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Starting the year

Our new year's celebration was very quiet. Our neighbours invited us to the party they had organised. We spent the evening sitting, chatting, eating many things and drinking beer (Zlatopramen, far from a favourite, but still very drinkable), sext and mi contribution, home made malinovice. We didn't stay up too late, less than two hours after toasting and watching the fireworks we went back home. So it wasn't until the first day of this still brand new 2009 that I was able to sit and open somehting special to greet the year that had just begun.

And being that this will sure be a very special year for me, I thought of a very special beer, and what more special than Brewdog Paradox Smokehead. I had received, through Evan Rail from the good people of BrewDog and was really looking forward to drinking it. It isn't necessary to consider all the good comments and reviews that this beer had gathered, it is enough toknow that it is an Imperial Stout matured for, I believe, 18 months in single malt whisky oak barrels. There are several "editions" of Paradox, this one is matured in Islay Whisky Whisky barrels. In short, with such a CV it is the kind of beer that any enthusiast would love to taste.
It was getting dark when I went to my "cellar" to pick the bottle, I cleaned a glass, prepared the cammera and sat at the bar with my notepad by my side while getting ready to drink something that was sure going to be different. As the bottle says, I served this beer at room temperature. I pours very dark, but not thick, against the light some rubi gleams can be seen. The relatively little head disipates pretty fast, thanks to the wopping 10%ABV. The bouquet is dominated by something that reminded me of burnt wood, backed up by notes of chocolate, tobacco and some vanilla. The taste is very complex, I was able to find chocolate, strong coffe, smoked Bamberg like notes, wood, everything playing in perfect harmony waiting for that mildly spicy finish with remembrances of whisky. Both in the aromas and the flavours is the alcohol as some kind of guardian, thoough to be more correct, I should say booze because the high ABV is integrated to perfection, it did not bother me at all at any moment.

BrewDog Paradox Smokehead might not be a beer to everyone's taste, but it did amaze me. I don't remember how long it took me to drink it, but I enjoyed every drop while watching the snow fall outside. A fantastic beer.

Na Zdraví!

PS: If you are in Prague and would like to sample this beer you will be able to find it, together with Tokio RipTide and Hardcore IPA (all from BrewDog) and others that were present at the recent Christmas Beer Festival at Pivovarský Klub. It will cost you dearly, 153CZK and more for a bottle, but it is not something you will drink every day.

PS2: I've got a lot of delayed tasting notes, I'll be posting them in the following weeks, I hope not to bore you.

Update to PD1: If the prices of PK are a bit too inconveniento for your current finances, then you should head to Zlý Časy where you can buy those same beers much cheaper, 60CZK for HardCore IPA and RipTide and 120CZK for Tokio and Paradox. Also available are few others that were presented at the Christmas Beer Festival. Go. Buy. Now.

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.


  1. I was in PK last night, and introducing young ladies to the delights of the Hukvaldy 14 currently on tap, and I noticed the BrewDog beers at somewhat inflated prices. Now if only Billa sold them at fairly normal prices like they do the Belgian stuff.

  2. I took the opportunity to sample BrewDog when I was at home for Xmas, and can confirm that they were very nice. I was only able to get hold of Trashy Blonde, Punk IPA and the lager, but all went down very well. IPA was probably my favourite to drink. And I wish more breweries would share the sentiments on the label... :)

  3. Well, fortunately for everyone, Zlý Časy has a few bottles of four of the BrewDog beers available at much, much nicer prices as written in the update above.

  4. They have even fewer now! I believe only 5 of the Tokyo left.


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