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Beer Review: BrewDog Christmas Paradox 2012

Brewery: BrewDog
Style: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
ABV: 15%
Serving: 330ml Bottle
Price: Around £16

About a month ago I started thinking about my Christmas Day beer selection and what I decided was that I definitely wanted a really special imperial stout to finish out the evening. At first I had the choice of three BrewDog beers; Tokyo*, Dog C or the mighty Paradox Heaven Hill. But when my local bottle shop, Hopology tweeted that they had some of the increasingly hard to come by 2012 release of BrewDog’s Christmas Paradox in stock, I just had to go for it!

Christmas Paradox 2012

The beer pours absolutely black as night with a mocha coloured film of fine bubbles that disappear in seconds. You get definite legs running down the side of the glass from that very high ABV. Just as with Heaven Hill, the beer is almost oily and stains the glass as you swirl it.

The aroma is insanely complex! You get liquorice, bonfire toffee, banana, rum-soaked raisins and burnt honeycomb. Interestingly, I got almost no alcohol on the nose which considering it is 15% was a mystery. I could sit and sniff this beer all day.

Flavour wise this beer is a slam dunk. So massively intense yet still complex with a hundred different flavour notes to pick up on. The ageing process has almost certainly mellowed out the alcohol burn and instead you get intensely sweet rum and raisin ice cream, vanilla, dark toffee, honeycomb, and liquorice. Again, as with Heaven Hill, there is no coffee here but you do get a similar Riesen caramel flavour instead. The use of rum casks rather than bourbon casks brings a whole different dimension. Instead of banana, grassy, wood notes you get rich dark brown sugar and buttery fudge. As the beer came up to room temperature the chocolate toffee flavours gave way to boozy dark fruit like blackberries and cherries. Again there was a sense of those boozy fruit chocolates you get around Christmas time.

Mouthfeel was just super luxurious. Just as with Heaven Hill I took about two hours drinking it letting the syrupy feeling coat my palette and the flavours evolve as the beer warmed. This is definitely another “treat yo self” beer but boy, what a treat! I might have to track down another bottle in a couple of years to see how it tastes then.

Verdict: 5/5

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