Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Peat Smoke Heaven

This is part 1 of a two part tasting, part two will take place sometime in September 2010, as that is the best before date on my bottles of BrewDog Paradox Smokehead, and I want to see what difference a couple of years, and being transported to the US will have on the beer.

When Mrs Velkyal and I move to the US next year, I plan to finally buy a brew kit and start making my own beer. Various recipes have already been designed, my head still spins with ideas. One of the first beers I thought of making was a peat-smoked stout, which I was going to call Machair. In my original plan I wanted to use a portion of distillers malt to give the smokiness of my favourite whiskey – Talisker, although I am also partial to Islay whiskies, in particular Laphroaig.
It was these plans for a peat smoke stout that flooded into my mind as I opened the bottle, and the unmistakable smell of whisky filled my nostrils, even before pouring. Having spent a month drinking dark beers, I fear that I have worn the word “dark” very thin, in which case this beer is absolutely opaque, not a glimmer of light could make it through! As you can see from the picture, there is very little head, all the better for letting the aromas escape and drive you crazy – behind the very evident whisky are traces of coffee and caramel, which in drinking serve to smooth out the beer. At 10%ABV, this is definitely not a beer for the faint minded – the warming glow of the alcohol lingers in the mouth and down the throat from the first sip (and trust me, you don’t want to be chugging this one).
Big, bold and brash, this is very much a grown-up’s beer.


  1. That sounds great; I'll have to open mine soon.

    I did try one Paradox that had spewed through the crown cap during shipment. That was not good. Hopefully the next one will be in better shape.

    Or maybe I just prefer my beer and whisky in separate glasses.

  2. The more I hear about the other BrewDog beers out there, the more desparate I become to try them. Paradox sounds right up my alley; I'm definitely with you on the Islays, my friend!

    And don't worry, you're not alone - concocting a homebrew recipe using some distiller's malt has been keeping me up at night lately, too.

  3. im a bit of a design nerd, especially beer labels and film art...this is great, great work. Ashamedly, i would buy based on the label alone.

  4. It is a great label - the beer though is magnificent.


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