Beerly Departed - Search The Crypt's Records

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BrewDog - Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Nuke'd Penguin
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Tactical Nuclear Penguin
BrewDog Ltd.
Unit 1, Kessock Workshops
Fraserburgh  Scotland 
Est. 2007

Brain Damage Quotient = 32.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 (container) / 3.0 (sample) 

Postmortem Brew Review
Brown/black color.
Plum fruit aroma
, heavy malt smell and some other undefinable scents.
Zero, zip, nada head.

Clear "legs" of lacing on the glass, similar to bourbon or scotch.
Absolutely no carbonation.
Taste of tobacco leaf, then malty, malty flavor.
Warmed the back of the mouth and throat.
Slight alcohol sting, less than anticipated.
Tastes intensified as it warmed to room temperature.
Heavy malted body, viscous mouth feel. Very complex flavors. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy 
This beer's label claims, "made with barley, hops, yeast, water".  Those are indeed the four sacred ingredients for beer.  However - Reinheitsgebot be damned!  Tactical Nuclear Penguin's (fun to say) unusual name implies that you are in for a full on 'red alert' experience of a lifetime. A label quote reveals that, "BrewDog's beers are the epitome of pure punk."  That says a lot about an in-your-face 32% ABV beer.  Want more proof of punk?  Look at that packaging it comes in.  A brown paper bag with a penguin head drawn in magic marker and a piece of butcher's twine.  That has got to be punk for some kind of a 'fancy-pants' decanter!

I would like to say up front that neither myself, nor my pal Dean, (the purveyor of this bottle of TNP), compared it to another equally famous, high ABV beer.  We viewed TNP for its own qualities, alone. Having said that, this beer does stand on its own merit even though we admitted that 'other high ABV beer' had perhaps been a bit more stately.  But the Penguin did not disappoint from a novel beer experience. If you want more of the experience yourself, visit the BrewDog website to see how it's made. The label notes, "No Penguins  were harmed in the making of this beer; some humans did get very, very cold though. It was worth it."

The brew: First off, it had a dark brown, bordering on black color to the body.  It was served chilled, as per BrewDog's recommendation.  It was served in small two to three ounce amounts; look, you're not gonna drink all 12 ounces of this no matter what you think. The aromas and taste and body are surreal as it goes for a standard beer, but then again, this ain't no light beer.  Earthy flavors and aromas emanate from the glass and get more complex and funkier (in a good way) as it warms up a bit.  At times there were tobacco or even cough syrup; think industrial strength cough syrup. It was all over the taste map and kept going as it warmed.

More label notes say, "This is an extremely strong beer, it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. In exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost." Friendly, anxious ghost, huh? I don't think they mean Casper...I guess they're talking about me, The Reaper.  Ha-ha, muahahaahaaha! 

Not nuclear enough, you say?  The world's strongest beer ever has a "Best Before" date of January 18, 2021. I'd say that this thing can survive a nuclear fallout!

The label boasts, this is, " for the dedicated." 

'Nuff said.


  1. Wow! What an experience! Love the packaging, haha, very clever and "indy."

    Look forward to chatting with you about this one :)

  2. Definitely a brew that is avant garde.