Abstrakt AB 13

Brewdog: Abstrakt: AB:13 (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 11.3% ABV)

Visual: Black, leaves a viscous sheen. Brown chocolate froth for a bare smudge of a head.

Nose: Black cherry. Condensed cream. Smoke. Spiced rum. Brandy snaps. Honey. Red cherries. Spiced oranges.

Body: Thick and smooth. Milky chocolate. Liquore feel and strength. Big cherries and raisins. Honeycomb. Black cherry. Honey. Trifle.

Finish: Cream. Cherries. Black forest gateaux. Roasted nuts. Belgium in feel, Smooth. Chocolate. Blood orange.

Conclusion: Every time I worry that I am becoming blasé to Imperial Stouts they end up surprising me again.

With a base beer half way between a milk stout and a Belgium style Imperial Stout this thing is already something interesting. Very smooth rich and liquore like. The fruitiness added in is the next element. I expected the cherries, and the spiced rum wasn’t entirely unexpected with the extra ingredients and barrel ageing. What gets me is the raisins, blood orange and blackcherry. Lots and lots of elements layered on for a sweet jelly trifle and dessert feel.

This mix then gets a furthered layer of honeyed and dessert sweetness, thick and feeling the alcohol weight with just a tingle of alcohol burn evident amongst the creaminess. The fruit and the strength give a feel similar to many liquores and spirits and that part is very evident in its influences.

The joy in the beer comes from the way the gateaux and trifle flavours rise. Initially the beer is very chocolate filled, but then peels back to let these additional dessert flavours just float to the surface blending in naturally with the rest. It is always integrated and no element ever feels out of place.

So, maybe the slightest flaw in the alcohol burn being evident, and hopefully that will age out, but don’t let that put you off this massive fruity, chocolate, black forest gateaux dessert beer. It really is a treat.

Background: Made with lactose, this imperial stout has been aged for over 14 months in sherry whisky barrels and made with cherries. 13 is considered an unlucky number by some, so may view this beer with some trepidation, I on the other hand don’t, so don’t really care. Drunk while listening to At The Drive In: relationship of command album which is still excellent years on. As always I am not unbiased on Brewdog beers.

Advertisements