Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask - Innis & Gunn
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.75/5 rDev +1.4%
11.2 oz clear glass bottle (wrong!) Served in a standard pint glass.
Poured a coppery amber color with a fast-fading off-white head.
Smells off cut dried wood, caramel, dry malt, resinous hop followed by peaty scotch.
Flavors of caramel malt, wheat crackers, resinous and metallic hops mix. The cask whiskey taste pulls through in the finish.
The body, quite dry at first, mellows and becomes smooth and velvety as it warms.
This HAS to be marked down because of the clear glass bottles. The brewers must not respect their own beer.
11-06-2011 15:35:34 | More by BeerResearcher
3.58/5 rDev -3.2%
Huge frothy head with tons of sticky lacing, crystal clear honey amber orange color.
Nose creamy malts, syrupy, light molasses, earthy hops even, light esters and tannins, slightest hint of whisky barrel.
Taste sweet, lots of whisky and some vanilla barrel oak, esters, some fruit, chewy malts and hops, some light bitter grassy hops. Finish is fairly bitter almost spicy hops, some malts and sweetness.
Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, dec carb.
Overall nice malts but don't get very much highland scotch or barrel, but whisky is there. It's more like esters and wood almost saw dust from the barrel. The base beer is fairly tasty but the barrel doesn't add much.
10-16-2011 21:38:12 | More by jlindros
3.45/5 rDev -6.8%
Review from notes 4/9/11. Thanks to korguy123 for this one.
A: Pours an extremely clear copper color with a small white head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring of lacing. Decent amount of small bubble carbonation release.
S: Some toffee, a good bit of caramel, and a lot of vanilla. There is a hint of alcohol.
T: Very similar to the aroma, the vanilla is very prominent. There is also some caramel, toffee, and butterscotch.
M: Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation.
O: It was interesting. It was a bit over the top in terms of sweetness. The taste lingered for a long time after I was done. Glad to have tried it though.
04-13-2011 01:34:20 | More by mdaschaf
3.68/5 rDev -0.5%
This toasty auburn colour has become an emblem for this brewery. The fact that all its beers look essentially the same whether aged in fresh oak, spent oak, rum, whiskey or scotch barrels is either a peculiar coincidence or a testament to the endurance of the base beer. It is undoubtedly attractive, especially given the clarity, but needs a lot more head.
The write-up on the bottle's casing prepares us for notes of "thick honey, vanilla, marmalade, heather flowers" and "all classic Speyside characteristics". Unfortunately, that's rubbish because the bouquet in my glass is hardly delicious and hardly reminiscent of a quality Highland Scotch. All I make out are some sedated alcohol vapors and sample of wood spice. Although its buttery sweetness, which comes with warmth, does grow on me.
I was less than keen about taking a taste but am, for mixed feelings, glad to have finally done so. The beer is decidedly underwhelming, that much is quickly asserted. It is not, however, without some character and strength, as the distinct Speyside whiskey notes would attest. Peat and smoked wood come instantly to mind.
Dried fruits and butterscotch malts also feature on the palate but the aftertaste and resounding impression is of a beer that has been (possibly intentionally) diluted and emasculated. It is not without flavour and that flavour is not without its virtues, but it offers little by way of depth and complexity despite apportioning a considerable bout of its alcohol content. Warming does assist in bringing forth brilliant notes of golden raisin.
I rather like the beer, despite being disappointed by its inability to even remotely compare to similar (but more complex and competent) offerings. I would still recommend it to aficionados of both beer and scotch, despite suspecting that both camps might be disappointed. It makes a satisfying and quaffable tipple, shortcomings notwithstanding.
Unlike other Scottish breweries to try the same thing (Harviestoun) this beer shares few (if any) of the nuanced complexities of Scottish whiskeys and results not in an animated, ingenious blend of two worthwhile products, but rather in a surprisingly plain, pedestrian offering that would be less appealing to connoisseurs than mainstream consumers. While this is worth a try, any of the Ola Dubh beers are worth that as well as your money.
02-18-2011 03:47:20 | More by biegaman
British Columbia (Canada)
3.88/5 rDev +4.9%
I think this is my favourite I&G beer. I'm a sucker for Highland Scotch and this just plays into my preferences.
Light copper with a thin head. Very buttery scent, with a definite Scotch scent to it. Quite sweet. I've had many Highland cask aged beers, and this is really quite unique.
Buttery, Scotchy taste. Sweet, smooth and really pleasant. The alcohol really creeps up on you. This is almost too smooth....
A great brew, way to smooth. It sucks you in...and one could probably drink a few before they realized the punch this packs.
02-02-2011 07:39:40 | More by BDTyre
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.7/5 rDev 0%
A- Poured a amber, cooper color with a small head that evaporated fast.
S- Toffee, Caramel were first, followed by a touch of alcohol (brandy).
T- Surprisingly, I find it very mellow. The cask aging comes through on the end and flavors, noted in smell, come alive as the drink warms.
M- Like most Innis&Gunn, velvety, creamy body that stands apart for other beers I have had, in a good way.
D- 7.1%, right in the middle of where I like my beer. If they weren't so expensive, I could drink these all the time.
01-28-2011 02:40:15 | More by spree92
2.65/5 rDev -28.4%
Pours a nice auburn-copper colour with a sturdy collar of a head. Minimal lacing, but nice-looking overall. Poured this one in an oversized wine glass and it has a pleasant gradient effect in the colour.
It smells awfully sweet and of butterscotch, like Werther's Original candy. Nothing like real scotch or oak at all. The box says flowers and a hint of vanilla, but all I get is a sickening butterscotch sweetness and some kind of sour malt. Its quite off-putting really and I like scotch.
The aroma transitions to the taste, but its slightly better on the tongue than in the nose. Some smokey oak-like wood flavour does come through, along with a sort of roasted malt tone.
The butterscotch is really overpowering though and I'm not finding enough bitterness to balance it out, even after warming to cellar temperature.
The mouthfeel is creamy and leaves a hearty, sticky and syrupy thickness on my tongue and teeth. Its kind of hard to get down, almost like some kind of holiday dessert liqueur. I will not be getting another bottle.
This beer is simply too sweet for me and therefore unappealing. There is a certain complexity and craftsmanship to be appreciated, but for me the best part about the beer is its packaging.
01-24-2011 19:57:42 | More by bryehn
British Columbia (Canada)
3.45/5 rDev -6.8%
A: Clear copper with an off-white head, very thin ring of retention, hint of leg/lace.
S: Caramel popcorn, earthy orange zest, sponge toffee, quite sweet.
T: Caramel, honey, marmalade/orange rind, vanilla, hints of nut, slightly earthy, modest bitterness, alcohol is subtle.
M: Moderately full body has some residual sweetness. Modest carbonation.
D: A little sweet for me.
01-10-2011 03:20:23 | More by Derek
3.93/5 rDev +6.2%
330ml bottle poured into pint glass dec20 2010
A clear light bronze with lots of large bubbles feeding a fast falling thumbs width of head that leaves a few random patches of lace
S some honey, vanilla, and a little toffee
T a little more earthy then the smell with even more toffee and just a hint of booze
M not as many bubbles as I expected after seeing all the action in the glass but still far from flat and there's a lingering aftertaste but it's faint
D something different and easy enough to drink for a strong ale, I thought there would be more evidence of the barrel but I did like what was there
one of the better beers I've had from this brewer but for the price I doubt I'll be stocking up on it
12-21-2010 08:21:03 | More by wordemupg
2.05/5 rDev -44.6%
Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with light retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of butter and light scotch notes. Taste is a weird mix between some butter with some light warming notes of scotch. Body is light well some rounded notes of scotch with average carbonation. Another bad mix from a strange brewery.
12-14-2010 03:31:31 | More by Phyl21ca
Nova Scotia (Canada)
2.8/5 rDev -24.3%
Recently found at the NSLC when I was looking for other stuff. Decided to pick one up, as I have enjoyed some of their other stuff that has been available in past holiday seasons.
Pours a clear copper color with a finger of head. Head quickly settles down to a crown. No real lacing left on the glass.
Pretty clear oak and scotch scents. I could originally smell it from a distance.
Scotch/oak flavor are up front and pretty strong. Some vanilla and butterscotch flavoring at the end. A bit sweet. Creamy finish. Boozy flavor and vanilla lingers for a bit.
I found the alcohol in this one hit me a bit fast. That, plus the price mean this is not a repeated drinker for me. The scotch flavoring is interesting, but I feel it takes over the entire beer.
12-05-2010 22:35:19 | More by Seanstoppable
2.25/5 rDev -39.2%
330 ml bottle from the LCBO.
Pours a clear amber, some dark golden highlights, nice colour, thin white head forms and quickly settles to a very thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick.
Smell is weird, tons of butterscotch, buttery oak, some caramel, a bit of almost grapefruity hoppiness, a bit of raw oak and vanilla, booze, more butterscotch, thats about it, pretty overpowering.
Taste is similar, very sweet, just a butterscotch bomb that masks almost every other flavour, some oak and vanilla, brown sugar, way too much butter.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. I feel like its almost good, but its way too butterscotchy. Kind of tastes like caramel corn.
11-29-2010 03:07:50 | More by Viggo
3.65/5 rDev -1.4%
A - Medium carbonation, copper body, half finger of white head.
S - Tons of vanilla. Oak and musk appear also.
T - Vanilla comes through again with that oakiness. Quite sweet.
M - Really creamy. Not much carbonation but smooth and silky almost.
D - Good but overly sweet.
11-27-2010 19:26:13 | More by tbeckett
3.33/5 rDev -10%
Pours a golden amber colour with a half finger of creamy white head. The nose is rather sweet, with butterscotch, apple, and white grape. Taste is of sweet bready malt with vanilla and honey up front, leading into a slightly boozy and cloying finish with some of the scotch characteristics coming through. As others have mentioned, the mouthfeel is this beer's weakest area; it's far too thin. It's nice to try an I&G that hasn't been light struck (I've had bad luck in the past), but I still found this to be a bit too sweet and one-dimensional.
11-12-2010 19:39:20 | More by MattyV
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
4.45/5 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
3.35/5 rDev -9.5%
This brewery has been at barrel aging for a long time. This is a mediocre attempt, but it is different. The appearance looks OK, with a fruitiness to the colour, along with a minimal head. There is a lactose aroma, and that of milk going bad. The mouthfeel is easy, a bit creamy. Butterscotch and rum tastes. Purposely like this? Apparently, very sweetish.
10-22-2010 03:57:36 | More by Sammy
3.43/5 rDev -7.3%
I very much enjoy I&G's packaging for their Limited Edition's.
A: light amber with a white slick for a head, lacing is decent and retention is also good.
S: sweet toffee mixed with tree fruit, i got appricot, i don't smell hops or grain at all, and alchohol is very faint. perhaps the fruit smell comes from the casks.
T: the casks are finally noticed with a slight woody taste dominated by malt and sweetness. it finishes with a strong butterscoth esque taste. it's honestly too sweet for me.
M: very thin, i was quite surprised. if you swish it around it does thicken up, but who really does that anyway? it was lackluster for what i thought it was going to be.
D: i'm not into super sweet brews and this one would definately attract wasps on a deck.
10-18-2010 04:01:18 | More by EsoxLucius
British Columbia (Canada)
3.3/5 rDev -10.8%
These I&G aged releases are always fun. Here's a new one! It pours beautifully, though with little head. Lovely, lovely warm coppery orange sunset kind of colour.
The smell isn't big, but it is deep. Sweet and malty, caramelly, with very subtle fruitiness and woody spice, smoke, and some vanilla. Kind of "meh" though.
Tastewise it's quite sweet and malt-forward, loads of butterscotch and some woodiness, alcohol but no real whiskey bite despite such a purportedly long cask aging... not really my cup of tea, as there's nothing to really grab you unless you really like that buttery flavour.
The mouthfeel is where this beer really falls flat. It's... flat! Thin, though buttery-smooth, it basically disappears down your throat leaving little to savour and a cloying aftertaste.
10-15-2010 21:08:50 | More by strangemusic
3.18/5 rDev -14.1%
330ml bottle from the LCBO. Part of the 2010 Autumn Ales release.
Pours a burnished amber gold with a deep orange hue, thick ring of white froth, and strands of lacing on the footed pilsner glass. Smell is butterscotch, cream, faint apple, very light whisky aroma, alcohol, oak barrel, golden raisins, white wine, and malt vinegar. Pretty complex nose, though not overly pleasing. Taste is sweet toffee-like malts, slight cola flavour, mildly spicy hops, some woodiness, caramel, butter, and a boozy sting on the back end. Better than I expected, but still unimpressive. Mouthfeel is smooth, thicker than medium, average carbonation, drying finish borders on chalky.
Although it's a decent quaff, Highland lacks bold and enjoyable flavours and the malts figure too prominently for my liking. The barrel aging adds depth yet fails to save this from being a mediocre beer. I also think these special releases, with their expensive packaging and high price points, are getting quite gimmicky. A ho-hum offering IMO.
10-15-2010 02:13:53 | More by cratez
3.05/5 rDev -17.6%
Pours a copper orange colour with thin white head with some lacing around the glass. Smells incredibly sweet of caramel, apple and pear. Flavour has lots of sweetness. I don't really notice any hops at all. A little bit boozy and uncarbonated. Just ok, I prefer some other Innis & Gunn beers. For being aged in scotch barrels, I am not really noticing it much.
10-07-2010 00:38:17 | More by kwjd
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
3.13/5 rDev -15.4%
The beer is clear - but with quite a lot of sediments - copper amber toned, a firm off-white head that settles slowly and leaves lots of lacing. Plus for color and head, minus for sediments.
The smell is very much wood/oak and sawdust, a bit sour.
Initially very much sweet toffee and caramel, fruit, pears and apples. A very weak, nearly imaginary, whisky or alcohol sense.
Very low carbonation, a somewhat bland feeling.
As most times very mixed feelings for me when it comes to cask aged beer. I would like to like it but often miss hops and freshness. Sometimes it feels like a watered down barley wine.
08-28-2010 16:08:42 | More by rarbring
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
Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask from Innis & Gunn
84 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.