In mid-2013, Pipeworks Brewing Co. based out of Chicago, Ill. released another variant in its popular Abduction series, which takes an imperial stout base and adds different adjuncts to produce very different beers. Orange Truffle Abduction1 is a 10.5 percent ABV imperial stout that incorporates CTZ hops as well as 2-row, vienna, munich, chocolate, special b, caramel 120, oats and midnight wheat malts. As the name implies, a multitude of adjusts are also added, including dark candi syrup, cacao nibs and fresh orange zest.

Pipeworks Orange Truffle Abduction bottle

The bottle label has this to say about the beer:

Earth, both rich and refreshing, the bright juices of your primordial civilizations quench even the coldest desire’s of deep space. Eventually you will succumb and offer us the sweet orange flesh of your humanity and the chocolate longing of your young will. Or did you think there would be someone to deliver you?

Orange Truffle Abduction is just one of a multitude of beers in the Abduction series that Pipeworks has released over the years:

  • Barrel Aged The Abduction (13 percent ABV)
  • Cherry Truffle Abduction (11 percent ABV)
  • Coffee Break Abduction (10.5 percent ABV)
  • Mint Truffle Abduction (10.5 percent ABV)
  • Raspberry Truffle Abduction (10.5 percent ABV)
  • Toasty Nut Abduction (10.5 percent ABV)
  • Orange Truffle Abduction (10.5 percent ABV)

The Pipeworks Orange Truffle Abduction pours a thin midnight black with more than a finger of head that is mocha brown in color. The head disappears fairly quickly, leaving only the slightest thin lacing behind. There seems to be plenty of carbonation in the glass and the aroma from the opening is a combination of strong oranges,  wet dog, sweet malt, oak and roasted coffee.

Pipeworks Orange Truffle Abduction

From the first sip, I can taste the individual flavors fighting with each other: a sharp, tart citrus, cloying candy sweetness and a touch of oak and black licorice. I can taste the same strong tart citrus on the finish, where it easily is the dominant note, pushing all other flavors aside with ease. Surprisingly, I am tasting very little in the way of coffee, vanilla or chocolate, three notes that I come to expect in copious amounts in imperial stouts. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for the style, while the carbonation level is low enough to make me wonder if it was done on purpose. The alcohol is well hidden, but both it and the candy-like sweetness does become more prominent as the beer warms to room temperature.

Pipeworks Orange Truffle Abduction
BREWERY: Pipeworks Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Chicago, Ill.
STYLE: Imperial stout
ABV: 10.5 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $11.99
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottles
As an idea, I can see how the concept of Pipeworks Orange Truffle Abduction could work: take a fairly high ABV imperial stout brewed with a multitude of different malts and add a combination of sweet and citrus adjuncts to bump up the complexity of the entire profile. The problem is that, at least in this case, the adjuncts that were added actually clash against each other, with each fighting for dominance, and with none succeeding. The sweetness is cloying at times, with the orange citrus somewhat overwhelming on the finish and the noticeably thin mouthfeel does not help matters any. In the end, this is an incredibly interesting beer, but it is not balanced enough for me to drink more than once.
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