Sink The Bismarck! - BrewDog
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
1.2/5 rDev -67.1%
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.
09-13-2011 01:19:26 | More by largadeer
1.33/5 rDev -63.6%
A bar in New Haven, CT was selling 1oz pours for $16. I've seen this being sold for as much as $24 per ounce so figured this would be the best price I could find and was intrigued with all the hype. This was served in a snifter.
A- Pours a deep amber color with no lacing or head
S- I barely got a chance to bring this up for a sip or sniff when it started burning my eyes. After a moment I was able to smell aromas similar to a whiskey or cognac but still with the unpleasant burning sensation
T- If pins and needles had a taste/flavor this is it. This brew burns from the moment it is placed in front of you. I've had some nice scotches, 18 yr old Oban and that was a fantastic burn. This is just way over the top and not enjoyable at all.
M- you guessed it, burning
Overall this is a brew I will run the other way from and try advise people not to order it. Yes I'm aware this brew reaches higher alcohol by freezing. BrewDog is just trying some wild marketing schemes to hide the fact that their regular beers suck. This is probably how they stay in business by charging triple digits for these brews.
05-16-2011 01:08:25 | More by whitehouse50
1.33/5 rDev -63.6%
Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber-hued body. It's still, but check out those legs.
Smell: Lacquery, quick-drying wood varnish, some perceived earthy hops, some caramelized sugars, but it's quite sharp and quite painful.
Taste: Rasping hop bitterness and coarsely fusel akin to a poisoning sip of rubbing alcohol. A beer that quickly leaves you flustered and out of patience (and money).
Mouthfeel: It's hard to distinguish the viscosity of the beer as your mouth starts writhing the instant it hits your tongue.
Overall: Unenjoyable and undrinkable. A proudly gimmicky, unnecessary beer at an equally obscene price.
10-16-2011 16:13:28 | More by ChainGangGuy
1.4/5 rDev -61.6%
Bottle into a glass. Courtesy of beddachedda, who apparently makes enough chedda to think spending the money on a BrewDog product is a good idea. Evan, you're a prince among men, but there are many sayings about being bad with money, and "He who buys BrewDog is doomed to financial ruin" is at the top of the list.
A: This has a light haze to it, which is odd for a distilled spirit (isn't it?). I don't even know how to rate this. It's mildly leggy, I suppose. I'll give it a 3.5, and that's as high as I'll go, because it's BrewDog.
S: Oh lordy, this is hilarious. It's hops schnapps. That fiery burn of cheap vodka infused with something herbal and earthy. I'm picturing two guys making this in their bathtub while dressed in penguin costumes.
T: A bit like bottled evil. This is quite hoppy, and not in a flavorful way: it's just bitter, earthy, herbal, and boozy. I suppose it accomplished what it set out to do, but that doesn't mean it needed doing, or that I'm going to applaud it. In some ways this is geared toward the fratboy subset of the BA crowd. "Your IPA isn't imperial enough? Boy, do we have the fortifier for you."
Evan pointed out that this is better in larger sips, and despite much mockery from me, I found out he was right. The small sips bring out the harsh burn, while smaller sips bring out some flavors and suppress the burn a bit. It's sort of like being kicked in the groin vs. kicked in the stomach, but I know what I prefer.
O: I'd just like to say that it says a lot about BeerAdvocate that this merits a B for the style. For any style.
09-26-2011 05:47:17 | More by Arbitrator
1.55/5 rDev -57.5%
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.
06-03-2011 23:03:57 | More by GRG1313
1.6/5 rDev -56.2%
My cousin was knind enough to bring a few ounces down for me to try(thank god I did not buy it). The pour looked ok, orange tinge, small white head. The nose was sickening sweet booze. The beer tasted like a high octane cheap vodka, all very hot alcohol. The beer has a very syrupy mouthfeel. Even though I had only a few ounces I had trouble finishing it. I did not enjoy this at all. IMO this beer has very little good beer qualaites. After trying this my cousin said he is going to through his bottle of TNP in the cellar for 5 years.
03-12-2011 11:56:33 | More by bonkers
1.73/5 rDev -52.6%
A big thanks to Eric for sharing this bottle.
A: The pour is surprisingly standard for an IPA. Golden copper/amber color with a fair amount of white head.
S: At first, I quite liked the nose. A lot of hops, primarily resinous and piney in nature. However, if you breathe in a good bit and get the full bouquet, you'll be able to pick out the three main components of this beer: alcohol (cheap vodka), hop extract, and sugar.
T: Though I did enjoy the nose for a moment, the flavor just completely put me off. Even with just a small sip, the alcohol just attacks your tongue. Hot, cheap vodka followed by incredible bitter, hop extract type of flavor and then some table sugar mixed in to try to mellow things out.
M: The body is quite heavy and almost syrupy. It's also hot as hell.
D: Just a few sips was more than enough of this one. I was not a fan of the Penguin, but I thought this was even worse.
07-22-2010 18:38:47 | More by womencantsail
1.95/5 rDev -46.6%
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.
02-03-2014 03:10:55 | More by imscotty
2.1/5 rDev -42.5%
Picked this up from my local liquor shop from "the back" yesterday, and have been eager to give it a try.
(As labeled on the bottle)
Best before: 16/08/20
Pours a glowing, thick orange with no carbonation.
Smell is... difficult to perceive. I get a quick smell of malt before I feel overwhelmed by an aroma of alcohol. Then if I try too long to smell it, my eyes start burning.
Taste is unbelievably hoppy and burning. And it ends burning. Mouthfeel is quite... well, burning.
Personally, I hated writing this review. I love all the other beers Brewdog makes, so I'm surprised that I didn't enjoy this one and that my experience differed so much from others. I'd be interested in knowing if I just got a bad batch or if that's the way the beer is.
All this being said, I'm still excited to try Tactical Nuclear Penguin!
08-26-2011 00:29:55 | More by feylure
2.15/5 rDev -41.1%
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.
01-16-2011 09:44:16 | More by uconnroller
2.2/5 rDev -39.7%
Poured into a small taster glass at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, I got to try this on two different occasions from two different bottles...
I'm saying it now, and I think that even the brewers at Brew Dog would agree: it's a gimmick. It is punk; and for that I love it...but it doesn't make for a good tasting 'beer.' Not even a good liquor, really...and I LOVE IPAs!! The problem is, when you freeze any liquid, the ice crystals that form can break down more complex aromatics and congeners that were present after the initial fermentation. So, in the case of Sink the Bismark! you've basically engineered a very strong, but very skunked IPA.
The NOSE is - as has been said/could have been guessed - incredibly hot and full of resinous, oily hops. Not much else. The heat from the alcohol doesn't really transfer to the palate in lieu of the thick, oily, SALTY and bitter pine that sticks to the side of your tongue and completely overwhelms most of your other senses. 82 proof, stale hop-oil. I honestly felt like I was tasting the inside of a 2-week old, room temperature Randall...that was full of salt.
If people can really get so much more out of this to call it, "complex,"...good for them. I'd love to be able to taste anything (or to enjoy this) myself, but I'm pretty sure that the real magic behind it is the fact that you're trying one of the craziest things to come out of any brewery. Ever.
Brew Dog, I salute you...
...but if I want to enjoy tasting your craft, I'll stick with the Hardcore IPA.
08-06-2010 17:44:09 | More by whiskeysoda
2.45/5 rDev -32.9%
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!
09-23-2011 18:17:02 | More by rarbring
2.45/5 rDev -32.9%
This was simply WAY too boozy for my taste when it comes to beer. I appreciate what BrewDog was going for...but this is not very drinkable. Poured from a bottle that I had on my first date with my now husband. Golden color with NO head and NO lacing. Looked honestly like liquor...sure smelled like it as well! In all fairness, there was a huge hoppy nose. A bit of citrus, but I was so distracted by the boozy smell that I was honestly apprehensive to try this. Tasted of...booze. Hops were there as well. I definitely made a face...and not a good one...when I tried this. I think I chased it with another beer. Maybe I can't appreciate the "style" but I just didn't care for it.
Mouthfeel was THICK...syrup-like. Definite alcohol burn...felt like I was doing shots...not a good thing when I am drinking a beer. It was neat to try this rare brew but I would NEVER have it again. Sometimes rarity hypes up brews a bit too much.
10-29-2011 01:23:08 | More by MsRif
2.45/5 rDev -32.9%
Had the chance to try this beer along with TNP at tasting party
Nice size amount was poured into my little chalice tasting glass.
Appearance is a bit hazy light orange color with no head whatsoever.
The aroma was pretty pungent of alcohol along with resinous hops. On the hops side I got a lot of pine bitterness with little bits of citrus detected. Vast array of malts also dominated with toffee and caramel.
The taste upfront was where the only tad bit of citrus you will get out of this beer. I got the slightest bit of grapefruit then came along spicy hops with pine bitterness. Following was toffee and to sum it up, it tasted A LOT like Scotch.
Mouthfeel was oily and spicy with a lot of heat going down your throat with little carbonation.
Overall I would never pay for this bottle and I'm glad I got the chance to try it for free. If you like scotch and a bit of hops, this beer will be pretty good for you.
10-26-2010 19:34:08 | More by tr4nc3d
2.5/5 rDev -31.5%
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.
07-01-2010 21:13:11 | More by Sigmund
2.55/5 rDev -30.1%
12oz bottle, opened for Adam's birthday and split 10 ways. Happy Birthday dude, hope you have a great year ahead of you! As the provider of the bottle, me (and of course the birthday boy) got about 2oz's while everyone else got 1oz. The bottle opened with a small hiss then poured relatively still, as expected.
Looks interesting in the glass. It's a cloudy orange color that is very reminiscent of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice but with just a touch more orange. Cloudy as all get-out, perhaps the first sign that a storm's coming.
Holy shit. This has just a devastating smell. The first thing that comes to mind is nail polish remover. Bummer. But when I get past that and dig a little deeper, there's a really cool apricot and orange hoppiness underneath, I just need to push through some layers of wretched alcohol burn to get it. Once the "beer" "opens up", there's a nice syrupy hoppiness that really does pack a wonderful punch to the olfactories. The nail polish remover burn dissipates, but there's a weird saltiness that sticks around. Just an odd collection of smells, but a unique and powerful experience. I have to rate this in the middle because that's the best compromise I can make. It's awesome one second and wretched the next.
Taste is one-of-a-kind. I'd compare it to a mixture between a nice DIPA, a honey mead like Apis, the salt I use on my driveway during the wintertime, and moonshine. My tastebuds gradually become used to the weirdness and I can appreciate this as a liquor, and some hoppy, flowery, and bitter flavors I like in extreme beer do come out from time to time. Plus, at 82 proof, I don't want to ding this for the hotness. But I need to give it a number, so I must make some comparisons and compromises. Therefore, just like the nose, we need to split the difference and call this average.
Mouthfeel is syrupy and stingy. Not horrible, just not ideal. Again, we'll give this anomaly the benefit of the doubt and give it a somewhat respectable score.
However, when we get to drinkability, things must get real. At least half of the people drinking this couldn't finish an ounce. Perhaps the most undrinkable beer I've ever had.
For someone considering purchasing this or trading for it, I want to give a bit more insight since it can run over $75 a bottle when imported. I honestly can't believe there are people giving this A+ ratings. Yes, I know it's all a matter of preference, but let me explain. In the recent Beer Advocate magazine, there was an article about objectively better beer. I didn't believe that was appropriate until now. While I understand that everyone has the right to say that something struck their palate a certain way, giving this beer scores worthy of world-class ales is just wrong. It's objectively inferior to beers that are actually pleasure to drink. I'm not saying others don't have the right to an opinion, I just don't trust that they rated on the appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability of the beer.
The bottom line here is that the gimmick won over the quality of the experience when drinking the product. This is just a hodge-podge of great and horrible and, while it's something I'm happy to have had the chance to sample, I would never buy again, even at $20 a bottle. I probably wouldn't even accept a free sample. Quit the bullshit, BrewDog, and get back to making drinkable beer. This is the beverage equivalent of a car with a satellite radio equipped blue-tooth nav system, heated leather seats, and no wheels.
08-15-2010 21:05:22 | More by jampics2
2.6/5 rDev -28.8%
I shared a bottle of this with 4 friends and still took some home to enjoy at a later date.
Pours a cloudy deep orange/amber color with no head at all. Smells of serious pine, citrus, resinous hops and lots of alcohol. Not the good kind of alcohol mind you we are talking about solvents and rubbing alcohol. There's a sweet fruitiness in the aroma I imagine apricots covered in corn syrup. As my sample warms the fruit disappears and is replaced with hopped rubbing alcohol. The taste is unique! Strong, burning alcohol with resinous hops covered in a sugary glaze. Slightly smokey taste in the middle somewhere. There is a long lingering hop bitterness mixed with alcohol burning in the finish. I can feel this beer burn its way down my throat into my stomach. Thick chewy body with a sticky syrupy mouthfeel and light level of carbonation. I'm glad I got to try this unique "beer." Smooth it is not! Beer it is not! 41% abv it is and I can taste and smell every bit of alcohol in my glass. As is I find this kind of meh, but if this were put into some oak and allowed to mellow out some, this might make a damn fine spirit.
07-01-2010 00:56:07 | More by johnnnniee
2.68/5 rDev -26.6%
I actually got a rather large pour of this one, maybe 3-4oz, which is a ton for this beer, especially since some places are selling 1oz nip bottles.
First off, i can't grade this like a typical IPA, it isn't meant to be, it is an odd experiment first and an ipa 2nd.
This beer is an almost glowing orange, no head, and has legs like bourbon, big surprise. Almost looks like someone put some food coloring into a distilled alcohol glass. more odd then good/bad.
The nose has alcohol, but i didn't find anything fusel or burning about it, really didn't suggest that this is a 82 proof beer. most of the aroma besides the alcohol that comes out is a sugary sweet orange candy, or like alcohol soaked oranges covered in sugar.
This one tastes like it is under attenuated, obviously with how it was made it is going to taste concentrated though, but there is alot of residual sugar flavors. This could be drank easily and when compared to other 41% spirits it is super light honestly, i think that is what impressed me most, not that im a drinkability guy, but i noticed that.
So final notes:
Not something i'd grab to drink and savor, the flavors are just a step under that threshold of sheer enjoyment, but i really enjoyed seeing what was possible with this beer and giving it a try to learn and would probally drink a few oz again if the chance is there...For Science!
06-13-2011 21:05:04 | More by ChadQuest
2.73/5 rDev -25.2%
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.
11-29-2010 23:56:44 | More by davod23
Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
83 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.