“Deschutes”:http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/default.aspx, one of my favorite breweries, makes an Imperial Stout called “The Abyss”:http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/Brews/Reserve+Series/default.aspx in their “Reserve Series”. It’s brewed with licorice and molasses and is aged in oak bourbon barrels so I was really looking forward to it. I had the 2007 vintage last night:

Deschutes The Abyss

The bottle is dipped in black wax making it hard to open. The label reads:

bq. It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. This imperial stout has the immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich complex profile. The flavor of this special brew draws you further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.

It’s a heavy beer that smells like a big red wine and tastes slightly sweet, presumably from the molasses, and chocolatey, like a good Imperial stout. There was lots of bitterness, but not as powerful as the 65 IBUs that they say it is. And the aftertaste stays with you for a while, so it took me a good hour-and-a-half to drink it. That’s good, because at 11% alcohol you don’t want to drink it quickly.

It’s rated in the 100th percentile (!) and a “4.17 on RateBeer”:http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/deschutes-the-abyss/65832/ and an “A+ on BeerAdvocate”:http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/63/34420. I can’t argue with either site. This is a great beer.