Hot on the heels of buying Scottish & Newcastle, Danish brewer Carlsberg is reaching prices other lagers can't reach with the world's most expensive beer.

Carlsberg has launched Jacobsen Vintage No. 1, a barley wine-type beer that will sell at DKK2,008 (US$398) a bottle. Only 600 bottles, each carrying a lithographed label by well-known Danish artists Frans Kannik, have been produced. The beer has a strength of 10.5%.

"Vintage No. 1 has been in production for a couple of years and it's a dream project for us. It's been stored for six months in Carlsberg's cellars in new French and Swedish oak barrels," product manager Rune Jessen said. Copenhagen's top restaurants have ordered two or three bottles each. New versions are due to be produced over the next two years for DKK2,009 and DKK2,010 respectively.