Brewdog Paradox Smokehead (or ‘My Head Hurts, But I’ll Try A Craft Beer Review Anyway’)

by Steve

Brewdog Paradox SmokeheadSo, all that beer talk gave me quite the thirst. And boy did I go to town satisfying it last night. It was a friend’s birthday, and he is probably the most beer-geeky of my friends. He appreciates a good drink, and I appreciate that. The night was going swimmingly enough, but we were ending up in the kind of trendy bars where you might get a fancy lager, but you’re unlikely to come across anything more interesting.Then, in the trendiest of them all, I spotted bottles of Brewdog’s Paradox Smokehead in the refrigerator. I ordered one for me, one for my pal. I can confirm this morning that it is not a good idea to have one of these when you’ve already had a few drinks. At 10% ABV, I must admit I was struggling this morning.

So, how was it? First off, some disclaimers. This was a trendy bar, so no glasses were offered, and I felt self-conscious enough as it was, without asking for some. I did regret this. Also, they were chilled. The label suggested it be drunk at room temperature. Never mind.

Well, this is a beer to bring out strong feelings. Everyone who tasted it had an opinion. Generally this opinion was, “It tastes like I’m drinking out of an ashtray”. And yes, it is smoky. Incredibly so.

It is a joint venture with an Islay whisky company, and you certainly can tell. It tasted just like an Islay whisky, smoky and peaty and perfect for enjoying slowly in front of a roaring fire. So, perhaps not the ideal drink for a warm August evening in a loud trendy bar.

It was like whisky in beer form, just without the burn you’ll often get with spirits. It was a bold, bold beer, and while I could taste the strength, it didn’t stop it being very drinkable, although I could understand other drinkers finding it a little challenging.

But…this was very much an ‘experience’ beer. I would have enjoyed it more having it at home, without any prior, or subsequent, drinking. Perhaps with a good cheese, some good music, and that roaring fireplace.

And certainly without the stinking headache I have today.

Ouch. That’ll teach me.