Review: The Abyss (2010), Deschutes Brewery

The Abyss
Deschutes Brewery — Bend, OR

  • Style:  Imperial Stout
  • Bitterness: 65 IBU
  • ABV: 11.0%
  • Malts:  Not provided
  • Hops:  Not provided
  • Sampled: 22 oz. waxed dipped bottle  (full disclosure — sample provided by Deschutes Brewery)

Description:  "The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce. 2010 marks the fifth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout."  — Deschutes Brewery

Random thoughts:   This Deschutes Reserve Series beer was released in December.  This is one of five Imperial Stouts I'm profiling.  The label has a “best after” date of 11/15/2011.  While I had no intention of waiting almost a year to write this review, I was hoping to let it age for a few more months.  Oh, well.

The tasting:  Essentially black in color with a dark tan head that dissipated slowly.  Amazing aroma full of coffee, molasses, vanilla, and bourbon.  The flavor has many layers and I noticed different things as it warmed up.  I tasted molasses, roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate.  It’s heavy in body and lightly carbonated.  It has a very creamy mouth feel and is incredibly smooth!  It finishes with roasted malts and some alcohol that provides a nice warming touch.  For an 11% ABV beer, the alcohol is very well hidden. It's incredibly drinkable now and I can only imagine how great it will taste in a year!

I usually don’t eat food when I sample beer.   However, after I jotted down my tasting notes, I paired The Abyss with dark chocolate and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. They tasted amazing together!  I will go so far as to say The Abyss can stand toe-to-toe with cold milk as the perfect accompaniment for chocolaty desserts!      

Rating:  5 star.  Liquid Perfection!   The Abyss is an extraordinary beer that lives up to the hype.  I bought a bottle to age and will wait at least one year before opening it.  I can't wait to see how it evolves.  If you like Imperial Stouts (or just great beers), I highly recommended picking up a bottle (or more) of The Abyss ‘10.  You’re in luck because it’s still available.  I just saw it the other day at two local grocery stores for roughly $12.50.  So go pick up a bottle—you won’t be sorry! 
Have you tried The Abyss?  What did you think of it? 

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  1. Not too bad to get a free bottle of The Abyss to review. I have not had the chance to try it, but look forward to getting a bottle when I get the chance. I have heard so much about each year (some winners, some losers) so it is good to hear 2010 was a good year

  2. Jay, this was the first year I tasted it, so I can't compare to past years. But 2010 was a winner in my book! I'd buy a whole case to cellar, if I could.

  3. Now this is a great beer. Loved every drop.


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