#314: Innis & Gunn Original – Innis & Gunn, Edinburgh, Scotland
A review I had to get to sooner or later. It seems it’s that kind of week so far; doing bucket list reviews. Innis & Gunn as a company was kind of an accident. The original idea was to create something like “Ale Reserve Whisky,” so beer would’ve been placed into the barrel, set to age, and then removed and discarded, so whisky could take its place and be infused with ale flavors. Apparently the beer was too good to get rid of. Innis & Gunn Original is aged in oak Bourbon barrels and matured for 77 days, imparting all sorts of lovely flavors into this 6.6% ABV brew.
I always get annoyed when I see these clear bottles, I can’t help it. But I will say, it did look very, very, very appealing when I pulled it out of the ‘fridge. Looking at it in the bottle, it really does look quite a bit like whiskey. It has that scorched orange color that the drink is so well-known for. The head creamed up initially, but quickly settled out to the thin rim you see there. The aroma is just damn delightful. Tons and tons of vanilla, to go along with strong toffee and caramel, and a touch of that whiskey-ish booze.
And yet somehow it still manages to taste like beer, even with all of the flavors that have been imparted. The vanilla continues to come right on through, though it’s comparatively soft when you stack it up next to the nose. Certainly strong caramel and toffee flavors take up a good portion the room, joined by an underlying smokiness and that rich, warming whiskey-ish flavor that hangs on the edges. All of these flavors are wrapped nicely in the body, which has a nice “oomph” to it. Oak comes through in the finish, as it always does.
The Verdict: A must try, quite simply.