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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 - BrewDog

Not Rated.
BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.63%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BrewDog visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 03-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of captainbearcat
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

captainbearcat, Oct 16, 2014
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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.
No lacing.
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.

Ozzylizard, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of LumpkinBrews
4/5  rDev +6.4%

LumpkinBrews, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of rsuske
4/5  rDev +6.4%

rsuske, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Keith_R, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of RoryOMoore
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

RoryOMoore, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of Boilerfood
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Boilerfood, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 008
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.

ATLbeerDog, May 16, 2012
Photo of ThickNStout
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. 

ThickNStout, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

kylehay2004, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!).

AgentMunky, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

zaphodchak, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

bonbini26, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

mikesgroove, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev +6.4%

BeerHunter76, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

TMoney2591, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of MeisterSmudge
3/5  rDev -20.2%

MeisterSmudge, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Annesemj
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Annesemj, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Foxman
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Foxman, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

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.

corby112, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

KickbacksSteve, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

ShadesOfGray, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Thur123
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Thur123, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of fairdinkum2
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

fairdinkum2, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

olympuszymurgus, Jan 06, 2010
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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
85 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.