When you think of Scotland, chances are good that you think of scotch, or maybe Braveheart. However, maybe you should start equating the kilt-wearing nation with beer, instead. You will, if BrewDog has anything to say about it. This little brewery is the creator of some of the world's strongest beers, such as Tactical Nuclear Penguin. If the name isn't enough to make you want to sample this killer brew, then maybe the alcohol content is.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin (that's a mouthful!) is about innovation and invention, according to the brewery. For those interested, TNP is actually a stout, and it is that! With an alcohol content of 32%, it's powerful stuff. The beer goes through quite a process before it is available for consumption. First, it is brewed traditionally and then aged in whiskey casks – it's actually double aged. It is aged for 8 months in 1 cask, and then another 8 months in a different type of cask. Next, it is stored for 3 full weeks at 20 below. During the 3-week freezing process, it was decanted repeatedly, eliminating water ice and strengthening the brew even further.
Of course, BrewDog is no stranger to innovation. Their final effort in brewing immensely strong beers was called The End of History, in homage to philosopher Francis Fukuyama. The End of History was only brewed in a very limited run (only a handful of bottles), and was 55% alcohol by volume, making it considerably stronger than TNP. In a twist, each of those 12 bottles was presented stuffed in a dead animal – either a stoat or a grey squirrel.
BrewDog continues to sell Tactical Nuclear Penguin, and their new Sink the Bismarck brew, as well. There are, of course, plans for further innovation, but the company seems to be pretty certain that they are done with the massively alcoholic beers – they've done all they could and it's the "end of history".
With The End of History officially off the production line, that makes Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck the strongest offerings from the brewery. Both are very high in alcohol content, and come with strong (though humorous) warning labels that the beer should be consumed slowly, in the same small quantities that one would use for whiskey or other liquor.
If you want to sample an innovative, boundary pushing beer, then there are few better options than the offerings from BrewDog in Scotland.