par·a·dox / ˈperəˌdäks / noun / A statement or proposition that, despite sound (or apparently sound) reasoning from acceptable premises, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory.
Paradox is quite an interesting name to choose for a brewery, but this little known brewery from Divide, CO, nestled off Highway 24 between Florissant and Woodland Park, or in simpler terms about 25 miles west of Colorado Springs, or about 120 miles southwest of Denver International Airport…Out there a ways. To just get an idea of what they are concocting, just take a look at this bit from the brewery, “every beer that Paradox Beer Company produces is barrel-aged and bottle-conditioned. In 2012, Jeff, Brian and David, equipped with over 30 years of combined professional brewing experience, founded Paradox Beer Company. Paradox Beer Company produces original and rare beers which honor the uncertainty of nature bound with rigorous quality testing, providing one- of-a-kind flavors that could only be produced by Paradox.” Building a brewery that embraces uncertainty and strives to produce truly unique flavors is perhaps a step out of the norm, that is fine by me.
What we’ve got to dissect and enjoy today is one of their dark sours, coined In The Spirit Of Skully Barrel No. 3. Simply described as a Farmhouse Stout Aged in Colorado Whiskey Barrels. Let’s just dive right in to this sour stout deliciousness.
Brewery — Paradox Beer Company, Divide, CO
Beer — In the Spirit of Skully – Barrel No. 3
ABV — 10.0%
Price — $17.99 / 375ml / 4,320 bottles produced
Appearance (4.5/5) — Pours an infinitely dark deep black hue out of the bottle and into the glass. There is a slowly rising and forming coffee like head that forms atop and settles as a thin layer, leaving behind some clingy, consistent rings of lace with each sip. This just looks like concentrated cold brew coffee in a glass, little bits of carbonation rise, but fairly calm.
Aroma (4.5/5) — As the bottle is opened the notes start to fill the room, as it warms in the glass these notes get stronger and more predominant. We have notes of coffee, bitter roasted espresso, dark unsweetened chocolate, a caramel and taffy like sweetness balanced with an oaky, vanilla, burnt brown sugar component, bit of spice, cinnamon, and char from the oak barrels.
Taste (4.75/5) — Taste is predicated on the dark rich side of the spectrum, dominated by chewy coffee and chocolate notes, as it warms the caramel and vanilla begin to awake. Finishes with a salty, tart kick to it. This is like slowly eating a dark chocolate covered salted caramel whilst sipping on a fantastic cup of dark roasted coffee. Just fantastic.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — Not as thick or heavy as you may expect, a nice balance has been struck here, long lasting enjoyable finish as well.
Overall (4.5/5) — Absolutely fantastic, a great depth of flavors showcasing chocolate, caramel, coffee, vanilla, oak, light vinegar, chewy and delicious. Completely unexpected, but perhaps one of the best dark sours I have ever had. I understand some may balk at the price, but if you and a friend or two go in on a bottle it is well worth sharing and enjoying with good company.
Cheers and have a great weekend! Drink well and be safe!