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Sink The Bismarck! - BrewDog

Not Rated.
Sink The Bismarck!Sink The Bismarck!

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 91
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 23.42%
Wants: 141
Gots: 57 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: femALEist on 03-23-2010)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - A copper-red body with minimal carbonation. A trace of head leaves a light wispy trails at the surface. There is a something extremely interesting in this beer. Actual oils can be seen at the surface when held to a dark background.

S - Subtle pine to slightly stronger roasted aroma. Spicy hops are just on the short side of sour alcohol.

T - Pine and roast caramel are present amongst sweet toffee and grapefruit. Floral, spicy hops along with a sour backdrop make up the rest of the flavors all falling just below burning alcohol.

M - While the beginning, middle and ending are worthwhile, the finish leaves much to be desired. The burning in the finish really makes the beer difficult to swallow. That being said it does have some very fine qualities in that it is very thick and chewy. It is also one of the stickiest brews I've encountered.

~ Based on my anticipation of likely never sampling this brew again, I still wish I could but really no more than once a year. This is a a sippin' drink that you should certainly seek out. If you are able to pick one up, enjoy it with a good group of friends, just as I did.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here I am. After 580-some beer reviews, I'm finally jaded enough that I must resort to drinking gimmicky PR stunts instead of proper ales to get my kicks.

So be it.

I was not expecting any carbonation from this beer, so I was pleased at the modest, volatile froth that rose to the occasion when I poured this into a snifter. The body is akin to a fine cognac - thick and amber and long in the legs.

Smelling it is actually not so different from smelling any other double IPA that's been distilled to five times its strength. In other words, it's like smelling a bagful of hop cones. Resinous, dusty, citric, floral - a bundle of wildflowers, a bale of hay, a Christmas tree. This is essentially a hop liqueur. Not a bitter, but bitters. Campari fans, take note.

The flavor is fruity, complex, and very hot - but not hotter than it ought to be. This is like a brandy, a whisky - but one flavored with copious amounts of hops. For a beer known for its excess and potency, it is surprisingly balanced - neither too sweet nor too bitter, and though it is warming it is no hotter than a good scotch or rum.

As for how it actually tastes, it is a sort of mix of honey, tequila, rosewater, Irish whiskey, Akavit, Campari, spicy cress, nettles, bitter greens, and sour lemon. It's amazingly complex considering the dominant flavor can be described in one word: hops.

This is a very interesting beer, and a remarkably drinkable one, provided you know how to drink it. Some question whether this can actually be called a beer but there is simply nothing else to call it. It is beer through and through.

Photo of TubaDan
4.75/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of Sigmund
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
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 patm1986
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yea.

light brown. still. syrupy. no head. legs like cognac. i can't generate any head no matter how much i try--heh.

sugar in so many overwrought forms: candied, honied, inverted, burnt, boozy. raisins. booze. caramel. epic sting, huge nose.

barn door, cooked honey, tar, leather, big ol' booze mouth. burned. major medicinal aftertaste.

rich. oily. fiery. leaves a lingering tinge that does not dissipate for a long time.

big doesn't really explain this beverage aptly. i am rating based on the several factors in order of importance:
a) what is this? since this is listed on this site, technically classifying this as a beer, i'm going to treat it for what it is.
b) this is my first beer above about 24% the sheer jolt of its strength alone adds to my reaction in a manner of surprise and intrigue.
c) how does this taste in terms of other things that taste/look/smell as comparably possible?

considering these factors, this is incredible. i like the flavors of cognac, but the heat can be way too abrasive and nearly undrinkable. this beverage meets me in the middle with characteristics and profiles similar to cognac in a form that is much, much more palatable. and cognac is the only reference i have to something like this.
this is beer?
i have one ounce of this in my glass. i think i can sit on this for an hour at least. at least. its heat, consistency, and core flavors are so intense that i don't think a single review after or during .25 oz is nearly enough to articulate this.
but it's what i'm doing.
cheeerrrs

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

After Tactical Nuclear Penguin, I was prepared for some serious displeasure. Dead wrong.

Appearance -- Pours a golden honey hue, still (as to be expected). Looks like a decent IPA. So far so good.

Smell -- Beaming with bright juicy citrus and tropical fruit and decadent caramel malt. As to be expected, lots of condensed malt sweetness, but the sheer amount of hop aroma in this is mind-blowing.

Taste -- The distilled essence of a West-Coast IPA. Bright tangerine citrusy zest, tropical fruits in abundance, soft caramel-like malt, and nicely pronounced resinous hop bitterness to give balance to the condensed malt sweetness. Boozy, for certain, but for being what is essentially an 80 proof IPA, this is incredibly drinkable.

Mouthfeel -- Syrupy and still, obviously, but with nearly no alcohol burn. Very mellow.

Overall -- I really really REALLY enjoyed this! It's the IPA liquer of your fevered dreams come to life. Unlike TNP, this is brimming with IPA flavor. And so smooth! My only complaint is that, having had an 80 proof IPA, all beers that follow this shall seem insignificant. I'm actually considering buying a bottle.

Additional Notes: I added a few drops of water to the last thimble of Bismarck left in my glass and, boy, did this open up. Like a fine whiskey. Incredible.

Photo of drseamus
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Westyn
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of Vdubb86
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for providing what I've been told is beer

This beer pours a viscous deep golden color. Due to the high ABV it's understandable that there is no head to this hard liquor of beers. The smell could strip the paint of a house, god damn is it strong. There's no hops no malts, just pure ethanol in the aroma. It's not horrendous, but I expected better from this beer I guess. The taste honestly isn't as bad as I had anticipated that it would be. That having been said there was some orange, and caramel notes before they got burned off of your tongue. I have the feeling that this beer would be much better like 10 or 20 years down the road, because it needs to mellow out big time. This is not really easy to drink. I only finished my allotment due to being challenged. It's ok, but one hell of a novelty.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, Urbancaver.
From notes

A - clouded amber body, no head or carbonation to speak of (surprise!)

S - Nice floral aroma with tropical fruit and some nice hop characteristics.

T - sweet, tangy!, syrupy, orange/mango (I think I came up with kumquat as being the real thing here), spicy. Booze!

M - thick, pretty crazy (booze)

O (D) - well it's not an IPA of any sort, that's for sure, but it's really not back for a hop liquor. It's definitely worth drinking. Not worth the money, IMO, but if you can try it, don't pass it up.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had two occasions to taste this beer, both when the brewers were pouring.

Pours a clear coppery gold, with very little head.

Intense aromas of piney hops and citrus peel.

Initial note of sweet malt, then an explosion of concentrated hop flavors, the hoppiest I have yet encountered. The alcohol is obviously notable at 41%, but the hop taste is so fresh and concentrated, it actually stands up to the alcohol well. Finishes with a fruity bitter hop taste that lasts.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick-bodied and oily, but not viscous.

Very drinkable beer in small quantities. Sets a new bar for extreme IPAs and extreme beers. Yet, most people who taste this will recognize it as a beer, which can't be said for many other examples of extreme beers. Sink the Bismarck! is in its own class, but if forced to compare, I'd describe it as Pliny on steroids.

Photo of greg4579
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of dtivp
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a difficult beer to review, because it is so extreme. The strongest beer have had since tasting BrewDog's TNP.

Poured a clear bright amber gold into a tasting glass with the small pour there was no head and a moderate clear liquidy lacing on the glass.

Aroma of alcohol, hops, spice and citrus.

Taste was dominated by the alcohol, once you recovered from the heat there was a slight citrus taste with pine and very little hops.

Mouthfeel was HOT, medium to heavy body, little carbonation and a tremendous alcohol burn the whole way down.

Overall this was more like drinking scotch than beer, glad I experienced it, like TNP I purchased two bottles. I plan to cellar the other bottle and taste sometime before the recommended drink by date of 2021. Maybe it will be a little smoother with age.

Photo of ferrari29
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into Snifter

A - Beer poured with a golden amber colored body; syrupy consistancy and formed "legs" on the side of the glass; no visible carbonation; no head formed

S - The nose has plenty of bite and burn! Aged dark fruits, like caramelized figs and dates; high alcohol laced aromas and grainy; this beer delivers an aromatic knock out punch; lots of pine; oak

T - Taste starts with a semi-sweet flavor of caramel and fruits; oak aged grain alcohol; finishes with a deep burn packed with subtle notes of IPA hop bitterness; figs and dates

M - Syrupy and smooth; lots of action going on in drink; tingly sensations of burning on the top of the palate and continues down the hatch; some bitterness lingers for a bit but is very subtle compared to a traditional IPA

D - Not recommended for the faint-of-heart; great drink and can definitely be enjoyed in place of cognac or port; I'm fascinated with the complex mixture and grain alcohol, unique aging process and IPA flavor blend; made for a great drinking experience

Photo of Khazadum
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Grebdioz
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of AlaskanYoung
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of zaphodchak
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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 Thehuntmaster
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked (rubber) and caged bottle 41% Abv.
Batch 16 BB 14/08/21
Served chilled in a Brewdog Teku glass

Thanks to the guys at Brewdog for sending this to me as part of the prize for their photo competition.

Appearance: Wow, I knew this beer would be syrupy, but I had no idea it would be like this! It took a while to get the last bit out of the bottle. If I excuse the fact that there is no head (who expects a head from a 41% beer anyway?) this is a great looking beer. Deep orange/amber body with golden edges and red highlights, very sticky - leaves massive legs on the glass when swirled.

Smell: Expecting my nose to be severely burned by the alcohol my first sniff was pretty tentative; but I was shocked to find something that actually smelled like an IPA. Alcohol is present (how could it not be), but it most certainly does not overwhelm the nose. In fact there is far less than in my favorite scotch.
On close inspection the nose reveals masses of sugar, malt extract, piney hops, a little citrus (orange liqueur), hints of peaches (similar to the syrup from tinned peaches) and strawberries as well as a touch of cough syrup.

Taste: As with the nose I am shocked how little booze I taste - sure it warms your mouth and burns a little on the way down, but nothing like what I have heard.
The first sip is hop dominated and there is a distinct resemblance to hardcore IPA. In subsequent sips the hops are somewhat are lost behind a mountain of sugar, honey and malt extract. As the beer warms there is a distinct cough syrup/ herbal liqueur note that’s not overly pleasant. A touch of smoke is also noted.

Mouthfeel: I never thought I'd say this - but this beer is a bit too syrupy. It is carbonated but it needs a whole lot more for the body.

Overall: This beer feels like it should supersede ratings; I mean what do you compare it to?
A fantastic experience and great fun to share with friends, but sadly not something I would buy again.

Photo of ali1987
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of IanSpindler
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of heysuz
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ChadQuest
2.68/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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!

Photo of DruRho
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of cratez
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1.5oz sample shared with Nick Baird. Thanks brother! Pours an opaque orange with zero head and lacing, which isn't surprising for a beer of this weight. Smell and taste are strong, nose-burning ethanol, pink grapefruit, pine and citrus, mango, crab apple, brandy-like middle, ultra bitter hops, and a very hot, alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, bold spiciness on the tongue, astringent and citric bitterness, huge boozy heat warms the insides and hangs around for quite some time. This has a decent level of complexity, but it's ultimately a booze bomb, and I can't say I'm a fan. Glad I got to try it though.

Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
83 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.