BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 001) - Duncan Taylor & Co Caol Ila 1996 | BrewDog

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BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 001) - Duncan Taylor & Co Caol Ila 1996BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 001) - Duncan Taylor & Co Caol Ila 1996

Brewed by:
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hopdog on 12-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by Patrick999:
Photo of Patrick999
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 1/1/2010 per bottle.

A - Poured into my Dogfish Head glass. This is quite dark, with the slightest red highlight. Thin head, but easily roused. Pretty good looking stout.

S - Big on the Scotch, but this is a beer aged in Islay barrels, what did you expect? No, there's plenty of Scotch for sure, but there's also a lot of bitter chocolate. I say it's 50/50 between the Islay whisk and the bitter chocolate.

T - Holy crap, this is a peat bomb. Huge on the whiskey, with all the smoky, peaty flavors of a world class Scotch whiskey. Then you realize this was aged in Islay barrels, and it's not surprising. There's wood, peat and not too much more. Yet, it's a really great Scotch flavor. Some super-premium quality whiskey spent some time in these barrels, no doubt. Like the Speyside, I can't say too much for the underlying beer....but the whiskey taste is so good, who cares?

F - This seems to have more chewiness than other Paradox editions I've had. Pretty good feel.

D - Very good, but a sipper to be sure. Not as hugely drinkable as the Speyside, which I thought was a bit tamer.

I thought all these Paradoxes were going to be the same, but that is clearly not the case. Makes me want to try more. I like the rather aggressive taste of this, but if you're not a Scotch fan, steer clear.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some white head, there is much dot lace later. Aroma is crate woody, with some roast and whiskey. Taste is woody first, chocolate and whiskey secondary. Peaty and some tabacco and smoke.Yeast and coffee and chocolate add some thickening. Good though overrated, I could get a bomber of a great RIS from the USA or Canada at the same price. Still, enjoyable. As with their other barrelled, its an old wood aftertaste; at the ready to remove splinters.
Phyl21 7th trade.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a small bubbly head with limited retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is dominated by peat smoked malt which I did enjoyed. Taste is also dominated by loads of peat smoke malt which are very tasty. I never had an imperial stout with so much smoke notes before. Roasted malt and black chocolate do take a back seat in this one. Average body with low carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. Very well done and interesting take on the style.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ommegoose
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch #001, best before 01/01/10. This must have several years on it already. Marked down to $10 from $13.

Pours out a color that's not as jet black as expected. I don't think I've ever seen an RIS with such a light color and so much clarity. Very low carbonation and no real head formation. Somewhat expected by the age on this. Just some bubbles on the rim of the snifter. Aggressive second pour leaves more of a cap. Some lacing.

Smells plenty scotchy. Smoky, sea-salty Islay aroma.

This strongly retains the character of the Caol Ila casks. I'm surprised how strongly it comes across and how easily identifiable it is. Bourbon barrel beers just have a general sense of bourbon to me. I don't think I could identify a brand. But it's fairly easy to put a finger on this. Peaty smoke. Oily and salty smoke. Very little character of RIS. Can't find any hops yet. Late lingering bitterness, and some richness from the malt, but this is buried. It tastes good and fans of Islay malts should appreciate this. Mildly long finish.

Disappointingly thin mouthfeel. But the age has definitely cut the alcohol out of this. Warming in the stomach. I don't know how it's possible to make a 10% beer so thin. But it gets some credit for not being boozy.

If you're somehow holding on to one of these still, I can't see it getting any better than this with age. I can't help but recall how this pales horribly to the GI Night Stalker I had recently. There are so many good RISs, that a lot more needs to be done to impress. I also should really kill this beer for as much as it costs. Still, not a bad drink. Hard to imagine saying the malt needs to be beefed up in a 10% beer but it does. But the barrel aging really shines as is, and this is worth a try for barrel and scotch fanatics only, I would say.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle, at the Bon Accord, Glasgow. Black colour, ruby in the highlights. Large and lasting creamy head. Very strong aroma of tar and peat. Extremely peaty and tarry flavour, just too much of the good stuff. There are better balanced versions of Paradox.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Cornelius, Edinburgh... no best before date but this was bought 3 years ago or so...

Poured pretty much pitch black. Dark mocha head poured small but thick and foamy then faded quite quickly to the faintest covering with thick edging... light patches of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of peatiness up front followed by some vanilla mixed with roasted chocolate malts, salty seaweed notes, nice deep smokiness, muscovado sugar, charred wood, quite boozy, fruit loaf, earthy, peppery, some nutmeg, soapy, sweet milky notes...

Taste - Quite a lot of roasted chocolate malt with a strong peaty aftertaste, again lots of (fresh) vanilla and salty seaweed notes, charred wood smoke, light molasses sweetness, spicy nutmeg and black pepper bite, booze is just noticeable, dried dark fruits... very well balanced - everything melds very well together...

Feel - Fairly rich and smooth with a little sharp bite just coming through... full bodied... this ones definitely a sipper...

Overall - An excellent Impy stout... if you like your peaty whiskey then you're going to love this... recommended...

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured a dark brown with red edges and an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of peat, earthy, smoke meat, chocolate, and some whiskey. Tastes of some whiskey, vanilla, chocolate, lighter earthiness, woody, and roasty. Some lacing left on the glass.

Notes from: 8/15/08

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.49/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Batch 001. Best by 1 January only two years late on this.

A: Some largeish bubbles precede an anaemic head, off-white. The body of the beer is more brownish than black, minimally translucent and full of glints of ruby. Scattered lacing. About par for what I anticipated.

S: So just because I really like the smell doesn't mean it's objectively great -- it's strong, boozy, and full of peat. I actually just zoned out and didn't write anything or take a sip for about three minutes; I got distracted by sniffing the Paradox over and over. Dry smoke, whiskyesque phenol, typical Islay. Man, I hope the taste doesn't let me down.

T/M: Hrm. Well, it's not quite a letdown, but I suspect maybe this beer is genuinely past its prime. That said, it's still darn good. The initial flavour burst is thoroughly whiskyish, so if you don't like, say, Arbdeg (too light to be Laphroaig, not sweet enough to be, for instance, Lagavulin or JW Black) or, I suppose, Caol Ila, stay way. However, as the whisky-beer mellows, the alcohol becomes secondary and the jarring phenol that charactises the Islay malts I hold so dear settles into a more familiar rhythm. A lot like a rauchbier in character -- smoked meats, dry wood, soft malts.

The flavours are excellent, if muted. Spicy-smoky sweetness on the maintaste as the stout rests on the tongue with convincing weight and lacks oppression. The endtaste is bitter (roasted malt and whole coffee beans), dry (peat), and almost (but not quite) chalky (oak?). Little to no carbonation, resulting in a beer that is, if anything, a bit too smooth.

O: An excellent beer, one I'm very glad I lucked into. I bought a six-pack, semi-accidentally, for about $20 (including tax) in Athens, Georgia. If you find any floating around, grab some (and maybe even ask for a discount as they're two years "out of date). Highly recommended. Will drink again, and probably not wait too long to do so.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle just past the best by date of 1/1/2011. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out of the bottle with a completely black colored body with a very small coffee colored head. the head vanishes in a matter of seconds and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i think after giving this a big whiff is woah, scotch. after that i get lots of dark roasted malts and some chocolate. a little bit of the barrel sneaks through in the form of some vanilla. lots and lots of alcohol. faded coffee and hops at the end.

T- the taste starts out with lots of the dark roasted malts i could smell. there is also a little bit of smoke in here. plenty of scotch comes through and adds a distinctly alcoholic feel to this one. not as much of the barrel. harsh alcohol and coffee on the finish. the chocolate i could smell comes through decently strong and very dark.

M- the body here is pretty weak. the carbonation is on the low end which really works out in this beers favor. there is a high level of warming from the alcohol.

D- recently i drank the same base beer but aged in sherry casks. that one went down with alot more ease. its crazy how the barrel it gets aged in transforms this beer into something that i didnt was hardly recognizable. maybe its because im not a scotch person, but this one just didnt hit the spot for me.

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Photo of kwjd
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown without too much head. Lots of peaty scotch in the smell. Taste has a lot of peat, but I'm not getting quite the peat bomb that other reviewers were saying. Some bitter chocolate too in the flavour. I find this balances out the scotch flavour with the stout very nicely. A bit under carbonated, but still very drinkable.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up last April in Chicago. "Best before" date of 01/01/10, but figured a barrel aged imperial stout could only get better with age. Don't know where they pulled that date from.

Never looked at any info online, never read a review before taking my first sip. Been looking forward to it. I love the whiskey barrel aged stouts.

HUGE disappointment. Smelled like a bandaid, tastes like I'm chewing on smoldering peat embers. Cellaring should have helped that, but alas, no. I'm going to have a helluva time finishing this, may end up a drain pour. Don't remember how much I paid, but I'm certain it was too much.

Sometimes these experiments work. Sometimes they do not. I think the burn of high proof booze makes heavy peat smoke work in good Scotch whisky. It does not work in this thin 10% ABV abomination.

Liquid smoked peat. No thanks.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 001 – Best Before 01/01/10. Consumed on 11/21/11

Pours a thin black with red hues and some light visible thru the rim of the glass. Almost no carbonation whatsoever. Smells of peat and smoke dominate the aroma but not even close to the nose of a fresh BA Mikkeller BH Scotch. First sip is ruled by the smoky peat flavor but I cannot wonder what this was like super fresh. The lack of carbonation is a super disappointment and the exact opposite of the Mikkeller version. Still very tasty and enjoyable for anyone like me who loves Islay Scotch like Laphroiag, Ardbeg or Lagavulin. The 10% ABV is very well hidden.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown to almost black. No head to compliment a more watery looking RIS. Holy smokes what a smokey scotch this must havebeen. Peety and campfire with some coffee and chocolate and some boozey fire too. The taste was equally smokey with more noticeable creamy, but very dark roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate interplay pretty good with the overall smokey, peety palate of this beer. But lets not forget the thinning quality the alcohol plays on the palate. A sipper, thats for sure. But even by high abv. beer standards, the palate and drinkability of this beer were less than expected.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with a half-finger of big-bubbled light mocha foam. It actually sticks around fairly convincingly and leaves a ruddy ring and thick haze. Some fingers of lacing remain as the brew is sipped. The body is one of those that initially appears black, but reveals dark mahogany transparency when held to the light. I could go for better head volume, but this is pretty good for the style.

S - Holy mother of peat! This smells far more like whiskey than beer - loads of peat, wet wood, solventy alcohol, and char. I have no idea what the base beer tastes like, as it's been utterly obliterated by the barrel-aging. Perhaps there's a touch of cocoa, but I could be imagining it. I'm not really sure how to evaluate this - it'd be very good as a whiskey, but as a beer it's just strange.

T - The taste is burnt malt, smokey peat, charred wood, and maybe a touch of bitter dark chocolate. There's a little better integration between beer and whiskey flavors in the taste than in the aroma, but it's still pretty extreme. The aftertaste is all peat and smoke.

M - This is a little thinner than I like from a brew of this style, but otherwise it's velvety smooth, has a touch of carbonation tingle, and a light stickiness in the finish. A little warmth starts to build after a half glass, but it's fairly reasonable for the ABV.

D - It was a tiny bit of a struggle to finish the 33cl bottle on a fresh palate, but it wasn't as tough as the smell led me to believe. I like barrel-infused beers, but this is too extreme for my tastes. I'd prefer to just spend my money on a nice single malt.

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Photo of stcules
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 001, Islay Caol Ila cask.
Balck color. Almost no foam.
The smell is peated, woody. A background or toasted malt and hazelnut is present.
At the smell, all is exaltated, with a good woody peat, and salty. Dusty dark malt, with a strong seeshore feeling, salty.
Full, oily body. It stays in your mouth for a very long time, with peated notes, and salty, still very present.
Some hint of chicory, and liquorice.
Fire-place beer.
Absolutely to taste, if you like whisky.

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4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Darkest chocolate brown with a tiny scarlet dot indicating the rising sun on the opposite side of the snifter. After a barely audible rush of CO2 on crown cracking, the extremely small head was no surprise. Very little lace sticks in the end.

There's much more whisky in the nose than stout. In fact, the base beer would've been somewhat difficult to identify if it wasn't listed on the label. The pungent peatiness of Islay Scotch is perfume to the noses of aficionados (like me), but more Imperial stout character would have been even better.

Pretty much the same can be said for the flavor profile, although roasted malt has slightly more say-so on the palate. Warning: if you don't care for the more aggressive, phenolic, tangy, bandage-like, salty seaweed-like single malts, don't go anywhere near this beer. It'll taste nasty to you, guaranteed.

More malt is needed, which would change flavor balance for the better and would bulk up the mouthfeel. Hints of chocolate and black coffee barely peek through at the edges. For the remainder of the flavor facets, see the above paragraph.

The mouthfeel has either seen better days or was never stellar to begin with. It's way too thin and is severely underbubbled. Only one of the beers in this series deserves respect in this area (Speyside Glen Moray 1992).

BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 001) is the most distinctive, most quirky Paradox stout so far. Lovers of this type of Scotch whisky will find quite a bit to like, but this isn't a very well-rounded or approachable effort for the vast majority of craft beer fans. You have been warned.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with brownish inclinations. Little visible head until awakened, and what arises quickly dissipates.

S - smells of mineral, dark fruits, tar, OAK, scotch, roasted malts,

T - Bright, sluggish, oaky, fruits, scotch, kinda like if you watered down scotch with an imperial stout. Super-complex layers of flavor that implies the character of a traditional Imp. Stout but sheathed in a cloak of thick oakiness. Almost smacks of a Cali cab or a good Bordeaux.

M - A little light, probably due to the age. Overall very mellow and soft lightfeel, almost too light

O - One to contemplate. This is a beer to spend a night (or two) with despite the small bottle. Hearty stuff that deserves respect for the efforts. Price points a little steep for my blood ($10 11.2oz bottle, reduced from $12), but a worthy celebratory brew for the end of the semester.

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Photo of rmacs
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Woody, very very woody... almost tastes like a sauna. It has a good whiskey flavor and a very strong oak flavor, it just seems to be missing the chocolate and coffee, i'm just not tasting it. The color is back with a small white head, good carbonation with a big time lack of thickness. This has to be the lighest stout i have ever had. Overall this is an overrated beer, just not what i would consider a Stout.

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Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 001) - Duncan Taylor & Co Caol Ila 1996 from BrewDog
3.78 out of 5 based on 24 ratings.
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