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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: 7 | 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 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 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 ChainGangGuy
2.83/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with no more than a few random bubbles.

Smell: Dark maltiness with a fair amount of chocolate, then it's a super-duper intense smokey peat scent that borders on smelling of medical grade rubber.

Taste: Chocolatey dark malts and again there's that knee-buckling peat character followed by a rather pronounce alcohol presence and a drying ashiness. Dash of table salt. Good grief! This is one of those beers that leaves you looking for a glass of cool, refreshing water.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Preferred the 005 by far as this was more than a little overblown on the peat for me.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 01, 2008
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 nickfl
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 008, 1998 Bowmore cask.

A - Pours with a scant half finger of medium-brown foam on a black body with ruby highlights. The head settles rapidly and leaves minor lace; despite the weak foam this is very nice looking beer with good color.

S - Rich, complex malt. Buttery carmel notes with some chocolate and smoky coffee. There is a distinct, peaty tobacco note from the whiskey cask that gives the impression of this being as much a Scotch Ale as an Imperial Stout.

T - Smooth, dark caramel malt and strong, smoky, peated whiskey notes. Strong smoky phenolic notes come to dominate in the middle with lots of wood and some medicinal, but not unpleasant peat. Some malt manages to surface again in the finish with notes of coffee and dark, dark chocolate, but the whiskey is the prime mover here with charred wood, smoke, cigar tobacco, and even a bit of alcoholic sharpness to complete the effect. There is a lingering smoke flavor as well as fruity, caramel malt on the palate that seems to only be present in the aftertaste.

M - Medium-thick body, low carbonation, and a moderately sweet finish.

D - Well, this is certainly no session beer, but it is a distinct and enjoyable sipping beer. The whiskey flavors are huge and dominant; clearly this has gained a lot from its time in the cask. There is obviously a nice, rich Imperial stout under there somewhere, but it has been greatly enhanced by the barrel aging and it has become something truly unique. I appreciate the merits of good scotch, but I am not inclined to drink it; what I really appreciate about this beer is that is brings much of what is great about Scotch to the table and does so in a package that I find much more palatable. This is one of the most complex and easily the most distinct barrel aged beer I have yet had. If I get the chance, I will definitely try to get my hands on some of the other beers from the Paradox series.

nickfl, Nov 23, 2009
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 weeare138
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

weeare138, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

bluejacket74, May 25, 2008
Photo of gford217
3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

330mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours almost black in the glass, though it shows a deep mahogany when held up to light. The head is short lived and bubbly, leaving a thin ring on the way down with spotty lacing.

The aroma has tons of scotch with dark chocolate malts underneath. There is lots of peat in the nose as well as some smoke and hints of vanilla sweetness.

The taste is also very earthy with lots of peat and smoke as well. There is some chocolate malts underlying things but they're definitely in the background with the boozy peat taste dominating throughout.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for me with very little carbonation.

This was an OK beer but you better like peat and smoke if you're going to try it. I've had better Paradox brews.

gford217, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of drpimento
4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, killa beah. Got this bottle a few months ago at Sam's in Chicago. Poured it aggresively but had a small tan head and no lace. Virtually opaque with slight deep garnet highlights. Aroma is divine: malty, roasty, caramel, peat, vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, whisky, and leather. Flavor's about the same but with a little bite or tang. Lovely bittersweet and mouthfilling. Body is ok, nothing special but not bad. Very boozy finish. A sipper, not a session beer.

drpimento, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of hopdog
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

hopdog, Dec 18, 2008
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 Jeffo
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter

Note: Batch 008

APPEARANCE: Pours a very small thin looking tan head that quickly disappears, leaving a bit of wisp around the edges. Color is pitch black and basically no carbonation evident. A small wisp remains and amazingly leaves a little bit of splotchy lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A bold nose of whisky, black licorice and plenty of earthy qualities, like tree and some smoked or burnt wood, and some peat in there as well.

TASTE: Follows the nose quite closely. Some roasted malt and peat up front, but the whisky is the more dominant feature. Earthiness again, as well as some smoked or burnt oak wood again. A slightly bitter but more boozy aftertaste has hints of smoke in there as well. Aftertaste is mild but long lasting. Lots of wood qualities and whisky here. Interesting stuff.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with lower end carbonation. Somewhat lighter on the palate. Creamy and somewhat oily slick on the palate, goes down smooth enough with a bit of an alcohol bite at the very end. Finishes slightly sticky.

OVERALL: Pretty nice. A solid brew I'd have again. Thickening up the palate would help this one out immensely, but non-the-less, this is an enjoyable brew worth checking out.

Jeffo, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of Crosling
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown, but appears black in the glass. Nose dominated by single malt scotch, with hints of malt nuances. Flavor is terrifically complex, with hints of fudge, cocoa, chocolate and raspberry, combined with the barrel elements of peat and toasted wood. It has a lot of depth and the finish seems to go on and on. Really outstanding now, but young, give it a year or two and it could be sublime.

Crosling, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of clvand0
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

clvand0, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

bonbini26, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mentor
2.38/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Took a chance on a $10 12 oz bottle and got burned. Pours a thin layer of brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells alcohol strong with some rubbing character. Chocolate, vegetal. Earthy tannic onions smoke.

Tastes smoky, alcohol clean, dry wood. Thin and simple. Disappoint for $10. Chocolate, low esters, and no hops. Tannins are low, little wood character and not alot of depth or complexity overall. Md thick body. Cream, but thin in the mouth when sloshed around.

mentor, May 15, 2008
Photo of RoryOMoore
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

RoryOMoore, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Keith_R, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of BeerHunter76
4/5  rDev +6.4%

BeerHunter76, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of JMBSH
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

JMBSH, May 30, 2009
Photo of schoolboy
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

schoolboy, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured a black color with a moderate frothy brown head that mostly lasted and produced fair lacing.

Good roasted malt and sweet woody aroma.

Full body with a smooth texture.

Complex peat stout flavor with a smooth woody finish.

Good balanced earthy stout.

tmoneyba, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Wildman, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of captainbearcat
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

captainbearcat, Oct 16, 2014
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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
85 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.