Tag Archive: Abstrakt

Brewdog AB 04 (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 15% ABV)

Visual: Dark black, frothy brown head that leaves a brown tide around the glass.

Nose: Light nasal tingling, lemonade, coffee and slight potpourri. Minor eye watering after leaning in for a deep sip. Blackcurrent, gin, treacle and molasses. Crushed chilli seeds, liquorish, vanilla and butter.

Body: Smooth chocolate, blackcurrent and blueberry. Smooth and slick. Slight spiciness, fudge, molasses. Really creamy. poppadom green sidings. Bitter touches. Gin. Frothy coffee texture.

Finish: Warming air, that starts to linger on the lips about half way through. Charring and coffee, bitter chocolate. Whisky, slow building spice and fire.

Conclusion: Well, considering I was expecting AB03 this was a touch of a shock to the system. It didn’t take me long to realise my mistake. This thing is a smooth rich chocolate monster, delicious, and yet there’s an edge lying underneath, like sunken threats to a ships hull they await. It just tingles across the tongue for the most part, revitalising and making it a sensation as much as a flavour, but the odd moment comes for it to leap out. Thankfully there’s enough blackcherry sweetness to keep it under wraps and merely an enjoyable element for most of the time.

This spicy spark is what makes it feel a touch different from the innumerous high quality Imperial Stouts that exist. Unlike the god awful chilli lager I once tried ( a thing of legend in its horror and test of character to finish, one day maybe the story can be told), this is actually a good beer, and intriguing to try, a slow warming addition to an already fine beer.

Not the best, but different and very good, and more importantly different from the herd. Well worth a bottle.

(Addendum: Since the tasting notes I have had an “official” AB04, the taste is nigh identical so I didn’t do a new tasting note, the only difference is it seems it had more time with the chili which is now much more evident, this does nothing to hurt the beer and emphasizes its unique point so all in all a fantastic success.)

(An explanation for the” previously unknown beer” commeny, this was originally the unlabeled beer in the photo below which I posted with the note

“So I got in the post some beers that were meant to be my AB03, that were however unlabelled. After breaking one open it turns out that they were not AB03 but instead some mystery brew: Current opinion based on the tasting I did is that it is in fact the not even near to being released AB04! A coffee and cocoa made imperial stout with the worlds hottest chilli used in the making. It is therefore Work In Progress and as soon as I drink a labelled beer that tastes the same I will tell you if I guessed right (the second highest guess is the new Bashah reserve, but it doesn’t seem quite bitter enough for Bashah unless the berries smoothed it massively”

Since I have had AB04 and can confirm it is the same beer, but with a slight more time in the tank with the chili as described above – a great beer and one I’m glad I got to try early 🙂 )

Brewdog: Abstrakt AB02 (Scotland: American Strong Ale/Imperial Red: 18% ABV)

Visual: Small bubbles, fizzy dark cherry red that shimmers in a slightly hazy fashion. A frothy brown bubbled head appears on the pour but the high alcohol kills it before the bottle has even been emptied.

Nose: Strawberry, grapefruit, hops lemon and a rich malty character. Passion fruit and planed wood. Sharp sour hoppiness.

Body: Gingerbread and hops, grapefruit. These initial light flavours are then swamped by massive charring and bitter hops. Maybe a touch of cherry wins out before the onslaught, Bitter chocolate and as you acclimatise a huge malt body comes out. If you hold the beer at the front of your mouth sour grapes, caramel, strawberry and toffee are evident.

Finish: Full impact bitter hops, dry and full of charcoaled wood. Very evident alcohol, gin? , at this point. Bitter chocolate and treacle lightly.

Conclusion: A light fruit nose, a body that shows grapefruit and light sourness for as long as you can keep it at the front, then the back, oh the back.

It’s like some bastard just nail gunned hops directly into my tongue and jammed it into a barrel full of them. An immense assault of bitterness at the end and evident alcohol kick to match.

So a subtle beer it is not, well not in the latter half at least, it’s almost a challenge seeing how long you can roll the lighter fruity front along the tip of your tongue before you succumb to swallowing and letting yourself in for everything that follows.

It’s a 5 AM Saint with everything turned up to 11, and hops to 12 falling into a Hardcore IPA V2 Back.

It is remarkable how much they can pack into the front to contrast the back, and as you acclimatise a remarkable complexity can be found in the secondary assault.

Very much a Brewdog ale, fruit, especially grapefruit, hops and an ABV that makes you gasp. Initially seeming unsubtle but revealing itself over time. Even then it’s not a refined gem, but a sledgehammer of flavour. Worth it if you can keep up.

Brewdog: Abstrakt: AB 01 (Scotland: Quadruple:10.2% ABV)

Visual: Dark cloudy brown red with an instant large frothy bubbled head.

Nose: Hops, cinnamon and mulled wine. Fudge, raisins, cream and sour cherry.

Body: Raspberry, hoppy and wheaty. Bitter cored and frothy textured. Oak, no hint of alcohol. Cherry. Brandy snaps. Brown sugar. Vanilla and nuts. Toffee, treacle sponge.

Finish: Blackcherry and raisins, toffee, strawberry syrup, bitter liquorice. Treacle. Grapefruit, but and hops. Lemon meringue. Champagne.

Conclusion: A very refreshing and wheaty take on the ABT style, it almost feels like a summer refresher with its light wheat and fruit touches, definite calls to the weissbier in the style.

Lots going on in the finish which roams amongst a wonderful range depending on which particular sip or mouthful you have taken this time. The body is subtle and refrains from harsh actions – highly unexpected in a Brewdog. Feels influenced by a kriek lambic in a way, very distinctive in how all the radical different style elements integrate.

An interesting and experimental beer, blends styles in a fascinating way, but just missed out on that something that would make it a knockout punch of awesome. Imagine a mellow wheat beer combined with a kriek lambic layered over a dark Belgium ale. See what I mean by fascinating?

To finish, hell yeah its complex, wonderful fudge and treacle at the back of the body, tasty and rewarding, I may be judging it slightly harsh due to its price tag, but it isn’t quite together. There is still a lot going on and enjoyable, maybe a years aging will bring it all together.

Still bloody nice, and grows on you as you drink it.

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