Brewdog: Abstrakt: AB07 (Scotland: Scotch Ale: 12.5% ABV)

Visual: A very dark brown with an occasional black cherry hue if held to light. The froth comes up as a dark fizz, but it cannot last long.

Nose: Caramelised brown sugar/crème brulee. Raisins. Rocks and smoke. Possibly liquorice sticks.

Body:  Toffee sweet, backed by shortbread. Fudge comes in with huge doses. Quite a fizzy feel. Fruitcake and black cherry.  Figs.  Lots of malt. Bourbon. Rocks and smoke grows at the beer warms. Feels thick despite the fizz.

Finish: Lots of milk chocolate. Smoke. Did I mention quite a chunk of chocolate? Slight sea breeze and rocks.  Shortbread and raisins. Glacier cherries.

Conclusion:  The fact that me and scotch ales don’t always get along isn’t exactly hidden knowledge. It’s not that they are bad, just that they rarely shine.

This then is the crazy diamond that shines on from the rough. Or more absurdly mixed metaphors.  It is a very odd beer in one particular respect. How it responds to chilling. When chilled AB07 is this fantastic sweet fudge and malt bomb that I would swear had been aged in bourbon rather than whisky casks.  Lots of parallels to the wonderful bourbon county stout can be drawn in that lovely sweet and distinctly alcoholic air.

Warming then brings out the whisky influence, smoke and rocks setting up a second front against the sweetness.  Some people have compared the beer to “Bitch Please” but I just don’t see it. Ok they are both whisky aged, but for all the Methuselah lifecycle of whisky ageing this has had, the influence seems pleasantly understated in comparison to the “Jura in a beer” feel of “Bitch Please”.

Now for all the power, it is mainly straightforward in the flavour, with pretty straight forward scotch ale hits and whisky / bourbon influence. No bad thing though.  Lots of punch and well done beats a beer that has a lot going on but no really tying theme.

For all my raving this beer isn’t quite a showstopper though, but what it is however is a redemption of the scotch ale in my eyes up there with “Robert The Bruce. Also a rare thing in that it is a beer that will cause me to duel to the death in order to justify chilling it. The range you get from chilled to warm more than makes up for each expression being comparatively straightforward.

So a good beer, a great scotch ale, and a perfect defence of beer chilling, all in one glass.

Could do a lot worse.

Background: As mentioned many a time I am not an unbiased actor when I comes to Brewdog. I do try though.  I’m not a big fan of scotch ales as a rule; they often seem slightly simple if not done very well. This example has been aged in whisky casks. It was meant to be one of the last few Abstrakt releases but kept being delayed for extra ageing. I have no idea exactly how long this thing has been tucked away.