Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask - Scottish Oak Aged Beer - Innis & Gunn
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
4.72/5 rDev +27.2%
Why am I writing about last year's Canadian Cask? Well, I was able to get a bottle of the 2010 ahead of time, and just couldn't wait the 6 weeks to enjoy it. So I've already talked about the 2010 version. Besides, it was availbale at the LCBO 3 or 4 weeks ago anyways - so we've had had the chance. Plus, I specifically held on to one bottle of the 2009 last year so that I could embrace Canada Day with two version of its own beer and reflect on the year past, and dream for the year to come!
2009 was the very first year for Innis & Gunn's Special Edition Canadian Cask. It came in a 300ml bottle housed in a red box bearing Canada Day 2009 on the front. Only 150 barrels of this beer were produced, and they were of course only sent to Canada. Innis & Gunn brewed the beer with rye grains, and aged it in Canadian Whiskey Barrels, then matured it for a total of 71 days; brining it to 7.1% abv. What was produced was music to my palate then, but is now a magical symphony.
I opened the Canadian Flag Red box and gently slid the once dormant Canadian Cask out of its resting place. I poured it into a stemmed Innis & Gunn glass at a cool 8C (45F). The pour was smooth but rumbled with excitement as a darker than normal, creamy tan-brown head build almost immediately. Sowing the pour produced a ruby red crystal clear beer with rich golden browns, copper oranges and beaming rays and sunny yellows. A soft and airy, but dense 1 and a bit inch head was created - ummm.. Yes, I was very, very excited.
Leaning in for a nose brought classic Innis & Gunn flavors of toffee and caramel. But most evident on the nose was the unmistakable scent of whiskey soaked oak, and a tumbler of Crown Royal. Could this be? Really, I was amazing at the potency and also accuracy of the nose here. It didn't smell kind of like rye, it smelled like a creamy, soft and warm glass of rye. Honestly. Soft vanillas balanced with toffee, and beat away any brief scent of hops that may have existed. The nose was now a game of oak, char, whiskey, and rye grains.
The year has treated the Canadian cask apprizingly, and appetizingly well! The first thing that I noticed in the flavor perfectly mimicked the nose; a much richer and more prominent whiskey and oak character. Before, the oak was apparent, but was hiding behind the rye malt sweetness that I felt strongest in the beer. Now though, right away I am hit with the familiar sensations of aged rye whiskey. Now that I think hard about it... and go in for another sip... This 1 year old Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask could possibly display the leanest and most accurate rye whiskey flavors I have ever tasted in a beer!
A big imperial stout aged in rye is one thing - that can just be menacing and overpowering. But this '09 Canadian is shinning deep with smooth and mellow sweet flavors of charred oak, gentle sweet rye, and that honey and grain sweet rye whisky flavor that I love in Crown Royal and Wiser's Very Old.
The whole character of this beer now is improved well beyond its age. I am so, so happily surprised - party because of how magnificent this beer is now, but mainly because I have had a bad experience with a 1 year old Innis & Gunn. I aged the first batch of Rum Casks for 1 year and it came out of my cellar sour and just totally ruined. This though, this beautiful glowing amber gold beer has warmed my soul and lifted my spirits. I have many 2010′s, and I will be putting more than half my stash in the cellar after this genuinely astonishing experience.
Thank you Innis & Gunn. I hope you have the chance to experience what I just felt. Happy Canada Day!
08-20-2010 02:50:41 | More by StephenRich
4.63/5 rDev +24.8%
This beer is much like their rum aged beer, but with a taste of scotch instead, obviously.
Appearance is a bit lighter, but otherwise smell, taste and mouthfeel is comparable to the rum aged.
Delightful beer if you enjoy scotch (on the rocks it is awesome). If you are more of a rum person, check out their rum aged. Both of them impress.
Note: clear bottles enrage me. Order online or take them from a box, etc. to avoid light struck.
12-18-2011 00:42:30 | More by Vylo
4.3/5 rDev +15.9%
Was hesitant to buy this beer. The idea of whisky & beer, or oak & beer have never appealed to me.
Pours - nothing spectacular here. Moderate carbonation, moderate head - coarse, and fades rapidly, leaving some lace. Copper colour. Looks thick - the bubbles seem pretty leisurely on the way up.
Smell is excellent! Lots of fruity maltiness, some toffee, and a pleasant fruity yeast profile. Some vanilla, not too much, and a grainy zip that must be from the rye. The overall impression - slight butteryness, light graininess, candied fruit and vanilla oak - almost comes across as maple syrup pancakes
Taste is even better than the smell. Candy-like malts with a very well-integrated rye-whisky character. No hop flavour that I can detect, but finishes rather dry with enough hops to keep it from being cloying.
Good body, typical of rye-beers.
it's quite drinkeable, but, I think, a little too intense. One or two would be plenty satisfying.
08-23-2009 20:16:56 | More by prosper
4.28/5 rDev +15.4%
Here's to Canada on it's 142nd!
A- This pours a dark coppery color with a reddish hue around the edges. Unfortunately there isn't much of a head....poured rather thin and it quickly disappears. It seems to have an oily look to it but doesn't really leave behind any lacing. Seems to be well carbonated. The packaging is very well done though!
S- Quite a range of aromas here....most of them sweet. I detect raisins right away, followed by malt, vanilla and toffee. I also smelled some wood from the oak barrels but it is a soft aroma. The alcohol is also somewhat present but it is also a limited aroma. I didn't detect any hop bitterness on the nose.
T- Again, this area is fairly sweet. The oaked character of the beer comes through first on the palate, and it gives way to the sweet malts and toffee flavors. The alcohol content is really well hidden in this beer, and it finishes smooth, with just a small citrus bitterness, probably from the hops, but it's slightly drying, I'm guessing from the wood.
M- .it's a decent medium bodied beer, with a good zing from the carbonation. It's buttery but finishes light and with a cleansing sensation...unique!
D- This is more refreshing than anything else I've had from I&G but I appreciate what it is and I'd enjoy this beer until I was good and corked! The alcohol is very muted and there's some nice flavor to be enjoyed, but not overwhelming. I will get more of this before it is gone.
07-01-2009 22:06:11 | More by ChrisCage
4.28/5 rDev +15.4%
Poured a 330-ml bottle into a long tulip glass. This is the 2009 Limited Edition.
Appearance - Dark copper with a 1/2-inch sustaining off-white head. Highly carbonated.
Smell - light oak aromas with some subtle caramel. Reduced malt scent and just a slight detection of cider.
Taste - lightly smoky, and with a woody flavour like the original Innis & Gunn ale. A little more malt flavour coming through and the aftertaste is short and reverts to the original oak flavourings.
Mouthfeel - very balanced, superbly even throughout. Active carbonation but only makes an impact at the beginning.
Drinkability - obviously this is a special occasion beer and a treat for the right time. I saved it for the next year and that appears to have been the right decision.
07-02-2010 01:55:30 | More by DoctorStrangiato
4.25/5 rDev +14.6%
A - Half finger head with popping bubbles on a ruby body with medium carbonation. Head was bigger but seems to be hanging out with a half finger for the duration.
S - Sorta musty. Cigars and oak. Some dark fruit and vanilla is there too. Nice and complex.
T - I get the vanilla again, tobacco. Some dark fruits but the vanilla is less pronounced. Some oakiness is there but again less pronounced. Some caramel is there too. Nice stuff.
M - So smooth. Velvety almost. Mild carbonation is nice.
D - Alcohol seems like it doesn't exist. This is nice and drinkable.
09-15-2010 21:15:47 | More by tbeckett
4.23/5 rDev +14%
Appearance: Orange/light-amber with moderate-large amount of frothy head
Smell: Fresh vanilla is quite evident along with oak aroma
Taste: Extremely smooth. I thought I was drinking a lager for a second, but a moment later the vanilla and oak is noticeable, along with the carbonation. Very easy going down.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation and smoothness is unmistakable
Overall: Amazing beer that I look forward to trying again.
10-01-2013 09:13:02 | More by HappyGuy12345
4.08/5 rDev +10%
Great red-orange colour with a thick off-white head. Decent head retention with the foam dissipating to a thin film.
Smooth, caramel malts on the nose with a spicy, noticeable wood note. Almost get a hint of maple. Slightly fruity.
Rich and rounded malt with lots of little spice and fruit notes playing all around. The oak comes through nicely and in balance.
Medium body with moderate carbonation is quite suitable.
A lovely little beer with lots of malty, oaky goodness.
01-30-2011 06:09:22 | More by dgilks
Nova Scotia (Canada)
4.03/5 rDev +8.6%
Cracked one of these open for Canada Day.
Pours a dark reddish brown color with a finger of creamy white head. Head quickly dissolves to a crown, but leaves a decent amount of lacing.
Hints of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel.
Lots of different little flavors blending together. The oak, vanilla, caramel all blend together. Along with those is a bit of smoky character, and hints of darker fruits like raisins. Some mild bitterness in the end. Well rounded and smooth.
Very interesting beverage. However, the scarcity and price ($6 CDN) drives it above the casual drinking line.
07-02-2010 14:58:42 | More by Seanstoppable
4/5 rDev +7.8%
330ml bottle presented in a red box. sampled july 1/09 in honour of canada day.
pours crystal clear beautiful deep red colour with a small cream coloured head. the head drops to a ring around the glass and leaves a few spots of lace.
aroma is nice. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. earthy. bit of tropical fruit. just a hint of citrus. light fruity sweetness. touch of caramel. light vanilla and raw oak.
taste is good. light alcohol. rye whiskey and vanilla. bit of buttery oak. light butterscotch. cracker and lightly toasted white bread. hint of biscuit. just a touch of tropical fruit. low bitterness level. just a touch of earthy character. light caramel sweetness.
mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-low carbonation level.
drinkability is great. i think this may be one of my favourite of the various innis and gunn beers i've tried so far. the regular is very oak - too much so for my taste, and the others have offered a different flare but none that i think i really bit onto. this one, however, is quite nice. i didn't love the aroma initially, but it has grown on me and th etaste is quite nice. excellent balance. hiding almost all of its > 7%abv. the light fruity and slightly sweet character combined with a pleasant barrel character really carries this one and makes it very enjoyable. a great night-cap after a long day of brewing and many other tasty beers along the way. i may have to pick up a few more of these for post-canada day enjoyment. thanks i+g for a tasty beer.
07-02-2009 02:39:31 | More by grub
4/5 rDev +7.8%
Big thanks to grub. Canada Day 09
A: Pours a light copper hue with a small tight white head. Head dies to a nice collar and leaves some nice lace.
S: Mild aroma for a barrel aged beer. Nice toasted malt, bread, caramel, and toffee. There is a mild oakiness in the finish with a hint of vanilla.
T: Nice mild flavors as well. Caramel and brown sugar up front. Mild roasty notes in the middle with a touch of fruit. The finish is where you detect the barrel. Mostly oak with a touch of booze. No real vanilla noted.
M: Medium in body, great carbonation, nice smooth, and tasty.
D: Good. Thanks for sending this one grub. And to all my Canadian trading buddies Happy Canada Day.
07-05-2009 18:04:16 | More by tpd975
4/5 rDev +7.8%
330ml bottle poured into a snifter for sampling purposes.
Pours a deep, maple-leaf red colour with hints of copper, a full finger of head disspates after about a minute. Low and lazy carbonation keeps a bit of lace on top. Caramel malt aromas with some plum and apple fruitiness, a bit of wood and a herbaceous, wet leaf backdrop.
Taste is deliciously subtle with that bit of rye whiskey dryness with the wood backing it all up. Caramel malt, vanilla, herbal hops, dark fruits, with some grassy and earthy notes as well. Extremely well balanced, sweet but not too sweet. Full and round in the mouth with a big malt presence, carbonation is British and restrained, but it fits the style. The ABV is hardly noticeable, and slides down a little too easily. I think the balance and subtlety of this beer would go unnoticed by the novice drinker, but it is much appreciated by this one.
08-10-2009 02:03:39 | More by trevorwideman
4/5 rDev +7.8%
330ml bottle poured into a mug.
A - Poured a clear amber-copper colour with a 1cm light tan head. head receded to a thin cap.
S - Toast, dried fruit, caramel, vanilla, cedar and a hint of whiskey.
T - Caramel, toffee, some citrus, oak and vanilla.
M - Smooth, creamy and a dry finish.
D - The ABV is well hidden. Easy to drink and quite flavourful.
09-05-2010 02:17:16 | More by decimator
3.95/5 rDev +6.5%
Happy Canada Day! Not a Canadian beer, but appropriate I suppose. Pours a clear copper-red with a moderately creamy head of foam. Nose has some wood, alcohol, nuts, butter, vanilla. Drier than expected, with definite spicy wood-and-alcohol. A little bit astringent and only mildly bitter. Notes of caramel, buttery vanilla and light fruit. Body is fairly solid, with a sharp carbonation. Seems milder and more drinkable than the regular Innis and Gunn.
07-01-2009 23:18:36 | More by allergictomacros
3.93/5 rDev +5.9%
Special Canada Day limited release beer from our friends in Scotland. Limited to 150 barrels.
A quick review before I go back to hanging out with friends & family.
Pours copper brown with a finger of head topping it. A steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass. Head fades to a tight cap. Leaves some lace.
Toffee and mild vanilla. Butterscotch. Brown Sugar. Smells delicious.
Tastes the same as it smells. Toffee malts up front with some vanilla character, I assume from the oak. It's sweet. Very little hop presence in this one, just enough to give it a mild hit of bitterness towards the end. Finishes buttery. There's something acidic and raisiny in the background that asserts itself a little bit more as the beer warms. All the flavours compliment each other nicely.
Light carbonation, almost medium bodied. Smooth. 7.2%ABV limits its use as a session beer, but it's pretty easy to get through a glass of it all the same.
07-01-2009 18:54:11 | More by mintjellie
3.88/5 rDev +4.6%
Happy Canada day BAs, I picked up this one at the LCBO in Oakville. A toast to a 142 year old lady who has never looked better.
Appearance: Pours with a nice copper orange color that you'd, with a good finger of head. The head itself retains exceptionally, but sadly does not lace. The carbonation on this beer looks to be well done as well.
Smell: The vanilla scent is the more dominant smell with nice backing of sweet malts, caramel with a touch of rye, oak and brown sugar. However, there is some strange sour note in the background that I can quite place, that is almost grape like.
Taste: Starts with a solid caramel and sweet malt flavour that turns to a more toasted shortbread taste with a mild woody presence. It ends with a strong, buttery vanilla taste with a hint of grape and whisky rye. It is worth noting it didn't start out quite as well as it ended.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a little low on this beer and there are certain parts of the beer that could use some more balance. The aftertaste starts out pleasant, but then it overstays it's welcome and shift more towards a whisky flavor.
Drinkability: Very easy going down, very nice flavor and sits in the stomach very well and refreshes admirably. The only problem is, being a one time limited edition brew, you aren't exactly going to pound this stuff back, not that it subtracts from it's score. Also it is a bit sweet, which kinda hampers the drinkability a bit.
Final Thoughts: Not quite as good as their normal oak aged beer, but certainly worthy of toasting to the birth of Canada. All in all, I was not disappointed by it and would buy it next year if it returned again. An exceptional desert beer, or something to wind down with after you've watched the fireworks.
07-01-2009 17:31:54 | More by TheHammer
3.78/5 rDev +1.9%
Hell, almost forgot about this one - better get it in before heading out to see the fireworks...
This beer pours (into my Alley Kat pint glass, for some CanCon) a clear dark amber hue, with lots and lots of thick puffy off-white head, that leaves spotty lace as it recedes. It smells of vanilla, caramel, spiced fruit, oak woodiness, and floral hops. The taste is caramel malt, mild bitter rye grain, wood alcohol, slightly sweet fruit, and earthy hops. The carbonation is quite low, and the body is smooth and solidly malty, and it finishes off-dry, some sweet whisky malt lingering.
I like this, it has a warm, decently malty profile that just seems, well, Canadian, right now.
07-03-2009 04:51:32 | More by biboergosum
3.78/5 rDev +1.9%
Pours a deep amber with a creamy thick off-white head that lasts for a long time. Excellent lace trails stick to the glass. The aroma is fruity, oaky, bready and spicy. Hops are pretty restrained. The taste is malty with a vanilla, oaky on the verge of being musty character. A whisky-like alcohol twang provides a pleasant, warming character. Hop flavors are very light. The mouthfeel is medium-full with a very active carbonation. The finish is malty, buttery and oaky.
Worth trying, probably my favorite beer from this brewery. The oak flavors seem more integrated with the malt profile.
08-10-2009 21:24:31 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Innis & Gunn Canadian Cask - Scottish Oak Aged Beer from Innis & Gunn
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.