Islay-Influenced Stout

I’ve heard about Brew Dog for a while now; they’re famous (or infamous if you’re PeTA) for making the most expensive beer in the world. They took 12 bottles of a brew called “The End of History”, found 4 squirrels, 7 weasels and a hare (already dead), took the animals to a taxidermist, and packaged the $765/bottle beer one bottle per animal. It’s kind of a radical way to do beer, but kind of fun in its own way.

Brew Dog Paradox Islay Glass

The guys at Brew Dog, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, consider themselves progressive brewers, and their beers aren’t cheap. Because they seem to go for hoppy beers, I haven’t tried them much. They also have 32% and 41% offerings, which will likely never be available in Ohio. However, I saw a single bottle of their Paradox Islay and had to try it.

The Paradox series is their stout put into whisky barrels from various distilleries. The Islay series has used different distilleries including Bowmore and Ardbeg. I, unfortunately, didn’t realize this before last Saturday, and I didn’t get the batch number off the bottle to know which this was.

Anyway, I tried it. And I liked it. A lot.

Brew Dog Paradox Islay

it’s got a rich, malty stout base, and comes in with a touch of peat, but not overpowering. It’s not cheap, but I must have more. That’s the real test of a beer or ale or stout, or whisky for that matter. After you have some, do you feel you really want more? If not, try something else until you get that reaction. Then get more, in moderation!

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. Thanks for telling us about this, how interesting. How much did the beer cost? It looks like a typical bottle size and without a screwcap. Nice. Sounds like something I want to try, too.

    • Kathy, I think it’s just a 12 ounce bottle, and it was about $10. I’d buy it again, though! Then again, my favorite ice cream is $10/pint. And, come to think of it, this would be really good with some of their salty caramel ice cream, I bet!
      Curt recently posted..Terry’s Turf ClubMy Profile

  2. Curt,
    That sounds really good. I LOVE dark beers ( stouts and porters). One aged in a whisky barrel sounds very interesting. $10 a bottle isn’t that bad for a specialty brew, not in SoCal anyway. I’ll have to start looking for that label. Hope I can find some. P.S. The dark ones DO go great with ice cream.

  3. I think $10 is an okay price for a treat so eventually I’ll bring it home, too. I looove dark beer and stout so it’s an easy choice for me, too. I just did a product search in the LCBO and they don’t carry it, they only have Brew Dog ‘Punk IPA’ for $2.60 for a 330 ml bottle. IPA is not my first or even seventh ale choice…… maybe I’ll wait until they carry something darker.

  4. I looked around online at some of my local places. I found Brew Dog Paradox Smokehead, but no Islay. It may be the same thing. The label said stout aged in american boubon barrels that were used to age scotch. I just don’t know if it was Islay scotch. At the moment it was out of stock. Will wait to get some and check it i=out.

    • Marten,

      That’s their latest, using Smokehead casks. It’s Islay, too, just a newer batch, I think. Get it and let me know what you think!

  5. Curt,
    I did some more research. It appears that the paradox label has been around for a while. Every batch uses a different distillery’s casks. They’ve done Jura, Isle of Arran, Springbank, Speyside, Macallan, Islay, and more. The latest is the Smokehead as far as I can discern. I don’t think it’ll be available until late this year, if my info is correct.

    • Marten,

      It also seems they did several in the Islay series, with casks from different distilleries on the island. I’d love to have one of each!

  6. Curt,
    Just a heads up. The 32% and 41 % offerings are available at one of my local places. In stock at $89.99 and $119.99 respectively for a 375 ml bottle. Worth a try – maybe.

    • Marten,

      That’s not cheap, but I think I’d split one with somebody to try them. It’s not like whisky, though, where you can open a bottle and keep it for a while!

  7. Hi, Curt…

    Could you explain what the taxidermy has to do with the brew? The nag screen is covering up that part of the text so the whole thing is kind of lost on me. I wish I knew why this blog is always nagging me to subscribe when I’m already subscribed. Thanks!


    • Tish,

      That may be a setting I can try to tweak… I’ll look into it.

      As to taxidermy, Brew Dog packacked a dozen bottles of beer in “stuffed” animals… Quite a gimmick!

  8. Checking out their website I see they’ve now done one aged in Jura casks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: