Monday, November 21, 2011

2007 Deschutes Abyss

This is definitely becoming the season for the Russian Imperial Stout boys and girls, and I can think of no better way to toast, or flip the bird to (if your a summer person as is yours truly) the coming of the dark months, than with the legendary Deschutes Abyss.  This has been the week of popping the aged ones, as I've dug into a Boulevard Imperial Stout that's been down for a couple of years, now this one, and a couple more lined up for the holiday weekend. 

This is a 2007 Vintage I obtained in a trade about three years ago (released January 2008 [approx 350 BBL]).  A bit hesitant to pop the cap, but here goes...

Splendid carbonation despite its age.  The dark mocha head stands proud, but eventually yields, leaving a choppy ring of froth around the glass.  Black through and through with no light penetration. 

Aromatically complex with profound sweet and dark chocolate notes that fuse with dark cherries, black licorice, peat, and a profound barrel-aged smokiness that has A+ stamped all over it.

Flavor is precise with more sweet chocolates, cocoa nibs, roasted coffee beans and a nice smack of smokiness.  As it warms a few plum and raisin notes appear, as well as the molasses (as noted on the label), that adds new and welcomed elements to the palate.

The Abyss is not as hefty as one might think; lying somewhere between medium and heavy.  Smooth as silk with that smoky edge that keeps everything interesting, and with a near total lack of alcohol heat that is astonishing because of the 11% of ABV hidden inside.

A stylistically perfect, flavorful, highly drinkable, and no worse for the wear beer for the ages.

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