Deschutes 2011 Abyss: Don’t Fear the Wonders Within.

The Abyss is a strange and wonderful world.  It is full of magical and mystical creatures and all sorts of wonder and amazement.  Ask any Marine Biologist and they will tell you that we know almost nothing about the wonders this briny deep has hidden in the blackness.  So too was my first impression of Deschutes Brewing Abyss.

This year I got my first taste of Deschutes Abyss.  Their 10.5% ABV brewmaster series stout.  Man, where has this stuff been all my life!  Hiding in plain sight.  I even have a bottle from 2009 that I haven’t opened yet in the bunker.  Well, rest assured it will be opened this year!

I was lucky enough to get a growler of this at Brewforia.  What a find.  I picked it up Friday on National Growler Day last Friday, and man what a great deal!  For 10 bucks I purchased the little half growler (about 35 ounces) and filled it with this amazing beer.  that is less than I paid for a 22 oz bottle of it in 2009.

The pour on this brew was inky black with a very tan foam head that dissipated slowly and left a ton of lacing in its wake.

Its flavor was the best stout I have had since 2010 GABF!  And that is really saying a lot because I have drank a lot of really good stouts between then and now.  This beer started out sweet and well…stouty, with all the caramelly roasty vanilla flavors of a great stout.  About mid palate its huge malty backbone was evident with lots of roasty and nutty flavors with a hint of toasted marshmallow.  The finish is where you can taste the brewers licorice they brew this with.  Not an overwhelming licorice flavor, just enough to smooth out any rough edges, and completely integrate the alcohol flavor.  This stout is smoothness personified, mellow and big.  Kinda like …me 😉


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15 Comments on “Deschutes 2011 Abyss: Don’t Fear the Wonders Within.”

  1. johnking82
    December 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Thank you, I’m a big fan of this beer…and what a great price for a 35 ouncer!

    • Don
      December 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      It was a great price. What an amazing brew. This was my first taste, but it definitely won’t be my last!

    • Don
      December 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      Oh yeah…BEARS!

  2. December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Nice call on the toasted marshmallow! I totally get that now that you say it. Great beer. Let me know how you like the 2009. I recently had the ’10 on tap. I liked the ’11 better. So great that Brewforia has cuties now. I don’t get growlers that often because there’s no way I can finish a whole growler in an evening—even if you’re sharing with someone else. And growler beer is never as good the next day. 35 ounces is totally doable, though. I’ll be using my cutie quite a bit, I think.

    • Don
      December 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      Totally agree on the cuties! I never have owned a growler until now. 35 oz is pretty reasonable to put away, especially if you have someone to share it with, 64 on the other hand just becomes laborious. Looking forward to the 2009, but I hope I didn’t get one of the infected ones! I heard a bunch of them were no good. Here hoping!

  3. December 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Sounds like good stuff Don.

    • Don
      December 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

      It was! 🙂

  4. Jeff W
    December 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Been having a pint a day since it went on tap at Capone’s in Post Falls two weeks ago. I wish I could get my hands on a 1/2 BBL to squirrel away for a year. Brilliant beer. I did score a 1/2 BBL of the Super Snow Cap that we’ll break out next winter.

    Another trip north Don? 🙂

    • Don
      December 21, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Sounds like that needs to happen Jeff!

  5. Mark Moeller
    December 21, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    where/how have you honed your tasting skills over the years?

    • Don
      December 21, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Here, and poorly! 😉

      • December 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

        I think you do a hell of a lot better than “poorly.” I’ve always prided myself on my ability to hone in on good flavors and scents, but am constantly amazed at the flavor notes you find in your beers.

        • Don
          December 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

          Well Wayne, that is because we make it up as we go. 😉 I guess it just comes from writing about what we are drinking. We try to focus a bit more.

  6. Chris
    December 28, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    I’m from Iowa and visited Portland 2 years ago with y wife. We went to Deschutes and Widmer Brothers while we were there and I still can’t stop thinking about the 2009 Abyss I drank at Deschutes. I currently reside in OK, unfortunately, and haven’t seen it anywhere. Anyone know how to get ahold of a bottle?

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      I’m guessing eBay is your best shot. It is great stuff, good luck!

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