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

very good
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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 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 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 MasterSki
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on a whim in Buffalo. Served in a pint glass. Best before March 3rd, 2011.

A - Pours with a dime of foam that settles to a big-bubbled ring and some light haze. Dark, dark brown body that's lighter at the fringes of the glass, and displays some transparency. Needs to be darker for a 10% Imperial Stout.

S - Sweet dark fruits, whisky, chocolate, oak, sherry-like oxidation flavors, and a hint of booze. Probably the best-smelling Brewdog beer I've had. Really well integrated, unlike some other Paradox series brews.

T - Taste is more of a milk chocolate base, with dark fruits, vanilla, and mellow whisky flavors. Finish has a light tannic bite and some buttery oak, that is evocative of some of the cream-filled chocolates you get in a box from Russell Stover. This is probably a 4.25, but I was pretty tough on appearance.

M - Too thin for 10%, but otherwise smooth and low in carbonation. Minimal heat, and the slightest tannic astringency.

D - I was happy to have 6-8oz of this one, but a whole bottle might have gotten a touch cloying. This has aged quite gracefully and turned out better than any of the other beers in the series. Pricey at $10/bottle, but one of the few Brewdog beers worth a spin.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sadly, the batch number on my bottle wasn't printed on properly, but I believe this is batch 11.

Initial pour is very disappointing. Very black and gloopy in the pour, but an almost non-existent, wispy cola-like head.

Scotch, chocolate, coffee and malts. These all predominate in both the scent and the flavour. Slightly bitter taste, very definite scotch and dark chocolate profile. Virtually no hop presence at all.

Very slick, oily mouthfeel, quite suitable to the style. At 10%ABV, a 33cl bottle is enough. Great nightcap.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. Batch 011. Served at 68 degrees.

appearance - pours thin, black and dark, not much retention but some good lacing where it appears

smell - rich chocolate, malt, hops, yeast, very complex

taste - chocolate, malt, hop bitterness and wood barrel in the finish, lingers, incredibly complex with a bit of alcohol present

mouthfeel - a bit watery, very light, mild carbonation, smooth

drinkability - very enjoyable, complex, the character of the thin body is a bit of a bummer but makes for a unique experience

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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 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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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 caddyshack199
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brew Dog Paradox Macallan
A- pours a dark brown almost black color
H- no head to speak of. Clearly a oak aged beer.
S- light oak smell with a small amount of peat.
T-you would never guess this is 10 abv. Very smooth, light almost.
Very light peat and oak. Good afterthought. Not upfront.
I- I really like this beer. Great job by the brewdog guys.
12.99 120z bottle Staples Corner Liquors, Crofton Md

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Photo of HoosBrews
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance was a dark, ruby red. Absolutely beautiful in a Belgian glass. Mild carbonation, with a nose that pronounces the sherry with a hint of malt. The taste was rich and wonderful. The sherry is subtle and balances tremendously well with the RIS. What makes this beer amazing is how drinkable it is. At 10%, there is some alcohol heat, but it's surprisingly smooth. An expensive beer, but an incredibly well balanced treat. If you're lucky enough to have a chance to try this one, don't hesitate...

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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 jjayjaye
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

HOLY CRAP!! Drink this NOW! Another treat from Brewdog. This one pours thin, with a cola color and a milky light tan head that leaves sheets of Belgian lacing behind. The smell, while on the timid side, is like the hot chocolate Mom used to make on those cold Buffalo mornings..accompanied by powdered donuts before a guy would head out to school in the 70's. The mouth feel is incredibly creamy, lightly carbonated, medium bodied and waaay smooth. The flavor has a powdery sweet incredible milk chocolate character with a light malty tangy latte thing going on with a light roasted bean bitterness to the texture that lingers nicely. Waay tooo easy going down...the 10% ABV is virtually indistinguishable. Did I say HOLY CRAP?? Wow, this one was +$$ (Beers of The World) but worth every penny. Highly recommended!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl/11.2 oz. bottle...hand-written Batch "011" and Best Before "12/12/09" [hey, that's today!]. Served at just about room temperature, as the label recommends, to a tumbler.

A: Dark brown, a 'maple syrup' color more accurately - shows caramel orange at the edges. Slim ring of sandy tan, a pencil-thin clinger. A few tiny dabs of lace, but nothing more.

S: Caramel or toffee, something sweet like that, then a smoky 'oak barrel', Grassy, almost flowery-sweet, hops.

T: Spiced sweetness, hints of smoke, a woody Scottish whisky, subtle vanilla, chocolate/cocoa and an earthy peat. Mellow hops, their spice plays well with the oaken spice of barrel-aging. Unfortunately, the Macallan sherry casks don't impart the sweetness and definitive 'sherry' quality that I'd hoped for. Still, complex enough and plenty delicious...

M: A little thin...ok, remarkably thin. For 10%, this has the body of a 5-6% ale. Despite a thin weight, the heft of this beer is nearly hidden - creeping warmth and a nearly impossible smoothness. Dulled carbonation; though it's right at the 'best by' date, seems like it has been aged for years.

D: Remarkably easy to drink...hard to find the 10% abv in this...still, it's a 'sipper' almost because the label dictates alone. Probably a 5, but I have to note that the $11 price tag is among the least 'value-conscious' decisions I've made. Tough to justify against another at that cost...regardless, a very tasty brew, that would be oh-so-easy to enjoy again.

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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 coldmeat23
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BATCH: 011 BEST BEFORE: 12/12/09

Pours a super dark brown, so as to appear black. About one-finger of tan foam makes the head. It recedes to a surface ring and a tiny surface film. The lacing is spotty and nicely sticky.

Beautiful scotch notes combined with rich, toasted malt notes. Very light presence of toffee. A nice smokiness.

The taste follows the nose very closely. This may be the best balanced barrel-aged beer that I've ever had. Nothing overpowers anything else, all is equal.

Full-bodied with a light to medium carbonation level. Very smooth and easy, with a light touch of creaminess.

The 10%abv would keep it out of sessioning territory, but it is a damn tasty and easy to drink brew. Very nice as a special occasion beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, opaque sable with a fairly thick and somewhat persistent tan head. Aroma is strong and smoky with undertones of coffee and unsweetened chocolate as well as a firm overtone of whiskey. Flavor is smoky and a little malty with a firm whiskey bite as well as hints of unsweet chocolate, coffee and toffee - downright lip-smacking. Texture is thick and oily-smooth, leaving a good tingle as it goes down.

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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 IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 11 with a BBD 3/3/2011. The Portsmouth snifter is the vessel of choice for this one. As suggested by the BrewDog dudes, served at room temperature.

This looks like a very solid impy. Jet-espresso-black that's very opaque. There's a very solid full finger of ginger-colored head - it leaves a fair amount of lacing. Maybe the head retention could be a little better...but it could be much worse. I've seen BrewDog stuff that's a little uneven in carbonation and head retention, but this is much better.

I was expected a huge Scotch or Sherry bomb based on previous experience but this is very mellow - the oak aging is very subtle and there's not that vanilla excess. This has the roasted coffee malt with a little bittersweet chocolate. There's also a pretty decent hoppiness to it - a little grass but maybe more pine. Not a whole lot of booze but we know it's there - maybe just a little Macallan nose with a wisp of Sherry.

Sheeeit, this is quite soothing. Creamy on the palate with copious chocolate malt - maybe a little patent but very lean on harsh tannins. Smooth as all get-up - I'd almost enjoy a little more booziness but this tastes more like a traditional Imperial Stout. BrewDog has really shed the "gimmick" nuance with this one, because it stands on its own with a much more subtle notion of the Macallan cask. It gets a little bit lighter with warmth and the Macallan notes start emerging but they still remain nicely mellow.

Warmth on the palate from front to back is very calm - its weight gets lighter as the Scotch notes emerge with warmth. Earlier it has a creamy texture that is extremely inviting; this relaxes after a while but it is far from clammy.

Overall this is an inviting package that may temper and relax a bit as it warms but it's still a very good offering that is more traditional than other Paradox series offerings I've sampled. Extremely well-constructed. Another one that begs for a solid stogie.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish black with a deep brown head in a tulip on tap at some amazing pub in bristol.

Smell is absolutely amazing - total scotch whiskey, the vanilla, the smoke and the pure peat

Taste is almost as incredible, big chocolate malts, peaty smoke and oak...dried cherries and raisins

Big mouthfeel, and finish. Wow!

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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 hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle. Batch 011 BB 12/12/09.

Poured a dark brown color with red edges and an average to larger sized tan head. Aromas of earthiness, manure, woody, peat, smoke, chocolate, and very light sherry. Tastes of vanilla, wood, light sherry, chocolate, light caramel, and roast. Creamy body with the alcohol content well hidden.

Notes from: 8/16/08

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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 Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my third review of the Brew Dog Paradox series. I'm a whisky fan as well as a beer fan, and what's amazing about these beers is how well they reflect the particular whisky barrels they are aged in. Each paradox tastes somewhat of the whisky that was in the barrel, and the differences in flavor and intensity are often more due to the character of each Scotch rather than the beer ingredients. This is exciting stuff for a whisky lover. This particular one is hand notated as batch 011 best by 12/12/09. The beer pours pitch black with very little head, but what there is leaves a little bit of lacing. The smell is toasty and sweet with marshmallow and cedar up front and with some vinous notes on the back end from the sherry casks. The taste is perhaps a bit gentler than some of the other Paradoxes, but there are clear notes of roasted malt, sherry, sweet honeyed malt, and the pure, clean notes of the Macallan. Very nice. Extremely smooth, and although there are whisky notes, it doesn't taste at all as strong as the 10% abv would suggest. Very nice. I think I'll follow this with a Scotch.

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Photo of AMo
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brew Dog Paradox Macallan pours a charred black with an initial fizzy short tan head. As it develops, hints of a plumish ruby become evident in the light. First smell is moderately strong and pleasant giving off aromas of roasted malt with hints of dark cherry and chocolate. Later aromas become much stronger and boozier. The taste is exceptional, its slightly sweet, malty, with a mellow boozy finish. Mouthfeel is moderately dense with a low carbonation. If this was any thicker it would be syrupy, but it doesn't quite push that boundary. Overall drinkability is really good. I feel like I'm drinking a wonderfully mellowed weak whisky. This has poured and been great from the beginning and only gotten better as I work my way through it. Its giving me a good kick and my only dissapointment is that my glass is getting empty. Yeah its pricey, but stocking a couple for a special occasion would be well worth it.

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Photo of Crosling
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Aroma has a lot of depth combining the peaty whiskey character and the sherry character of the barrel with a touch of the base beer. Flavor is nicely balanced and integrated. Silky mouth feel with palate caressing flavors. Not overly smoky, just a touch. The added sherry notes are a welcome addition. Other notes of vanilla, caramel, with a pleasant sweetness and a pretty nice finish. This is my favorite Paradox so far.

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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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