I had the opportunity to sample Brew Dog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin (batch number 002, best before December 19, 2025) the other day. This is a 32% ABV beer, the worlds strongest, aged in a Scottish whisky casks for 14th months. Of course, the discussion started immediately about if this is a beer or not. Is it a port wine or maybe whiskey with hops or malt liquor? Brew Dog uses a freezing method to get it to 32% so this is kind of a distilling, just like whiskey. So what does this rare beer taste like. The beer flavors that we can find in other strong beers are there but the bitterness is to strong in relation to the sweetness. The alcohol flavors almost suffocating all the other flavors immediately. The balance is just not there. I don’t really know in what situation I would want a beer like this except for just one time taster. I can’t say a really enjoined the beer. It’s fun to have tried it but that is about it. Brewdog have other beers that are much more enjoyable.
A beer I could find many situations have in is the 12% ABV Malheur Dark Brut. This is just a fantastic beer! This is a perfect beer to have for new years even instead of the champagne. They use champagne methods when brewing the beer. The Dark Brut would work great with a sweet desert or a when celebrating something special. The beer is very rich and complex in it’s flavors. There are flavors of leather, barn, some coffee and a clear dryness in it’s finish but still with a delicate balance.
So here we have two totally different beers influenced by two totally different alcoholic beverages. This shows the great varieties that beer have to offer which make beer such an exciting beverage. You never stop being surprised with beer.