The World's Most Alcoholic Beers (Slideshow)
May 6, 2014
Breweries around the world are currently locked in a battle to see who can cook up the strongest brew
13. Holy Grail 20 percent
Coming in at 20 percent, this Grand Lake Brewing Company offering still packs a punch. It’s classified as a barley wine, so it has a sweeter taste than traditional beers and a syrupy, amber consistency.
12. World Wide Stout 22 percent ABV
Dogfish Head Brewery out of Delaware proclaims that this complex creation is more of a port than a beer. Its taste is described as roasty and warm, making it the ideal winter beer, which is perfect, as this is a seasonal offering.
11. Rosie’s Old Ale 23 percent ABV
Good things come to those who wait. This beer, brewed by Barley John’s in Minnesota, is only released every three years because it’s aged in a recycled whiskey barrel for a year before it’s ever bottled. The rich bourbon vanilla flavor is worth the wait.
10. Fleurac Octo Pyroclastic Black IPA 24 percent ABV
Brewed by Le Brassiere de Fleurac in the South of France, this quadruple black IPA is aged in whiskey barrels for an extra kick. Be careful, reviews say drinking this beer is a lot like throwing back a shot!
9. Black Damnation V Double Black 26 percent ABV
The Black Damnation project by Belgian brewery De Struise began as an experiment in high gravity brewing. It pours as thick and dark as oil and has a slight taste of licorice. Not for the faint of heart.
8. Südstern XXL 27.6 percent ABV
Until the recent high-gravity brewing wars, this beer was the reigning champ for alcohol content. Produced by the Südstern Brewhouse in Germany, a master brewer freezes this beer before it’s finished fermenting, which slows down the process and produces a rich, dark beer that doesn’t taste like hard liquor.
7. Brewdog Ghost Deer 28 percent ABV
Around the time De Struise set out to challenge the record for highest ABV beer, two brewers in Aberdeenshire, Scotland threw their hats (beers?) into the ring as well. Ghost Deer was their first successful attempt at producing a high alcohol, yet tasty beer. It’s a blonde ale, aged six months in whiskey, bourbon, rum, and sherry barrels. Reviews say it’s deceptively sweet, so remember the alcohol content while sipping.
6. Samuel Adams Utopias 29 percent ABV
This beer is going to set you back $200 bucks, but the Boston Beer Company promises it’s worth the price tag. The company brews less than 15,000 bottles a year and it’s barrel aged up to two years in Hungarian oak casks. Sam Adams’ website says the dark beer boasts fruit notes and “rich, malty sweetness.” The bottle can be resealed, so the company suggests you serve this beer as an after dinner drink.
5. Schorschbräu Schorschbock 31 percent ABV
No, that’s not a transcription of the Swedish Chef’s latest recipe; it’s a limited edition German beer that once held the title for strongest brew in the world. Schorschbräu is serious about the quality of their beer. This bottle (which you can still order online) comes in a ceramic flagon and wooden crate signed and numbered by the brew master.
4. Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin 32 percent ABV
In 2009, Brewdog smashed Schorschbräu’s world record for strongest beer with this bold offering. They began with an 18 percent ABV imperial stout, then aged it for 16 months in two different whiskey barrels. Three weeks of freezing got this brew to it’s record-breaking alcohol content.
3. Brewdog Watt Dickie 35 percent
Touted as an IPA but sold in a moonshine jar, this beer/spirit hybrid is another Brewdog innovation that tests customers’ perceptions of what a beer can be. Brewdog’s website explains that this beer is uncarbonated and meant to be enjoyed as a spirit. The company invites buyers to have it neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail.
2. Schorschbräu Schorschbock Finis Coronat Opus 57 percent
Currently the highest ABV offering from the German brewer, this honey colored concoction is potent enough to burn your nostrils. This is not a relaxing, kick back after a long day beer; it reportedly tastes like alcohol-soaked marmite.
1. Brewmeister Snake Venom 67.5 percent ABV
Yikes. Another Scottish brewery is giving Brewdog a run for its money with this dangerous beer. There’s even a warning on the bottle that consumers shouldn’t drink more than 35ml in one sitting. Buyer beware, the smoky sweet flavor is rumored to mask the high alcohol content.