Many people seem to fall for the idea that what makes a good beer is its alcohol content. Yes, there are beers with complex flavors, textures, heads, colors, and sensations. However, sometimes you just need to blast your senses with a good punch of concentrated alcohol. (5 o’clock on fridays?)
The average alcohol content is the 5-to-7% mark, but not all. There are many companies with special iterations of their beverages with higher ABV (alcohol-by-volume) content.
Furthermore, some brands are famous today for these same drinks. Below, you’ll find everything you need for your next adventure. From beer types to the mentioned brands, you’ll find everything below.
Top High Alcohol Beer Types
- 1 Top High Alcohol Beer Types
- 2 Top 10 High Alcohol brands
- 2.1 Sam Adam Utopias:
- 2.2 BrewDog Tactical Nuclear Penguin:
- 2.3 Struise Black Damnation VI, Messy:
- 2.4 Baladin Espirit de Noel:
- 2.5 BrewDog Sink the Bismarck:
- 2.6 Schorschbräu Schorschbock 43:
- 2.7 BrewDog The End of History:
- 2.8 Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57:
- 2.9 Brewmeister Armaggedon:
- 2.10 Brewmeister Snake Venom:
These styles are the ones with the highest alcohol content. The alcohol by volume criterium is used to measure the alcohol content of beers, wines, distilled spirits and other alcoholic beverages.
Usually, beers fall in an alcoholic content around 3 to 13%. Although these are the standard alcohol rates, some may be weaker or even stronger than these.
Among the most durable type of bock, it is one of the most peculiar and weird beers in the world. This beer is a highly alcoholic and malty drink. It is habitually made by freezing Bock or Doppelbock until ice forms. Afterwards, the ice is removed, leaving a highly concentrated refreshment in terms of alcohol.
This process of brewing an Eisbock is usually hard to execute, so getting an “authentic Eisbock” can be difficult. This beer’s levels of alcohol are around 9-15%, which makes this drink have a vibrant and robust flavor, with malty sweetness and a pleasant alcoholic finish, which users love.
This one is a bold and intense malty beer. It is considered one of the most energetic styles of beers. Although many users who have tried this beer say it is malty, bittersweet or sweet at times, it is a highly alcoholic choice for sure.
You will find it having an amber to dark brown color, and it ages for a significant amount of time before its release to the market. This potent drink usually has aromas that reach from rich fruits. Its alcohol levels are around 8 to 12%, which is considered high, and it is a typical drink during wintertime.
This one has a toasty aroma, and it is malty with a caramel tone. Many drinkers often compare this drink with eating warm biscuits. This type of beer is dense, with an exquisite and velvety texture.
The style is a favorite among drinkers. It usually offers soft warmth due to the alcohol, but it never provides a hot or rough sensation when it is drunk. English barleywine has high alcohol levels around 8 and 12%, which makes this one of the most potent English ales. Just as the American Barleywine, this drink is usually served in cold temperatures.
Russian Imperial Stout:
A type of ale, it is a variant of the stout style, which is characterized by having a high amount of alcohol and a higher concentration of malt. This drink has a potent level of alcohol of around 8 to 12% abv.
It delivers a smooth and creamy sensation with toasty and nutty flavors in the beginning. It evolves to the bitter feelings of coffee and dark chocolate, and ends with a strong alcohol and bitter and dry aftertaste. Others recommend this to those who like a concentrated, complex and intense mix of flavors.
This beer originated in the late 1980s, and is a strong ale with a portion of wheat. This type of beer is sweet and malty and has a high percentage of alcohol. This type of beer is usually lighter than any other types of beers. It is lighter in color and body, and much less bitter.
The drink has a taste that is generally compared by consumers with dried fruits. It provides soothing warmth with a sophisticated feeling. Its color may vary from light gold to vibrant amber. The alcohol range of the wheat wine is around 8 to 12%.
A complex and aromatic choice, it has a deep yellow or gold color with dense foam when served. This drink provides a combination of different fruits and a high alcohol content. The high concentration of alcohol offers a creamy and pleasant sensation without feeling too potent.
The drink is often confused with a Strong Golden Ale, but the Belgian Triple is less dark, has a higher malt taste and is less sweet. The Belgian Triple has an alcohol rate of around 7,5 up to 9.5%. The flavors and the perception of a dry finish are due to the high carbonation used to make this one.
One of the strongest and most massive, it has dominant flavors and aromas of caramel, dark sugar, toasted malt and other spicy herbs. This amber or dark brown beverage is a Belgian-style ale; they are flavorful and complex. Their alcohol content is high, from around 9 to 14%. Overall, it’s a creamy and sweet drink with great foam.
American Strong Ale:
They are strong and flavorful drinks that defy and rewards the palate with malt and hop flavors. Its aroma exhibits resinous and citric notes. The drink shares similar characteristics with other styles such as barleywines, old ales and double IPAs. American Strong Ale has an alcoholic content that may vary between 7 to 20%. This style is dark in color, from amber to almost black.
This style was made by blending and mixing spices with mead and beer. Nowadays, this style may display notes of honey and qualities such as malt, hop and yeast. The braggot may be pale or dark-coloured. It has a bitterness sensation that should balance with the honey. It has around 5% to 14% of alcohol level. Bragoot was highly popular in medieval Europe, and has since then spread to North America.
This is a style of dark malty one for you, with colors that vary from light amber to brown. It has sweet malt and fruity aroma; it is often mixed with several ingredients such as dried fruits, wine, caramel and nuts.
You will find a delicious complexity with nutty, caramel and molasses flavors. It may also have a slight taste of chocolate or roasted malt that is never dominant. The Old Ale usually has high levels of alcohol that may range between 6 to 9% abv.
These are used for mixing spices and ingredients. Small craft breweries use these styles of beers to make unique or seasonal brews. Its high content allows it to be preserved for a more extended period, which is essential for brewers.
Top 10 High Alcohol brands
Sam Adam Utopias:
Created and produced by Samuel Adams Brewing Company, the Utopias follows a multi-step process that includes brewing, blending and most importantly, ageing. This beverage is created with supreme ingredients such as pale malt, Munich and caramel. These ingredients give this its characteristic color: a vibrant ruby shade. Three varieties of hops are necessary for balancing the sweetness of the malt.
During its fermentation, brewers use yeast strain for them to survive in a high alcoholic environment. Sam Adam Utopia counts with an alcoholic level of 28%. Very few bottles hit the market each year – some of these bottles have aged for as many as 24 years.
BrewDog Tactical Nuclear Penguin:
Advertised as one of the most influential beer, it’s produced by the BrewDog Company and was initially released in 2009.
Before it gets served to you, it ages for nine months in a smoke head cask. It was then frozen in an ice-cream factory for at least three weeks using shallow temperatures. Afterwards, the parts that remained liquid in the factory were drained and created this new brew. It has an alcoholic content of 32%, which in 2009 broke the record of the highest alcoholic beer.
Today, there are choices with a more significant amount of alcohol levels. The taste varies from toasted malts to caramel, port wine and lots of alcohol. It also has a full-bodied texture and soft carbonation.
Struise Black Damnation VI, Messy:
Offering a significant 39% alcohol level – as much as most of the whiskies out there – this beverage is produced and marketed by Struise Brouwers in Belgium. It has a heavy roasted malt and coffee aroma. Its taste is similar to the smell of the beer, including notes of chocolate and caramel.
With a creamy black and dark color, the beverage process consists of ageing the liquid in Ardbeg whisky barrels to create a smokiness effect. Although it counts with a high alcoholic percentage, the alcohol is very well hidden between the mix of flavors and ingredients.
Baladin Espirit de Noel:
Created by a brewery called Birra Baladin located in Italy, the color of this drink is a light and bright straw yellow. The distinguishing feature is the smoothness and the warming alcohol content it provides. Its taste varies from notes of wood and faint, but also unique tastes of chocolate.
The drink was left to age in oak barrels for a long time. The alcoholic content of this beverage is about 40%, and it is usually served at a temperature of around 10 to 12°C. It comes in a unique and elegant bottle with a volume of 0,5 liter.
BrewDog Sink the Bismarck:
This is a quadruple IPA which contains four times the hops, four times the bitterness, and lastly, it was frozen four times. This beverage is a distinguished and unique process for a beer. It contains a high amount of 41% alcoholic volume. The aroma of this beverage is sweet with a touch of raisins and muscatel.
It is produced and marketed in Scotland by the same brewing company as the BrewDog Tactical Nuclear Penguin, the BrewDog Company. It delivers an outstanding smoothness with hops of bitterness that lasts for a long time.
Schorschbräu Schorschbock 43:
Produced in Germany by a Brewing Company called Schorschbräu, this beverage’s style is Eisbock, one of the strongest forms in the beer industry. It has a deep golden color with no head; it also has an oily texture when pouring.
You will love the malt and caramel aroma. Its taste is extreme with notes of alcohol, liquorice, caramel and malt. The alcohol content is about 43%, and it is highly known for never falling out of date and for its high price in the market.
BrewDog The End of History:
Once again, the BrewDog Company takes another highly alcoholic beer to the market. This time, The End of History counts with a 51% alcohol content. It is a Belgian style ale, brewed with herbaceous plants and berries of Scottish lands. This bottle is packaged inside a dead rodent, which makes it a unique product.
This beverage counts with an impressive alcohol level of 55%, released and advertised as the most influential and most expensive beer in the industry. The company only made a small amount of 10 bottles of this beverage, for the excessive amount of 20,000 US dollars. This product’s sales would go directly to the company’s initiative called Equity for Punks USA.
Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57:
The same creators of Schorschbräu Schorschbock 47, created another beer with a higher alcoholic content, which is 57%. The style of this brew is Eisbock, which makes it a strong beer.
This German product tastes like alcohol, booze and some notes of dried fruit. It is a smooth and slimy beverage with a burning sensation after it is swallowed. This product is considered one of the most luxurious, classy and most importantly, most expensive. Each bottle costs around 200 Euros.
This Eisbock style beer is one of the most potent brews, and was released in 2012 by Brewmeisters Brewery with the highest alcohol level at the time. It comes with a stunning 65% of alcoholic content. The ingredients used to make this drink are malt, crystal, wheat, oats and water from Scotland’s springs.
It tastes slightly sweet with a great taste of malt, wheat and yeast. It is a favorite among drinkers because its taste of alcohol isn’t strong. Even though of its high alcohol rate.
Brewmeister Snake Venom:
Perhaps the highest alcoholic beer ever – with an alcoholic level of 67% – the beverage has no carbonation because of its high amount of alcohol. Although the Brewmeister Company masked the sense of alcohol in their Armageddon beer, it is not the same case for the Snake Venom.
It is highly alcoholic, and you can feel it when drinking. Users also comment that this drink is so dense it doesn’t hold bubbles the same way as other ones. Its taste is commonly related to bubblegum, caramel and alcohol. The ingredients include two types of yeast, beer and champagne yeast and smoked malt. The 330ml bottle presentation costs over 70 US dollars. Some claim this is even stronger than some vodka, tequila and whiskey brands.
These high alcoholic drinks are usually made from craft beer. They are also produced and marketed by many brewing companies not related to industrial or mass consumption. Oftentimes, industrial beers have a lower content of alcohol rounding 3% and 5%. These craft beers exceed its limits creating a full alcoholic beverage without feeling a strong alcohol taste. Thanks to its ingredients and mixtures, brewmasters and brew companies have created a flavorful blend while drinking the highest alcohol in a bottle.
Although some of these have a unique and outstanding taste, it is recommended to drink these in small amounts, just because of its impressive high amount of alcohol in each presentation. You can easily purchase these at a liquor store, or you may buy them online on the company’s website. Some breweries companies also offer tours and allow you a small amount of these beers to taste its flavor, texture and carbonation.
High alcoholic beers are rare. They are produced in many different and creative ways, which makes every beer a fantastic experience. Small and large scale breweries are creative, but homebrewers can take this to another level of brewing fun. Just one more reason to learn how to brew beer at home I suppose.
In a few years, brewers—with the use of technology—will help create another craft beer that might exceed today’s highest alcoholic beer: The Future Snake Venom.
Go ahead and give the Eisbock brew a try out!