Wednesday, 27 November 2013

REVIEW: ABSTRAKT AB:05

Brewdog Abstrakt


STATS
  • Country: Scotland
  • Style: Russian Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Serving Type: 375ml Bottle
  • Price: Special Occasions Only 
  • Bottle Number: 2724/3600

What Brewdog Say:
Belgian Imperial Stout aged on toasted coconut and cacao

Once again it's been a few months between drinks in the Abstrakt series.  On the day that AB:12 turned up on my doorstep, Richo and I convened to sample the next installment in our adventure through BrewDog's Abstrakt range, AB:05. Like AB:04 this beer is also a stout, however this one is a Belgian style stout with a twist.

BrewDog's Abstrakt range are boundary pushing beers that are brewed in small batches. AB:05 is no different! Following on the success of the American Imperial Stout (AB:04) this beer is again a stout. It's a Belgian Imperial Stout and has this time been aged on toasted coconut and cacao. I can't think of another beer I've had that has utilized coconut so this will be an interesting experience, especially considering I don't really like coconut!

After we spent an eternity trying to get the cork out of another Abstrakt bottle we were somewhat disappointed by the pour. The body was a nice thick looking dark brown, almost black, colour with little to no carbonation to speak of. There was almost no evidence of any head at all! I think there were a couple, maybe 5 or 6, small tan bubbles of head when the beer was first poured but they disappeared almost immediately.

The nose is much more impressive than the smell with the exotic ingredients BrewDog have added to coming to the fore. Initially there is quite a strong sweet smell of coconut before some more traditional stout characteristics come through. There's plenty of roasted malts, some caramel malts (not alot), some cacao and even what I think is vanilla, although I'm sure if it is that... I can also get hints of Belgian yeasts, they aren't particularly strong hints but they are certainly there.

AB:05 is extremely complex with subtle sweetness blending nicely with a strong roast bite. There's a little bit of the promised coconut up front but dark fruits and coffee really dominate the flavour. As the beer warms the coconut sweetness comes more pronounced but never quite tips the beer over into the too sweet range (if that makes sense). It has all the characteristics that I enjoy in a stout but with a little something extra that I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it.

Richo and I drank this back in February and he still hasn't finalized his rant for this beer! So I think it's time to cut our losses and post this, maybe if he get's his shit together I will post a rant for this beer in the future (he claims he's got one for it...).

I think both of us agree that this was a really good stout, however it doesn't hold a candle to AB:04! There is no doubting that this is an excellent beer though and BrewDog have to be commended for managing to work a really strong coconut flavour into what is often quite an abrasive beer style, without making it overly sweet or taking anything away from the traditions of the style. It's a great beer but it's not one I would go out of my way to get.

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

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