Those who know me also know that I can’t pass up a good barley wine. As far as beer styles go, it’s the strongest, booziest style there is.
Without going too deep into all this, I’ll give you the specs of barley wine. Barley wine is typically in the 12-14% alcohol by volume range, a lot like wine. However, it’s still technically a beer…just a very strong one.
This isn’t to say that other beer styles aren’t strong. Aged stouts can easily crack that 10% threshold, and odds are that you’ve stumbled upon some triple IPA that’s pushing the 12% limit.
There’s some sort of allure to drinking these hyper-boozy beers. I’ll spoil something for you: most 12% ABV IPAs aren’t that good. Do you know how hard it is to force the ABV that high while maintaining a balance of hops and flavor? I don’t know myself, but I assume it’s really hard.
This is what makes barley wine so accessible – it’s typically going to have a certain type of flavor that’s palatable. However, this is also what makes good barley wines so expensive.
But what if we don’t want a 14% beer? What if we want more? 20%, 30%, maybe even…60% ABV?
If we grab a bottle of the booziest beer in the world, we’re getting a 67.5% ABV behemoth.
Snake Venom: The Strongest Beer in the World
Snake Venom is a barley wine brewed by Brewmeister in Scotland. Their goal was to dethrone the previous record-holder for booziest beer (named Armageddon, also brewed by Brewmeister).
I don’t want to spend the $50-60 needed to get this beer, but I’ll tell you what I know right off the bat: there’s a warning label that says not to drink more than 35 ml at a time (basically a shot).
I’ve read some reviews and they say just about what you’d expect. For the most part, people hate this beer. But those who are cicerones-in-training gave Snake Venom an honest review.
Nice tidbits from the review mention how the beer does “light on fire” and that it “smells, tastes and feels like hard alcohol.” In other words, it is something I want to try.
Maybe I’ll open a GoFundMe to get my hands on a bottle so I can burn the inner parts of my body with a 135-proof barley wine. It sounds like the way I’d like to spend my weekend.