I decided to do a big Innis and Gunn taste test after their PR agency in the UK, R&R Teamwork, very kindly sent me a bottle of the Canadian Cask Ale and Rum Cask Ale to try. Once they arrived i hot footed it down to my local Tesco, where i knew i could pick up the Blonde and Classic versions, that i had sampled before. I thought i would be a good idea to have a night in front of the TV with a good film and the 4 beers.
So i dug out my Innis and Gunn Glass and set to work
Bottle 1 – Innis and Gunn Blonde – 6% – lightly oak matured for 37 days
I thought i would start with this one as it was the lightest, not only in colour but in ABV, but it still weighs in at a pretty hefty 6%. The beer poured really well with a pretty decent head, it didn’t really smell of much although there was a slight oak waft. The beer tasted very light with quite a hoppy but sweet taste, not quite as flavoursome as the original.
Bottle 2 – Innis and Gunn Original – 6.6% – oak matured for 77 days
This is usually a staple of my beer drinking, it’s a great beer and i love it to bits, it has a lovely toffee sweet scent with a hint of vanilla, it’s lovely and light for something so strong, it has caramel and oak notes throughout the glass, it holds its head well (even if over chilled), it’s rich and full of flavour and one of those beers that should be drank often.
Bottle 3 – Innis and Gunn Canadian Cask – 7.1% – oak matured for 71 days (ltd edition – Canada Only)
Slightly darker and stronger than the classic Innis and Gunn, it smells quite sweet, a little bit of sugar and hint of wood chips (i must be crazy), it’s maybe a little smoother than the classic and tastes quite smokey and malty with a slight twist of something at the end that i can’t quite put my finger on, there isn’t a whisky flavour like classic and it is a bit richer than both the classic and blonde. I really liked it, bit of a shame it’s not available in the UK as i would certainly buy it if it was.
Bottle 4 – Innis and Gunn Rum Cask – 7.4% – oak matured for 107 (ltd edition)
The final bottle in my 4 was also kindly sent to me by R&R Teamwork (thanks guys and gals) , This one as the name says was matured in a Rum Cask. It was the darkest and strongest of the 4 beers, i could definitely smell the rum im the beer when i poured it, along with some wood. I could also taste the rum in the beer but it wasn’t overpowering, it was however quite Sweet and malty with a little bit of citrus and nut (or i could just be imagining the nut).
I feel that this is possibly the one of the 4 that i wouldn’t drink as much of, as much as i liked it, it was maybe just a bit too sweet.
So overall even thought the beers are all quite similar they also have their own characteristics, the Canadian Cask is a definite winner (lets hope they do something similar for the UK Market) , The blonde is great for a session (a rather expensive one) The Rum is possible more for Christmas and the classic is a great beer cupboard staple.
In the past im sure i also picked up an Innis and Gunn in a blue box that from what i remember was also ltd edition and had been aged for over 100 days…unfortunately that’s about all i can remember and i can’t find the photo or notes on it.