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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
84
good

249 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(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 jonnyprime
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: poured into a sniffer. Very dark and opaque with little to no head. No lacing at all.
S: strong almost overwhelming smoke and peat. Had a hard time even getting my nose close to the glass.
T: same as the smell. I'm usually a fan of smoked beers and I do love my scotches and whiskeys but this was too much. No imperial stout qualities what so ever. If I wanted to drink a big snifter of scotch, Id pour a snifter of scotch.
M: thin and watery. Not what you'd expect from the style.
D: I'm glad I tried it but one of very few I couldn't finish. Woke up this morning with half the glass still sitting on the coffee table.

jonnyprime, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of Hautacam
1.83/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Practically no head on this blackish brew.
The smell is very, very smokey and loaded with phenol. The smell of scotch, especially the alcohol, comes through.
Taste ? A complete mess. Way too much smoke, way too much phenol, way too much whiskey.
It tastes like an over smoked ( campfire, a previous reviewer remarked) thin bodied porter, that has a shot of an Islay Scotch in it....and a few drops of liquid smoke....did I mention the smoke ? Nothing connects; it's all just In your Face harsh....each separate flavor is overdone.
I really like smoked beers and I really like single malts, so I thought I would like this a lot...and it was a gift.
A drainpour...really, I know this is not cheap, but I found it undrinkable.
I like what Brewdog is doing, so I will keep trying their beers, but this one sucked.

Hautacam, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Beer Engine's Wood Aged Beer Festival.

Pours a dark black, no head at all.

Smells like a campfire. Not typical rauch smell, this is burnt but works somehow.

Tastes like smoke from a campfire. Crazy beer, waay intense. Can see how someone wouldn't like this, but it's well done just not a taste I'm sure was worth persuing. Perhaps a cigar would help.

Mouthfeel was good for a cask beer. Nice gravity.

Drinkability was good but def. a 1 and done.

jampics2, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Dodo2step
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P- Barley's and Hops in Pittsburgh

A- Motor oil black with minimal head. no lacing and opaque.

S- pungent whiskey smell with a charred ending.

T- strong whiskey flavor with a smokey and charred tang as well.

M-Whiskey permeates the mouth. If i blew on a match i could shoot flames.

D-a sipper and not something to chug. Powerful on the whiskey. Not for me but good otherwise as for the style.

Dodo2step, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of wd40
2.23/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Appearance consisted of a pitch black color with no head. Were there some foam or lace left on the glass I would have rated the beer higher. The smell had a distinct chemical/medicinal quality to it. A friend of mine smelled it and said it reminded him of turpentine! His wife said it smelled of nail polish. I smelled smoke with a generic chemical quality. The taste had a hint of underlying maltiness but was totally overpowered by what I imagine the ashes of a bonfire taste like. I understand the concept of incorporating smokiness into the beer, but it totally overpowered the taste. There was no subtle interplay between imperial stout and smoke, there was just smoke with a hint of some generic dark beer underneath. The mouthfeel was thin and watery, not thick and creamy like I would expect from an imperial stout. This is one of the very few beers I could not finish. I understand that it is a special beer, and I respect the concept of combining whiskey barrels with beer and imparting some of the flavor into the beer, but there should be some underlying imperial stout foundation in the taste and there's not. Maybe I got the bottom of the keg or something, but I can't recommend this beer.

wd40, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of elniko
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch #15, poured from bottle into goblet glass.

A: Dark opaque black with thin tan head. Nice lacing apparent, good looking brew.

S: Wowzers, what a nose. Ridiculously peaty and mossy, unbelievable. Almost a little on the chemical side but still quite interesting.

T & M: Malt dominate with the smoky, peaty qualities coming through. A little licorice apparent as well. Strong, full bodied. Just ridiculous.

D: No way I could drink more than one bottle, glad I split the bottle that I had. So happy that I lucked into this bottle.

elniko, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Kaiser81
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on cask @ O'Brien's on 1/8/10. 10 oz pour.

A - Pitch black with a half a finger head. No lacing of note left on my glass

S - Holy booze batman! Strong scotch and smokey smell. There are heavy oak notes present too.

T - SCOTCH!!!, then lots of vanilla, and oak notes. There is bittersweet chocolate notes that come out as the taste lingers on your tongue. however, the vanilla comes back and finishes the lingering effect.
My friend commented that "This is a mixed drink!"

M - heavy and chewy with low carbonation

D - This is definitely a sipper, and the alcohol will knock you on your butt

Kaiser81, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

part 4 in a series.

i do appreciate the consistency in the pour. a black with ruby lights and a minimalistic head. a very rare steak on the plate. a challenge at the ready. very peaty with strong vanilla and roasty aromas and flavors. alcohol actually a little more forward by way of the peatiness, making this a bit spicier in that regard. not extremely thick, but i feel with the smokiness, makes this beer more easily quaffable. again, very nice.
please serve with very rare steak, root roast, and kale/mushroom sautee.

olympuszymurgus, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of beavers
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A huge thanks to Crittervision for this (one of the many great beers he packaged up as a wedding gift).

a: Pours a ruby dark brown out of the botlle and turns to a richer opaque brown nearing black as it collects into a Duvel Tulip. Produced is a creamy tan head that has dark brown rings around the edges with each swirl.

s: Potent charred wood, liquid smoke, peaty earth, burnt sugar cane. Faint cola, bitter chocolate and rum cherries that are absolutely swallowed by the thick char aroma.

t: Smoky peaty earth brings an initial tang followed by a strong roasty charcoal bitterness and a bit of a metallic finish. Slight burnt sugar sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

m: Rather thin for a 10% RIS...especially one with such rich flavor. Low carbonation.

d: Smoky charred flavor dominates this beer to the point where it overwhelms some potential subtle flavors. Therefore this is a somewhat one-dimensional beer that gets tough to finish when your drinking smoke (even though the alcohol is well hidden).

A very fun beer to drink, full of rich ass flavor.

beavers, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of ChrisCage
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Gave this a hard pour and it didn't really produce more than a thin film that disappeared. It is tar black in color....not a chance of seeing through this one. The carbonation appears to be fine and the body appears to be viscous. There isn't really any lacing.

S- The aroma of this one is dominated by a smoky, peat filled whisky. There is also undertones of unsweetened chocolate (chocolate malts), burnt wood and alcohol.

T- Very peaty, smoky, but with a somewhat sweet malt flavor lying underneath, that resembles blackstrap molasses. It is very rich, with the notes of bourbon and peated Scotch coming through. The finish is of char and decent hop bitterness.

M- This is one smooth brew! The carbonation is very muted and what bubbles there are, are very fine and don't sting the palate. The alcohol is very well hidden I find and the body is full, leaving the full effect of the peated whisky character. I tried a taste of this like I do Tequila, and the smokiness really comes out once you breathe out of your mouth.

D- Great beer, but one is enough for me. The rich flavor and dryness of this really is a pleasure to drink. This is most definitely a sipping beer and I highly recommend this with an aged cheddar, as I enjoyed this with a 6yr old white and they go magnificently together.

ChrisCage, Jan 04, 2010
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 Urbancaver
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Rookwood Pub in Cincinnati. Not positive it was batch 15 but I'm about 95% that it is...

Appearance- Very dark with a thick brownish head that sticks with it for quite a while. Can barely even look at it without the smokiness already hitting me so..

Aroma- Campfire... earthy undertones with a hint of what I can only describe as motor oil... but not in a bad sense. Just potent and almost a bit overpowering

Taste- Deep dark roasted malt flavour with a surprisingly smooth smokiness considering the aroma. Can definitely taste the earthy/peat coming through and a hint of some hops are barely detectable. The alcohol is also quite apparent on this one which at 10% is no surprise.

Mouthfeel- A bit oily and thick for my taste. The slickness of it combined with the smell conjure up images of a car leaking thick black oil which is not the most appealing image.

Drinkability- One sip at a time... the beer mellows a bit after the first few drinks but the smokiness starts to stand out a bit too much. The perfect balance of flavours occurred about 5-10 sips in and by the time I could see the bottom of the snifter I was glad this was only a 10 oz pour.

Overall, very tasty but not quite the balance I would like to see... The complexity was surprising given how overpowering the smokiness is initially but in the end the smoke wins out and overpowers the other flavours leaving the beer lacking at the end...

Urbancaver, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of zoso493
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one sitting in the "cellar" for awhile now and haven't gotten around to drinking it until today, my last day in Europe for awhile. Hope this is a good one. Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: When you open the bottle, you hardly get a hiss from the carbonation, which in this beer I'm assuming is purposeful. Even the most vigorous of pours can only produce a minuscule head that is all bubbles and last for maybe 10 seconds. Other than that, the color is a deep coffee color that lets absolutely no light through.

Smell: I actually blurted out, "holy shit" when I first stuck my nose in this one. Unlike any beer I've ever smelled, and that includes other beers in the Paradox line. Smells like the smokiest single malt. Also smells just like a nice Romeo y Julieta cigar. Unfortunately, it also has a bit of a scent of old shoes in there somewhere.

Taste: The taste is not as overpowering as perhaps the scent is. It does mirror the smell pretty closely, however. Tastes just like an old, smoky, peaty Scotch whiskey mixed with a Cuban cigar, which anyone who has had either of those vices will tell you is a good thing. I've had a lot of barrel-aged beers but not one that was aged in a barrel of something so smoky, and this retains the flavor beautifully. Very unique beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a little bit thinner than I'd like in a beer of this variety. The thinness is also surprising given the total lack of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a sipper for sure. Not a really high beer in terms of ABV at 10%, but the taste necessitates that you give this one its due time in finishing.

Overall, this is a really nice beer that probably got a lower score than it deserved from me because of the mouthfeel and drinkability. I've never had a beer quite like it and would definitely recommend it to anyone because of its uniqueness. If you like cigars and whiskey, it is imperative that you try this beer.

zoso493, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Man, you really got to lik'em smokey. It's much like drinking a lit cigar.

A base beer that straddles the definitions of Stout and Scottish Ales lead to medium roast qualities of highly kilned malts, coffees, and caramel. These a absolutely swamped by the more earthy, peaty, dirty aromas and flavors of Scottish Ale proportions.

The whisky barrels bring on a thinning booze quality that kills the head and body. Those barrels also bring about a smoke flavor and smell that are as intimidating as intriquing. Very rich with smoke, tannin woods, Scotch whisky, and a tawny vinous quality just in case the beer lacked a bit of complexity otherwise.

Ester fruits of burnt currants, dates, prunes, and raisons also decorate the edges. No doubt this beer is as big and complex as they come. It's just so powerful on the whisky and smoke that the beer is difficult to drink even from the very first sip.

BEERchitect, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of WesWes
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thin tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a basic patent/chocolate malt scent along with a charcoal/smokey aroma. There is a mild whiskey character, but the overwhelming aroma is of burnt wood. The taste is decent. It has a smooth stout flavor that's more sweet than earthy. It's got a burnt wood taste that really sticks out in the finish. It's like stirring an IS with a piece of coal. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer. I wouldn't call it good, but it's a unique drinking experience.

WesWes, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

batch 15 bb31/02/11 downed on july23 2009

A quite dark but not quite jet black, the thick head sits heavy for a few sips and just falls leaving a fair amount of lace

S leave it to the Scots to come up with a crazy beer idea and make it work, smoke, earth and booze unlike anything I've put my nose too

T as it smells but I pick up on the whiskey and licorice comes too mind while tasting

M/D not as thick as the color would suggest but not bad overall

had I drank this during the winter it would have gone down a bit smoother. you gotta love the rants on the bottle and I'm left wondering what will they think of next

wordemupg, Nov 24, 2009
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 deathdealer666
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served in a goblet.

It pours pretty thin. An extremely dark brown with a small tan head that was gone before it was ever there. It smells like grandpa, scotch and old cigarettes. The taste is superb. Great peat character with a good amount of hop. Very smooth and creamy. The scotch maturation really mellows out the beer nicely. And I would never guess just from drinking it this beer is 10%. with the smoke and peat and everything else your only having one of these. That's good too cause it's pretty expensive.

deathdealer666, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask at Stone Brewing Co. in snifter

Pours a jet black with a creamy brown froth & good lacing. The nose is dominated by tons of smoke followed by bitter coffee beans, smoked gouda, smoked bacon, black licorice, charcoal, oak, peat, subtle molasses, chicory, easy cinnamon, & soft tobacco aromas. There is good weight on the palate with good carbonation & long finish. Overall, an awesome beer that should definitely go either with a cigar or with food. Still, this is an extremely smooth beer (especially for 10% abv)that adds to it's drinkability. However, the smokey element is wonderful, but a bit overpowering on the palate...again, if complimented with food, would be absolutely wonderful!

BevMoAndrew, Nov 15, 2009
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 sweemzander
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoy by 11-11-10 printed on the label.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color that produces a lot of tan bubbles that dissipate almost immediately. Man, this is thick stuff!

(S)- Tons of smokiness that is really peaty(salty) and has a hickory wood nuance within the smoke. In fact, hickory does not quite cover it, there is also some oak wood within it too. A little minerality to it.

(T)- Very dry up front with a strong wood smokiness that turns almost sweet, almost salty at the same time. The whiskey from the cask creates that minerality that was found in the smell comes through in the taste as well which combines well with that oak wood smoke. Very light hop presence, but is pretty much subdued out by the smokiness and sweet/salty combination.

(M)- I was expecting a monster of flavors that were going to just tear apart my palate, but this is actually kinda delicate. Its definitely not light-bodied, but has many dimensions to it that really keeps you guessing. Good carbonation level. Not really harsh in anyway, although the amount of smokiness is really extremely potent. The 10% abv is integrated well, the only hint of it is when you taste the whiskey barrel presence within is layers.

(D)- What a strange beer! The smokiness is really different to experience and enjoy. The whiskey cask(s) this was stored in really gives it a nice but strong edge that is really unique; its like they bottled the Scotland coastline in liquid form. Brewdog has my attention with this one! My only complaint is how incredibly smoky this is, if that was toned down, you could really decipher some to most of what nuances this beer really has if to offer if that were the case.

sweemzander, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 9/18/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks for opening this, Torry. The beer appears black but is actually just very dark brown when held to the light. The small light brown head is bubbly and disappears quickly.

The aroma is chalky, smoky, and peaty. The smokiness is almost bacon-like. There's a touch of roastiness and some chocolate.

The beer opens up with chocolate which quickly segues into peat then into apple wood smoked bacon. I can't help but think of beachwood, as well. The smoke and peat are amplified in the finish. This tastes pretty interesting.

The beer is light full bodied with medium carbonation and a somewhat thin mouthfeel. Interesting stuff, though I wouldn't ever buy it myself at the ridiculous retail price.

HopHead84, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of BierBreath305
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at The Pub in Pembroke Pines. Before she brought it to me the waitress asked me if I liked whisky because it was very smokey and whisky-like, then she brought me sample to make sure I could handle it.

This is not a review from memory, only a heads-up to those who might try it. Be advised that this is not an Imperial Stout as this beer advocate page states. The only thing this brew has in common with a RIS is the color. This is whisky water. Black and somewhat thin with minimal khaki head, this is not anything like a stout. The taste is predominantly of smoke, hickory or mesquite, I'm not sure, but it is a woodsy smoke taste and texture with strong alcohol following behind. There is more to it, like roasted malts and all that, be they are secondary behind the smokiness.

I had it with some kind of whisky/chocolate cheesecake and it paired wonderfully, but by itself it needs to be reckoned with as it is nothing like any regular beer out there.

One must be a whisky lover to try this and be in a whisky type of mood to be able to enjoy the whole glass. Beware and enjoy, for this brew is something different.

BierBreath305, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of ADZA
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a jet black colour with hardly any carbonation that leaves a fast vannishing half finger head and no lacing whatsoever,it has aromas of strong wooden oaked whiskey and smoked malts,it has an above average mouthfeel with tastes of smoked malts,caramel and liquorice first followed by the smokey heat of a whiskey finish,not a bad beer and a very interesting approach but in saying that i couldnt drink all night and have had better.

ADZA, Sep 20, 2009
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
BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead from BrewDog
84 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.