garmonbozia (450) - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA - MAR 3, 2009
Bottle coutesy of Sparky. Nice thick pour with husge licorace and molases taste. Tons of chocolate and malt. very smooth drinkablity. Damn Fine beer WisconsinBeer (716) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - MAR 1, 2009
Bottle. Pours a very deep blackish brown color with an espresso foam head. Flavor is roasted malt, chocolate malt, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, black licorice, earthy oak notes. Full bodied, a dry and thick beer. As the title of this beer says, deep and contemplative is the name of the game. Nicely done. Tripplebrew (778) - Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA - MAR 1, 2009
Pours a very opaque chocolate/espresso brown with tan head. Body is definitely roasted malts with chocolate tones with hints of vanilla. Flavor is chocolate and coffee with notes of hazelnut. Body is medium thick with fair carbonation. NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 1, 2009
Bottle 2008 from trade with stefanje, thanks! Pours a deep, dark black with a dark head that disappears. Nose is a touch hoppy and roasty, with chocolate and some vanilla coming through in the nose. Pretty standard IS nose. Rich, thick mouthfeel that carries a fair amount of hoppiness with it and the vanilla riding a wave of astringent and acrid notes. For the levels of bitterness going on, it does have a pretty deep sweetness. Smooth and pretty easy to drink. Good, but not top 5% IS to me. slowrunner77 (12804) - Reno, Nevada, USA - FEB 27, 2009
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2014 "appearance-pours as black as night. like motor oil with a brownish dark-burgundy head nose-smells of roasted chocolate malt, with a slight hint of bourbon, alcohol, & molasses mouthfeel-in a word...awesome. thick, smooth. Hannah had a tiny sip and literally chewed it (before asking for more, which we declined) flavor-near perfection. multi-layered. had some characteristics similar to other imperials such as Rasputin, but to the Nth degree. More everything, without being harsh or overpowering. Pretty stinking smooth and highly complex beer. We had it in a brandy snifter. Similar to the Black Butte XX, this was 33% barrel aged, and in both cases, I wished it was 50% at least. I think 100% is too much...it either mellows out the character of a beer too much or too much Bourbon flavor covers up the flavor of the beer. With 33%, the Black Butte XX (while still VERY good) was a little harsh, and the Abyss had just a touch of that. Now, I’m really nit-picking here. This beer was exceptional in every way. The "Lord Of The Rings" of imperial stouts. Among the best, but there is just a tiny bit of room for improvement. Easily my favorite imperial stout. But my favorite beer?
***wish there were separate entries for the different recipes/barreling. 4.8+ for the first couple years, 4.5 for the last 3...
blipp (9691) - La Mesa, California, USA - FEB 22, 2009
Bottle, 2008. Pours near black with a brown head. Roasted malt aroma, with sweeter notes of chocolate and molasses. The flavor starts with a good dose of roasted malts, and a moderate amount of bourbon and molasses sweetness. II love the subtlety of the bourbon in this one, it complements the other flavors without being overpowering. A nice floral hoppy bitterness reveals itself in the finish. Very good. Wipplewill (9) - , Alabama, USA - FEB 22, 2009 does not count
Bottled 2008, served 2/22/09, at 35 F in chilled Czech Pilsner glass, Pleasant aroma, brownish black appearance, frothy head, hint of chocolate, tinge of sweet, moderate bitterness, full body, thick texture, lively carbonation, long finish. Overall, lot to this beer, however a bit more on the bitter side for me. Anyone who likes bitter would like this one with its added flavors as well. blueturk (82) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - FEB 20, 2009
Bottled 2008, sample 2/20/09. Very dark and opaque. Tan/organish medium head. A very nice RIS that has woderful bourbon undertones and lots of chocholate in the nose and flavor. Some sweetness in the nose, and flavor. Bitterness is still a bit assertive and should blend nicely in the next 6-18 months. Wish I had more than one these babies! jkwalking05 (4745) - Arlington, Texas, USA - FEB 19, 2009
Black in color with a large tan head. Aroma is of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malts. Taste is of coffee, roasted malts, and oak. danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 15, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 20, 2010 Bottle. 2008 (Sampled 2/15/09). Pours a chocolaty black with a small tan had. Nose is very chocolaty with a nice bourbon tone. Tasty is even more chocolaty then the nose, a nice dark chocolate too. Bourbon note are very balanced not over the top in your face like they can be! Molasses and black licorice notes do build as you drink. Mouth is wonderfully creamy and warm, with a little bit of a bitter finish. Top 5 IRS, wonderfully complex and balanced.
Bottle of the 2009 sampled 12/20/2010. Bought at OTM last year. The appearance is a beautiful jet black with a huge foamy brown head. The aromas are black licorice, a sour note, loads of roasty malts, oatmeal, oak, bourbon. The flavors are complex, the initial entry is grainy with a lot of foamy head influence, the middle and finish are full and rich with a dark chocolate bliss. There’s some nice sour notes, barrel notes, great bourbon, molasses. Great full bodied and incredibly smooth and drinkable mouth. Just a great beer!!