BrewDog has become synonymous with outrageously strong ABV beers, and today we’ll be taking a look at another one – Tactical Nuclear Penguin. This is a so called, “Beer for the Dedicated”, and at one time was the world’s strongest beer. After drinking Sink the Bismarck! my hope for this beer was for it to actually resemble more a beer than a liquor, and I think my hope came true.
BrewDog writes this about their Tactical Nuclear Penguin:
This is the worlds strongest ever beer, ever (yes ever).
No Penguins were harmed in the making of this beer; some humans did get very, very cold though. It was worth it.
The Antarctic name, inducing schizophrenia, of this Ÿber-imperial stout originates from the amount of time it spent exposed to extreme cold. This beer was initially double barrel aged for 14 months; maturing in the deep, rich oak of Scottish whisky casks. After this epic maturation the beer was then frozen, then frozen again, then frozen again.
The Tactical Nuclear Penguin has an ABV of 32%, and pours little to no head, which I found very surprising that it poured one at all. The carbonation was very subtle, and the color was nearly pitch black. Some light did make its way through, so it wasn’t as dark as some beers like the Abyss. Look - 4 . TNP’s smell is massive and very reminiscent of a Belgium Dubbel with its strong sugary sweet smell and dark fruit notes. I expected somewhat of a smoky peat presence, because of the Scottish whisky casks, but there was little to no smoky presence. There was also a strong bittersweet chocolate aroma with the heavy heat of the alcohol. Smell - 8.
With the aroma as complex and massive as it was, I was very excited and curious to see how this beer tasted. The first sip was thick and syrupy like Sink the Bismarck!, but slightly carbonated, which was different than Sink the Bismarck! The heat from the alcohol wasn’t overwhelming, and very drinkable. The sweetness of this ale is off the charts - very much a dessert beer. The sweetness is a mix of those dark fruits from the aroma as well as a strong chocolate presence and a hint of licorice. The smoky peat flavors were about as strong as they were in the aroma, and same can be said about the vanilla, which was much more pronounced. Other flavors include hints of caramel, as well as a creamy presence. Flavor – 28.
Drinking this beer was a great experience, but this is definitely a one-time buy. Unlike Sink the Bismarck!, Tactical Nuclear Penguin can be placed in a definitive style category, even with its insane ABV. Compared to other stouts in the 15%+ category, it’s average, but creating something that is still a solid stout and resembles a beer at 32% ABV makes it above average in my book. I love the artisanship in this beer, and how it pushes stylistic boundaries. If you have the cash, or you have a few friends that will chip in with you – get this beer and experience the Penguin. The Beer Fusion gives BrewDog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin: