Beer review: BrewDog Abstrakt AB:09

Yet another review of a beer in the Abstrakt series from the guys at BrewDog. This time we have a “Cranachan” Imperial Stout. Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert, made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, heather honey, and fresh raspberries, with toasted oatmeal soaked in whisky.

Abstrakt AB:09 is an Imperial Stout brewed with heather honey, raspberries and oats, and have been aged in whisky barrels for about 6 months. The beer has an ABV of 17.1%.

Let’s see if the beer is as dessert-like as it sounds!

BrewDog Abstrakt AB:09Looks

The beer looks oily as it’s poured. The colour is dark brown and the head looks like a milk chocolate mousse.

The head is quite fizzy and leaves no lacing.


I’m getting alcohol, vanilla, coffee, cocoa, sweet liquorice and hints of oak. There are also some small hints of red berries hidden beneath everything else. I’m not getting any hints of the honey.


The booze is strong in this one! At first I’m struggling to get past the alcohol, but after a while there is a whole lot going on. Many of the hints found in the aroma is in the flavor as well, but they blend more into each other. Most notable flavors are liquorice, cocoa and vanilla. As the beer warms up the raspberries comes through. As in the aroma I can’t get any clear honey flavors.

The mouth feel is pretty thick and oily and the carbonation level is medium but slightly sharp.


Strong hint of alcohol up front with a good amount of sweet liquorice after a short while. There is also a good amount of chocolate and coffee present in the finish, which, lasts forever!


An intriguing beer, as most of the other Abstrakt beers. This one is not among my favourites though. The beer has a hint of alcohol throughout which I don’t care for. Score: 3.5/5.

The beer has been added to my calendar next year so come back on April 2nd 2013 if you want to find out how a year in the bottle has treated the beer.

BrewDog Abstrakt AB:09

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6 Responses to Beer review: BrewDog Abstrakt AB:09

  1. Haffy says:

    I bet this one needs two years…. 🙂

  2. Knut says:

    I dont mean to be negative, but i’m getting slightly fed up with the Abstrakt-beers. They seldom (exept 0:4) live up to the hype (and pricetag). Thoughts?

    • Christer Edvartsen says:

      I can’t say I’m fed up, but I agree with not living up to the hype. I still think most of the beers in the series are intriguing, but since so many other breweries put out some pretty extreme beers as well the Abstrakt series gets less and less “special”.

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  5. Per says:

    I having this one now. As you described, quite boozy, but I liked it. I comes down to what you expect or want from a beer like this. No trace of rasberries, but the honey was clearly present, like in Thornbridge Bracia. Honey, licorice, whisky and sherry dominates. As mentioned by Knut above, I think it’s too expensive. There’s lots of extreme beers like this appearing all the time so one bottle is enough for me (actually I had another bottle a year ago, but it’s OK). Cheers!

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