With this beer, Innis & Gunn prides itself in successfully combining beer and rum; a combination which they initially doubted I believe. I don’t see why. This beer was initially a limited edition but thanks to high demand, it is now part of the I&G core line. Aged for 57 days on Demerara Rum-infused heartwood, this beer is by no doubt another important part of the family. more so than the Blonde, I feel. I am usually careful (more like skeptical) with beers that are mixed with liquor, many try, many fail. This one succeeded. It’s the other tough child of the family, the one that gets in trouble at times but unlike the Highland Cask, manages to charm authorities.
Look: The result from mixing a special beer recipe with rum on oak gives it a succulent deep red color with a good white foamy, but short lived head.
Smell: Consisting of a nice spice blend with hints of banana and dark fruits, this beer has a delicious caramelized alcohol aroma that keeps all these wonderful flavors tied together.
Taste: Not as much vanilla in this one. It’s a good thing. The rum and spice blend deliver a quality taste that is reminiscent of an old den furnished with leather chairs in which a window was opened about an hour after a fine cigar was savored. That’s the description of a quality oak aged beer. Add to it a generous mix of malts that come out in the taste like a fine bread.
Finish: The I&G web site says it is surprisingly light and I agree. The alcohol level is high yet doesn’t leave you swallowing that last sip with a grimace.
Feel: Light and dry.
Context: Again, right on.
Pairing: Go all out on this one, visit a good butcher, get venison, game, duck… Stop by your preferred cheese store and treat your self to some blue cheese or any strong cheeses. Have a cigar.
Availability: Now part of their regular line.
Beer type: Scotch Ale
Alcohol/Vol.: 6.8% (used to be 7.4% when limited)
Brewery: Innis and Gunn
Country / Region: Scotland
Well done, I love these guys. I hope they keep it real and are smart about the way they grow this brewery.