Brewers, if you want me to buy your product, here’s a few simple and cheap things you can do to dupe me into purchasing it:
1. Cork the beer and add one of those cheap metal caps and twisty things.
2. Cover the cap and neck in that cheap Reese’s peanut butter cup-like foil.
3. Put the bottle in a cheap cardboard box.
4. Call it a limited bottling and perhaps even add numbers to the label or aforementioned box. It doesn’t even matter if it is that truly of limited of bottling.
And one more expensive thing you can do to dupe me is to barrel your beer in something else.
Aaron and I - and I suspect many of you - are cut from the same cloth. This is much the same approach that I took to record collecting during my most insane, over the top purchasing years of 1987-91, and it's kind of where I'm at beer-wise twenty years later. I know it's wrong, but more often than not this sort of who-cares-what-it-costs purchasing ethos yields some incredible beers. "Price as a cue for quality", we called it in business school.
DESCHUTES' newest whopper, THE ABYSS, is one of these kind of beers. It's not numbered nor is it in a box, but it not only has beer dorks far & wide rushing across the west coast to find it, it has even inspired "one only per customer, PLEASE" signs at various retailing establishments. At least that's what the guy at Whole Foods told me on Friday when I bought it. He was proud because his store is willing to sell more than one to a customer at any given time. "That's the Whole Foods difference".
The worst part of this beer was trying to get the wax seal off of it. I know - the wax seal! We used fire to burn it off. That did the trick. Then it was time to get down with The Abyss. On the pour, it filled the glass with utter blackness. See that picture above, taken with a camera phone? Nice work, hunh? That's the beer I drank. First whiff - whew, licorice and chocolate! First drink - wow, bourbon and, and, and molasses! This beer positively coats the tongue in rich, thick molasses. It's smooth and amazingly delicious. At 11% it's not at all for the meek, but I had just returned from the longest run I'd ever done, and I was in no mood to skimp, be healthy nor to practice temperance. The alcohol is in the aftertaste, but not in a strong, eye-watering way. It is a rich, chewy, chocolate bourbon beer bomb. The stout that made me a man.
I absolutely loved THE ABYSS. Totally met the hype and then some. My wife said she'd start regularly drinking beer with me again if they all tasted like this. Unfortunately, they don't. 9/10.