Monday, 10 May 2010

Paradox Springbank

I'm getting a taste for ales that pack a punch or two. Having recently marvelled at Dark Star's Imperial Stout, that great clunking fist of a beer, I found myself reaching into my booze cupboard for the bottle of Paradox Springbank I'd been saving for something. I'd bought it from a whisky shop after reading T's effusive guest post, here, on the sublime joys of Paradox Smokehead. Paradox Springbank is almost the same, except this time, as the name suggests, the whisky barrels used to mature BrewDog's imperial stout for six months are old casks from the Springbank distillery, Campbeltown.

The resulting beer, infused with the flavours and aromas of Scotch, was gratifyingly smoky. On the nose, I found treacle and toffee. Like Dark Star's stout, the mouthfeel was oil-slick, with a slight spritz, but the hops cut into the sweetness, providing a balance of sorts, and the finish was bitter liquorice and oak. After a couple of minutes I was made aware of the beer's pleasantly warming capabilities: it does carry 10% abv, after all. Interestingly, the nature of the drink suggested its own drinking style: while I often prefer to gulp my beer, here I imbibed in slow, reflective tastes, like I would a whisky.

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