Anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with the Scottish craft beer company BrewDog need look no further than their television screen, seeing as how those behind the brewery have their own show on the Esquire Network. However, those wanting to experience the full range of the brewery’s Paradox Series might have to look just a little bit further. This line of beers, which takes an imperial stout and ages it in different barrels, is well up to over 20 variations, with many being one-offs that will likely never be brewed again.
The particular variety presented here is Paradox Jura, which was first created in 2012 by taking the aforementioned imperial stout and stowing it away in spent casks from the Jura Distillery. Located on the Isle of Jura southwest of the Scottish mainland, the whisky-maker originally sourced the barrels from an American distillery. This means they were “second use” while in Jura’s possession due to having been used once before in the production of bourbon.
Considering the above, while the beer may have come into contact by two types of whiskey, it’s the Scottish influence that dominates the drinking experience. There may be a hint of bourbon buried deep, deep down, but Scotch is the most prevalent flavor component from beginning to end.
That’s not to say Paradox Jura is one-dimensional, for it isn’t in the least. A veritably laundry list of taste descriptors includes chocolate, dark fruit, licorice, leather, soy and smoke. There’s hints of coffee and dark roast as well, not to mention a bit of black malt character that works its way into the aftertaste.
In terms of how it drinks, Paradox Jura is a surprisingly quick quaff despite being almost brazenly boozy with an ABV of 15 percent. The body isn’t all that full, which may have something to do with it, but there’s plenty of texture given the chewy palate and a slightly syrupy feel. It’s somewhat sweet, to be sure, and while there might not really be enough bitterness to balance, there’s more than enough alcohol in the finish to pick up the slack.