Skip to main content

Advent Calendar Window 10 - Paradox Christmas 2012

I still love BrewDog. I do. I know I shouldn't and there are so many opinions I'm supposed to support - I already wrote about all the reasons you hate BrewDog here - but I don't. There's lots to disagree with and lots to discuss, but at least they have you talking. Tomorrow I'm off to a Christmas dinner at BrewDog Manchester and I'm very much looking forward to it. I was so pleased and fortunate to get the chance to drink this Christmas beer before Wednesday (it's the luck of the calendar) in preparation for that event. This is a beer I've held onto since January, after spotting it on the Beers of Europe website. An Imperial Stout aged in Rum casks sounds perfect for the season. Yes, it comes in a presentation box and no I don't care if this makes the cynics sick because I love my stupid, little pointless box unashamedly.
 
I wish not to give any backstory on BrewDog's Paradox series, aside from my own. I've enjoyed the ones that I've tried thusfar - Smokehead, Arran and Grain - and Paradox Smokehead was obviously an ideal for me. But with their anti-Christmas thesis I'm not really sure what to expect here. The bottle label warns you to suggest a paradox to the commercialisation that Christmas is. That's fine, and almost expected from a company who have defined themselves on defying the norm, but you're preaching to a man who soaks up Christmas like a trainee Lapland elf. You have to impress me with Cheer.
 
"Why should they have all the fun?
It should belong to anyone.
Not anyone, in fact, but me!
Why I can make a Christmas tree!"
 
BrewDog Paradox Christmas 2012 15% pours very thin with low carbonation - the sign of a beer that is ageing well. A sign of a beer that is brewed well. To say that this beer is supposedly the paradox to Christmas, the first wave of scents hits like a warm Mince Pie; mincemeat, brandy and cloves in abundance. It then settles to give you the paradoxical familiarity of all BrewDogs huge Imperial Stouts. It's high cocoa dark chocolate, freshly ground smoky coffee beans and then... whiskey. Not rum, but whiskey. Oak Barrels. Peat bonfires. Tannins. Dignified honey. This is all before the taste. But then, this is the taste too. The richest of dark fruits soaked in barrels of finely aged scotch, melted dark chocolate, solidified and dipped into your morning espresso. The alcohol never lets you forget it's there but the taste is purest Christmas divinity that leaves you drinking a healthy Christmas toast, like a Yuletide morning Buck's Fizz. It may have poured thin, but there's enough body in this to make the loneliest feel whole this season. I adore this beer. It is, for all those that are still cynics, very, very good brewing. This may be Christmas as wished by Jack Skellington, but hey, all he wanted to do was celebrate Christmas too, despite his reputation. Maybe the BrewDog does too.
 
Purchased at Beers of Europe, January 2013
 
Eaten alongside a chocolate stocking and a chocolate angel, for when that first angel came to bring the Good News of a pregnant lady, everybody immediately thought of the outfit she was wearing the night of conception.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I have a bottle of this one left in the cupboard from last year that I'm saving to go with the Xmas pud in a couple of weeks. Glad to hear it's held up well :)

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of