BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead - BrewDog
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Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
3.91/5 rDev +5.4%
11.2oz bottle. Pricey. Hoping it was worth the loot.
Batch #015. Best Before 08/08/1?. The '?' is either a '0' or a '6'.
Believe it or not, pours translucent dark brown with redder hues when held to the light. She looks almost black against an opaque surface, be sure of that. Carbonation is nearly gone. Elevated the pour to trap some gas. Letting it warm up for quite awhile. I still have bubbles clinging along the outside wall of the glass.
Intensely peaty whiskey cask note with that beefy Islay smoke. A skin of wood from the barrel, but mostly just a full-blown Scotch nose. Blends in with the malts, completely disguising any alcoholic strength. Roasty-sweet malts have thinned out, opening the door for the full effect of a smoky Scotch to take its grip on the nose. I can't exactly tell, but I don't think smoked malts were used; which is proving to be a very wise decision after determining what the barrels could do. There are hidden treats in the aroma in the forms of maple, rum raisin, cherry, and molasses. A Scotch-driven aroma, but I have no complaints in that department.
Ah, but the malts have thinned out a bit too much in the taste! This one still shows potential (or I missed out on its potential)--I can't tell. Direct Islay whiskey note from the cask-aging. Smoky peat is big, some dried-out brown sugar flavor, oak, cherry, raisin, and crème brûlée. The smoke could be accentuated more, as it was in the nose. What a savory beer! Not as tasty as I could have dreamt, but probably because it wasn't meant to keep this long.
The feel suffered the most. Thinner body, hardly any carbonation, a flat mouthfeel with strange lot of leftover dextrins. Lots of points lost here.
Despite the look and feel of this beer being quite sub-standard for the style and its reputation, this is an amazingly ambitious stout with excellent whiskey barrel character, authentic smokiness in the nose, and light fruit notes that probably came with age. It's going to take some serious self-control to not pony up the cash and grab one or two more bottles (even though I already know how South they might go). I can drink them in the nearest future, right?
01-23-2013 04:08:05 | More by thecheapies
2.61/5 rDev -29.6%
Batch 015 Bottled on 04/15/09
Pours black with almost no head. Just a ring around edges of glass. This ring dissappears within about 90 seconds.
Smell is heavy with smoke, peat and formaldehyde. Frankly this smells like Gross anatomy lab and sterile gauze. Not pleasant.
Taste is smoke, rancid peat and formaldehyde. I couldn't bring myself to shit on it in my numerical review because I probably just don't understand its character, but I can't finish it.
Mouthfeel is watery and without carbonation.
Overall this was terrible. Maybe my palate just hasn't matured enough for something like this.
01-19-2013 00:16:35 | More by TrappistJohnMD
3.2/5 rDev -13.7%
Pours thick and black with very little head, although it's still working on the sides. Hickory smoke and peat malt lazily dominate the aroma. There's alot of hint's to start bittery dryness, big malts then the smoke hits and all else disappears. The flavor is the same smooth easy malt then POW! Forest fire! Smoke in your clothes and you can never shake it. This is a beer crushed under the weight of it's ambition.
01-13-2013 03:22:11 | More by templar316
3.43/5 rDev -7.5%
On tap at Two Stone Pub in Newark, DE.
A-dark brown with a thin sticky tan head
S-very smokey. Smokey like charcoal smoke though, not bonfire. That's all I get. Strong scent
T-comes in with a warm taste of alcohol and burnt charcoal. All other flavors are more or less muted. Has a long lasting flavor. Very simple taste. Not exactly friendly.
M-low carbonation with an almost watery finish
O-out of the many smokey beers I've had, this is one of the most pointless. It's not even the right kind of smoke flavor. Tastes like an artificial fire rather than a natural one. On the other hand, it does remind me of a fine whiskey. I do like that aspect. Eh, not really worth a try I'd say.
11-19-2012 22:20:56 | More by AdamBear
3.88/5 rDev +4.6%
Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours pitch black with only a hint of a head, ending with a thin ring around the glass and occasional bubbles surfacing. Aroma is dominated by Scotch; whiskey and peat, smokey, with a hint of dark roasted malt in the background. Flavor follows with immediate Scotch whisky and smoke supported by sweet toasted malt. Finishes as a smoked beer should with a campfire smokiness, with wet wood and oak. The high ABV is well covered by the flavor. Medium bodied, a little light for an Imperial stout and the lack of carbonation detracts from the overall mouth feel. Still, the flavors are great for a smoked stout and this was an enjoyable beer.
10-05-2012 03:12:05 | More by LiquidAmber
3.48/5 rDev -6.2%
BB appears to be 09/08/10.. or is that a 16? 10 seems early.
Beer is black. A vigorous pour results in a smallish, frothy tan head. Fades quickly to some bubbles.
Smoky, peaty. Smells like diluted Islay whisky.
Taste is quite smoky, along with a fair bit of oak. Some peat. The base beer doesn't seem to come through a lot. The standard stout flavours are muted. Some anise, caramel and a bit of chocolate. Smoke really takes over.
Body is very disappointing. Bizarrely thin, moderate carbonation. Does not work at all.
Overall, not impressed. Pretty weak stuff- and this comes from somebody who really likes Islay malts.
09-15-2012 03:18:44 | More by jrenihan
4.05/5 rDev +9.2%
I am very excited to try this glass after my sublime tasting of Paradox Isle of Arran, which is essentially the same beer, just aged in smokey casks instead of barrels. The beer pours like the darkest night with a light, tan, half a fingers width head that bursts away swiftly to leave a sloppy ring round the glass reminiscent of curdled milk. This beer is all kinds of black and opaque though, much like the Isle of Arran, it looks lovely for a cask aged beer, with little to no carbonation present. The beer is also quite pungent, sending out wafts even as it sits across the table from me in a traditional pint glass (Batman style). The smell is thick and syrupy with chocolate like Isle of Arran’s, giving the nose a sticky sense but there is also a tremendous roasted wood smell and a very pungent heavy alcohol odor present that work their way into the smell as the glass levels out after agitation. This is nothing like a normal smoked ale smell by my account, instead reminding me more of flavored wood burning, or a smoker as salmon is being laid out on it, I am really intrigued by this smell. The beer’s taste follows suit with smoke overpowering the drink with a great heavy char flavor that is very much reminding me of burning hickory woodchips. This beer is very much a smoked salmon beer to me, with the hickory woodchip flavor lending to a saltier feel in the middle of the beer, and a ghost of that salt lingering in the aftertaste which are reminiscent of a salmon's brine. There is a slight sweet chocolate malt taste in the initial sip of this beer and some slight cloying alcohol bite, but these are swiftly eaten up by the wonderful smoked hickory wood flavor. This is definitely a sipping beer, meant for a lovely snifter and a light sipping evening more so than pub knock-backer and a get-fucked-up-night, though the beers 10% could definitely help you reach that state. Mouthfeel is again oozing, thick, and syrupy but the after taste is slick with saliva and tingling like you’ve just breathed in a campfire. The aftertaste is really heavy with the hickory campfire taste which is cool at first, but takes its time in leaving and gets a little heavy on the tongue. Overall, this is a very interesting experience as far as smoked beers go. I think this beer would pare really well with a Gouda cheese and some supple fish meat. This isn’t as good as the Isle of Arran variant of Paradox, but it is still a very intriguing beer that is especially worth a sip for smoked beer lovers and is also worth one for just beer lovers, especially since it is a retired beer. The crazy Scots have done it again! I’m happy to have tried it, but I don’t know if I will be going back for more.
07-29-2012 21:52:24 | More by Maxwell
District of Columbia
3.73/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
05-12-2012 22:50:01 | More by MeneerBeerSnob
3.63/5 rDev -2.2%
I poured the beer vigorously from 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. The beer is very black with a mocha colored head. I got about a quarter inch of head that that quickly dissipated into a thin layer on top with some lacing around the edges.
I smell lots of Whiskey initially but the smell changes to Robitussin as it warms.
My first sip was on the cooler side and was filled with Whiskey which was then immediately followed by wood. It is like chewing a charred wood. As it warmed I could no longer taste the whiskey and the smoke also started to subdue. I am getting roasted coffee bitterness and hints of toffee and caramel the longer the beer sits. It is now completely room temperature and this is where it tastes best. The bottle specifically says to serve at room temperature but I decided to chill to about 45 and then sample as it warmed.
The beer is a little thin with low carbonation which is just how I like my big stouts.
Batch 015 – Bottled 8/15/09
I couldn’t pass it up when I found it in a bottle shop and saw the bottled on date. It was good but certainly not the best stout I have ever had.
05-01-2012 02:43:18 | More by bvdubn
BrewDog Paradox Smokehead (Batch 015) - Smokehead from BrewDog
84 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.