15th Dec. Maltjerry’s Advent Calendar: Driven to abstraktion

15th December: BrewDog, Abstrakt series. various ABV
From: Scotland. Type: From Cranachan Imperial Stout to beyond. Source: BrewDog online

“Woah! Intense!” I seem to have written in my tasting notes for the BrewDog Abstrakt AB:09. Oh dear… Thankfully, I refrained from “Epic”, but this adjective could almost be justified to describe many of this series of prototype/experimental limited edition BrewDog beers.

AB:09, the aforementioned cranachan imperial stout at 17.1% came out in April and AB:12 is out before the end of the year. And in 2012, I’ve caught up with earlier Abstrakt series, tasting AB:03 to AB10 for the first time this year. It’s been fascinating.


AB:05 was a Belgian imperial stout of 12.5%, aged on toasted coconut and cacao. AB:10, an imperial brown ale, aged in Spanish red wine barrels, comes in at 11.5%, and AB:11, is a 12.8% black barley wine spiced with ginger, black raspberries and chipotles.

You can see they’re not beers you just reach for and sit in front of the footie. Some are almost an evening’s entertainment in itself. I drink mine with an Abstrakt buddy. He’s actually quite real, and not at all Mondrian-looking, Not even after half a bottle of AB:06 triple dry-hopped imperial black IPA (11.2%).

We sit and sip and deliberate over whether the latest AB is Turner-prize standard, or back to the drawing board. Or something in-between. AB:09, despite the raspberry association is oaty, and faintly fruity and so savoury that it might better accompany Stilton than xmas pud.

Each release is limited to a few thousand bottles, but you can buy them from BrewDog’s online shop if you’re quick enough. Just follow the abstrakt.com website, which is quite Mondrian-looking.

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