INNIS & GUNN
“Our beer’s distinctive depth of flavour owes a debt to good fortune. In 2002 a famous whisky distiller approached us for help. They were seeking to season some of their oak casks with the sweet, malty character of a full-flavoured beer. All the previous attempts had failed. Eager to assist, we created a custom-made recipe and the resulting brew was put to bed in their barrels. Thirty days on, our beer was thrown out and the whisky went in. During its maturation, the Scotch acquired extra qualities from the beer-infused wood, resulting in a greatly admired dram and many repeats of the successful experiment. Then, months later and quite unexpectedly, our Master Brewer, Dougal, received an exciting call – this time it wasn’t the whisky getting rave reviews.Some inquisitive souls at the distillery had sampled our beer after its time in casks. We did likewise…and the taste was remarkable. It had been transformed by the oak into an unusually refined brew. Ever since that heady day we’ve dedicated ourselves to sharing the unique flavours of our oak aged beers with the world, proving that a little luck can go a long way.”
ORIGINAL: 85 Points
This Scottish Ale is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This is our firstborn brew, whose accidental discovery started our story in 2003. Its originality also lies in its singular taste – notes of biscuity malt and vanilla swirling within a creamy, mellow character.”
My Description: This beer is tasty and interesting but falls just short of being memorable. It has a good sized, off-white colored head with a good retention level but it leaves behind hardly any lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of toffee, oak, vanilla, and light fruits like apples. This ale is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. The texture is slightly chewy and the alcohol is nicely hidden. The flavor profile consists of notes like toffee, oak, some honey, and vanilla. This beer tastes good but the flavors feel thin and the toffee at times can be overpowering. The aftertaste is clean with no bitterness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled chicken, roast beef sandwiches, or smoked gouda.
ABV: 6.6% Color: Honey Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
RUM AGED: 91 Points
This Scottish Ale is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Our Rum Aged is a fighter. Its popularity saw it throw off the shackles of Limited Edition status to clinch a place in our Core Range. Matured over oak heartwood infused with specially selected rums, its spicy, full-bodied qualities make it a lively sparring partner for a round or two.”
My Description: Aging this beer is rum casks has created a beer that is tasty, balanced nicely, and memorable. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and pleasant with notes of toffee, oak, vanilla, light spice notes, and a touch of dark fruits. Rum Aged is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. This beer is smooth and the alcohol is only noticed slightly. The flavor profile is delicious and satisfying. There is a clean malt backbone with notes of toffee, oak, butterscotch, some spice notes, and a touch of rum. The aftertaste is clean with no bitterness. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, grilled steak, or Cajun shrimp.ABV: 6.8% Color: Strawberry Red/Garnet Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
SCOTTISH PORTER: 77 Points
This Scottish Style Porter is available from time to time in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This beer takes its inspiration from the history books. As well as using flavour-packed chocolate and crystal malt, we also added treacle (molasses) which gives the beer its rich, bittersweet character. 100 years ago in Scotland, treacle was used by brewers to create depth and sweetness and to give beers a richer mouthfeel and more rounded finish.”
My Description: It has a decent sized, beige colored head with a decent retention level and it leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and interesting with notes of vanilla, caramel, and some dark fruit sweetness. This ale is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex but unimpressive. There are notes of chocolate, molasses, caramel, oak, and dark fruits but they don’t blend well enough together to make this beer satisfying or enjoyable. The aftertaste has no bitterness making this porter overly sweet and the alcohol flavor shines in occasionally. To be honest, it doesn’t even taste like a porter, more like an English dark ale. I would look somewhere else for a porter. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted turkey, baked duck, or lamb stew.
ABV: 7.4% Color: Dark Brown/Burgundy Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1/10
BOURBON AGED STOUT: 79 Points
This Stout is released from time to time in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This Innis & Gunn Red Stout has been brewed using rye crystal malt to give it its deep ruby colour. Whitbread Golding hops complement the sweet biscuity malt with a soft hop bitterness. It was matured slowly over Bourbon-infused oak which gives it its mellow vanilla flavour and a nice warming Bourbon kick.”
My Description: The more I drink this beer the less I like it. The flavors are thin and do not blend cleanly together, the hops taste stale, and this just does not feel like a stout. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that lasts for some time and leaves behind a great amount of lacing. The aroma is decent enough with notes of vanilla, toffee, oak, and some spice. This stout is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a very dry finish. The texture is chewy but not very smooth. There is a noticeable bourbon flavor in this beer but the flavor profile overall just doesn’t taste that good. There are notes of toffee, caramel, some oak, a touch of vanilla, and some alcohol. The aftertaste is minimally bitter but not satisfying. This ale was a slight disappointment. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled steaks, smoked Gouda, or a cigar.
ABV: 7.4% Color: Garnet Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10
SPICED RUM AGED: 84 Points
This Scottish Ale is a limited release and is available in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “This limited bottling of Innis & Gunn has been finished over oak infused with Caribbean Spiced Rum. The result is absolutely delicious, bursting with the flavours of Caribbean spices along with our signature notes of vanilla, toffee and oak.”
My Description: This beer is pretty good but it almost seems unnecessary because the original Rum Aged is so much better. It has a decent, light beige colored head with sub-par retention level and it leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is similar to other Innis beers with a strong toffee presence accompanied by notes of oak and spiced rum. This beer is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is similar as well with notes of toffee, oak, vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. There is a slight touch of spices from the rum chips but not enough to make this beer stand out. Plus, the flavors are not as clean or satisfying as the original Rum Aged. This beer is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with grilled pork chops, smoked sausage, or roasted duck.
ABV: 7.4% Color: Copper Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10