, light burnt barley, coffee, light alcohol; mouth: molasses, bourbon, woody, anise, light burnt barley, strong coffee, light alcohol, light alcohol warmth, light chocolate milk, finale in molasses with light pleasant acrid presence, full body, below-average carbonation, mildly bitter, lightly sweet, lightly acrid and lightly silky presence; overall: quite fine FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 1 pinte 6 onces, 11 %, millésime 2010, meilleure après 11/15/11, échange avec rfraga7 (thank you!), savourée le 1er août 2014; œil : noire, opaque, belle couverture de mousse brune qui se transforme en un petit anneau, légère dentelle; nez : mélasse, bourbon, boisé, anis, léger orge brûlée, café, léger alcool; bouche : mélasse, bourbon, boisé, anis, léger orge brûlée, café fort, léger alcool, léger chaleur d’alcool, léger lait au chocolat, finale en mélasse avec légère présence d’âcreté plaisante, corsée, carbonatation sous la moyenne, moyennement amère, très légèrement sucrée, texture légèrement âcre et légèrement soyeuse; en résumé : très bon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
swoopjones (5726) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2014
bottle, shared at Blue Monk. Fuller bodied black pour. dark chocolate, heavy roast, oak, bourbon notes. Black licorice. complex, delicious

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Homer321 (1871) - Rock Ridge, Florida, USA - JUL 20, 2014
Bottle at Beechner Blind Beer Bash. This one seemed to be a little more fruit forward than I was imagining it would be. Notes of cherry dominated the nose with a subtle chocolate background with some vanilla. Taste was just as fruity with a light stickiness and sweetness, but never evolved into much chocolate. Overall enjoyable, but something just seemed a bit too fruity.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
M82 (276) - Kansas, USA - JUL 18, 2014
A smooth, dark khaki head falls to a resilient cap with several mounds of large bubbles over a black body with minuscule fiery amber highlights

Aromas bring to mind some of the negative components of aged american imperial stout with all the burly, sour dark notes I’ve grown to recognize from the style at this age. The molasses and cherry bark are holding the back end together to offer a sweet cream and chocolate finish, but this is generally bad. Citrus rind and charred solvents balanced by oak barrels on a creamy, silky smooth, coating medium plus body.

I held onto about 4oz of 2013 Boulevard Imperial Stout to compare the more blended versions of this barrel aged imperial stout tasting. Good lord, the Boulevard tastes like chocolate cherry whiskey compared to this $15 bomber of let down. One of the most overrated beers I’ve ever had.

The problem I have with all aged hoppy stouts is the intensely harsh, overly abrasive citrus bitterness moving directly into coffee and dark chocolate with almost no blending agent. This dynamic makes for poor flavor, bringing aromas of cow shit to mind (having grown up around a cow farm).

22oz bottle of 2012 reserve served at 58º and warming into an Orrefors Difference Porter snifter

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