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RATINGS: 1436   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 68   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
theisti (3297) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - JAN 31, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 5, 2012 <<<RE-RATE 6/9/08>>>
2006 Reserve (Batch 1)
Bottle courtesy of after4ever. Pour is all black with great settling and a gorgeous dark tan head. Beautiful beer. Aroma of roasted malts, earthy tobacco and some sweetness - honey, perhaps, but really sticky honey. Taste is the roast, mostly, but some really interesting pine bitter hoppiness gets added to the mix. The honey sweetness from the nose is not present in the taste. Very smooth, very melded flavors. This was an effective amount of aging for this one. Nice beer, thanks for grabbing this one for me Tom. Rating unchanged from previous. (8,5,9,4,17 - 4.3)

<<<ORIGINAL RATING 1/31/08>>>

2007 Reserve (Batch 2)
22 oz bottle shared by MaltOMeal, 8th bottle sampled at the 1/28 Houston tasting. Pour is solid black, with a 1/2 inch khaki head. Aroma of oak woodiness and some charred / burning maltiness. Taste is big coffee roastiness initially, transitioning to some licorice, finishing in a crisp bright hoppiness. Some heat in the finish. Despite the young age, and apparent heat in the finish this is a very refined and well put together beer. the flavors swirled nicely as this warmed, and had a really deep complexity. Huge thanks for sharing this one Bill, I thought it was a toss up between this and the 2008 Big Foot for beer of the night. (8,5,9,4,17 - 4.3) I will use this rating.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
lb4lb (2555) - Austin, Texas, USA - JAN 31, 2008
UPDATED: APR 17, 2014 Shared a friend?s ?06 alongside my ?07 and found the two to be very similar but I thought the flavors popped a bit more in the fresher version actually, although they were nearly indistinguishable.
Pours black as night with a short lived nice tan head. Smells like chocolate cake, graham crackers, fresh baked chocolate cookies, and unique for an imperial stout, also with a hint of molasses. Taste is drying cocoa, roastiness, light cigar like tobacco-y flavors and char. Simply fantastic. Body is creamy but slightly drying at the same time. Perfect light to medium carbonation and the 11% is completely hidden to me. This easily lives up to the hype and is an amazing beer. Wow...

On rerate I donít get the Graham cracker smell at all that I loved, on tap in this 2012 vintage in 2014 , or the complexity I loved from the 08 bottles I bought tons of. It still is good but it was missing a lot of the ashy, licorice, graham and cigar like nuances that made it so unique and one of my all time favorites. Still very tasty, and a nice dark chocolate like, roasty/burnt, and rich bodied beer that Iíd gladly revisit when I get the chance.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Theis (13804) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JAN 31, 2008
Bottle (Thanks Jens) at PlanB. Black - brown head. Bourbon, vanilla, coconut, chokolate, burned, sweetness, oak, high sticky sweetness. Lovely.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
thooper41 (548) - BELGIUM - JAN 30, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 9, 2008 22oz bottle: pours used motor oil black with a tan head that doesnt go away. aroma is rosted malty and hints of yeast. flavor hits you with a pretty hard roasted flavor then then the rest comes throguh the licorice comes throguh pretty well and its got a decent amoount of hops more then i have had in a stout but not bad at all. very solid beer. didnt taste any of the oak not to say it didnt change the beer just couldnt pick up the flavor. this is a very fine beer with a ton of time put into it and it shows. i poured all 22oz into one mug and sipping through it and till the very end the head is still there. i just cant see how people are talking this beer down. THIS IS THE STOUT OF ALL STOUTS!

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badlizard (5537) - Berkeley, California, USA - JAN 29, 2008
ON tap at the liarís club. Black with a creamy brown head. Roasty, chocolate, and coffee aroma. Sticky palate. Burnt roasty taste, dark choclate, fruit,burnt bitterness and alcoholic warmth to the finish.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SDbeerwench (1) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 29, 2008 does not count
After hearing about this beer for well over a year I thought my expectations would be too high. Not at all I love a good stout, and this my friends is a GREAT STOUT! Itís black as night and dry and finishes off sweet and inviting. This beer could warm your soul on the coldest of winter days but itís not to heavy to enjoy anytime.....(sip)... I freakin love this beer! Iím just gonna sip this slowly and enjoy it....lord knows if Iíll ever get another one!

4.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dmruth (25) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 28, 2008
22 oz. bottle. Pours extremely dark. Almost oily in appearance with minimal aroma, although there is the hint of alcohol. The flavor is powerful with the taste of black licorice, oak, chocolate, and malt. The beer has a full mouth. Overall I find this to be an excellent sipping beer. Worth it.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
asedzie (617) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 28, 2008
On tap at City Beer, SF. Pours black with tan head. Aroma is toasted malt, toffee, milk chocolate. Flavor is smokey cofee beans, light resiny bitternsss. Biting bitterness in the finish. Full, thick, chewy, oily mouthfeel.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beaver (1344) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 28, 2008
22 oz bottle. Pours a dark blackish brown with a frothy dark brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is more subdued than expected - roasted chocolate malts, strong oak with a little anise, nitrogen(?) and leather.

The flavor is strong overpowering black licorice at first with a little oak and sweet chocolate malts leading to a charred bitter finish. The alcohol is well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, I tend not to like the black licorice flavors, and this one has it strong. As it warms (or as I get used to it), the sweetness starts to balance it out.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
StefanSD (2194) - Lakeside, California, USA - JAN 27, 2008
650 ml bottle from Bev4less in Santee. Pours an opaque black color with a dark tan one finger head that lasts a short while and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is strong and complex with molasses, anise, coffee and cherries. The flavor was similarly complex with a good hop backing highlighting those same flavors found in the aroma. The mouthfeel was full, smooth and creamy, big malt presence at work here, this is damn near a beer that you can chew. The finish was long and smooth with lingering mocha coffee and a touch of alcohol. Overall: This beer has earned its hype, its good stuff. Highly recommended.


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