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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.

249 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 163
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead Alström Bros
Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle, at Olympen, Oslo. ABV was 10%. Imperial stout matured in Islay whisky casks. Black colour, dark ruby in the highlights, low tan head. Moderate carbonation. Intense peaty and smoky aroma, distinct notes of Islay whisky, tar, shore-washed seaweed and salty seas. Very salty, peaty and ashy flavour, with a solid roastiness and a moderate sweetness. The bitterness is fairly moderate though, compared to this beer's other extreme qualities.

Sigmund, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of washingtonydc
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many Europeans shorthand the USA to a land of cowboys and Indians--and maybe they have a point, because what could be more American than cowboys? The sprawling country, the lonesome figure, and the smoke drifting up from a campfire. Maybe Brewdog had this image in mind because this beer lives up to that ideal--it's a rustling, meaty, smoky endeavor.

The Paradox Smokehead was poured from a cask into a snifter, filling the glass with a deep ruby-black--a color alone that conjures up thoughts of charred wood-- but practically no head. Even so, it offered an impressive aroma of meaty smoke and worn leather. If Pavlov's bell induces saliva, then this is the taste that is conjured up when hearing the score of Ennio Morricone--with its smoke and leather, it tastes like the Wild West, like Clint Eastwood chomping on the last bit of a cigar under a blazing sun. It's soothing, then, when it fades into a subtle, pleasing coffee finish. The cask offers little in the way of carbonation, but the brew is still full-bodied and smooth.

A tip of the stetson to the Scots--this is an enjoyable, serious, beer that may have sprung from the British Isles, but seems to have its heart in the West.

washingtonydc, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at a local beer bar. Beer is served in a snifter. Beer is brown and has no head. No carbonation to speak of, no lacing.

Aroma is quite hickory, almost smoked ham like. Very interesting.

Beer is strong on the palate, like a strong rauchbier. Its not just smoke there are some sweet malt notes and some alcohol but nothing too special. The smoke is clearly the star. Pretty interesting.

drabmuh, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of Exiled
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(11.2oz Bottle)

Thanks to Mora2000 for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown almost black with little to no head. Smell is smoke, wood, caramel malt, and peaty scotch. Taste is like smokey charcoal, caramel malt, and peaty scotch. Full mouthfeel, low carbonation. Overall, I dont like smokey beers, and this was way over the top smokey for me.

Exiled, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of beeragent
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured a dark redish brown, forming a 1 inch tan head with medium spots of lace on the glass.

S - Strong smoked malt aroma completely dominates the nose on this one. For me, I couldnt detect any other notes of aroma aside from the smoke. Maybe a hint of roasted malts are infused with the smoke aroma, but I could be wrong.

T - The taste of smoked and roasted malts coat the palate completely, not allowing any other flavors to form. There is a faint taste of whiskey in the finish, however no other barrel qualities really shine through on this one. However the taste is defintely warming from the abv.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation (low) for the style. Smooth mouthfeel.

D - From the point of view of this being a smoked beer, I absolutely loved it!!! I love any smoked beers and this one was defintely over the top in smokiness. With that said, from the stout standpoint, I felt the smoke was way too strong, obscuring any of the other flavors that could have made this a great stout. Great beer overall, but due to the high price of this one, along with the obscured flavors associated with it, I doubt I'll be having too many more of these in the future.

beeragent, May 27, 2010
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 dwilson01
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml into my arrogant bastard pint glass,

Oil pitch black, very minimal head a dark coppery brown color quickly dissipates with minimal lacing, some bubbles slowly rise to the surface.

Smell is completely new to me, I have never smelled a beer like this before! It's very woody, a dark mahogany which is combined with an intense smoked scent that although isn't burning, it reminds me of wood glue and old used motor oil. As I keep smelling it over and over I am getting more malty undertones as well, smoked and chocolatey, some sweetness although subdued.

The taste took a sip to adjust to but it's very organic and earthy. Wood flavors, smokiness which is not characteristic of barrel aged beers i've had before. I definitely pick up a harder alcohol kick but it's so subtle due to the sweeter malty aftertaste. No hop flavors detected but I get walnuts and chocolate, molasses, tree bark from a dead rotting one in a damp forest with moss growing on it.

The mouthfeel is so smooth, it slides down thick but dangerously easy. The alcohol kick is in the mid-taste and doesn't linger in the throat like a barleywine does. Gotta go high on this one, I like it.

Very drinkable to be sure, thick as hell but to reiterate myself it goes down easy. Bottom line, I love new stuff and this definitely struck my palate with some new flavors I hadn't experienced before. This is something I will be trying again for sure.

dwilson01, May 11, 2010
Photo of IKHOURY
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beers pours out a dark brown almost black color. The head quickly disappears.

I absolutely love the smell on this beer, but i also love peaty islay scotches. The smell reminds me of a campfire on a beach, with the peaty campfire smoke, wet wood, and leather aromas. A very comlex smell.

The complex aromas are a little subdued on the palate. The whiskey barrel influences comes though on the nose more so then the palate. Tons of different flavors in this beer, but none really stand out in front. I get smoke, bitter chocolate, dried fruits, coffee, malt,a little bit of seaweed in the background.

The 10% alcohol hides itself very well

IKHOURY, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - an opaque brew, very light head formation. Some swirly coverage on top, a thin but complete collar, and some swoops and dots of lace on the glass.

Aroma - I can smell this prior to opening the bottle. The cap has an unmistakeable smokiness to it. Dark sweetened malts and huge smokiness are the first impressions from the glass. Settles down to a sweet peaty aroma.

Taste - the malts start out sweetly, some dark roast making its way through. The smoke is on this thing right now and in force. Comes into its own after 5 or 6 sips. Then, some chocolate emerges, more like cocoa really. The Islay effect is like Liquid Smoke at first but it subsides and ends up playing off the sweetness quite well. The swallow brings in some roasty drying and balances out the intense flavors.

Mouthfeel - doesn't have the full on body of a double, and the carbonation is on the flatter side, making this feel that much thinner. It holds its own, though.

Drinkability - $1 an ounce is a pricy pick, but this was pretty good. A re-buy would not be out of the question, but I'd prefer to split one of these.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 19, 2010
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 beertunes
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. The beer poured a deep mahogany color, not at all black as expected from a stout, with some reddish tint at the edges. The beer had barely any head at all and no retention.

The aroma was pure smoke, I didn't even notice any peatiness behind the smoke, and just a hint of malt in the deep background. The taste was very good, but again, all smoke. On about the sixth sip I could start to pick a little bit of malt taste and there was a bit of a tang on the finish that could have come from some hops. Much like the in the aroma, I didn't get much, if any, peat out of this.

The body was thin for a stout, although enjoyable. Drinkability is very much going to depend on your tolerance for the smoke. Personally I probably wouldn't have 2 in a row, but I'll certainly have this beer again.

Overall, a quite enjoyable brew, even if it doesn't quite fit it's style. Certainly worth your time.

beertunes, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Almost as dark as dark can get. The head is a nice tan color and films along the entire surface for the entire ride

S- I dunno what it is, but something smells like permanent marker and formaldehyde. Not particularly inviting. Smells more like wood-smoke and sweet raisons as it warms up

T- I really like the burnt wood flavor here. Reminds me of a campfire with sweet barbecue sauce burning sticky sweet. Coffee-like, roasted aftertaste

M- Sticky like barbecue sauce and lightly carbonated for maximum flavor

D- I was hoping this would be something more sweet for my nightcap but ended up with something terribly unique. The smoke flavor is odd, but I happen to be a bit of a pyromaniac.

EnojysAnyBeer, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of nriech
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Woah, you had better like your peaty Scotches if you drink this beer. Dark with little to no head. The aromas of the peaty and wood are extremely strong. I almost like the smell more than the taste which was very strong. Definately a sharing beer. The alcohol is well hidden. Tastes like someone droped extract of Scotch into a dry stout. All the flavors you would expect from something like an Ardbeg are present. Aye lassie, its a contradiction like a Scottish Korean.

nriech, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of erosier
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep brown/black color with almost no head, just a slight tan colored ring around the head. I guess a little head would have been nice (though isn't that always the case?)
S: Smells of sweet roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, coffee, and a huge smokey whiskey aroma to it at the end that eventually takes over the nose.
T: Tastes of big smokey malts with hints of a good whiskey, nice caramel and chocolate malts finishing with more smoke and whiskey.
M: Very smooth, warming, lighter bodied than I would have expected, needed some carbonation as this one had none.
D: Very drinkable surprisingly for the amount of alcohol and the amount of smoke and whiskey flavors in it.

erosier, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of champ103
2.3/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours nearly opaque black. On a vigorous poor, a two finger tan head forms, and gently recedes to a ring. Some lace is left behind.
S: Smoke, tobacco, ash, rubber, sweet malt. Chocolate and coffee linger. Dry wood.
T: An overdone tobacco and rubber taste. Plenty of smoke, and dry moldy wood.
M/D: A medium body that is low on the carbonation. Just a little on the thin side for an Imperial Stout. Tons of alcohol, and the tobacco flavor makes this really hard to drink. I am struggling after a few sips.

Another high priced let down from BrewDog. I really wanted to like this, but I just can't get past the tobacco, ash and rubber flavor that I get in a lot of their beers. I would not recommend this.

champ103, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of femALEist
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured black with a tint of red. This smelled like TONS of tobacco, tons of smoke, scotch and a lot of alcohol. It tasted like malt but with a good balance of smoked tobacco. It tasted like I was drinking tobacco mixed with scotch. Like a glass full of scotch leftover from a party that someone ashed their cigarettes in. That may be your thing, don't get me wrong. I am not saying this is a bad beer; however, scotch isn't my thing, so it's just not for me. BUT if you do like scotch, this one may be interesting for you to try.

femALEist, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice barrel aged stout with an assertive whisky driven smoky and peaty profile.

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle. Black and gold label design with standard Brew Dog design. One liner describes the main characteristics of the style. Tags cloud style section on the side offer a rambling description, followed by a small paragraph noting intent, and serving suggestion. Notes batch number (015) and best before date (13/05/11). Shows Alc. by Vol. (10%) Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with a short head, minimañ retention and lacing with some surface memory.

S - Tremendous smoky range, whisky, peat, and a malty sense.

T - Malty stout range with nice whisky notes, with a nice floating sense of Islay smoked work.

M - Medium to full body with an adequate and minimally tingling carbonation. Smooth finish.

D - Nice sipper, one needs to be attracted by the heavy Islay smoked profile to really enjoy this one though.

Notes: It´s a nice brew and with offerings like this I begin to understand, or even justify some of the hype. The smell is rather spectacular, the flavor initially feels a bit shit and the body a bit thin for this brew, but actually with the smoked predominance both seem to be about right to hold the brew attractively until the end... A rather nicely crafted long range.

Daniellobo, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of Dentist666
4.72/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours opaque, almost black beer without head, only some bubbles on the surface. Outstanding aroma of peat whisky, coffee, smoke and drugstore's phenol. Taste is peaty, chocolate, slightly bitter, dry, alcohol well hidden. Owing to cask-maturing, wood is easy distinguished in taste. More than moderate carbonation. Very drinkable beer, lukewarm liquid with hot embrace. Unique kind of beer from recent weird brewery.

Dentist666, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Lupin
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at probably 60F.

Hmm.. This one really reeks like a bottle of port ellen or something. That Islay fervor is dominant. No head, a tiny little bit of lacing. Opaque, damn near black!

First impressions thankfully do not call to mind a rauchbier.. It's more of a matchstick flavor. Sweet mouthfeel is good, taste is somewhat smoky but the scent dominates, perhaps too much when sipped in small quanitities(lingering on and after the exhale). Definitely a unique pour, very similar to the ola dubh's on the surface, but a lot peatier--but only in the nose. An interesting diversion, might work with a cigar, but I doubt it.

Lupin, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a nigh-obsidian with no true head to speak of. The nose kicks off with a healthy dose of smoke, with all else in the background, submissive: toasted malts, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of booze. The taste begins with the usual imperial stout flavors, like coffee, vanilla, and dark malts, but then the smoke kicks in, bringing an extra level of complexity to the proceedings. The smoke goes from BBQ grill to roasted bratwurst to a lighter caramel flavor. Though the body is sonewhat heavy, it is incredibly smooth. This helps keep the drinkability fairly high, despite the best efforts from the ABV and the smoke, which tries its best, in vain, to dominate the stage. Instead, a delightful complexity exists.

TMoney2591, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of winegourmet76
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Chris Campagna for bringing this one for us to taste at the BA La Muerta bottle release day.
This bottle had been open for up to twelve hrs, so a scant bit of carbonation remained.

The color was a deep, rich brown.

On the nose, smoke and petrol, not much else.
The taste was all smoke, like liquid smoke in a bottle with a touch of heat from the alcohol.

To me, the mouthfeel was the best part. It was rich but not too heavy. I had been dissapointed with Dogma's mouthfeel, so was pleasantly surprised with this one.

I am not sure that I would buy this on my own, unless I was planning on mixing it with another brew. The smoke is so pronounced that it would add a nice layer of smoke to any IPA or perhaps an RIS.

winegourmet76, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of caddyshack199
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brew Dog Paradox Smokehead

A- dark pour with a dark brown head.
H- poured vigorously into a duvel bell glass resulting in a short
lived dark brown head.
N-smells like a peaty scotch. Not much else.
T-reminds me of the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier but instead of a
campfire it's a peat bomb. Also much darker.
I- another wierd beer from the beer guys at brew dog.
$12.99 bottle at staples corner liquors, Crofton Md

caddyshack199, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of stcules
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black in color, with an evanescent foam.
Smell: well, delicate is not the right word here. Strong, intense, a kick in the face of peat, whisky, with a background of dark malts, and a light roasted, and some saltish note.
Good taste. Peated, saltish, a lot, with vanilla notes, roasted. Full and intense, without compromises. Then hazelnut, dry fruit.
Vigorous aftertaste, again saltish and peat overall.
Structured body, alchol well hidden.
A perfect pairing with dark chocolate.

stcules, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 03/08/10. Huh? for a RIS?

A: bottle opened with a slight CO2 release - almost a still beer with just a whisper of carbonation - opaque
S: probably one of the more unusual noses with a dominating Islay Lagavulin-type, peaty backbone
T: to a lover of Islays (Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Uigeadail, etc.) this is a phenomenal beer, a marriage between two of my great loves (big ballsy beers and Islays), peaty, smokey, but with a subdued alcohol bite and well-balanced malt backbone, well-done
M/D: very good, highly drinkable for alcohol content, almost like a single malt with tons of malt and a lot less alcohol!

wisrarebeer, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of KTCamm
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours jet black, no foam. Like a syrup - not that it is thick, but completely devoid of any carbonating bubbles. Thick.

Heavy duty whiskey smell, not lending a hand to the beer, completely overtaking it. Peat moss mixed in there, and quite smoky. Musty/earthy.

Stout like taste that blends nicely with the whisky flavor - at first. Heavy alcohol finish. Over time grows to be more of a whiskey aged in beer barrel.

Virtually no carbonation in the mouth.

Interesting concept and a fun new thing to sip on, but can't imagine having more than one.

KTCamm, Jan 30, 2010
BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead from BrewDog
84 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.