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RATINGS: 1514   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
masonjer (609) - Holt, Michigan, USA - MAR 10, 2008
UPDATED: JUL 28, 2008 Well, I was looking forward to this one. Poured a deep black into the glass, with a little light still showing through. Smell was dark chocolate and deeply roasted malt, as well as a little booze. Taste was nice and roasty, some black licorice, chocolate and a little coffee. This was nicely done, but a little dissapointing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JorisPPattyn (8389) - Ursel, BELGIUM - MAR 10, 2008
2007 edition - many thanks people! Huge creamy head, choco-mousse lookalike, fed by small but insistent pearling from black beer, and leaving textbook rings of dirty lace. Molasses, dry cacao powder, some ureum, used sportsshirts, and faraway wood, as well as spruce needle aromas. Very roasted, burnt flavours: grain, coffee, and in the end, burnt hops. Retronasal false liquorice sweetness, if just a hint, and some black chocolate. After some time, one starts to recognise some hops, greenery-like. Very slight astringency. Very creamy & rich-velvety texture, full-bodied being an euphemism. Alcohol very well hidden. What was all the fuzz about? Itís well crafted and reasonably complex, but then again, at 11% ABV that is not exactly a miracle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DenverLogan (862) - MileHi, Colorado, USA - MAR 10, 2008
Black; small brown head. Rich, burnt malt aroma. Very rich, burnt/toasty malts, bourbon, bitter chocolate, hops, subtle vanilla and chalk - with some aging gets really tasty and intriguing. Excellent overal for those seeking the dark side of beer richness. Tried numerous times in bottles over the past two seasons, and on tap recently at Churchillís and PP Carlsbad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
presario (4894) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 9, 2008
Big bottle via trade. Was it SSS (summer secret santa)? It was a great day for beer, a great tasting, the first of many. Unfortunately my ratings and most of my memory fell into The Abyss. I remember the black rich liquid, the brown head, the intoxicating effect of the beer. The silk tar sliding across my palate. And most of all my desire after losing my carefully crafted notes to find more, a lot more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
timfoolery (1124) - California, USA - MAR 9, 2008
Bottle from The Wine Smith in Placerville. This brew had excellent control on the palate, despite having complex flavors of chocolate, licorice, and molasses as a thick stout. There was also great balance on the amount of carbination and control of the ~87 BTU. It poured deep, used engine oil color with very limited head. Iíll buy this again in a second. One of the best from the US.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
NachlamSie (2942) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAR 9, 2008
Bomber, big shout out to Tronraner, the man responsible for putting this in my possession. Pouring this stuff is comical. Itís almost like a parody of imperial stouts, it is ridiculously thick and pitch black. Lacing on the goblet is like a wall and the head, though tiny, is brown. The aroma wasnít all that great at first, but this beer was way too cold. I got strong sweet, cola scents at first, but when this neared the appropriate serving temperature that disappeared and was replaced by pleasing espresso, cacao, earth, an ashy nuttiness, and molasses. Itís a wonder what temperature can do. But as complex and pleasing as the nose is on Abyss, it isnít strongly aromatic. The flavor is a different story altogether. It wallops my palate with dense espresso and a very drying bittersweetness. I was actually concerned this would be too sweet, given the addition of molasses, licorice, and the barrel aging, but it is not to sweet at all. Any sugary character is deep and is always countered by a heavy roasted or dry quality. Wow. This is seriously good. A few more sips and my palate is quite pleased. An almost milky quality is noticed along with hints at hickory. God, this stuff is thick.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mar (5011) - Dallas, Texas, USA - MAR 13, 2008
black pour with a chocolate brown head. sweet roasted malts, molasses and sugar on the nose. huge coffee and roasted malts, oak and some other stuff i canít name. not quite as thick as i was hoping but itís very easy and seems well balanced on the palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jcr (2320) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - MAR 11, 2008
2007 bottle. Nicely balanced, if not overly complex, imperial stout. Very drinkable. Opaque body with a deep tan head. It clings to the side of the glass like motor oil. The aroma is not as strong as I thought it would be, but there are notes of burnt malts, licorice, cherry, coffee and chocolate ó and a hint of fresh-cut oak. The flavor is moderately sweet and moderately to heavily bitter in the finish. Full body with a velvety texture. Moderate carbonation. Not as complex as Dark Lord and not as intense as Expedition, but a solid and thoroughly enjoyable imperial stout. Thanks Randy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
SDalkoholic (2223) - Linda Vista, California, USA - MAR 9, 2008
Bottle from Windy City Liquor. I was so very relieved after I got my hands on this bottle since I had been hearing about it for couple of months now. The aroma is a delighting smell of dark chocolate malts with a very tiny hint of cream or milk. The appearance is a pitch black stout rested in peace with a firm layer of head. The flavor is a strong and bold tasting of roasted malt but yet has a minor taste of chocolate still. The palate is rich and creamy which leaves behind an excellent finish along with a moderate dryness. This should have been distributed more than it was.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - MAR 9, 2008
Velvetty smooth. Choarcoal notes. Slight oak. Big chocolate. Very nice, and drinkable. Would like to sit down with a bottle and do this again.

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