Soothing the Savage Beast
A Review of Paradox Macallan by BrewDog
Posted on 4/9/2013 by Chops
                   
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Few breweries on the planet are as divisive as BrewDog out of Scotland. These guys truly believe that they are brewing up revolution with every beer and their legion of loyal fans would agree. After all, this is the brewery that brings you beers like the Sink the Bismarck Imperial IPA, clocking in at a brain-melting 41% ABV. Other beer fans regard them as the unhinged lunatics of the beer world, which I imagine BrewDog would take as a compliment. Regardless, BrewDog is anything but predictable and every new beer experience is a bewildering trip through oblivion. Up next in my own BrewDog adventures is the Paradox Macallan, an Imperial Stout aged in 1987 Macallan Sherry Casks.

In the glass, this beer has a deep dark brown coloration that is near black. I found no head to speak of, even with an aggressive pour (not uncommon for cask ales). On the nose, I found a strong black coffee aroma with sweet sherry, tart cherries, and a decent nip of alcohol. Based on aroma alone, it smells a great deal like a cherry stout. Although, the sherry is a very specific distinction that creates a lovely bouquet. It's warm and inviting, so I wasted no time diving in for that first sip.

This is perhaps the first BrewDog beer I have ever come across that I can confidently describe as silky smooth and easy drinking. It's a rare trait for cask stouts, let alone a BrewDog version. The beer drinks like an iced coffee sans grittiness. The sherry flavors and malt roast are nicely balanced, creating a rich and rewarding drinking experience. Imagine a smooth and creamy cherry stout and you have this beer properly pegged. I also found notes of vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate. There is very little hop presence, which in this case is a good thing. The beer exits clean and leaves behind a sour roasted aftertaste.

Overall, BrewDog's Paradox Macallan is a fascinating beer with lots of great character and flavor. Due to its smooth mouthfeel and high accessibility, this is perhaps the only cask aged ale that I can recommend to any and all beer fans. Yes, you heard me right, even novices can get in on some big bold BrewDog action. Fans of big beers and cask ales will certainly appreciate this brew as a dessert-like version. I do love me some sherry, so this beer was quite a treat. BrewDog managed to capture the essence of the Macallan sherry cask without overpowering the beer. The result is a full flavored monster brew with a warm and fuzzy personality. This beast may look menacing, but I promise he won't bite.

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Paradox Macallan by BrewDog
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