We did manage to get to The Abyss 2012 Release Party yesterday in time to get a flight of 2008-2012 The Abyss as I was mentioning in my Deschutes Brewery University: Barrel-Aged Beer event post. Our friend who was most interested said she could go after 12 noon so we packed up and headed down to the brew pub for lunch.
Before I get into my short tasting notes I want to give you the info they provided us for The Abyss 2012, which is the seventh release (2006-2012):
- ABV: 11.0% IBUs: 70
- Malt: Pale, Black, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Wheat
- Hops: Millennium, Nugget, Styrian, Northern Brewer
- Brewed with: Blackstrap Molasses & Brewer’s Licorice
- Dry-Hopped with: Vanilla Beans & Cherry Bark
- Barrel-Aging: (28%) 6 months in Bourbon, Oregon Oak, and Pinot Noir
- Tasting Notes: Best served at 50-55 degrees. Vanilla, Chocolate, Dark Fruit, Caramel, Toffe, and Espresso
- Cellaring Notes: Store at 45 degrees in a dark place. Constant temperature is key to proper cellaring. Drink within 5 to 7 years.
- Beer Advocate Rating: A+ World Class
- Rate Beer Rating: 100 Overall
- 2012 World Beer Awards: World’s Best Stout & Porter
[See http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/brew/the-abyss for more awards]
In the pictures: Back row – left 2008, mid 2009, right 2010; front row – left 2011, mid 2012, right truffle
- 2008 Thick. Caramel. Roasted malt. Little change after truffle. Excellent!
- 2009 thick. Tobacco and leather. Slight bourbon. After truffle a bit darker. Amazing!
- 2010 Little aroma. Slight bourbon, strong wine flavor. After truffle a tad smoother.
- 2011 Smells slightly smoky. Definite bourbon taste.
- 2012 Thick.
As you can see, my words sometimes escape me. That is the order we tasted them in, oldest to youngest. By the time I got to the newer ones and having had some truffle already it made no sense to do “after truffle” tastings on them as I had truffle permeating my mouth. The only palate cleanser I had was water.
2008 and 2009 were my favorites by far. 2011 was also very good. 2010 was also very drinkable and given another year or three may become something very special. 2012 needs to age a few years. Don’t get me wrong, it is a tasty beer. Is it the best stout or porter in the world? Nope. Not at all.
I have revised my opinion of The Abyss upward a bit from the other night but I’m still going on record with the claim that Black Butte XXIV—also ‘fresh’ this year—is better and that Midnight Sun’s Berserker Imperial Stout is what The Abyss 2010 dreams of becoming in a few more years.
I did get myself a hoodie sweathshirt and two bombers for the Cellar. Our friend also took two bottles home.
One last thing. I want to give props to Deschutes Brewery and their social media coordinator, Gina. There was some confusion over the officially published times for the availability of the limited number of flights. We had made plans with assorted friends to try and make it together and then the time changed. Sara and I both tweeted Deschutes to ask what was up with the time and to register a bit of disappointment. We got a quick response apologizing for the confusion and contact info in case we were unable to get the flights we were hoping for. Yesterday, after our plans changed and we made it, I emailed Gina to thank her and let her know we had been successful. She again apologized for the confusion and offered me a token. I turned it down as it was never about getting something from a situation that can too easily arise in our busy and complex lives. I think Deschutes does a great job with their social media presence and website and we generally know when things are happening. So, just wanted to give a shout out to Gina and Deschutes. Thank you!