Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer - Innis & Gunn

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Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked BeerInnis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer

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102 Ratings
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Ratings: 102
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 10
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 03-01-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by djcreepshow:
More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice glass, just to get the nose effect. Unfortunately, I could tell almost immediately that the light had got to this bottle, as there was a slight skunk to it. Like other posters have said, this beer deserves a non-clear bottle!

Other than the aforementioned skunk, I detected vanilla, oak and light malts on the nose, only milder than its darker counterpart.

The taste is that intriguing, oak-aged flavor that I loved in its stronger version, albeit in milder form. While it made it easier to drink, I still prefer the other version. Still, a very unique and tasty brew.

Lightly carbonated, good retention.

A fine brew, but as I've said, stick with the stronger version. Less sessionable, but more satisfying.

Photo of Swedes21
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ml bottle poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - Gunn pours with a nice crisp foamy head that is slightly blonde in colour. Head takes over 1/2 the glass then produces some decent lacing. The head contains a lot of air pockets despite the minimal carbonation. Beer is a solid gold colour, very appealing to the eye.

Smell - a slight hint of vanilla and nice oak balance. I can smell the apple as well, very clean and crisp.

Taste - you can taste the vanilla with a little hint of bitterness to the beer. I found the oak taste comes out a lot more in the tasting than the smell.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is not brought fwd during the mouthfeel, very light beer on the pallet. leaves a slight oak taste in the mouth as well, but nothing that overtakes the taste.

Drinkability - This is a beer that would appeal to those looking for a good combination of oak/vanilla based beer. Although good, not something i would go out and get again.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 330ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Jan 2013. Picked up from a supermarket some time back and stored in my garage. A lightly oaked beer; the label states that it was matured in casks for 37 days.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear golden colour with plentiful carbonation. Forms a large creamy head of white foam that remains for a few minutes before settling. Aroma of strong vanilla, toffee, oak, tannins and stewed leaves. Slightly sweet, with a mild whiff of booze in the background. Faintly reminiscent of whisky - unusual but not entirely appealing.

Tastes of distinctly oaked beer with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of oak, vanilla, toffee/caramel, a hint of brown sugar, tannins, stewed leaves, cardboard and overcooked veg. Faintly sweet but also astringent. A mild solventy twang in the background, followed by a restrained, earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and mildly spicy, with decent carbonation. The body is OK for a comparitively 'light' beer. Dries the palate and leaves an aftertaste of oak, vanilla and stewed leaves.

Different, but not brilliant. The oak/vanilla/toffee/stewed leaves combo comes on a bit too strong and spoils the character for me - it just isn't balanced. The flavours also seem forced and artificial; there ought to be some 'beer' flavour in there. I admire I&G's efforts to bring variety to the beer world, however in this case the oak and blonde beer don't work amazingly well together. The wood dominates the flavour - perhaps showcasing it was the intention? I reckon a dark oaked beer would be better; I can imagine oak and roasted malt flavours marrying nicely. At any rate, this is an odd sideshow and not a particularly worthy one. Try it for the novelty factor then move along.

Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with a bit of thin soapy white head, that leaves no lacing. It smells of light white grain, and a bit of woodiness. The taste is, as expected, oakey, with a bit of vanilla - caramel, and wood resin - sweet malt and a trace of floral noble hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body a little thin, and it finishes with an off-dry vanilla oakiness. No noticeable alcohol warming. Quite similar to their regular oaked offering, but lighter in the body to account for the Pale Ale style. Not too shabby - but the woodiness kind of gets old more quickly than I thought it would.

Photo of Sammy
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

LCBO has a pipeline to this brewer. Pours golden body with some foaming white head. Neutral to off-putting smell. A bit less than average mouthfeel. Modest flavour,a bit of wood and a drop of hops, sweet malts fuel its drinkability though not very much so.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear straw golden, generous soapy white head, decent retention and lacing
S - sharp grains and grassy and peppery hops with a light fruity aroma
T - grassy and grainy, with light candied fruit, vanilla, and light woody flavour
M - light and refreshing, moving to a tart and slightly dry finish
D - light and drinkable with an interesting flavour mix, not what I would call a 'pale ale', but enjoyable regardless

Photo of ChrisCage
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Comes w/o the box like the standard beer. I gave this a hard pour and there really wasn't much of a head that formed, and what there is quickly turns into a ring...rather fizzy looking. Color is crystal clear light gold, with lots of visible bubbles. The lacing is a little watered down from the usual and the foam fizzles out rather quick....

S- There is a noticeable tobacco leaf aroma, along with the oak barrel that is present in their other brews. In the backround, the sweet vanilla malts come through, giving this a unique smell. It does remind me of a lighter version of the regular oak aged beer...I guess it should, being aged 40 days less. One thing I notice more than the other I&G beers is the alcohol comes through more so.

T- The first thing I noticed was the oak, but it is a delicate wooded flavor. The vanilla comes through here as well, providing a sweet balance to the dryness of the oak. The finish has some leafy/earthy flavors in the mix....probably along the lines of the deep tobacco leaf that I smelled. There is also a pleasant hopped bitterness at the end that isn't very powerful, but enough to let you know it's there.

M- I don't find this one to be as full bodied as other I&G products, but rather more refreshing. The carbonation hits the palate more upfront, providing a zing, followed by a mellow smoothness, that lingers quietly afterward.

D- This is refreshing enough that your palate doesn't get overworked, but with a flavor punch that won't knock you off your feet. I like the balance of this one, and agree that this beer would suit a much broader range of beer drinkers. I think it would be a nice meal beer, but could also provide enough sweetness to act as a desert beer. Very decent job!

Photo of Stocean1
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a half finger head from an aggressive pour with little lacing and retention of the white head. The colour is a cystal clear golden hue.

S - Plenty of oak and vanilla comes through. Some sweet malt as well.

T - Again, sweet malt balanced with some grassy hops. Oak (that whisky Innis flavor) and lots of vanilla dominates but is not overdone.

M -light carbonation and medium bodied. Slightly bitter and dry in the finish.

O - Very decent offering from this brewer that is a little more subtle in terms of the taste than some of its other offerings I have sampled. Not so sure calling it a pale ale fits but enjoyable none the less.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep bright golden blond color ale with a medium size foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light vanilla and some very subtle tart notes form the oak is quite intriguing with a nice mix of pale malt. Taste is also a mix of very subtle vanilla with some pure malt and a light oak finish. Body is about average with some good carbonation. Not something I would go for very often but interesting mix nonetheless.

Photo of evlu1441
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm slowly ticking off my Innis and Gunn encounters. This is beer #5 from I&G for me. I've found the others to be rather consistently decent to good.

It pours a dark golden colour, almost akin to apple juice. I know that's probably not the most appealing description, but that's what she looks like. There isn't much of a head to talk about. It was sparse and bubbly before it completely receded after only a minute or so.

The aroma is subtle and balanced. It has a nice sweet-ish grainy malt aroma, alongside a nice hint of oak that isn't overpowering. There is a bit of smoky aroma in the background, but far less pronounced compared to other I&G offerings. In some ways, the aroma reminds me or french toast and nutmeg.

The taste starts out bold, with some hints of caramel, but quickly subsides and moves into some standard light malty business. It finishes with a rich sweetness and the hint of oak rounds things out nicely. The aftertaste is lovely and stays.

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm inclined to say that this might be my favourite I&G offering to date. Perhaps I'm just really in the mood for a beer like this one at the moment. It certainly doesn't have as strong and interesting a flavour as the Winter ale for example. I think it has to do with the drinkability. I can see myself drinking a few of these back-to-back, which is more that I can say for other I&G beers.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep transparent golden in colour, loose frothy white head that settles at a steady rate.

Soft woody notes, some floral spice and crisp grassy hops along with some mild sweet grains on the nose. Deep inhalations uncover a stronger alcohol presence.

Most of the party starts in the middle of the flavour with this one. Mild buttery grains up front, smooth woody malt notes pick it up a notch in the middle with warming alcohol and a full creamy mouthfeel. Savoury vanilla and light buttery malt on the finish, green leafy and spicy hops become more apparent in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is full for the style, velvety smooth and creamy with just a small carbonation kick on the finish to add a bit of textural contrast.

Great stuff, I like this almost as much as the original Innis and Gunn, and would have no problem substituting it in for the original on a regular basis, especially as a warm weather quencher.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear bottle, 330ml. Best before 04 Dec 2008, drank on 23 Aug 2008.

Poured well chilled, into a Westmalle Trappist Chalice glass.

Pale, very pale in colour. The head fell away to a wisp covering far too quickly for me.

The aroma was weaker than I expected, there is an Oak feel to it and a caramel/toffee sweetness which arrives as the beer warmed.

A tangy bitter sweet flavour which I found interesting and pleasant. Not your normal English Pale Ale that's for sure, well it is brewed in Scotland so why should it be?

The 6% is well hidden and the beer could almost be discribed as watery, but not quite. The flavours do stay, with the sweetness hanging around longer than the bitterness.

Not bad, but nothing special either.

Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear pale yellow pour with one finger head with decent retention and lacing. Vanilla and oak dominate the nose with a hint of butterscotch. The taste mirrors the nose, with an unusual and unique buttery flavor really jumping out as well. The oak and vanilla are the stars as they always are with Innis & Gunn with a hint of caramel as well. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth making this a very drinkable beer. Perhaps not my favorite offering from Innis & Gunn, but a solid beer none the less.

Photo of uno99
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoy the "regular" Innis so much I decided to give this one a go...

A: not much head to speak of but a nice shade of amber. small compact bubbles float on the top of the liquid.

S: I had a bottle of this last night in a pint glass and was not impressed with the smell, but tonight In my Chimay goblet things are a little diffrent. buttery vanilla. alchohol. earhty leafy scent. hopps decently present.

T: Very tasty. vanilla. oak. whiskey. dried appricot. a hoppy end with a good alchohol kick.

M: maybe a little over carbonated for my tastes. moderate viscocity goin on here.

D: Not a beer id want to consume in quanity, but is intresting enough to warrant one or two when the time arrises.

Overall, not as bold and intresting as its big brother, but a good solid brew from a renowned Scotch brewery.

Photo of joel77
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - pours a lazy head of loose bubbles, quickly diminishing to a thin film. dark gold in colour. meh.

s - smells a bit of the tart skunkiness of a heineken but creamier. Didn't get any of the vanilla or oaky sniffs.

t- there is definitely some complexity here. subtle toffee and burnt caramel and brown sugar. some carmelized fruit without the sweetness. Heavier hits of the scotch/oak further down the glass but still not a big taste. I felt like I had to go looking for it.

m - I wouldn't describe the feel as full but there are some layers to it. A little thin for my taste but not bad for a "lightly oaked" beer (?).

d - I felt i had to work too hard to enjoy this one. will have to try the longer aged brew and compare taste intensities.

All in all, on my first go round with it, I'm not sure what this oak-aged fuss is all about.

Photo of ludachris
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one courtesy of TheHammer. Thanks pal. I've had the regular version of this and was pretty pleased. Lets see about this one.

Pours a perfectly clear medium golden shade with some nice amber highlights. A half finger of fizzy white head caps this beer, but not for long. Still leaves some nice patchy lacing.

Grassy hops, light skunkiness, vanilla, bready malts, some toffee and mellow oak emanate from the glass.

Smooth and rich notes of vanilla, sweet bready malts, light fruit and biscuit pair with some light grassy hops that stick it out 'til the end.

I thought the feel of this beer was its highlight. Smooth, creamy and subtly rich. Makes me want to lick my lips.

Overall, a great offering from I&G. I thought this version might have been too watered down to entise more casual drinkers to buy but it didn't skip out on much. I'm happy to say I've got the Cananda Day edition in my fridge right now and I'm quite excited to try it.

Photo of SebD
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice golden colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down quickly and has minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of vanilla, oak with some sweet caramel and malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a very nice sweet vanilla/caramely taste to with hints of oak and some grassy hops bringing a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice sweetness.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First of three I&G singles picked up at the LCBO. Pours an appropriately amber-blonde colour, with a finger of loose, puffy, off-white head on top. Some lacing on the edges of the glass but otherwise poor retention. Smell is nice but not especially complex; sweet grain malts, vanilla and oak.

Interesting flavour. Bready grain malts, some sweet fruitiness, vanilla and notes of oaked whiskey. Some light floral hops in the finish. Sweetness and oak linger for a while in the finish. Good flavour but I'm not really sure it's up my alley. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; pretty smooth drinking. Quite drinkable but not something I would consider very sessionable.

Not really feeling this one. It's not bad, just not really what I'm looking for in an EPA. Maybe I just don't like oaked beer. Either way, this is worth a try, but I doubt I'll get it again.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 330-ml bottle into a stemmed beer glass.

Appearance - nice golden-yellow colour with a 3/4-inch head that reduces to fine lace and a sudsy surface. Plenty of carbonation.

Smell - Very noticable caramel and vanilla together over a grainy malt gives a sense of baked bread. A second take brings forth the Innis & Gunn oakey scent, toned down quite a bit versus their namesake Edinburgh Ale.

Taste - nice malty flavour with dense citric and floral overtones, the comes the hop-oak combo to finish quite long for as light as the beer supposedly is. Mind you, it's a 6% offering, so the notion of "light" is pretty rich.

Mouthfeel - hard to take in all the deep flavours at once so you get a very active, truly busy, overload that takes away from what it might be. Goes down easy though.

Drinkability - I find that with both Innis & Gunn products I've tried 2 is more than adequate. They're strong and go down pretty easy so it could spell trouble if I was really thirsty.

Photo of CrazyMike
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange appearance with decent head. Smell is enjoyable, sweet with a vanilla and oak. Picked up a hint of toffee.

Taste is like the smell, picked up vanilla/oak like taste, very creamy texture. There is a hint of caramel as well. Body is light with nice carbonation. Aftertaste is nothing overwhelming, but is bitter.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Interesting taste but light and drinkable at the same time, very good take on English Pale Ale's.

Photo of grub
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. sampled feb 20/2010.

pours crystal clear deep golden yellow with a small dense white head. the head drops quickly and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is nice. white bread. bit of cracker. some light dms. vanilla and raw oak. earthy. light alcohol. caramel and buttery toffee. slightly floral and perfumey hops.

taste is ok. starts off like a nice pale ale - white bread, bit of cracker, light floral and herbal hops - but then you're quickly hit on the head with buttery oak. butterscotch. vanilla. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level. earthy and woody.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level. while the oak dominates in the flavor, it thankfully doesn't get overly tannic or astringent.

drinkability is ok. good balance in the base beer, but the oak bat this one was hit with really doesn't seem "lightly oaked" to me... but i'm not a fan of their regular oak aged beer for the same reason, so this may be lighter but still too much IMHO.

Photo of GreenCard
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden, great clarity, bubbles on the glass, thin layer of off-white suds, OK head retention

Aroma: SKUNK! + honey, oaky malt, marmalade, vanilla toast, diacetyl

Flavor: mild malt sweetness with a somewhat bready character; hints of vanilla, melba toast, and edges of oak; finishes semisweet with a very mild background bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, pert carbonation, silky-soft texture

Other comments: They just have got to get rid of these clear bottles! The skunkiness doesn't play well in this kind of beer (is there really a beer when it does?). Despite that, it's a tasty little one.

Photo of berley31
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with an average-szied, white head that diminished fairly quickly. Body is clear and a dark-yellow in color. A little bit of lace left behind, but not much.

S: Aroma is very, very lightly of oak, and some butter as well. Cooked corn aroma is the strongest odor, however.

T: Pretty good flavor... moderately sweet, again with a little bit of oak in there as well. Hints of vanilla also. Average-lasting duration. It's really not bad, but it's just nothing super-special either.

M: Body is light on the palate, with a creamy texture. Soft carbonation.

D: Goes down easy, and it's a decent EPA. However, at the price that they're asking at the NBLC, it's definitely not worth it. I'd consider trying it again if it were a little cheaper.

Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden straw with a white head, thin ring of retention, initial hints of lace.

S: Candied pineapple, papaya, orange rind, vanilla, caramel and sponge toffee.

T: Quite buttery. Candied pineapple, nice wood, vanilla, dry biscuit, marmalade, good bitterness, alcohol is really well-hidden.

M: Moderate body has a crisp, dry finish.

D: A good drinker.

Photo of shearer292
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light golden colour and very clear, not much of a head, medium carbonation.

Smell - very nice smell, strong oak as expected with a burned caramel smell which is more pleasing than it sounds, dont get much of the vanilla as stated on the bottle but i do pick up a little forest fruit.

Taste - this is great beer, it has just the right amount of sweetness with the fruit and caramel flavors and a little bitterness on the finish which lingers very nicely, little earthy and the wood flavor is well balanced.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and coats the mouth nicely so it stays with you for a while which i really enjoy.

Overall - This beer is one of the best i have tasted, and i would gladly drink this on a regular basis, i cannot wait to try the original version, i would recommend this to anyone who likes to relax with a smooth beer.

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Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer from Innis & Gunn
82 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.