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RATINGS: 1414   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 – February (limited distribution)
The Abyss: Stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s 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 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
kambei70 (637) - - AUG 15, 2014
2014 bottle. Jet black with a cinnamon brown head. Aroma is cherry, vanilla, tobacco, licorice. Taste has the same with molasses, oak, leather, ash. and roast. A light, slick mouthfeel. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
fluffy (1750) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2014
this one was a little thinner on the palate than i thought it was going to be. nice but not seeing what the fuss is for.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
wisdomsolo (466) - St Petersburg, Florida, USA - AUG 7, 2014
Had this at a fantastic tasting and had such a great time with great people and great beers!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GRM (3053) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 1, 2014
Brown bottle, 1 pint 6 ounces, 2010 vintage, best after 11/15/11, trade with rfraga7 (thank you!), savoured on August 1 2014; eye: black, opaque, nice sheet of brown head that turns into a tiny ring, light lacing; nose: molasses, bourbon, woody, anise, light burnt barley, coffee, light alcohol; mouth: molasses, bourbon, woody, anise, light burnt barley, strong coffee, light alcohol, light alcohol warmth, light chocolate milk, finale in molasses with light pleasant acrid presence, full body, below-average carbonation, mildly bitter, lightly sweet, lightly acrid and lightly silky presence; overall: quite fine FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 1 pinte 6 onces, 11 %, millésime 2010, meilleure après 11/15/11, échange avec rfraga7 (thank you!), savourée le 1er août 2014; œil : noire, opaque, belle couverture de mousse brune qui se transforme en un petit anneau, légère dentelle; nez : mélasse, bourbon, boisé, anis, léger orge brûlée, café, léger alcool; bouche : mélasse, bourbon, boisé, anis, léger orge brûlée, café fort, léger alcool, léger chaleur d’alcool, léger lait au chocolat, finale en mélasse avec légère présence d’âcreté plaisante, corsée, carbonatation sous la moyenne, moyennement amère, très légèrement sucrée, texture légèrement âcre et légèrement soyeuse; en résumé : très bon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
swoopjones (6106) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2014
bottle, shared at Blue Monk. Fuller bodied black pour. dark chocolate, heavy roast, oak, bourbon notes. Black licorice. complex, delicious

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Homer321 (2035) - Rock Ridge, Florida, USA - JUL 20, 2014
Bottle at Beechner Blind Beer Bash. This one seemed to be a little more fruit forward than I was imagining it would be. Notes of cherry dominated the nose with a subtle chocolate background with some vanilla. Taste was just as fruity with a light stickiness and sweetness, but never evolved into much chocolate. Overall enjoyable, but something just seemed a bit too fruity.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
M82 (309) - Kansas, USA - JUL 18, 2014
A smooth, dark khaki head falls to a resilient cap with several mounds of large bubbles over a black body with minuscule fiery amber highlights

Aromas bring to mind some of the negative components of aged american imperial stout with all the burly, sour dark notes I’ve grown to recognize from the style at this age. The molasses and cherry bark are holding the back end together to offer a sweet cream and chocolate finish, but this is generally bad. Citrus rind and charred solvents balanced by oak barrels on a creamy, silky smooth, coating medium plus body.

I held onto about 4oz of 2013 Boulevard Imperial Stout to compare the more blended versions of this barrel aged imperial stout tasting. Good lord, the Boulevard tastes like chocolate cherry whiskey compared to this $15 bomber of let down. One of the most overrated beers I’ve ever had.

The problem I have with all aged hoppy stouts is the intensely harsh, overly abrasive citrus bitterness moving directly into coffee and dark chocolate with almost no blending agent. This dynamic makes for poor flavor, bringing aromas of cow shit to mind (having grown up around a cow farm).

22oz bottle of 2012 reserve served at 58º and warming into an Orrefors Difference Porter snifter

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JefVerstraete (1526) - Ghent, BELGIUM - JUL 17, 2014
2010 bottle. Oily pitch black colour, dark brown foam. Aroma of coffee and roasted malts with sweet notes from chocolate and molasses. Very good but I was expecting more, maybe too old?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PriorL (1988) - Gent, BELGIUM - JUL 13, 2014
Bottle at RBSG 2014. Thx to everyone for sharing today’s bottles! APPEARANCE: clear brown beer, smal unstable beige head. NOSE: hoppy, light sour, fruity, chocolate. TASTE: hoppy, chocolate, coffee, sweet, little sour.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
AirForceHops (3409) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 12, 2014
Part of a four year vertical. Big thanks to phatdog1 for putting this together!! For the sake of this review I am only reviewing the 2013. With a best after date of 08/16/14. Pitch black color with lasting mocha colored head. Aroma of licorice, coffee, and ash.

Flavor is really damn nice. Well hidden all goal under coffee, molasses, tobacco leaves and having a lingering licorice finish. After 3 oz. I also picked out a berry hint with oak. Oak is a light note as well as a light red wine hint. Body is creamy and full and what I look for in an imperial stout. Unreal stout that’s gets better with age, exceptional with a little bit of age. A year and half age is about peak. Fantastic

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