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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

43 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 54
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | 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:
Beer added by: Wildman on 03-24-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 54
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of gford217
3.13/5  rDev -17%
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.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured at about 18 or 19C into a thistle/tulip glass. Best b4 date: 22/12/08.

The AROMA is very peaty & earthy. There is a ... sour smelling smoke aroma (if an aroma can be sour). There is more peat in the nose of this Beer than in most Scotches that I have tasted, with the exception of Lagavulin and maybe a couple of others.

In my glass this Beer LOOKS onyx black. It produces a medium sized beige head. Medium to low head retention. Some lace is left clinging to the sides of my glass.

The FLAVOUR is dominated by the smoke & peat. There is a hint of dark chocolate trying to fight through the smoke & earthy peat. The smoke is acrid & sour, which sounds terrible, but I sort-of like it as it provides some balance to what I believe would otherwise (assumption) be sweet malt flavours (I'm not picking up much hops). The high alcohol percentage is well hidden.

MOUTHFEEL is on the heavier side of medium bodied. The carbonation is just right, providing enough effervescence to liven things up without being too fizzy.

Overall, I think that this is a very unique Beer & quite interesting. It is not overly complex as the smoke & peat truly dominate, leaving little room for much else. I do like it and would recommend to others that they try it.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of hopdog
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of markaberrant
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - jet black, creamy tan head, clingy lace

S - peat/phenolic/metallic/medicinal... call it whatever you want, it is not overly pleasing. Not much "stout"

T - there is some malt sweetness and roast, but I find same character in the aroma dominates

M - very warm alcohol, low carbonation, light body, borderline watery, but has some creaminess.

D - somewhat interesting, but a little rough around the edges.

I applaud Brewdog for trying something unique, but I'm not sure they nailed it with batch 008. I just don't find the peat character all that appealing in this one, and I think the stout base could use more body and smoother alcohol.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this one pours a pitch black coal color with minimal to no head. A few sparse bubbles. No lacing.

Really smokey with chocolate and malts

the taste is smokey, almost burnt with hints of chocolate

very little carbonation and a short aftertaste. Semi-smooth.

This hides the 10% abv pretty well it's just not that yummy IMO.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.84/5  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.

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Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of mdm46410
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of mentor
2.42/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

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Photo of csmiley
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with some light that shows on the edges of the glass. Head was average showing good retention. Lacing around the glass was good.

S - Major alcohol style heat comes off of this one (closer to scotch than beer). That fades pretty quick to reveal some strong oak and molasses aromas. There is some bread in the distant background. It comes dangerously close to cough syrup.

T - More hot alcohol in the flavor. Wood character is still very strong which is nice. Molasses shows up midway and starts to round out the initial harsh flavors. Next in line are notes of roasted malt and some light coffee flavors. Some hints of smoke complete the flavor profile. The alcohol really is the biggest player in the flavor but that seems to be intentional since it is so similar to Scotch.

M - Almost full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Finish is bitter and the heat from the alcohol keeps the palate warm for a while.

D - Drinkability is just about average. This beer just comes too close to cough syrup in smell. That just throws everything off for the rest of the beer. The beer does start to get better once it warms.

Note / edit: Serve this beer at 55 degrees or higher. As the temperature of the beer started to rise closer to ambient, the flavors in this beer started to shine. I would recommend a serving temperature of just below room temp.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
85 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.