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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Ratings: 279 |  Reviews: 185
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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Photo of tpd975
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice flat black hue. Small foamy head with okay retention. No lace.

S: Malt, light whiskey, oak, earth.

T: Oaky with nice whiskey notes. Chocolate malt, light smoke, and a hint of charcoal.

M: Medium in body, average carbonation.

D: Worth a try.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle to tulip.

A: Black. An oily layer of large bubbles on top that retains quite well. Resides to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Chocolate malts. A bit of whiskey.

T: Kind of disappointing. Mostly chocolate malts. Only the slightest hint of whiskey. A bit of oak. The taste is very mild though. Not very flavorful.

M: Light bodied, fairly low carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink. I don't know why, but this almost seems like a light beer to me. The alcohol is completely hidden.

This beer confused me.

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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 Lunch
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a cask at ChurchKey in Washington, D.C. into a snifter at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours a fairly standard black with a slight light brown cap which dissolves quickly leaving spotty lacing.

S: A very fruity aroma for an Imperial Stout containing traces of dark fruits such as plumbs and raisins along with caramel, chocolate, and carob. Fairly nice, but not my favor profile for this style.

T: The fruity theme continues dominating the palate with plumbs, raisins and apple. Layer of chocolate, caramel/toffee, and carob are also found.

M: A watery medium-bodied Imperial Stout with low carbonation and no trace whatsoever of the 10% abv.

D: Very drinkable especially for a 10%abv. Imperial Stout, but the interesting fruitiness became somewhat one-dimensional and one snifter was fine with me.

Overall this was an interesting Imperial Stout with a very unique fruit profile. Glad I tried it, especially on cask, but it's nothing I will really seek out in the future. Worth a Look.

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

I had this one on cask at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL. Poured into a stemmed snifter.

A= This ale poured a deep dark brown black, with zero light penetration. With a hard pour this ale put up a good 1.5" cream colored loose foamy head. The head settled quickly to a thin cap. No lacing to speak of.

S= Gorgeous aroma profile of caramel, carob, treacle, and raisin on the sweet side and dark chocolate and coffee notes adding some bitter complexity. The hints of whiskey and smoke were in there but never overpowering.

T= Similar to the aroma in nearly all respects. Lots of rich malty sweetness in the form of caramel and chocolate holds its own against the bitterness of the coffee note. The whiskey was obvious but restrained enough that it was a flavor enhancer rather than a dominating presence. Finish was lightly smoky and showed some nice warming alcohol.

MF= Medium bodied (actually lighter than I expected) making the low level of cask carbonation a non-issue. Nice smooth and soft mouthfeel.

D= This was my first RIS on cask and my first Brewdog Paradox. I enjoyed both of those parts of this experience and would seek this beer out again in a heartbeat. Very drinkable for the ABV and quite delicious.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a chilled cask @ Bavarian Lodge. Into one of the house snifters.

A - Solid finger and a half of dark tan head. Very dark brown,just a hint of tawny away from being black.

S - Soft chocolate and whisky sweetness balance out the smokey, minerally and espresso dryness. The aroma featured less peat than expected, and had the same mild aroma as most other Paradoxes I've tasted.

T - Cocoa sweetness starts at the entry and builds in intensity, only to be dominated by the whisky sweetness and bite. Smoke and minerals are again very present and welcoming, but not as peaty as expected. Finishes dry, smokey, with an alcoholic bite.

M - Decent viscosity, with the soft mouthfeel that one would expect from a cask.

D - I'm still conflicted about these Paradoxes after having 4 of them. I really enjoy the idea of including Old world characteristics added to American styles. That being said, I'm not sure the price always justifies the product. Enjoyable product, worth trying.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle bought in Scotland. Poured into a de Molen sniffer. The beer pours a beautiful dark color, with a fantastic brown head, that disappeared relatively fast.

Smell: Woody, peaty and coffee, some sweet malts and strong alcohol.

Taste: This beer has two distinct taste layers. At first, creamy, woody, sweet caramel, peaty, dark fruits, some whiskey and roasted malts. Than, unfortunately, a very unpleasant old bitter coffee aftertaste appears.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, medium-bodied.

Overall: This beer could have been fantastic, but, like the brewdog coffee stout, it tastes like old coffee.... But don't misunderstand me, still a decent brew.

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

A: Very dark brown bordering to black with red overtones. Good, tan head that stays a while. Whit no help from aditional pouring into the glass it dissapates.

S: Alcohol, pumpernickel, soy sauce, charcoal and maybe a hint of sweetness. Inhale just before drinking: chocolate fudge.

T: Charcoal, dark chocolate. A bit like a schwarzbier. Fudge. Some dried fruits (dades). Aftertaste molasses, tar and dades.

M: Lot of taste but medium to almost thin body. Low carboration, small, pricky bubbles.

O: The first taste was sensational and made me want to rate beer for the first time in ages. But the love faded rather quickly. It is a nice christmas season beer. The alcohol is not so noticable as one would expect. I could drink this during the holidays. The beer could use a bit more body.

Edit: Just realised it's cathegorised as an imperial stout. It's not what I expect from an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown, nearly black body with ruby-red highlights. A small tan head forms and burns out almost instantly.

Aroma: Roasted malt with chocolate, coffee, and woody notes; just about what you'd expect.

Flavor: Sweet, dark-roasted malt (featuring the same coffee and chocolate notes) up front, with vanilla-like woody notes coming out towards the middle. Whiskey comes out towards the finish, and the aftertaste is a mix of roasted malt, wood, and whiskey. Alcohol is there throughout, but enough of it is hidden to keep it from becoming a nuisance.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps a little watery for the style, but it's not the end of the world. Smooth carbonation and nice warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: The lighter body helps it drink a little easier than the ten percent alcohol would lead you to expect.

Verdict: This is a tasty big Stout with nice character coming from the whiskey barrels. Such a brilliant concept for a series, I just wish I had a bottle of a different version on hand to compare.

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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)

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Photo of linnet
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

black colour, tan head, lacing. Aroma is full of smoke, reminds me of nils oscar rökporter, vanilla, coffee espresso acidity, brown sugar ,tar. Same flavours are found in it. Mouthfeel is smooth. This is a competent imperial stout, but the smokehead version was a lot better to my opinion.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a medium large head that's light brown, creamy rich with a nice lace when it sets.

S: Heavy roasted dry malt with a smoky tone. Smells like strong black coffee with a nice blend of bitter dark chocolate together with a nice Island Singel Malt Whisky. There is also a vanilla tone from oakbarrels.

T: Much like the smell, but a bit "weaker". The vanilla is more dominant than it is in the smell.

M: The aftertaste is long, very long with a clear dryness but also with some sweetness. The body is full and the carbonation is very light.

D: This is a great product, but I'm having problems with the oak/vanilla in beer. Don't get me wrong - I really love that when it comes to single malt whisky, but in beer - it doesn't do it for me...
In this beer; I think - Island Single Malt - maybe Talisker or Longrow (from Campbeltown/Springbank) - both great single malts but when it comes to beer - not so great (if you ask me).
When it comes to the Drinkabilyt part you should probably read other reviews, due to my problems with oak/vanilla in beers. I really see the greatness of this beer but I just don't like the oak/vanilla...

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Photo of zoso493
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pretty cool looking 330 ml bottle into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark black that lets no light through. A vigorous pour only produces a half-finger of a bubbly, tan head. The head disappears to a ring around the top of the beer and leaves only the faintest lacing.

Smell: Smells like single malt but with some chocolate, caramel and some other sweet malts. There's a strong scent of alcohol, which, despite it being 10% ABV, probably comes from the whiskey barrels. Pretty good, unique nose.

Taste: The whiskey dominates the taste in this one. Big single malt presence up front (that also has a large alcohol taste) with a nice finish of roasted malts and a slight hint of chocolate. For me, the whiskey presence masks the taste of the beer just a little bit too much, but it's still very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, though not chewy by any means, with just a bit of carbonation. Leaves your mouth feeling nice and dry.

Drinkability: At 10% ABV and with a very strong taste of alcohol, I can't say that I'll be drinking a lot of these in one night, or even finishing this one quickly.

Overall, this is a very solid and interesting brew. I was a bit put off by the first BrewDog product I tried, Punk IPA, but this has certainly redeemed the brewery in my eyes. The tasty of whiskey is just a bit too predominant for me, but otherwise it's a good beer that's definitely worth a try.

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

Another free beer from a distributor expo.

Pours brown with no head. Not too attractive, but not horrible.

Smells pretty tasty. Lots of smoke and sweet malts. The scotch is a bit light, but definitely adds soem interesting levels of sweetness that my poor nose can't quite identify.

Tastes sweet with an interesting smokey taste. The base malt isn't bad, but it's the scotch that really shines.

Good mouthfeel. Creamy, full-bodied, mild carbonation.

Not a bad beer. There are better BA beers out there, but this one is still rpetty good. A nice sipper.

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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 chrism86
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with brown around the rim, head is beige, loosely packed & settles down very quickly leaving decent lacing. Nose has chocolate, dark bitter roast & peat with the slightest hint of smoke & honey. Palate translates well with low carbonation. Seems a touch thin though. Finish is long wit dark roast lingering. Overall another good spin on an IS from these guys but to be honest probably one of the weaker ones in the series, just seems too thin compared to the power of the malt & whisky notes if anything. Don't get me wrong, its still a really good beer.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap @ Hamiltons. Poured jet black with a very small tan head. No lacing in the tulip glass, but the head hung around for a while. Roasted malt and herbs mixed with a chocolate milkshake. Not as strong as some of the other versions I've had. Nice mouthfeel, velvety, not too thick, but viscous to satisfy the style. Lots of roasted malt and earthy/peaty flavors up front. More molasses and vanilla towards the back. Salty, whisky flavors throughout, but subtle; not like some of the more powerful variations. Sweet, long, chocolate malt/shake finish. Easy to drink, the 10% is well masked. Just wish it wasn't $10 for a glass.

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Photo of thequeen711
2.84/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Barely a nose...poured rich chocolate brown leaving light lacing. No hint of the whiskey cask-aged barrel flavour. A definitely different Imperial Stout...I'm trying to compare it to Old Rasputin, but it doesn't come close. I heard great reviews, but I can't seem to find anything that may incline me to have another. Just not the flavours I expected, kinda weak.

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Photo of erz316
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

batch 016 best before of 08/08/10, poured into la chouffe snifter

A - the pour seems to be a bit thicker than the other guys, but the result is still the same. it gives off no head, only a bunch of coffee like bubbles, like when someone pours you coffee too vigorously. the body is completely black, no light getting through at all. still nothign very impressive looking, especially the lack of head. the only thing that keeps its score up is the opacity of the body.

S - this one also smells a bit more like a stout. the top notes are of the whiskey and molasses. the middle is more of a coffee like note. malts underly the whole smell.

T - taste is a bit off, but still a decent tasting beer. the initial taste is a moderate whiskey flavour coupled with light coffee bitterness and malts. there is also a slight fruity sweetness, or maybe a baked fruit flavour. the taste expands in the finish: malts, fruits, and whiskey are much more potent than the initial. the aftertaste is a semi-sweet savoriness, with minor hop bitters. not really much to say about this brew, save that it is the best of the cheaper $5 bottles. this one actually has some pertinent flavours for a stout.

MF&D - the feel is still pretty lame: thin and watery. the carbonation is only a little bit better, it is still very under carbonated. the body, though thin, seems to be a little bit thicker than the other guys, who were just plain old thin bodies, this might be a med-heavy thin.

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

On-tap at Blue-Palms Brewhouse - served in a snifter. Reviewed from notes. Batch 016. Kegged on April 10th, 2009. Beer was aged in single-malt whisky casks which previously were used sherry casks.

Liquid is a tar-infused bistre, seemingly opaque but a glimmer of light passes through once the chill dissipates. A creamy, wheat colored collar persists, with a very thin layer swirling in the center much like an oil spill. Soapy lacing and viscous legs.

Luscious barrel-aged notes, vanilla, roasted malt, bourbon, and spice (the brewer suggests cinammon - though I couldn't pin it down).

Rich bittersweet chocolate, carefully but deeply roasted premium malt, carmelized demerara, figs, prunes, stewed apricots, esters and floral notes aplenty. Normally I would think it a fault if the alcohol dominates a flavor profile, but here it adds so much complexity and unity that I have no complaints. The finish is more balanced with the support of mild sherry-like sweetness and a touch of astringency from the roasted malt.

Chewy, filling body with moderate carbonation and assertive heat. A little slick and sticky.

This one is a monster, on par with a fine dark rum as a mature sipper.

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Photo of wl0307
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a slim 330ml slim brown bottle, Batch 016, BB 08/08/10, served cool in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: nearly black in colour, coming with very mild carbonation and a light tan foamy head that gradually settles to a very thin carpet.
S: big, aromatically hoppy and richly vanilla-chocolaty upfront, backed by lots of black malts' calcium-pill like raw-ish gristy grains, oily treacle, super fat & thick black dates, aromatic overripe grapes, roast nuts, creamy toffee, and a fine fruity whisky notes settling in the background. Given a good swirl, the hop perfume (like flowery+citric hops) intensifies further, along with breezy figs. A sheer bliss...
T: in contrast to the nose, the foretaste is surprisingly light, smoothly roast-malty, smoky and sweet coffee-ish, with a loyal backing of fruity hop aroma and aromatic walnut-date cake poured over with a spoonful of bitter-nut syrup and treacle; the whisky bits manifest themselves in the long aftertaste in a rather restrained manner with fine fruitiness, warming kickback, and chewy spiciness lingering, coupled with a skilfully intensifying stream of roast maltiness that renders a nicely dry and really bitter finish.
M&D: silky smooth, medium-plus bodied for a high gravity ale and the alc. well-hidden, the Isle of Arran whisky influence is most delicate and helps reach a nice harmony on the overall flavour. This Paradox is sumptuous, quite complex, and yet ever so easy to quaff.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's on 8/15/09.

A - Pitch black body with a thin beige head that receded to a slim ring around the rim of the glass and very sparse lacing.

S - Fairly subtle aroma with oaky, woody notes and a boozy whiskey presence. Caramel and chocolate notes appeared as the liquid warmed up. Some vanilla sweetness also emerged.

T - Malty with plenty of sharp alcohol notes and a woody, whiskey-esque character with some sweet vanilla notes to balance the boozy aspect. However, the whiskey really cuts through in the end, giving this a pretty warm, boozy flavor.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and quite a bit of sharp alcohol heat on the palate. Finishes with a hint of astringency. You can definitely feel the 10% ABV here.

D - I definitely think bourbon barrels lend more to dark beers than whiskey barrels. The whiskey really cuts through the rest of the flavors, which hinders the overall drinkability just a bit. Still, this was enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of thepeter
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got the bottle directly from the Brewdog website, an excellent deal if I remember correctly. The bottle did not have a batch # of expiry date and the back was printed in what I believe is Japanese. Should not make a difference just thougth it was worth mentioning.

A - Pitch black with a slight orange hue when held up to the light. Slight head that thinned out quickly and left very pretty lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, and oats are all present and they blend great with the oak and scotch that are more prominent in the nose of this one.

T - Oak wood, rich coffee and bitter coco right off the bat. Settles down and sweet malt takes over in the middle with a scotch finish that maybe a bit rough but is still quite nice by me.

M&D - Rich and full bodied, great silky smooth carbonation. Went down great and was a fantastic digestifs. The intense oak and scotch flavors at the end make this one tough to give higher marks on. Can't say the Alcohol is well hidden, but at 10% it does a good job, especially if you enjoy scotch.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black in appearance, garnet cola highlights when held to direct light. Loose spongy light tan head that settles quickly.

Sweet treacle and licorice on the nose, mild roasted malt, some creamy milky sweetness.

More roasted in character than the other Paradox's. Roasted malt up front in the flavour, smokey char, earth and twigs, with a woody finish, and a dry earthy, somewhat spicy aftertaste. It lingers long. Vanilla coats the lips long after the glass is empty.

Medium-full mouthfeel, slick, smooth and low in carbonation.

An enjoyable offering from Brewdog in their Paradox line, not the most memorable, yet still one worth revisiting, more of a barrel-aged Imperial Stout than something of the result of what was in initially in the barrel itself beforehand.

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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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