Paradox Grain
May 28, 2008

Who knew my perfectly dashing imperial stout would show up in a whisky-soaked kilt.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I once dated a guy who played bagpipes at funerals. He had a rather morbid print of Vlad the Impaler on his bedroom wall. I’d like to think this is the kind dark-as-night beer that would have made sense to us, but that was a long time ago.

I’ve been wanting to try a Brew Dog beer for some time– the brewers are young and bold, and the ransom-note style branding appealed to me as well. Maybe I’m cruising for an ASBO, at least if the Portman Group has anything to say about it.

This was a whisky cask aged imperial stout. This particular bottle was the 007 batch, aged in Carsebridge 1963 barrels. Upcoming Paradox stouts will be aged in other barrels. Despite Virgil’s warnings, I would like to try batch 9, aged in Ardbeg barrels. Ardbeg…like drinking the smoke of your vanquished enemy’s pyre. I wonder if I can find it, especially considering the ridiculous Portman group action against the Brew Dog labeling. (Read BrewDog’s fightin’ words here.)

I love whisky. I love imperial stout. So I had high hopes for this beer when I spotted it at Utobeer in Borough Market, even before finding it in Stonch’s archives.

There’s a full-on whisky nose with a bit of coffee. As it warms in my hand a buttery-toffee comfort surfaces. A bit savory, with the whisky/coffee continuing to the middle. Very warming, with a creamy mouthfeel, just a bit tickly with effervescence, gorgeous vanilla finish.

The Islay ’68 Paradox, brewed for the brewery’s one year anniversary, will cost £40 a bottle, of which only 200 will be made. It’s a testament to this beer that I’m actually considering advanced ordering one of these.

Eats: I’d like to be alone with the stout, please.

While listening to: Rose McDowall singing Devil’s Plaything.