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BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead - BrewDog

Not Rated.
BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - SmokeheadBrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 20.54%
Wants: 8
Gots: 27 | 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.

Identical to Batch 010 as the casks were re-used.

(Beer added by: Onslow on 01-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by erz316:
Photo of erz316
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 015, with best before of 08/08/10; poured into la chouffe snifter.

A - a pretty disappointing start to the beer. the severe lack of head on the brew is pretty disappointing; it only gets a little ring of small bubbles around the side of the glass. what foam there is, happens to be a mostly cream colour. the body is at least black, though at the bottom of the glass one can see that is is actually very dark brown.

S - very good nose. the top notes are of this peaty charred wood; the charred wood smell is very strong. the middle ground is a big malty body with some nutty ans sweet aspects. the smokey scent is the big player in this brew, really big and amazing smelling. I never though a beer could be as smoky as this and still smell appealing. I attribute this to the huge sweet malt body underneath it all, which subtly curbs the smoke.

T - the overall taste is more suited to be a rauchbier than an imperial stout. really, the only thing keeping this from being a rauchbier is the addition of hops, imo. the initial taste is malty and smoky; really like the schlenkerla, maybe even better. I would never guess this is an imperial stout, but because it is classified as one I am going to have to dock some points. the finish is slightly hoppy, mostly malty and smoky, but a bit yeasty. the aftertaste has this intriguing slight saltiness along with the amazing charred wood flavour. maybe a bit of molasses like sweetness, but the sweetness is more of a simple malt one.

MF&D - the feel is far too thin and hardly carbonated enough. the feel of the body is a decent medium, but the carbonation is so lacking and small-scale that I cannot award any high points. either way this beer is amazingly delicious, just not as a stout.

If I were to grade this beer as to the category I think it should belong, rauchbier, it would be much higher. the body and appearance would make sense, no head and a thin medium body are appropriate for a rauchbier. moreover, the taste would be so incredibly spot on if the brew were a rauchbier. this is by far the best smoke flavour I have ever had in a beer, and I am highly skeptical of the categorization. It would surely be an A+, maybe even quite close to perfect.

erz316, Sep 17, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My second BrewDog ware I have tried,poured into a snifter a jet black,I mean no light showing thru this puppy,a thin almond colored head atop.Wow alot going on in the nose,some good,some not so good,bigtime smokey hard wood and peat mixed with molasses and light vanilla.The peat aromas are very strong,I have never in a beer came close to that aroma of peat and hardwood (alder?),quite intense.Holy smokes the flavors are as smoky as all get out!Intense hard wood smoke and peat flavors mixed with light caramel/vanilla sweetness,that sweetness doesnt hold up to the intense barrage of smoke and wood.This knocked me back a little I didnt expect to drink such a intense beer.I didnt like the flavors but it is original I have to say.

oberon, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of ricke
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving date: 2009-03-20. Served in small snifter. Best before: 2010-10-10.

A: Appears to be black, but it is actually dark brown colored and is several shades brighter than many other beers of the same style. Clear liquid. Basically no head, it's rather a small layer of uneven bubbles. The bigger bubbles show some retention, the smaller disappear quickly. Minimal lacings.

S: A pleasant and interesting smell. Plenty of whisky aromas, both sweet and a little bit fruity and smoky (peat, charred wood, smoked ham). The sweet and smokey aromas blend really good and works well with a noticeable smell of malts. Not very complex, but very nice.

T: Big whisky flavors all around. Plenty of smoky flavors - peat, charred wood are very prominent. Beautiful sweet flavors as well, and some seaweed. Subtle roasted malt backbone behind the whisky flavors. Barrel character, leather and a hint of tannins. Faint notes of dark fruits, nice chocolate notes. In the finish, there is a restrained bitterness, malt residuals, lingering whisky notes and most of all a very pleasant taste of salt licorice. All in all, not a very complex taste, but still very nice. The whisky character in this one is absolutely beautiful.

M: Rather full body but quite light considering the style. Minimal levels of carbonation. It actually feels almost boring in the mouth, and - god forbid - almost bland. However, towards the end it seems like the beer opens up a bit and gains some body and viscosity.

D: Despite the average appearance and mouthfeel, this is a really good beer, one of the best whisky barrel-aged stouts I've had. The whisky character is really good and blends well with the flavors coming from the beer itself.

ricke, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of woodchipper
4/5  rDev +8.1%

woodchipper, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle in a snifter.
Black color with just the tiniest rim of a tan head.
Wonderful aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, whiskey, and smoke.
The aroma didn't quite translate to the taste. The elements were there, just not as noticeable. Peat, whiskey, chocolate, and coffee.
It was a little too harsh and boozy for me, but was still an enjoyable stout.

lordofthewiens, May 22, 2010
Photo of Shagator
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Shagator, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of bellce0
4/5  rDev +8.1%

bellce0, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz brown bottle with a best before date.

Off of a hard rousing pour comes a lightly crackling tan bubbly lace. The tiny bubble have some retention and the big ones that must have captured some fusel oil start popping right away. Peaty, charred wood, lemon oil, fusel alcohol and ripe plum on the nose. Slick and creamy on the palate with a very light carbonation. Big dry malt character tries to stay afloat as the wood and alcohol trait try and smack it down. Modest hopping here which is fine as it is not needed. Peat flavor throughout is lazily dominant letting both the charred wood and roasted malt flavors to come through. Big breath of alcohol though it never runs hot. Finishes with a sweet fusel alcohol, roasted grain and wood tannin ... obviously dry.

I am very impressed with this beer, the barrel qualities never overpower but are present throughout.

Jason, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown-black with a small beige head.

Very smokey aroma with some oak, but mainly just smoke. Much smokier than the Isle of Arran and Springbank that we tried during the same tasting. The flavor is lots of peat smoke. Very intense, almost charcoal like flavor which hides any more subtle flavors that may or may not there. Medium-thick mouthfeel and light-medium carbonation. Overall I didn't care for the level of smokiness in this beer, but I am still glad I tried it.

Mora2000, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of heavy peat and earthy smoke backed by smooth roasted malts. Also present are hints of dark chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as well-integrated. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by heavy peat with a slight saltiness. Earthy smoke flavors come in midway through the sip and temper the peat. Very slight hints of semi-sweet chocolate come into play near the end of the sip before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I thought this beer suffered from the cask conditioning. The peat was allowed to shine a tad more but the body and overall complexity in the flavor profile was lessened. Still, worth a shot however you can get it.

glid02, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of jbphoto88
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch 15 bottle with a best by date of 08/08/10... I guess I missed it's freshness by six months. But since it's a stout and a 10% one, aged in whiskey barrels, I am sure the extra time in bottle won't hurt.

Then again maybe it will as the pour is unimpressive. The beer is dark brown with red in the deep end and yellow towards the highlights. The head is thin and not showy at all.

The nose is very distinct. The best description I can give is imagine pouring your favorite deepest, darkest stout into a glass and drinking it gone. Then fill that un-rinsed glass with some scotch and that's the nose of this beer. Heavy peated scotch wIth the muted stout in the distance. Personally I can't wait to try this beer. I'm as much of a fan of scotch as I am of beer and this is the best matchup since you got your peanut butter on my chocolate.

The nose might be all scotch but the taste sure isn't. In fact the only thing scotch-ish here is the peat flavor. The stout is muted compared to the smokiness of this brew. There isn't much dark toasty flavor and it's kind of overly smoked for my taste. This is more a campfire tasting beer then an oak aged stout.

The feel of this beer is my favorite part. It has a smooth and coating mouthfeel that really invades every square centimeter of your mouth. The carbonation is light and the body not to heavy or syrupish for an imperial stout. Alais it all comes back to taste and this one is poor. It tastes the same as sucking on a half burnt stick of oak (don't ask how I know that, just trust me.) That and it was $12 for one bottle! WTF? This is a novelty beer and I'm a sucker that fell for the buzz and hype around it. Pass it by.

jbphoto88, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of MeneerBeerSnob
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At Churchkey DC a cask poured into a snifter

A-Pours deep black with a thin finger of mocha colored head.

S-Scotch dominates the smell with hints of smoke and caramel.

T-Smooth and smoky scotch taste with notes of bitter coffee, caramel and malt.

M-Very little carbonation allows the smoky scotch envelop your taste buds.

O-Good stout, could be slightly more carbonated but the scotch flavor really brings it.

MeneerBeerSnob, May 12, 2012
Photo of LeoPanna
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle picked up @ Joe Canal's in Woodbridge NJ. Batch 015 and Best Before 19-08-16 marked on the bottle. I'm a little nervous about this one, i've never tried anything aged in a whiskey cask, not sure what to expect.

A: Beautiful *gulp gulp* sound as the liquid pours into the tulip. light brown before it hits the glass, pitch black as it fills up. Massive head, frothy like a root beer flaot... I love how it looks, just watching the head slowly dissipate.

S: Right out the bottle it smells like backyard bbq. It is just outright smoky. Wish I had more words for this one. Definitely feeling the wood and almost a coal smell as well... It's intense but interesting, not sure what to expect.

T:Whoa...Intense smoke flavor. Now I can taste the whiskey barrel. Burnt coal, beef brisket, smoked bbq sauce and whiskey with a stout texture and color. The aftertaste is the highlight. It's HUGE.. like taking a bite out of a slightly burnt bbq pork chop.

MF: Smooth on the tongue, slight carbonation but it disappears completely as soon as it slides down the tongue. Exactly what I expect in an imperial stout.

O: This is one hell of an adventurous beer. If you expect a typical Imperial Stout, you're gonna be disappointed. But if you remember that it's an intensly smoked stout aged in an Islay whiskey cask, you'll appreciate drinking this. I could definitely see myself trying this again with some Spicy BBQ meat. The only problem is it's too hard to finish! It's an interesting taste but not really a sipping beer, more of something to try a couple sips...The flavor is just too intense!

LeoPanna, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 bottle $11.99 ea. Batch 015 poured into a fat snifter.

Darkest shade of brown before you fade to black. A fast to rise brown tinted head, fizzes down pretty fast and has a mellow, aged look which correct here.

The malt has a very light sweetness in the aroma, light chocolate, smokey peat, musty-wet wood and herbs, old leather, dark tangy fruits, pretty damn complex.

The feel is rather light and thin bodied for a big stout, snappy at first and then really relaxes on the palate with gentle roastie chocolate sweetness and a musty, old-wood aroma...i'm thinking antique furniture. A dry, hoppy peanutbuttery and earthy effect gives this one much better balance than some of the other brewdog RIS I've had. This Paradox version is the very best so far in this reviewer's humble opinion. Aged flavor's such as older leather with a mild heat, tangy, but not hot. The flavor's seem to loosen up a bit with the aging process.

A lighter feel makes it pretty approachable but the complexity is sacrificed slightly as well. I was happy with this version.

GratefulBeerGuy, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Mar02x
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - A strong beige head on a pitch black beer.

S - Smoked oak and a slight whiskey scent - I don't like smoked malts.

T - It is hard to discover the smoked malts in this one. Their presence is not massive though. The beer is a bit sweet too, along with wood and whiskey tones.

M - Medium to soft carbonation with a bitter finish.

O - Not my favorite, actually I find it pretty bad. They say you have to get used to this taste, but I didn't stop smoking for nothing.

Mar02x, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours jet black. Aroma is wood is not attractive, its rather more like being in a wood store and not the freshest wood. Taste is medium. Not much in taste ratehr than a little whiskey. Finish is smoked peat.Sometimes some of the many attempts by Brewdog are overated.Boozy.

Sammy, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of mhenson42
5/5  rDev +35.1%

mhenson42, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 015, Best before 09/08/10, Pouted 5/10/2011
Served cooler than room temperature, tried to let it warm gradually.

An aggressive pour yields a thin head, but retains well with fine delicate lacing. Dark body with yellowy highlights.

Smell is powerful, with plenty of peat and malt. This is what Islay smells like, to put it concisely.

Taste is a ton of smoke. Straight up smoke, then some oaky flavor. There's the salt and iodine that you'd expect from an Islay scotch, and it's quite representative of the region.

Mouthfeel is thin... almost watery. This could really benefit from a creamier mouthfeel.

I hope you like scotch; the mouthfeel is thin enough that this is more like a dark, malty (watered down) scotch than a beer. Still quite nice.

zaphodchak, May 11, 2011
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another free one at their distributor's showcase. From what I've seen about the cose associated with these guys I'm glad I didn't have to pay.

Pours black with no head. Probably the least interesting part of this beer.

Smells of smoke, sweet malt, smoke, and a little more smoke. It's funny that quite a few smoked beers smell like artificial bacon dog treats. Thankfully this isn't one.

Tastes like smoke, in a good way. I would complain that the base beer is hidden, but the smoke is just too interesting. Smokiest beer I've ever had.

In the mouth it is thick, creamy, and has just enough carbonation not to be syrup.

This beer is a good sipper and would be great by a fire in the winter. If only we had winter in Florida.

RomaniIteDomum, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

jheezee, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of voetsek
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Dark Caramel, chocolate with nice head

S: Smoky, woody. From a car guy's point of view it's a combination of old gas and heavy greasy

T: Overwhelming taste of liquid smoke with smoky wooden aftertaste

I agree with RuudeJH.
Sniffing it is intriguing, tasting it is tough.

voetsek, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of beergorrilla
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

beergorrilla, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of beerFool28607
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

beerFool28607, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of nickhiller
4/5  rDev +8.1%

nickhiller, May 30, 2012
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BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead from BrewDog
82 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.