Monday, March 25, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 84, Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer

This has got to be on your beer bucket list!  It is in the Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy class of beers, obviously Scottish, and are boiled for longer periods to caramelize the wort to give it a nice warm caramel sweetness with higher alcohol and this one is just that along with being aged in oak rum casks for 60 some odd days.  It's a very good mix of flavours!
The bottle is clear, BUT this beer is not skunky in the least and it can also be reused for homebrew, so Cheers!  Homebrew points!

I poured this beer at about 55 degrees into a pint glass and it was a nice mohagany/amber colour and very clear with a thin head of tiny creamy tan bubbles that lasts as a thick ring around the glass throughout the drink leaving an archway pattern of lacing on the glass.

The aroma to first hit me out of the bottle was rum and as my nose got closer the caramel malts came through nice and strong along with molasses.  I get some banana yeasties in there along with some figs, some light vanilla and a hint of white bread?  Not sure on that one.  Notes of alcohol.

The flavour is incredible!  It's got a lot going on just as stated above.  There's not much in the way of hops but mostly this beer starts off caramel sweet and as it rolls across your tongue flavours of molasses, vanilla and fig come to light half way.  Nearing the end is when a banana wallup coats your tongue followed by minutest of a dry finish that can be attributed to a mix of hops and a lightly noticeable skunk taste.  Last but not least is a hint of black pepper as it warms your throat and stomach from that alcohol.  7.4% ABV I believe.

The mouthfeel is smooth and not not overly sweet with a body that is lighter that I would expect but that is nice as it is easier to drink.  The carbonation is mild and thankfully so because this beer would bite if it were moderate.  I think its pretty balanced for being so sweet at first but that is neutralized in the finish.  Some alcohol warming is noticeable.

Overall, I am going to consider this beer world class.  I think that it would be.  I have had only a few, but I could see this as something for a brewer to aspire to or learn from.  4 out of 5 would be on the low side, I may have to give this more.

Like I stated.  Add this to your beer bucket list!  It's a great transition beer to craft beer as long as the drinker is aware of the ABV, otherwise there is nothing to turn you off so get out there and give it a go!  You know what is too short?  NO, not your Wee Willy Webber!  Your life!  Don't waste time on drinking cold urine!  Drink good beer!


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