Abstrakt AB:04

Abstrakt AB:04Abstrakt AB:04
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Stout - American Imperial
3.98 | pDev: 9.55%
Scotland, United Kingdom
Retired (no longer brewed)
Abstrakt AB:04Abstrakt AB:04
Notes: Imperial stout brewed with Coffee, loads Cacao and Chilli.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 28 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by spicelab:
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spicelab from Australia

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

May 28, 2013
More User Reviews:
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Redlight Redlight January 2011
The beer sits in my glass with an inky brown / black color. It doesn't have much carbonation to it, but does pour with a thin, brown colored head. There is a big not of chile in the nose, or rather it is definitely noticeable. Rich, umami laden dark malt savoriness is found in the nose too (a mix of dark malt and sweet malt character that is quite concentrated). Chile aromatics mix with a fruitiness to form an interesting mix and the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden in the aroma. The biggest aroma here though is an espresso / black-coffee like roasted character that I almost forgot to mention because it was so expected.

The beer tastes sweet as it first hits my tongue and it is quite viscous but still somehow light bodied. The finish has a lingering, huge black-coffee / espresso character to it. There is a hint of chile spiciness to the finish that grows in presence as you linger in contemplation after a sip. There is a lot of big, dark chocolate like flavors in this beer and it is quite surprising how "light" this beer is; for something of this alcohol level I was expecting a much heavier brew, though this is still most definitely a sipping brew.

I found this beer quite interesting in the end; I wasn't really expecting to enjoy it that much, but I really like the good use of subtle chile notes. If I had to describe this beer I would say that it is first a coffee like beer, supported by chocolate notes that are supported by the chile notes.

Mar 26, 2011
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bark from Sweden

3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The colour is pitch-dark with a brown edge. The low head is warm brown. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is strong and luxurious: Dark chocolate, coffee candy, lots of mellow sweetness, some sharp spicy chilli heat and a touch of black malt sourness.

The taste is a more mixed affair. A quickly passing fruity flavour of fresh chilli fruits. Then, sweet notes of coffee and cocoa emerges. The flavours are a bit straggly. Some sour flavours, some chemical hints. The sweetness fades as the aftertaste brings dryer roasted malty flavours with quite a lot of cocoa and freshly ground coffee. Some fruity-spicy-sour notes in the finish.

The carbonation is mild, yet the few small bubbles are very fresh. The liquid is thick and sticky.

A daring experiment, that didn't really work for me.

Jan 21, 2011
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Dec 29, 2011
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eric5bellies from Australia

3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from mt Duvel Tulip

A - Pours Black as Black with a one fingered head that dies quickly.

S - Big aromas of beef extract, with some bourbon malts, with some stewed dark fruits.

T - Up front some nice sweet malts. Mid palate is some dark toffe flavours with some sticky extract flavours. The finish is an absolute licorice assault on your tongue.

M - Full body and carbonation that is relatively smoothy.

O - A decent stout thet will satisfy your taste buds. The licorice is powerful and impressive.

Nov 26, 2011
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headlessclown from Australia

3.01/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle poured into a snifter glass
Date on bottle: 01.11.10
Bottle: 199 of 3300

A: Pours pitch black with a dark brown head and minimal retention. Leaves brown/yellow stains on the glass.

S: Loads of coffee/cacao on the nose. It wants to be chilli, but it's not succeeding. Very dark but sadly very one-dimensional.

T: Taste follows the nose. Even though I'm not a fan of chilli, I'm disappointed at the lack of it here. There is the slightest hint of it, but the coffee/cacao is overpowering. My only thought is that it may have faded in much the same way hops fade. The end is a lingering bitterness that isn't big but is certainly there. Overall the taste is big and distinct but I don't personally like it as much as I do more "traditional" stouts.

M: Pretty thick but smooth. Not much carbonation. Surprisingly low alcohol burn for 15%.

D: I'm not really sure if I can condemn this beer in terms of what it advertises versus what it delivers since I can't say for certain how much of the original flavours have faded. That said, it is an expensive gamble. For me, it was too much like an alcoholic coffee than anything else.

Dec 27, 2010
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of maneliquor - hope you enjoyed your trip to Chicago. Served in a Darkness glass. Bottle #1992 of 3300. A 15% Imperial Stout with ghost chilis and champagne yeast - what could possibly go wrong?

A - A quick-dissolving dark mocha foam settles to a thin ring, leaving a few wisps on top and a few spots of lace. Black body with the faintest hint of brown at the edges. Looks pretty intimidating.

S - The smell is absolutely incredible. Massive chili pepper notes mingle with coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Reminds me of Hunahpu's but on steroids. Actually made my eyes water merely from the aroma.

T - Taste is good, but not quite as spectacular. A nice blend of dark chocolate, chili peppers, roasted malts, smoke, and shockingly well-hidden alcohol. I'd never guess this was 15%. Finish is surprisingly understated, without overwhelming bitterness or heat.

M - There's some warmth, but nowhere near what you'd expect from the combination of 15% ABV and Naga chilies. Medium-full body, smooth texture with light stickiness, light dryness and roast in the finish. Champagne yeast keeps things from getting syrupy, but isn't overly thinning or spritzy.

D - I was expecting trainwreck, and I got a superb beer instead. Easily the best thing Brewdog has ever made. I was actually sad that I shared this, as I think I could have tackled the 375ml bottle on my own. May have to seek out additional bottles of this one for the cellar.

Jul 16, 2011
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hooliganlife from Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 1/11/10

pours thick and black. very light thin chocolate head. once gone, no retention.

very rich and bold. lots of black chocolate and alcohol blended together perfectly. a hint of chili pepper.

fairly strong on the chocolate up front with the chili pepper kicking in leaving a tingle on the tongue. sweet roasted malt and vanilla through out. very heavy on the chocolate.

not as thick as you would think for 15% but fairly thick and chewy. chili burn on the tongue and light tingle through out.

this is pretty good, enjoying it. wish i had cracked it open when it was a bit fresher.

Jan 14, 2012
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to rudzud for sharing this one.

Pours motor oil thick sludge, dark as Satan's jism, legs like a giant millipede, stains the glass, so black it pulls light from the room.

Nose is crazy chocolate, super dark molasses chocolate and a bit of burnt char and wooden dust shelf, little soy sauce, hint if hot pepper in the background.

Taste is big thick rich malts, syrupy, little soy sauce like, just a hint of hot pepper great but no flavor, melted bakers choc, bitter choc, light char and little dusty shelf, quite syrupy and fairly sweet with just a bit of booze. Finish is syrupy thick and rich mouth coating and light booze and choc, just a bit of pepper heat.

Mouth is thick rich syrupy, no carb, a bit of warming booze but good for 15% beer, and carbonation is typical for something like this as well.

Overall as a beer it's nice base beer, but no real pepper or heat. Then again it's 2 years old.

Jan 07, 2013
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Mora2000 from Texas

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to crusianbeer for bringing this beer back from the UK.

The beer pours an inky black color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of roasted malt, as well as some something that resembles soy sauce. The flavor is more complex. I get a lot of chocolate and some light soy, as well as some oak, vanilla and maple. There is also some alcohol. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

May 21, 2012
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nmann08 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Jul 14, 2012
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bobsy from Canada (ON)

3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its an honour to be amongst the first people outside of the brewery to taste this, so a big thanks to James for bringing a bunch of bottles over for the Brewdog dinner at Beerbistro.

Pitch black pour with a filmy tan head. Some lace spots, but otherwise nothing above average in the appearance. Huge vegetal chile nose overpowers the chocolate, coffee and whiskey notes. This isn't surprising as this small batch used one naga chili, which I understand is the world's hottest at over 1,000,000 scoville.

Surprisingly the flavour is more balanced and not as hot as I expected. It does come to the fore, but with a mild heat and more of a vegetal character. The dilution amongst numerous bottles has obviously provided balance. Once this passes we hit familiar imperial stout notes of coffee, chocolate, tobacco and a hint of soy in the finale. Medium body with a smooth carbonation works well.

I'm not a huge fan of the vegetal chili aroma and flavour, but as a chili beer this works. Well done!

Oct 06, 2010
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JAHMUR from Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Nov 18, 2011
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wethorseblanket from California

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Apr 07, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. No head. Not much of anything.

Smell - Dark chocolate and fudge. Peppers and coffee.

Taste - Coffee right up front. Sharp pepper flavor. Fudgy. Dark fruits. A hint of oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Thick with low carbonation. Not so boozy.

Overall - Good, but not great. I really enjoy the coffee flavor, though.

May 19, 2014
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BearsOnAcid from Washington

4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark thick pour, almost no head. A dark khaki collar forms around the top.

Freshly ground coffe, hot peppers and milk chocolate dominates the aroma.

The flavor strikes first with a thick sweetness and a fresh burst of chile without the heat. A bright cherry acidity mixed with roasted chocolate bitterness that reminds me of a high quality madagascar dark chocolate. Long bittersweet aftertaste. An excellent beer but I would love to see the spiciness of the ghost chile come out more since that is what intrigued me so much about this beer. I feel like my stomach is mixing the heat and alcohol and causing some burn.

Jul 06, 2011
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle 1997/3300, poured into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Big thanks to Dan for sharing this insane beer.

A: Black w/orange highlights. Thin, fleeting island of dark borwn bubbles. Looks big.

S: Chocolate and chilis. Huge spiciness, along with some malt sweetness and coffee bitterness. Amazingly low alcohol presence. Excellent.

T: Spicy chocolate sweetness, plain and simple. Intense, flavorful, and, again, wonderful at hiding the ABV. Awesome.

M: Sticky, syrupy, and full-bodied with surprisingly substantial carbonation. Wow.

D: Considering both the spiciness and strength, this is nothing short of insanely drinkable.

Notes: I haven't really been impressed by any Brewdog offerings in the past, so my expectations weren't that high going in. Frankly, this blew me away. Simultaneously hugely strong and hugely drinkable, blending together a few well-chosen flavors with impeccable balance, this was truly a great beer. Who knew?


Feb 22, 2011
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Evil_Pidde from Sweden

3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This one is pitch black with a rather small brown head. Only small lacings.

S: Hot chilli peppers and dark chocolate with a little espresso-like coffee. Sweet dark dried fruits.

T: The chilli kind of dominates. Some sweet dark malt with faint dark dried fruits. Chocolate and coffee. Not that well balanced.

M: Full body and moderate carbonation. The chilli lingers in the aftertaste with a dry bitterness.

O: This was kind of a dissapointment; the chilli overpowered everything else, sadly. A little less chilli would have been better.

Jul 09, 2011
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Bottle #1149/3300 (strangely handwritten), bottled 11/1/10. So there's coffee, cacao, and chile peppers in this stout? Right on. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a fizzy, short-lived finger of golden brown foam. The nose comprises rich, nutty coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, peanut butter (residual nuttiness, I suppose, but richer), and a touch of molasses. The taste holds notes of chocolate syrup, roasted malts, coffee, molasses, light walnuts (way in the background), brown sugar, light maple syrup, and a touch of those peppers in the finish, very subtle but pronounced enough to be perceived. The body is a strong medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slightly chewy feel. Overall, a very complex, finely-layered stout, one of the best-built beers I've ever had from the BrewDog boys. Nicely done, indeed.

Jan 18, 2012
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PaulStoneAnchor from California

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1347/3700

A- Pours a deep rich black with a nice brownish head.

S- Smells of hot chili peppers which is overpowering and underwhelming. From the smell I was not expecting much but was I surprised.

T- It tastes of a rich dark chocolate with a nice chili complimenting it. It has a rich malty sweetness with a nice roast bitterness from the roast malts. The hops compliment the chilis in the beer, and the nice spiciness balances the sweetness.

Overall, probably one of the best brewdog beers to date. I am looking forward to trying AB:05, to see how the coconut and chocolate play out.

Mar 20, 2011
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ADZA from Australia

4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is bottle 2534 of 3300 and it pours a jet black hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a chocolate laced one finger head that quickly recedes and leaves no lacing,the smell is nice and different with aromas of chocolate,milky coffee,roasted malts,subtle oak characters and some chillie,it has a nice medium bodied averagely carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of dark mocha first up followed by dark roastiness and finishes with smokey wood chillie heatness that isnt that hot but lets you they are there and overall its really the same deal as most in this series they are very drinkable but given their price for the low volume you receive its definately a celebration brew unless you are loaded cheers.

Feb 19, 2011
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rarbring from Sweden

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black/brown brew, really no head, some faint tan bubbles, no lacing of course, surprisingly small curtains.

The smell is powerful, cured meat, some smoke, licorice and soy sauce. Rather black!

The taste starts wit brown sugar and sweet licorice, fried sugar, cold coffee and soy sauce with a hint of wasabi, sherry and lemon zest.

No carbonation, very soft and oily, a coarse quick dry finish.

A spicy sweet digestive, enjoy responsibly!

Sep 23, 2011
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joshuaseresse from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle. #1632 of 3300. Bottled on 1-11-2010. Split 3 ways and poured into my town hall snifter:

A - Pour produces a kahki brown head that dies into foam ring around the edges. Black as night with watery lacing.

S - Browny boozy cake. Bits of vanilla and cream. Chewy caramel and dark candy.

T - Chocolate and toffee. Cake and booze. Really chewy and a bit meaty and just the slightest hint of mint.

M - Pretty well carbonated. The booze is pretty thick here with a syrupy feeling. A bit creamy but its a sipper. Can really feel the heat here from the booze.

D - A true sipper. Although its 15% it feels more like 12%. The smell and taste are really nice but the mouthfeel lets you know the 15% is there. Worth a try, but not a bad idea to split with someone others.

Jan 18, 2011
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zestar from California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Oct 30, 2014
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AgentMunky from New York

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a wine glass. Bottle 2612/3300, bottled 1 November 2010.

A: A nicely-designed, corked bottle, which isn't as stubby as it looks in the photo. ...And I can't get the cork out. Due to the design of the bottle and cork, a normal corkscrew is ineffective, and my Swiss army knife -- usually so reliable -- has also failed me. When I finally get it open, through sheer brute strength, it pours a nutty dark-brown with a reddish tone. High, fizzy head has an unmistakeable orange hue. The head fizzles down into absolutely nothing, but some carbonation can still be seen disturbing the surface.

S: Um...chillies. It smells eye-wateringly of cayenne, habanero or something even hotter (BA bobsy says it's naga pepper). Fortunately, I love spicy things, because this makes my scalp tingle. Perhaps a hint of something alcoholic sweet, but it's hard to concentrate with the chilli in the way. Even though it's a bit one-dimensional, high marks for being strong, completely unexpected, and pleasing (at least to me).

T: Wowzers! Very odd. And hard to describe. A sizzling elixir; a pleasant concoction. Sweeter than it has any right to be, this Abstraktion is fruity (raspberry?), strong, and full of chilli flavours without the heat. The aftertaste has some coffee beans, but can't manage any bitterness; tobacco nots as well. By the end, the initially-pleasant sweetness risks becoming cloying. Hot peppers go in and out throughout the (after)taste.

M: Sometimes smooth and pleasant, at times sticking at the back of the throat, at others, burning vigorously throughout the mouth. Incredibly full of flavour, perhaps more akin to food than beer. Definitely fun.

D: As much as I like this beer, it's not particularly drinkable. Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying it, but it's not an experience I'd feel able to repeat anytime soon...and by that time, it will presumably be unfindable. Enjoyable? Yes. Interesting? Absolutely. Good? *I* think so. Recommended? I haven't a clue.

Notes: I experimentally paired this with an Ecudoran dark chocolate with chillies. The beer may have improved the chocolate, but not I'm sure the chocolate improved the beer. The rich cacao is an entirely different sweetness from the somewhat tart-fruity character of the AB:04, but the peppers in the beer bring out the spiciness of the chocolate.

Dec 04, 2010
Abstrakt AB:04 from BrewDog
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 28 ratings