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Carlsberg Special Brew

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  • Very expensive
  • tastes a bit horrible
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    18 Reviews
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      30.12.2011 20:49
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      Overall ok but I have had a lot better

      I enjoy a drink or two and I like to have a can every now and again. I do drink Carlsberg Special Brew though not too often as I have personally found that I end up feeling pretty rough the next day if I drink more than two cans of this 'special' lager. It is powerful, very powerful.

      I am a big bloke, six foot three and weigh about 15 1/2 stones but one can of this drink and I can definitely feel a difference. It's not the same with other lagers but with this one I do notice it a lot.

      I have bought 4 cans from Asda for about £5.50 and shared them with the wife but she can only manage about a quarter of a can, as she prefers a glass of wine. I do have my special Carlsberg glass which I sent off for and I like to pour the contents into the glass rather than drinking it out of the can, as I think it looks a bit more refined. If I do decide to drink it straight from the can then this tends to be when I drink it in the bath with a nice scented lavender candle, it's very relaxing.

      This lager is best served very well chilled. It tastes compleley different if you've left it at room temperature. It smells nice, quite rich and the colour is golden brown. It's a very gassy lager though and will fill you up with wind so beaware if you are out to impress anyone and you are swigging this stuff back.

      About fifteen years ago I might have been able to knock back a few cans of this stuff but not so any more as I have found my alcohol tolerance has repidly declined with age.

      Decent eonough drink but I have had a lot better.

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      19.06.2010 21:31
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      It comes in a golden can, it must be treasure.

      Special Brew is often frowned upon by the responsible drinking community. Maybe it is because they picture a bearded, stinking tramp with no hopes swigging it on a park bench, paying for it by begging in the town centre, on the premiss that they need to spend the money on a room at the shelter.

      To be brutally honest though, tramps don't drink it. They can't afford it. There are plenty of cheaper "supers" out there that they would reach for first. The stigma needs to go. Special Brew has it's place in the professional drinkers cabinet.

      To look at it, you can see that you will be drinking a superior beer. It comes in a gold can, and gold means great, yeah? Even better, it has a purple ring pull. And it says "Special" on the front. It has to be the best thing in the world really.

      So, you get to opening it. The can goes "tsssss" and you get a strong, syruppy smell out of the top. This is more pronounced when served at room temperature. Serve chilled for a more liberal bouquet.

      I wouldn't bother drinking it from a glass, although there are actual Carlsberg Special Brew glasses in existence, buy them on ebay innit.

      So, the syruppy smell then turns into a syruppy taste. Please feel free to correct the spelling of "syruppy". Is there such a word?

      Nail the whole can and you will feel warm. Nail a 4pack and you will probably feel sick. Sick, but good.

      I mentioned earlier that it has its place. This is the festival. Why? Because one thing people hate about festivals is the toilets. But everyone wants to get slaughtered at them. Why take in 48 cans of 3% lager and do 400 wee's when you can take in 18 Special Brew's and cut slash your wees by two thirds? It also means you have to carry around far less booze, meaning you can carry more of other stuff, like t-shirts and other junk you will buy because of your "warm glow inside". Don't confuse this with Ready Brek.

      Obviously you have to respect it's strength. It is 9% after all. But it certainly has it's advantages. It may not be a drink you have with your gran, but it can still lead to a great day out.

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        14.04.2010 15:31
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        Drink of the devil.

        What is it about this stuff?

        I had a pretty high alcohol tolerance, I think probably due to the fact that I am pretty tall and stocky, so much so that after a while I found that I could probably drink two to three bottles of wine in a serious session in my youth and just be a bit tired the next day. Now, time passes, you get older and although I can still tolerate such alcohol levels, the hangover is not so tolerable. Therefore I don't drink as much. But those early years were the glory years of booze for me and I tried everythin there was to try. There isn't a drink out there I have not had...and that includes things like absinthe and super strong spirits. However, they were all drinkable compared to Carlsberg Special Brew and, also, Tennent's Super. Now, I'be had strong beers before. I've tried the 12% Trappist beers from Belgium. A couple of them and you've had the same as a bottle of wine. They are stronger than Special Brew, but are smoother and ejoyable. Whereas Special Brew, and Tennent's Super, are just evil. I have tried these beers twice abd have never survived a whole can. I just don't understand why tramps and other serious alkies can find these drinks worthwhile. They are without a doubt the worst liquids that I have ever ingested.

        Avoid like the plague.

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          17.02.2010 19:40
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          it's the original and best

          Carlsberg Special Brew? what can I say? This was the original very strong lager that you could buy pretty much anywhere. At 9 per cent volume it isnt a beer to be messed with!. When I was a teenager I foolishly drank 4 cans of the mighty 'brew whilst having running about playing football with my mates as you can imagine I was quite ill - but enough about that!
          Upon opening a can of carlsberg special brew you get the smell that this is strong in alcohol - the first sip tastes rather treacley but not unpleasant and gives a warming feeling inside.
          The packaging of the can has not changed for years - and I hope that they don't change it as it is a winner and very distinctive, the beer comes in both 500ml and 440ml cans although nowadays what with government guidelines on the units it comes in mostly in 440ml cans (in supermarkets anyway - your corner shops probably stock the 500ml). It was once availlable in bottles in pubs too but not anymore?
          Special Brew can vary dramatically in price too from £1.20 a can up to £1.89!..but it is worth it!

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            21.07.2009 00:55
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            A product I would only just recommend to those desperate to forget.

            Special Brew is an extremely stong "super-strength" lager from Carlsberg. It is available from all major supermarkets and decent Off-licenses. It is mostly favoured by teens, the homeless, and the mentally ill.

            It has a very intense flavour, and the hops are particularly harsh on the palete. It is likely to cause boozey shudders, although not too distinctive a bouquet for such a strong lager.

            Offers generally encourage the consumer to buy just four cans, around the equivalent in alcohol content to eight cans of medium strength lager. Drinking Special Brew has a massive social stigma attached to it in respectable social circles as it is generally considered to be and oafish and offensive drink. Nonetheless, if this doesn't bother you, know that it gets you dangerously drunk, very fast.

            The hangover is renowned to be utterly unbearable. Empty cans of this product are often found next to groaning tramps, who I would not suggest you approach. This product is barely passable, regardless of how desperate you might be. Nutritional Information Follows:

            Serving Sizes kCal Fat(g)

            Carlsberg Special Brew half 500ml Bottle or Can 172 0.0
            1/2 Pint 196 0.0
            500ml Bottle or Can 345 0.0
            Pint 392 0.0

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              09.03.2009 21:56

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              Super Strength Beer

              Carlsberg Special Brew If you want to forget things quickly and you are skint then its the drink for you. Used to drink brew when 16 or 17 and after 4 cans you were pissed. However it tastes awful for the first can like all other super strength lagers, not to bad for the second and after the third you could drink petrol and you would not notice. Good buzz but beware too much off this stuff leads to brain damage and severe memory loss. If you plan to do any thing the following day that requires motivation , concentration or skill (such as driving or going to work) then dont touch the stuff, A heavy session on the brew takes days to recover from and the hangovers from drinking this stuff is the equivalent of plutonium poisoning. Drink brew in moderation like one can every five years and you should be safe.

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              20.10.2008 12:19
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              Not a fan, but each to their own

              Carlsberg as a Danish company carries with it the logo and signature catchphrase of being '.....probably the best lager in the World.' It has been brewed since the mid-19th Century, and in 1950, as testament to the heroic war efforts of Winston Churchill, the Danes created a newer, special brew of their lager, making it much stronger at 9%. This was coordinated with Churchill's visit to their country.

              The brand has stuck, and, for want of a better name for it, they called it Carlsberg Special Brew. The drink has the prize of being considered the first super-strength lager to make a big success on the market, but at 9% ABV (alcohol by volume) you won't find that it is the most popular lager out there. I find the strength detracts completely from the taste, and this is definitely not a drink you would have if you plan on making it a long night. One can is enough to make you really feel the effects, and at over twice the strength of a regular pint of Carlsberg at 3.8% it's hard to find a situation to actually want to drink it.

              I do know someone who drinks it on a regular basis, but only has a can or two at the most, and even then they say it's taken its effect on them. The dangerous worry is that it is readily available to people who could possibly abuse this. With other lagers, the strength is considerably less, and drinking cans and cans can often fill you up before you get out of control. Obviously, it's not as strong as a bottle of wine or even spirits, but the fact that it's lager and it's this strong worries me and is definitely not my scene.

              The strength does take away from the taste, and the aftertaste is powerful. I feel the taste would actually be quite nice if it wasn't hidden so much by the strength, so it's not all bad. Carlsberg Special Brew is a drink I have had on a couple occasions, but am sadly not a fan. I like my lager to be a drink I can enjoy sociably, and not feel like I'm drinking rocket fuel every time I take a sip.

              A word of warning: enjoy sensibly, and know that each sip will be a powerful experience. Don't have more than a few of cans unless you want to lose some hours out of your memory and wake up wondering what on earth happened!

              Carlsberg Special Brew is available more in shops than in pubs. Most pubs will not stock it especially since the Government has been pushing the drive against binge drinking and responsibility from licence holders - it's not a drink I'd have felt comfortable selling, either, and would probably have had to keep an eye on people drinking it. 4 x 500ml cans of Special Brew as a guideline will cost you £5.65 from Tesco, a single can coming in at £1.35, so it's not cheap either - not surprising given its alcohol content. Drink it sensibly if you are going to give it a go, but this is not one for me.

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                10.08.2008 16:00
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                Don't do it!

                This stuff might as well be served at BP forecourts across the country .. you probably could actually run your car off the stuff. I was introduced to Carlsberg Special Brew a few years ago now, and it's fair to say that it doen't take pride of place in my fridge.

                The Special Brew was first produced in 1950, to commemorate a visit by Winston Churchill to Copenhagen. He was seen as a hero by the Danes, for defeating the Nazi's in the second world war, a few years previously. Known as 'Easter Beer' in Denmark, production of the stuff was introduced to the UK a few years later out of Northampton.

                I don't often drink Special Brew, but when I do, I always know about it the following morning. It's great if you're after a cheap night, quite literally 4 cans will pretty much put an end to your night, or what you remember of it anyway. I only tend to have a tipple of the old Special Brew after a testing week at work, because I find that it helps to erase the bad memories of the week ... and the good ones, and in fact any memories I have about anything.

                Made from water, malted barley, syrup, hops and carbon dioxide, Special Brew has a very distinct taste, and it's not a nice one. The after taste stays with you for some time, haunting you. It contains 9% volume of alcohol, making it 'The original strong lager'. Special Brew can be bought in standard 500ml cans, coloured in gold and red .. which I'm pretty sure are natures 'warning' colours.

                I can't actually recomment Carlsberg Special Brew, unless of course you actually want 12 hours of your life to go missing, forever locked in the pits of the endless Special Brew vault, which case go for it!

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                  03.09.2006 20:28
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                  About as bad as it gets

                  Preferred tipple of the downtrodden...or, more accurately, the down-and-out Carlsberg Special Brew has got a bit of a reputation. Nowadays, Buckie seems to be the choice of the young juice-head, and CSB is seen as more of an old dosser's drink. Is this fair? Probably.
                  It's not a drink I would normally put anywhere near these ruby-reds, but while working down in Nottingham last week, some kind previous occupant of the flat I was staying in had kindly left a can or two in the fridge. Not one to look a gift fridge in the mouth (and having ran out of beer myself) , I nonchalantly popped open one of those cans.
                  Was this such a good idea? Let's find out.


                  Carlsberg was first launched in 1847 when Captain J.C.Jacobsen, plotted a course "to develop the art of making beer to the greatest possible degree of perfection".
                  It was the first brewery to produce lager in Northern Europe.
                  An interesting fact is that Yeast selection in the Carlsberg laboratory led to the isolation of the world's first single-cell culture in 1883. Since then, all lager yeasts have been known as 'Carlsbergensis'. Ok, it wasn't that interesting at all.
                  Here's another though: Some of the company's original logos include an elephant and the swastika. The swastika was ditched in the 1930s...not sure why.

                  Various mergers (takeovers) have resulted in Carlsberg becoming one of the largest brewers in the world...probably.

                  Carlsberg Special Brew was first produced in 1950 to commemorate Winston Churchill's visit to Copenhagen.

                  But enough fiffle-faffle and fact-based trivia, what is the stuff actually like?



                  This beer pours a golden, straw colour with a good initial head of white fluffy foam, but this soon dissipates and leaves very little lace on the glass (I don't expect lacing on glasses is much of a consideration for most SB drinkers though). The aroma is all alcohol. There may be some fruity hops in there with traces of pineapple and honey, a sheaf or two of hay-like dryness, but it's more like a bath-tub of illicit gin than beer.


                  It has a highly carbonated, some may say gassy mouthfeel and the initial taste is slightly sweet. This doesn't last long though being overwhelmed by the intense alcohol bite. There's a little leafy bitterness and some hints of grass (not the good kind) and some peppery spiciness. It turns increasingly dry in the finish and leaves a fierce, alcoholic aftertaste. I may be way off the beam here, but is it just me, or does this stuff taste of soap?


                  * The Verdict *

                  At 9% ABV, this is gash. Pure unadulterated kidney waste, it's a misnomer calling this pap beer. If it looks like beer, and pours like beer, then it must be beer, right? Technically, I suppose that's true, but this is alcohol that could just as easily be delivered in shot glasses or whatever. Y'know, the worst thing is, there're plenty of quality beers out there (like Chimay, Duvel etc) that deliver as high, if not higher alcohol content but they don't taste of alcohol, just beer. They probably aren't all that much more expensive either.

                  In short, this stuff is rank rotten and the jakeys are welcome to it. It'll make ya go blind!

                  Which reminds me...

                  After examining a woman the doctor took her husband aside, and confided, "I don't like the look of your wife at all." "Me neither doc," said the husband, "but she's a great cook and really good with the kids.


                  Would I drink it again? - Probably...NOT!




                  Sláinte
                  ©proxam2006

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                    21.10.2005 15:38
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                    I feel very proud to drink a drink worthy of Winston Churchill

                    I first started drinking brew when it was sold in dumpy cans. I was glad when the 500ml cans took over although I read in the papers that they are to stop selling the 500ml can due to the people at alchol concern poking their nose in. This would be a sad day for sp brew drinkers and tennants super alike as im sure this would affect the price. Sadly also they dont seem to have any offers any more. I was once the proud owner of six sp brew glasses and a very tasty sweat shirt, all of which were broken in heavy drinking sessions, so it would be good to see them back. Well thats all I can write at the mo, hope you like my input, but I am starting to flag a bit now due to a sp brew breakfast, so until next time good drinking. Your regards, Finch.

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                      22.02.2003 02:22
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                      Let me begin this review of this drink by saying that you were warned so if you wake up expecting to see your lovely wife smiling back at you, don't be suprised to see the toothless scowling of a homeless man wanting his blanket and whippet back. I like a drink and the drink I like the most is lager. I will happily guzzle down a couple of 4 packs of any of your Carling or Stella and will feel nice and warm inside for it. Special offers withstanding, this can be quite an expensive hobby so I started contemplating buying some of this Special Brew stuff that I have heard the tramps enjoy quaffing in their doorway palaces. I went to Adsa, did the usual shop and then the usual 'slip a couple of 4 packs into the trolley'. Today however, we had bought a lot of that food stuff so the bill was already going to be quite high. Today was the day I thought, that I would try the strong stuff, the trampchampagne, the Special Brew! There were quite a few brands to choose from, more than I had imagined in fact. I almost randomly chose the Carlsberg Special Brew (although I seem to recall it was one of the cheaper ones in the percentage alcohol to price ratio). I think I paid £4.26 for it, so it was marginally more expensive than the Heinekens of this world but not too much more expensive than Stella. I got it home and cracked one open at around 7pm. The first can seemed to go down as easy as Stella but you could certainly taste that extra kick that the higher alcohol content gave. For the first can though, the taste was nothing special - just like normal Carlsberg but more alcoholicy (I know that's not a word but..) We were watching a film, I had my 3 cans next to me and then I tried to talk. The words were right in my head, they were right as they were going through my nervous system but somewhere between there and my mouth, the Special Brew took over and I suddenly realised I had just slurred. I put this down t
                      o me being tired, it being Friday and all. The second can was slightly more difficult to get through but no big problems here. I could certainly feel the effects now, even though it was only the equivalent of just over a 4 pack of Carling - it was somehow a different feeling. Halfway through the third can we paused the film and I went to make some munchies. I don't remember certain points of this and I don't remeber eating the food but it happened - my more sober other half later confirmed. So far, I had been following the film but half way through the 4th can, my brain got bored and stopped taping so from this point forward I don't remember what happened. I thought I had finished the 4th can but the next morning I found one with a quarter left in it. In a way I was disappointed as I would have drunk it on the night, in another way I was happy as I didn't really need any more. I kept falling asleep watching the film and under instruction from the girlfriend, I found my way to bed. The next morning I had a nasty hangover. I don't usually get them as I take all the necessary precautions (lots of water and toast!) but this time the potion must have won the fight. By the end of the day though I had shook off the effects of drinking the Brew and I swore that I would never buy that drink again (unless I became very very poor). It was cheap and it certainly did do the trick, but then these are qualities shared with meths and hard drugs and any lager that does this to a man should not be allowed and should only be sold in soup kitchens. It tasted ok, a little strong but the Trading Standards people would point out that that is why it is called *Strong* Brew and not *Weak as wee* Brew. I would say that everyone should try this stuff at once in their lives. We must all learn from our mistakes and maybe that is what this site is for (to stop others making the same mistakes) but whateve
                      r I tell you, you are still going to give it a go aren't you? Of course you are. Short of sleeping in urine sodden clothing under a bridge in the middle of the winter with only the incessant ramblings of a lady called Doris to keep you sane, this is the closest you are going to get to living life like a vagrant.

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                        06.08.2002 19:57
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                        • "Very expensive"

                        I first met the infamous 'Spesh' when I was sweet 15, and on a camping trip. I was a real man of the world, and was adept at swallowing a litre of cider or 4 cans of skol and the world of alcohol was my oyster. So we went off to Victoria Wine, and lo and behold they had no Skol. Whats this stuff in the attractive gold can? thought he.... So there I was, on Ilkley Moor with 4 cans of purest Spesh. And three cans later I was drifting in and out of conciousness in a puddle of vomit. And so ended our 'Speshial' relationship. Many years later, I discovered I was a type II Diabetic, and beers and lagers were of too high a carbohydrate value....my heart sank. However, the chaps at Carlsberg have the incredible forethought to publish accurate nutritional information on Spesh, and we are now re-united! Spesh - The drink that made history.

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                          05.05.2002 23:52
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                          Its Bloody Leathal..... ----------------------------------------- Oh my god what a beer this stuff is, 9 per cent and a taste like a tramps old sock... Let me take you way back to when Art was a teenager and he was being invited to parties by all the local young chicks, no party was a party without Art there...... Anyway I arrive at the party 17 years old with 4 of my mates, yes I even had mates way back then but for some reason they all seemed to just vanish... But back to the party and I spot drink in the kitchen, I am already half drunk anyway with a small bottle of vodka. I always made a point of drinking my vodka before I got to the party so I wouldnt have to share it with anyone. There on the kitchen table I spy 6 or 7 cans of this beer called Carlsberg but its Special Brew. So I think what to hell is special about it. I open a can and drink it and nearly spit it out, its bloody minging, yukkkk, still its free so I drink it up. I look at the side of the can and see its 9 per cent. I have a laugh and think that its not that strong.. Anyway about an hour later and I have downed about 4 or 5 of these cans and I feel a bit drunk, in fact I can hardly stand. I go and sit in the corner but something weird is happening. The bloody seat is upside down and I am holding on to the seat in case I fall out of it. I am asking people to help me but all they can do is laugh and tell me to sober up........ Next thing I know I am waking up, its about 3 n the morning and my mouth feels like an Arabs jockstrap and my stomach is telling me to go to the toilet right away... It took me 3 days to get over Carlsberg Special Brew. It is expensive to buy, it tastes really bad and it makes you really drunk and you get a terrible hangover... On the plus side, it really is a powerful beer. The taste I suppose you could get used to but I reckon its way overpriced, but its definitely a beer t
                          hat you would never forget after drinking. In fact my guess is that most of you out there have had an experience with that thing called CARLSBERG SPECIAL BREW...lol.. So my verdict, just buy the Carlsberg Green and just use the Special Brew if you want to strip paint of your car.... Anyway thank you for your read, enjoyed my trip down memory lane, as ever your friend online........... <br>Art.........

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                            09.04.2002 09:07
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                            • "tastes a bit horrible"

                            Picture the scene. i'm fifteen and looking forward to a friday night hanging around the local secondary school at a disco arranged by the students. Of course i need a drink, these are my teenage years it would be rude not to. So on a lunchtime we sneak out to browse at the local off license. There amongst the white lightning, thunderbirds (red and blue) and the bell'nor was a mustard coloured can with the words 'carlsberg' and 'special brew'. The most important figure is the 9% near the bottom. At the time it probably took about six cans of normal strength lager to send me a bit loopy so i thought about four would be right. Later that day i put my order in with the oldest looking kid in my class to get me my cans on friday. I seem to remember it being about £2 a can but i could be wrong ( or my brain could have been severely damaged by this stuff ). Friday comes along with my cans trotting along beside it and we all tuck into our drinks. I remember being the only one drinking special brew so i was going this journey alone. The first taste was disgusting, a sort of sweet honey like taste mixed with wee, ( never tasted wee but i am sure it tastes like it smells ) and i wondered how i was going to get through the night. I needn't have worried because, after pinching my nose, it went down okay. Two cans later i was diving on bins in the tennis courts. Another can later i was dancing like a lunatic in the school gym, covered in mud and declaring my undying love to anybody who would listen. After my final can i was propped against a wall, vomiting till there was only dust in my stomach. I couldn't see and i could only hear in little mixed up slow segments. I woke up the next morning in my mates spare bed with a plastic bowl, half full of mucus and my trainer that i had probably thrown up the night previous. Needless to say my 'mates' had a whale of a time re-enacting my escapades for many months after and i was la
                            belled as a bit of a 'baby belly'. That was until about three months later when i embarked on the special brew express once more. This time i was joined by three of my friends, I tried five cans and tried to pace myself but the result was the same. This time however i wasn't the only one in a state and came off considerably better than the others, even though i had drunk more ( i was the daddy ). Since then i have only drank it on one occasion,. I was in a band and we were playing at the school, ( we rocked..... well, actually ) so i decided to have four cans. During our set i kept falling off the stage and at the finale i jumped through the drum kit leaving a five inch gash across my chest and a lot of bruises. After that i threw up violently and only remember being dragged to my mates house. So six years later and i haven't drank it since, i would only recommend it to people who can handle a skinful, otherwise people who enjoy blacking out should give it a try. I might try it again one day although the though of it as i write this is making me feel a bit queasy.

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                              19.01.2002 03:22
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                              Carlsberg, with its origins in Denmark, is the world’s second biggest brewer. Its ‘Special Brew’ is the biggest selling ‘super strength’ beer in the UK. It is a whopping 9% alcohol by volume. I once drank two whole cans of the stuff and had to be taken to bed by my very bored friends because my conversation was unintelligible and I kept vomiting in the waste paper basket. I once knew a Dane who liked his Special Brew and could handle several pints a night. Everyone else I know loathes it and handles it as well as I. Special Brew is very strong indeed and tastes very different than your usual normal strength or even strong lagers. It is thicker in texture and has a sort of very bitter caramelized taste on my tongue. It certainly isn’t what you could call refreshing, and the intoxication it produces is more a whack at the back of the head with a sledgehammer than an uplifting giggly wooziness. I didn’t like it when I drank those two cans and a recent swig for old time’s sake didn’t change things one bit. In fact it burnt my throat like a vindaloo. Despite all this, Special Brew, which was first produced in 1950 to commemorate the visit of Winston Churchill to Copenhagen, continues to sell like the clappers. In fact, in off licences and supermarkets alone, 150 cans of Special Brew are sold every minute. Mostly to winos and tramps, for whom it gives maximum off-yer-facedness for minimum cash, and thus represents exceptional value for money, currently costing £4.98 at Tesco for 4 500 ml cans. The cans are a distinctive gold colour with the Carlsberg lettering. You've probably seen empty ones scattered around your local park and bus station.

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