Erie Better Beer – Deschutes The Abyss Old World (Sherry Barrel)
Here is another installment from the Erie Better Beer Bureau reviewing The Abyss Imperial Stout 80% aged in 30-60 year old Sherry Barrels.
All right. What’s going on guys?
This is Morey from the Erie Better Beer Bureau.
And I’m Brian. Tonight we have The Abyss Old World 2019. I’m going to pull an old guy because my eyes stink. This is coming in at, what did we say? 10.8.
10.8% ABV. This is an Imperial Stout brewed with black strap molasses, licorice, cherry bark, black pepper and whole vanilla beans aged in Sherry barrels, minus the sneezes in the background.
And I only know this because I saw it somewhere else, but usually these Abyss variants are 100% aged, in whatever barrels. Like last year they did, what was last year? Scotch and brandy, or was it rum? It was rum.
Yeah, I think so.
And what was the other barrel? Brandy? No. Tequila?
It wasn’t a port.
Was it tequila last year?
Yeah. So anyway, this year they went with Sherry and the other one’s Port this year.
But this sherry version here, the Old World, is 80% aged in Sherry barrels.
Because sherry’s a pretty bold flavor, so I think they blended 20% of just regular Abyss into this thing, so.
Oh yeah. There’s that sherry.
Oh definitely, jeez.
You know, initially-
There’s no shortage.
– you’re hit with that little roastiness of They Abyss and then bam, Sherry.
Yeah. And there’s a, there’s a dryness.
There’s a little bit of a faded hop character, a little bit of a cocoa powder type of aroma.
Unmistakably Abyss.I mean you can tell, the Abyss body, you know. And it seems a little cold at the moment too.
This is pretty chilled.
And we’ve had it sitting out for a while.
I mean, it was cold being in the fridge and when Kyle and I were out earlier, just cruising around, like I just was letting it sit, no ice on it. But you know, we’ve had it out for a couple of reviews here and it’s still pretty cool.
Yeah, it definitely, like you said pal, you can tell it’s Abyss, but that dry Sherry notes is, wow is it there on the aroma.
Yep. That barrel, the Sherry is prominent.
There’s a ton of cocoa on that.
Cocoa. There’s a lot of barrel, like a lot of woodiness.
But You get that from a Sherry barrel.
For sure. Yeah.
I mean, and you know, you do get that typical roasty flavor of The Abyss, but I think the Sherry kind of cuts through it/
You know what I mean?
I kind of feel like I’m, like somebody cut this Sherry barrel open and I’m just licking it with like sprinkled on dried chocolate.
You know, I’ll say this, if you like sweet barrel aged stouts and you know you’re a fan of like the pastry styles. Don’t expect this to be that.
First of all, I said it earlier, but Abyss is just a big roasty stout with a little bit of a hop character, and this, and it’s a little dry and not as sweet as most stouts, and the Sherry intensifies that. If you’re a fan of Sherry, I would say, you know, you’re going to like this beer maybe better than someone who, who’s not a fan of Sherry. I feel like you’ve got to like Sherry, cause there’s a lot of it here.
Yeah, there is.
So much so that it cuts into the normal flavors of The Abyss, which, you know, I don’t know that that’s a bad thing because like fresh Abyss is kind of aggressive and you know, but, but so is the Sherry flavoring in this beer. I like it. I think they could have gone down from 80% to 60% on the Sherry barrels. But personally, that’s just my personal opinion. But I like the uniqueness of it, you know? And I appreciate that they went here with this just to experiment with a different barrel. I’m going to give it a 4.0 and that’s my score. What do you think, pal?
All right. Yeah, I agree with Maury. I think it’s a solid four. It did thin out, I think that barrel actually thinned this out some, more than I’d like. It’s not, it’s not real thin.
But it’s thinner than I’m used to for an Abyss.
And I do love all the different barrels that they do every year. It’s a nice, you know, for the so many years for, I don’t know, 10 years before these, you know they were just going straight, you know, Abyss every year. So I really liked the change up. But I also do think these would probably be better with, like you said, a year or two on them.
I think it’d be wonderful, but I’m going to give it a solid four. Say it’s a little bit on the thinner side, a little bit too much Sherry, I think, like you said. But it’s still a very good beer. So I’m just going to give it a four.
I’m going to concur with you guys. I’m going to give it a four. I feel like a little less Sherry would’ve been a good thing. I feel like a lot of the regular characteristics of Abyss are kind of taken away with the amount of Sherry that’s in this. Now like I said earlier in the review, I feel like we cut open a Sherry barrel, we’re licking the wood. We’re getting tons of wood tannins and stuff like that.
We’re getting tons of Sherry. We’re getting tons of like a baker’s chocolate sprinkled in with this. And I feel like some of that, like typical aspects of what The Abyss normally is are kind of gone.
So with that, I’m going to go with a four. I still think it’s a good beer and I’m really surprised like the three of us are sitting here, because it doesn’t happen often for all three of us. But we still have had retention on our video.
Oh, yeah, I like that.
You know, that’s a, that’s a great thing for all three of us in the room, whether it’s two, three, or four of us.
Somebody has a flat.
Somebody usually has a flat one, somebody’s over carbed, somebody’s in the middle of whatever. But I feel like, you know, it’s got a nice little head retention and I feel like the color’s pretty solid on this, you know.
Yeah, man. No, it’s nice.
Solid made beer.
I just like it and like I said, I’d like to see it in a year, maybe even two. Revisit this beer as it sits right now, and see what we think about it then. So.
We may need to pick up another one.
Thanks for putting it up. We appreciate it.
Until next time. Cheers.
Aroma – Dry sherry, cocoa, woody, barrel
Taste – Cocoa, bold sherry barrel taste, roasty dry stout
Scores: 4.0, 4.0, 4.0