BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 - BrewDog
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
3.33/5 rDev -11.7%
Bottle dated 10/10/09 (Batch 008) at room temp into goblet
Got this on line from Beer Temple in Dec 2012.
Aroma woody with alcohol overtones
Head small (1 cm) rocky, light brown, diminishing to a ring.
Body dark brown/black.
Flavor begins with heavy dark fruitiness like dates or figs, but no so sweet; ends quickly.
No diacetyl, no hops, no alcohol flavors, not particularly peaty nor smokey.
No distinct aftertaste, just feels like something’s caught in my throat.
Medium to full body, creamy, soft carbonation.
Not a bad beer, just unremarkable. Maybe an example of an imperial stout that grows less complex with age, or an example of pearls before swine.
01-09-2014 11:35:03 | More by Ozzylizard
4.1/5 rDev +8.8%
best before 10/10/09
Pours a thin black inky color with almost no head whatsoever. Smells of Islay Scotch – peat, smoke, combines with chard malts to comprise the nose. First sip is pure smoke then the peat hits hard giving way to a lingering bitter finish. Mouthfeel maybe the only flaw as this tasty puppy is way under carbonated but not to the point of being completely flat. Still, the aggressive flavors of the island of Islay is what makes this beer special. The 10% ABV is all there - not hidden but not in your face. Tasty, yummy, I want more.
05-16-2012 02:26:02 | More by ATLbeerDog
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
4.2/5 rDev +11.4%
Enjoyed at Hogtowne Beer Festival in Gaineville. This one was a hidden brew at the Anchor booth. Able to secure a couple 6oz glasses of this one.
A: Thin head, almost flat, on a jet black body with no light getting through.
S: burnt toast, campfire, mesquite, smokey, brisket... take your pick of adjectives. I though this was a Rauchbier at first. The whiskey is nicely inter-mingled.
T: Whiskey is stronger in the flavor with the smokey and mesquite flavor perfectly inter-twined. Body is full with light carbonation.
Overall: this is a must try beer. Unique and much better tasting than it sounds.
04-15-2012 02:45:04 | More by kylehay2004
4.25/5 rDev +12.7%
Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Kasteel chalice. Batch 008. Best before 10 October 2009. The label says "imperial stout aged in a former Bowmore 1998 cask."
A: A faint forthy head is more than I've seen yet on any of these old Paradox beers. Black walnut; largely opaque. Touch of lacing.
S: Whisky and wood (oak). Strong, with peaty phenol and vanilla bean. The Scottish pedigree is obvious.
T/M: Vanilla-sweet and creamy-smooth. Not as thin as other three-year-old Paradox beers. Substantial; appealing. The maintaste contains roasted barley, smoky vanilla, thin strands of alcohol, and subtle berries buried in the dark beer. The aftertaste is reminiscent of the ashy finish of an Islay malt (Bruichladdich comes to mind, but that's just me). Complex and rewarding.
O: This is a well-crafted Imperial Stout that has stood the test of time. It benefited significantly from barrel-aging in the young Bowmore casks. Highly recommended it you can find any. My favourite so far of the Paradox series. I would drink again (but of course!).
02-16-2012 04:06:01 | More by AgentMunky
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
4/5 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
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
4.5/5 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
4.3/5 rDev +14.1%
Pours a pitch black color with a thin bubbly yellowish tan head that quickly fades leaving only minimal spots of lacing behind.
Nice peaty aroma with lots of bourbon/whiskey in the nose. Hints of earth, oaky wood, roasted malt and sweet alcohol. The booze kind of overpowers the stout notes but it still smells pretty amazing. Hopefully it's not a complete bourbon bomb.
Thankfully this beer taste more balanced than it smells. Very smooth and quaffable with a nice amount of roasted chocolate and caramel maltiness balancing out the boozy heat. Hints of earthy oak and lots of peat to go along with the sweet alcohol and bourbon notes. Medium bodied and creamy and a nice balance of wood, roasty malt and booze with a slightly dry finish. The ABV is decently masked making this very drinkable. This should age pretty well. Not bad.
12-11-2010 09:48:21 | More by corby112
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
3.75/5 rDev -0.5%
Shared a bottle with a friend. Pours a nice dark black with low carbonation by appearance. Now real head to speak of. Solid dark black with brownish rim. Doesn't leave any lacing either.
Aroma is nice. Strong whiskey, tobacco, leather, roasted malts, and more BOOZE!
Flavor follows the aroma pretty close. Lots of whiskey and overall booze burn. More tobacco like flat stickiness to the mouthfeel. Very low carbonation. The flavor is actually really good...but just lacking somewhere...somehow. Overall, a nice beer...but not great.
08-09-2010 21:02:21 | More by ShadesOfGray
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
3.48/5 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
4.53/5 rDev +20.2%
part 1 in a series
Four paradoxen, a few steaks, wild mushrooms, good people.
Pours black, small head. Smoke, peat, caramel, catholic girls. I smell...victory. The taste is a series of flashbacks- Wild nights spent sipping fine scotch on red carpeted bars, celebrations and dreams fulfilled. I can feel those fine barley growers in the field, the rough hands working dirt into grain. I can smell the hop trellises, taste the warm wort. This my children is how beer was meant to be.
Smile, for this is the life you lead.
01-06-2010 04:07:51 | More by olympuszymurgus
2.9/5 rDev -23.1%
12oz bottle is barely filled into the neck - not sure how I didn't notice that before. Pours a black color with very little head and no retention and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma is a mixture of wood, booze, and smoke/peat. The flavor is almost all smoked malt with a bit of burned character that I don't particularly care for. Very astringent. The mouthfeel is oily and medium in body. Drinkability is not great due to the oily texture.
11-26-2009 06:52:47 | More by clvand0
BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
85 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.