An Aberdeenshire brewery has produced the world's strongest beer with a dizzying 65% ABV.

The Banchory-based Brewmeister Brewery has entered the race to manufacture increasingly powerful alcoholic products by unveiling their controversially-titled 'Armageddon' drink.

It isn't for the faint-hearted and at £5 for a 35ml nip is unlikely to become a best-seller.

Yet the 'Brewmeister Armageddon', which will be launched at the Inverness Beer Festival on November 3, will generate significant publicity in the ongoing battle between rival breweries.

First, it was the Fraserburgh-based Brewdog which claimed the global distinction with their 32% 'Tactical Nuclear Penguin'. That was topped by German-based Schorsbrau, which released Schorschbock at 40%, only for Brewdog to retaliate with 'Sink the Bismarck' at 41%.

And, despite concerns being expressed by Alcohol Scotland over what it has described as "irresponsible" practice, Brewmeister's co-founder, Lewis Shand, defended his firm's new beer and told STV it was intended to be savoured like a brandy, not swallowed in bucketloads.

He said: "The Armageddon drink tastes very alcoholic, it is also sweet, hoppy and quite thick, and yes, it is very strong. All our other beers are around four or five per cent proof, and this new brand is meant to be enjoyed in small quantities.

"We are certainly not encouraging anybody to drink it in pints. When it is sold, it will be in brandy-sized doses and that is how we recommend people try it when it comes on the market."

Brewery productions director, John MacKenzie, said the beer had a "viscous quality to it, due to the special freeze fermentation method, which we use to produce such a high alcoholic beer." However, Shand cut to the chase when he was asked to describe the its potency.

"The phrase "delivers a punch" probably doesn't do it justice. "Delivers a supersonic-charged explosion and conveys the taster to Drunksville" is probably more appropriate," said Shand, a 26-year-old graduate in law and psychology. "In some respects, it is closer to a liqueur than a beer, but it is classified as a beer and we are pleased with it."

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