Innis and Gunn Winter Beer 2012: 7.4% abv
There is nothing better than a reunion. And we’ve had some good ones with Innis and Gunn. This is more like a high school reunion. A poor one. I recently had an Innis and Gunn Rum Cask, which is a fantastic Scotch Ale. This particular beer is a “porter”, but it doesn’t have that ominous black oil-like color that a porter normally does, so maybe the porter was...under-roasted? Despite this, it sounds like a pretty interesting beer, being an oak aged Scotch porter brewed with molasses, it is certainly unique. It is also a limited run beer, so we had to grab it.
Well all of this self-hype was unnecessary, as the beer is not worth it’s cost if you’re looking for the same quality you got with the rum-cask Innis and Gunn. This isn’t against the company, but this just simply doesn’t do it. Here’s why: The nose gives off some good notes, shooting off raisons, caramel, vanilla, honey, milk chocolate, a slight sweet coffee flavor, cream, cantaloupe, molasses, and a moderate background tartness. This is the best part of the beer.
The arrival is eventless, being sweet and light, with a slight lemon-lime character and some raisons. The taste contains raisons, coffee, slight hops, toffee, soda water/mineral water, and water in general. The body does contain a larger amount of wateriness, and there is more to be said about this later. The finish contains raisons, coffee, molasses, slight hops, toffee, earthy mineral notes, caramel, and an out of place tartness. So what’s the end result?
KCM loves that beer makers can produce new ideas at a much faster rate than distillers, but this particular statement by Innis and Gunn is light, watery and inconsistent in flavors. The complexity isn’t there to speak of and there was a general disappointment in the lack of quality. Go grab a Rum Cask Innis and Gunn. It is still a fantastic brew.