BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 011) - 1987 Macallan Sherry Cask | BrewDog

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BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 011) - 1987 Macallan Sherry CaskBrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 011) - 1987 Macallan Sherry Cask

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

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 barleywinebrewer on 07-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 75
Photo of Rickythejeweler
1.69/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottled 1/1/08. Consumed 9/30/11.

A - Muddy black/brown, no head just a few soapy bubbles, no lacing.

S - The faintest smell of wood and old fruits.

T - The faintest taste of wood and old fruits.

M - Flat.

O - About 4 years old, classic example of a beer past it's prime. Disappointing. I should have stuck to my 2 year age limit for beers.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


I dusted off my trusty Victory Brewing snifter and popped the cap on this ornate looking bottle and I was surprised to hear a nice hissing noise coming from such a thicker higher alcohol beer. I gave this ale a straight on pour trying to encourage a hefty head and a nice cascading stream of bubbles from the bottom. As I noticed the initial stream coming out, this baby is jet black and there is absolutely no light coming through my glass, there is a two finger thick mocha colored head just floating on top ready to be drank. I gave the glass a vigorous swirl and got almost no from of lacing which again surprised me because typically imperial stouts are thick and vicious almost like motor oil.


I'm pulling out a lot of sweet dark fruits, and toasty black malt with some chocolate thrown in. There is a noticeable amount of oaky vanilla with some wet oxidation and cardboard in the finish which is a sure tell sign of the sherry coming through. Overall there really isn't much of the big burly aromas that you would find in a typical imperial stout.


Right off the start I am greeted with a creamy chocolate taste with heavy amounts of vanilla. The mouth feel on this beer is really thin and almost like a porter, in fact I'm absolutely blown away that this beer is 10% abv. This is smooth and drinkable and not like any other Paradox beer I had from them (Smoke Head tasted like burnt hair, plastic, and a tire fire). Another flavor profile that is coming out is something that resembles a white wine that has been soured a little bit with butter or something oily. In the finish there is just loads of sweetness, and it just reminds me of some kind of liquor that you would add to a mixed drink, which is not terrible it's just that as I get near the bottom of my glass I am finding myself slowing down on my consumption.


Overall this beer was pretty enjoyable, not to harsh or to mellow the only major complaint is that it was really thin on the tongue. I am very glad that this was only a 12oz bottle because I'm finishing it up and its getting almost too sweet for me. With a nice amount of complexity and flavor I'd say this is one of the better beers Brew Dog has put out, nice job gentleman. If you come across this beer I'd say if you're feeling adventurous go for it. It's not exactly a cheap find at $12 a bottle but it sure will be worth experience.

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Photo of aasher
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is the triple threat. The barrels are from Macallan (my favorite Scotch), 1987 Cask (my birth year), and this beer is retired. Perfect!

It pours a midnight black in color, medium in body, with almost no head or carbonation at all. It doesn't really coat the glass either. The aromas consist of raisins, figs, oak, brandy, and port. You don't get much traditional scotch characteristics but this one has had time to sit, and it was sherry cask. The flavors consist of rasin, figs, a lot of dark malt, light oak, and some brown sugar. It drinks "tired", as if it's on its last legs. It isn't as bold as it could or should be. The telling sign of this one is that it doesn't leave any residuals on the glass. It drinks pretty thin in body, especially for the style. It's ok, I imagine it used to be better.

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Photo of TboneRN
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The look and smell of this beer are spot on for a barrel aged imperial stout, in fact when I first smelled this beer I thought it was going to be something special, the smell was spot on...but the mouthfeel was quite thin and the taste just didn't follow. Average barrel aged beer at best

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Photo of sisuspeed
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown with about one finger of off-white head. The head seems to maintain fairly well and leaves small patches of lacing strewn across the glass.

Hmmm... interesting nose. Lots of meaty peat with a faint iron rust tinge to it. Red grapes, oak, and bitter dark chocolate. Somewhat earthy.

Whisky, peat, dark chocolate, grapes and wood. An interesting combination that seems like it should work, but somehow it doesn't really come together for me. Fruity, light smoke and a hint of char.

The mouthfeel may be what is keeping this beer down. Very little carbonation and a bit thin. I think if these two things were fixed the enjoyment would be boosted quite a bit. Light warming alcohol.

Drinkability is pretty good for a 10% ABV stout aged in Macallan sherry casks. There are a lot of good things going on with this beer, and if the mouthfeel were fixed, it would be closer to the A range for me.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to neorunner for this bottle.

A: pours almost black...dark dark brown with almost zero head - a thin whisp of off white lines the rim of the glass. for a ten percenter, it didn't seem that viscous - suspecting this may be thin like the other Paradoxes.

S: whisky, soy sauce, alcohol. sweet bourbon and oak. a hint of cinnamon as it warms. not much of the macallan spice yet though

T: dark burnt malts - black patent/carafa, grainy bitterness, slight coffee and cocoa.

M: medium body but thin for a stout, and especially for a -bal stout. finishes gritty and warm.

O: better than the others i've head (isle of arran, speyside, smokehead) but still a bit lacking. I love of the idea of scotch barrel aging but the base paradox doesn't seem to translate - there needs to be a heftier mouthfeel and a larger body of flavors to back up the great smells.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle from Liquor Max in Loveland, CO. $6. Best by 12/12/09...we'll see, but I would imagine a 10% barrel aged beer could hold up a little longer.

A: Brown in color, more on the black side but not quite as dark as other imperial stouts. A few cream colored bubbles linger after the initial 1/2" of head from the pour. A few small sticky clumps of lacing, all in all not a bad looking beer.

S: Slightly smoky malts, definite notes of sherry and oxidation, a few notes of coffee, and a fair amount of booze. Peat smoke really is strong initially but blends and leads more into a barbeque like smoke. Slightly nutty. Decent here.

T: Not a whole lot in the way of the regular imperial stout flavors, some coffee and a nice roasted profile. The barrel really steals the spotlight though, scotch and sherry both linger quite a while with a nice smokiness. Decent but I don't think the base beer really holds up to the intensity of the barrel aging.

M: Waaay too thin and light. Feels more like a brown ale in the mouth, a really hot brown ale. Nice dryness from the barrel, but overall way too light here. Decent alcohol warmth.

D: Overall not bad, but the mouthfeel is way off. This is probably the thinnest imperial stout I've ever had. The flavors are decent, but maybe a little more stout and a little less sherry would help this beer out. Perfect the stout, then throw it in barrels.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black, with almost no head of carbonation and no lace, either. Odd and a little disappointing from this premium imperial.

Nose is peaty malts, with hints of whiskey. Here's where it gets interesting. None of the requisite roastiness. Then again, the bottle was dated as "best by" 7 months ago. Maybe this aging has changed the malt profile?

Taste is strong -- overpowering flavor is of Scotch whiskey. Some vanilla and oak from the barrels. The 10% ABV is masked well beneath the warm and earthy flavors. Still, this one seems a tad raw and uncomplex as it is.Definitely unusual, but not as amazing as I'd expected.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass, revealing murky brown body under a finger of thick crema head. Some lacing. Holy smells this one has a nice nose! Sweet and meaty with burnt caramel and some smokiness. Traces of peat. Excited to try this.

Ahhhh letdown! Flavors are washed out and watery. Some peat and hints of smokiness linger but there is a decidedly soured flavor over the barely there sweetness. At least the ABV is barely noticeable. Mouthfeel is equally watery, slightly sandpaper-y with a low carbonation that rounds out a medium-something body. It's fairly drinkable for what it is, I was just hoping for more flavor.

Overall I am wondering if I would have liked this one better fresh. It's not past its b.b. date, but I wouldn't buy anymore of this strain.

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Photo of mcallister
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very smudged pencil color with redding around the edges. Head is tan and sritzy with pockets here and there.

Aromas of licorice, chocolate, dark fruits, a roasty sense. Not much in way of sherry or wood.

Very nice carbonation crisp but not overpowering. Chocolate prevails with sherry making an appearance in a very nice way. The wood really show a tannin quality on the finish. A bit roasty and black licorice in the middle with a alcohol bite on the end.

First of the Paradox beers I've had. I think if the base stout had more depth it would really benefit.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle drank out of my stone IRS snifter. best by date is hand written on the back and reads 12/12/09. oops, i guess i let this one sit for too long.

A- this one pours out an opaque black colored body. no light passes through, even when held near a light. there is a full finger of khaki colored head on top that quickly fizzles away to no more than a crown. solid rings of lacing are left of the sides of the glass.

S- the nose is decently complex. sweet chocolate and sherry are the first things that i notice. after that i get darkly roasted malts and some vanilla from the barrel. there is a slight coffee scent at the end.

T- the taste starts out with sweet sherry and milk chocolate before quickly yielding some dark roasted malts. this is a sweet brew overall. lots of dark chocolate and vanilla (from the barrel) in the middle. there is a blast of coffee at the end. the alcohol that i could smell is pleasantly subdued.

M- the mouthfeel is a little weak for something like this. id say medium bodied, bordering on light. much too small for an imperial stout. there is a moderate warming from the alcohol, but that is expected with a barrel aged stout. very smooth at this point.

D- this bottle went away with ease. the price is a little high at just under $13, but its a tasty beer overall. it was hard to believe that this one was as strong as it is. with this amount of age this is very easy to finish.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I aged this several months. Pours opaque black, with a cask like crowning bubbly head that's light brown. Significant whisky aromas. Medium mouthfeel, a very dry stout,chocolate, carbonation right there, slightly sour finish. More or less average for the style.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Glencairn whisky glass. Batch 011. Bottled on 3 March 2009.

A: A glowing dark brown, barely translucent. Scattered but persistent lacing, with little head.

S: Fruit, dry malt, distant dryness. All in all, a pretty nice representation of the sherry cask in beer form.

T/M: Alas, perhaps a little old. Thin and flat, like many a Paradox aged til now, but mayhap I spoke too soon...loaded with flavour, especially on the endtaste. Chiaroscuro fruit, malts saved from boringness only by dint of being whisky-filled, but overall, a nice ale that was drenched in excellent single malt then left far too long in the bottle.

O: I couldn't recommend it, but I'm glad I tried one. BrewDog is an excellent brewery, and I regret not trying this sooner.

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Photo of notCreative
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I picked this up because my local liquor store was moving locations, and had a liquidation sale...
Sticker was for $10, I payed $7.

Very solid beer, the 10%abv was well hidden by a smooth caramel/coffee/chocolate malt. However, my rating is skewed towards the negative because in no way is this worth $7 (let alone $10)/11.2oz; When you approach a price class with DFH's World Wide Stout, and Avery's Mephistopheles (sp?), you expect a tactical nuclear assault on your palate. Even if it isn't you favorite beer ever, at least you're left with a lasting impression.

Appearance: Dark brown body with toffee-cream lacing. Low carbonation; small lacing remains around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Underwhelming; some roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, but not characteristic of an imperial stout.

Taste: Incredibly smooth, unassaulting taste. Alcohol is non-existent (I guessed it had around 5%, and was surprised to read 10%).

Mouthfeel: Typical of a standard stout, creamy, but not overly viscous.

Drinkability: Way, way too drinkable. This would be the ultimate go-to beer if it wasn't god-awfully expensive.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A blackish brown body with almost no head. What head there is to speak of is tan, pin stripe at first, and then recedes to island foam around the edges.

S: Wow! I can smell this amost 2 feet away. A strong aroma of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, nuts, and peat. You can also pick up notes from the sherry cask and some dark fruits, like a port. There is also a booziness at the end.

T: I was little disappointed in the taste. I wish it tasted as good as it smelled. Definitely picked up the roasted malts, peat, espresso, vanilla, sherry notes, and dark fruits. However, it's a bit overwhelmed by the booze in the finish- very warming and long lasting. I would have liked, and I know this is mouthfeel, for it to be a little thicker and richer, and not such a light flavor.

M: Kind of thin and watery for an imperial stout. Light carbonation and light body.

D: Really enjoyed this. I put it in the fridge for a bit just to chill it, but like the bottle says, it's much better room temp. A wee bit expensive and although good, this was nice to try, but definitely a one time deal unless someone gave it to me.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paradox Macallan bottled 03/03/09, bought at Total Wine in Charlotte, NC, and poured into a chalice-style (but more of a water/wine) glass.

Appearance: Immensely black, dark as molasses. Little to no head that dissipates quickly, barely any lacing.

Smell: coffee/chicory overtones, chocolate. Nice but underwhelming, considering the 1987 cask and all that.

Taste: chocolate truffles, some oak and vanilla, but none of the whiskey it was aged in. Burns the mouth as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Full body but not filling, if that makes sense. Low carbonation, thin finish. Very thin for a 10% beer!

Drinkability: It sure does drink well for a beer this strong... although the more it warmed, the slower I drank and the heavier it got. I expected more from it, though. An Imperial Stout this light is just *weird*.

Worth the price to splurge and try it once, but I'm not sure I would pay $12 bucks again. World Wide Stout is better and much cheaper.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Darkness snifter from an 11.2 ounce bottle.

A: Pours almost pitch black with almost no head, but a thin film that sits on the surface. Lacing is nil, and the beer itself overall looks a bit thin.

S: Smell is roasty, with chocolate and coffee, with hints of oak and some faint peatiness.

T: Flavors are more intense. Roasted malt, smoke, peat, and coffee are predominant, along with some chocolate and dried dark fruit. Highland whisky presence is very distinct, with some of that trademark vanilla and faint dried orange peel. A very complex brew.

Notes: For how thin this beer looks, it's rather full bodied. Complex plavors drench the palate and lead to a long finish. This edition of Paradox is rich, flavorful, and quite drinkable. Booziness is warming, and this one is a sipper.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark brown highlights. Pretty thin and quick head atop this watery looking dark liquid. Looking at it from the top, its a lot lighter colored than expected. Dark chocolate aromas intermingled with classic RIS coffee aromas. The sherry cask seems to add a nice dry fruit aroma to this heated abv. brew. The taste starts super roasted, chocolate and coffee malt. The middle has some more smokey malts adding another layer of depth to the malts, along with some dry fruits and aged sherry alcohol from the middle of the palate to the finish. The palate is warm and a little thin for an RIS in my opinion. Still warm and a little creamy overall though. An interesting, sipping RIS from a rule breaking brewery.

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Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours as black as night with little to no head to speak of..

S-roasted malts with a sweetened woodiness with some vanilla thrown in,

T-Roastiness coffee and smoky woodiness from the aging not unpleasant but not awe inspiring either..which makes me sad considering the price of a single bottle. 11$

M-thin for the style which is probably why there was not much head.

D-As i will finish this and relish in the fact that i will be in the minority of people who would actually shell out 11$ or more for a single 12oz serving of beer..I also sit and wonder for such a costly brew why wasn't i blown away like i was for the Juxtaposition from brewdog/stone/cambridge?


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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sorghum syrup black with a hint of highlight along the bottom edge of the snifter. Almost two fingers of sandstone colored foam was created on the pour and is lasting a good bit longer than the crowns on most barrel-aged 10.0% ales. Very little lace is not a surprise.

The aroma is a lovely combination of Imperial stout and Scotch. The fact that it's becoming even bolder with warming is a bonus. Too bad the sherry-like characteristics of the Scotch aren't appreicated, but that was probably too much to expect given all the black malt. Maybe my taste buds will have better luck.

It makes sense that I would love this beer since the Speyside version was tasty as hell and since The Macallan is one of my three favorite single malts (Talisker, Lagavulin). On second thought, love might be too strong a word. This is a good RIS, though not quite a great one.

Flavor boldness can't be denied. However, more malt would have given the beer an added measure of depth and complexity. I'm not talking Dark Lord or Darkness, but something more full and chewy would put this brew into the stratosphere. The whiskey isn't subtle, nor does it overwhelm. Looks like time spent in the oak was just right.

Flavors include bittersweet chocolate, Scotch whiskey, a tangy dark fruitiness, a blip of smoky peat and a wee shot of molasses. Still no sherry, which is a minor disappointment since that's pretty much the only way this version has of distinguishing itself from all the others. Side-by-side with the rest of the beers in this series, I might have been able to identify the sherry notes.

Even as room temperature approaches, the body/mouthfeel fails to firm up and fill out enough to earn a good score. How many times do I have to say it? More malt... more malt... more malt... The carbonation is appropriately low-key.

BrewDog Paradox Macallan, while not the gobsmacker that I would have liked, is still damn good Scotch barrel-aged Russian Imperial stout. Drinking several beers in this series in the same sitting is probably the only way to truly appreciate their differences. The good thing is that it looks as if there isn't a clinker in the bunch.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 11; Bottled on 03/03/09; Aged for almost 7 years; Rust on the mouth of the bottle.
The beer pours a very flat beer because the carbonation has probably gone out of the bottle after being aged for so long. The beer itself is an opaque black with a bit of a watery look to it. It isn't bad and looks fairly decent.

The smell is really fascinating and pretty good. Despite it being on the slightly diluted side, the smell is fairly complex. There are some nice wood notes from the barrel that make it out and mix very well with the sweet dark chocolate note and light roasted note. The fruity sherry note is there and seems to resemble a slight cherry, which works very well with the chocolate notes. Overall, it's a very nice smell and works pretty well.

The taste is the same as the smell and is pretty good too. The main difference is that wood note isn't as present as it is in the smell. The sherry and chocolate combo is still in the taste but not as strong. There is still a little bit of a hop note in the taste but it's almost gone.

The feel is heavy bodied but a bit watery. Still feels decent though.

Overall, a pretty good beer and one that should have been drunk more than a few years ago. Still, not bad and a decent drink.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thinnish black w/ lightly tan head and some lacing. A mild sweet smell of caramel and chocolate along with hints of roasted malts. A milder RIS that is smooth, almost creamy, with a sweetness that resembles light chocolate, hints of caramel and toffee and a touch of something else I can't put my finger on. Has a dry finish but not overly dry, more complimentary to the beer. With the well-hidden ABV I could down this anytime and it is a dangerous but very tasty beer.

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Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark black hue with tints of red showing through. The head rises toh a 1/2 finger in height. Farily good retention and some lace.

S: Nice boozy aroma with hints of wood and chocolate malt.

T: Nice light scotch flavor with subtle notes of wood and earth. A touch of vanilla is there as well.

M: Nice and light for the style.

D: Very I like this one.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, with 3.3.11 best-by date, poured into tulip glass at 60 degrees.

Poured with a thin, 1 finger of bubbly head over a cola colored body, with lots of burgundy on the edges. This is a RIS?

The sherry oak hits you square in the face with a heapin helpin of scotch whiskey and vanilla, followed by a decent amount of mustiness, and some hints of cocoa and roasted malts as it warmed.

This is quite thin - you could tell from the pour, but it was still a shocker. Flavors replicate the aromas with much more pronounced imperial-stout-like flavors of roasted malt, espresso, and plenty of booze. Add some plums and cherry to round things out. Very smooth on the palate.

Must sip. As thin and smooth as it is, the boozy character keeps it from flowing too fast. This seemed much more like a Quad, Amer Strong Ale, or even BSDA than a RIS, but whatever - it was quite interesting.

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Photo of stakem
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a mocha head that doesn't retain well outside a thin film across the top. Spotty lacing sticks all along the glassware. Sweet aroma of almost a chocolate milk character with some fruitness and alcohol. Nose finishes with a bit of raisins and dark sugar. Taste is bitter upfront with a persistent alcohol presence in both flavor and warmth. Medium feel with a very mild amount of carbonation. Lingering flavor of burnt bitter grains and coffee is left in the mouth. The estery alcohol accents the dark fruity flavors but the sweetness is kept in check by the bitterness from the hops and burnt grains. Subtle nuances in both the nose and flavor suggest sherry from the aging in barrels without coming right straight forward and being obvious. It is a nice touch that would have been missed if served too cold.

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BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 011) - 1987 Macallan Sherry Cask from BrewDog
4.01 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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