BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) | BrewDog

very good
185 Reviews
no score
Send samples
BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016)

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 Phyl21ca on 12-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 279
Photo of msmezher
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paradox by Brew Dog is a beer I've been holding off on for quite a while. It's been available at a liquor store near my apartment and at another near my parent's house. Paradox is now my favorite beer by Brew Dog, and it wasn't a hard sell. Aging something in Scotch barrels is about as good as it gets. Mine poured with nearly no head, which I was expecting for an aged beer with a high ABV. Sweet tastes of prunes, raisins, and maybe a hint of apple were present, but the beer was most strongly flavored as an Imperial Stout, with a smokey, oaky finish that felt perfect in the mouth, and could be fully appreciated by letting it roll to the back of the mouth.

I bought this bottle because it was the last one available at Farmer's Harvest in Huntington Beach, and my only remorse is that there isn't another one for me to buy tomorrow. Phenomenal.

 851 characters

Photo of NWer
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

 291 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.69/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Pours deep dark brown with slight red hue in the light with a very minimal (if any at all) tan head. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, alcohol, vanilla, and chocolate. The flavor was of malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. It was heavy on the palate, almost sticky, with low carbonation. Overall this was one of the best stouts I've tasted. It is stupidly drinkable for a 10%er. I just wish this one was readily available even if it was just seasonal. My hat is off to BrewDog and Arran for getting together on this one.

 605 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.64/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Stone Bistro in August 2009.

Poured a very dark, thick black with a moderate tan head. The smell was definitely of whiskey along with a nice malty sweetness. A little bit of dark fruit. The taste was very well organized, with the whiskey being predominant, although a very nice malt sweetness was in the background. Very viscous with low carbonation, which was quite proper. The drinkability was good, but the glass I split with my wife was plenty.

 463 characters

Photo of adkirkish
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Pub at Naples - A great find on the Florida beer scene :)

A: Pours black with a frothy light tan head which dissipated after about 5 minutes, the beer left some nice lacing as consumed.

A: Roasted and dark malts, no hop aroma, slight coffee aromas, warmed to smell of black licorice. I couldn't pull any booze aromas from this beer until warmed.

F: Upfront boozy (whisky), slight umami and savory tastes, the body of the beer is balanced towards the roasted malts. This is mixed with some smokey flavors as well as oaky tannins, and finally finishes with some coffee bitterness. No hops present in taste / no defects.

M: Medium - Heavy mouthfeel, feels thick on the palate, but goes down smooth. Carbonation was not apparent in the mouthfeel.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. I wasn't expecting alot of the coffee / malty notes, rather the oak and booze notes, but was not a bad experience. I really enjoyed the complex taste within the body of the beer. There is alot for your tongue to sort through, especially as this beer warms to temp.

 1,058 characters

Photo of heygeebee
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of Maxwell
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

 1,718 characters

Photo of ryanonline
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

its dark black with a little brown tinge when held to the light. no head and zero lacing.

i smell cinnamon and vanilla and definitely whiskey. also, i'm getting sort of an apple smell too. the traditional imperial stout smells are sort of masked by the whiskey.

the chocolate and coffee flavors that are traditionally associated with impy stouts is more prevalent in the taste. I think the apple scent i was imagining is more like a raisin on the tongue. there is a strong whiskey flavor throughout and the alcohol is very apparent.

This beer is sort of dry and very thin bodied. and boozy.

i could probably only have a couple of these but not too many. it is very potent but good.

I've never had a whiskey barrel aged stout and i think this one is awesome. I had brew dogs hardcore ipa and thought it was horrible, so i can only assume that other barrel aged stouts are ungodly fantastic.

 894 characters

Photo of bylerteck
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sent to my Girlfriend by her pal in Scotland for her Birthday. From notes.

A - Poured black with a thick dark brown one finger head. Minimal lace and a half finger of head retention.

S - A wonderfully complex and inviting mix of molasses, licorice, wood, whisy, booze, sugary mocha coffee, and chocolate covered cherries.

T - Roasty, wood, whisky, vanilla, chocolate cherries again. The wood was stronger with whisky notes and lot's of chocolate.

M - Nice carbonation and a full body with a sweet and woody finish.

O/D - Very nice. The wood influence was interesting and added a layer of complexity to what I assume is a great base Imperial Stout. If BrewDog could be more consistent I would have more faith in them, but this has raised the bar for them for sure. Well crafted.

 789 characters

Photo of krunchie
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Riedel glass.

A: Pours a tar-like thick liquid with a tan head which dissapears too quickly. Looks delicious though.

S: Single malt whisky, sweet bourbon-like aromas and slight smokiness. Got some holiday spiciness stuff too, like clove and nutmeg which I really liked. Faint hint of alcohol and black malts. I'm a huge fan of scottish whiskys so this is right up my alley!

T: Starts out pretty raw and rough, but ends smooth and roasty. Pronounced hop bitterness in the finish, but very true to the style and works great in this perticular beer. Got more of a whisky thing for every sip I took. Tar and smoke. Black malts and a woody, almost earthy complex taste hit my palate. Well balanced despite the hoppy finish. Raw, but not over the top - a good mix!

M/D: Great body and perfect CO2 for the style. Smooth on the tongue and on the palate, yet the bitterness leaves a coating on my throat, keeping me from giving it a 5 rating. Its smoothness reminds me of a nice, high gravity oatmeal stout I had a while back which I really liked. Very drinkable for the style and I instantly got a feeling of content. This is a beer I could easily get a religious kind of feeling during a sunset onboard a wooden boat in the Stockholm archipelago or on the eastern side of Gotland in summer...mmm!

Summary: yum yum!

 1,324 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Espresso black with a crop of brown sugar meringue foam. Not great retention, but not bad either, considering the strength. Lovely nose dominated by vanilla and molasses, with shades of soy sauce, wood smoke, chicory, grapefrruit, coffee, prunes, and deep, dark chocolate. The flavor is similarly a glorious layer cake of Scotch on Stout, chocolate on vanilla, brown sugar on peat, bitter orange on burnt toast, rum on raisins, cacao on coffee. Bitter and raw, yet somehow smooth - the rare barrel-aged stout where the barrel seems integral and not tangential. A lovely brew - unbelievable that this is the same base beer that also became the undrinkable abomination of Paradox Smokehead.

 688 characters

Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft, City Beer Store, BrewDog Night. Pours black to coffee black with a tight beige head. The aroma is excellent. It smells of fancier whiskey than I'm used to. Lots of vanilla and oak. It's a smooth, well-meshed aroma. There are nice chocolate and coffee notes, but the underlying stout takes a backseat to the barrel flavors, keeping things from clashing. The flavor gives even more whiskey balanced by some nice malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth. The beer is just excellent. Good whiskey barrel, good balance, no clashing notes. Excellent beer.

 551 characters

Photo of mototony
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz bottle. Almost nonexistant head and very faint coffee and malt nose. Bittersweet at first with fig and dried fruit on the tongue. Thought I would get more peat/smoke/oak from this, but nice balance overall. Thin in the mouth, warm in the throat.

I could drink this beer as long as my tolerance allowed.

 315 characters

Photo of eric5bellies
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a nice deep Ebony colour with a tanned head that reduces to a lacing fil.

S - Aromas of seaweed and vanilla, with heaps of bready malt.

T - Up front some nice roasted malt flavours that are quickly replaced by some nice barrel whiskey notes. Some brown sugar is also present to balance it out. Vanilla finishes it off.

M - Full body and low carbonation.

O - Balance is the key with these beers and this fits the bill well.

 463 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang fluted glass. Pours a thick looking black. Nearly zero head. Laces when drunk down the glass. Very interesting nose of coffee, chocolate, and oak-y scotch smell. Intense, intriguing flavors. Coffee, light bitter chocolate, oak, light alcohol given the 10 percent. Quite drinkable given the alcohol content. A bit pricey, but well worth the try.

 368 characters

Photo of shanblur
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Hyde Park Wine & Spirits in Cincinnati, OH. Best by date of 08/08/10. Poured from 33cl bottle into a sniffer.

A - Pours a dark brown to black. Very little head quickly turns to a ring of foam.

S - Earthy wood and smoke aroma mixed with a whisky smell.

T - Smoky and slightly sweet with a definite whisky taste. Nice warming alcohol.

M - Creamy and smooth with a light carbonation.

I guess I had this one aged some based on the best by date. It still was very enjoyable. The amount of whisky in the aroma and taste is perfect. Does not taste like 10% abv.

 572 characters

Photo of radioscooter
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a lonely bottle of this at Brew Brothers in Pittsburgh. Was inspired to try it after watching a New Brew Thursday special that featured their Penguin. This is as close as I could get right now. :)

Jet black with red trimming only on the very bottom of the glass. Strange, soapy MINIMAL head after a fairly aggressive pour. It just sits there and doesn't break up. A swirl to oxidize brings only a little more suds.

Smell is ass-kicking whisky aroma, some slight dark toffee hints. I'm getting excited as I let it warm.

Paired with cheddar and half a Percocet. Not really! (No's prescription, I strained my back. Aaand the doctor said to wash it down with Arran whisky aged imperial stout)

Taste is so mild it's ridiculous. In a good way. I was worried this would be one of those whisky-barrel beers that the aging overpowers the beer to the extent where you can maybe have one with a fire and hunting dogs at your side on a winter's day on the moor, but no - this is a beautifully balanced ale that you could drink all night. The whisky aroma is more powerful than the taste. Vanilla, malt, toffee, caramel, slight coffee, slightly boozy taste. This is a medium heavy - more of a double than an imp. stout.

VERY drinkable. Low carbonation (as the lack of head would indicate) but it doesn't feel treacly like an old ale. Very nice. The finish is phenomenal and brings a bit of dry vanilla.

I can't overstate how ridiculously accessible and drinkable this is. I'm going back tomorrow to buy the rest of their stock.

 1,543 characters

Photo of kemoarps
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of chrisafari
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on cask at Stone World Brewing Bistro and Gardens

smell: deep roasted-malt, single malt scotch, cocoa.

pour: black opaque w/ thin off-white head.

flavor: begins smooth, roasted malt then the cocoa notes kick in, nice and smooth. Overall flavor of scotch and alcohol, mild enjoyable burn. Finish is dry with a hint of hops.

mouthfeel: light carbonation from the cask, smooth medium-heavy to heavy body. Mouthfeel is also somewhat oily, which was unexpected (might be the cask).

drinkability: very easy to drink for an imperial stout, the cocoa lingers in the throat and begs you to take another sip.

overall: really, really nice. One of the best Imperial stouts I've had. The Scotch barrels add a nice touch of scotch (nose and burn). It might have been better, however, if it wasn't on cask, the flavor might have been better served with some refrigeration.

 864 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

0.33l bottle.
Pours almost black and opaque with a tan head larger than heads of other BrewDog's brews. Coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts in aroma, surprisingly, no phenolic hints at all in comparison with Smokehead and Speyside. Taste is full-bodied, roasted malt, bitter chocolate, alcohol is well-hidden, carbonation is low. It seems to be worse than 2 other Paradoxes I've drunk, but anyway, worthwhile.

 414 characters

Photo of charlieos
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Decent (for the style) head that dissipates quickly.

S - I've been impressed here by brew dog with this and the springbank beer I had. Very strong, bright taste which is very true to the scotch. This beer smelled very immediately different than the springbank. Much more spice.

T - Again, very true to the scotch. nice peaty profile mixed with spices definitely separates this from other whisky aged stouts I've had.

M - Kinda odd here, bit more carbonated than I would have liked. Kinda thin.

D - Quite drinkable. Less a "dessert" beer feel, not as sweat and heavy and creamy.

Overall, a good beer. If you wanted to give paradox a shot, this would be a good once since the scotch really shines.

 707 characters

Photo of cypressbob
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml, served very slightly chilled in a La Chouffe glass. 10%abv
It pours with a really dark rich dark brown body. Not overly viscous considering the abv but still has a some body to it. Whispy, faint vague head, tan in hue with some retention.

Initially on the nose fresh overly ripe fruit. Passionfruit, banana and mango. That soon passes with a wave of rich roasted malt, swimming in a salty sea. Salty notes along with a whack of dark chocolate, touch of sweet sherbet fizz and roasted malt. Lots of effervescent alcohol on the nose

Sweet rich and roasted malt. Little bit of a syrupy body but certainly not as thick or viscous as an equivalent American imperial stout. Rich and nutty, a touch of mace and five spice towards the finish. A huge heap of boozy roasted malt on the finish, some bitterness from the hops also
I wa sn't sure what to expect of this, I'm pleased to say however that it is a truly interesting and deeply complex little brew. The casks really add a whack of fresh sea air and that rich iodine character syn onymous with the Islay whiskies (notably Lagavullin and Laphroaig)

 1,104 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured dark like coffee with a thin tan head that left good frothy lacing on the glass.

S: lovely chocolate whiskey aromas with slight roasted malts and and hints of the booze from the barrel. I also got milk like aromas to the beer as well.

T: strong chocolate whiskey flavors up front with roasted malts, booze, and sweet milk like charateristics like the nose.

M: medium body with a low amount of carbonation that has a sweet bozzy finish.

D: this beer has a nice balance between the booze and the sweetness that really makes it come together quite well. Really enjoyed this brew ans hope to have it in bottle soon.

 625 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Body is quite dark with a burnt red hue when held up to light. A thin framework of bubbles float across the top and leave some light lacing.

Rich vanilla, dark chocolate, sweet malts, cherry, grapes, fig and honey on the nose. Faint alcohol. Really like the honey glazed fruits. Good complexity in the aroma.

Alcohol infused fruits fermented in vanilla rich oak barrels wash across the tongue. A touch of peat and fig. The barrels come through nicely without being overbearing. Dark roasted malts hold everything together.

Mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation. Some warming alcohol. I've had this beer with more carbonation before, which I think made it more enjoyable, even though this is still quite good.

A tasty sipper. Lots of interesting flavors going on and a complex nose that is quite enjoyable. It seems that the Paradox series is better fresh than aged, since I've had them both ways. Worth seeking out if they make it again.

 969 characters

Photo of pastradul
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a stone irs tulip.

Poured some what rough. Produced a small thin mocha head that left very quick.

the apperance is a dark dark brown. not as black as I would like it to be.

the aroma is delish... lots of smooth vanilla, oak and dark malt as well as a hint of booze.

the taste is similar. very well rounded and big with out being to in your face. Lots of vanilla, oak, mild whiskey in the back of the mouth. Smooth dark semi bitter malt in the mid palate.

Overall I feel this is a great ba beer. not to over the top by any means... based on the flavor I would call it sessionable. But being 10%... not exactly sessionable.

thumbs up to BrewDog dudes on this one!

 679 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) from BrewDog
3.9 out of 5 based on 279 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.