BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) - BrewDog

Not Rated.
BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 13
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
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United Kingdom (Scotland)

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 12-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 183
Reviews by thryn:
Photo of thryn
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one pours dark brown and has no head at all. Some of these beers have managed a thin film of fine lace, but not this one. It looks almost black in the glass but lets a little light through at the edges.

Big chocolate and coffee notes in this one, and the whisky is noticeable in the nose.

A good flavor with a whisky presence that is notable but not overpowering. Chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors dominate. Toffee comes out as it warms. Delicious. It has a spiciness to it, but not a hot alcohol burn.

This one needs a bit more carbonation or body to rate a "good" in the feel department, to me. There is a bit of slickness to it that is nice, and whatever's lending that spicy note gives a nice tingle to the tongue and throat. Nice melding of the flavors.

This sort of thing is always drinkable to me. YMMV.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter jet black like an oil slick,no head to speak of.Candied fruit and some vanilla in the nose along with some light burnt notes,somewhat mellow but nice.Mellow is a good word to describe the feel,not much carbonation and its full,quite nice.Flavors of spiced cherries,vanilla,mild char,and sweet alcohol,its pretty mild and nice to sip on.I was hesitant to try this but I liked it.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a snifter the beer was black in color with a minimal tan head. A fairly still appearance. The aroma was kind of typical stout, coffee and chocolate. There was a faint oak aroma and an even fainter aroma of whiskey. However, the taste really highlighted the barrel aging. Strong but sweet whiskey taste, coffee, chocolate. Despite the faint alcohol aroma, the taste was almost too much alcohol, but the roasted malts balanced it well. A very nice stout, one I would drink again. On the expensive side at $12.50 for the 12oz bottle.

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The burn of a scotch, the warmth of a stout.

This baby was booze heavy (weighing in at 10%) but it was the feeling that got me; The warmth of a glass of whiskey tracing your esophagus. Maybe the cask, maybe the scotch barrel, but it was a damn good beer. The only thing I was disappointed with (and i use that term as lightly as possible) was the drinkability. It would have taken me a while to polish off that baby. I would love to try it bottled. Maybe one day it will find me.

Great beer for an imperial stout enthusiast

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Retired but still available.
Batch 16 bottled 08/08/08.
Beautiful pour into brandy snifter.
Mellow, smooth, milky, chocolate notes. Alcohol nicely moderate. Mouthfeel is thick, a little alcoholic. Next time I'm near the bottle store I will definitely seek it out and snatch up any leftovers.

Photo of charlieos
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Decent (for the style) head that dissipates quickly.

S - I've been impressed here by brew dog with this and the springbank beer I had. Very strong, bright taste which is very true to the scotch. This beer smelled very immediately different than the springbank. Much more spice.

T - Again, very true to the scotch. nice peaty profile mixed with spices definitely separates this from other whisky aged stouts I've had.

M - Kinda odd here, bit more carbonated than I would have liked. Kinda thin.

D - Quite drinkable. Less a "dessert" beer feel, not as sweat and heavy and creamy.

Overall, a good beer. If you wanted to give paradox a shot, this would be a good once since the scotch really shines.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown-black with a small beige head. The aroma has some smokey peat notes but you also get vanilla as well as dark fruit. The flavor is more of the same with the vanilla really standing out. Not as much roasted malt as I expected. You also get some oak and toffee characters. reminds me of a very nice scotch. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Tried side-by-side with Smokehead and Springbank and this one stood out as the best.

Photo of mattster
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened 11.2 fluid ounce bottle of batch 016 (BB 08/08/10) and poured into snifter.

Pours an impressive dark black opaque brew. There was no head on a gentle pour.

Nice smell of malts escapes the glass and fills the area; slight hint of whisky also fills the nose. Taste is typical chocolate/coffee taste with bits of baking spice and slight whisky taste. Nice full mouthfeel. I like this, but am not blown away by it to try it again, althought I'll be looking for other selections from BrewDog .

Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ Hamiltons. Poured jet black with a very small tan head. No lacing in the tulip glass, but the head hung around for a while. Roasted malt and herbs mixed with a chocolate milkshake. Not as strong as some of the other versions I've had. Nice mouthfeel, velvety, not too thick, but viscous to satisfy the style. Lots of roasted malt and earthy/peaty flavors up front. More molasses and vanilla towards the back. Salty, whisky flavors throughout, but subtle; not like some of the more powerful variations. Sweet, long, chocolate malt/shake finish. Easy to drink, the 10% is well masked. Just wish it wasn't $10 for a glass.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black and brown sample, tan head, could use more carbonation. Whiskey aroma prevalent.

A lot going on taste wise, whiskey, chocolate, coffee, smoke, wood, licorice, vanilla, and more I'm sure. I see why the carbonation is a little muted in this, works better than I thought it would.

Wanted to rate its drinkability lower based on the price, but when you consider the high abv, and truly how drinkable it is relatively speaking outside of the price issue, it still gets above average marks.

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with mild amounts of char and milder amounts of dark fruit - plums mostly. Also present is a nice oaken smokiness that intensifies as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Large amounts of deeply roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of smokiness and smaller amounts of peat. Midway through the sip hints of unsweetened chocolate and dark fruit flavors make a brief appearance. Very mild amounts of charred wood flavors come into play near the end of the sip before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I'm beginning to think that it's tough to make a good scotch-barrel-aged stout with anything other than a scotch that's on the lighter side of things (such as Macallan). I think that barleywines, scotch ales, and perhaps even brown ales would benefit more from big and peaty scotch influences. That being said, this is still an interesting (if pricy) series that's worth a shot.

Photo of linnet
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

black colour, tan head, lacing. Aroma is full of smoke, reminds me of nils oscar rökporter, vanilla, coffee espresso acidity, brown sugar ,tar. Same flavours are found in it. Mouthfeel is smooth. This is a competent imperial stout, but the smokehead version was a lot better to my opinion.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours black with yellow highlights. Not much light gets through this thick looking brew. The head is nonexistent and very unimpressive.

The nose reveals more stout scents then the isle of arran whiskey barrel nose. Deep roasted grains with dark raisins and plums. There is a faint scent of the barrel aging but it is just a soft touch of earthy vanilla.

The taste has a heavy dose of dark molasses and caramelized grains. Very sweet with a nice touch of vanilla bean. But the flavor falls a little flat in my book. For an imperial stout I feel like the flavors are there but just too muted. I also wish there was more of a presence from the whiskey barrel aging. While it's there slightly, it really could be more smokey and woody.

Mouthfeel is a little flat also. The carbonation is very fine and makes the beer very slick and soft on the tongue. It's missing the nice acidic bite that CO2 adds as well as a sizzle from the bubbles. All in all a let down of a beer. I like brewdog and the innovation/ experimentation they push, but this one is off the mark. It's not even a satisfying imperial stout and way too expensive for what it is.

Photo of Hammarby
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown bordering to black with red overtones. Good, tan head that stays a while. Whit no help from aditional pouring into the glass it dissapates.

S: Alcohol, pumpernickel, soy sauce, charcoal and maybe a hint of sweetness. Inhale just before drinking: chocolate fudge.

T: Charcoal, dark chocolate. A bit like a schwarzbier. Fudge. Some dried fruits (dades). Aftertaste molasses, tar and dades.

M: Lot of taste but medium to almost thin body. Low carboration, small, pricky bubbles.

O: The first taste was sensational and made me want to rate beer for the first time in ages. But the love faded rather quickly. It is a nice christmas season beer. The alcohol is not so noticable as one would expect. I could drink this during the holidays. The beer could use a bit more body.

Edit: Just realised it's cathegorised as an imperial stout. It's not what I expect from an Imperial Stout.

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of the Arran malt expressions, so it's nice to see BrewDog working with this region of Scottish whiskey production.

This beer pours a deep, dark opaque brown, with slight mahogany edges, and a thin meniscus of soapy eggshell white head, which still manages to leave some webbed lace as it recedes. It smells of caramel, vanilla, treacle, and some mild alcohol. The taste is mildly roasted caramel malt, milk chocolate powder, some boozy wood, marzipan, dark brown sugar, and burnt vanilla as the finish approaches. The carbonation is very soft, the body smooth, velvety, and decently heavy, and it finishes a bit off-dry - roasted chocolate, and the alcohol finally shows itself in quantity, although not very much.

Like the namesake whiskey, the smokiness in this beer is very restrained, and the various sweet component shine through. The big alcohol is very well integrated, rendering this scarily easy to drink.

Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, thanks to Phy21ca. Pours black, modest white head. Fragrance is mollasses, coffee, chocolate, and whiskey. Taste is restrained whiskey and wood, even though expirey more than a year off. Smooth drinkability, above average thick body. A decent, though not outstanding IS.

Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue-Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter. Reviewed from notes. Batch 016. Kegged on April 10th, 2009. Beer was aged in single-malt whisky casks which previously were used sherry casks.

Liquid is a tar-infused bistre, seemingly opaque but a glimmer of light passes through once the chill dissipates. A creamy, wheat colored collar persists, with a very thin layer swirling in the center much like an oil spill. Soapy lacing and viscous legs.

Luscious barrel-aged notes, vanilla, roasted malt, bourbon, and spice (the brewer suggests cinammon - though I couldn't pin it down).

Rich bittersweet chocolate, carefully but deeply roasted premium malt, carmelized demerara, figs, prunes, stewed apricots, esters and floral notes aplenty. Normally I would think it a fault if the alcohol dominates a flavor profile, but here it adds so much complexity and unity that I have no complaints. The finish is more balanced with the support of mild sherry-like sweetness and a touch of astringency from the roasted malt.

Chewy, filling body with moderate carbonation and assertive heat. A little slick and sticky.

This one is a monster, on par with a fine dark rum as a mature sipper.

Photo of tdm168
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing this to the tasting. The bottle says best by 8/8/10; sampled on 4/3/12. It was purchased at Total Wine on 4/2/12.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep brown that borders on black with some reddish hues around the edges. There is absolutely no head, just a few carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass. The nose has notes of roasted malt, vanilla, faint chocolate, ginger, whiskey, and alcohol. The flavor is vanilla forward with nice roastiness underneath. There are some subtle notes of wood and whiskey as well as some chocolate and alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is very thin for the style, absolutely no carbonation, but ultimately warm and a bit smooth.

This is a bit of a weird brew. I would have liked to sample it before the best by date. The mouthfeel throws me off and the lack of body definitely detracts from the experience and maybe even the flavor. I'm glad I tried it nonetheless because the flavor was still intriguing and complex.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another free beer from a distributor expo.

Pours brown with no head. Not too attractive, but not horrible.

Smells pretty tasty. Lots of smoke and sweet malts. The scotch is a bit light, but definitely adds soem interesting levels of sweetness that my poor nose can't quite identify.

Tastes sweet with an interesting smokey taste. The base malt isn't bad, but it's the scotch that really shines.

Good mouthfeel. Creamy, full-bodied, mild carbonation.

Not a bad beer. There are better BA beers out there, but this one is still rpetty good. A nice sipper.

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens 11/14/09 during their "Bashah Bash" event with BrewDog. Served in a cool looking BrewDog goblet.

Pours black in the glass, with creamy finger of mocha colored head. Retains with a thin frothy layer, that stays rich, leaving a big sticky latticework of lacing down the sides. The barrel notes in the aroma are very spicy and sharp at first, but then smoothes out nicely in the back of the nose with some more mellow notes of smoke, wood, and earth. Underneath, lies plenty of the Stout flavors, including chocolate, roast, and some sticky caramel. This just sits in the nose with a very well rounded feel to it.

The taste has a nice roasty chocolate sweetness to it, which is quickly surrounded by the spicy, meaty, and smoky textures of the barrel. The finish is very dry from the spice, with a good bit of a woody feel mixing in as well. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a very mellow and creamy quality to the carbonation which matches that of the aroma. This drinks very easily for a 10% beer. There is actually minimal tannic slickness here to the body, which allows more of that creamy feel to really come out.

I really like what that Arran barrel brought to this, with a ton of spice and smoke character giving this a good bit of depth, yet this still stayed very smooth and easy for such a big beer. Solid entry in the series here for sure.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a chilled cask @ Bavarian Lodge. Into one of the house snifters.

A - Solid finger and a half of dark tan head. Very dark brown,just a hint of tawny away from being black.

S - Soft chocolate and whisky sweetness balance out the smokey, minerally and espresso dryness. The aroma featured less peat than expected, and had the same mild aroma as most other Paradoxes I've tasted.

T - Cocoa sweetness starts at the entry and builds in intensity, only to be dominated by the whisky sweetness and bite. Smoke and minerals are again very present and welcoming, but not as peaty as expected. Finishes dry, smokey, with an alcoholic bite.

M - Decent viscosity, with the soft mouthfeel that one would expect from a cask.

D - I'm still conflicted about these Paradoxes after having 4 of them. I really enjoy the idea of including Old world characteristics added to American styles. That being said, I'm not sure the price always justifies the product. Enjoyable product, worth trying.

Photo of thagr81us
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Pours deep dark brown with slight red hue in the light with a very minimal (if any at all) tan head. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, alcohol, vanilla, and chocolate. The flavor was of malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. It was heavy on the palate, almost sticky, with low carbonation. Overall this was one of the best stouts I've tasted. It is stupidly drinkable for a 10%er. I just wish this one was readily available even if it was just seasonal. My hat is off to BrewDog and Arran for getting together on this one.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang fluted glass. Pours a thick looking black. Nearly zero head. Laces when drunk down the glass. Very interesting nose of coffee, chocolate, and oak-y scotch smell. Intense, intriguing flavors. Coffee, light bitter chocolate, oak, light alcohol given the 10 percent. Quite drinkable given the alcohol content. A bit pricey, but well worth the try.

Photo of Gmann
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a little tan colored head that quickly disipated into a very light ring. The aroma is of expresso and mocha, dark chocolate and plums. A nice solid aroma. The taste is similar to the aroma. Strong dark chocolate flavor with notes of vanilla, bitter black coffee and a touch of wood. Some dark fruit notes as well. The feel is moderate to thick but feels a bit thin for the style. Very low carbonation leads to a smooth silky feel. A nice flavorful stout. I would like to see some more carbonation to give the brew a bit more life. Good but not sure worth the $13 price tag.

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with a thin light tan head. Some maple, molasses and whisky in the nose.

Full sweet coffee/licorice/whiskey flavors. Unfortunately, literally no carbonation whatsoever and very uninviting.

Flat, dull and lacking in character all around. Love this beer in the bottle. The draft was very disappointing.

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BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.