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RATINGS: 1358   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 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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
gkeh (134) - Texas, USA - FEB 16, 2014
On tap at Hay Merchant. 2012 edition. Pours very dark brown, dark tan head that slowly dissipates. Aroma is intensely complex: cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, a slight bitter note. Taste is sweet up front, roasty, burnt in the middle, and mildly bitter at the back. There is the slightest of bourbon taste, and I like it that way. It doesnít dominate the taste. It is slightly warm going down, though. Kind of a thick mouthfeel. Very smooth. Probably the best beer Iíve ever tasted.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
italarican (1425) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - FEB 11, 2014
2013 bottle generously shared at the RBWG grand tasting. Dark brown pour. Nose of dark chocolate and sambucca, a bit hot. Flavor is oak heavy with dark chocolate and sweet, sticky molasses in the finish. Not what I was hoping it was.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
maxwelldeux (3065) - Everett, Washington, USA - FEB 10, 2014
Wow did I want to start making love to this beer right when I was in the bar... Draught. Pours a gorgeous thick black color with a moderate darker tan head on it, and with nice lacing. Nose had just a little bit of bourbon that hits you up front. The strong roasting with just a hint of chocolate comes through the aroma afterwards. The taste is majestic - extremely smooth on the palate, and has a beautiful silky mix of roasting and chocolate, with just a hint of wood coming through.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
chinchill (1367) - South Carolina, USA - FEB 9, 2014
Pours opaque black. Both the aroma and flavor are amazingly complex yet balanced.. The complexity leads to different aspects of the brew coming forward in successive sniffs, with some featuring the wine barrel effects, another the BBL and yet another the dark roasted grains. Excellent sweet/bitter balance.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
xBEERxNOLA (54) - - FEB 8, 2014
Pour - black. No head Aroma - hint of whiskey Mouth - mild carb. Not as velvety or creamy as some. Taste - sweet wine like finish. Slight whiskey. Long finish. Little boozy. Would be better with age. Overall - excellent. One of my favorites.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kevinator (711) - The Colony, Texas, USA - FEB 3, 2014
Great. Roasted malt, some hops and molasses aromas. Maybe a little oak and bourbon as well. It had a lot going on. Very dark black color with a minimal tan head. This 2011 offering has blended well over the years with good carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel. Flavors were rich with a strong roasted bitterness that mixed with the hops. The lingering flavors were slightly sweet from bourbon and woody from the oak. This also had quite a kick.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
justsayswell (44) - Missouri, USA - JAN 30, 2014
Pours deep black, with a two-finger mahogany head. Licorice and oak on the nose. Bit of bourbon, smoke. Taste is coffee, a little wine, bourbon, vanilla, wood, smoke, burnt caramel. Lacing like rings on a prehistoric tree. Very nuanced beer. Mouthfeel is thick, viscous. Some hop bitterness, slightly sweet. Alcohol is well hidden, but creeps up quickly. This will end your night. And youíll like it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gEUS (890) - Linden, BELGIUM - JAN 26, 2014
Vertical of 07 08 10 11 12 at Sloshfest, thanks to Jeffo & Erik! In general: all intensely coloured and full of the good stuff in terms of aroma and flavour; full roast, deep sugars and malt, nice oak components - not too much bourbon - thank you lord! Liked the 2010 the most, followed by 2007, 2012 (still very fresh on the hops), 2011, 2008

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (3856) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 25, 2014
2006 22oz bottle, batch 1 drunk Summer of í09, at my Farewell to the beer scene tasting.
Compact, creamy, charred-beige head is very persistently retained, and tops an opaque, deep ebony body with dark brown edges. Moderate sediment in the bottle after 3 years rest.
A somewhat more subtle aroma for the style, not to be confused with a weak aroma, itís just not pouring forth with either heavy amounts of vinousness, nor sweet chocolate/malts. Rather, itís lightly smokey, with soft vanilla creaminess and some ashy roast notes. With warming, some barrel tannins emerge and mix with the light alcohol and roast, producing a liquorous-like warmth and complexity and rendering the nose quite dry. Long, dry black pepper and sweet bourbon lasts quite well.
Somewhat alcoholic and a bit sharp on the initial sip, with chocolatey malts and sweet vanilla notes softening it some. Not as tight a carbonation as I was imagining, leaving it a little bit watery on the end and providing for only a medium body relative to style. What it does do right is provide an ashen, chocolatey and bourbon-like flavor that is quite interesting, very unique. Hints of pruney vinousness on the finish, with touches of raw, grainy wood (alcohol and barrel tannins). As it warms, the flavors come together a bit better, though the sweet malts never integrate fully, leaving the beer a bit disjointed, especially due to the somewhat light mouthfeel.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
slimspady (166) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - JAN 24, 2014
2010 vintage. A bottle from íthe accidentí. Time in the closet has given this an amazing smoothness. So complex. Licorice and roasted malts and coffee bitterness. A surreal experience. Very hard to open the bottle. Thanks C.

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