Tuesday, 30 October 2012

REVIEW: ABSTRAKT AB:03

Brewdog Abstrakt


STATS
  • Country: Scotland
  • Style: Fruit Beer 
  • ABV: 10.5%
  • Serving Type: 375ml Bottle
  • Price: Special Occasions Only 
  • Bottle Number: 3010/3192

What Brewdog Say:
Imperial Ale Aged over 2 years in whisky casks with raspberries and strawberries

It was only a couple of months ago that Richo and I sampled our first Abstrakt beer from Brewdog. Both of us were so impressed that we agreed to set off on this journey. First we became Abstrakt Addicts and then set out to find as many of the previous Abstrakt beers as we could. The only logical progression from there was for us to review them and for once it will be a team effort!

For those that don't know, Abstrakt is Brewdog's relatively new range of boundary pushing beers. Released roughly every three months, each beer is only brewed once in small batches and each bottle is individually numbered. The beers are known only by their code, in the case of this one AB:03. We have decided to start with the third installment in this range as it appears that all of AB:01 and AB:02 have gone, however if a bottle is ever found don't worry we will review it!

Onto AB:03, our bottle is 3010 of a limited edition of 3192. Abstrakt 3 is basically an imperial fruit beer which has been barrel-aged. The beer was brewed in September 2010, so has effectively been bottle conditioned for the last 2 years plus however long the Brewdog boys had it in their whisky casks. This is one of the few Abstrakt beers I've actually heard very little about so I really can't wait to try this one, seriously who has ever heard of an Imperial Fruit beer?

The photo doesn't quite do this beer justice. The colour of the beer is an orangey-amber colour with only a thin head of pink tinged foam on top. This dissipates very quickly to leave only the tiniest of rings around the glass with little to no lacing. Fruit Beers have always been an area where I'm unsure of it the beer looks good or not, however I like the look of this one. Even if the glass may have alot to do with it.

As expected the nose was full of first raspberries and then secondly strawberries. There was quite a distinct gap between the first fruity hit and the second with caramel malts punctuating the beer. I struggled to detect any evidence of this beer being barrel-aged, there was little to no whisky aroma on the nose. There did appear to be some light whiffs of alcohol, which became more prominent as the beer warmed.

When we got round to tasting this, we could tell it was no ordinary fruit beer. Not only was it significantly higher in ABV but is also in complexity from the standard one dimensional fruit beer. The raspberries are clearly the dominant fruit however as the beer progressed strawberries began to become more prominent. There were sweet malts throughout, while there was also moderate bitterness. There was only the tiniest hint of any barrel-aging which is somewhat of a disappointment.

When I said it was only natural for "us" to review these beers earlier in the piece I wasn't joking. For Beer O'Clock Australia's Abstrakt reviews I'm going to let Richo off the leash in his own segment: Richo's Rant! What have I got myself into?

Greetings All!

Enjoying food and drink is all about memories, certain flavours and aromas can make even the most tedious event into a memorable one. There is something poetic about savouring a meal and recalling a fond memory of the past. This is no different for beer; and Brew Dog’s Abstrakt range feature some of the most potent and unique flavours of any alcoholic beverage on the market.

The Abstrakt No. 3 is, as Noz mentioned above, an Imperial Ale that has been aged in a whiskey cask. An abundance of Strawberries and Raspberries have been added to the brew which gives off an unmistakeable scent as soon as the bottle is opened. The taste is something special a fruity mixture that accentuates the hops unlike other IPA’s; it is certainly hard to fault. That said, my rant today is not about the beer itself, but rather the embarrassing memory it evokes and my hatred of strawberries.

Back in 2002 my only care in the world was a girl in my class that I fancied (I won’t mention her name in case she stumbles upon this blog). I was desperately searching for a way to impress her and inspiration came to me in the form of my Grandpa; he had been growing strawberries for some time. For some reason, I decided that fresh strawberries would be the ideal courting gift.

Perhaps I should have checked first…upon presenting the strawberries, my eyes full of devotion, she promptly ran away screaming…apparently she was allergic. Thus began one of the most humiliating days of junior school days. It was the first time I had been properly embarrassed in public; and the first and only time I had been cockblocked by fruit. Fucking Strawberries!

I can already see that the combination of such interesting concepts and abstract flavours (pun definitely intended) together with my vast history of embarrassing moments will prove difficult for me to enjoy the following alcoholic journey I am going to be taking with Noz, as we partake in as many beers from the Abstrakt range as we can get our hands on.

Richo

One of the taglines for the entire Abstrakt range is "More art than beer, Abstrakt will brew directional, boundary pushing beers: blurring distinctions and transcending categories" and AB:03 certainly does that! It's a crazy fruit beer and really shows off the flavour of both raspberries at strawberries at the same time, which in my opinion is a pretty amazing brewing feat! Is it a great beer though? I don't think so! I think I feel a tiny bit let down by the lack of any real whisky characteristics, however overall the flavour is still very good. It's a good entry point to the Abstrakt range however it's certainly not the best one I've had in the range. Bring on AB:04!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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