Sink The Bismarck! - BrewDog
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
3.6/5 rDev -1.4%
Appearance - Flat, watered down coffee
Aroma - Rubbing alcohol, peppermint(?), soy sauce.
Taste - Similar to aroma.. More alcohol.. Burnt my eyes.
Mouthfeel - Hard liquor
Overall - Not for the faint of heart. Glad I got the chance to try though.
09-14-2013 14:38:12 | More by KVNBGRY
3.33/5 rDev -8.8%
Sink The Bismark! is best drank in a small portion from a really large glass. Dingy golden, it is a shabby looking beer that lacks both highlights and head. As any designated driver can tell you, it's difficult to remove a beer's alcohol without compromising its flavour in the process. The reverse is true too; too much alcohol makes it difficult to appreciate a beer. The burnt sugar, honey, citrus and pine notes of this bouquet are overrun by boozy dark fruit esters.
Peoples' first reaction to a four-times-frozen 41% beer is to ask whether it should even still be considered "real" beer. Well, somewhat surprisingly, this still tastes strongly reminiscent of one; forwardly hoppy, it showcases a ton of resinous pine flavour as well as grapefruit and dried mango and papaya slices. It actually proffers some recognizable maltiness too in the form of caramel squares and scorched toffee.
That's not to say, however, that it tastes entirely like a regular beer. Brewdog has enough barrel-aged and double-digit alcohol offerings to qualify as a distillery - which is just as well because they're not great brewers - and, indeed, alcohol dominates in this one. These esters could warm all of Siberia. It tastes like raisins that have been macerated in cognac.
The burning in my throat aside, I honestly find it surprisingly drinkable for its strength (this is speaking relatively). It's only my first time trying Sink The Bismark! but I assume it's matured in the three years since it was brewed. That said, whereas most stronger beers are overwhelmingly 'hot' or bitter for the first minute until one becomes accustomed, there's no getting accustomed to this. It only grows more and more syrupy, and less and less agreeable.
Many people are probably impressed by a 41% alcohol beer. It sounds complicated to brew, but you know what else is? A dry stout with the appropriate amount of roast; a Kölsch that's both clean and flavourful; a flawlessly balanced Pilsner. These styles are so simple that they provide nothing to hide behind and concede little room for error. They may be more straightforward but they're no less difficult to make (and can be equally impressive).
Sink The Bismark! may be too extreme but let’s not forget part of its purpose is to correct the other end of the scale: industrial sameness and blandness. Of course, that's not it's only purpose; Brewdog is more about selling beer than making it. They may be among the best publicists and advertisers in the world, but they're far from the best brewers. Where do you draw the line? I'd say here would have been a good place.
08-09-2013 22:48:36 | More by biegaman
4.49/5 rDev +23%
Pours with a pfft – zero head, legs not lace. Deep golden brown.
Aromas of butterscotch, caramel, moonshine like rough alcohol. Alcohol dominates.
Taste is alcohol, then a bitter hop flavour takes over. Very bitter indeed. Mouth consuming. Unlike beer, unlike spirits, - I can see why a lot dislike. Need a hop bomb before to start the palate off. Very challenging.
Mouthfeel is a real polariser…. I have never drunk baby oil, so I dunno what that would taste like, but it’s near. Oil central, but it’s warm.
Overall has to be a 5. I’ve drunk the extreme beer of the times. And I survived.
I suspect those that drain pour (or say they do) do not like neat spirit, be it single malt, OP rum etc. It is ‘out there’ but that’s not a huge surprise, now it is?
ADDENDUM - tried this one more than once now.... it works >really< well after having a hop-bomb, American IPA etc etc... much less well if the palate is not primed, as the bitterness comes across somewhat astringent in that case.
06-09-2013 06:08:20 | More by heygeebee
3.8/5 rDev +4.1%
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.
05-27-2013 23:59:39 | More by biboergosum
3.91/5 rDev +7.1%
It's incredible that the freeze distilling process finally yields a beer that boasts a whopping 41% abv! The old standards and benchmarks for can be retired. There's new thresholds to be explored!
Much less like beer and much more like cognac, the beer pours a still but deep tawny brown color that looks simply like maple syrup in both its hue and viscosity. Any would-be lacing is foregone by brandy-like legging- all ensuring that this beer must be appreciated a more of a cordial than a traditional beer.
Strong savory aromatics abound from the glass with the overwhelming scents of aged sherry wine, soy sauce, black strap molasses, dried tobacco leaves, cured leather, and a somewhat meaty mesquite note. Spicy alcohols are spirit-like and carry and inherent spicy note of cinnamon, aniseed, and peppercorn.
Sweet and savory flavors weave in the beer's early palate for a sultry and "meaty" character that salivates the mouth and invites larger sips than is preferred. But as the taste extends to the middle of the tongue, the sweetness fades, leaving the earthy and spicy flavors of tobacco, oak, and sherry to carry its grape and cherry taste into a highly spicy finish that reminds me of cough syrups and spiced rum.
Strong spicy alcohol bite just edges out the early sweet texture for command of the mouthfeel early and often. Its a powerful experience that favors strong warmth and hop bite even late for a balance that seems actually beer-like. At heart this drinking experience is a beer- but one with spirit-like power and effect. It's an ale like no other.
05-06-2013 06:09:29 | More by BEERchitect
Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
83 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.