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Tactical Nuclear Penguin - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Tactical Nuclear PenguinTactical Nuclear Penguin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

293 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 293
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 23.23%
Wants: 212
Gots: 75 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  32.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Made by freezing Paradox to remove water.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2009)
View: Beers (97) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 293 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks JMBSH. Almost no head and very dark brown. Smoke city, in the aroma, in the atste. Almost pure smoke and peat, impeding drinkability. A touch of lace. Average mouthfeel. A little Scotch.More of a Scotch or an Eisbock than competing with the imperial stouts.

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear orange-brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt, campfire, toffee, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with harsh fruit, smoke, and alcohol flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast and chemical bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that is interesting to try, but nothing more than a gimmick in my opinion.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Leaving my comfort zone way behind, I now step into the mysterious, ominous, and incredibly inhospitable realm of Brewdog's deepest and darkest recesses. Leaving all those preconceived notions of what beer is supposed to be, far in the rear view mirror, heading into Tactical Nuclear Penguin begs for a reset of the mind, palate and spirit. For this is not a mere mortal beer- its a barley liqueur.

I might as well pop the cork and let the elixir crawl out of the bottle all on its own- its that strong. Pouring like molasses and motor oil, the beer is highly viscous and void of any carbonation at all. Its still appearance stares back at you like its some sort of dare- one in which you are certain to loose. Like a brandied abyss, the ale trickles down the snifter with inky legging with a gentle swirl of the glass. Its whirlpool draws in the nose with much seduction and mesmerizing effect.

Its decadent scent is chocked full of molasses, coffee and vinous port. Its booze-driven nose is undeniable as a waft of cognac, bourbon and sherry waft about. With a fudge-like roast, chocolate and nutty flare, a tangy scent of burnt fruit arise: roasted raspberries, red grapes, blueberries, blackcurrants, raisins, dates and figs all take turns attracting the nose. Its woodish tone awaken earhty notes of fresh-hung tobacco, curing leather, and savory terriyaki.

Its taste is much more savory and satisfying that was once feared. Certianly its absurd alcohol strength is omnipresent, the beer is so much more than just booze- its verbose maltiness folds in its brandy, bourbon and sherry notes with equal strength from black-strap molasses, burnt toffee, bittersweet chocolate, mild espresso, roasted walnuts, brownie batter and fudge. Certainly complex, the real components of the beer shines when its savory and fruity flavors fold within. A salty, briny sense of soy sauce is like glazed and salt-cured meats and is met with rich port wine, sherry and roasted dark fruits. Everything from rum cake to honey-glazed dates, to caramelized bacon, to terriyaki all come to mind even deep within its finish.

Its dense sweetness, with its lack of carbonation allows the beer to seep into the taste buds with complete dominance. Its full saturation of flavor melds the sweet tooth and heightens its sense of smoldering heat as the beer slowly evaporates on the palate. Its long, deep and lingering finish is much more brandy or cognac-like than anything known to the beer world. Its spicy and prickling finish isn't all that naked and its accompanying savory and sweet tones ride along side, deep into the next sip.

Brewdog, I give you another hats off! You've challenged my notion about what beer can be and you made me like it. It's both the blessing and the curse. Damn you Brewdog!

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of womencantsail
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Huge thanks to Richard for opening this one during our tasting yesterday. This was a "surprise" beer he brought out and I'm glad to get a chance to try it.

A: The pour is surprisingly "light" considering the fact that the base is an imperial stout. The beer is a light brown color with plenty of red highlights and not much in the way of head or carbonation.

S: Obviously, there's a large alcohol component to this beer at 32% ABV. That said, there's more to it than just the heat. There's a slight caramel sweetness, vanilla, and a definite smokiness, almost peaty.

T: The alcohol heat takes a moment to get over, but after that, there are some decent flavors in there. The smoke and peat are a bit more pronounced than in the nose. There's some vanilla, brown sugar, and caramel in the middle with a bitterness to the finish.

M: The lack of carbonation and huge amount of sweetness and alcohol make this too hot and a touch syrupy for my tastes.

D: This is one that I'm glad to say that I tried. I honestly couldn't drink more than an ounce or two at once, and I think that perhaps in a couple decades, this might change a bit and become more palatable. As for now, I might taste it again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can't believe I got some of this finally. This brew is out of this world. BrewDog has gone above and beyond the limits of brewing something very extreme here. This beer is very very black, it's aroma fills a room with whiskey, rich dark malts, and a little smokiness. Upon taking the first sip it kicks you in the teeth, really hard. My eyes opened with enjoyment. I was so amazed at how freaking brutal this beer was. I wanted to savor every smokey sip of it as much as possible but the longer it took and the warmer it got it became more difficult for me to drink. The Alcohol is so strong it actually burned the sides of my tongue everything I took a sip. I enjoyed the fact that I managed to get a bottle of this, it was very exciting to try and to have others try. I have a great deal of respect for BrewDog and this beer but I can't see myself buying this again. It was surely a once in a lifetime beer.

Photo of largadeer
1.5/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks for sharing this, Nick. My curiosity has been sated.

Dark mahogany brown in the glass, not quite black; on the light side for the world's strongest stout. It pours with surprising life, an inch of light tan head topping the amber body, though it quickly dissipates entirely. Swirling reveals thick, syrupy legs not unlike a spirit or liqueur.

It smells intensely of alcohol, peat, oak, faint roast - a hell of a lot like scotch. The alcohol is punchy and plainly noticeable, but not as stinging as I was expecting. That being said, there isn't much to this beyond peat and alcohol. It's simple and unimpressive.

On the palate it's much more harsh and boozy, with flavors of smoke, peat and a touch of oak. Not terribly sweet, just brutally strong. Tarry, ashy, ridiculously alcoholic and stinging. The body is somewhat full, but not as viscous as you would expect from a beer this big. I don't get much complexity from this, and it could really use more sweetness to balance the alcohol. More anything, really - it's lacking the depth of flavor you'd get from a good Scotch. It finishes harsh and solventy, like a charcoal and nailpolish remover cocktail. Have I mentioned that this is harsh? Holy fuck, what a trainwreck.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Split 3 ways with friends, over the course of an evening...

Into a whisky tumbler, this beer pours a clear medium mahogany colour, with a wisp of soapy beige head, which leaves no lace, as it doesn't touch the edge of the glass. It smells of toasted molasses, caramel, treacle, and soft, slightly peaty whisky-like booze. The taste is strong caramel toffee, roasted malt, and an enveloping booze warming. The carbonation is very low, the body heavy, thick, viscous, smooth, with a slight thinning from the alcohol towards the finish, which shows more a sweet woodiness to go with the persistent dense malt.

This is indeed a decent imperial stout, on growth hormone. Take big and beefy, and make it bigger and beefier, they sure did. Wow. It smells like a sweet whisky, tastes like a strong, but very sippable, stout. However, there's no drinking this one even remotely like any other beer, obviously.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Huge thanks to JMBSH for this bottle!

I knew I couldn't handle this beast on my own, so the Man's Weekend provided me with the group tasting I so sorely needed. This thing pours a bleak black-brown topped by only an insinuation of a head. The nose provides a quick punch of alcohol (shocker, I know), backed by some dark chocolate, figs, brown sugar, blackened pork, and charcoal. Whoofah, what a smell! It still burns a bit every time I think about sniffing this BMD. The taste begins with some charred buttery biscuits, then allows the alcohol to let loose on the tongue with some flame throwers, then finishes off with some smoke and charcoal. I have never experienced anything quite like this before, and I don't expect to very often hence. Mama! The body is pretty thick and heavy, with a light moderate carbonation (surprisingly high, if you ask me) and a seriously hot and strong feel. This thing kicks harder than my buddy's slug gun (and my shoulder'll tell you just how hard that is). Overall, this was quite the experience; I'm not entirely sure it works on all levels, but it certainly doesn't fail. Though I do not see too many more weaponized brews on the horizon (or weaponized animals, for that matter), I hope I am able to at least see their effects first-hand like I was able to witness this mushroom cloud.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of jlindros
2.74/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Thanks to rudzud for picking up this share between a few of us.

No head as expected, dark murky cola brown color, long legs.

Booze galore, nose burning like whisky, once I get past it dark fruits come through, lots of syrupy brandy and port wine, candied raisins, then some dusty wooden oak and light vanilla barrel, and light wood esters, light oxidation.

taste wtf!! First, booze burns, again like brandy. Through that it has a green white dog liquor taste. Then syrup, thick syrupy sugar sludge, slightly burnt sugar mess. There's a weird bitter thing too, some earthy herbal hops but also like a weird conifer tree thing, then saw dust wood barrel that seems to have soaked up something awful. The booze again breaks on with a bad burning taste even. Also a weird vegetal fermented plants or something, and fair amount of oxidation cardboard. Just a little soy sauce like. Finish is syrupy and sweet, anestesizing, tingly, syrupy sludge.

Mouth is syrupy sludge and super burning booze, no carb.

Overall meh... No, blech. Starts OK with the aroma, but the flavors are just like fermented cardboard and pine then distilled into a super condensed version of ick. Undrinkable!

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter by James Watt from Brewdog, thanks James. Beer is brown and surprisingly clear, not sure what I expected but not that. Beer has no head, no real carbonation to speak of and no lacing. When I swirl the glass the beer forms a thin layer on the glass and the legs fall down the walls. Looks neat.

Aroma is smoke, lots of smoke. Peated malt and strong smoke. Not as much alcohol as you'd expect but a lot of smoke. Some sweetness and the alcohol is there too but its not the star.

Beer is relatively thin and really smokey. Finishes rather dry (wonder why) and doesn't linger. It hides the alcohol surprisingly well, apparently the highland whiskey barrels is the way to make the smoke go away. Interesting. I don't think I would drink it again or seek it out specifically. Under the right circumstances I would definitely get a little more to get a another perspective from myself. A great opportunity, thanks again James.

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Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog
81 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.