Reserve a case.  Drink one now.  Put the rest in the cellar.  Repeat for the next five years.  Or ten years.  Or twenty. Do a vertical tasting.  You will not be disappointed.

Drink it in front of a fire. 

Pair it with your favorite bourbon or scotch.  Pair it with an amazing cheese.

And send me one too.

I fell in love with this beer in 2008 and have bought a case nearly every year since.  Alas, I have very little self control and it is, therefore, all gone.  I wish you better luck, my friend.

I will let Deschutes tell the story themselves:

We wanted to give you all a heads up to let you know that The Abyss 2013 launch is set for November 14th at our pubs in Bend and Portland. From 11 am 'til close, enjoy samples, snifters and special food menu items made with this dark and delicious beer. Take home bottles and swag for yourself and your craft beer loving friends and enjoy vertical flights from previous years to compare to the 2013 version. 

Don't live in Bend or Portland? Be on the lookout for The Abyss at your local grocery stores, liquor stores, bottle shops, pubs and bars that carry Deschutes Brewery's specialty beers all year round. A limited amount will be shipping out to all 23 states in our distribution footprint from our brewery warehouse the week of November 18th. Please ask for it at your favorite craft beer locations and watering holes and if you are having a hard time locating this beer, try using our beer finder tool.

Haven't heard of The Abyss? This imperial stout is filled with dark malts, brewers' licorice and black strap molasses and is then "dry hopped" with vanilla beans and cherry bark making it rich and complex. Top that off by aging this precious liquid in bourbon, Oregon oak and pinot noir barrels for a taste you will never forget. Age a bottle upright in your cellar (or dark, cool closet) for a year or two...or three, and enjoy with food, friends and family!  And be sure to tune in to our website and social media channels on the 14th for a behind-the-scenes look into The Abyss.
Anyone who knows beer knows that Deschutes makes some great standards - well known and well-poured beers around town such as Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA, Obsidian Stout, Chainbreaker White IPA...and the list goes on.  But some of you who are less Beer Geek and more Casual Beer Enjoyers may not know about the Deschutes Reserve Series - which illuminates the truly phenomenal brewing standards of Deschutes. 

The reason casual beer drinkers may not know about the Deschutes Reserve Series is not simply due to ignorance or lack of desire to know necessarily, but that these Reserve Series bottles are as hard to spot as a Boa in the wild (which I have also been known to search for, though with perhaps a little more apprehension).  A person practically needs to queue up at the door the night before to get a bottle.   

One of the relatively easier to find Reserve Series beers is The Abyss, one of my all-time favorite imperial bourbon-barrel beauties.  I discovered The Abyss for the first time in 2008, a year after it's first seasonal release, and drank the entire 11% bottle myself it was so delicious.  If you can get your hands on one, I would recommend aging it for at least two years because it brings out incredible complexity that is, sadly, lost drinking it in the first year.  In fact - just get an entire case, and then you can drink one now and save the rest.  Get a case every year, and you can do a vertical tasting of different years later on.  This is a truly amazing experience.

Another Deschutes Reserve Series bottle that is even harder to find is The Dissident, a Flanders-style Oud Bruin (sour brown ale) which is a blend of beers aged in pinot noir and cabernet barrels for eighteen months.  This is a beer that, in my opinion, rates right up there in complexity with Westvleteren 12 (acclaimed as the Best Beer in the World by many) or Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien, which you may have tried for a whopping $12 a glass at The Puckerfest recently (totally worth it, by the way).  Some of you might be thinking I'm sacrilegious right now, but just try aging this one for a year or more, and then tell me I'm lying!  And on top of that - instead of paying $12 a glass (or taking a trip to Belgium to beg from the monks), you only need to spend about $15 for a bottle.

The Dissident - Deschutes first incredibly-successful attempt at a sour beer - is now being followed by a second: The Green Monster, just released.  I wish I could tell you how it is, but being unemployed now...well...OH THE TEMPTATION!!!  You'll just have to tell me how it is.  But hurry, because it's probably already gone! 

Donate to my beer fund (genegeek@gmail.com), or simply read about Green Monster below.  Cheers!

"GREEN MONSTER   The upcoming release of this unique beast was mentioned in the last issue of The Bitter Truth and we're back to tell you that Green Monster has officially been unleashed. This sour beer spent 39 long months in Oregon Pinot barrels while it metamorphosed into something delightful and delicious. Given the alchemy of this mistake turned into gold, less than 1000 cases of 22 oz bottles were produced. You can hunt down a few bottles at our pubs and tasting room NOW or take your chances finding it at a specialty bottle shop near you."
RESERVE SERIES  7.3% Alc. By Vol.
#craftbeer #beer #pdxbeer #sourbeer @DeschutesBeer

The Overall Take

These are three great IPAs, all very different.  The importance of temperature on beer is never as well-illustrated as it is with IPA.  When it's cold, the hops is the dominant characteristic but as it warms, the malt can overpower, changing the balance of the beer entirely.  There's that sweet spot for every IPA, where the true intended balance comes out and it can be fleeting.
    I liked the rich fruity malt character and complexity of the Deschutes, but it became overly sweet as it warmed.  The Double Mountain, as expected by a single hop IPA, lacked complexity.  The Breakside at first didn't stand out to me as anything other than a really good representation of a big, bold Northwest IPA but was certainly the best balanced overall.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA - Bond Street Series

Citra and Mosaic hops, 6.4% ABV
Pours a bright amber, quite a bit darker than the other two but crystal clear.  Good head retention, nice lacing.  Nose is malty with a touch of grapefruit.  I let it warm up a bit so the malt character really comes out in the flavor, but it's not as overpowering as I thought it would be.  Some nice rich fruitiness and good complexity.  A hops bitterness that really sneaks up on you and then -BAM!  It has a warm booziness that I wouldn't expect for a 6.4% ABV beer, but I like it.  As it warms, some nice rich tropical fruit flavor comes out but it veers to the side of malt sweetness.

Breakside IPA

No IBU's, no ABV and no information about the beer on the bottle
A bit of chill haze which clears as it warms, this one pours a nice amber color with lower head retention than the other two.  Nose is malty - less malty than the Fresh Squeezed - with some fruitiness.  This is a big beer.  Flavor is malty and bready with a bit of grapefruit.  Very representative of a Northwest IPA.  At first I was thinking that this one didn't really stand out to me - that maybe I'd had too many bold Northwest IPAs, but as it warmed up a bit, I realized that this is probably the most well-balanced beer of the three.  Definitely a good one, but I would have liked some information on the bottle.  That's one of my pet-peeves though.

Double Mountain Cluster

Cluster hops only, 7.3% ABV, 85 IBU
A little hazier than the other two, it pours golden with great head and retention.  Nice lacing.  Nose is fruity, grassy, spicy.  Really nice fragrant floral notes that I really like.  Flavor is herbal and citrus with a strong bitterness.  Lighter body than the others.  Not as complex as the fragrance indicated, but that's to be expected from a single-hop IPA.  It's definitely a good beer if you like the powerful bitterness of an IPA.  Mellows out and becomes more balanced as it warms and the malt comes out.