These Are Some the World’s Strongest Rums, Vodkas, Absinthes and More

By Alyssa Giacobbe and Elizabeth Rhodes

Jan 31, 2021

WITH 95 PERCENT ALCOHOL BY VOLUME, Everclear, grain alcohol made in the U.S.A., is shockingly strong, but it’s not the strongest liquor in the world. Across the globe, distillers amp up the alcohol content of rums, vodkas, absinthes, whiskies and more to create eye-watering, high-proof bottles. 

What kind of alcohol levels are we talking about? While your everyday Absoluts and Macallans average between 80 and 100 proof, some specialty liquors come with proofs as high as 196, or 98 percent alcohol. But drinking them is not about getting blasted: Some higher-proof alcohols, especially whiskies, can in fact be more flavorful at a higher proof because they’re not cut with water. Of course, most of these liquors aren’t meant for sipping — they need to be mixed or diluted. Others can be used to make your own liqueurs or spirits. For example,  to make limoncello, you’ll want a high-proof grain alcohol. 

You won’t find many of these spirits in your local liquor store, or even your country. Even if you do manage to hunt them down abroad, you might not be able to tote them home. In the U.S., for example, liquors over 140 proof are banned from carry-ons and checked luggage, according to the TSA, so check those labels and the rules of your return destination before packing a boozy souvenir from your next trip. Plus, some of these spirits have been discontinued, making them even harder to find, with the rare bottle or two still available to purchase. 

Here are 14 of the strongest liquors in the world. 

1. Spirytus Vodka

Proof: 192 (96% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Poland

2. Everclear 190

Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume)

Made In: United States

3. Golden Grain 190

Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume) 

Made In: United States

4. Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whiskey

Proof: 184 (92% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Scotland

5. Hapsburg Absinthe X.C

Proof: 179 (89.9% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Italy

6. Pincer Shanghai Strength

Proof: 177 (88.8% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Scotland

7. Balkan 176 Vodka

Proof: 176 (88% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Bulgaria

8. Sunset Very Strong Rum

Proof: 169 (84.5% alcohol by volume) 

Made In: Saint Vincent 

9. Stroh 160 Rum 

Proof: 160 (80% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Austria 

10. Devil’s Springs Vodka 160 

Proof: 160 (80% alcohol by volume) 

Made In: United States

11. Bacardi 151

Proof: 151 (75.5% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Puerto Rico

12. King of Spirits Absinthe

Proof: 140 (70% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Czech Republic 

13. Clarke’s Court Pure White Rum

Proof: 138 (69% alcohol by volume) 

Made In: Grenada

14. Rivers Royale Grenadian Rum

Proof: 138 (69% alcohol by volume) 

Made In: Grenada

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