BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) | BrewDog

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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.

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 279
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, thanks to Phy21ca. Pours black, modest white head. Fragrance is mollasses, coffee, chocolate, and whiskey. Taste is restrained whiskey and wood, even though expirey more than a year off. Smooth drinkability, above average thick body. A decent, though not outstanding IS.

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Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with a thin light tan head. Some maple, molasses and whisky in the nose.

Full sweet coffee/licorice/whiskey flavors. Unfortunately, literally no carbonation whatsoever and very uninviting.

Flat, dull and lacking in character all around. Love this beer in the bottle. The draft was very disappointing.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out much like the others in the series, black, not overly thick looking and with a thin tan head on top. The smell of the beer was heavily aged in scotch barrels. It's very pronounced on the nose. The taste of the beer was heavy with booze and burnt flavors. The mouthfeel is slick but not really all that thick. There's not much carbonation in there, the beer is on the flatter side. Overall it's not much different than any other Paradox I've had. They're fun to try but I would need to have them side by side in order to really see a difference.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewdog has me scared to death to open a bottle; I am quite gun shy after the Smokehead. All of these beers aged in whisky casks have turned out extremely intense and overbearing with the smoke, peat, char, and booze flavors. It turns out that this one fares much better with a foundation of stout-like proportions and only contributing barrel character.

A dark brown beer (almost black) pours with near opaqueness. A dainty head forms and then settles with a film that hardly covers the surface. The foam lasts 'til the end of the session while leaving solid lacing behind. The beer takes on a very cask-ale like appearance even down to the barely-there carbonation. It's not uncommon for barrel aged beers to struggle in the head formation/retention arena.

Aromas of rum and fruitcake rise first, even above the secondary bitter chocolates, French roast coffees, and burnt currants, cherries, and raisons. The plethera of stone fruits range from figs and dates to nuts and berries-- all of the deeply roasted and dehydrated variety. All this wrapped around a sweet alcohol (rum) note that fades into port and brandy from time to time.

Flavors very closely mimic the aromas but in a more muted behavior than I'd expect. The intensity here definately favors the roasted grains with the coffee, cocoa, nuts, and char. Fruits and alcohols round together in a rum-soaked fruitcake demeanor. Bitterness seems to be a harsher alcohol deriven type instead of the smoother hop bitterness. Slight oxidation gives a sherry-like note that actually helps the flavors.

Low carbonation allows the beer to sit on the surfaces of the mouth and with no efforvesence. However, the beer is creamy and fluid up front but then thins out and dries out beautifully in the finish. A pappery, powdery dry sensation stops shy of leaving the mouth arid or ashy. I would however prefer more body with this beer.

The Stout base is much more moderate than the expected Russian Imperial versions which seems to take something off of the beer. The flavors are so big and well balanced, I would prefer the body to do the same for consistency's sake. Still, one of the better beers to jump out of Scottland.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of the Arran malt expressions, so it's nice to see BrewDog working with this region of Scottish whiskey production.

This beer pours a deep, dark opaque brown, with slight mahogany edges, and a thin meniscus of soapy eggshell white head, which still manages to leave some webbed lace as it recedes. It smells of caramel, vanilla, treacle, and some mild alcohol. The taste is mildly roasted caramel malt, milk chocolate powder, some boozy wood, marzipan, dark brown sugar, and burnt vanilla as the finish approaches. The carbonation is very soft, the body smooth, velvety, and decently heavy, and it finishes a bit off-dry - roasted chocolate, and the alcohol finally shows itself in quantity, although not very much.

Like the namesake whiskey, the smokiness in this beer is very restrained, and the various sweet component shine through. The big alcohol is very well integrated, rendering this scarily easy to drink.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.06/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

33cl bottle served into a Trappist Westvleteren goblet in Belfort, France. Bottle is brown glass with a classic pressure cap. Reviewed live. I usually find Brewdog to be gimmicky crap that has no need for a limited release, but is done so in order to jack up the prices.

A: Half finger head is of tan colour, nice cream, and decent thickness. Retention is laughably bad, which can be explained by the wide mouth goblet and high ABV. Solid black colour. Nontransparent. It's alright.

Sm: Whiskey and cream; that's it. The aroma is moderately strong.

T: Whiskey undertones with cream and maybe chocolate atop. I find cinnamon only when I look for it. I don't find ginger, but there's some sort of awful fringe sourness on the edges. Built very badly and poorly balanced, with whiskey overpowering the entire body. Where's the beer?

Mf: Smooth and wet, with entirely too much thickness. It's hardly complementary of the flavours on the body.

Dr: The high ABV isn't that noticeable, but it still comes through. A sip of this would make you vomit after a night of fair drinking; it's just enough to tip you over the edge alongside the wretched flavour. The price is obscenely high, typical for BrewDog. This is an extortionist beer, as usual for the brewer. It's really hardly a beer at all. This is BrewDog in its infancy trying to cash in on the aging wave.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a small dark brown bubbly head with low retention and some lacing. Aroma of barley and scotch with some light sweet malt. Taste is a great mix between some scotch, some sweet black chocolate and some sweet barley. Medium body with low carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. Very well done and barrel aging is well balanced.

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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.

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter jet black like an oil slick,no head to speak of.Candied fruit and some vanilla in the nose along with some light burnt notes,somewhat mellow but nice.Mellow is a good word to describe the feel,not much carbonation and its full,quite nice.Flavors of spiced cherries,vanilla,mild char,and sweet alcohol,its pretty mild and nice to sip on.I was hesitant to try this but I liked it.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Stone Brewing Bistro & World Gardens 11/14/09 during their "Bashah Bash" event with BrewDog. Served in a cool looking BrewDog goblet.

Pours black in the glass, with creamy finger of mocha colored head. Retains with a thin frothy layer, that stays rich, leaving a big sticky latticework of lacing down the sides. The barrel notes in the aroma are very spicy and sharp at first, but then smoothes out nicely in the back of the nose with some more mellow notes of smoke, wood, and earth. Underneath, lies plenty of the Stout flavors, including chocolate, roast, and some sticky caramel. This just sits in the nose with a very well rounded feel to it.

The taste has a nice roasty chocolate sweetness to it, which is quickly surrounded by the spicy, meaty, and smoky textures of the barrel. The finish is very dry from the spice, with a good bit of a woody feel mixing in as well. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a very mellow and creamy quality to the carbonation which matches that of the aroma. This drinks very easily for a 10% beer. There is actually minimal tannic slickness here to the body, which allows more of that creamy feel to really come out.

I really like what that Arran barrel brought to this, with a ton of spice and smoke character giving this a good bit of depth, yet this still stayed very smooth and easy for such a big beer. Solid entry in the series here for sure.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Only had a sampler of this on tap, but I do have a bottle at home, so this review is kind of preliminary.

A: Dark brown to black color, slight tan head.

S: Roasty malts, weak coffee.

T: Roasty malts with weak coffee and chocolate. Subtle dried fruits. A little bit of bitterness and a bit of alcohol taste.

M: Moderately smooth with some edge from the alcohol, like it's spiked with whiskey.

D: Moderately drinkable; probably wouldn't order more than one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

black and evil looking from the start. A small but quickly fleeting head of light tan rises up from the bottom of the glass and sits on top for a brief moment before settling back down again. Aroma is burnt, smoked, and peaty, however you want to say it, wow. Dark leather and tobacco, smoked malts, rich, dark chocolate notes. Immense aroma of charred wood. Holy crap this is a beast. Warming brings out subtle vanilla, but barely as the bulk of this is just tremendous smoke. Each sip is rich, again seeped in smoked malts and rich campfire like tones

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Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone last night.

A: Black with a thin mocha colored foam.

S: Coffee, licorice, woody, smoke, slight chocolate and whiskey.

T: Smokey, roasted malt, licorice, a bit of chocolate and not too much whiskey flavor.

M: Lighter on the tongue than I was expecting, and kind of flat.

D: Certainly tasty and not overpowering in any sense.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.9/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on cask at Churchkey in Washington, DC. Menu said it was aged for 6 months in single malt whiskey barrels.

a - Pours a dark black with no head at all.

s - Smells of oak, whiskey, and some roasted malts.

t - Tastes of oak and watered down whiskey. Also hints of dark fruits. Not a big fan of this.

m - Medium body and no carbonation.

d - Overall I didn't really like this one. I usually enjoy stouts that are aged in whiskey barrels but this just tasted like watered down whiskey to me. Wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours nearly jet black with no real head whatsoever. The smell is a maelstrom of aromas, with pieces and parts of roasted malts, scotch, vanilla, and even some coffee. The taste generally follows, though the alchohol comes through a bit more, and the coffee is much more bitter than the roast felt in the nose. Also coming through stronger is the whiskey, giving a unique warming and boozy sensation that nicely compliments the usual imperial stout flavors. The body is nearing the heavy range, but rolls very smoothly through the mouth, allowing for an enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
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 RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost opaque with a very very thin tan head that falls to nothing quickly. Nose is one dimensional bourbon tones. Bourbon and vanilla and minor at that. Flavor comes off as the same really. Nice and thick and malty with a minor alcohol burn and booze tones to it. But there's no oomph. No kick. No big thing eliciting that wow factor. Feel is lower on carbonation. Liquid is thick. Overall a nice enough example of the style. Is it delivering interesting character from the barrels used to age it? I don't think so. But hey, that's the price of experimentation, right?

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Photo of tdm168
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
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 smakawhat
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from cask in to a small snifter.

The appearance is of a dark black stout... what's new there with foamy soapy light brown chestnut bubbles that have good retention. Not going anywhere. Upon finish the beer there is virtually no lacing.

Taste consists of a giant molasses front, huge molasses smell on this beer... there is also a pleasant balance of malt, then giving way to a thick faint milk chocolate. There are sometimes occasional anisette whiffs as well.

Upon quaffing, the viewer is reward with a slightly syrupy high body molasses concoction that transforms into chocolate milk viscosity and flavor. Enter milkshake territory especially upon chomping of tasty bubbles.

Afterfinish is a big texture of coating velvet.. Extremely velvet characteristic in finish and feel leaving a cigar smoke and/or cigarette smoke on the palate.

If this is your thing drinkability is high.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beefing up my cask rep on here by trying a lot of beers on cask. So far its not been my favorite way to experience a beer but some side by side comparisons are in order.

Beer is dark brown to black with a reddish hue in the corners. There is no lacing and I can't see whether or not there is any residual carbonation.

Aroma has a slight liquor component to ti followed by some roast.

Beer is smooth and medium bodied. No carbonation in the mouth at all. Lots of bitter chocolate flavors in the back of the mouth. Some alcohol sweetness. Drinkability is moderate and the mouthfeel is OK to good.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
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 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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a snifter, bottle courtesy of Long813. Batch 016 with a BBD of April 26, 2014.

Pours like liquid midnight, absolutely no light getting through this bitch. Finger of brown head, settling to a ring of head to crown this. Smells of whiskey (although quite muted), milk chocolate, coffee, molasses and some vanilla. Quite pleasant, albeit expected. Starts off very rich and full, with the roasted malts and chocolate blasting you from the get-go, while remaining enveloped in the bourbon. Heavy on the sweetness (mostly vanilla/molasses taking it there), and yet finishes very dry and bitter. Can't really attribute this to either some hop additions or maybe some espresso/coffee beans used in this, but this dryness and lingering bitterness leads me towards believing some espresso played a big role here. Big beer with a big, full mouthfeel and although there's some whiskey on the tongue that adds a majority of the heat, the heat isn't really a big factor here. This one's a massive sipper.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another LA area bar, another strong BrewDog beer on-tap. This one was at Lucky Baldwin's, and served in a Mardesous-branded steamed chalice (about 9 ounces). On to the beer:

Black as expected, head retention is short lived. Toasted marshmallow and a little oak in the aroma....a mellow aroma, but I like it. The overall flavor is quite mellow as well, and the more I drank, the more I enjoyed it. Only a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate, but the notes of vanilla, dark fruits, wood, toasted marshmallow, and graham cracker add to the fun of this beer. Did I mention the alcohol was hidden well?

In contrast to American barrel aged stouts, Paradox IoA provides less barrel, but an equally amount of drinking pleasure. After Tokyo* and this in one day, I have restored faith in BrewDog.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown-black with a small beige head. The aroma has some smokey peat notes but you also get vanilla as well as dark fruit. The flavor is more of the same with the vanilla really standing out. Not as much roasted malt as I expected. You also get some oak and toffee characters. reminds me of a very nice scotch. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Tried side-by-side with Smokehead and Springbank and this one stood out as the best.

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BrewDog Paradox Isle Of Arran (Batch 016) from BrewDog
3.9 out of 5 based on 279 ratings.
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