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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

183 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 183
Hads: 278
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 13
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
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: Phyl21ca on 12-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 183 | Hads: 278
Photo of kojevergas
2.06/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

33cl bottle served into a Trappist Westvleteren goblet in Belfort, France. Bottle is brown glass with a classic pressure cap. Reviewed live. I usually find Brewdog to be gimmicky crap that has no need for a limited release, but is done so in order to jack up the prices.

A: Half finger head is of tan colour, nice cream, and decent thickness. Retention is laughably bad, which can be explained by the wide mouth goblet and high ABV. Solid black colour. Nontransparent. It's alright.

Sm: Whiskey and cream; that's it. The aroma is moderately strong.

T: Whiskey undertones with cream and maybe chocolate atop. I find cinnamon only when I look for it. I don't find ginger, but there's some sort of awful fringe sourness on the edges. Built very badly and poorly balanced, with whiskey overpowering the entire body. Where's the beer?

Mf: Smooth and wet, with entirely too much thickness. It's hardly complementary of the flavours on the body.

Dr: The high ABV isn't that noticeable, but it still comes through. A sip of this would make you vomit after a night of fair drinking; it's just enough to tip you over the edge alongside the wretched flavour. The price is obscenely high, typical for BrewDog. This is an extortionist beer, as usual for the brewer. It's really hardly a beer at all. This is BrewDog in its infancy trying to cash in on the aging wave.

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Photo of zoolzoo
2.56/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this on cask @ Prime 16, New Haven CT

Sort of unimpressed right off the bat - poured almost no head, pitch black center, semi translucent cola edges. Did nothing more than gather bubbles around the edges of the glass.

Aroma was decent, though. Chocolate, oak, whiskey, smoke.

Taste and mouthfeel was a bit of mess. Up front you have roasted malts and a little sweetness, maybe a hint of chocolate, but the flavor profile is weak. Nothing jumps out at you, its sort of bland. This beer gets rough on the back of your throat, swallowing this is like doing a shot of watered down whiskey. 10.00 ABV is apparent, in a bad way. The mouthfeel was thin for an Imperial Stout, carbonation was minimal, both factors detracting from the overall experience.

Honestly I left a quarter of this in my glass and pushed it aside. What a waste to not finish an over priced beer, but why finish drinking it if it tastes like garbage? I spent the cash either way. I moved on and enjoyed my meal with a different brew.

This isnt the first time Ive been disappointed by a Brew Dog offering. In the future I may pretty much pass on anything Brew Dog, but then again I always seem to give them another shot. Maybe its their label art?

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Photo of bobhits
2.69/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slightly more body than the Dundas, but the aroma is rather faint and lost here. Still this beer has a watery thin bodied and is virtually uncorroborated. Not an overly sweet beer and I think there's a very subtle amount of peat, but it's really hard to pick up on. There's a certain amount of bitterness but again subtle as can be. I can't recommend this beer to anyone. It isn't as good as the Dundas and the flavors aren't as unique as the Smokehead. You simply have a pretty over priced and unimpressive stout here. The barrel aging doesn't add enough.

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Photo of thequeen711
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Barely a nose...poured rich chocolate brown leaving light lacing. No hint of the whiskey cask-aged barrel flavour. A definitely different Imperial Stout...I'm trying to compare it to Old Rasputin, but it doesn't come close. I heard great reviews, but I can't seem to find anything that may incline me to have another. Just not the flavours I expected, kinda weak.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on cask at Churchkey in Washington, DC. Menu said it was aged for 6 months in single malt whiskey barrels.

a - Pours a dark black with no head at all.

s - Smells of oak, whiskey, and some roasted malts.

t - Tastes of oak and watered down whiskey. Also hints of dark fruits. Not a big fan of this.

m - Medium body and no carbonation.

d - Overall I didn't really like this one. I usually enjoy stouts that are aged in whiskey barrels but this just tasted like watered down whiskey to me. Wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of kmatlack
2.91/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 08-08-08, poured into my New Belgium snifter.

A- Appears a black, flat, not thick and super dark like you would expect. Light coming through on the edges. A vigorous pour rendered no head with little foamy splotches in the middle of the glass. Kind of disappointing.

S- Smells of honey, wood, oatmeal, whiskey. Some chocolate, nuts, more charred wood. Smells pretty good.

T- Tastes bready, a little bit of whiskey, roasty, booze on the back end. Its good but im not impressed, think its got too much time on it.

M- Completely flat. Too thin. This is all wrong...

O- A raging disappointment. I usually give Brewdog the benefit of the doubt and I buy their beers even despite the outrageous prices, but im starting to doubt them. This was a total downer and i hope the Macallan Paradox is better...

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Photo of Dotcubed
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stupidly held too long, best by 8-8-10. Opened 2-5-11
Not really sure when I bought this, early fall?

I wanted to open all three and compare against each of the three barrels. Unfortunate that my spouse opened it for me.

Poured with no carbonation. Tulip glass isnt helping much. Pitch black. Can smell, unappealing. Maybe molasses and malt. Very sad. But what I'd expect from a beer past due for consumption.

Charmingly char, vanilla, burnt sugar. Maybe some peat.
Dry finish, warming. Bitter from the carbon. Missing something, probably the quintessential beer experience; carbonation.

Thick, not heavy but dense and probably drinkable for much longer.

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Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -23.3%
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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Photo of Long813
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch: 016, Best before: 26-04-15
From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Pitch black body with two fingers of dark mocha head. Retention is poor and leaves some good lacing.

S: Mild mixtures of coffee, vanilla, chocolate and whiskey. Nothing to strong, but it's all there

T: Mild flavours of coffee, some vanilla, harsh whiskey and chocolate.

M: Light bodied and medium-low carbonation. Watery texture and leaves a whiskey aftertaste. Quite boozy - not the worst.

D: Another let down, for the price paid it's not worth it at all. Less than the average stout.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours flat as hell. A deep brown/black color that looks and pours like soy sauce.

S: As a disclosure, this bottle did say best by last year, do it's possible that this is simply past its prime. I did pick up some dark fruits, mostly raisin, and a touch of smokiness. I'm trying like crazy but I'm not really getting any scotch.

T: Raisin and earthiness upfront with a distinct peat note. Again, not a ton of scotch but I think that peaty flavor is from it. Roasted malt and more raisin on the finish. Mouthfeel is absolutely awful. Completely flat and very very thin. One one hand, it does a good job of disguising the ABV, but it also hurts the flavor potential of this beer. Not super great.

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Photo of Krakistophales
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Let me just say that my palate is definitely not as sophisticated as most people's, but I'll try my best.

A: This one is black like darth vader's helmet, with very little carbonation and no head.

S: Mostly smokey, some earthy hints, feels like being around a campfire.

T: The initial hit is a bit of a bittersweet chocolate, like a really strong cocoa taste, with the middle being pretty smoky, but just enough, and the finish is kinda dry and smoky as well.

M: Rather thin, which is surprising for an imperial stout. With no head and little carbonation, it has a slick consistency and doesn't linger.

O: It's alright. I'm not a fan of smoke, but this one is just tolerable enough to get through. It's pretty one dimensional, though, for an imperial stout, and I would've liked more chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, or any other kind of usual imperial stout layers.

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Photo of aslamm75
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Disclaimer bottle says best before 08/08/10

Drank 3-22-13: I think it is past its time. Very flat, no head. Dark black color. Mild boozy and sweet aroma with some raisins.
Taste: a bit flat as well. Does not have the complexity and flavor of the fresh Tokyo*.
A bit of a dissappointment.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Blind Tiger in NYC (6/23/12). Poured into a half tulip.

Pour: Pitch black. I mean midnight. Frothy deep khaki head that lingers and laces wonderfully. The look of this brew was its best aspect.

Smell: Boose and dark chocolate. Some roasty peat and smoke. Mostly booze.

Taste: Booze. As it warmed, I got smokey malt and dry peat, maybe some bitter chocolate. The difference between a scotch and a bourbon barrel aging technique are utterly apparent.

Overall: Cool to get, especially on cask, but not my style of Imperial Stout. Wouldn't get again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A very expensive, gorgeous 11.2 oz bottle served in a snifter; best before 08/08/10.

A rather unimpressive debut--pours with a translucent cola body and fails to gather much more than a few big bubbles at first. Slowly, a wispy patch of beige foam forms atop an inky black body. Still, I like my Imperial Stouts to have a much larger head than this. Nice aroma, though nothing exorbitant given the style and price tag. Whiskey barrels dominate, adding a hefty vanilla bean sweetness across a backdrop of milk chocolate and caramel malts.

The flavor starts well with a gentle dark chocolate note that lends itself to a hint of spice and whiskey booze on the finish. Soft kiss of earthen hops and Baker's chocolate seals the deal. Call my palate endemic to American Imperial Stouts, but the flavors on this brew taste a bit underwhelming, dog. Mouthfeel is watery and severely under-carbonated...quite distressing given the dough I shelled out for this one. Overall, a big pass--it's a shame too, because I had high hopes for this heavily touted Scottish brewery.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thrown in as an extra by Bmoyer0301 - What a nice guy!

Appearance -- Pours like strong-brewed coffee with nearly no head to speak of.

Smell -- Cocoa, vanilla, oak, whiskey. Overall, rich, sweet, and a bit boozy.

Taste -- Follows the nose faithfully: rich roasted malt sweetness of cocoa and faint coffee-like notes. Oak, vanilla, and subdued whiskey flavors give a little more complexity.

Mouthfeel -- Thin, low carbonation.

Drinkability -- Body and mouthfeel issues aside, this was a nice beer. The whiskey elements were subdued, which can be a good thing sometimes. This was a pleasure to drink on a Sunday evening.

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Photo of CuttDeez
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown black with very little off white dark kahki head.
S - An oaky smoky nose, with over sweet chocolate and over sweet dark fruits. There was also a slight sour fruit note on the back end.
T & M & D - A malty sweetness and roasted caramel undertone. There was a dark fruit taste to it but it was shadowed by a bitter coco flavor that finished with slightly vinager back taste. The beer was smooth in the mouth and medium bodied but lacked in depth of taste that you would like to see in an oak aged brew.


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Photo of Jayli
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Novare Res on 4/30

A: This beer pours a deep dark, almost opaque black.. however, some hints of brown hues when held to the light. No head and no lacing on this one.

S: Nose is of charred malts, scotch and caramel sweetness.

T: Taste is deep roasted malts up front, before moving in to the charred malt flavoring. The caramel flavoring comes through mingled with some dark fruits before the alcohol takes over - nothing but scotch in the finish.

M: Medium body, minimal to no carbonation, slick and creamy body.

D: This one is a sipper. An entire glass is actually a bit too much - flavors are there for the first few sips, but the scotch really starts to dominate the more that you have of this.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into snifter.

one finger bubbly white head, which slowly dissipates and leaves a solid lacing.

nose is heavy with the spicy heat of scotch, along with dark roasted malts and some espresso flavors.

some flavors of chocolate and coffee, but are dominated by the booziness and heat of the scotch. a little one-dimensional.

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Photo of Blanco
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours black and hardly carbonated. Holding the beer and thin it out against the glass, I can see some serious burgundy notes reminiscent of a very dark red wine. What bubbles I see might easily have been from the very vigorous pour I attempted to throw down once I saw it was having trouble fizzing. There are smaller light carbonation bubbles that don't last very long. Smells of dark malt, dark fruits and liquor. hints of caramel. After tasting my suspicion that this was going to be flat held true. The taste overall though follows the nose. Vanilla, dark fruit, nice maltiness. Hints of chocolate and liquor, which I suppose is scotch from the barrels that were used. The beer actually tastes quite good. More like a barrel-aged barleywine than a stout. Mouthfeel blows since it's flat and it's the one downside of the beer. Brings it way down from what could have been one of the best beers I've had. Other reviews show that more than a few bottles poured flat so this wasn't an isolated incident. It wasn't terrible, just let than it could have been.

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Photo of fatmcb1
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a tan ring. Leaves good lacing along the glass.

Lots of bourbon, charred oak. A bit of dark fruit. Roasted malt and dark brown sugar.

Taste follows the nose. Add in some cinnamon and vanilla spices.

Mouthfeel destroys this beer. It is under carbonated and a very light body.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at Leura Cellars, and drunk with @tobeerornottobe and @FakeCousinAndrew.

Pours a mildly thick, but mildly not-thich-at-all brown black, certainly clear at the edges, but with a depth in the body. Head is fine and tight to begin with, but turns relatively cloudy and crusty after a while, sticking in film and large bubbles to the surface of the beer. Lacing is decent, leaving some frothy suds on the side. Looks decent, but not particularly enticing.

Nose is dark and rather astringent, with some peaty notes and a faint peppery spice. The booze is rather prevalent, almost giving an eye-watering sharpness that strikes tears in my eyes. Potent.

Taste is rather black, with a heavy ashy character throughout, which mingles with the heavy boozy character to leave it very astringent and unapproachable. Some boozy sweetness, but whatever leavening character it lends, it also adds more heaviness with the alcohol burn. Feel is light in parts, but burning with booze as well.

Phew. It's a powerful beer, but not necessarily a particularly enjoyable one. It's heavy, boozy and sharp, but certainly missing some complexity and some smoothness. Not an easy beer for me.

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Photo of artdob
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours black but head is almost non-existent.

S: Imperial Stout sweetness. Chocolate, fruit, raisins, malt.

T: Same notes as in the nose with more dimensions: black forest chocolate cake; espresso, malts, barrel-aged whisky, holiday fruitcake, and vanilla. Lack of hoppiness.

M: Very mild carbonation. Not heavy. Finish fades quickly to watery elements.

O: Easy drinkability given the 10% ABV. Overpriced for the experience though considering alternatives in the Imperial Stout category.

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Photo of claytri
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a flat dark mahogany with no head. The aroma hinted of dark fruit. The taste was a bit medicinal with coffe upfront and some bittered dark fruit on the back end. The feel was medium and slightly wet. A different sort of cask effort that left me not overly interested in a second glass. I found this at Friscos in Columbia MD on 4/4/12.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out much like the others in the series, black, not overly thick looking and with a thin tan head on top. The smell of the beer was heavily aged in scotch barrels. It's very pronounced on the nose. The taste of the beer was heavy with booze and burnt flavors. The mouthfeel is slick but not really all that thick. There's not much carbonation in there, the beer is on the flatter side. Overall it's not much different than any other Paradox I've had. They're fun to try but I would need to have them side by side in order to really see a difference.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) from BrewDog
88 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.