Day five came around quick didn't it!
Today's Imperial Stout comes from Brewdog.
AB:09 - 17.1% - 37.5cl - £14.49
AB:09 is a fresh sample having been bottled on the 2nd of April this year, and shows obvious signs of a buzzing and lively carbonation. With a small self sustaining cappuccino like head, it truly invites curiosity from the senses.
All the classics are in the nose. Charred Oak, vanilla, raisins, mocha, dark chocolate - all the usual stuff that tells you it's going to be pretty powerful, even before any has even passed your lips.
It's thick, it's heavy. It's resinous and it's outrageously bitter. It's immensely warming, and it's really woody like a Single Malt. It's incredibly drying and moorish, and while the flavour drops away quite abruptly after a big flavour explosion, you're left with that warming soothing effect. Dark forest fruits are complimented by black burnt rubbery malt flavours. There's some sweet liqourice and tar with some leathery hazelnut, but it's mainly about the oak.
I didn't really know anything about this "Cranachan" Imperial Stout, so I decided to give it a look up. The flavours made much more sense once I'd found out Brewdog's process. This beer has been aged in single grain Whisky and other Oak barrels , and is brewed with "a mountain of dark malts, loads of oats, Scottish heather, honey and local raspberries." After that description, all the flavour profiles and complexities make much more sense to me, but I'm no more, or no less impressed - it's a truly beautiful beer.
Let's look at the price now. £14.49 ((we're still looking at Beer Ritz prices if you've been following along (..see post 1)) and yes it's a limited bottle (number 1374 of 5754), yes it's got lots of crazy ingredients in it, is 17.1% and has been finished off in an expensive way, but the whole range in the Abstrakt series has been this price. Surly some were more expensive to make than others. And if so you're not really paying for the beer here, you're paying for the name that goes on top of it. It may well be an excellent beer, really excellent indeed, but I won't be rushing out to buy another anytime soon.
I guess that's the end of my 5Day Imperial Stout Spree. It's been fantastic fun, and I've got a great insight into the breweries in the list and I've taken much inspiration from the week. The week's over now though.
Or is it....?