Bottled Up: Brewdog Abstrakt 01

Sleek-sided bottle. Bastard plastic 'cork'. Sore palms. Unavoidable yeasty swirlings. Nun's fart-splutter as it opens. Horse-piss amber on the pour. Aroma? Not really. Fine lace mesh head, tilted glass leaves a pin-head constellation smear. Aroma now? Warm fresh banana fudge. Alcohol I can feel behind my eyes, slightly. There's malt sweetness with the yeastyness. A sip smoothens exponentially; flecks of orange peel vie with a vanilla wash. Aroma now? Glue not yet set on the back of an Airfix Spitfire's wing.

Warm flesh required around the glass. Preference; toned thighs Actuality; chubby hands. Coaxing vanilla now, rewarded with drunken caramel leaking around the edges. A prickle on the tongue, kindling an almost-lost sensory memory, something randomly Belgium in a smoky Brugge cafe bar.Spots of dryness stick in the palate. An undefined essence of ester lingers.

So young. Maybe too young. Too lithe. Too subtle. It needs age. It needs weight. It sits in the glass and knows with cock-sure confidence that it could be an amazing, outstanding, stop-the-fucking-traffic beer. But not yet. Like many on the cusp of maturity, it needs a few years to sit in the dark whilst breaking hearts occasionally.

Two more bottles of Brewdog's 10.2% 'vanilla bean infused belgian quad' will now go and wallflower my cellar party til next spring. Let's see if they blossom then.

Abstrakt 01 has sold on on the official website but I dare say that some independent retailer has a bottle or five stashed away. Ask around. You may be surprised.

Somewhere in deepest darkest Laaaaandan right about now - well, OK, at the bright-and-breezy beer theatre that is Cask in Pimlico, the pre-launch party for Abstrakt 02 should be getting underway. The 16% 'Triple Dry Hopped Imperial Red Ale' goes on sale from the Abstrakt website tomorrow.

Thanks to Brewdog for the beer.


  1. According to @BrewdogJames it's up to 18% in the bottle.

    I missed out on the AB:01, but vanilla beer doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Hoping AB:02 hits my beer-sweet-spot!

  2. I thought it was a great drop of beer, literally bursting with malty vitality.

    As you say, I'm sure some independent retailers still have some available...