I got up to Scotland last weekend and it seemed like the perfect time to try one of the quintessential Scottish beers. Established in 2003 this started as beer meant to season barrels that would then be used to age Scotch. The first runs of Innis & Gunn were actually thrown out because they weren’t meant to be tasted. Luckily it was tasted and it’s now sold as the great beer that it is.
What really sets this beer apart is that it’s aged in oak barrels, at least the original. There are numerous other runs including beer that’s been aged in rum and Irish whiskey barrels.
The original Innis & Gunn comes in at 6.6% ABV. It has an interesting look, and looks a little like an iced tea, with a strong brown colour and little head on the pour. For tastes this truly is an experience. You hear the phrase oak aged a fair bit but it doesn’t really make sense until you have something to compare it to. This doesn’t really compare to other beers I’ve had, likely because of that oak ageing. I tasted a bit of whiskey on it but also a lot of fruit and some ginger. I think this is such an amazing concept and I look forward to trying more of their runs, to get a sense of how different barrels and the spirits that were in them before can affect the taste.