“Paradox Islay is the latest of our whisky cask aged imperial stouts to be released from its smoky, shadowy cocoon. We have kept our Paradox locked away for 178 days in Islay whisky barrels before bottling. Roasty malt flavours of coffee and chocolate combine with smoky molasses. Spicy hop bitterness balances the malt, before layers and layers of rich, peaty Islay whisky character build to epic proportions.”
Served in a beer tulip. As to be expected she pours blacker than the ace of spades with a wispy layer of brown foam perched on top. It disappears pretty quickly leaving nothing but a fine ring around the edges. Laced quite well though, much to our surprise.
What usually comes with ridiculously big beers? Ridiculously big aromas, and this one is no exception to the rule. It’s rich, penetrating and almost offensive but God damn it it’s good. Brimming with whiskey, burned wood, diesel, dark chocolate, ash, molasses, booze, licorice and raw coffee beans. This stout ain’t playing around. Paradox is right!
This beast hits the palate with aggression but not as much as we first thought. It’s perplexingly smooth with a brilliant whiskey-like warmth in the swallow. Medium-full body. 100 IBU (which is incredibly well hidden) and a whopping 15% ABV.
Lots of that peated, whiskey character upfront. A cameo by the sticky molasses sweetness folds in to a big impression of burnt chocolate, espresso and ash through the middle. Suggestions of peated malt and whiskey return to deliver a smoky finish that reveals a bit of that booze in the tail.
Ooph! That gets the blood pumping! Surprising thing is though it’s no where near as vicious as it looks. It’s quite smooth with those whiskey and peat notes bringing most of the ferocity. We could only imagine what this would be like with a few years on it. Brilliant stout.