Innis & Gunn is a delicious beer that is loved by most people whom I have discussed it with. To be honest, I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t like it-it really is delicious! The method for production is a particularly unique strategy for infusing the beer with character and depth.
The beer is left to rest in oak barrels which are designed for whiskey that is meant to feature a hint of beerish overtones. This was done originally primarily for the sake of the whiskey. In fact, according to the Innis & Gunn website, the brewery originally threw away the beer after use, as it was specifically designed for the flavouring of the whiskey, and nothing else. Then, the master brewer-Dougal, received a phone call that informed him that the beer retained the oaky quality of the barrels and resulted in a shockingly delicious beer. Out emerged one of the most beloved beers of recent history. Check out the video below to get a nicely arranged review of the history-it’s interesting and well worth the watch.
Now, to the beer itself.
Brewed by: Innis & Gunn, United Kingdom (Scotland)
Style | ABV
Scottish Ale | 6.60% ABV
Availability: Year-round. bottle (54), can (3), growler (1), on-tap (1).
Appearance: The beer has a 1/2 inch head with excellent beading and a good carbon flow. The hue is a light brownish gold with sunrise textures that make you want to do nothing else but drink.
Nose: Light fruity hops that sink into a vanilla and brown sugar presence. I found myself continually drinking in the fragrance-it is difficult to resist.
Mouthfeel: There is a high level of carbonation that provides a good bite to the beer. Given the smoothness of the flavour, this gives the beer heightened character and diversity in the overall feel. The significant head is indicative of the nice foaminess that slides quickly down the throat.
Taste: Deliciously complex. This beer is one to drink slowly and really focus on appreciating, as you will be surprised in what you discover in the flavours. I found that the predominant flavours where brown sugar and maple, with an overall oakiness that remains from the barrels. Surprisingly, I also found a nice pull of oregano and spices that I could not quite put a name to. The initial hit of the beer is sweet and light, with the brown sugar and maple coming out strongly. The after-tones are more bitter, with the oregano coming out.
Overall: A summarily savoury beer that satisfies in a major way. It is an easy-drinking beer that does not overwhelm the palate, while providing complexity and diversity in the flavour. Each time I drink it I find that it hits me in a different way, and I discover new flavours and poignancy. I would be interested in hearing any of your experiences in this beer, as I do believe that it can hit people in different ways. Let me know-good beer? Bad beer? What flavours do you find in it?
My rating: ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊/◊◊