A few weeks ago, I headed up North for the Hilden beer festival but before that, I stayed the night at Steve's house with a couple from CAMRA. The purpose was to do a reverse-vertical tasting of all the Abstrakt range from brewdog. Just like the last vertical tasting I did with Steve, I left the main note taking to him and got on with the drinking.
Steve's full report is here and is worth a read.
Here are my quick notes as I took them down. I seem to have missed number 2 though I did have it.
One thing to note, this was a sort of blind test in that the bottles are simply labelled with numbers and not style so we had no idea what to expect other than visual queues from the beer itself. I avoided looking up beers beforehand.
I have copied/pasted the style from the abstrakt website below each beer.
10 - Strong dark fruits. Cranberry and strong prune. For all the sweet aroma, it's a little dryer in the finish. Slight chocolate and a hint of coffee.
Very nice beer. Alcohol in finish.
IMPERIAL BROWN ALE AGED IN SPANISH RED WINE BARRELS
9 - Strong 17% ABV, Bitter choc. Summer fruits. Tart.
CRANACHAN IMPERIAL STOUT
8 - Peat smoked. A honey cough syrup almost but tastes lovely. Slight choc. Mostly sweet honey and peat.
DECONSTRUCTED BLONDE IMPERIAL STOUT
7 - Similar to 10. Prunes. Fizzier though. Also lighter mouthfeel.
WHISKY CASK AGED IMPERIAL SCOTCH ALE
6 - Strong grassy hops. Essentially black IPA (Pacific northwest black ale). Very nice. Lingering bitterness. Ever present sweetness throughout. 11.2% abv
TRIPLE DRY HOPPED IMPERIAL BLACK IPA
5 - Belgian imperial stout? 12.5%,
Slight sweaty cheese in aroma. Slight coconut, Very syrupy sweet. I like but it's cloying. Chocolate sherry. Oily.
BELGIAN IMPERIAL STOUT AGED ON TOASTED COCONUT AND CACAO
4 - Very strong alcohol. Slight peat. Strong chocolate. Dark fruits. Lovely but not the best for me, even if highest rated.
IMPERIAL STOUT BREWED WITH COFFEE, LOADS CACAO AND CHILLI
4a - Dog A is a remake of 4 and this has some chilli but is clearly younger. Nice beer, I think I prefer over 4.
3 - Gusher. Strong fizzy lemon sherbet aroma. Tastes like a sour geuze but not quite cantillon. Lots of fruity fizzy sourness. Lively interesting beer. Supposed to be like this? Loved it. My favorite at this point.
IMPERIAL ALE AGED OVER 2 YEARS IN WHISKY CASKS WITH RASPBERRIES AND STRAWBERRIES
1 - Shit. Like a high gravity homebrew lager. Avoid like the plague.
VANILLA BEAN INFUSED BELGIAN QUAD
So there we have it and the sour number 3 was by far my favourite.
Some were an eye opener in that I would never have guessed at the style I was drinking. Number 8, the de-constructed imperial stout for instance.
A discovery we made is that I must have a very high sensitivity for phenols that give a peat or iodine flavour/aroma (though did not pick it up in #10?) because I picked them up much more than the others (might not have been there) and it makes sense. My smoked mild I thought perfect as it had exactly the smoked character I wanted was not very smoky to my wife or a number of others who tasted it.
There was a lot more beer consumed before the tasting as well as after Steve went to bed and I think I have some notes from some of them to share in another post.