BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 - BrewDog
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Douglas88:
3.45/5 rDev -8.5%
Bottle thanks to IrishBoy, thanks Richard. Pours a dark brown, almost black color with an initially medium beige head that goes down pretty quick. The aroma is very powerful;loads of peat, smoked venison, wet earth, and some vanilla. The flavor is similar; a large vanilla and woody profile mixed with the powerful burnt and smoke qualities. The finish is like someone threw the ashes form a peat fire into my mouth, very dry. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. As I have mentioned before BrewDog is doing exactly what I love about craft beer; they are taking local skills and ingredients and using them to produce world class and unique beer.
11-12-2008 03:59:01 | More by Douglas88
More User Reviews:
3.48/5 rDev -7.7%
I was looking for a really robust drinking experience and this stout really delivers - not for the faint of heart.
This is a dark, brooding stout. Pours with no head or lacing. Black as midnight.
Nose redolent of Islay scotch - smokey peat, oak intermingled with coffes and cocoa.
An absolute mouth bomb of smoke, peat, oak and alcohol. Flavor is just as brooding as the nose. Not warm and inviting but cold, dark and mysterious.
A very intersting style. Hard to say if I will try many of the other scotch cask versions. The $10 per 11 fl oz bottle might be a disincentive.
03-03-2010 00:58:14 | More by fairdinkum2
4.25/5 rDev +12.7%
Some red brown in the body.
Nose is rich with peaty Scotch.
Powerful peaty malt-- dry, almost, leathery. Really takes on the whisky character remarkably.
Decent if unremarkable mouthfeel.
This vintage was a bit old, but held up admirably. Really picked up the barrel flavor.
02-05-2012 02:18:53 | More by zaphodchak
4.55/5 rDev +20.7%
This beer pours a pitch black, reflective darkness. I've said it before about certain stouts, this beer absorbs light. Minimal head, a small layer of light cream colored head faded quickly. The smell, from a distance, is scotch and sweetness. The scotch is authentic smelling and with heat, cocoa and molasses beneath, trying to be smelt. I wish I could pick out more subtleties but that's really it for me. It's not that I can't tell this is complex I just don't have the nose, what I can smell is BIG.
Glug glug glug
The taste is firstly very smoky, but in a good way, like the edges of caramelized pulled pork or something. The peaty smoke flavor is lighter and reminds me of scotch heat without any of the fiery burn. The malt is sweet cocoa and caramel that really adds a base that complements the Bowmore flavor, but I kind of wish there was more competing with the scotch. The mouth feel too, is thinner than expected by looking at it...and the carbonation is nonexistent, which isn't bad. Overall a very tasty stout and something that has sadly piqued my interest, because the scotch and whiskey stouts don't ever come cheap, although this wasn't bad at 3.50.
03-25-2010 02:44:41 | More by Thur123
3.98/5 rDev +5.6%
11.2 ounce bottle, Batch 008, Best before 6/6/2009. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with a small tan head. Head retention is low, lacing is OK. The aroma is scotch, peat, wood, and chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's a strong smoke and burnt wood taste too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little thinner than I like my stouts to be, but you can tell there's some substance to this brew. Carbonation is low, and it's nice and slick. Drinkability is good, it is very smooth and it goes down easy. I really didn't know what to expect from this beer at first. It took me more than a few sips to decide whether I liked it or not. But the longer I drank it, it grew on me and I did enjoy it. If you like barrel aged and/or smoky beers, then you should give this one a try. I'd buy this again.
05-25-2008 00:38:14 | More by bluejacket74
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
A: Very deep dark brown/black. Very thin head on top.. white, and dissipates quick.
S: Deep smoke, like smoked meat. Slight tart scent like preserved cherries.. But mostly smoke. Then the alcohol hits you a little. Very nice..
T: Wow. That is nice.. Starts off a little tart, then the smoke comes in, gentle and soothing like a campfire on the beach after a rainstorm.. backing that up is a rich stout with a lot of coffee flavor. I can see how this would be an odd one for someone who is not a fan of this style of scotch.
M: Based on the pour, head, and appearance in the glass, I thought this one might be a little thin, which the end is a bit, but not what I thought it would be. However, no knife or fork needed for this guy.
D: Not as heavy as I wanted, but good smoke taste, and yummy. Not an everyday beer, as the price would kill me. But a very nice change, and a perfect beer for a cigar.
04-21-2009 00:46:38 | More by Beejay
2.88/5 rDev -23.6%
I have to admit that coming out of the bottle this beer pours a thinner black than most stouts of this style. Body does settle to a lack of light blackness in the glass. Hosts a inch of biscuit brown head that fades to a bubbly skim in a couple of minutes. Nose is first off smokey with a bit of barbecue and dust. The Whiskey and sweetness is there but more in the backround. With first sip you get a very ashy feel with a hint of sweetness. This ashy feel is oddly like drinking a beer through a hash pipe with cigarette smoke in it. I could understand if it were peat smoke but it really doesnt have that feel. Mouthfeel is like smoking a cheap cigar. Drinkability is a hint less than average.
04-13-2009 22:02:03 | More by SPLITGRIN
4/5 rDev +6.1%
no light coming through on this one at all, but also no head as the flat, lifeless body just laid there, quite odd indeed. aroma is dark peat, hints of campfire smoke, notes of light cocoa, and a hint of deep burnt notes, but that was the highlight as it went down from there. very lifeless, flat body did not let the taste come through nearly as much as it could have and this led to a rather lackluster profile. nice barrel notes, loads of wood and peat
12-11-2011 05:24:54 | More by mikesgroove
4.13/5 rDev +9.5%
12oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop (Athens, GA). 3.49. Batch 008, best before 10/10/09 (oh well). Served in a snifter.
Pours deep dark brown (not quite black) with quickly receding light tan bubbles. Dark chestnut edges. No lacing.
Smell is an inviting mixture of smoky whisky and roasty malts.
Taste is big on peaty whisky without being too overbearing. The base stout is still lurking there with smoked malt and dark fruit flavors complimenting the whisky. It has picked up a good bit of barrel too, with plenty of smoke, wood and vanilla. Flavors blend well and really hide the 10% abv.
Body is much thinner than I would have expected but smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with almost no carbonation.
Overall this was a delight. I liked it much more than the Smokehead. A well crafted barrel aged imperial stout. Despite the best by Oct '09 printed on the bottle I think it has stood the test of time outstandingly. The age has settled the booze, mellowed the whisky and let the flavors blend.
04-18-2012 03:51:54 | More by ThickNStout
4.53/5 rDev +20.2%
11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 8, Bowmore 1998 cask. No head, clear resinous lacing. Almost pitch black. Aroma is of smokey malts, sweet malts and peated flavor with whiskey standing out. Taste is more peat than expected with raisins and sweet pitted fruits. Tongue tingling. Not sure if this really fits the description of an imperial stout at This point. More like a smoked old ale. I suppose that's the paradox? Either way, interesting and tasty.
08-31-2010 05:52:42 | More by KickbacksSteve
2.93/5 rDev -22.3%
Thanks to hopdog for sharing this. Bottle is labled BB 22/12/08 (Batch 8)...
Appears dark brown, bordering black, with a small tan head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of smoked malt, smoked peat, smoked cocoa...a tad too much overkill on the smoke IMO.
Taste is of the same smokey aromas with vanilla, and cocoa coming up behind the smoked peat malt.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied withtons of smoke and cocoa with a smokey beef jerky flavor lingering.
04-29-2008 01:25:58 | More by weeare138
3.6/5 rDev -4.5%
Poured from an 11.2oz bottle and served in a snifter. This stout poured a near black with some ruby/mahogany highlights and a thin head of large, filmy bubbles that lingered for a bit. No lace. The aroma of the beer was made up of strong, smokey, peat, scotch/alcohol, along with some roasty chocolate managing to sneek in. The flavor included chocolate, charred malt, campfire, peat...all pulled nicely together by a smooth, lasting scotch note. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with little carbonation. It felt a bit weak and lifeless. The scotch cask added a nice change of pace to the flavor, but then again, I could be suffering from bourbon barrel burnout.
05-31-2008 23:11:11 | More by mdm46410
3.48/5 rDev -7.7%
Batch 008, Islay, apparently aged in 1987 Bowmore casks.
Pours a little like syrupy dark cola, black with the exception of some hard to find ruby sheen. Tan head is slow to form and disappears very quickly, leaving only a neat ring of bubbles and a few sandy patches on top.
The stout and aged wood holds a smoky deep dark warm smell that is reminiscent of an old hunting lodge - burnt wood, tobacco, and more aged wood. The whiskey and smoke, however, add a phenolic bandaid like smell, making the smoke and wood more abrasive and less smooth.
Taste follows the nose with much the same detail adding a little more depth, and I really can't decide how I feel about it. Sits with strong dark malt on the tongue up front, smooth and fairly mellow. Decent depth to wood and burnt flavors, but they seem to collide at the finish with a mix of fresh clean snow and hanging woody smoke. Very much like a strongly smoke salmon or cured game, hanging and dark. It's growing on me a little.
Feel is fairly clean, with a medium body, very light carbonation, and and a slight oily feel. Nice clean finish.
I'm still debating drinkability, and probably will for a while. It should be an indicator that I likely won't try it again, considering cost and overall character. Definitely worth a try, especially if you like smoked beers, with this one having more true depth and character to the smoke than many.
04-06-2008 20:15:06 | More by lightindarkness
3.68/5 rDev -2.4%
Bottle acquired in trade. Labeled BB 22/12/08.
Poured a dark black color with brown edges and a small sized off white head. Aromas of smoke, plastic, earthy, and peaty. Tastes of dirt, earthy, smoke, ashtray, chocolate, and some caramel. Light alcohol in the finish.
Notes from: 3/5/08
12-18-2008 21:31:08 | More by hopdog
3.9/5 rDev +3.4%
Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.
Big thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!
My long journey through this series continues. This one pours a typically murky and oily black-brown topped by a minimal layer of dirty brown bubbles. The nose is dominated by lightly-peated whiskey, followed by some oak, some darkly-roasted malts, some dark chocolate powder, and a touch of char. A bit too much whiskey for its own good, but still generally pleasant. The taste follows pretty closely, but with more cocoa, a smoother (and less boozy) whiskey, and some additional notes: light vanilla, gooey caramel (yeah, I tasted the gooey-ness), and light coffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light carbonation and a silky smooth feel. Normally, this would hurt an impy stout, but the feel really seems to help this one along. Overall, a very nice barrel-aged stout, one that melds very well with its barrel.
12-05-2011 05:25:00 | More by TMoney2591
4/5 rDev +6.1%
This beer is based on Islay like the Ardbeg batch 9 but this one uses Bowmore instead, which is on a different part of the island and is different than the southern ones like Ardbeg or Lagavullin. This beer poured almost black with no light getting through and formed a dark tan foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, scotch/peat, smoke but also a hint of caramel. The flavor was of malt, scotch, smoke and a hint of chocolate. A medium body with some some smoke in the finish, yet some sweetness as well. This scotch combination works better, the irony for me is I prefer the southern Islays like Arbeg.
03-24-2008 03:19:33 | More by Wildman
4.5/5 rDev +19.4%
It pours a velvety pitch black, impassible to all but neutrinos. A finger of loose, orange-brown head settles gradually to a few patches, and thin strings of lace tier the inside of the glass.
The aroma is whisky first, with a woody compliment to the smokey, seaside air. Chocolate, leather, dark cherry, coffee, burnt caramel, and dark molasses are braced by a spirited swirl of alcohol.
Upon sipping, the profile is filled with peaty, smokey influences, with Scotch, charred wood, and even the merest hint of iodine coming through. There follows a palatal cavalcade of chocolate, dark coffee, dark cherry, prune, caramel, and a more general but comforting dark barley burnt sweetness. The alcohol is quite well incorporated, present and warm but amongst willing friends. The finish is long and dandy, with each element remaining proportionate as they fade over time. What a well-crafted, busy beast.
Full bodied, it has a creaminess that is only moderately cut by the breezy nip of alcohol.
I went for this first at Monk's on New Years Day, as this is the one I wanted to review. I can say I'm very glad I did. I notice a considerable disparity between reviews of this, but I think maybe on-tap would be the way to go. Anyway, if there's a perfect melding of the coastal, smokey elements of Scotch with barrel-aging and big stout, this might be one that comes closest. It's very big, but frighteningly smooth, with a big ABV that's mocked by the overall drinkablility. So throwing caution to the wind would be easy, but unwise. I could have drank just this all afternoon, and then paid in spades the next day. I'm glad I erred on the side of caution, but I'm more pleased I got to have this at all.
01-06-2011 14:10:28 | More by Foxman
3.35/5 rDev -11.1%
A - A dark reddish brown. Not much head and what little there is shrinks to just enough to cover the top of the liquid.
S - Very smoky. I would have called it a smoked beer by scent alone. Also some cherry like notes as well. The whiskey/bourbon like scent is also there.
T - The smoke again comes forward. I don't know much about scotch whisky but the smoke is overpowering the flavors I see in american bourbon barreled beers. I can't say if this then fits the style or not. Personally the smoke is too much.The alcohol bite waits untl the sip is finished to show up.
M - Thick and coating. No noticable carbonation. A good mouthfeel for a taste this seems off to me.
D - The thick smoke and high alcohol makes this a have only one beer for me. I wish I knew more about whisky to say if it was a good blend and shared the right characteristics.
05-30-2009 17:27:53 | More by JMBSH
4.22/5 rDev +11.9%
The beer is black with a decent sized head that sticks around. It poured out looking pretty thick as well.
The beer has a very strong peetie smell. It's smell almost exactly like a scotch whisky. The beer has the very woody flavour to it at first, but after the dark roasted malts come through. The wood taste times back at the end, but it's very subtle. This tastes like wood and a stout, and it's fucking awesome. There isn't much alcohol taste for a 10% beer, but you can definitely feel the warmth from the beer. The mouth feel is thick and nice with a slight bite from the carbonation.
The beer isn't really that drinkable, but it's not what this beer is going for. It's a fucking awesome oak aged beer, that I'd love to have once an evening.
04-13-2008 22:09:05 | More by swizzlenuts
2.65/5 rDev -29.7%
Wow. This has to be one of the nastiest brews I've had of late. The whisky barrel smell hits you immediately, and like a ton of bricks. It continues from there, slapping you with a mouthful of roasty malt and alcohol.
The nastiness continues in the aftertaste, and the best part is when you can't taste it any more. I wish I could share it with someone so I could drink something else.
When I bought this I was hoping it wouldn't be like other Scottish ales but my worst fears were imagined. If you don't like other Scottish brews, you won't like this either.
10-18-2009 17:37:21 | More by schoolboy
BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
85 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.