Paradox Isle of Arran (Batch 16) – Brewdog (Ellon, Scotland)

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Paradox Isle of Arran (Batch 16) (retired) – Brewdog, 10% ABV – 500ml., (Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Another one from my absolute favourite top 10 breweries, Brewdog never fails to delight my palate. Check out my review of their Speyside edition.

on the back label:

“A rock ‘n’ roll partnership between Scotland’s best new distillery (Distiller of the Year 2007) and Scotland’s hardcore new microbrewery (Gold Medal Winner, World Beer Cup 2008). Paradox, Isle of Arran Edition, see’s BrewDog’s killer 10% Imperial Stout matured in stunning whisky casks from the Arran distillery.

The rich vanilla sweetness, hints of cinnamon, balanced aromatic fruit and ginger flavours of the Arran malt are all completely infused deep into the texture of our smooth robust Imperial Stout, with profound new depths emerging with each pass and sip.

To release the true character, complexity and depth of flavours in this beer, please enjoy it at room temperature, unless you live in an igloo.”

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  • Style: (Isle of Arran Scotch) Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Whisky alcoholic thick sweet roasted coffee caramel-cacao malt bitter
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store (Van, BC)
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off) – 330ml., February, 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: unlikely
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, especially if you like stouts

Visual: Pours coffee black-brown with barely any head, a thin layer of ultra-micro retention, no visible activity.

Nose: BIG roasted coffee caramel malt, very thick (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: thicker viscosity, light-fizzy, slick

Mid-palate: thick-bodied, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) persistent whisky alcohol detection, malt, cacao, chocolate, caramel, fig/date, coffee, soy sauce

Finish: deep-roasted coffee bitter, residual malty sweetness + lingering roasted bitter finish.

Summary: Solid depth of flavours and complexity, but more alcohol (as well as other subtle spices) come through as it cools down. Great overall brew but no distinct attention-grabbing traits particularly stood out, other than the whisky alcohol influence.

Abstrakt AB:10 – BrewDog (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: A

Abstrakt AB:10 (Imperial Brown Ale aged in Spanish Red Wine Barrels), bottled 20/06/12 – BrewDog, 11.5% ABV, 375ml, (Scotland)

more information about abstrakt beer at http://www.abstrakt.com/

from ratebeer.com:

The beer is an 11.5% Imperial Brown Ale which we have aged in amazing Spanish sweet red barrels from Malaga. Stewart Bowman, our Head Brewer, devised an Imperial Brown Ale designed to perfectly complement the wine flavours and extract maximum depth and character from the giant barrels. We also felt the Imperial Brown Ale was ideally suited to be barrel aged and as well as the infusion of the Malaga wine character will also benefit added complexity and maturity from the time in oak.”

  • Style: (red wine barrel) Oak-aged Imperial Brown Ale
  • Taste Profile: brown sugar syrup -> caramel/alcohol/molasses/soy/chocolate -> sweet-sour/coffee/red-fruity sweet malt finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $18 (after 10% off), April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Beautiful simplistic Brew Dog label, corked and twisty-cap top secured green bottle. Pours dark cola brown with a reddish hue, small foamy dissipating head, ringed retention, sedimentation, some slow-moving activity.

Nose: Thick, sweet caramel malts, brown sugar and barley malt.

Attack: thick syrupy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: caramel sweetness(8/10) mixed with minor alcohol detection, (MAIN) molasses, soy sauce, chocolate

Finish: medium sweet & sour, coffee tanginess, red-fruity sweet malty finish.

Summary: Expensive at $18/half bottle but very worth it considering the superb flavour profile, drinkability, potency, and overall high quality craftsmanship.

Alice Porter Renaissance Baltic Porter – Brew Dog (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B+

Alice Porter Renaissance Baltic Porter – BrewDog Brewery, 6.2% ABV – 330ml, (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

On front side label:

“The profoundly puzzling Alice Porter. Cryptic. Enigmatic. Alchemistic. Few beers are shrouded in secrecy like the porter; a beer whose roots are said to be punctuated by hurried footsteps along cobbled London streets and swirls of mist from atop the River Thames. Decloaked and radically reinvisaged, BrewDog’s Alice Porter is a 6.2% sacred union of 300-year-old recipe and two cross continental hop varieties. A delicate mirage of chocolate, red fruit and burnt sugar, let Alice Porter whisk you away to a forgotten time juxtaposed against the backdrop of modernity. And then, before you know it, she’s gone… tumbling down a rabbit hole into the same obscurity that first caught your attention. Leaving but the question – who or what is Alice Porter?”

  • Style: Baltic Porter
  • Taste Profile: Sweet fizzy/creaminess -> dark fruit/sour/roasted coffee/malts -> burnt wood/vanilla coffee bitter finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $3.50 (after 10% off), December 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: I like BrewDog. They never fail to disappoint. To me they are now synonymous with complexity and balance. So this pours dark cola brown with a sizable foamy head, thick retention, lots of micro streams hugging the side of the glass. Roasted chocolate malts with coffee bittersweetness on the nose. Drinks with a bright fizzy-to-creaminess up front, 7/10-sweetness sitting atop sour dark fruit (almost cherry-like), the acidity of coffee, roasted coffee, malts, mild burnt wood, hints of chocolate, vanilla, finishing coffee med-heavy bitter. Medium complexity, med-high depth, good carry, good transitions, good drinkability. Quite an interesting beer to sip whilst discovering the flavours.

BrewDog Tokyo* Oak-aged Imperial Stout (Scotland)

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Tokyo* (Oak-aged Imperial Stout) – BrewDog, 18.2% ABV – 330ml., (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

On the back label:

“This is a beer inspired by a 1980’s space invaders arcade game played in Japan’s capital. The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contractions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottle’s contents. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of specialty malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips. It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.

  • Style: (oak-aged) Imperial Stout
  • My Rating: A-
  • Taste Profile: sweet malts/vanilla/chocolate/caramel/dark fruit -> creamy oak/anise/jasmine -> bittersweet/malty/bitter finish
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $19 (after 10%), November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: perhaps, with hardcore friends
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, 18.2% ABV beer!!!

Tasting notes: pours dense cloudy brownie with lots of sediment, very small creamy head, oily, lots of slow streams. Intense thick oaked caramel malts on the nose. Drinks with 9/10-sweet dense malts up front, vanilla, chocolate caramel, dark fruit (date/fig), transitioning into a creamy mouthfeel, oak, alcohol detection, anise, jasmine, finishing bittersweet and thick malty medium bitter. High complexity, high depth, great carry, good transitions, good sippability. Wow 110% intense and exhausts the palate halfway through the bottle.

BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Scotland)

Paradox Speyside – BrewDog, 10% ABV – 330ml, (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

On the front side label:

“Scottish Malt Whisky Casks Rock! Their ruggedly robust beauty, character, captivating aromas and unique Scottish heritage had us completely spellbound. We tried maturing various things in them; garden plants, Germans, sandwiches and goldfish before we found the killer application: our imperial stout. This edition sees our Imperial Stout aged for several months in specialty selected Speyside whisky casks (1987 Macallan Sherry Cask). This maturation process results in the whisky flavours and aromas being infused deep into our beer. Paradox combines BrewDog’s premium craft brewed beer with the finest malt whisky casks. All you need to do is combine this bottle’s contents with a glass. To release the true character complexity and depth of flavours in this beer please enjoy at room temperature, unless you live in an igloo.”

  • Style: Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: caramel malts -> chocolate/cherry/coffee/vanilla -> bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: $8, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours coffee black brown with no head and almost no visible carbonation. Thick malts and caramel on the nose. Initial tastes of medium-heavy nicely sweetened (7/10) malts mixed with caramel, counterbalanced with a very light carbonation, milk chocolate, light roast coffee, light peat, vanilla and hint of cherry. Finishes bitter-semisweet with a lingering mild bitterness. Medium-high compexity, high depth, great transitions, excellent carry, great balance, good drinkability.