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RATINGS: 1475   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 68   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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This special Reserve Series brew will only be offered December Ė February (limited distribution)
The Abyss: Stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. Itís dark. Itís deep. Itís 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 18/20
trevor211 (1382) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 12, 2008
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2008 This is by far the biggest, richest and darkest beer Iíve ever tasted. As a good friend of mine put it, it made a Stone Imperial Russian Stout we had afterward taste like Budweiser. It pours like motor oil. Black. Not dark brown, black... with just a bit of a coffee-colored head that doesnít stick around long. Initial aroma of yeasty chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, soy sauce and molasses - and it opens up beautifully as it warms. The first thing you notice on the first taste is the mouthfeel - itís so thick and viscous that itís syrupy, and coats your mouth beautifully with initial flavors of dark-roasted coffee, molasses and licorice, with just a hint of oak from the barrels. Sweet at first, but it leaves a dry, bitter aftertaste that lingers forever in your mouth. The alcohol is hidden completely. Iím still not a huge fan of stouts, but this is by far the best Iíve had - itís a trip. RE-RATE 11.28.08. 2008 bottle. I managed to get my hands on a few bottles of this year’s release, and I have to bump up my score for this brew a few notches. I’ve developed a taste for stouts, and this one might just take the cake. 100% opaque, even around the edges. Great chocolate head. The flavors are as I described last year (above), with a bit of bourbon, too... but what strikes me is how incredibly smooth this brew manages to be for how huge it is. It does for Imp. stouts what Pliny does for Imp. IPAs. Just utterly fantastic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DoubleBubble (107) - Mescal Lakes (wherever that is), Arizona, USA - APR 12, 2008
Pours a dark brown with a 1" mocha head that disappears quickly. Very spotty lacing. Aroma of roasty malts, licorice, dark esters, and chocolate. Flavors of molasses, roasty malts, light chocolate, licorice, and dark esters. Sweet and a little dry. Taste the alcohol a little, but definitely feel the warming sensation of the alcohol on the way down.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - APR 10, 2008
Bottle courtesy tpd975. Pours blackwith a small but lasting tan head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of molasses, roasted malt, coffee, licorice, oak, dark fruit, caramel, and bourbon. Taste is the same as aroma. Full oily wonderfull mouthfeel with a moderate amount of bitterness and very well hidden alcohol. One of the best Imperial Stouts ever.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - APR 9, 2008
Now THIS is a top 50 imperial stout which actually lives up to they hype. The description (1/3rd oak-aged, molasses, licorice) makes it sound like a bit of a dogís breakfast, but this is decidedly subtle. To the extent that such a huge beer can be subtle at least. No piney American hops or weird bourbon character here, the dominant character is immense, rich, espresso-like maltiness. Not so much the high-end roasty notes, more the middle-ground toasty, walnutty elements of a really good, concentrated long black. It tastes like brown malt to me, but who knows. British hop pellets in the aroma, with some hay and perhaps licorice (not sure of the power of suggestion element here). Just so intense and rich and concentrated, without any weirdness. Massively rich, smooth mouthfeel too. Has a real element of class about it that most American (and other) imperial stouts lack. Top darts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ironchefscott (357) - portland, Oregon, USA - APR 8, 2008
a damn good irs.....mid bodied in the grand scheme of things.....donít drink your bourban county stout before this....it is super complex and a great beer...too bad they did not make more......

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Boutip (4964) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - APR 8, 2008
Bottle courtesy of Bchung52077: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a huge dark brown color foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of vanilla, light smoke and huge black chocolate notes is pretty intense but well balance as well. Taste is a sublime mix between some black chocolate, some light smoke, molasses, some oak and bourbon. This is a very well balance mix with no flavour taking over and completely overshadowing the rest of the flavours. Body is full with engine oil consistency but with a creamy texture as well and good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not being a big fan of imperial stout usually I must admit that I was really impressed by the craftsmanship of this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
holdenn (2085) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 7, 2008
UPDATED: APR 17, 2009 2007 22oz bottle enjoyed at An Evening with Pantanap #4. Pours black with a creamy brown head. Nose is lots of chocolate with some roasted and toasted biscuit malts. Creamy roast and chocolate flavors. The subtler notes were of coffee, dark fruit, molasses and vanilla. The bittersweet chocolate has a bit of a chalky flavor to it. Finishes really dry. Good beer, but Iím not blown away by this one.

í06 and 08 side by side thanks to xnoxhatex and 17th floor. Both pour a dark black with a beige head. 06 has a rich chocolatey nose thatís slightly ashy with molasses and bourbon. 08 is flatter with mostly just malt and some ash. 06 has roasted burnt ashy flavors that are slightly sour though not distracting. 08 is much more sweet and nutty, kinda hard to drink. The 06 was more enjoyable and better than most times iíve had it. 8/4/8/4/16 = 4.0 08ís sweetness and lack of depth made it not fun or too enjoyable. 7/4/7/3/12 = 3.3

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 7, 2008
This is the best imperial stout that I have ever tried. This beer is legendary. Just unbelievable!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Stew41 (1784) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - APR 5, 2008
Looks fantastic; very dark brown with a choc / orange head. Chocolate biscuit aromas (Oriel cookies?), roast, chocolate.....damn good. Bitter chocolate flavours early before some sweetness kicks in mid-palate. Very firm and tight flavours from this point onwards. Great length. So so young....this will live a long time.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
robinvboyer (3344) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - APR 4, 2008
jet black, looks like 10 year old motor oil. thick This is easily the biggest roasted malt aroma i have ever smelled. Not much hops, just malt. some slight coffee, and lots of chocolate. Flavour is very roasty, with big notes of chocolate, and coffee. the finish is soooooooo bitter. not mcuh going on with the oak aging, i cant really find much oak in here. but the finish is so bitter, and roasty, incredible stout.

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