Going back through my review notes, it seems I never wrote up my review of Deschutes Brewery‘s 2008 edition of The Abyss—a surprising oversight! And perhaps even a bit apropos, since the 2009 Abyss will be released in November (only three months away) and the Brewery just posted some photos on Flickr of The Abyss in barrels.
It’ll be November before you know it.
In the meantime, you can read my review of the 2007 Abyss to compare with the 2008 review below; I raved quite a bit about the 2007 bottle, and while I found the 2008 edition just as amazing, I actually think it was a little “hot”—like it hadn’t laid down long enough to let the alcohol flavors mellow a bit.
(Probably tasting pretty good by now, though…)
Appearance: Inky black, thick, with a muddy chocolate mousse head. Oily.
Smell: Smooth and creamy cocoa-powder-laced coffee. Sweet with a roasty, coffee edge to it. Molasses, hints of bourbon and charred wood… perhaps black licorice (but that could be the power of suggestion from the “licorice” mention on the label). Suggestion of prunes, black cherry?
Taste: Smoky, deep roasted malts with a very smooth bourbon-y kick. Deep, rich coffee notes, an overtone of burnt-wood astringency. As it warms the bourbon character becomes more prominent, followed by a sticky sweet flavor, not cloying and very pleasant. Very dark, very rich, fantastically complex.
Mouthfeel: Thick, full, viscous; very smooth, a coffee-syrup creaminess to it.
Overall: Phenomenal, as expected.