Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sam Adams Utopias No Longer World's Strongest Beer?

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.

While a lover of the classics of the booze world, I also love people trying new things. So I was intrigued when I heard that there was a beer stronger than Sam Adams Utopias (which is about 25% ABV, depending on which release you're drinking). But this video notes that unlike Utopias, Tactical Nuclear Penguin utilizes the process known as fractional freezing, or freeze distillation. While regular distillation utilizes the difference in boiling points of water and ethyl alcohol, freeze distillation takes advantage of the difference on the other side of the scale, the freezing points. Basically, when you chill an alcoholic beverage cold enough, it starts to freeze. The part that freezes first is the part lower in alcohol concentration. Remove that and you've got a higher ABV. Do it many times, and you have a MUCH higher ABV. This isn't a new process, even for beer. We've all been subjected to drinking or preferably watching somebody else drink a Bud Ice, Natural Ice, etc. And notice all the times I used the world distillation above. This is a distillate. Not a beer. I still want to try it as soon as possible, but I say the title still belongs to the Utopias.