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back to article Scots unleash world's strongest beer

A Scottish brewer appears to have torpedoed a German rival's claim to the world's strongest beer, by bottling a "quadruple IPA" weighing in at a liver-bashing 41 per cent ABV. Just weeks after German outfit Schorschbrau floated its 40 per cent Schorschbock, Aberdeenshire hop-botherer BrewDog has counterattacked with the …

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Friendly banter...

It's good for morale!

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Ewww

That is going to be utterly disgusting...

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Hang on...

... you're suppose to drink it in spirit sized measures but it hasn't got a screw cap. That would be spirit sized measures all the way to the end of the bottle in one sitting, then.

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Whiskey?

Isn't that called whiskey

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Pint

No, Whisky

They're Scots, remember...

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No

Just no

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No

If it's from Scotland it'd be Whisky - note the correct spelling.

With an E it's from Ireland.

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Not quite true

or USA or Japan or anywhere else actually

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Anonymous Coward

Very true

Just because they can't spell, doesn't make it correct.

Whisky = Scottish

Whiskey = Irish

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Pint

At Wal-Mart...

..the cheapest beer in the cooler is 211, a/k/a Steel Reserve.

It is also the strongest, coming in at 8.1 ABV. Nicely, it also claims extra hops, the cousin of cannabis, so its possible to remain blissfully ignorant of the state of the Universe.

Excellence in reporting, a hallmark of El Reg!

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Uhh...

...you realize that 8.1 is LESS than 41?

Well, no. You probably don't realize that ...you willingly drink Steel Reserve.

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Pirate

211 Steel Reserve -- the favorite of homeless drunkies everywhere.

We always knew when "our" drunkie was back in our section of town by the pile of 211SR cans piled next to "his" dumpster.

<-- the label for all toxic products

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I think he meant

It is the strongest in the WalMart cooler, which probably does not include 'Sink the Bismarck!'

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To be fair...

....I think he means the strongest in Wal-Mart.

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Compared to...

...the other beers in the cooler. Fortified wines are available in the US, but to my knowledge, not fortified beers.

The point was, that the best (in terms of drug content) was also the cheapest.

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@Disco-Legend-Zeke

"Nicely, it also claims extra hops, the cousin of cannabis, so its possible to remain blissfully ignorant of the state of the Universe."

Uh ... dude(ette??), hops don't contain THC ... but I'd pay a dollar to watch you run a cone or three of my home-grown varietal thru' your <insert-dope-pipe-of-choice> ... Should be good for a giggle.

That said, Malt Liquor isn't beer. It's inebriation in a container for people who want to get drunk on the cheap, and don't care what it tastes like.

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Re:I think he meant

"It is the strongest in the WalMart cooler, which probably does not include 'Sink the Bismarck!'"

So why did he refer to the usual "excellence of reporting" of El Reg in a snide way like he was making a correction to their error?

No......I think he misread or misunderstood and made a complete idiot of himself.

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@jake

"A cone or three of my home grown varietal"...? Lol you remind me of that scene in human traffic where a pair of dopeheads fresh back from "the 'dam" are represented by a pair of arses blowing smoke and rabbiting on about blue Rizlas.

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Clarification.

I brew beer at home. I grow, harvest and dry most of my own hops (Fuggle, Goldings and Cascade), not pot. Make better sense now?

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I bet it tastes even worse than Stella

Urghh.... thats gonna be horrid, still : Scots produce something thats not fryed shock...

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@Paul Woodhouse

What about kilts, cabers, the US Navy, Cullen skink, modern refridgeration, the telephone, etc etc?

(or "Potted Heid" - which admittedly is no longer allowed under EU regs and is disgusting!)

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Boffin

Potted Heid/Hough/whatever - EU regs

oh really?

Funny, as I went into a butchers North of the Border and got some. Whoever told you that one is mis-informed (even if it is the EU themselves).

And no.. not disgusting, just rediculously fattening and life shortening.

Still good though :-)

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I dounbt it

Brew Dog make some nice ales, and know there stuff.

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Headmaster

@ Paul Woodhouse

The word you wanted is "fried", ya numpty.

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Won't it go flat?

Or are you supposed to dig out the old soda stream if you want to drink it over the course of a few different sessions?

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Pint

You must be a lager drinker!

'nuff said :)

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Cream Soda

For some reason I misread "Soda Stream" as "cream soda": the thought of a sort of weird barley wine whisky hybrid mixed with cream soda is... well, it's... actually, words fail me.

Words don't fail the Soda Stream contraption I had as a kid, though: it was made of fail, as was that horrid, bitter, syrupy diarrhoea substitute that you'd get in place of cola. That the perpetually almost empty CO2 cylinder would half-heartedly make even more flat than before it started. The '70s were great, but the Soda Stream didn't really contribute to their greatness.

Er, where were we? Oh yeah, frightening beer. I think I'll view that one as a spectator sport.

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@Jon Double Nice

"Won't it go flat?"

It is probably a still brew, unless they are force carbonating it. This kind of thing isn't designed for your average Friday/Saturday night session ... rather, it's designed for me to provide as a sip or three at some point in a formal meal when I'm cooking when my inlaws are visiting.

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@Ned

Oy! You take that BACK!

The Soda stream ROCKED!

We soda streamed ourselves into a sugar/caffeine induced stupor all the time as kids. I can still remember climbing the curtains...!

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Re: Won't it go flat?

No. To get more alcohol in they've removed the bubbles.

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RE: Whiskey?

Don't you mean whisky?

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Pint

Pushing the boundaries

I thought that the normal brewing process topped out at about 12 or 13% ABV, because the alcohol poisoned the yeast that produced it. Maybe this is what they mean by 'amplified'. The standard way to make a beer stronger is to freeze it just below zero, and scoop off the ice that forms. This removes some of the water, while leaving the alcohol behind. I wonder if this is what they've done. I would have thought that this would have a detrimental effect on the taste. At 40 quid a bottle though, I don't think I will take a taste.

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Anonymous Coward

Me and my mate

A real mate - not some bloke in the street, or a copper arresting me - once bought a half bottle of vodka in the offy, then went in the pub and got a pint (probably bitter) each. When we'd downed half we emptied the vodka into our glasses, then downed the rest.

Then we went on a pub crawl. Ended up on Newky Brown chased down by Southern Comfort. That was about thirty years ago and the thought of vodka still makes me queasy. And I reckon this stuff sounds just as disgusting.

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Can go a bit better

There are some yeasts that will work up to 19%, but getting that far isn't an easy prospect.

Sounds like in this case they could have made a barley wine and then frozen off the extra water. A bit more beer-like than distilling.

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@AC 17:12

"I thought that the normal brewing process topped out at about 12 or 13% ABV, because the alcohol poisoned the yeast that produced it.

Yeast mutates (if you let it), and brewers/winemakers have been selecting for alcohol resistance. I make a near-clone or Dogfish Head's India Brown that comes in at 16% ABV, over twice the original (was a fortunate mistake). The yeast involved started out as champagne yeast ... I don't normally make high alcohol brews, but this one is pretty good. I may go commercial with it. Last time I looked, the highest ABV commercial brew made with traditional brewing processes was just over 25%

"Maybe this is what they mean by 'amplified'."

I think "amplified" is a non-regulated variation on "fortified".

"The standard way to make a beer stronger is to freeze it just below zero, and scoop off the ice that forms. This removes some of the water, while leaving the alcohol behind."

AKA "fractional distillation by crystallization". A friend of mine used to make pretty good Apple & Pear brandy using this technique. It's quite illegal in the USA if you don't have a license, so don't try it at home.

"I wonder if this is what they've done."

Probably.

"I would have thought that this would have a detrimental effect on the taste. At 40 quid a bottle though, I don't think I will take a taste."

Not detrimental, rather concentrated. This is a sipping thingie, and/or a flavo(u)ring agent in a meal, not a so-called "session" brew. If your palate can't handle a high-alcohol, very concentrated beer, don't waste your money.

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@Dominic Fishbowl

"Then we went on a pub crawl. Ended up on Newky Brown chased down by Southern Comfort. That was about thirty years ago and the thought of vodka still makes me queasy."

Wasn't the vodka, mate, nor the bitter ... I can't imagine what possessed your to mix the broon & sudden discomfort ... That's a recipe for a really, really bad following morning ...

"And I reckon this stuff sounds just as disgusting."

Nah. This kinda thing is good in sips, sometimes drops on a plate. It's just pushing the ancient art of brewing, using modern technology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re. Me and my mate

What did it for me was finishing off a bottle of raki with a couple of Turkish mates, next morning I thought I'd woke up dead. Ever since I've not been able to drink spirits so on balance it was probably a life improving experience.

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Anonymous Coward

That was...

...as reading back, it wasn't clear...a half bottle of vodka added to our remaining half pints of bitter. Basically the problem is the taste and smell of neat alcohol mixed with that of the beer (which I remember now was 'Director's'). Of course, we didn't 'sip' the resulting fortified pints, we quaffed them like we would have without the vodka. I knew before we'd left the first pub that talking to Huey was on the cards - which I very rarely did, mostly because I'd tell myself not to. That night my command of mind over matter seeped through the cracks in the floorboards (to dry on the heat of the radiator pipes below).

Anyway, for £40 I'd rather have 2 bottles of Jack Daniels! One thing I suspect is that good or bad it would have to be better than Red Stripe's 'Crucial Brew'! That was one it almost gives me a migraine to think of. As for why the mixing, the answer is probably "because it was there!".

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Alert

Just waiting for the Daily Mail headline

BOOZED UP HOODIE KIDS ON BEER STRONGER THAN VODKA WREAK HAVOC AND TERRORISE KIDS! WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

...without a single reference to it costing £40 a bottle. Although they may get confused when they try to tie in the anti-Boche angle. perhaps they'll run that one on a different page...

GOOD OLD BLIGHTY SHOWS JOHNNY KRAUT HOW IT'S DONE!

On a saner note, BrewDog beers are generally fucking excellent - well worth hunting out, especially their Punk IPA.

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Pint

What's a title?

Ironically, I was recommended the Punk IPA and it was absolutely rank. I'm a real ale fan, and I brew my own, so I have a fair appreciation for a decent beer, so I can only assume it's brewed with a target audience of lager drinkers. I do like the slogan on the side of the bottle though: "if you don't like this beer then f**k off" or words to that effect!

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Titsle

Had something similar in Germany, obviously to be drank in small portions and very slowly, as you would a whisky. It resembled a very thick guinness, and was actually very tasty. But most people would struggle to have more than a very small glass, just as you would struggle with more than a dram or 2 or bog standard 12 year old malt.

I think the bottle style maybe makes it seem that it's promoting abuse, but I assume it has a twist and re-shuttable cap, rather than your typical beer cap?

In moderation, most food-stuffs are fine.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Titsle

I had a similar German beer at a UK beer festival.

It was served in 1/3 of a pint measures and if you bought one, they marked your hand with permanent marker (the bastards) to make sure no-one sat getting too messed up on it...

It tasted quite good - a bit like Guiness original (not draft!) and 'tis a shame I can't remember the name (due to having imbibed an awful lot of beer that evening!)

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Pah.

'just as you would struggle with more than a dram or 2 or bog standard 12 year old malt.'

Amateur.

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Badgers

Whiskey or malt liquor/barley wine

82 proof fizzy whiskey? You don't get that without adding alcohol or distilling. It could sink the Bismark, and remove the oil stain.

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Actually you do

You don't need to fortify or distill to get to 40%. Just like Tactical Nuclear Penguin (high 30s) this will almost certainly have had the alcohol content increased with the aid of a freezer.

I never managed to try Tactical Nuclear Penguin on the grounds that I couldn't get it in the US, but I was told by a UK beer drinking buddy that it was actually pretty nice.

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@AC 23:44

"You don't need to fortify or distill to get to 40%. Just like Tactical Nuclear Penguin (high 30s) this will almost certainly have had the alcohol content increased with the aid of a freezer."

That's distillation. It's known in the trade as FDC, or "fractional distillation by crystallization".

These days, you can get to around 25% +/- with traditional brewing.

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever happened....

... to Roger and Out, which was in the record book as the worlds highest original gravity beer. It was so powerful that they sold it in thirds. Brewed and served at the Frog and Parrot in Sheffield. I remember it well .. or, rather, I remember the morning after very well.

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Pint

'Difficult to enjoy' would be putting it politely.

It was bloody awful stuff. On the plus side, my missus used to work at the Frog and Parrot.

Which ws nice.

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or Roger's Birthday Bitter

That was much nicer than R&O (only 1100 gravity though as opposed to the 1135 for R&O). I also like Hastings (gravity 1066).

Ah happy days in Sheffield.

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