Jan 25, 2010

BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 009)

I actually had this bottle of BrewDog’s Paradox Islay in mid-December, but completely forgot to give it a proper post. Not only is this the first time I’ve had this beer, but it’s also my first BrewDog product. It’s somewhat hard to come by in my area, but it’s slowly making headway.

After enjoying this bottle after a day of shoveling snow, I’ve talked to a few folks that couldn’t stand it — the major complaint being that it wasn’t even drinkable. I can see that, but if you’ve ever been able to successfully handle a snifter of Laphroaig, then this one should be a breeze. Well… an iodine soaked, peaty bluster, really.


Pouring a near black in the snifter, this brew had a thin, quickly disappearing tan head.


You can definitely tell that it’s been aged in scotch barrels. The peaty nature of the brew wafts from the glass quickly followed by plenty of alcohol heat. Scotch is the dominate character of the nose, but there’s also an oaky woodiness, subtle chocolates and coffee in the background.


This is definitely a sipping beer. It starts off with a huge peat and scotch character that is pretty damned strong and imposing. The stout aspect of this beer is there, but it definitely takes a back seat to the characteristics that the barrel aging has imparted on it. The coffee and chocolate make more of an appearance in the finish. Mouthfeel-wise, it’s a bit on the thin side for a stout, but then again, I’d argue that this has just about left the style all together. It’s very intense, very flavorful and proved to be just what the doctor ordered as a reward for shoveling so much snow.


I knew going into this beer that it was a big departure from most barrel aged stouts that I’ve had in the past, but I wasn’t expecting anything nearly as intense as this. It’s got a very aggressive scotch character to it that can be quite off-putting for those not used to such a peaty flavor. I, however, loved it! I don’t know if I could drink it regularly, but as far as a once a year treat goes, it’s perfect. The only thing that could have made the experience any better would have been the addition of a robust cigar.

Rating: 4/5

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