Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Deschutes Brewery - The Abyss (2012)

As you may or may not already know, Deschutes' The Abyss is my favorite beer. It was the one of the first Top 100 Beers I tried, and it's somehow remained my #1 for a long time now. Unfortunately, The Abyss gets snatched up pretty quickly every year down here, so I've only been able to acquire two bottles or fewer the last few years. This year, I was able to get four bottles, so I decided to do something I'd never done before. The Abyss lists a "best by" date of a year after the bottling date, and I've always stuck to that date in the past. But I've always wondered what this beer tastes like fresh. So here goes nothing...

Fresh Abyss pours that dense, pitch black color that I've become so familiar with. A nice one finger reddish-chestnut colored head forms on the pour and eventually settles down to a thin foam ring. I'm used to more muted smells from this beer, but I pick up huge oak aromas right off the bat. Along with the oak, I got big aromas of molasses, dark chocolate covered cherries, chocolate cake, vanilla and anise.

While the mouthfeel is noticeably thinner than aged versions, this is still one tasty beer. Upfront, there are big flavors of roasted malt, charred wood, and anise. There's a quick hint of sweetness that's reminiscent of fudge, but that quickly fades into the dark of espresso, burnt coffee grounds and some oak. This beer is definitely better with age, but it's still incredible fresh. It was definitely an experience seeing how bold the flavors are in this beer without a little age to them. Glad I tried this out.

Final Grade: A+

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 37

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