Coffee Break Abduction, Pipeworks Brewing Company

Pipeworks Coffee Break Abduction Label

Basic Beer Info:

  • Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company
  • Beer: Coffee Break Abduction
  • Batch: 248-250-252
  • Beer type: Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 10.5%
  • Date of tasting: 1-25-14
  • Temperature: 54° (I usually make these temperatures up)
  • Serving type: Poured from 12oz bottle into two tulip glasses
  • Price: $10.99/22 oz bottle (Binny’s)

Found this little guy hiding on the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge. It’s probably been in there since the I Hate My Boss review, for some reason I remember buying two coffee beers that day…

As I’ve mentioned before, Pipeworks Brewing Co. is a relatively new brewery here in Chicago (est. Jan. 2012). I would say that they are known for being a little crazy and experimental but it seems to be working well for them. Lot’s of buzz around the beer nerd circles about their Abduction stout line (this is part of that) and some of their hoppier beers. They sure do sell at a premium price… But enough of that, let’s drink.

Appearance: 4/5

It looks like a stout. It’s dark, it’s nearly opaque, and it has very little head. It does have the “ruby glisten” at the edges, betraying a slight transparency when I sip. I think the head was a khaki color, it went away too fast for me to note the color.

Aroma: 3.75/5

I’m a little disappointed. Maybe I’ve been drinking beers that are too good lately (2012 & 2013 BCBS anyone?) but this smelled, well, plain. It smelled like my imperial stouts smell and I’m not getting $10.99 a bottle for mine (low blow). I’m getting a lot of roasted malt smell, maybe a tiny bit of biscuit. It seems very one dimensional. (I have been drinking too well lately.)

[I let it warm up a bit more and the nose is filling in a bit. There is a coffee sweetness in there, maaybe a bit like coffee flavored Mu‘assel.]

Taste: 3.5/5

I’m just not that impressed here. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad but it isn’t killing it either. There’s a medium malty sweetness on the front end followed by a lot of roasted malt. The coffee is very timid, maybe not even present. I can’t say I would have know it had coffee in it if I hadn’t read the label. On the fence about whether that’s a bad thing necessarily. (For the record, since I compared the beer’s aroma to my own beer, this one tastes better than anything I could brew.)

Mouthfeel: 4/5

Perhaps this is where the beer excels. It feel right on the tongue, silky without being milky, just the right carbonation.

Label:

Mr Beejay Oslon (not a spelling mistake) does it with this one. It’s silly, it’s fun.

Overall: 3.5/5

Eh sums it up. Some of the Abduction variations have been awesome, like the Orange Truffle Abduction I’ve had or the Rasberry Truffle Abduction I keep hearing about. It is bad, and I’d drink it again if given the chance, but it just isn’t that great either. I’m disappointed that the aFR is so low for this beer. I can say that it isn’t even close to being the lowest rated beer I’ve reviewed, but the relatively high price brings the aFR down. Tears.

Weighted Final Rating1: 3.58/5

aFR2:  

To see a list of all my beer reviews and ratings, check out the Summary of Beers Reviewed page.


  1. My final rating is a weighted average of the 5 component ratings. See the Beer Review Methodology Page

  2. The aFR (adjusted Final Rating) is my attempt at standardizing beer ratings across the increasingly vast pricing and container volume differences. It ranges from near 0 to near 25, the higher the number is the better the beer is in terms of quality and value. See the Beer Review Methodology Page

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