Tuesday, February 15, 2011

San Francisco Preview - Deschutes The Abyss

I'm finally back from San Francisco and, man, without even really concentrating on beer events (my wife may disagree but I stand by this statement!), I got to try some amazing stuff. I've got a whole series of posts planned for the next few days, but I'll start off with a simple but delicious one, Deschutes The Abyss.
I've been super excited to try this one for a long while now but since Deschutes doesn't distribute to the East coast it takes some help.  Lucky for me, there was still plenty available in Noe Valley even though other parts of the city were all out.  As a result, I was able to bring a bottle home for later plus open a bottle to share and finally get to taste it.

Poured black with light brown head.  Smelled delicious, tons of chocolate and roast with a bit of vanilla.  Thick, chewy mouthfeel.  Flavors followed the nose and were just as intense.  Chocolate, licorice, vanilla with some oak and bourbon.  Definitely felt like there was some licorice and oak in the finish as well.  The base of Abyss is an imperial stout brewed with licorice and molasses which is blended with 33% of the same beer that was aged in oak bourbon barrels.  Since it only has a third aged in barrels, the bourbon and oak blend rather than overpower which makes it so much more enjoyable for me.  Very impressed with this one and really glad I have a second bottle.

Look for even more stuff in the next few days.  We visited four breweries, drank some beers at Toronado, and went to a couple bars.  Just awesome beers and all stuff I can't find over here in Philly.  I even brought back six bottles of stuff I can't find in the area.  Great trip and you can read all about it soon enough.


  1. Ha! Sure felt like we were "concentrating on beer events" to me. I would be afraid to hang out with you when you ARE concentrating your efforts on beer! But, I have to say, the beer events I went to with you guys were surprisingly fun! Quite the decadent weekend.

  2. haha, fair enough. But on Friday we spent all day doing wine stuff. And we needed food Sunday! See, I can explain everything away. =)