Tactical Nuclear Penguin | BrewDog

Tactical Nuclear PenguinTactical Nuclear Penguin
Liked This Beer
3.56 w/ 336 ratings
Tactical Nuclear PenguinTactical Nuclear Penguin

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 32.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made by freezing Paradox to remove water.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 336 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of JohnnyWoodchuck
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of rivertrance420
5/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split between 4 people.

Appearance: Like a dark colored scotch in the glass. Not super thick like a russian imperial stout, but more like a scotch ale. Lots of legging when you swirl it around. Looks absolutely beautiful in the glass.

Smell: Rich Carmel,Scotch, Maple, Smoke.

Taste: Exceeded all expectations. If you love scotch you will love this one. Some heavy scotch taste, we almost almost all agreed Balvenie. Some nice maple notes, oak,some peat,carmel. Finishs a little hot, but in the most perfect way possible.

Drinkablity: Would drink this everyday if $/Difficulty wasn't the deterrance. Absolutely phenomenal in all aspects, and I usually don't give reviews unless i'm really blown out of the ball park. World Class.

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Photo of Havion383
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of gulden
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of BierGartenok
4.88/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fresh 2011 Vintage! Just off the boat! haha...My bottle opened for a friends B-day Cheers Chris!

Cage and cork removal, then on to the big guns!...Pour is dark, thick and beautiful. No head and not much lacing..this boy is sticky. Give a big sniff....am I in a salon...Smells like a perm is setting in! haha, wow this is a huge beer. Alcohol, sugar, chocolate, vanilla, oak and roasted malt hinge heavy on the nose. Mouthfeel is nice and sticky...Heavy and malty. Roastiness and coffee are there what is VERY surprising is how well the alcohol is hidden. Taste is very sweet with almost a tart on the backside. Finish is long and boozy. Alcohol is VERY warming and wonderful. This is simply one of the best beers I have ever had. I love this beer, I wish it was more readily available. If you get the chance PLEASE get one of these, you will NOT be disappointed!! Cheers!

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Photo of Satyr179
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of Mlitesonata
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of bobmus
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of simoen
4.72/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

way muth better than sink the bismarck

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Photo of shodrod
4.72/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque dark brown color; almost like melted tootsie rolls. No head. The aroma has notes of grapes and chocolate. This beer is not for the weak at heart. Don't be frightened off by the intensity of this beer's smell. The flavor of this drink epically complex. Layers and layers of chocolate and dark cherries give way to a hint of prune. For an Imperial Stout, this beer is surprisingly thin but does an excellent job of coating the whole inside of your mouth. As you swallow this drink you can most certainly feel it going down your throat and into your belly. The finish on this drink, despite the ABV, is decently smooth. This beer helps me understand why people love sipping on whiskey or scotch on the rocks.

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Photo of pastradul
4.72/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BIG THANKS TO Wchesak!!!!
double review since I had a bottle of batch 002 and 003!!!

Got a bottle of 002 in a trade...
the pour is a dark brown with an ever so small amount of bubbles that quickly die. leaves behind a ton of legs on the glass as you swish. The nose is oak, smoke, peat, alcohol and a tad bit a sugar sweetness! The Taste is out of this world! TONS of concentrated sweetness on the front then it turns in to a nice peaty and smokey mid palate, then leaves a warmth and a mild sugar sweetness, like marshmellows... sweet but very subtle! I find the drinkablilty is insanely high, had about 2oz and wish I had more for myself.

batch 003
My friend brought his bottle to the party as well! This is a totally different beer. Whether it is becuase it is fresher or becuase it is a different type of whiskey barrel? But the smoke and the dry peat is just in your face with this bottle. Still has the lingering dry sweetness and heat like the 002, but way way more peat and smoke. Maybe a bit of heavy dark fruit like the most ripe figs or pruines?

For my palate I liked the 002, much more balanced and just amazing! Also will note that these two bottles were split amunst 12-15 people ranging from severeal BA's, several craft beer enthuisasts and some other lucky random guests... the majority of the people thought this was absolutely amazing.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.7/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to pastradul and Sixofsigmas for sharing their bottles with me. This review is for batch 003.

A-Looks like coffee color, a little head with the poor but it dissipates quickly. Flat in the glass with amazing lacing. The liquid looks very smooth and sticks to the glass.

S-Strong smoky peaty aromas, just a touch of booze in the smell. Strong smell of bonfire.

T-Sweet And syrupy up front. Smoky, peaty, dirt flavor in the middle. You can taste the char in the barrel and the barrel. Surprisingly low amount of alcohol. Alcohol coats the mouth and leaves a little burn.

M-No carbonation. Full bodied.

D-Definitely a sipper. Full of flavors and warmth. My stomach is warming as we speak and this night isn't so cold all of a sudden.

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Photo of BigBlacke
4.67/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark mysterious color with plenty of sediment.

S: A smokey, oak scent much like certain scotches.

T: Unbelievably unique smokey taste unlike any beer Ive tried before.

M: Smooth as can be. Many would think it would be harsh due to the 32% abv, but it is just pleasurable as can be. Little to no carbonation.

D: Its almost scary how easy it goes down. More of a sipping beer, but be careful. Pace yourself.

This is probably the most unique brew Ive had the luxury of trying. Magnifico!!!

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Photo of jetscream
4.67/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer to enjoy with a few friends during the cold winter months. The beer drinks more like a fine scotch then it does a beer. A 375ml bottle is enough for more than a few sniffers for a few friends. For a unique experience one must try this insane beer.

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Photo of Bankhead
4.64/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

acquired this with a week's worth of my hard-earned playwright salary thanks fringe festival

my consumption of tnp was perfectly timed since i spent a night last week consuming single-cask whiskey at the royal scotch whiskey society in leith

with each sip of fruity or sherried or peat-smokey whiskey i wished there was some malt to back it up and lessen the overwhelming alcohol rip to my delicate beer advocate palate

the nearly-flat light brown liquor-leggy penguin granted this wish and smelled just like a cask-strength dram

both the tangy oakiness of spayside and the crazy peat-smoke ashiness of islay came through with the massive whiskey blast in the flavor

but then the roasty chocolatey loveliness of stout softened the blow and the taste continued to develop and expand to marshmallow and raisins and more and more

if you drank this in the context of a beer tasting i get why it would come across as eccentric and showy

but for a whiskey-curious beer aficionado like myself it was magical and fared extremely well on the drinkability side in contrast to single-cask scotch

i also approve of/am a sucker for brewdog's beer-as-performance-art marketing strategy and am now tempted by the bismarck and end of history

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Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NB: this review is for Batch 007.

Poured into a Sam Adams Utopias glass (which seemed appropriate, this being one of the only other beers I've purchased which approached Utopias' price), Tactical Nuclear Penguin is a deep chestnut brown that reflects dark ruby shades when held against a bright light, and maintains its dark shade near the edges of a tipped glass. The high ABV--32%--leaves wine-like legs oozing gently down the sides of the glass. There is no head, and only the faintest presence of carbonation is visible in thin streams of bubbles rising from the bottom. In appearance, this more resembles a cognac or a brandy than a beer.

The aroma drifting up from the glass is so potent that it can be easily detected from three feet away if wafted toward the nose, and from a good eighteen to twenty inches away in still air. Inhaled deeply, the nose is literally dripping with sugars and fruit esters, the beer smelling less like a beer than a heavily alcoholic mashed fruit extract. Berries, figs, orange liqueurs, raisins, plums, and dates abound, mixed with a drowsy syrup of toasted pecans, burnt coconut shell, and walnut. The aroma also bears striking earthy tones, reminiscent of charred oak, fresh loam, and peat moss. Thick vanilla beans lace through everything, joined by molasses. Also present are port, cognac, and brandy aromas, thick with charcoal filtering and oak barrel aging. The aromas also remind me somewhat strangely of open pit suckling pig on a rotisserie spit, fat bubbling and dripping onto the hot coals, and the wet, woody scent of the inside of freshly-peeled tree bark. I imagine this is what the inside of a very rich man's study would smell like: full of the remnants of expensive brandies and cognacs, with touches of pipe tobacco lingering in the curtains, and the oak and cedar paneling adding its own woody layers. In short, this is one of the more unique aromas I've ever encountered, and I have difficulties winding my way through the seemingly infinite layers of scents drifting from the glass. I could honestly sit here and simply smell the beer--as I have been for the last twenty minutes--for a very long time, the aromas so enticing and intriguing that I hesitate to take a sip for fear that the taste not match the aroma. As it is, I can report not only no loss in the potency of the aromas over the last twenty minutes, but a continued sensation of marvel at the complexity, nuance, variation, and depth of the aromas.

Still, at some point I suppose some of this must pass my lips. So: on the tongue, the beer begins with a charcoal and ash slam so powerful that it literally takes over my tastebuds, reminding me of the heavy charcoal of whiskey, vanilla-flavored pipe tobacco placed directly on the tongue, campfire ash, burnt pecan husks, blackened and burnt steak fat, and what I imagine would be the taste of charred oak. These flavors are literally overwhelming, and it is difficult to find other flavors against their strength. However, there are a myriad of fruit esters begging for attention, including fig, raisin, plum, date, orange, and black cherry. Huge port, whiskey, and cognac flavors are also present, ripe with charcoal filtering and the oak-and-vanilla flavors of barrel aging, and joined by an alcohol bite that at least equals any of the strongest of those liquors. The alcohol is so strong that it burns the nose during exhalation, and bites angrily at the soft palate and at the back of the throat when swallowed. Much like a strong liquor, however, this is part of the process, and while the alcohol is indeed potent, it somehow adds a layer of charm and swagger to the beverage. There is a somewhat unfortunate touch of an almost bike-tire-rubber squeal at the edges of the brew, especially noticeable later in the mouthful. The aftertaste is heavy on charred ash, black malt, charcoal, and lingering molasses and burnt sugars, and like cigarette smoke, squats languidly on the tongue for a very, very long time. Mouthfeel is a gloopy, syrupy, viscous, alcohol-burning medium-high, and carbonation is hardly detectable.

Overall, and noting that it is difficult to make any sort of judgement about a beer that in almost every conceivable way does not in the least bit resemble a beer--given an unidentified glass of this, I would have most likely thought it bourbon or scotch--this is still a stunning brew, and should be on the must-try list of any serious connoisseur. Admittedly, the flavors are so warring in their charred, ashy, smoky, charcoal, fresh-out-of-the-campfires-of-hell potency that they're very likely to simply disgust anyone not already a fan of bourbon, scotch, etc., and anyone expecting this to simply resemble a very, very strong Imperial Stout (which, admittedly, it was before the special aging and freezing process brought it to 32%), will be very, very surprised at how much this exactly does not resemble that beer. So try with caution.

But try you must.

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Photo of dgilks
4.57/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for Batch 007. I have heard bad things about other batches, but I thought this one was very good.

Clearish, red-orange colour verging onto brown. IT pours with a small head which disappears nearly instantly. Lots of legs.

Big aroma with lots of alcohol hotness, dark fruits, chocolate and plenty of smoky Islay whisky notes. It really is quite good and intense. That said, it's about as close to beer as it is to a good spirit.

Lots of flavour here. Behind a big shot of alcohol is lots of spicy, smoky phenols. Heaps of bitterness too with a moderate roast character. It's really interesting and grows on me. I get a touch of vegemite yeast character. Interestingly, the alcohol is hotter than it is in Sink the Bismark!

Medium body with low carbonation but with a prickly, hot alcohol.

This is an interesting beer and I don't quite know how to rate it. I like the beer, it is like nothing else out there and the hot whisky character works nicely, particularly if you like Islay scotch. Some will say that this beer is not beer, others will say that it is a stunt, others simply will not like it. I disagree with them and think that this is a legitimate contribution to brewing and am happy I've been able to try it.

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Photo of sbb32
4.56/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.75

L: dark, viscous, dark brown bordering dark black. Looks syrupy as it pours into the glass.
S: Pure alcohol with a hint of caramel
T: Barleywine on steroids, with a little coffee and peat on the end. Absolutely loved the taste.
F: Like a shot of spirits moreso than a beer. A very thick molasses syrup feeling in the throat
O: Glad I got to try this 32% "stout". It's unique, and definitely one to try if you can.

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Photo of PartyBear
4.52/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a lot thinner than I thought it would be when poured, it has a very dark brown almost black body with not head at all, and no carbonation. Unsurprisingly it looks more like a spirit than a beer with nice thick legs on the glass.

The aroma has an abundance of dark malts, lots of chocolate and sweet sugars. It is impossible to avoid the alcohol, which is clear, and offers a slight burn as any good whisky does. There is also a massively smokey component to it with lots of oaky wood, and peat. It's smells great.

Upfront the taste is strong dark chocolate and roasted malts with bitter espresso coffee. Towards the end lots of smokiness and woodiness comes through along with a massive warming taste of alcohol.

Superb beer, I absolutely love it, and it has a worrying drinkability. People seem to think that this is just a publicity stunt by BrewDog but to be quite honest they deserve the publicity for something this good.

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Photo of Greyam21
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of norwayjose
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of vhmf1978
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of bostonryan
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

Photo of Dbr
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

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Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog
Beer rating: 48.8% out of 100 with 336 ratings
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