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Sink The Bismarck! - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Sink The Bismarck!Sink The Bismarck!

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

195 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 23.14%
Wants: 152
Gots: 62 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  41.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: femALEist on 03-23-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (109) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 94
Reviews by drseamus:
Photo of drseamus
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light amber color, legs when the glass is swirled. It almost looks like a dessert wine.

S: It stings the nostrils. Just taking a big whiff of it makes me want to pass out. There's a definite sweetness from the hops.

T: It's essentially a hop infused whiskey. It's like soothing lava in my mouth. The hops come through very clearly. It's confusing but good.

M: I need some skin grafts on my throat. It's hot with fusels but somehow still drinkable.

D: So glad it comes with a stopper. I shared half the bottle with 5 friends and it was perfect.

More User Reviews:
Photo of imscotty
2.05/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thank you to my friend Bob who unleashed this monster at his Superbowl gathering. It was... unforgettable

A: When the bottle was opened we were surprised to hear it pop. Still, no evidence of carbonation when poured, no head to speak of. The beer is a fairly clear deep dark amber.

S: The aroma sharply hits you with alcohol and hoppy herbal bitterness. It is very sharp and forewarns you of what is to come. Yes, there are also sherry and caramel aromas, but the sharp alcohol hoppy bitterness overwhelms.

T: Wow, I mean wow. A bitter peppery burning bomb goes off in your mouth. Many reviewers talk about the alcohol burn, that is to be expected at 41 abc, but what is amazingly intense is that bitter peppery burn. I suppose it is the bitter hops used, but it tastes like you are sucking wet peat dipped in Cayenne pepper. What I am trying to say is that I found this almost undrinkable it was so extreme. My lips puckered and burned, the back of my throat tightened.

My share of the bottle was poured into a 6 oz glass, I drank maybe 2 oz. If I took the tiniest of sips and nursed those two ounces over an entire day maybe I would have enjoyed it more. The half hour I actually spent drinking those two ounces was too much, too intense.

M: I do no know what to say about this, there was nothing wrong with the viscosity. But I actually found this mouth numbing. Did you ever get novocaine at the dentist and some of it drips on your tongue and burns and numbs at the same tie? It was like gargling with novocaine and napalm.

O: I suppose the brewers accomplished what they set out to do. It was certainly a memorable experience. It was an education in the extreme of what pure distilled alcohol infused bitter hop would taste like. I suggested to my friends that one or two DROPS of Sink the Bismarck in a regular IPA would probably add some nice flavor and complexity. Have you ever tasted vanilla extract, it is too much. But a few drops can make a delicious ice cream. Well this is the vanilla extract of beers and I found it undrinkable in this form.

Note: A few hours have past since my tasting and my mouth is still burning and numb. I hope I will be able to taste again.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle served at the Common Table in Dallas.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is very heavy on the alcohol along with some brown sugar and piney hop notes. The beer smells a lot like a super-hopped American Barleywine.

The flavor is more of the same with a few notes added. I get a ton of alcohol - which is expected when the beer is 82 proof. However, as the beer warms, I also get a lot of the resiny and piney hops, as well as a lot of caramel malt. There is a ton of alcohol in the flavor and the beer is very warming as you drink it. It may not taste like 41 percent, but the beer definitely tastes like a drink that is 15 plus percent alcohol by volume. That being said, even with all of the alcohol, the beer is drinkable and tastes like a quadruple IPA or whatever BrewDog wants to classify this beer.

The beer is completely flat and has a medium to full mouthfeel. A very interesting beer. Not sure if it is worth the price, but definitely something worthy of trying one time if you can get it at the right price.

Photo of biboergosum
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

375ml caged and synthetically corked bottle. Been sitting on this one for well over a year, waiting for just the right time to crack it. Since no occasion has come to pass that wasn't already spoken for, I figured that the anniversary of Otto von Bismarck's namesake battleship's demise would suffice. As well, I can't help but be reminded of Johnny Horton's ditty of the same name, one my mother (70 years young a few days ago) led me to lo these many years ago.

This beer pours (after a few frustratingly arduous attempts to open) a clear, dark ruby brown hue, with only a few sparse soda bubbles tending to the perimeter in terms of head or lace. Kind of subtly ominous, I must say.

It smells pungent, and then heady, and then a bit in your face - deep, concentrated black fruit esters, fresh leather, tawny port wine, wet cigar ash, edgy, somewhat bready caramel/toffee, leafy smoked wood, and a further perfumed floral citrus warmth.

The taste is hyper-dense caramel pudding, sharp, prickly muddled citrus, like hot grapefruit and citrus vodka, oiled leather, reduced warm brown sugar, a certain woody, lightly smoked meatiness, gritty molasses, the darkest of soy sauces, a heavy cherry and red grape musty fruitiness, soaked tobacco leaf, and more big, beefy grapefruit, orange and pine hops, obfuscated somewhat in their bloated state, but punchy all the same.

The carbonation is there, surprisingly enough, but only in trace amounts, the body more than evocative of the biggest, stupidest meathead you might have seen in the gym or outside a random nightclub - bursting at the seams, with a weightiness not found in nature - hmmmm - and as smooth as a waist-high shelf whisky blended with big-ass west-coast IPA hops could expect to be, which actually works here, somewhat astonishingly. It finishes pretty sweet, though most of that comes from the alcohol, duh, and the tropical fruitiness that has the oysters to stick it out above all that other steroidal mishmash.

It is what it is - a (beer-oriented, I'm guessing they actually meant) spirit derived from grain - so the heretofore (ok, there was TNP) untested status of this 'brewery' here is understandable. I'm just glad to see the substantial hops of the base style style alive and well, if in a sort of zombie-esque state, which renders this in the end a so-so sipper. The Scottish have a propensity for distancing themselves from all things British, so I find it nice of them to rekindle a 72 year-old WW2 naval battle, one more than the 15 miles of note away. For the 110 or so Canuck retail dollars, I will just have to save some of this for my weekly viewing of Mad Men this evening, wherein I typically quaff a dram or two in deference to the habits of those mainly antiquated (?) characters.

Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A unique experience, that transends the ratings. Bottle from the brewer, wrapped in a paper bag with a 41%! warning on it, and a bottle stopper should you choose self-control and drink some many hours later. Grapefruit colour with amber highlights, and lacey. The aroma of many hops is a side-show. The taste, and its a sipper and full mouthfeel, is a bitter hopped melange in a river of high alcohol, and mid-sip a little sherryish. Undertstated carbonation.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somehow a trace of surface carbonation, mysteriously. Burnt umber body. Good legs.

Smells like IPA-flavored liquor. Heavy (vaguely citrusy) hops, some honey malt, and tons of booze.

Bitter face time! Smack of hops and booze is balanced by sweetness (caramelized hops), some malty honey, and some of that mango(?)

Mouthfeel is like whiskey, what did I expect?

So intense. What does it mean?

Photo of DJButters
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted 9/2/11@ Haus Staudt - Snifter

Appearance: Surprisingly not as dark and thick as I would have expected. Very thin and light, think more like a scotch or cognac.

Smell: dear good what did i get myself into? I only poured in about an ounce or two and the alcohol is overwhelming. However along with that there is a sweet barleywine presence here. Roasted hops and caramel.

Taste: This is difficult to explain. The notes are there but are faint and easily overwhelmed by the shear volume of alcohol present. I would have liked to seen this aged in a oak cask for about... 12 years. This is just difficult to drink. In hindsight perhaps a few cubes of ice would have helped.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, not great either. Nothing to chug or gulp but smooth none the less.

Drinkability: Difficult. Listen, I am a scotch drinker by trade and some are near 60%, but this needs something it is clearly lacking. It needs time to cool off and age in some oak, IMO. Notes are good but faint, and alcohol is abundant.

Overall; Glad to have tried it. You wont see me seeking it out.

Photo of davod23
2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

An odd beer, and a tough review. Poured from the bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance is a thick golden color. I poured several small glasses of this, and found that a couple were more clear than others. Shockingly a head materialized, but obviously dissipated rapidly with the 41% abv.

Smell - interesting. About what I expected. Tons of hops, very oily, which was only offset by the massive smack of booze to my face. Pine, earthiness and tropical presence there too.

Taste... ah. Massive booze, obviously. Even more than expected. Hops are pronounced, but there's also a medicinal quality on the back end of this. Reminds me a bit of fresh 120 Minute, but stronger, harsher. And I don't care for 120 Minute.

Mouthfeel isn't bad. It's oily and medium-full bodied, spirit-like. Carbonation is barely there, if at all.

Drinkability is real bad. Real, real bad. I only drank an ounce, maybe 1.5. I actually took the remainder and poured it back into the bottle. And this isn't me rating this out of some inability to handle strong beer/booze - I love Utopias, bourbon, and scotch. This was far, far less drinkable than any decent bourbon or scotch, and cannot even compare to Utopias (which I could drink a full glass of with no problem).

This is a novelty, a fun effort, and worth trying if you can find 11 friends to split the bottle with you.

Photo of rwf08
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Grading as a spirt:

A: Dark, dark amber. Like fine bourbon. Mild carbonation with no head. Thick alcohol coating on glass.

S. Hot spirit smell. Much like sweet honey with a light cedary/pine undertone.

T: Sweet syrup with spicy pine. Alcohol.

M: Full, plumy, viscous body. Chewy, mildly carbonated spirit. Somewhere between a port, a bourbon, and a beer.

O: A must try if you can split it amongst three other friends. Nice to try but not a daily drinker.

Photo of GRG1313
1.66/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I decided to refrain from reviewing beer unless my feelings were very strong, one way or the other. Respectfully to prior reviews, I can't help but conclude that BrewDog is just laughing at every one of us. This beer simply must be a BrewDog prank.

It looks ok, although nothing special and actually opened with some carbonation pressure and there was a bit of carbonation.

The nose is actually wonderful to the extent that you smell huge, pure hops. I felt like I'd taken a handful of hops, squeezed and squeezed them in my hands and then smelled them. A good and complex honey/hoppy nose.

Then, I tasted it. Are you kidding? It is not drinkable. It is pure, strong hop oil. End of story. There is a brief second of sweet honey on the front of your tongue and then your palate is destroyed by hop oil; hop essence. You can't "drink" this - one must take a very small sip. Most of us at this tasting took a small "normal" taste and every single person either made a bad face, gagged or spit it out quickly. One guy saw the reaction of those tasting it before him and refused to taste it!

The hop bitter oil finish and flavor is such the palate wrecker that the flavor numbs your tongue and senses and it lasts for 45 minutes, no other beer or spirit or liquid "making it go away."

I've tasted well over 4,000 beers in the past 3-4 years. This is hands down the most offensive.
Just my opinion.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle, Batch 009, best before 16-08-20. I've had this bottle for at least a year so I know it's not exactly fresh. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a mostly clear orange/amber color with a very small fizzy cola-like head that went away pretty quickly. No lacing at all. It also has legs like liquor does when I swirl the beer around the glass. Aroma is mostly boozy, it also smells like dried fruits, apricots, candied oranges, plums, caramel and some hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like sweet booze, dried/candied and tropical fruit, pine hops, honey, and also an herbal/medicinal flavor. It's weird, I can feel the alcohol burn going down my throat when I drink it, but the other flavors linger around a while in the finish so I can actually taste something other than the booze. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's syrupy, slick and coating with low carbonation. I have to say it's a unique brew, and overall I did like it. I'd try it again in the future, but next time I should probably split the bottle with someone instead of drinking it all myself.

Photo of uconnroller
2.22/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had it at this new bar in new haven called cask republic.

A- Golden in color, slightly hazy.
S- The smell is very impressive, very strong alcohol aroma, almost burns the nostrils. Strong hop smell overpowered by alcohol.
T- Taste more like a scotch/wiskey than a beer prob due to the high alcohol content. I feel the taste can be duplicated if you mix 1 part vinegar, 1 part Sambuka, and 2 parts jameson.
M-thick and burns most of the way down
D-not easily drinkable, the snifter I had was plenty.

I feel that some people are trying to justify spending so much on this beer by giving it a good rating. I consider it a waste of money, just brewdog trying to make the highest alcohol content beer but sacraficing taste while doing so.

The best thing about this beer, in my opinion, is you can say you drank a beer with 41% alcohol.

Nothing against brewdog either. I had the brewdog/stone bashah for the first time that night and that was top notch.

Photo of TheDudeImbibes
4.39/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow.
A: Rich gold to amber hue. Pours like scotch with zero head.

S: My first words: "it actually smells good!" Big resinous hop aroma and a solid malty backbone evident. I was expecting a bigger version of Tactical Nuclear Penguin but it's an entirely different beast. Smells like the biggest IPA you ever sniffed.

T: Huge. The resinous hops hit you up front before a massive sweet malt kicks in, then the big boozy finish rounds it out. The burn from the alcohol is there but not in the way I'd expect from a scotch. Actually quite smooth. Epic, delicious, moorish.

M: Thick and sweet. Syrupy. Not much carbonation evident at all, maybe a slight tingle on the tongue.

O: Quite an epic beer. Pretty much the essence of IPA. It's like drinking the spirit from which all beer was made. If you've seen that Simpsons episode where Bart and Milhouse buy a squishy made entirely from syrup then you'll know what I mean.

I don't know where you magic pixies came from, but I sure like your pixie drink!

Happy Trizzle?

Photo of largadeer
1.24/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to Evan for wasting a bunch of money on this so we could tick it.

Pours a dark shade of amber with little in the way of carbonation, though I poured my glass a while after the bottle had been opened. It's pretty leggy and syrupy, like you'd expect from an 80 proof beer. The nose is unabashed booze, with a ton of caramel sweetness to back it up. Hops are there, yeah, but they've got a stale characterless quality to them. As bad as it smells, it tastes even worse. The combination of cloying sweetness and burning alcohol overwhelms nearly any depth of flavor this might have. There's a bit of green/herbal hop flavor and slight smokiness toward the mid-palate, and then brash, burning booze takes over and destroys any actual flavors you might have picked up otherwise, along with your palate for the rest of the day. Pretty horrid stuff.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4.67/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle (Xmas gift from my wife). Spirit glass. From my notes. Deep amber color, foggy appearance. Very strong flavors & aromas. I love rhum, well, it performs like ir does. Smooth upfront then a burning big bang in mouth. Amazing light body but, after some drop, it makes you feel like being drinking beer for hours. Tastes as an amplified flavor & aroma beer. Nearly unexisting froth but master carbonation.: I had have it after diners for several days & I have to say that everytime I opened it, it sounded “pop”. Incredible drinking experience. Perfect pairing with butter & anise cookies.

Photo of erosier
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Cask Republic in New Haven, CT.

L: Pours an amber/orange color with no head whatsoever. It leaves a thick liquid lacing like a wine down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet roasted/toasted/caramelized malts, alcohol, dark fruits, hints of what could be hop aromas.
T: Tastes of sweet malts followed by dark fruit flavors like cherry, raisin, plums, and then a sweet molasses/brown sugar flavor before the alcohol hits and it hits, but that's expected.
M: Heavy, warming, hot, no carbonation (but I don't feel any is needed).
D: OK, due to it's insanely high abv, it's not a very drinkable beer, but if you compare it to tactical nuclear penguin or scotch it is.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Beautiful mahogany color with smell that stings the nose. Lots of caramel syrupy sweetness in the aroma, similar to 120 minute. Sweet candied hops. Flavor is very sweet and honey like with floral/earthy hops. Alcohol burns long and hard but doesn't taste like 41%.

I feel this beer was made to see who could make the strongest beer in the world but by a random decision to make it a huge IPA it came out to be an incredibly flavorful and eclectic ale. Although it would really be a challenge for a regular beer drinker to finish a full bottle by themselves.

Photo of rbloomberg3
2.62/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Brewed as a show off. Tasted of a bog standard ale and not worth bothering with except to say you have had it.

Photo of Sigmund
2.52/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 41%. Sold as "spirits / hard liquor" (40 ml shots) in Norway. Deep reddish orange to amber colour, no head, nor any carbonation. Aroma of piney and catty American hops, hints of fusel alcohols and red berries. The flavour is very sweet, very bitter and loaded with alcohol. Not good.

Photo of rarbring
2.46/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This drink is slightly clouded amber, no head, no lacing, but curtains.

The smell is besides alcoholic, grape, rose water and a general dried grassy hops.

Basically fiery alcoholic hop schnapps.

No carbonation, boozy, coarse and dry.

Basically hops in (bad) booze, try once. Grappa is better!

Photo of Sweeney19X
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Me and 3 friends all threw down to get a bottle. When you find out one of the strongest beers in the world is being sold in your town, you have to go for it. Knew we were in for something special when my nose tingled after opening it. Poured into a snifter with zero carbonation and zero head. It was more like drinking a strong scotch than anything else. Enough bite in the aroma to clear anyone's sinus'. Not sure if it's something I would go for again at $110 for a bottle. But is for sure an experience that i would recommend to others, just to say you did it.

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle, special ordered from Scotland

Poured into a wine glass (seemed appropriate at the time), just a small portion at one sitting. Golden-orange color, syrupy looking, no head, minimal carbonation. Sweet, citrusy nose loaded with resiny hops. Taste: HOPS; very strong, very piney. Imagine doing a shot of highly concentrated IPA, and that's basically what you have here. Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy, alcohol burn combined with intense hop burn for a very intense experience. Overall a very good brew and definitely worth trying. I enjoyed it a lot. But it loses points for drinkability due to its intensity...and unavailability. Unless you're in the mood for hop shots and live in Scotland.

Photo of weller1js
4.82/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Buddy & I split it for his wedding day

appearance: pours a rich cognac brown with orance hue, clear, no noticeable carbonation; you can tell by looking at it that it is quality.

smell: when taken in too deeply, the burn of alcohol is distinct, an exceptional blend of hops, smoke, citrus (though overwhelmed), complex spices, lingers into yur nostrils for quite a bit.

taste: begins with a very dark fruity taste fused with with spices, progresses with the floral aspects of the heavy hops, creates a lighter fruit taste, all the while going toward a piney and smokey consistency; the finish begins both deeply sweet and bitter, with the bitterness winning out, lingering long after the finish.

mouthfeel: I don't typically review mouthfeel, but in this case, the consistency is that of a fine cognac, heavy and deep, comparable to a liquor.

drinkability: exceptional; for the attempt, complexity and result thereof, for a beer brewed to liquor-like perfection, so glad I got to share this one, like any fine liquor, moderation is key for strength and costs-sake.

Photo of TrevorWGrover
4.55/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer a while back so I can't really justify reviewing it now but I feel like I have to to talk a little about this extremely unique beer.

First of all, we are supposed to compare the beers we review only against other beers of the same style. There are not many beers of this style. The only other that I have EVER heard of is Brewdog's other: 'Tactical Nuclear Penguin'.

BA calls this an imperial IPA, but I don't feel it actually fits in that description. It is like a liquor IPA. Don't take that the wrong way. Sink the Bismarck IS a beer. It is brewed like a beer, from the grain to the boil, hopped like a beer, fermented like a beer and then hopped some more. (no distillery necessary)

Drinking this beer is a lot like drinking a nice Scotch or Bourbon. You definitely get that warming feeling through the back of your tongue and throat but it smells and tastes like a delicious IPA. Something that Brewdog WOULD put out.

If you had Tactical Nuclear Penguin and did not like it so much, that is not a good enough reason to pass on this one. STB > TNP.

I truly loved drinking this brew. I'll just say drink it with an open mind.

Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a tumbler.

Since the brew day is winding down, I'd better crack this guy open so's that we can all enjoy its bounty. It pours a lightly hazed ruby-amber topped by a half-finger at best of white-ish foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, pine, onion, and toffee. It's also very clear that this is very high in alcohol. The taste brings forth some physically heavy caramel and toffee, along with some harsh pine and a heaping helping of astringent alcohol (in the form of a Pacquiao blast to the tongue). The body is a light-ish medium, with a moderate carbonation and a very dry finish. Overall, this is pretty hard to drink, even for those who enjoy straight spirits regularly. That said, I'm glad I got to try this beast, and I feel the price, though sickeningly steep, was sorta worth the experience here with my friends.

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Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
82 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.