Sink The Bismarck! | BrewDog

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Sink The Bismarck!Sink The Bismarck!
220 Ratings
Sink The Bismarck!Sink The Bismarck!

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 41.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by femALEist on 03-23-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of haknort
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of EskimoDave
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of ATvics
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit....

Recieved a bottle as a gift from one of my loyal patrons at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, Md.

First of all, a beer weighing in at 41% ABV should taste like a bag of assholes. Any spirit at that level is rarely consumed by itself, whether its vodka, gin, rum, tequila or whiskey...90% of the time there is always an ingredient used to open up the flavor of that spirit. Unless of course it's extremely good, otherwise something is used to cut the harshness of the boozy alcohol aroma and flavor. Yeah, um...not so much with the Bismark.

A-Head? Meh...I'm suprised there is any. However, some carbonation does indeed form. The body is reminiscent of scotch; deep amber in color, with golden highlights around the edges.

S-Boozy! Booze intertwined with high oil hops and caramel malt makes the aroma of this thing unparalleled.

T-Aggressive, in your face, jaw dropping good. Im absoluetly suprised to pick up any hop whatsoever, but I did, and I did in a big way. A few notes of caramel, toffee and smoke are present, but the boozy body stands tall and dominant. for what it is at 41%, the flavor is impressive.

M-Dry-hopped whiskey. A blanket of tingly liquor lays on your tongue, taking over your sense of taste. Your palate might become paralyzed for a few moments, but what other beer has that effect?

D-No, you can't drink a whole lot of this stuff. I only drank about 2oz worth, if I drank the whole 12oz bottle I would be dancing on the bar top with my pants down doing the Mick Jagger. But once again, appreciating for what it is, it is indeed drinkable, and enjoyable.

If you so happen to stumble across a bottle, don't hesitate on opening it, you want to get the hops while they're somewhat fresh. And I highly recommend you consume this with a friend or two.

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Photo of patm1986
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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.

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Photo of Jonnyhiggs
5/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say, this is an amazing creation by the amazing men at Brew Dog. This beer is a masterpiece of milky malts and heavenly hops. It's nothing like I ever had before and saddened by the now scarcity. Seek this out, it's truly a treasure.

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Photo of minime
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of paulish
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of skimoore
5/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of adkirkish
4.92/5  rDev +37%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Note: I recommend you smell the cap. You can get the same experience by sticking your head into a bag of hops or shoving two hop cones up your nose. The beer itself reeks of hops and warms to boozy overtones.
A: Pours a caramel brown, no head, no lacing.
F: Hop Assault w/ soy and umami. I believe if distillers were using hops, this would be it. I think this might be what drinking hop oil is like? Smokey and Oak finish.
M: Slick and warms all the way down.
O: It's the hoppiest beer I've ever had in my life, it's the strongest beer I've ever had, and literally the best beer I've ever had the privilege of trying. It's more than a beer, it's an experience that needs to be had.

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Photo of hopheadtony1
4.92/5  rDev +37%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Quite nervous when i opened this one... Pours a wonderfull orange amber sunset beer. No head, looks liquorous, it smells like a wet hop nectar made by a Hopdevil. This taste like hopheads heaven, strong, hoppy, bitter, full of body. Some sweetness from the malt too. The after taste is long long long, full of aroma. This is still a beer, a 41 % beer!

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Photo of weller1js
4.82/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Buddy & I split it for his wedding day

appearance: pours a rich cognac brown with orance hue, clear, no noticeable carbonation; you can tell by looking at it that it is quality.

smell: when taken in too deeply, the burn of alcohol is distinct, an exceptional blend of hops, smoke, citrus (though overwhelmed), complex spices, lingers into yur nostrils for quite a bit.

taste: begins with a very dark fruity taste fused with with spices, progresses with the floral aspects of the heavy hops, creates a lighter fruit taste, all the while going toward a piney and smokey consistency; the finish begins both deeply sweet and bitter, with the bitterness winning out, lingering long after the finish.

mouthfeel: I don't typically review mouthfeel, but in this case, the consistency is that of a fine cognac, heavy and deep, comparable to a liquor.

drinkability: exceptional; for the attempt, complexity and result thereof, for a beer brewed to liquor-like perfection, so glad I got to share this one, like any fine liquor, moderation is key for strength and costs-sake.

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Photo of wisecracka
4.82/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this as a birthday present from my girlfriend, she ordered it online... yes, I know, she is a definite keeper... Also, this review is:

Sink the Bismark!
Wisecracka ft. Enlight

A: A beautiful, opaque golden amber. No lacing or "head" due to the whopping 41% abv. There is a "watered down" look at the top of the beer and a color gradient that increases down the glass.

S: TAKE NO (HOPPY) PRISONERS. Hops conquer this smell, but it is still complex. It is a mixture of pine hop, fruit hop, a sweet semi-honey smell, and alcohol. Honestly, the alcohol smell is prominent, but it swirls around the combined smell of hops and sweetness. To those that are pure beer people, it will burn like sweet, cleansing fire.

T: The saga begins with pine hops, pine hops, oh beautiful pine hops. Then sweeps down the exceptional tag team of fruity semisweet, an almost honey-like taste mixed with fruity hops that both enforce and warp the dominating pine hop. Then big daddy alcohol joins the party like a sex crazed hell's angel with a broad steak of ethics and morality. It does not impose, but it reminds the drinker of their good fortune; that is, drinking this damn fine beer.

M: The mouthfeel is much like a fine liquor. It doesn't expand to fill the mouth, but it's not thin. It's fills a targeted, definite space on the palate. It is excellent for what the beer attempts to do; that is, be extreeeme.

D: Now i'm at an impasse. As Enlight sagely observes, "this is like an rpg (video game): low replay value, completion is hard won and highly enjoyed". To further the metaphor: Colt 45 has the same drinkability as Sink the Bismark!; however, Colt 45 is a $100-dollar-per-play-pong, while Sink the Bismark! is Final Fantasy 7. You can't keep replaying it over and over, but there is one that will always bring that special smile time and time again. As such, I award this beer with a 4.5 drinkability because I will happily and readily enjoy this beer when fortune favors me with it.

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Photo of kwjd
4.79/5  rDev +33.4%
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!

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Photo of TubaDan
4.75/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of heatherishoppin
4.72/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one hell of of a unique beer. The taste and smell are just out of this world.

However, this is definitely a beer for the special occasion. Not only is it very costly, but very syrupy and difficult to drink more than one.

I would still encourage anyone to try this beer if they have the opportunity. Not many people can say they have drank a beer with an ABV of 41% and not many people even know it is possible!

Again, I give this beer, like many BrewDog beers, a very high rating because I admire their work. I even had the chance to see this beer in the making at the brewery in Fraserburgh, Scotland!

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.7/5  rDev +30.9%
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.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.7/5  rDev +30.9%
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.

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4.67/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle (Xmas gift from my wife). Spirit glass. From my notes. Deep amber color, foggy appearance. Very strong flavors & aromas. I love rhum, well, it performs like ir does. Smooth upfront then a burning big bang in mouth. Amazing light body but, after some drop, it makes you feel like being drinking beer for hours. Tastes as an amplified flavor & aroma beer. Nearly unexisting froth but master carbonation.: I had have it after diners for several days & I have to say that everytime I opened it, it sounded “pop”. Incredible drinking experience. Perfect pairing with butter & anise cookies.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.65/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Paisan at Delirium Cafe in Brussels, Belgium!

After deliberating the purchase online and flat out refusing to drop the 130 a bottle in addition to the other bottles needing to be purchased in order to ship them, I was suddenly presented the opportunity when seeing it at Delirium cafe in Brussels Belgium.

Even more surprisingly BA Paisan asked me if we would care to split a bottle with them. Given this option I had absolutely no choice in the matter and I had to give in to the temptation. Split 4 ways, this was a great opportunity to try Sink the Bismarck!

Body was thick and viscous and had tears going down like a good strong Port would. Deep caramel in color and no signs of carbonation though there was a hiss when opened and after being capped there was another hiss upon its second opening.

Aroma of strong unworldly hop presence. I thought of all of the poor hops that must have been sacrificed in order to create this "beer".

Deep dark pepper up front from the assault on my tongue. There was licorice and pepper pounding me in the face. Throat burn and all out warfare on my mouth from the amazingly deep rich and pungent hop and booze flavors. We all agreed that this was so strong it nearly rivaled a good scotch in complexity however an entire bottle of scotch could have been purchased for a similar price.
Overall i enjoyed drinking sink the Bismarck. I wouldn't purchase it again , would gladly have it again, but was glad to have tried it with new friends and a great beer waiter upstairs at the cafe.

Edit: for the record there is no way this is an Imperial IPA, as it is in a style class by itself and maybe two other beers at this time and I have rated it as such.

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Photo of mirnsd
4.62/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The reason why I selected that I tried this beer on-tap is because I tried it straight from the tanks at the brewery a few days before its release.

This beer is simply amazing and it really breaks the boundaries when thinking about what a beer actually is.

Firstly you can smell the hops from this one at an arms length away. The first taste was a sweet maltiness which very quickly gave way to the resinous hop taste. This is probably quite easily the hoppiest beer I have had and I loved it.

It isnt a beer that you can drink all of in one night but thats why it comes with a stopper for the bottle.

This stuff wont be around for long and I cant wait to try it again.

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Photo of sbb32
4.59/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: A nice translucent amber colour. A little more watery (in terms of how fluid it was in the glass) than I expected.
S: Booze. Hops. Booze. Hops. Cannot even bring the glass to lips without booze attacking the nostrils and causing a cough.
T: Like the nose, only much more pleasant. I imagine this is what hops drenched in whiskey must taste like. A pinnacle of what one would expect a 41% IPA to taste like.
F: Thick syrupy, with a lot of heat and hops lingering. Not bad though
O: Quite an interesting to try and track down their other absurd ABVs

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Photo of mike130
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After bringing us the polarizing Tactical Nuclear Penguin, Brewdog decide to make yet another extreme ABV beer. While I liked the TNP, it is a totally different brew to this - TNP tasted like something halfway to a whisky, simply tasting nothing like a typical beer, but StB! screams "beer!! beer!!" with every sip. Think over-the-top IPA and then concentrate that into a 41% beast, and that's more or less what you get here.

In appearance it's not astounding - unsurprisingly enough, there's no real head, but some carbonation does appear for a little while, then quickly disappear. Dark orange, light brown color, quite oily in appearance.

The smell is of hops, hops, hops. Not as strong as other DIPA's, but barely any of the alcohol content could be discerned. Not a complete hop-bomb, some fruity, malty characteristics do come out but it's mainly hops you'll be able to smell.

The taste is... astounding. Extremely strong, very bitter but very well balanced at the same time - loads of fruitiness and malts, with a little kick of alcohol. The alcohol is surprisingly indiscernible through the intensity of the hops. The hop character is quite bitter, not as aromatic as a standard DIPA, and leaves a quite oily mouthfeel, with tones of citrus near the end. Great stuff.

Feels great in your mouth as well - like said before, oily and very strong, does not evaporate in your mouth like something of this strength normally does. Drinkability is obviously not high due to the 41%, but once this is taken into account it is extremely drinkable for the ABV. I could easily take this stuff as a replacement for whisky or other hard licor, if only it weren't so expensive. Overall, an absolutely astounding and brilliant beer, and something which I'm hoping to get more of soon. A must-try.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

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Photo of femALEist
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am very, very lucky to have tried this beer recently. Kettle hopped, dry hopped then freeze hopped. Had this out of the bottle. This poured a bright orange with a tint of cherry red. No head.
This smelled of a huge piney, resinous, oily explosion with a slight spiciness to it. It was like smelling a concentrated pine tree with a blooming lemon tree next to it. Intense smell in a beautiful way. I kept smelling it. I said that they should bottle this as perfume for women to wear to attract men who liked good beer - or even vice versa. I would fall head over heels if my husband wore this as cologne. Seriously, I couldn't stop smelling it- it smelled so great!
It tasted like no beer I have had before. Completely unlike the Utopias or the Tactical Nuclear Penguin- but those are all different animals. It tasted like a hop concentration with huge juicy overripe citrus fruit, slight spiciness and tons of pine; mostly resinous hops though.
No carbonation, but this is basically like a liquor anyway- I sipped it and coddled it for a while. Great drinkability. A Must try if you can get your hands on some.

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Photo of SShelly
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a few ounces out of a bottle that made its way to LA with the brewer james.

Instantly hit with HUGE hop aroma, citrus and pine, GIANT burst of hops.

Flavor starts resinous and piney, giant bitterness with huge hop flavor, the hops really do hide the alcohol in the mouth. Really heats up the throat and stomach on the finish, leaves a great resinous sweetness in the mouth. I think the way the hop flavor carries through in this is amazing.

Very happy I got to try this, drinkability is a tough one, I really enjoyed my couple of ounces, but probably wouldnt need more than that in one sitting.

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Sink The Bismarck! from BrewDog
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 220 ratings