Saturday, December 31, 2011

Innis and Gunn: Rum Cask Oak Aged Ale – A complexity of sweetness

Brewed by Belhaven, Innis and Gunn’s Rum Cask Oak Aged ale is, in my view, a seriously underrated beer. According to “Larsblog”, Innis & Gunn’s regular Oak Aged edition “has met with a divided reception among beer enthusiasts”, and I assume this applies to the rum cask edition as well. Whatever the case may be, I found Innis and Gunn’s Rum Cask Oak Aged ale really fun to drink, and I highly recommend it to any sweet tooth out there.

The body appears as a delicious looking mahogany color. In terms of head, well…there’s not much to speak of really: It’s tiny and short lived, which has been my experience with their other oak aged products. The lacing is a bit thin and runny as well. But, the aroma and taste make up for whatever is lacking in the head and lacing. Taking a whiff uncovers a complexity of sweetness: Vanilla, baby bananas, oak, and a touch of rum seem to culminate in an overarching aroma that reminds me of something like butterscotch. Innis and Gunn really concocts a wonderful treat for the nose with this rum cask version. The taste is much like the aroma. It starts out sweet – almost like candy, dissipates into a variety of flavors like vanilla, bananas, and rum, and then coalesces into a sort of butterscotch kick. Overall, however, the vanilla taste and aroma are (thankfully) more reserved than their standard, but still enjoyable, oak aged version. In fact, the synthetic feel of the vanilla focus in the standard version is what some people don’t like about it. The finish in the rum cask version is sweet, spicy and just a tad boozy, while the mouthfeel is slightly watery with average carbonation. 

The casking process used by Innis and Gunn is interesting and somewhat laborious. Again, “Larsblog” provides a detailed description of how this beer is casked.


Image credits

Beer Street Journal:

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