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RATINGS: 1525   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 68   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
timfoolery (1125) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DTM (798) - Winters, California, USA - MAR 8, 2008
Timfoolery scored this bottle on a trip to El Dorado county. Smelled of licorice and brown sugar. It poured a used engine oil black and so thick that I thought I may have to chew it on the way down. Complex flavor, with sweet malty goodness matched perfectly with the right amount of hops. I enjoyed the journey

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ChazMania (659) - Oceanside, California, USA - MAR 7, 2008
Tap. Wow, this is delicious! Huge aroma and even more ginormous flavors. Molasses and malt and oaky burbon, all with a thick chewy coating presence on my tongue. Very complex and all around butt kicker of a beer. I had 2 full pints!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
wickedpete (634) - Lexington Park, Maryland, USA - MAR 6, 2008
Thanks to Shane for this one. Black body, small brown head quickly fades. Chocolate, buttered popcorn, and licorice aromas. Flavor is mostly chocolate, some bitter roast, chalky coffee, and a burnt character. Noticeable alcohol in the finish and somewhat abrasive.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Senormac (14) - Springfield, Oregon, USA - MAR 5, 2008
mmmmmm......beer !! This is the stout lovers stout! Even the bottle is cool with its wax sealed cap and deep brown lable. Has a nice aroma of warm eathy things. Creamy, vanilla, ....hints of deep dark things as yet undiscovered. Pours very dark even to the edge of the glass. Black....with nice moderate tan head. Flavor is completely inoffensive.....warm, deep, dark, actually un-bitter. Palates warm and creamy.......I canít think of a mark against this one. Finishes very nice and makes you want another taste. Strong !!! Overall a fantastic and pleasant experiance !!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - MAR 5, 2008
2007: I bought this off of bockyhorseThis is a very robust version of this style. Pouring next to black and thick as jerry curl. It throws off a decent head and reduces slowly leaving behind a nice spattered canopy. Strong aromas of heavily roasted malts and a very distinct nutty waffer which gives it a nice unique quality. Full nectar with good carbonation producing an almost creamy texture. I already feel a Trump coming on. First off this brew lacks the Bourbon essenceIím looking for. Itís mightily roasted shoving charcoal down my throat like a starved locomotive. Only mildly sweet with a defined hop component to help balance this monstrocity. Itís quite complex with heavy doses of leather, iodine, cocoa, barn blanket, copper kettle. The finish is long and bittered well. The high abv is undetected. Another classic to make itís way to AZ. Overall: Itís a classic but I am dissapointed about the lack of Bourbon flavor. Iíll have to Trump this one.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
illidurit (2244) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 5, 2008
Poured into my trusty snifter. I canít think of anything to which to compare the blackness here that hasnít been used a thousand times already (ink, midnight, motor oil), so suffice it to say this beer is really really black. The head is a devilishly dark tan that forms slowly through the viscosity, peaking at 2 fingersí height. It gradually shrivels back down to a hazy cap, leaving spotted lacing along the way. Aroma is deceptively sweet, a sirenís song that tempts you to indulge yourself. Powdery cocoa and milk chocolate tickle the nose, with faint notes of licorice. Thereís a lot to be said for the chocolate/coffee flavor dynamic of the RIS world, and there are lots of beers that manage greatness confined within that dynamic. But The Abyss is so much more. The chocolate emerges early on the palate and joins forces with the bittersweet bite of molasses. The licorice is fleeting but apparent, as the beer fades into a sublime roastiness. Itís never too sweet and never too roasty. Youíd never know that this beer is 11% abv but for the pleasant warmth in your chest. The body is thick and luxurious, but this beer still finishes dry. Carbonation is spot-on for the style and facilitates the velvety smoothness. Drinkability is immense for such a high gravity beer. The balance and synergy of the flavors make for a phenomenal brew. This beer deserves its hype and its rating.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChainGangGuy (4559) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 4, 2008
2008 Bottle. Appearance: Pours a black body with a small, fizzy, short-lived dark tan head. Smell: Aroma of dark roasted malts with notes of licorice, molasses, and a shot of alcohol. A good measure of oak in there without overdoing it, which is always nice to see. Taste: Flavor loaded with roasted dark maltiness. Plenty of dark chocolate syrup, toasted marshmallows, and spicy anise. Relatively mild sweetness throughout. A taste of coffee that grows exponentially as it warms. Reasonable oaky presence. A strong, earthy bitterness helps balance the heavy malt. Tiny hints of bourbon. Chewy, earthy finish. Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Drinkability: Seriously, this is a fairly well-made imperial stout. Absolutely stupendous? Nah, but better than most.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopslovin (194) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAR 2, 2008
2008 Bottle. Courtesy of Enzofan. Ink black pour with thick foamy tan head. Great lace. Chocolate, roast, slight green apple aroma. Chocolate flavors and roast dominate. Slight smokiness in there as well. Full velvety mouthfeel. Smooth, warming finish. Very good, but a bit over-hyped.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RoyceH (1197) - Hesperange, LUXEMBOURG - MAR 2, 2008
Bottle at cgarvieukís sunday sojourn. Nose is woody malt, some hops, very dry. Taste is malty coffee, cotton wool, some malt, but a bit 1D. Coffee malts last in the mouth. Good.

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