They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Tuesday 31 July 2012

5Day Imperial Stout Spree: Day 5.

Day five came around quick didn't it!

Today's Imperial Stout comes from Brewdog.

AB:09 - 17.1% - 37.5cl - £14.49

Say what you will about Brewdog, I've always maintained that those guys know how to brew a dark beer, and in that regard I've never been let down by a bad dark dog. Just look at some of the previous examples: Riptide, Tokyo*, all the Paradox range... All winners.

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....?


  1. Loving the series...although I thought you were drinking less!

  2. 5 Little bottles in 5 days then two days rest is probably the maximum I can go to, but it's still half what I was drinking before... ;)

  3. There is one sitting in our cupboard... really want to crack it open but my other half won't let me yet...
    Looking forward to it more after your write up!

  4. Have you tried de Struise's Imperial Stout, Black Albert? Pretty incredible...

  5. I can't believe I've managed to miss all five of these Impy posts, from the master of the dark arts too.

    Agree with Olie about Black Albert, cracking beer