Sunday, May 24, 2015

Deschutes The Abyss 2014 Reserve

The Deschutes Brewery is in Bend, Oregon and they have been brewing since 1988. This is an 11.1% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark and vanilla. Six percent of it is aged in oak bourbon barrels, eleven percent in plain oak barrels, and another eleven percent in oak wine barrels. The bottle says it is best AFTER (not before) November 10, 2015.   When I tried the 2013 Abyss, I liked it better before, so let's give this one a try too.

The beer pours as black as, well, black strap molasses. There is nearly an inch of light brown foam. The aroma is like the ingredient list, dark and rich molasses, cherry, red wine, with a light woodiness, and a light spicy note of black licorice on the end. The taste is very dark roasted malt, char, light licorice, with the cherry and wine being less evident than in the aroma. The finish is dry, with a moderate bitterness. The beer is warming without being boozy. This is really nice, but I liked the 2013 version better.  I wish more of the cherry and wine that are in the aroma came through in the flavor. 

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