Deschutes Abyss 2014

This is a special release beer from Deschutes that the owner specifically asked the brewmaster to put together using cherry bark and black strap molasses. It is a big Russian Imperial Stout to begin with and they add lots of molasses and at the end cherry bark and vanilla. Then they aged it in three different barrels, new oak, bourbon barrels and pinot noir barrels. The result is really something special. I’ve had a lot of stouts aged in bourbon barrels and not all of them are very good. This one has so much going on that it’s really unique. It pours very dark, truly almost black with a thick tan head. You can smell chocolate, roast, vanilla and some dark fruit in the aroma. The flavor is heavily chocolate with noticeable waves of vanilla, bourbon, cherry and oak. The flavor changes as it warms as well. The molasses adds a thickness to it as well that compliments the flavors. The cherry becomes more dominant as it gets warmer. It is a high ABV beer at 11%, but it is masked very well. In fact it can sneak up on you. I wouldn’t have this all the time. In fact I had it in May, but I would say it is a better cold weather beer. I did have some dark chocolate with it and highly recommend that pairing. I could also see having a big steak with this beer. I give it five out of five proper pints.

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