A little over a week ago I received my shipment of beer from BrewDog Brewery with one of those beers being the 41% alcohol juggernaut Sink the Bismarck, a “quadruple IPA”. This was truly not a beer for the weak or half hearted, this is a beer that grows hair on your hair. I understand that there are a good amount of people out there that think this is simply a marketing ploy, yadda yadda yadda. The fact of the matter is BrewDog pushed the boundaries of what beer is perceived as to create something truly different and unique. So, without further ado, let’s explore this IPA “for the Dedicated”!
BrewDog has this to say on their website:
An unsettling development has arisen in mainland Europe which BrewDog have found impossible to ignore.
Armed with their 40% ABV beer, German brewers have infiltrated our front lines, slipped under the defences and straight onto the radars of you – the noble beer drinkers of the Empire.
We ask of you to keep calm and carry on whilst saluting the valiant efforts of Tactical Nuclear Penguin whose fall has allowed the Germans to recapture the world record for the strongest beer.
We are wheeling out the big guns this time. Sink the Bismarck is a quadruple IPA that contains four times the hops, four times the bitterness and frozen four times to create at a staggering 41% ABV.
This is IPA amplified, the most evocative style of the craft beer resistance with the volume cranked off the scale. Kettle hopped, dry hopped then freeze hopped for a deep fruit, resinous and spicy aroma. A full out attack on your taste-buds ensues as the incredibly smooth liquid delivers a crescendo of malt, sweet honey, hop oils and a torpedo of hop bitterness which lasts and lasts.
First of all, the rubber/plastic cork used on this beer is ridiculously annoying. It definitely takes a strong grip and something to grab hold of it with a firmly to get this cork out, both G and I were not going to use a corkscrew – it’s not our style. Once the cork popped the explosion of aroma that resonated from the bottle was mind-boggling. I’ve never opened a beer and had the aroma jettison out so explosively as it did with Sink the Bismarck. It poured a slightly hazy lighter amber color with absolutely no head, nor any visible carbonation. I think I’d been more surprised if it did have a head and carbonation. Appearance – 5/5. My first reaction to the smell was as simple as – WOW! This ABV monster packs a hell of hoppy punch. The citrus aroma was unreal; filled with passion fruit, grapefruit, lemon, and mango. After the initial hopgasm, the alcohol provided a substantial burn coupled with the caramel and light peat aromas from the malt. Smell – 8/10.
As I was thinking of the flavor, texture, and overall drinking experience of this ale the same description kept finding its way into my thoughts. This ale is like a scotch, concentrated hops, and syrup had a threesome that created a love child with attributes from each of themselves – this is what Sink the Bismarck is. The texture is thick like syrup, and the hops are strong and fierce on the tongue. Their bitterness is still present as well as the thickened fruity flavors described in the aroma. The sweetness of what I can only imagine was an unimaginable amount of malt comes in front of the bitterness. And then, there’s the alcohol, and O how it warms and burns. Thankfully, all of these other flavors (including a slight smoky peat flavor) hit the palate before the strong burn, but this only holds true when this ale is chilled slightly. Chilling this ale does provide a bit of a fuzzy hop feel on the tongue, but once warmed - the texture thickens and the burn takes over. The scotch qualities are at their strongest when it’s at room temperature. Now, it’s hard to say negative things about this beer because what is there to compare it to? An IPA, no way, a barley wine, yeah right, no this is an ale that sits on its own. With that said, I wasn’t completely blown away by this crazy concoction, but I was very impressed and left with many thoughts of what this is. Flavor 32/35.
I’ve been looking forward to this beer for a very long time, and I was incredibly excited to try it. Outside of beer, I really only drink two liquors, which are Whiskey/Scotch and Vodka (it might be the Irish, Scottish, and Serbian in me – who knows), but I like my drinks stiff and neat, or for vodka - on the rocks with some club soda. So, when I read about the scotch characters I was excited, especially since I read about the awesome hop qualities. Now, I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t quite this, which by no means is bad. BrewDog innovated with this, and they really pushed my idea of what a beer of this nature could be. Now, with that being said I truly recommend giving this behemoth a try, granted it’s expensive, but if you can spare the cash - try it and get lost in the uniqueness of its insanity. It’s truly for the beer dedicated. With all of that, the Beer Fusion gives Sink the Bismarck…