Food & Drink

There’s a New Strongest Gin in the World, and It’s 165 Proof

There’s a new strongest gin in the world, and it will melt your face. Smögen, a Swedish distillery, now has a London Dry gin that’s 165 proof called Strane Ultra Uncut. That’s 82.5 percent ABV, or 12.5 percent higher than many rubbing alcohols. Except unlike rubbing alcohol, you’re supposed to drink Ultra Uncut.

Smögen has a history of making overly strong gins. The brand’s 76 percent ABV Uncut held the title of world’s strongest gin for a while before Twin Rivers in Scotland made a 77 percent gin. Then came Pienaar & Sons in South Africa with its Drought Edition Gin that rang in at 80 percent. Smögen master distiller Pär Caldenby never meant to start a high octane gin arms race, according to Robert Ransom, an importer and distiller with Highfern Ltd. But here we are, left with a gin that’s double the strength of your standard bottle.

“This is a deliberate attempt to push the boundaries of gin distilling to the extreme, as far as intensity of flavour and strength goes, using a traditional copper pot still,” Ransom writes on his Highfern blog. “With Strane Ultra Uncut 82.5%, Pär has tweaked the production process to take the intensity and strength to a new level.”

It’s not all about high-proof alcohol, though. Ultra Uncut also has a higher concentration of juniper and botanicals like coriander seed, almond, liquorice root, lime and herbs. “Exercising due care, it can be savoured neat, ideally chilled, in very small sips (with a glass of water on the side),” Ransom writes.

Sure, Jan. The general public will be able to taste Ultra Uncut for the first time at the Just Gin Show in the U.K. in late July, and it will be sold after that by Nickolls & Perks and Master of Malt with a suggested retail price of around $43 dollars per 200-ml bottle.