Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask - Innis & Gunn
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +27%
Comes in a 330 ml clear bottle. Pours out a brilliant clear amber with healthy carbonation and a creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.
Aroma of toffee, caramel and light alcohol, basic but very enjoyable.
Holy crap, this is as good as it gets, or at least from what I've experienced so far. Smooth and flavourful, it's all about clean sweet toffee malt, light mild toastiness, hints of rounded whiskey, very faint grassy hops on the finish. Sweet malt and liquor linger long in the aftertaste.
Full-bodied mouthfeel, smooth and creamy texture with moderate carbonation.
For some reason this hits all the right buttons with me. I enjoy Innis and Gunn, yet have been disappointed with some limited edition releases in the past, so am far from being a biased banner waver. This is the best I've tried from them yet, and if it wasn't for the abv and price tag this would be my regular go-to beer and session beer of choice. I thought I was an incorrigible hophead, but this offering from Innis and Gunn has shown me the joys of the other side again.
10-03-2010 08:55:29 | More by IronDjinn
4.47/5 rDev +20.8%
A- Reddish, kind of brown. About 2 finger head that recedes to a rim around top of liquid. I like the little carbonated look through the red/brown color that rises to the tan head. Very classy!
S- Vanilla/whiskey is the primary scent. Oak gives the nose a delightful aroma in the foreground.
T- Sweet, but balanced is the broad term I'd use to describe the taste. Vanilla, whiskey, with an oaky finish. The 7.1% ABV is masked real well, as it only comes in towards the finish. The
M- Not overpowering, but this isn't a light watery beer. I think it's overall a balanced texture for a beer that has so much flavor going on.
This is a real treat of a beer. The look poured shows a beer with class, the smell is so aromatic, and the taste is so well defined and balanced. Innis and Gunn has to be one of my favorite breweries, and I've only had this and their original. A+ brew!
02-09-2012 01:17:33 | More by ThomasMetal75
4.45/5 rDev +20.3%
Hmmm...'Highland' malt does not necessarily equal 'Speyside' malt, but this is a sidestep into beer, so let's have a look at the proverbial pudding...
This beer pours a clear, dark copper hue, with one finger of fast-disappearing soapy pale beige head, which leaves no lace in its wake. It smells of caramel, vanilla, nougat, a bit of floral fruitiness, and oaky wood. The taste is nutty caramel/toffee malt, some tangy butterscotch, a concentrated orchard fruitiness, a subtle oakiness, with the inherent vanilla and honey standing as one, and a soft floral hoppiness. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, smooth, fruity, and a little slick. It finishes quite dry, the mild warming alcohol and latent fruity hops coming to bear.
While I've always found the I&G beers to be interesting, none so far have stood out that much. Well, they couldn't go wrong by putting their starter ale in a 21 year old Speyside barrel, and this result is testament to that.
10-23-2010 23:42:56 | More by biboergosum
4.33/5 rDev +17%
I feel very privileged having been able to enjoy a few bottles of this very special Innis & Gunn. The geniuses at Innis & Gunn are becoming known for brewing specialty beers for some of their most loyal customers - only last week I wrote about the Canadian Cask Innis & Gunn which was specifically designed for Canadians to celebrate Canada day. Now though, I feel privileged because I had the opportunity to enjoy the 2009 Innis & Gunn Highland Cask, a beer specially brewed for Sweeden that was aged in 18 year old scotch barrels. Thank you very much to my friends at Innis & Gunn for making this happen!
Like all Innis & Gunn beers, this one has been aged in oak barrels - but this time, in barrels that previously aged Single Malt 18 year old scotch. Single Malt Scotch Whiskey is a highly sought after prize among spirits aficionados (as well as myself), and it is yet another foam of oak which Innis can now add to their repertoire. This adds more very unique and exciting flavors and layers of complexity to the Innis & Gunn, and put this Highland cask up in the best I have ever enjoyed.
The Highland Cask was aged and matured for 71 days, and comes out at 7.1% abv. Like all Special edition Innis & Gunns, the Highland Cask comes in a decorated box, this time, a green one with reindeer relaxing by the mountainside depicted on it. Only 150 barrels of this beer were produced.
I opened it up cool at 8C (39F) and poured it into a proper Innis & Gunn glass. It poured smoothly and gently showing very little carbonation, but a tall pour did raise an airy egg shell colored one inch head. The beer shone red and brown with a pearl haze and golden hues. It has tints of burnt orange, honeycomb, copper and red brick. The beer sat there with a cool content sigh of relief. The short, but mountainous head gently rumbled as soft carbonation floated up through the calm haze of the amber brown and red beer. It is so far one of the deepest Innis & Gunns that I have ever seen.
Reaching in for the scent was like a warm massage for my nose. It is very smooth and elegant showing classic Innis caramel and oak, but is much creamier and more balanced. Rather than coming right out with malt sweetness and rich caramel, the Highland Cask caresses your senses with soft toffee, smooth warm caramel and vanilla, soft bread dough, mellow fruits like melon, plums and a soft mashed banana, and then a very distinct wave of ancient oak. It is hard to pin this one. It is smooth and buttery with notes of spice and herb and a touch of pepper. A big floral arrangement is easily noticeable, but plays deep in the background lightly teasing you. Again, much depth and complexity is to be found in the nose - it shows greater maturity and sophistication than the original.
Bring the Highland Cask to your lips, breath in with your nose as you tilt the glass, and let it pour into your mouth. The flavors here are now fully engulfing and mesmerize my palate. It is very reminiscent of the nose showing warm malt sweetness in a smooth balancing act of soft caramel, light and creamy toffee, then gentle vanilla, which does bring with it light hints of oak. Fruit is ripe across your cheeks and against the top of your mouth bringing raisins, melon, banana, hints of blood orange and soft muddled spices.
The overall character of the beer shows a great herbal and floral flavors - it is soft and elegant and really dances gently along your tongue. The hops are relaxed and fresh and add gentle hints of bitter, herbs and spice. But the big player here is the 18 Year Highland Cask. Most Innis & Gunns have a unique and distinct Oak flavor in them which is imparted by the barrel ageing. It is somewhat separate of the flavors of the beer. This though is married perfectly. The Highland Casks have imparted their flavor effortlessly onto this beer in a smooth and round manner showing amazing complexity that is built into every sip.
This is why it is so hard to pinpoint that flavor characteristic; because it is softly ingrained into the entire beer. It shows a mellow woody char and the earthy soft smoke of a rich 18 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy showing less carbonation than most Innis & Gunn's. Bright touches of bubbles show life, but overall it is a silky smooth treat.
The finish is smooth and silky with warming notes of fruit, oak and toffee. It is not supremely quenching, but extremely satisfying. It was an extraordinary experience for me, and I can't wait to try the next one. Innis & Gunn does have plans to craft a Highland Cask aged in 21 Year old barrels rather than 18; this version may reach our shores as early as October!
Truly remarkable, and upon reflection after trying three of these bottles, I am claiming it as my most favorite Innis & Gunn to date!
08-20-2010 15:28:50 | More by StephenRich
4.33/5 rDev +17%
L: Pours a nice clear orange-copper color with a short medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass a bit on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, hints of oak, vanilla, and nice scotch.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, caramel, oak, vanilla, and a nice scotch aftertaste. Really nice flavors to this one.
M: Rich, smooth, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, warming.
D: Overall a really nice beer, smooth flavors and feel with a decent abv make it one to savor.
11-15-2011 11:24:46 | More by erosier
4.33/5 rDev +17%
This is possible the best non-stout oak aged beer i've ever tasted. Apperance is a very nice dark copper color. Aroma is pure oak straight out of the woods with a hint of whiskey. Taste is amazing, again oak is there. Very smooth and enjoyable. ABV at 7% is just right. A bit higher ABV and this may be a truly awesome beer.
11-10-2012 00:47:27 | More by nelsonbeer2001
4.3/5 rDev +16.2%
A- Well, just like the brewer describes, this pours an auburn color, with tinges of copper in the narrow portion of my glass, and the beer is clear throughout. There appears to be aggressive looking carbonation rising to the top of the liquid, and there really isn't much of a head on this one, but more of a thick ring around the glass that retains quite well. The lacing aspect is rather good too, leaving behind good sticky foam on the glass. A decent looking brew...just better if there was more of a head.
S- This is actually quite heavy in malt sweetness, and I do smell sweet fortified wine, such as a nice tawny port, which is giving this some dark skinned fruit aromas. In the background, there is hints of wood and vanilla from the scotch barrel....rather pleasant smelling overall I have to say!
T- This is really deep in flavor, and now the smooth scotch notes are more noticeable. There is lots of dried prune/raisin flavor on the palate, and it really is on the mellow side....it reminds me of a freshly made dark rum fruit cake! There is hints of vanilla bean, and toffee thrown in there as well. The alcohol shows a bit of kick on the palate at first, but then really smooths out once you've had a couple tastes! I didn't find really much in terms of a hopped finish either. Very nice!
M- This is surprisingly light and fresh on the palate during the taste, and then leaves an oily, flavorful aftertaste making this feel much heavier than it really is. I get lots of dessert like fruitiness on the palate in the end, especially if you let this warm up a couple of degrees....it gets sticky actually. The carbonation really isn't that aggressive, and only enhances what was intended here.
O- This is most definitely one of I&Gs' best outings that I've tried, and I believe I've tried most of them! I would enjoy this on a regular basis if it wasn't so expensive per bottle, but it makes a great sipping brew for any occasion. As always, I highly recommend this offering and will definitely pick this one up again in the future....hopefully they make this a regular seasonal!
05-21-2012 23:48:50 | More by ChrisCage
4.2/5 rDev +13.5%
330 mL bottle poured into a tumbler.
Pours a bright, clear amber-orange colour, with a bit more than a finger of frothy beige head on top. Retention isn't great, but some sparse lacing is left behind on the sides of the glass before the head dies down to a thin, filmy cap. Enticing aroma that blends many elements together - sweet notes of caramel, vaguely peaty scotch, leafy English hops and some toasted nuts. Not a hint of skunk, likely thanks to the carton.
This is a delicious beer. Leans toward the sweet side, starting with butterscotch and toffee, followed by a light hint of vanilla. Oak and scotch malt notes come through toward the finish, alongside more leafy, earthy English-style (edit: technically Slovenian according to the carton) hops for a slightly bitter, drying finish that balances the malt sweetness perfectly. Medium-bodied, with mild carbonation and a silky smooth mouthfeel. My ideal abv is usually in the 7-8% range, so this stuff provides the perfect level of warmth from the alcohol for me. It could stand to be a bit heavier, and some peatiness would be nice I suppose, but it's fabulous either way.
This is my favourite Innis & Gunn offering of the four I have tried by far, easily beating out the rum cask... an unsurprising assertion when you consider that I greatly prefer whisky or scotch over rum. I wish this were available year-round.
Final Grade: 4.2, a high A-. I will probably get this again at some point - it's a bit pricy, but worth it IMO, and (coming from a fan of them) significantly better than I&G's year-round offerings.
01-21-2012 06:51:31 | More by thehyperduck
4.18/5 rDev +13%
A very good beer, balanced and with all the main characteristics of the style.
A: Full amber reddish color, a big white head formed by small bubbles is on top, carbonation is medium
S: Esters are present, dark fruits and some vanilla, very low hops.
T: Excellent flavor, high alcohol and again dark fruits, again some vanilla and low hops, malt body is present.
M: Sensation is complex but balanced, it has the sweetness related to high alcohol beers and at times some high bitterness with a very long lasting ending.
07-09-2012 03:09:57 | More by karait95
4.08/5 rDev +10.3%
A- Poured into Innis & Gunn Glass a very vivid Caramel, Brown sugar colour and amazingly clear. Lots of visible carbonation with a nice head that settled to about half an inch.
S- The smell is very light in this Innis & Gunn special edition. Very buttery on the front of the nose, with a hint of petrol mixed in. Also smells heavily of a strong scotch(alcohol smell is very prominent), with hints of peat on the back.
T- Very smooth flavour, not as bubbly as it looks though. Flavour starts off fairly sweet, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee come to the front. Flavour then goes to a heavy scotch flavour; very peat-y, bit of petrol, with a light hint of oak. The beer ends with a small hint of coffee.
D- A very smooth beer with a distinct flavour. Wonderful to drink and will be picking up a few to keep in the back of the closet for later.
11-03-2010 04:15:25 | More by case4816
4.08/5 rDev +10.3%
Two finger thick head with some retention on a clear copper body. Burnt caramel, rum, molasses and breads for aroma with the flavor less sweet than expected forthw aroma with caramel, whiskey, sweet corn, molasses and earthy hops. Smooth, medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Smooth, full flavored and well applied base beer to the aging process as is the case with many of the I and G beers which they are definitely great at doing.
12-12-2012 02:11:45 | More by kylehay2004
Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask from Innis & Gunn
84 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.