BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 | BrewDog

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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987

Brewed by:
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Wildman on 03-24-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 55
Photo of mentor
2.42/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Took a chance on a $10 12 oz bottle and got burned. Pours a thin layer of brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells alcohol strong with some rubbing character. Chocolate, vegetal. Earthy tannic onions smoke.

Tastes smoky, alcohol clean, dry wood. Thin and simple. Disappoint for $10. Chocolate, low esters, and no hops. Tannins are low, little wood character and not alot of depth or complexity overall. Md thick body. Cream, but thin in the mouth when sloshed around.

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Photo of schoolboy
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow. This has to be one of the nastiest brews I've had of late. The whisky barrel smell hits you immediately, and like a ton of bricks. It continues from there, slapping you with a mouthful of roasty malt and alcohol.

The nastiness continues in the aftertaste, and the best part is when you can't taste it any more. I wish I could share it with someone so I could drink something else.

When I bought this I was hoping it wouldn't be like other Scottish ales but my worst fears were imagined. If you don't like other Scottish brews, you won't like this either.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.84/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with no more than a few random bubbles.

Smell: Dark maltiness with a fair amount of chocolate, then it's a super-duper intense smokey peat scent that borders on smelling of medical grade rubber.

Taste: Chocolatey dark malts and again there's that knee-buckling peat character followed by a rather pronounce alcohol presence and a drying ashiness. Dash of table salt. Good grief! This is one of those beers that leaves you looking for a glass of cool, refreshing water.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Preferred the 005 by far as this was more than a little overblown on the peat for me.

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2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit that coming out of the bottle this beer pours a thinner black than most stouts of this style. Body does settle to a lack of light blackness in the glass. Hosts a inch of biscuit brown head that fades to a bubbly skim in a couple of minutes. Nose is first off smokey with a bit of barbecue and dust. The Whiskey and sweetness is there but more in the backround. With first sip you get a very ashy feel with a hint of sweetness. This ashy feel is oddly like drinking a beer through a hash pipe with cigarette smoke in it. I could understand if it were peat smoke but it really doesnt have that feel. Mouthfeel is like smoking a cheap cigar. Drinkability is a hint less than average.

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Photo of weeare138
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this. Bottle is labled BB 22/12/08 (Batch 8)...
Appears dark brown, bordering black, with a small tan head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of smoked malt, smoked peat, smoked cocoa...a tad too much overkill on the smoke IMO.
Taste is of the same smokey aromas with vanilla, and cocoa coming up behind the smoked peat malt.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied withtons of smoke and cocoa with a smokey beef jerky flavor lingering.

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Photo of clvand0
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle is barely filled into the neck - not sure how I didn't notice that before. Pours a black color with very little head and no retention and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma is a mixture of wood, booze, and smoke/peat. The flavor is almost all smoked malt with a bit of burned character that I don't particularly care for. Very astringent. The mouthfeel is oily and medium in body. Drinkability is not great due to the oily texture.

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Photo of gford217
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

330mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours almost black in the glass, though it shows a deep mahogany when held up to light. The head is short lived and bubbly, leaving a thin ring on the way down with spotty lacing.

The aroma has tons of scotch with dark chocolate malts underneath. There is lots of peat in the nose as well as some smoke and hints of vanilla sweetness.

The taste is also very earthy with lots of peat and smoke as well. There is some chocolate malts underlying things but they're definitely in the background with the boozy peat taste dominating throughout.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for me with very little carbonation.

This was an OK beer but you better like peat and smoke if you're going to try it. I've had better Paradox brews.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - jet black, creamy tan head, clingy lace

S - peat/phenolic/metallic/medicinal... call it whatever you want, it is not overly pleasing. Not much "stout"

T - there is some malt sweetness and roast, but I find same character in the aroma dominates

M - very warm alcohol, low carbonation, light body, borderline watery, but has some creaminess.

D - somewhat interesting, but a little rough around the edges.

I applaud Brewdog for trying something unique, but I'm not sure they nailed it with batch 008. I just don't find the peat character all that appealing in this one, and I think the stout base could use more body and smoother alcohol.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this one pours a pitch black coal color with minimal to no head. A few sparse bubbles. No lacing.

Really smokey with chocolate and malts

the taste is smokey, almost burnt with hints of chocolate

very little carbonation and a short aftertaste. Semi-smooth.

This hides the 10% abv pretty well it's just not that yummy IMO.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 10/10/09 (Batch 008) at room temp into goblet
Got this on line from Beer Temple in Dec 2012.
Aroma woody with alcohol overtones
Head small (1 cm) rocky, light brown, diminishing to a ring.
No lacing.
Body dark brown/black.
Flavor begins with heavy dark fruitiness like dates or figs, but no so sweet; ends quickly.
No diacetyl, no hops, no alcohol flavors, not particularly peaty nor smokey.
No distinct aftertaste, just feels like something’s caught in my throat.
Medium to full body, creamy, soft carbonation.

Not a bad beer, just unremarkable. Maybe an example of an imperial stout that grows less complex with age, or an example of pearls before swine.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured at about 18 or 19C into a thistle/tulip glass. Best b4 date: 22/12/08.

The AROMA is very peaty & earthy. There is a ... sour smelling smoke aroma (if an aroma can be sour). There is more peat in the nose of this Beer than in most Scotches that I have tasted, with the exception of Lagavulin and maybe a couple of others.

In my glass this Beer LOOKS onyx black. It produces a medium sized beige head. Medium to low head retention. Some lace is left clinging to the sides of my glass.

The FLAVOUR is dominated by the smoke & peat. There is a hint of dark chocolate trying to fight through the smoke & earthy peat. The smoke is acrid & sour, which sounds terrible, but I sort-of like it as it provides some balance to what I believe would otherwise (assumption) be sweet malt flavours (I'm not picking up much hops). The high alcohol percentage is well hidden.

MOUTHFEEL is on the heavier side of medium bodied. The carbonation is just right, providing enough effervescence to liven things up without being too fizzy.

Overall, I think that this is a very unique Beer & quite interesting. It is not overly complex as the smoke & peat truly dominate, leaving little room for much else. I do like it and would recommend to others that they try it.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark reddish brown. Not much head and what little there is shrinks to just enough to cover the top of the liquid.

S - Very smoky. I would have called it a smoked beer by scent alone. Also some cherry like notes as well. The whiskey/bourbon like scent is also there.

T - The smoke again comes forward. I don't know much about scotch whisky but the smoke is overpowering the flavors I see in american bourbon barreled beers. I can't say if this then fits the style or not. Personally the smoke is too much.The alcohol bite waits untl the sip is finished to show up.

M - Thick and coating. No noticable carbonation. A good mouthfeel for a taste this seems off to me.

D - The thick smoke and high alcohol makes this a have only one beer for me. I wish I knew more about whisky to say if it was a good blend and shared the right characteristics.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to IrishBoy, thanks Richard. Pours a dark brown, almost black color with an initially medium beige head that goes down pretty quick. The aroma is very powerful;loads of peat, smoked venison, wet earth, and some vanilla. The flavor is similar; a large vanilla and woody profile mixed with the powerful burnt and smoke qualities. The finish is like someone threw the ashes form a peat fire into my mouth, very dry. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. As I have mentioned before BrewDog is doing exactly what I love about craft beer; they are taking local skills and ingredients and using them to produce world class and unique beer.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 008, Islay, apparently aged in 1987 Bowmore casks.

Pours a little like syrupy dark cola, black with the exception of some hard to find ruby sheen. Tan head is slow to form and disappears very quickly, leaving only a neat ring of bubbles and a few sandy patches on top.

The stout and aged wood holds a smoky deep dark warm smell that is reminiscent of an old hunting lodge - burnt wood, tobacco, and more aged wood. The whiskey and smoke, however, add a phenolic bandaid like smell, making the smoke and wood more abrasive and less smooth.

Taste follows the nose with much the same detail adding a little more depth, and I really can't decide how I feel about it. Sits with strong dark malt on the tongue up front, smooth and fairly mellow. Decent depth to wood and burnt flavors, but they seem to collide at the finish with a mix of fresh clean snow and hanging woody smoke. Very much like a strongly smoke salmon or cured game, hanging and dark. It's growing on me a little.

Feel is fairly clean, with a medium body, very light carbonation, and and a slight oily feel. Nice clean finish.

I'm still debating drinkability, and probably will for a while. It should be an indicator that I likely won't try it again, considering cost and overall character. Definitely worth a try, especially if you like smoked beers, with this one having more true depth and character to the smoke than many.

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Photo of fairdinkum2
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was looking for a really robust drinking experience and this stout really delivers - not for the faint of heart.

This is a dark, brooding stout. Pours with no head or lacing. Black as midnight.

Nose redolent of Islay scotch - smokey peat, oak intermingled with coffes and cocoa.

An absolute mouth bomb of smoke, peat, oak and alcohol. Flavor is just as brooding as the nose. Not warm and inviting but cold, dark and mysterious.

A very intersting style. Hard to say if I will try many of the other scotch cask versions. The $10 per 11 fl oz bottle might be a disincentive.

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Photo of mdm46410
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle and served in a snifter. This stout poured a near black with some ruby/mahogany highlights and a thin head of large, filmy bubbles that lingered for a bit. No lace. The aroma of the beer was made up of strong, smokey, peat, scotch/alcohol, along with some roasty chocolate managing to sneek in. The flavor included chocolate, charred malt, campfire, peat...all pulled nicely together by a smooth, lasting scotch note. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with little carbonation. It felt a bit weak and lifeless. The scotch cask added a nice change of pace to the flavor, but then again, I could be suffering from bourbon barrel burnout.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter

Note: Batch 008

APPEARANCE: Pours a very small thin looking tan head that quickly disappears, leaving a bit of wisp around the edges. Color is pitch black and basically no carbonation evident. A small wisp remains and amazingly leaves a little bit of splotchy lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A bold nose of whisky, black licorice and plenty of earthy qualities, like tree and some smoked or burnt wood, and some peat in there as well.

TASTE: Follows the nose quite closely. Some roasted malt and peat up front, but the whisky is the more dominant feature. Earthiness again, as well as some smoked or burnt oak wood again. A slightly bitter but more boozy aftertaste has hints of smoke in there as well. Aftertaste is mild but long lasting. Lots of wood qualities and whisky here. Interesting stuff.

PALATE: Medium-thin body with lower end carbonation. Somewhat lighter on the palate. Creamy and somewhat oily slick on the palate, goes down smooth enough with a bit of an alcohol bite at the very end. Finishes slightly sticky.

OVERALL: Pretty nice. A solid brew I'd have again. Thickening up the palate would help this one out immensely, but non-the-less, this is an enjoyable brew worth checking out.

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Photo of hopdog
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired in trade. Labeled BB 22/12/08.

Poured a dark black color with brown edges and a small sized off white head. Aromas of smoke, plastic, earthy, and peaty. Tastes of dirt, earthy, smoke, ashtray, chocolate, and some caramel. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from: 3/5/08

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared a bottle with a friend. Pours a nice dark black with low carbonation by appearance. Now real head to speak of. Solid dark black with brownish rim. Doesn't leave any lacing either.

Aroma is nice. Strong whiskey, tobacco, leather, roasted malts, and more BOOZE!

Flavor follows the aroma pretty close. Lots of whiskey and overall booze burn. More tobacco like flat stickiness to the mouthfeel. Very low carbonation. The flavor is actually really good...but just lacking somewhere...somehow. Overall, a nice beer...but not great.

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Photo of erz316
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 008, best before of 06/06/09, poured into maudite snifter

A - the beer pours a bit less thicker than I would have thought, seemed almost watery. the beer forms a decent 1 cm head which dwindles down to absolutely nothing in about half a minute, I think the head was cream coloured. the remaining bubbles are quite big, but there aren't that many of them. the body is black, quite black, so much that no light gets through anywhere.

S - the smell is actually a bit smoky, just like the smokehead beer. the only real notes that I can get out of this beer is the light but predominant smoke characteristic, savory malts, and a touch of caramel, and some whiskey under it all.

T - This tastes almost like a dumbed down version of the smokehead. the initial flavour is this peaty smoked malt shindig, maybe a touch of oaken whiskey, but not that much. the alcohol isnt as harsh as it could be. the finish is a bit more boozy and still just as peaty, with the malts in the background. the finish is a bit spicier than the initial, but thats probably because the whiskey they used was pretty spicy. the aftertaste is an even mix between smoke, malts, and bitterness. a pleasant aftertaste, but not suited to the damn style!

MF&D - the feel is all wrong. the body is a light-medium, which gains most of its oomph from the medium-low carbonation. at least here the carbonation has been pumped up a little bit in comparison to the smokehead, but not much. I wouldnt want to pay this much again for somehting that is more like a whiskey'd pseudo-rauchbier.

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Photo of csmiley
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with some light that shows on the edges of the glass. Head was average showing good retention. Lacing around the glass was good.

S - Major alcohol style heat comes off of this one (closer to scotch than beer). That fades pretty quick to reveal some strong oak and molasses aromas. There is some bread in the distant background. It comes dangerously close to cough syrup.

T - More hot alcohol in the flavor. Wood character is still very strong which is nice. Molasses shows up midway and starts to round out the initial harsh flavors. Next in line are notes of roasted malt and some light coffee flavors. Some hints of smoke complete the flavor profile. The alcohol really is the biggest player in the flavor but that seems to be intentional since it is so similar to Scotch.

M - Almost full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Finish is bitter and the heat from the alcohol keeps the palate warm for a while.

D - Drinkability is just about average. This beer just comes too close to cough syrup in smell. That just throws everything off for the rest of the beer. The beer does start to get better once it warms.

Note / edit: Serve this beer at 55 degrees or higher. As the temperature of the beer started to rise closer to ambient, the flavors in this beer started to shine. I would recommend a serving temperature of just below room temp.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
BATCH: 008 (Bowmore 1998 Cask)
BEST BEFORE: 10/10/09

This appears to pour black. When given a light source though, it is actually a very dark ruby color. It's beautiful. About one-finger of light brown foam makes the head. It recedes quickly though, leaving a thin, filmy, covering. Lacing is rope-like and mildly sticky.

The nose is filled with huge notes of peat-ey smokiness. The peat is powerful and it's hard to get to any other scents. I think I get just a slight touch of sweet roasted maltiness.

Yes, it was a sweet roasted maltiness I was picking up. It's at the front of the flavor profile. It's backed up by a nice presence of smokey peat notes. They are not nearly as overpowering as I expected though, from the nose. They are blended in quite well, actually. Mild hints of rich, dark, fruits. Light touches of dark chocolate mix with heavy cream. An overall earthy/woody tone.
Definitely a brew for a lover of Islay Scotches. All of that smoke and peat come shining through and make this a helluva' tasty beer.

The body is, sadly, medium, at best. This style should be rich and somewhat thick and heavy. It's very smooth and easy drinking, though.

While I don't taste the 10%abv, I certainly do feel it, as I'm getting close to finishing this one. It's an easy drinker (if you like the smokiness, anyway) but it will hurt you, if you give it a chance.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!

My long journey through this series continues. This one pours a typically murky and oily black-brown topped by a minimal layer of dirty brown bubbles. The nose is dominated by lightly-peated whiskey, followed by some oak, some darkly-roasted malts, some dark chocolate powder, and a touch of char. A bit too much whiskey for its own good, but still generally pleasant. The taste follows pretty closely, but with more cocoa, a smoother (and less boozy) whiskey, and some additional notes: light vanilla, gooey caramel (yeah, I tasted the gooey-ness), and light coffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light carbonation and a silky smooth feel. Normally, this would hurt an impy stout, but the feel really seems to help this one along. Overall, a very nice barrel-aged stout, one that melds very well with its barrel.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, Batch 008, Best before 6/6/2009. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with a small tan head. Head retention is low, lacing is OK. The aroma is scotch, peat, wood, and chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's a strong smoke and burnt wood taste too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little thinner than I like my stouts to be, but you can tell there's some substance to this brew. Carbonation is low, and it's nice and slick. Drinkability is good, it is very smooth and it goes down easy. I really didn't know what to expect from this beer at first. It took me more than a few sips to decide whether I liked it or not. But the longer I drank it, it grew on me and I did enjoy it. If you like barrel aged and/or smoky beers, then you should give this one a try. I'd buy this again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

no light coming through on this one at all, but also no head as the flat, lifeless body just laid there, quite odd indeed. aroma is dark peat, hints of campfire smoke, notes of light cocoa, and a hint of deep burnt notes, but that was the highlight as it went down from there. very lifeless, flat body did not let the taste come through nearly as much as it could have and this led to a rather lackluster profile. nice barrel notes, loads of wood and peat

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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 008) - Bowmore 1987 from BrewDog
3.77 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
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