Storm (Islay Whisky Cask Aged IPA) | BrewDog

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Storm (Islay Whisky Cask Aged IPA)Storm (Islay Whisky Cask Aged IPA)

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 04-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 132
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev +38%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle for $8.99. I could get a 6-pack for that price.

Hazy blonde, light and thin white head kicks around for a long time, settles down fast with good remaining coverage.

The nose is very strange and unique. wine-cork, soft vanilla, tangerine, wet cedar wood, slight cardboard, sugar coated grapefruit & heather honey. The hops give off the fruitiness and the cask aging brings out some of the crazy aroma's like vanilla and cedar wood. i've never smelled another brew like it.

this is a tangy-fruity IPA with a huge amount of cask-aging effects like, vanilla all over the place, oak wood and a decent amount of heat that is reminisant of whiskey. Then a dry, and bitter hop flavor rolls in with acorns and mellowed by the fruitiness of pineapple. sure the flavor is odd, but with it being aged in cask just like a traditional IPA would be i'm enjoing the oddity. This brew makes you think about what's happeing, bonus points for originality. An herbal, slightly bitter hop effect comes back and acidic fruits roll in, cedar, oak is back with a heck of a lot of heat. The vanilla from the barrel aging is a sweet current and a rather smooth effect. The feel is soft and relaxed as it should be after being layed down for a while. no zip, no bite here, it's pretty mellow.

The vanilla and woody aspects makes this one tough to achieve a decent balance, but hey! it's different. complexity is good but it's trade-off with the weirdness.

If you don't mind spending a 6-pack worth of $$$ on a single, i say try it out, you only live once. (on this plane)

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.29/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - pours a slightly cloudy straw, deep and golden in color. Pretty much zero head save for a few watery bubbles around the collar. Meh.

Aroma - smoky, peaty malts, through and through. No hop presence at all. Is this really a double IPA? Doesn't smell like it. Smells pretty interesting though.

Taste - instant bitterness and smoke, everything the beer has to show, it does so immediately. The hops are raw, harsh, and unpleasant. The malts are smoky like a rauchbier, which I like. The aftertaste and finish, though, are a 2nd act for the hops. I'll get through it by focusing on the barreling, but I don't care for this beer.

Mouthfeel - a little smooth, medium-body and weight.

Drinkability - one of the most unpleasant beers I ever spent eight bucks on. Live and learn.

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Photo of Brad007
2.24/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a medium-golden color with a very thin head and light carbonation into my glass.

Aroma is strong with a whiff of whiskey in the nose. Unfortunately, it seems to mask the presence of any other aromas, unless you count a faint whiff of hops.

Taste is once again full of whiskey upfront with only a tad of hop bitterness. I can barely tell that it's an IPA here. There is some bitterness but not enough.

Mouthfeel is full of whiskey and alcohol heat. Not much of the hallmark flavors of a double IPA.

I'm going to have to score this one lower than I had hoped. It doesn't TASTE like a double IPA. Perhaps with some aging, it might just improve. However, it's not drinkable at this stage.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.36/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle. BB 12/12/09.

Appearance: Poured roughly into my official Beer for Punks chalice (conflicted about it). No head. I mean nothing. Like middle school dance no head. Slightly hazy golden raisin color.

Nose: Holy Islay! Peat smoke, burnt rubber, sea breeze, lemon rind. Not finding much of the beer here, just smells like Laphroaig.

Palate: PEAT-HO! Wow. Um, this is supposed to be beer right? I didn't mix up my whisky bottles with beer bottles? Peat, rubber, hay, sea air, wet rocks, and way, wayyy out on the finish are some faint whispers of hops.

Notes: Well, if you like Islay single malts, this bad boy is for you. I like 'em, but am seriously taken aback. I guess really bourbon-y stouts are cool in my book, and this makes more sense than IPA in a bourbon barrel, so why not! Let's go!

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Photo of Suds
3.79/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to say that I liked this brew. Hazy golden color, quite pale, with an average head. The smell is amazing, however. Lots of peat smoke. It's very reminiscent of a Laphroaig, just toned down a little. The mix of the smoke, combined with citric, grapefruity hops is very interesting. They play off of one anther in a unique and fascinating way. Herbal and malty as well. The flavor has a lot of wood, smoke, and malt in it...more than expected. Some alcohol in the aroma, and it really comes out in the finish. The brew is medium-full in body. Smoke flavors linger long into the finish. If you enjoy peat smoke, this brew is worth a try.

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Photo of frothyhead
4.21/5  rDev +50.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow-amber with some small bubbly off white head into a snifter.

Nose is oakey and boozy with strong notes of single-malt scotch and peat. Some underlying citrus coming through from the IPA base. Alcohol warmth coming through as it warms.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Feels a little thin.

Taste, like the nose, has a lot of that scotch barrel flavor coming through. Peat smoke and wood. Very earthy. Some caramel malty sweetness up front and bit of bitterness as it goes down. You can just make out some of the citrus hops swirling about underneath it all, which I feel compliments everything else quite well.

Drinkability is good. Relatively light body and lack of any harsh or overly strong flavors allow this to go down pretty smooth.

Overall this is a very interesting and different beer. You can definitely tell that it started out as an IPA. It has a lot of solid hoppy IPA flavor, but it's hidden beneath a layer of peat smoke and oak from the barrel aging. This has a very defining smokey Islay scotch character to it, which sets it apart from a lot of other barrel aged (American bourbon) beers. I'm not a huge Scotch drinker, but having been to Scotland I can appreciate a lot of the aromas and flavors here. It all seems very comforting and familiar. This seems to be getting a lot of relatively bad reviews, but I don't agree at all. Although it's very different and takes a few sips to get used to, I really dig what's going on here. I think the hops and the scotch (hopscotch?!) really compliment each other rather nicely, in fact, and the smokey character is delightful. Well done!

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Photo of jgap
1.77/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle opened with not pop what-so-ever. Pours a pale yellow with, despite my best attempt, no head at all and very little carbonation. I was intrigued with the idea of this beer but frankly, I'm getting nervous. Smell is of whisky up front with a large yeast/bread backing with a hint of something... Uh- chemical? Or no- i know what it is! It's cigar butt the morning after. Taste and mouthfeel are both flat. Maybe it's my bottle but there is absolutely no carbonation to speak of. The whisky comes through in the taste but the hoppiness simply isn't there. It's slightly watery up front with hints of a floral hop that gets jumped by the whisky which could be great if it weren'tso overpowering. I would also like to see a larger malt profile to support the strong whisky character and smooth out some of the edge. Great idea but needs a little work.

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Photo of tmoneyba
2.95/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Hyde Park.

Poured a light pale color with a moderate frothy white head that mostly diminished and produced poor lacing. Medium musty wood aroma. Medium body with a soft texture and soft carbonation. Mediocre wood flavor with a wood finish of short duration.

Below average, worthy having once.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Greg, the beer manager from Bierra Paradiso brought out a bottle of this while we were discussing barrel aged beers.

I am a scotch drinker and as a result I think I appreciated this beer. However, I thought it was funny that it's considered a DPA. Not sure really how to handle this review...

As a DPA it was not really true to the style. I love DFH Burton Baton which is an Oak aged IPA... and you can tell it's an IPA. This on the other hand really drinks and tastes like a scotch.

Pours with no head and even looks more like a scotch. A muddy light golden brown color. Nice clarity and no real carbonation.

Aroma is all scotch. Earthy, peaty and of course the wood...

Flavor is more of hard liquor. Any hop presence was replaced with the Islay barrel flavors.

A bit hot. Lots of times you comment how alcohol is hidden. Well this drinks like it's a higher abv then just 8%

A sipper. Not one I would want to drink the entire bottle... One to share. And frankly, one I probably won't seek again. I am thankful to have had the chance to try it.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.68/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly, leaving no lace. Light murky amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Iodine nose. Flavor is a hospital antiseptic. Said to be an IPA, I understand pigs fly too. Looks bad, smells bad, tastes worse, higher ABV is hidden. Waaay overpriced at $10.45 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm."

--Thomas Fuller

Sunny goldenrod with a wee splash of tangerine. This is one of the palest DIPAs that you'll ever run across. The barrel aging undoubtedly played havoc with foam formation because the cap is a small, loose collection of bubbles that is unable to muster more than a few blips and squiggles of lace.

Scotch whiskey and hops are two of my favorite things in all the world. That doesn't mean that mixing them in the same glass is a good idea. Since BrewDog's DIPA (Hardcore) is so hop-deficient, I wondered if hops would even be appreciated in the nose. They aren't.

It's easy to tell that Islay Scotch barrels were used because of the distinctive aroma that is emanating from the pint glass. It's hard to mistake that smoky, peaty, iodine-like scent as anything else. Trouble is, the potential goodness of the whiskey is diluted by the beer and the end result is dull rather than exciting. Not impressed so far.

Storm isn't horrible beer if you like Scotch. If you don't like Scotch (or have never had it), then the word 'horrible' will probably be the first thing out of your mouth once it's been emptied of beer. Hopefully, the liquid will have exited downward, not outward.

Call me an optimist, but I still think this could work if a good, raspy, hoppy DIPA was used. The problem here is that Hardcore is anything but hardcore. Even though Storm has some amount of hop bitterness, hop flavor is almost completely absent. Granted, it's hard to punch through the murky wall of peat smoke.

A 'best by' date of 02/02/10 is difficult to figure. The hops will have faded into oblivion long before then and all DIPA character will have been lost. There isn't much now. Just before the next sip, once the whisky has had time to seep away, a little grapefruit zest tickles the taste buds.

In the end, an extra half point will be awarded for uniqueness. This stuff is interesting to drink, I'll give it that. The body/mouthfeel is more APA than DIPA, and is somewhat lacking in terms of expansiveness. Maybe it's the barrel aging, but the bubbles seem to have lost their mojo.

BrewDog Storm is an experiment that was worth trying... in the brewery. The decision to bottle and sell it doesn't show the best judgment. I still love a good Islay Scotch whiskey and a good DIPA, but will take them in separate glasses please. Some good things are better left in their purest forms.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.08/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with an orange tint. Almost no head develops, and very little lacing.

Fusel alcohols along with whiskey aromas, tons of peat and oak.

Similar problem in the flavor: the whisky character is way too up front. Tons of peat, the alcohol seems harsh, and the hops are one-dimensional and thin.

The body is pretty thin, not horrible, but could be more full. Overall this beer feels like a whiskey that has been mixed with hop tea. Weird.

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Photo of Indulgence
3.62/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch no. 150, best by date 121209: Great googaly-moogaly... this is scotch beer... I'd swear that I was having a Bruchladdich with water... pour is golden with almost no head after an aggressive spill... taste is pure Islay scotch with all of the sea salt, ocean spray and peat that comes with it, there is a slight background of fruity yeast esters and bittering on the finish... definately not an IPA, but it is extraordinarily unique blonde ale for sure.

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Photo of Viggo
2.78/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle thanks to Ralph.

Pours a lightly hazy yellow, kind of dull looking, very slight white ring forms, few lace spots, doesn't look so great. Smell is not good, intense fusel, peat and whiskey, smoke, plastic/bandaids, wood, kind of a big mess, whiskey is much too strong. Taste is similar, lots of bandaid, charred wood, alcohol, very smoky, scotch, very rough flavour, spirits just overpower it. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth. It did smell a bit better after letting it sit and open up, but the scotch was way too strong for this beer. Thanks Ralph!

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Photo of magictrokini
2.07/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Sadly, this was brutally awful. Poured an oily gold with no head at all, not even a ring of bubbles. As I love Islay malts, this smelled wonderful; smokey, peaty, salty, with a hint of ethyl and wood. Everything you want in a single malt. The beer crashed into a mountain at the speed of sound after that. A sickening rubbing alcohol/creosote/paint thinner combination is all I can describe it as. It didn't even taste like Islay scotch, but possibly the outside of one of the barrels it was aged in. I couldn't even make it through the 12-oz bottle. I love BrewDog's other offerings, but definitely not this one.

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Photo of PretzelCity
3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect from this as I poured it into a snifter. The color was a little week for and IPA, reminded me almost of High Life, with a thin white head. But that is to be expected for a Barrel Aged IPA. The nose is straight whisky as is the taste. Almost all traces of IPA are gone. It tastes like Dewer's without the bite. I like Brewdog, they do interesting things with aging beer but this one didn't do it for me.

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Photo of ccrida
2.6/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle (batch 13, best before 2/2/10) poured into large St. Feullien chalice, Storm is a hazy burnt gold with superfical head of large off-white bubbles that quickly subsite to a slight collar. Very cider-like.

Smell is an unusual mix of scotch and perfume, pretty faint.

Taste is like watered down whiskey with an excessive charge of bittering hops. Very oaky, tons of peat, minerals, earthy, very light minty hop flavor. I'm not that big on scotch, and hate IPAs that are all bittering hops, lacking pungency in both the nose and mouth. Still, it grew on me, and after adjusting to the aggressiveness of the whisky cask, I tuned in a bit more on the underlying IPA, a floral, pale-malted strong English style, sweet at first before the biting finish.

Mouthfeel is oily, medium bodied, with a dry, chalky finish.

Drinkability is low, an interesting beer to try, but I think it will really only be worth the steep price tag to scotch lovers. My least favorite of the 3 Brewdog IPAs, not a good investment.

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Photo of srandycarter
2.46/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


I am sorry, but this one is just not for me. I thought it was bad at first. Best before 2.2.10.

A - Urine color, no head. Bare bubbles on side.

S - Smoke, peat dominate. Some pear and malt nose too.

T - Yuch. All I can taste is the friggin smoky peat.

M - Thin, unimpressive.

D - Not a chance. The price tag that was on the bottle was over $8, and it's going down the drain.

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Photo of vurt
2.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle purchased at Red Carpet Wines in Glendale, CA, and poured into my Bruery tulip.

The bottle opens with a minimal "pffft" of released air. After a vigorous pour, there are some sudsy, rather unattractive bubbles surrounding thin clouds of foam on the surface. The color is straw gold with a hint of orange, and it is quite hazy. When I tilt the beer up on the walls of the glass it looks moderately viscous and leaves bits of sticky foam behind. This one really isn't much to look at, but I'm thinking there might be plenty to enjoy in the aroma...

Wow. Tons of Islay scotch character, uncompromisingly peaty and smoky with notes of sea air and iodine. I also get traces of vanilla, apples, and salty caramel. But I really don't get much hop aroma, which is disappointing for a strong IPA like this.

As with the nose, the Islay whisky character is dominant. This is dilute carbonated scotch masquerading as beer. Peaty and smoky with a touch of wintergreen. A more beery collection of flavors comes through in the middle: lightly toasted malt and some caramel, with the cider-like fruitiness of a good UK bitter. This is a bracingly dry beer. Earthy, grassy hops break in to challenge the whisky flavors, but their attempt is largely unsuccessful. The finish is heavy with wood (rather like chewing a popsicle stick) and tangy campfire smoke. Hoppy bitterness comes through underneath the smoke.

Carbonation is very light in this brew, which seems to fit the profile of cask-aged beers. But it's enough to do the job. Body is moderately heavy, and smooth but not oily. Finishes with some astringency.

The cask flavors overwhelm the base beer and the flavors don't mix well at all. I can't help but think that if you reduced the whisky character-- perhaps by blending it with fresh IPA that has never been in an Islay cask-- it would be a much better beer. As it stands, this is a novelty that is worth trying, but not repeating.

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Photo of hopdog
3.12/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle. Batch 003, best before 01/01/10.

Poured a medium and clear golden color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of wood, smoke, earhty, peaty, whisky and some vanilla. Tastes of wood, lighter smoke, earhty, vanilla, and whisky. I didn't get much of the IIPA as the barrel aging took this one over. Overall the alcohol content was well hidden.

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Photo of Crosling
2.5/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very light in color, a clear golden, with a wispy, fully diminishing foam. Nose is completely dominated by smoke, wood, vanilla and whiskey. Potently aromatic, but not enjoyable. Flavor is similar to the nose in that it is nothing but Islay dominated character. Light in character and palate. Very poorly balanced.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
3.16/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The colour of the beer is golden yellow with a small head that dissipates rather quickly but stays in a ring.

The smell of the beer is huge. It's so strong that I can barely smell it to tell what it smells like. It is peaty and it almost smell smokey. Maybe a combination of both? The taste of this beer is not very IPA-ish at all. It's actually like a weak scotch whisky. The beer has some very subtle fruits with a huge peaty/wood flavour. There are no hops I can taste, mainly because of being aged.

The mouthfeel is like a general IPA. I really don't know how drinkable this beer is, if you like scotch whisky, you may like it more. It's definitely a slow drinking beer.

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Storm (Islay Whisky Cask Aged IPA) from BrewDog
2.79 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.
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