BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - Smokehead | BrewDog

BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - SmokeheadBrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - Smokehead
Liked This Beer
3.49 w/ 42 ratings
BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - SmokeheadBrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - Smokehead

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 brewdlyhooked13 on 12-23-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of Jadjunk
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Scottish Malt Whiskey casks rock! Their ruggedly robust beauty, character, captivating aromas and unique Scottish heritage had us completely spellbound. This edition sees our Imperial Stout aged for several months in specially selected Speyside whisky casks. This maturation process results in the whisky flavours and aromas being infused deep into our beer." Part of a limited release series dedicated to whisky cask infusions, available in single 12 oz. bottles.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thin, creamy head of a toasted cream shade over a deep maple brown body. Retention is very low and the lacing is very light. 3

(Smell) Stout notes of moderately roasted barley, toasted caramel grain and earthy molasses and licorice are infused with delicate whiskey aromas of the Speyside Whiskey casks, imparting residual oak, smooth grain alcohol with a delicate sweetness. Not a whiskey drinker myself, I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the whiskey character integrated into this beer. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) The impact of whiskey is somewhat more pronounced up front in the flavor, with dry oak flavor, wet grain, mellow peat smoke and thick syrupy fruit notes, finishing lightly sweet with a lingering note of roasted barley, the strongest note of the stout. The stout as well as the whiskey base are both fairly mild in their presence for this beer, not hardly over-the-top for a whiskey-infused stout. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is lightly chewy, oily smooth and moderately dry. Carbonation is flat to none, passing this beer more as a whiskey on the flatness alone, it does manipulate the mouthfeel to make the beer seem to have a heavier body. The body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly grainy, peat smokey and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off flavors. This beer is unusually flat, and I am unsure of whether that was the brewery's intention for this beer or not. 3.5

(Overall) An interesting and appreciated experiment on stouts paired with whiskey casks. I found the stout base unusually shallow to be an ideal candidate to age on whiskey, but perhaps the intent was to call to attention the impact of the whiskey casks themselves rather than how they work with a stout. As for the whiskey cask itself, it generates a notable impact, although I think the stout could have been aged in the cask longer for stronger flavors without imparting excessive harshness. The flavors created from the brief time spent in the cask are far from harsh, grainy or sharp but rather generate more appreciated characters of smoke, syrups and oak. I'd like to see more experiences with whiskey cask/stout infusions, as the results from this beer alone seem promising: if the whiskey and stout profiles pair just right, the results could be phenomenal. 3.5

Paradox Speyside Batch 10: Smokehead

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of speak72
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of mattmarka1
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Hopstout
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
1.5/5  rDev -57%

Photo of mynie
1.56/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the Dark Lord Day. There were many beers that I sampled, but I only felt compelled to take review notes for a few of them.

This beer was messed up. Not in a "whoa that's wild!" way, neither. In a "something bad happened during fermentation" way. I was amazed to see that this was only 10% ABV, because its harsh nodes of gasoline made me think that maybe it was something along the lines of Tactical Nuclear Penguin and was therefore supposed to taste genuinely dangerous.

But along with the gas nodes, you had smoke nodes. But you know how most smoked beers resemble smoked meat or cheese? This smelled like smoke, alright, only like the smoke that comes off a burning plastic bag, like the kind of thing you shouldn't inhale without wearing a mask, like after drinking too much of this you're no longer legally allowed to donate blood.

Seriously, some tastes and aromas are viscerally, chemically repellant. This is a survival mechanism, your body's way of telling you to not put some things into it. Paradox Smoke is an incredible melange of several such nodes.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: No head, though it seemed to try. Brownish black with some purple and only barely translucent at the edges.

S: Strong, and thick, almost syrupy. Definitely smelling whisky. Nice.

T: Malty and some roasted bitterness towards the end in the back of my throat. Alcoholic and whisky. A little creamy.

M: Flat. But I suppose the bottle being 2 yrs old I shouldn't be surprised.

O: A pretty good beer that didn't age particularly well. Wouldn't have another, but hey, BrewDog is still awesome.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Albemarle Ciderworks glass. Batch 010. Best by 01 January 2010. So two years late on this one.

A: Some bubbles; no head. It pours thinly. The not-quite black body is unexpectedly translucent, but only just.

S: It smells good. Strong and liquor-like, the whisky influence is obvious. Such sweet elixir! Little to no smoke.

T/M: Thin (old?) but perfectly palatable. An almost creamy sweetness fades slowly into a more noticeably smoky finish. Malt-heavy, with a touch of oaky dryness. Light, chalky, roasted bitterness on the aftertaste reminds me of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel isn't exactly thin as...flat? Insubstantial? It's the most disappointing facet of this Paradox, but I suppose my fair dues for being so late to the party.

O: Overall, a good beer that hasn't aged remarkably well. Increasingly whiskyish as I drink more of it, especially the finish. Very bourbon sweet-strong. I wouldn't go out and buy one again, but I'm glad I had one and the price ($3.49) seems reasonable. I still like BrewDog.

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Photo of winegourmet76
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of WillyMac
5/5  rDev +43.3%

Photo of DoctorB2B
5/5  rDev +43.3%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of ThaCreep
2.29/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle and label high quality, gold and black. Black dark. Strong and persistent foam. On the nose, it smells the smoke and acrylic paint.

In the mouth, such as Tokyo *, in the same style and in the same brewery, it is difficult to perceive that it is an imperial stout because not thick, not strength, not roasted malt. No traces of whiskey either, so it makes sense to marinate. Finally, it was just a taste of the cigarette in the mouth and it's not really appetizing. The finish is reminiscent of barbecue ash and can be persistent, which suggests that foul taste in the throat.

Okay, that's unique in taste but should not exaggerate by suggesting anything like taste. To drink this drink as much juice banging a cigarette ash. Then where is the stout apart in color?

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Photo of fatmcb1
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

09 vintage poured into a snifter. Barely below room temperature.

Pours black with brown along the edges. Half a finger of head that fades into a ring. Solid lacing along the glass.

Smell is more of bourbon than beer. It is incredibly smokey, reminiscent of when you use a charcoal grill.

Bourbon, oak flavor is very present. Still, plenty of smoke and barbecue. However, there is a lot of malt and chocolate in there to balance the flavors.

Carbonation is on the medium side for the style. It isn't terribly drinkable. I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

This beer is definitely "outrageous" as it says on the bottle. If it cost less than $10 per 11oz bottle, I could see myself drinking it again.

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Photo of Agold
3.86/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this beer on cask at khyber pass in Philly. This beer is pitch black with a nice ring of off white head. The aroma is ok. It has a mild scotch oak smokey roast aroma. It is really nice, but this beer really shines in th flavor. It's like a drier toasty coco stout mixed with some smokey peaty scotch. Really amazing beer. Mouthfeel is a little on the light side, but when it comes down to it this is a really amazing beer.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
1.6/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I should start by saying that I enjoy a good whisky. The smoky flavor that comes from peat is something that I really enjoy. I also like smoky beers as long as there is some balance and complexity to it. Hopefully, that information provides some context when I review this unspeakable error of a beer.

The problems with Smokehead are evident before you take your first sip. It appears thin and clouded in the glass and the wall of smoke hits you before you even approach the rim with your nose. No other smells are allowed to shine. There is no complexity or subtlety here. Just an unrestrained wave of peat smoke.

Things get worse once you raise the glass to your lips. The smoke is not just overwhelming. It has an astringent chemical quality that made me wince. The mouthfeel is thin and no other stout flavors are allowed any space on the palate. No chocolate. No coffee. No anise. Nothing. It tastes like a five-alarm fire blazed through Brewdog's facility and - rather than accept their losses -- they sold the charred remains to the unsuspecting public.

I've had some of the whisky barrel aged beers that Brewdog has to offer and some are not bad. This, on the other hand, is a near-instant drainpour.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Dlish
3.02/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- pour a deep brown porter, very little head and no carbonation not even from opening the bottle. I know i'm not at smell yet but I can smell peat wood just from opening this.

S- Smell like wood and smoke, very strong scotch smell, very smoky like most islay speyside smell of scotch. Moving beyond that there is hints of coffee not much by the over power. Smelling more there is a chewy bourbon almost cherry vanilla that remains in the background. Also of smoked meats, like I'm about to base some ribs before the smoker. In fact it smells like i'm about to smoke some ribs with a coffee base sauce over speyside wood.

T- The taste, the taste a total let down,a BIG let down from the more complex smell. The taste is one sided, smoke it taste like someone poured scotch into a Guinness. There is almost no carbonation. There is a burn of alcohol lots of smoke hints of coffee but very little. I think I said it best with the Guinnes. Did I mention the smoke?

M- Runny, falls through the palette, little carbonation and overwhelming smoke

O- I had herd of smokehead and it sounded often, I was so stoked to see my beer store had some so I spent the 10 bucks and bought the 12oz. Little did I know I bought the worst one. I like the idea, but this one is a R&D project that went wrong and should have stopped when the brewer took the first sip.

 1,351 characters

Photo of marty21
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a thin light brown head. Settles to a ring around the glass and left a decent amount of lacing.

S: You get dark malt, chocolate and caramel on the nose with a bit of alcohol in there but not much.

T: There’s chocolate and caramel initially when you take a sip but then it moves to more of a smoky taste and finishes pretty smoky.

M: Light carbonation medium body.

O: In all the beers I’ve had by BrewDog they seem to play it safe. The beers aren’t too extreme. I still enjoyed this beer a lot but it didn’t make me think twice about it. All in all still a good beer.

 609 characters

Photo of feylure
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one the other day, and I hope I'm reviewing it in the right spot. Paradox Smokehead, batch 15.

It looks great. Dark as the night with little bits of brown around the edges. Definitely looks like a imperial stout.

Smell is out there... I've never smelled something like this before in a beer, and it's quite good. Sweet and spicey notes are mixed together with an almost mesquite, smokey flavor.

Taste follows up well with the smell. Light on the tongue at first, then a medium body fills in the gap with those same smokey notes. Overall, it's well balanced and leaves slightly dry.

All in all, I like this beer, and I want to get a few more for the next BBQ I attend. The only thing I think that could be improved on is the smell. It hits the right notes, but I want them to be more prevalent and more bold.

 823 characters

Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
1.56/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

dark brown beer with a 1 finger tan head.

smelled of burnt nasty things. tasted of burnt nasty things.
i'm going to keep this review short and to the point: i felt like i was drinking an ash tray.

immediate drain pour. would not touch again.

i already know smoked beers are not for me, but i can at least still finish them.

 327 characters

Photo of potownbill
2.54/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Very Dark brown beer with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a small amount of lacing.
Smell: First impression is the smell of burning brakes from a truck going down a steep incline.
Taste: Heavy smoked oak, like the inside of a newly charred whiskey barrel. Aftertaste lingers for a long time.
Mouthfeel: Little carbonation, but smooth.
Overall: Not a drainpour, but would not even be considered for a second chance.

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BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Batch 010) - Smokehead from BrewDog
Beer rating: 50% out of 100 with 42 ratings
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