Brewdog: Abstrakt: AB10 (Scotland: Brown Ale: 11.5% ABV)

Visual: A large creamy cinnamon coloured head, with a body that looks black initially but is possibly just a very dark red.

Nose: Raisins. Cinnamon. Bitter red wine, yet spicy and grape filled. Liquorice and malt drinks. Sour dough. Fortified wine.

Body: Quite thick. Red grapes. Frothy milk chocolate. Raisins. Brown sugar. Treacle. Cinder toffee.

Finish: Dusty chocolate, slightly bitterly so.  Brown sugar. Dry yeasty character. Slight chocolate orange. Cinder toffee.

Conclusion: Another beer that feels like a style mash up. While it is an imperial brown ale the funky yeast styling to the finish and main body put me in mind of a Belgium brown. The heavy set flavours and chocolate put my friend Will in the mind of a porter. The red wine barrel ageing, well put everyone in the mind of red wine for some reason.

What impresses me is that it all meshes. The flavours are layers not contradictions. A sediment feel like some bitter red wine, and implemented in a not unappealing way. Slightly tart, but with sweetness brought in from the oak. Not toffee sweetness like Bourbon ageing, more crumbly cinder toffee.

It’s those little things that work well, the rough edges where smooth would seem superficial and out of place. That more than anything else it what puts me in mind of the rough edged gems of the Belgium beer range.

The flavours of chocolate and dark fruit, sour wine and sweet fruit all seem like dubbel style calls in this brown ale. Dark and rich.
While not as experimental or odd as some Abstrakts the beer earns its place by being very competent and complex. I have a feeling this will be a good one to age. Very nice.

Background: I have a sleight quirk that I always accidentally call this AB010, I’ve got so used to the single digit entries of the Abstrakt line that I can’t stop doing it.  I first tried this on keg at a Brewdog Pub, but held off doing a tasting note until the bottle version. For the record I like both but slightly prefer the bottle as it seemed to have more complexity.  As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.  Oh yeah, the beer itself. This is an imperial brown ale that ahs been aged in sweet Spanish Malaga red wine barrels. I’ve been getting taste again for Brown Ales, and love the oddity of wine ageing beers so it was a beer I was quite excited for.