Best High Alcohol Beer: A Guide to the Top High ABV Brews
The best way to up your drinking is with a high alcohol beer, especially when the usual 4 percent ABV brew isn’t doing it for you. And while you can settle for beers set at 12 percent ABV, some mind-blowing brews will even come at 60 percent!
In this guide, we will cover some of the highest alcohol beers that you can try out and cover the beers with the highest alcohol content in the world. You can start your high ABV experience with this complete guide.
|Higher Math by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery||17 percent|
|S’Mores Barrel-Aged Framinghammer by Jack’s Abby Brewing||12 percent|
|Mad Elf by Tröegs Brewing Company||11 percent|
|CHAOS by Fermentation Arts Brassiere||13 percent|
|Greylock by Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company||12 percent|
|Troegenator Double Bock by Tröegs Brewing Company||8.2 percent|
|G’Knight Imperial Red by Oskar Blues Company||8.7 percent|
|Double Stout Black Ale by Green Flash Brewing Co.||8.8 percent|
|Japanese Green Tea IPA by Stone x Ishii x Baird||9.2 percent|
|Double Jack Double IPA by Firestone Walker Co.||9.5 percent|
|Snake Venom Ale by Brewmeister||67.5 percent|
|Armageddon by Brewmeister||65 percent|
|Start the Future by Koelschip||60 percent|
|Strength in Numbers by BrewDog and Schorschbrau||57.8 percent|
|Schorschbock 57 by Schorschbrau||57 percent|
|Utopias by Samuel Adams Brewery||17.5 percent|
|Rumpkin by Avery Brewing Company||18.53 percent|
|Chocolate Rain by The Bruery||18 percent|
|120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery||15-20 percent|
|The Reserve Morrigan by Barbarian Brewing||15 percent|
List of the Best High Alcohol Beers
If you’ve decided to try out high alcohol brews, here are some fantastic beers to start with. Our complete list includes the best-tasting high ABV beers as well as the brews with the highest alcohol content in the world and in the U.S.
– Higher Math by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
We’re starting our list with a 17 percent ABV beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Higher Math. The limited release beer is a golden ale made with chocolate and sour cherry juice and launched to celebrate the brewery’s 20 years in operation.
The American-style beer is classified as a strong ale because of the high alcohol levels, and the beer combines the boozy flavor with a sweet taste impressively. It appears deep reddish-brown with a bit of head and minimal lacing.
The Higher Math brew smells of chocolate and alcohol on the nose, with some minor hints of caramel and cherries. You might also perceive hints of bitter hops. The chocolate aroma follows into the flavor, with tart cherries, caramel, and faded hops.
The sweet beer has a syrupy and full-bodied mouthfeel and a dry finish. You can still purchase this beer at online stores today, and it especially tastes great when it ages.
– S’Mores Barrel-Aged Framinghammer by Jack’s Abby Brewing
The next option on our list is a Baltic Porter from Jack’s Abby Brewing, released in 2019. The S’Mores Barrel-Aged Framinghammer offers an impressive 12 percent ABV and is aged in bourbon barrels with lactose, cocoa beans, and vanilla.
It is conditioned for a long time in the barrel, leading to a silky and smooth mouthfeel. The oats and brown sugar used to make the beer enhance the chocolatey feel on your palate. The notable sweetness is combined with hop bitterness and roasted malt.
As it is aged in bourbon barrels, it’s not surprising that the beer has different bourbon and oak flavors, but these are very faint. Although the beer might start weak, the alcohol warming will enhance the experience.
It pours black and thick, with a creamy beige head. With good retention, the head enhances the aroma of chocolate, brown sugar, and booze. It makes you feel like having s’mores.
– Mad Elf by Tröegs Brewing Company
You can also go for the Mad Elf beer by Tröegs Brewing Company, which offers an 11 percent alcohol content. The limited-edition beer is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and can still be purchased at stores online and in-person today.
It’s a fantastic warming beer for cold weather and combines its alcohol taste with a Belgian style for a complete experience. The beer has a crimson color with an off-white head, and the excellent retention causes lacing against your glass.
On the nose, you will notice hints of cherry but mostly dominated by the malt. The flavor follows the aroma, enveloped in a large malt base. It is infused with cherries, and you might notice light hints of cinnamon in the taste. With every sip, the alcohol warming makes the beer taste even better.
Mad Elf also has a full-bodied and smooth mouthfeel that matches the malty character.
– CHAOS by Fermentation Arts Brassiere
CHAOS is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a New England IPA with impressive alcohol levels. Brewed by FAB, the beer features a 13 percent ABV that isn’t evident in the taste, but in the effects it would have about half an hour later.
The heavy and hoppy beer is made with different yeast strains and fantastic art on the cans to keep you engaged. The beer will slowly warm your throat and does not feel boozy despite the alcohol level. It features a deep blood orange color and a little head.
The beers smell like a milkshake IPA but will give you a fruity and yeasty aroma. You can expect a juicy flavor with strawberry and banana from the yeast. There are also hints of sweet vanilla and spices. CHAOS has a creamy and thick mouthfeel that goes down easy.
– Greylock by Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company
Greylock is another New England IPA on our list, but this brew features a 12 percent ABV. You can see that the Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company did a brilliant job with executing the NEIPA style with a high ABV level, as this is difficult.
The beer has a turbid and cloudy appearance since it’s unfiltered, with a gold color and a thin head that dissipates quickly. Although it has a light boozy aroma and taste, it is one of those beers that don’t make the high ABV obvious except if you check.
The aroma and flavor follow each other, with citrus, malty, berry, and boozy sweetness evident. There are earthy, hoppy hints and alcohol warming amplified by the sweetness. It features a low carbonation and bitterness level, while the sweetness is average.
– Tröegenator Double Bock by Tröegs Brewing Company
If 12 to 17 percent beers sound too intimidating for you, you can take it down a notch with the Tröegenator Double Bock. The 8.2 percent doppelbock was made by Tröegs Brewing Company, inspired by the practice of monks drinking a double bock whenever they were fasting.
The light brown beer pours translucent into your glass, with decent retention and lacing left behind. It has a delicious aroma that encourages you to try the beer, from the plum and sweet raisins to the molasses and toffee.
As for the taste, the Tröegenator is primarily malty, but this is balanced out by chocolate and dried fruit flavors. The flavors of caramel and toffee come after cherry, apples, and raisin, and you can taste the booze at the end in the form of alcohol warming.
It is a refreshing beer, and while the alcohol flavor is noticeable, it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor. The beer has moderate carbonation and a light body despite the high ABV.
– G’Knight Imperial Red by Oskar Blues Company
Those interested in trying out an imperial red ale should do so with the G’Knight beer from the Oskar Blues Company. The red ale features an impressive 8.7 percent ABV, making it one of the best boozy beers you can drink.
Combining the style of an imperial red ale with a double IPA, the G’Knight brew has a brownish-maroon color when you pour it out, coupled with a white head. It offers an aroma of malts and dank hops and is known for being a very hoppy brew.
The malty flavor of this ale is dominant, leaving you with delicious sweetness. This is well balanced and contrasted with the grassy hops added to the beer. It finishes dry and makes you want another can.
It has a full-bodied texture and a lingering aftertaste. As the alcohol warming of this beer flows, so does the hoppy bitterness, so expect them together.
– Double Stout Black Ale by Green Flash Brewing Co.
We also recommend this 8.8 percent ABV brew as one of the top options for those who want to up their alcohol consumption. The Double Stout Black Ale was inspired by British stout recipes from the 19th century but combined with an American style.
The beer is oily black with a tan head, offering average head retention and lacing left on your glass. On the nose, it will impress you with the delicious blend of chocolate, toffee, and roasted chocolate. There is also a hint of dark fruits.
The flavor closely follows the aroma, especially the coffee flavor, which tastes like a very bitter espresso. The coffee is evident in the aftertaste and might not appeal to non-coffee lovers because of how strong it is in the finish.
As for the mouthfeel, the beer feels silky and creamy, with medium-low carbonation. The stout flavor masks the high ABV quite well, although you will feel it in a few minutes
– Japanese Green Tea IPA by Stone x Ishii x Baird
This beer results from a collaboration between Stone Brewing, Bryan Baird from Numazu, and Toshi Ishii from Guam’s Ishii Brewing Co. The Japanese Green Tea IPA has a 9.2 percent ABV and loads of surprises in the flavor.
The high ABV brew is creative, especially since you might taste remnants of tea leaves in the flavor, showing you that it was made with real tea. It pours a transparent amber color with very poor head retention and lacing.
Even if the beer is made with tea, the flavor is not overpowering, and it still retains its brew-like taste. The aroma offers a lot of malty sweetness and candy hops, but you can also perceive hints of spice and herbs.
The spicy, herbal aroma follows into the flavor, giving you a combination of candy, fruits, and herbal tea. There are also hints of bubblegum and caramel in the background, and the ethanol is evident in the flavor.
– Double Jack Double IPA by Firestone Walker Co.
One high alcohol drink that you shouldn’t miss is the Double Jack Double IPA, offering an explosive 9.5 percent ABV. Although it’s one of the oldest beers from the brewery, it was recently brought back to the collection due to popular demand.
The beer features an orange-gold color and minimal head, which is expected because of its high ABV. The beer tastes fantastic when it’s aged and even better when you drink it fresh. On the nose, it impresses the drinker with citrus and pine scents.
It is malt-forward when you taste the beer, and the ethanol flavor is quite dominating. You can also taste some citrus, grapefruit, pine, and average bitterness hints. It’s a perfect fit for those who want a strong ethanol flavor.
The beer has a medium mouthfeel, carbonation, and a medium body on the palate. The beer is quite popular, so you can easily find it anywhere.
– Snake Venom Ale by Brewmeister
The strongest beer globally is the Brewmeister Snake Venom Ale, offering a mind-blowing 67.5 percent ABV. Although it’s more alcohol than beer, it still has a hoppy and malty flavor that reminds you of its roots, with loads of carbonation.
– Armageddon by Brewmeister
Brewmeister also produces the second strongest beer globally, with 65 percent ABV. The Armageddon beer was crafted to be a cross-over between whisky and beer and offers a strong feeling on your tastebuds. It is made with crystal malts, flaked oats, wheat, and Scottish spring water.
– Start the Future by Koelschip
Following closely is the Start the Future beer from Koelschip, showing that most Europeans offer high ABV brews. The 60 percent ABV brew is a German Eisbock, offering a sweet and tangy taste, thick mouthfeel, and bitter aftertaste.
– Strength in Numbers by BrewDog and Schorschbrau
Strength in Numbers features a 57.8 percent alcohol content resulting from a collaboration between BrewDog and Schorschbrau. The beer is made with the traditional Eisbock brewing process and then mixed with a Belgian golden ale aging in whisky casks for a decade.
– Schorschbock 57 by Schorschbrau
Popular among craft beer drinkers, the Schorschbock 57 features a 57 percent ABV, as implied in the name. The high alcohol brew has a lot of warming from the moment you drink it until it settles in your stomach.
– Utopias by Samuel Adams Brewery
Sam Adams is usually praised for bringing high-ABV brews to the USA, starting with the Triple Bock released in the mid-90, with a 17.5 percent rating. Sam Adams Utopias are their latest beer with a 28 percent ABV and are aged in barrels that once held wine and spirits. You can find the whole bottle online or drink it at a beer bar.
– Rumpkin by Avery Brewing Company
Next is Rumpkin, featuring an 18.53 percent ABV that won’t overshadow the pumpkin and spicy flavor. The seasonal pumpkin beer is barrel-aged in rum casks, giving you a lot of oak and rum flavors that make it different from any pumpkin beer you might have tasted. You can also notice hints of nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon.
– Chocolate Rain by The Bruery
Chocolate Rain is following closely after Rumpkin with an 18 percent ABV. The base is the Black Tuesday beer from The Bruery, but it is then combined with vanilla beans and cocoa. The dessert beer allows you to enjoy a combination of sweetness and alcohol.
– 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
If you’re looking for a hoppy and complex IPA with a beer alcohol content between 15 and 20 percent, this is a fantastic choice for hopheads, as it is continually hopped during the boil and whirlpool and then dry-hopped. The hoppiness is especially evident since it is unfiltered.
– The Reserve Morrigan by Barbarian Brewing
Last on our list is a stout from Barbarian Brewing, offering a 15 percent ABV. The Reserve Morrigan has a boozy cocoa and sherry flavor and aroma and is pretty sweet despite the high ABV.
Strong beers come with different flavors and styles from an imperial stout and pale ale to an amber ale, but they will leave you drunk after a few sips. If you’re interested in drinking top-notch high alcohol brews, you can start with those on our list.
- Higher Math by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is the best high alcohol brew to try out.
- The beer with the highest ABV globally is the Snake Venom by Brewmeister.
- The highest ABV beer in the USA is Utopias by Sam Adams Brewery.
Grab a bottle of these beers to taste something stronger than your everyday light beer!