Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1645   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.2/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 68   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
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.

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MadDogMD's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MadDogMD (215) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - FEB 10, 2013
One of the best stouts, ever. Everything I want from a big RIS: bitter chocolate, licorice, coffee, roast, minimal carbonation, oily mouthfeel. Just great.

jhking34 (25) - - DEC 12, 2017
Cavtat and lokrum Mostar Kravika (waterfalls) Kotor Peljesac (wine) Elafiti Mostar Rade Bitange 18, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina Konaba Taurus ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Hanuta06 (488) - Washington, USA - NOV 24, 2017
Serving: from 2016 bottle.

Aroma: moderate cocoa.

Appearance: large, frothy, brown initial head with good lace and mostly diminishing longevity.

Taste: heavily sweet, bourbon and chocolate initial flavor and heavily sweet, bourbon finish with average duration.

Palate: full body with syrupy texture and soft carbonation.

Overall: excellent flavor

rdixon77 (3066) - Georgia, USA - NOV 22, 2017
Thanks Yetsko for bringing me a vintage 2012 bottle. Rich complex stout. Chocolate, dark fruit, black licorice, slight smokiness. Very tasty!

CraftBeerNick (2881) - London Town, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 21, 2017
Tap at Surly Goat, West Hollywood, 21st November 17. Pours black, nice head. Aroma is roasty, malt, leather and liquorice. Taste is smooth, rich, bitter, leather, liquorice, not too sweet. Good beast.

Mesjasz (1666) - Lodz, POLAND - NOV 9, 2017
2016 bottle. Pretty roasty but also with nice sweetness. Some alcohol appear in flavor, lots of chocolate and roasty coffee.

darb85 (305) - Canton, Michigan, USA - NOV 4, 2017
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2017 sweet cherry? on nose. booze. thick pour with fast dispaiting head. thick mouth feel really coats tounge Coco and thick malty finish. roasty and smooth.

RoJo28 (99) - - NOV 3, 2017
Elegant yet brutal, like a Rolls Royce Phantom. Super refined. Sensational ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

Bill Becker (1912) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - NOV 2, 2017
From Jan 2008

I bought this locally at Poplar Wine & Spirits. At the case price, they're only US$10 apiece & tax so I got 2 cases.

It's the 2007 Reserve and comes in a wax dipped 22oz bomber. I wonder how difficult it's going to be to get it open?

Twas easy so....it pours a very near pitch black with a nice 1" head of tannish, creamy looking foam. The foam shrinks some but there's still a solid layer near the end of my session and...darn good lacing to be had here as well!

Taking a few whiffs, I notice notes of bourbon, dark chocolate(which is infusing a nice bitter aroma)and some coffee.

The first sip...the complexity literally explodes in my mouth and it's no where's near the temp that I like to drink my brews. Wow. I can definitely taste the bourbon and oak influence but the chocolate is just as powerful and there are tastes of toffee and molasses and when I swish the brew in my mouth, I notice the liqorice is there as well. My, what a tasty son of a gun! The abv is there, yeah, but for me, it's just some warming *after* the swallow. The mouthfeel is quite thick and chewy and the carbonation is fairly robust for the style but it works. The finish is pretty dry with that hot chocolate bitterness and the aftertaste lingers on for some time afterwards. Superb! And dangerously drinkable; I blame it on the smoothness if that can be looked upon as a negative comment. lol.

This is an *amazing* brew and I'm so happy that Mike at PW&S snatched up the 7 cases allotted for Casper. Why did he do that? Because that's the way he rolls. ;^)

Edit: 2009 Edition, best after Nov 1, 2010, cost of $12.85

Again, a near pitch black pour with over a finger head of tan foam. Lacing certainly is up to snuff.

The smell is loaded with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, both dark and milk..not much in the smell of any bourbon, unlike the 07 and 08 I had that were sampled equally fresh. Ok, it warmed up some and I now *can* smell the effects of what BBAging can do.

I say that until I actually taste it. Yep. The bourbon barrel aging is the first thing I notice. Second is a light flavour of licorice that I didn't get in the smell either. Both of those give some way to delicious roastiness, coffee, milk and dark chocolate the latter of which adds some good bitterness....as usual. Ha. This is a very consistent product put out by Deschutes and that pleases me to no end. I earnestly think what ever hype is generated by The Abyss is genuinely earned.

Full bodied as it's older kin, with medium carbonation, it has yet again a great mouthfeel. Smooth as silk with the 11%abv kept in check.

Drinkability? What can I say? This has the sort of drinkability that most brewers would love to see their consumer friends boast about. Especially for a brew that is quite the heavyweight when it comes to the abv. Deschutes and me? We are like that...picture me and some Deschutes rep giving each other the high 5. :^)

Ok, back to the serious "stuff". I can't change my previous rating at all. The smell was the minorest weakest link in the 07 and that holds true for the 09 as well.

A tip of my virtual hat goes off to Mike at Poplar Wine & Spirits again for thinking of me and the other 2? peeps(that I know of) who appreciate the finer things in life when it comes to beer

Edit: Subsequent samples of the 2009 revealed a distinct sourness that has no place in The Abyss; commendably acknowledged by Deschutes. Sipping on my first 2010 and my faith is restored! Not that I ever lost it. Deschutes is first class all the way. Anywho, the 2010 is divine and backs up fully why I rated this beer as high as I did, and I do. A magnificent brew that deserves to be in the top 10 of anyone's list of top Stouts and top brews in general.

thepatrickman (1503) - Lewes, East Sussex, ENGLAND - OCT 18, 2017
2012 and 2013 bottles, split with a friend. A great example of the big, brash imperial stouts that dominate the rating boards -- it's viscous and moderately sweet, with a lot of complexity from the licorice and especially the oak barrels. Undeniably really very good.

Itzjerm (3136) - Taft, Tennessee, USA - OCT 8, 2017
2015 version on tap in Oregon. Nice complexity with your typical imperial stout levels of sweetness chocolate burnt grains and then some bourbon notes from barrels. The age improves this over a typical Abyss. Nice head enjoyable.

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