What seems eons ago I used to buy bottles of Paradox from my old mate Duncan’s award winning shop, Duncan Murray Wines.
It was one of the beers that made me realise what you could do with beer, what it could be.
I’ve not had a Paradox of any shape or form for some considerable time until now, and to be honest, I’d forgotten just how fabulous Paradox can be.
And it’s all about the cask ageing.
Paradox was a beer I drank and loved before I started writing about beer.
Yes, that long ago.
And so I’m writing about it for the first time, and it’s like a gorgeous blast of déjà vu.
I remember every nook and cranny of this superb little bottle of joy.
The smell is treacle tart and peat smoked whisky, and the beer pours inky black into my glass.
Taking a mouthful you find burned wholemeal toast, charcoal, Demerara sugar, cardboard boxes and honey, along with a good crunchy autumnal leaf litter hopping.
But it’s the deep heat of the whisky barrels that sets this beer apart.
Chest warming and dank, dark, damp and sexy, you find mushrooms and oak sideboards, fireplaces and walnuts.
All this makes for a beer that’s rich and thick and round, hot with booze and pithy with hedgerow greenery.
Drinking Paradox Islay now transports me back to drinking Paradox over half a decade ago and I love it.