BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)

BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)
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American Imperial Stout
3.94 | pDev: 12.18%
Scotland, United Kingdom
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)
Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 279 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly black, some brown, super mild 1/5" head, lighter brown. The aroma his hot whiskey and almost nothing else.

The taste is far more complex than the aroma. Smoke, vanilla, wood, whiskey, chocolate, ash. The mouthfeel is nice because of the low carbonation. On one hand, this is expensive stuff. On the other, its much better than most, if not all, Brewdog beers.

I might try it again on draft if they're doing like, 8oz or less pours. Wouldn't bang a bottle again though.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.81/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Batch 016. Best by 08/08/10

Reviewed Jan 2, 2016. Number four in my "celler killer" series.

Here's to the first beer of 2016! Bought this one quite a while ago, although it doesnt seem like 8 years ago. I wanted to drink this with my dad but he isnt really into imperial stouts or bourbon beers, so he has been perpetually dflecting. Time to drink this one. Pours pitch black with zero head or lacing. I would have liked to have seen SOMETHING to show the bees was still alive.

Aroma is heavy bourbon with alcohol and vanilla and oak. Dark feuits as well. Dark chocolate.

Dcent flavor. The lack of carbonation kinds of kills any big time enjoyment out of this. The body is flat without the carbo. Carbo would help it feel not so thin and watery. Good flavor. Bourbon is understated with the underlying stout shining through. Raisins and figs big in the flavor. Alcohol is a little hot. No bitterness.

Thin, underwhelming. I think I paid like $8 for this 12 oz bottle but the way it drinks right now, it is worth about $1.50. Maybe I waited too long but I was not impressed.

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Photo of mmapes
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Big ol' thanks to Craig for the trade. This has been in our cellar since 2012 (it's 2014) and who knows how long he had it before trading.

Sampled some Arran scotch whisky beforehand to get familiar with the taste.

Color is mostly black, a little brown.

Plenty of head, still smells good. Stout, carmel, kinda sweet. Doesn't smell at all like the whiskey.

Taste matches the smell. A little flat, perhaps, smoky, acidic, maybe a little gingerbread on the finish.

Later sips. Acidity not so shocking on subsequent sips. The whisky has completely disappeared, though. Maybe the age has converted the whisky into smoky malt. Very malt heavy.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours pitch black with a tan coloured head which quickly disappears.

The smell is very sweet whisky and dark malts.

The taste is very heavy on the whisky, sweet and malty. The finish has some bitter chocolate.

The mouthfeel is smooth and light for the style. The carbonation is low.

Overall a very whisky forward sweet beer. I enjoyed it but one is definitely enough.

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Photo of dgfair
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a while...just never got around to drinking it.

Pours an oily jet black with a tightly bubbled tan head that dissipates at a nice even pace leaving good lacing around the glass. Looks slightly thin and bubbly for a 10% stout.

Smell of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and peat. Very nice. Not heavy in the aroma...need to go searching for the scent a little bit, but the reward is worth the time. Scotch comes out more as the beer warms.

Taste is very nice. Upfront notes of dry cocoa followed by the oak and peat characteristics from the scotch barrel aging. Finishes very dry with another shot of cocoa powder accompanied by a slight booziness. Like the smell, scotch comes to the forefront as the beer approaches room temperature. I love the fact that this is not an overly sweet stout. The dry, rich, earthly flavors are a perfect match for the scotch treatment here.

Mouth is slightly thin, but not off-putting in any way. Definitely can't tell it's a big stout from the mouthfeel, and that's a good thing. Don't mind a clean finish without the sticky heaviness.

Overall, this is a very well crafted beer, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch 016, best before 08/08/10 bottle. Have had this for about 2 years and decided to sit on it for the right time. Splitting this one with my dad night before thanksgiving.

Poured carefully into a snifter, there is virtually no head at all; the beer is a really dark cola, a bit lighter than your typical imperial stout. It's opaque and cloudy.

Definitely able to smell the barrel, which is not always the case with BA stouts aged for this long. There are obvious exceptions, but I am pleased, here. Nice combination of coffee, chocolate, subtle dark fruit and vanilla aromas are present.

Taste is similar but different; robust barley and malt backbone with some hopiness as well. Great chocolate aftertaste, bitter but well-balanced.

Feel is incredibly smooth/some bitterness as well. Very lightly carbonated.

Overall great beer. Aged fairly well; probably only chance to try this one, but if you see it on a random shelf somehwere, check it out. Cheers.

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Photo of aslamm75
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Disclaimer bottle says best before 08/08/10

Drank 3-22-13: I think it is past its time. Very flat, no head. Dark black color. Mild boozy and sweet aroma with some raisins.
Taste: a bit flat as well. Does not have the complexity and flavor of the fresh Tokyo*.
A bit of a dissappointment.

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Photo of heygeebee
4.57/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 01/15

Pours a huge tan coarse head over black body. Fades to film, little lace.

Assault of aromas of sweet vanilla, choc, and scotch as I opened the bottle.

Taste is smooth and integrated, vanilla driven, and yes as the label says, some ginger bite in among the chocolate and smooth roast elements. Ginger bite holds sway among the bittering notes on back palate.

Mouthfeel surprisingly carbonated. But creamy and medium bodied at the same time.

Sensational beer. Not had too many BA stouts and I now see there is no going back.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown appearing nearly black. Dark with almost no head or carbonation. Medium bodied. Dark and smoky malt and dark fruit aroma. Strong stout flavors with molasses, roasted malt and vanilla. Mild whiskey background. A well balanced, smooth, well integrated stout.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There isn't any head to speak of, but it pours a nice deep black.

The nose is a sweet roasted malt backbone supporting the whiskey.

The taste is of a creamy sweet stout augmented by the Arran whiskey barrels. I have been really getting a deeper appreciation for barrel aged beers, and this is a really good one. Creamy smoothe, not overly dominated by any single component. Well balanced, I quite enjoy it.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a very weak and porous head that is slightly tanned and a very light big bubbled lacing that laps up the sides of the glass and dissipates very quickly. This beer is as dark as sin with a slight coffee ambering right at the top of the glass, but overall it is not much of a looker, and the carbonation seems low, which is expected from the whisky barrel aging process. This beer hits the nose, however, as thick and malty. There is some oozing chocolate lingering in the smell, and some slight caramel tinges along with the suggestion of the barrels it was aged in. This smell is actually quite enticing with globbing wafts of molasses and chocolate and perhaps some slight sugars. There are no hops present but it is by far the stickiest and thickest smelling beer I’ve ever smelled, and those adjectives shouldn’t really apply to the smell! Dear lord is this beer thick on the tongue with a nice musky smoke on the back and heavy dark chocolate on the initial oozing rush. This beer tastes fantastic! There are some slight dark fruit tingling that definitely suggest raisins, only these raisins are chocolate covered. Chocolate is most definitely the overpowering flavor here. Carbonation is a very light tingle on the tongue but this beer is thick, fat and oozing (as I may have said once or twice before) and it flows away to leave a light skim of saliva on the top of the tongue while a raging saliva-waterfall cascades off the tongues-sides. I am very much a fan of this beer, and I am very impressed with my first bottle of Brew Dog! These Scots know how to make some kickass beer. This is a great barrel aged imperial stout! Definitely worth picking up, and excellent as a dessert beer.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.19/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Blind Tiger in NYC (6/23/12). Poured into a half tulip.

Pour: Pitch black. I mean midnight. Frothy deep khaki head that lingers and laces wonderfully. The look of this brew was its best aspect.

Smell: Boose and dark chocolate. Some roasty peat and smoke. Mostly booze.

Taste: Booze. As it warmed, I got smokey malt and dry peat, maybe some bitter chocolate. The difference between a scotch and a bourbon barrel aging technique are utterly apparent.

Overall: Cool to get, especially on cask, but not my style of Imperial Stout. Wouldn't get again.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours flat as hell. A deep brown/black color that looks and pours like soy sauce.

S: As a disclosure, this bottle did say best by last year, do it's possible that this is simply past its prime. I did pick up some dark fruits, mostly raisin, and a touch of smokiness. I'm trying like crazy but I'm not really getting any scotch.

T: Raisin and earthiness upfront with a distinct peat note. Again, not a ton of scotch but I think that peaty flavor is from it. Roasted malt and more raisin on the finish. Mouthfeel is absolutely awful. Completely flat and very very thin. One one hand, it does a good job of disguising the ABV, but it also hurts the flavor potential of this beer. Not super great.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first thought was, "hello scotch. how are you?" But after some thought, its a bit more complex than that.

No head, but thats expected from the age and style. Very murky pitch black body. I know that sounds odd, but its true. No head and no carbonation.

Initial smells are loaded with smooth peaty scotch. Lots of dry aged malt to give it a bit of depth. Slightly sweet notes left. nice dose of booze as well. Smells boozier than any other.

Smells alot scarier and comlex than it tastes, honestly. Its super sweet and smooth. Scotch smoothness, stout sweetness, and a mellowness from the age. Its scary for the ABV. SO drinkable, it goes down so smooth. hints of sweet dark cherries are a bit unexpected, but welcome.

my only knock is for its bill and style, it should be over the top. I dont think age has done it justice at all. It should blow my mind, but its just kind of there. hm.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 2015
Pours a solid black with a thinnish tan head that leaves bfore the party really gets rolling. Smells of oak and vanilla with a touch of smoke, and a wee bit of caramel and roasted grains deep underneath. Taste is a little roasty and chocolatey with a heavy dose of smokey peat. Slightly earthy with a touch of vanilla and alcohol. This has mellowed a bit since the last time I tried it, and that's a good thing in my mind. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a roasty oily mouthfeel. I enjoyed this tonight, but I won't lie its not my favorite stout. It's a lot less smoky than last time I tried it, but its still quite smoky. Might pair well with some pulled pork or a cigar.

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Photo of Blanco
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours black and hardly carbonated. Holding the beer and thin it out against the glass, I can see some serious burgundy notes reminiscent of a very dark red wine. What bubbles I see might easily have been from the very vigorous pour I attempted to throw down once I saw it was having trouble fizzing. There are smaller light carbonation bubbles that don't last very long. Smells of dark malt, dark fruits and liquor. hints of caramel. After tasting my suspicion that this was going to be flat held true. The taste overall though follows the nose. Vanilla, dark fruit, nice maltiness. Hints of chocolate and liquor, which I suppose is scotch from the barrels that were used. The beer actually tastes quite good. More like a barrel-aged barleywine than a stout. Mouthfeel blows since it's flat and it's the one downside of the beer. Brings it way down from what could have been one of the best beers I've had. Other reviews show that more than a few bottles poured flat so this wasn't an isolated incident. It wasn't terrible, just let than it could have been.

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Photo of claytri
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a flat dark mahogany with no head. The aroma hinted of dark fruit. The taste was a bit medicinal with coffe upfront and some bittered dark fruit on the back end. The feel was medium and slightly wet. A different sort of cask effort that left me not overly interested in a second glass. I found this at Friscos in Columbia MD on 4/4/12.

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Photo of tdm168
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing this to the tasting. The bottle says best by 8/8/10; sampled on 4/3/12. It was purchased at Total Wine on 4/2/12.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep brown that borders on black with some reddish hues around the edges. There is absolutely no head, just a few carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass. The nose has notes of roasted malt, vanilla, faint chocolate, ginger, whiskey, and alcohol. The flavor is vanilla forward with nice roastiness underneath. There are some subtle notes of wood and whiskey as well as some chocolate and alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is very thin for the style, absolutely no carbonation, but ultimately warm and a bit smooth.

This is a bit of a weird brew. I would have liked to sample it before the best by date. The mouthfeel throws me off and the lack of body definitely detracts from the experience and maybe even the flavor. I'm glad I tried it nonetheless because the flavor was still intriguing and complex.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 23/3/12

A near black just a little cola at the edges, large two finger of light brown head just sits there slowly falling to an island leaving unorganized lace

S chocolate milk with a little dried fruit, smokey wood and the scotch notes, not very peaty but you can tell it sat in a barrel for a while

T more char and smokey notes in the mouth, rum raisin and a little booze, pretty dark roast going on here burnt coffee and a little caramel, I loved the taste of this stuff its a pretty intense yet mellow if that makes any sense at all

M a little thin considering the color but still far from watery, just some slight heat and bubbles give it some life, the aftertaste lingers for ages fairly strong

O pretty well rounded stuff going on here, some more age wouldn't hurt its cause but a pretty solid barrel aged stout

this ones worth a shot for sure and if I could I'd grab a pair to age, for now a big thanks goes out to chickenm for sending me one of these it was what I was hoping for

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Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Retired but still available.
Batch 16 bottled 08/08/08.
Beautiful pour into brandy snifter.
Mellow, smooth, milky, chocolate notes. Alcohol nicely moderate. Mouthfeel is thick, a little alcoholic. Next time I'm near the bottle store I will definitely seek it out and snatch up any leftovers.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viscous chocolate black with barely a purple cream film that leaves minute trailers. Black grape, caramelized sugar, barrel, licorice and soil on the nose - deep and complex.
Tar, black strap molasses, prune, soy sauce, an oaky undercurrent and a perfumed rum kind of thing, then dark berries and a touch of surprisingly tingly orange rind hops.
Roasty charcoal ending and whisky linger. Full, chewy, oily, super smooth, only the slightest burn.

Great nose - smoke is there, but play second to chewy black malts. I know the ABV is high, but head still would've been nice. Apparently the Isle of Arran casks were sherry casks first, which would explain the fruitiness. No real bitterness (Galena and Bramling Cross for hops) and silky all around.

A couple of years on this bottle, and somehow that's killed the peat and wood - there's a slight Scotch hum, but otherwise just a lovely, chunky Imperial Stout.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark black with a massive, tanned brown foamy head that lasts very well.

Lots of malts with some spice and a warm Scotch smell as well. There is a very noticeable vanilla aroma along with hints of wood and dark chocolate towards the end. This is a lot better than I expected it to smell although the Scotch stings the nostrils very slightly.

Rich chocolate taste to begin with along with some dark malts. The drink has huge Scotch whisky flavours that appear at the middle & towards the end of the drink. There are hints of vanilla blended throughout the taste and the aftertaste has a lingering warmth to it.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a creamy, smooth feel to the drink. There is an overall warmth to the beer from the Scotch flavours and it is very drinkable.

The drink was well balanced & complex. I enjoyed the touches of vanilla throughout and the head had surprising longevity for such a strong beer.

1001 Beers Blog:

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Photo of whatthehull
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted sept. 12th 2011 (from notes)


A - deep dark black, no head and minimum lacing

S - old wood, bacon, peat, smoke, tons of malts, very sweet and obviously scotch whiskey

T - scotch, peat, sweet malts, smoke, lots of wood, terrior, wet wood and has that huge rauch beer flavor

M - full bodied, not a lot of balance, no acidity, tons of complexity and very long finish

D - not for most drinkers or beer drinkers. This one is huge, funky and awesome. Think rauch beer, stout that meets scotch. Really fun. Thanks to Eric, for this one

Final thought - 10% and $10 and awesome, different and funky!

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Photo of John_M
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Frisco's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with fairly good head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable peat and smoke from aging in scotch barrels, along wiht some milk chocolate and light coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and the mouthfeel was soft and almsot creamy in texture. The beer is a bit boozy, but considering the abv., it's no where close to being over the top. The finish is long and creamy in this fairly sweet stout, and while certainly delicious, I'm not sure I could handle more than a single glass of this.

Nice enough beer...

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Photo of Briken
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Dark brown with no head. Vanilla, oak, chocolate and whisky. Molasses up front mellowing to spice and vanilla notes with a smooth roasted and caramel sweetness. Thin, watery with no carbonation.

A very mellow beer with increasing complexity. I didn’t realize the age when I bought it and I would say this really went past its prime in carbonation. Really a very smooth and flavorful beer nonetheless with an increasing nuance even after swallowing.

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BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) from BrewDog
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 279 ratings