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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

189 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 22.87%
Wants: 145
Gots: 59 | FT: 3
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of johnnnniee
2.63/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml corked and caged bottle into tulip a few weeks back, from notes

A brownish amber, no bubbles, no lace, long thin legs and it leaves a little color on the glass, looks like a sticky spirit and I suppose it should at this point

S there's a booze sting on deep whiffs but if their wasn't I'd be worried, loads of caramel, lots of raisin, pine, citrus, burnt brown sugar and more caramel

T still heavy on the heat but that's to be expected, piney caramel concentrate, tastes like a hop spirit, I like it much more then I thought I would

M syrup, not syrupy its syrup, hot, numbing, and flat, my lips are stuck together and I'll be tasting pine and caramel tomorrow at this rate

O way better then I expected, I really liked this stuff, I'm kinda wishing I saved a little to put on a cheesecake, I could see that working well

I did a flaming shot of beer, not many people can say that I'm sure. this was a surprise for me, I thought this would be a drain pour but I actually liked it a fair bit but I doubt I'd drop another 100$ on one

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is insane; 41% ABV...

A: Pours hazy amber with no head.

S: Lots of syrupy sweet dark dried fruits. Liqorice. Roast and alcohol. Some oak notes.

T: Sweet caramell, roasted malt. Lots of dark dried fruits. Molasses and vineous. Spices and alcohol. Like an aged Port. Liqourice.

M: Aftertaste lingers with sweet notes along with faint bitterness. Body is full and carbonation at a minimum.

O: Actually, this was smoother than and not as rough as Tactical Nuclear Penguin - better balanced.

Photo of Lare453
3/5  rDev -17.4%

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 Gobzilla
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: poured a caramel brown with yellow highlights that had absolutely no head what so ever and zero lacing.

S: damn beer burnt the shit out of my nose hairs on the first whiff, there really is no way to hide that much amount of alcohol. It is also very hard to sniff out other ingredients when the beer kept hurting my nose but I did get some caramel malt and hops for sure.

T: there is a stupid amount of alcohol that punches your palate right away and does burn like your taking a shot of tequila. It is super hot and to my surprise the hops do pop out and are very tasty which also had the caramel malts.

M: medium body with very low amount of carbonation that had an overwhelming amount of alcohol and tasty hop bite finish.

D: the beer is actually very tasty but damn the alcohol hits you in all directions. I'm still glad I got to try this booze bomb at least once.

Photo of Dicers
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of dgilks
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So, this is a really interesting beer. At 41% I had no clue what to expect from it.

The aroma is good but not as amazing as I had hoped. I had gone in not knowing what to expect but thinking that the hop aroma would be big. What I got was a big, malty, alcoholic aroma with notes of toffee and a touch of fruitiness. Interesting and appetising but not the hop bomb I thought I would get.

Appearance wise it was a pretty clear, gold-amber colour with a small, very short lasted off-white head. Slightly oily. Actually very good given the alcohol content.

The taste was something different to anything I've ever had before. Big punch alcohol, massive malt, huge resinous hop oils and a rounding note of citrus. The whole thing came together in a really interesting way that was half spirit, half beer. To be honest, I wanted more hop flavour to counteract the staggering bitterness but I still enjoyed it.

The mouthfeel was both surprising and delightful. Big, oily and mouth-coating but still with a healthy dose of carbonation which helped to cut it just a little bit.

I really like this. It didn't entirely do what I wanted it to do but it was a stunning example of what you can do as a brewer if you really think about it and try something different. I went in relatively ambivalent about whether this was going to be good or bad but after trying it, I think it is at least worth trying. Thanks to Ross from Craftbrewer for giving me a chance to try this.

Photo of WOLFGANG
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of tbeckett
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of popery
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This was interesting and I'm grateful for having the opportunity to try it, but I can't say that I particularly enjoyed the experience. I will note that, despite my expectations, Sink The Bismarck! was the clear winner over Tactical Nuclear Penguin. However, it was still just a novelty, rather than an enjoyable beverage. The beer pours a deep amber with great highlights, and it's got good legs, for what it's worth. It looks like whiskey, really. The aroma is exceedingly strong and hoppy. It's one of the strongest hop aromas that I've ever encountered, and that's kinda neat. However, it's a hop aroma that lacks all delicacy and depth. It's mostly turpentine and booze. I was quite interested by the aroma, initially, but after my shock at the strength of it wore off, it was actually a bit disappointing. It's all candied, paint thinner hops, citric with some soapy floral notes. There's a ton of spicy pepper in the aroma as well and, of course, lots of alcohol heat. I got an even bigger dose of booze on the palate, though not as bad as TNP. Mouthfeel is quite rough, like a bizarrely dirty whiskey. In some ways, though more enjoyable, this beer struck me as even more of a gimmick than TNP. The hops are indelicate in the extreme and seem to cover up the beer's faults more than they add to its quality. Plus, the beer had that unpleasant acrid flavor also present in TNP. I appreciate the effort, I appreciate the experimentation, but I don't much like the beer.

Photo of threedaggers
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of tommyguz
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of AgentMunky
4.57/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a wine glass.

A: Golden-orange, and murky-clear. No head, although this is probably a misleading fact, since I only poured an ounce or two. I was told that, poured in large(r) quantities, heavy lacing was inevitable.

S: Mmmm, tons of hops with a dash of citrus. It smells like a strong double IPA or Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot barleywine. Sticky caramel scents. There is nary a trace of alcohol, save mayhap a bit of harshness on the edges of the aroma. This unnerves me. A beer of 41% should smell...fiercer. BrewDog's Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32%) smells like liquor, but Sink the Bismarck! just smells like beer.

T: Allegedly a "quadruple IPA that contains four times the hops, four times the bitterness and frozen four times" (forget the lack of parallelism). It's way better than I expected! Not too harsh, but sweet, with caramel and strong honey. Massive malts more than balance the hop bitterness. This particular bottle is distilled from the Punk IPA, rather than the Hardcore IPA, supposedly resulting in a sweeter, syrupy flavour, whereas the double IPA creates a more astringent bitterness (this according to the BrewDog representative with whom I conversed). The endtaste is simply marvellous, not overly strong or objectionable in any way, but *is* reminiscent of spirits. The aftertaste is epicly long and maltily bitter. Just wow.

M: Smooth, sweet, and notably NOT numbingly strong. Great for what it is.

D: Amazingly, transcendentally drinkable considering the ABV. Seriously, this is a dangerously good beer. I could very well polish of a glass of this with relish, only to experience the ill effects afterwards. Absolutely recommended, but honestly, not worth the exorbitant price tag. Still, I will keep an eye out for more opportunities to sample it.

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

Amber color leaving alcohol marks in the glass. Don’t even think about a head, or carbonation.
Sweet malt and woody aroma, smells like cognac. Strangely I could get some pineapple out of it.
Similarly, it tastes like a good cognac or scotch. Such high level alcohol has a numb effect at your mouth as it happens to hard liquors. Body is heavy and oily.
Remove water from your beer and you would get a STB type of beer, picture this if you don’t recognize this as beer. It is a beer amplified. I personally found it to be more drinkable than many malt liquor beers. You have to sip it as drinking an excellent scotch or rum. Actually is very tasteful and superior to most cognacs, rums and scotch, though quite expensive to make it.

Photo of ste5venla
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Lovely85
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of bobsy
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 4.1% ABV,the Brewdog dinner finally arrives at 41%.

Beer pour a brilliant and still orange, with no head whatsoever. Intense, screaming hop nose, with layers of grapefruit and pine that strain to cover the alcohol, and just fall short of succeding. The flavour shouts scotch, and there's more liquor character to this than beer character. Strong wood, hot alcohol, spice, earth, salt and rye prove a potent force, nad there's still significant c-hop in there to keeo this somewhat beer-like. Definitely a sipper and suited to small samples. The body continues the liquor theme with its oily slickness, which seems to work well here.

A very interesting beer that's a delight to try, though probably not an experience I'd repeat again. Really, its closer to drinking liquor neat than an actual beer, but there is a certain pleasure in sampling something so extreme.

Photo of kwjd
4.79/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sammy for getting this one! It pours a deep copper-amber colour with little off-white head. I was a bit surprised how much head there was actually, but it certainly wasn't a lot. I get pine, citrus and floral hops. Quite sticky and boozy, yet delicious. I still get some malt back-bone to this beer. For 41% alcohol, it is hellishly drinkable! After each sip (and you have to sip this) I wanted to have another immediately.

I have no idea how to properly rate this beer because it isn't like anything else I've ever had. It was an awesome experience to try this and I hope to try another bottle some day!

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 baybum
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Herky21
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of paulish
5/5  rDev +37.7%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.4/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

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.

M: Boozy.

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.

Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
82 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.