Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale - Innis & Gunn
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerdrifter:
4.2/5 rDev +21.4%
Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear golden pour with a tinge of amber. Quickly fading two finger head with nice lacing. The nose if full of oak and caramel malt with hints of butterscotch, vanilla and bourbon. The taste mirrors the nose but with more intensity. Tons of really nice oaky bourbon, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and a really subdued, buttery English hoppiness hiding in the background. The mouthfeel is sweet, slightly syrupy, but not so much to hurt the drinkability. There was almost no hop bitterness which made me recheck the bottle and verify that this was indeed the IPA. The lack of any real hop profile makes it seem like it's not properly categorized. Don't get me wrong, it's a really nice beer, but not an IPA. I'm confused as to how I should rate it. I love anything aged in oak so it's fabulous in that regard. But I'm still a little disappointed that it didn't live up to what was advertised. With that said, I just cracked another one. Very nice!
05-31-2011 15:39:14 | More by beerdrifter
More User Reviews:
3.9/5 rDev +12.7%
A few years ago, my girlfriend, tired of a particular episode of my beer wankery, insisted that my drinking buddy and I do a blind taste test of Innis & Gunn regular, and this IPA. We failed to correctly identify the two beers then; maybe I can see why now...
This beer pours a clear, medium golden copper hue, with two fingers of foamy off-white head, which leaves an irregular horizon of lace around the glass in its wake. Its smells of wet boozy wood, the seaside, toffee, and vanilla. The taste is bready, woody malt, followed by a warming toffee sensation, some orchard fruitiness, and herbal, somewhat briny hops. The carbonation is present, but shy, the body smooth, creamy, with just a wee bit of alcohol astringency. It finishes off-dry, with a diminishing breadiness, and an ascendant dry, bitter herbal booziness.
Well, the differences are pretty clear to me now between this and the standard I&G: the IPA is less about the sweet barrel characteristics, and more about what I imagine hops from Islay would taste like...
10-28-2010 22:52:49 | More by biboergosum
2.63/5 rDev -24%
Poured into it's branded glass, this pale orange ale is topped by a finger of moderately-well retained, tightly formed head. The mass of foam leaves behind ringlets of lace on the sides of my glass. Faint aromas of caramel, citrus peel, and vanilla are almost elusive. Slightly boozy. A little bit of skunk. As with Innis & Gunn's other products, a vanilla flavour is present from time spent ageing in oak barrels. Also present are sweet caramel, orange; and a mild, but firm, herbaceous bitterness. It's a little bit buttery; whether from the aforementioned oak barrels, from diacetyl, or both. Bordering on harsh, the alcohol lends a spicy zip to the overall flavour. Lighter in body with unobtrusive carbonation, this could use a bit more body; it feels a little slight as is. This came as part of an Innis & Gunn gift set. While I don't regret trying (and finishing) this beer, I found it a little bit rough around the edges. I don't think I would buy this again if I came across it offered on it's own, especially when Innis & Gunn's other offerings are much better.
11-03-2009 06:14:00 | More by mintjellie
3.3/5 rDev -4.6%
Recommended, or maybe 'sold', by a guy at a local beer hot spot, indicating they are the only game in town carrying this
A - crystal clear bubbly golden, respectable white head retained at a thin covering
S - fruity sweetness, woody richness, some toasty grain, and very subtle hops
T - grainy malt, light citrus and herbal hop, oaky, fruity sweet, alcohol bite, not bad but not enough hop profile for an IPA
M - strong carbonation kick, thin with some alcohol bite, finishing dry
D - its not a bad beer and I do enjoy the unique aspect, but its just not hoppy enough to be considered with typical IPA's in my opinion, still tasty and easy drinking, especially given the 7.7%
03-31-2011 03:14:05 | More by joemcgrath27
3.45/5 rDev -0.3%
First beer I'm trying from the holiday pack, let's give this Scottish lass a whirl.
This one pours a light amber gold capped by a thick bleached white head that has some lager bubbles in the middle. Despite mild carbonation the head has a reasonable retention settling to a film after a while.
Aromas of vanilla and toffee come up first accompanied by floral and resinous hop aromas, honey and subdued smells of peat round out the bouquet.
The first flavours were of coca power, vanilla and candy cane. Mild malt flavours contribute more of a grainy taste with a little one dimensional sweetness. Unroasted coffee beans and a mild resinous bitterness from the hops give a chalky, astringent dryness to the finish which also sees some biting alcohol presence.
The body is good, nice viscosity coats the tongue well.
A decent beer some nice flavours going on with the typical Innis & Gunn vanilla taste. I would have liked a bit more hope presence especially in the nose, considering they call this an IPA.
12-02-2009 20:46:48 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
3.63/5 rDev +4.9%
Pours amber with a small head.
Nose shows lots of vanilla, butterscotch and woody oak. Absolutely crazy. Very smooth. Not much actual hops or malt show, just a faint grassy note. Still very nice though.
Similar oaky flavours, but a little bit of sweet malt enters. Not much of an IPA.
Nice moderate carbonation.
01-03-2011 02:18:55 | More by CrazyDavros
2.48/5 rDev -28.3%
Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a small white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fruity notes with light oak and some light skunky notes which leads me to believe they should drop the clear bottles. Taste is also dominated by light fruity notes with some sugary malt and some strange cereal notes. Body is bit light with good carbonation. Definitely a one-off and not the best one from this strange brewery.
12-02-2009 03:31:08 | More by Phyl21ca
4.53/5 rDev +30.9%
One day in 2004 Innis & Gunn changed my life when I stepped into a bar and order a Scottish pale ale aged in whisky barrels. Then in 2006 Innis & Gunn teased me with a limited edition India Pale Ale which at the time may have been the best beer I had ever had. I say teased because it was only available for a short period of time, then, gone forever. Or so it seemed. Three years later during the Christmas of 2009 Innis & Gunn brought to the LCBO a gift pack with three beers and a glass. The pack contained the Original, Rum Cask, and yes, the IPA.
With the opportunity to score some Innis IPAs again I grabbed six gift packs and cherished the IPAs that were now back in my possession. I still have a few friends who hold the IPA as the best Innis & Gunn, and some who claim it to be the best beer that they have ever had. I still debate the the Triple Matured is my favorite Innis & Gunn, and also the Rum cask after being left to age for a few months has a beautiful bouquet of flavors.
In either case, I love the IPA, and this weekend I polished of the very last one in my collection; a proud but also sad moment.
But we cannot focus on the sorrows of finishing the last of the IPAs, I would much rather resonate on the beauty and full character of the beer which made me love it so much in the first place. The first IPA was released as a special edition and came in a handsome golden brown box barring a more original style logo. Without a question is was an amazing example of what Innis & Gunn can do. It was created to mimic history as much as possible, and thus hops were added directly to the oak casks in which the beer was aged.
This did create an all new Innis & Gunn with the same smooth caramel and rich butterscotch character as the original, but now with a crisp and lightly zesty hop bite. This new Innis was distinctly refreshing and a welcome addition to the Innis & Gunn family. So how would the new 2009 IPA do?
I cracked open this IPA at about 8C (45F) and poured it into a proper Innis & Gunn glass. It poured smooth and softly built an airy white one inch head which faded slowly to a film on the surface of the beer. The beer glowed at me with orange and amber gold, and deep brownish red tones fully embedded into the body of the beer. It is very close to the original, but hazy and lightly opaque with more yellow and orange than mahogany and gold.
The nose was a crisper and herbal version of the original Innis. Light caramel comes through again with faint oak, vanilla, and soft berries. This time though, with buttery sweetness comes a zesty earthy hop character, new to the Innis & Gunn. It has now a refreshing aroma to it, more quenching to the nose but I must say, less appetizing.
A mouthful of this ripe IPA does open a huge flow of flavors and a newly quenching characteristic to an already fantastic beer. First warm oaky caramel glides over your tongue with pale malt sweetness and soft biscuits. Lighter less melty butterscotch flows in across the cheeks and still vanilla and malt sweetness show their presence. But here is now a new sensation - the malts are slightly lighter and less sticky; a smooth undertone of hop bitter is here balancing the sweet gooey flavors of the Innis & Gunn.
The original was so appetizing because it has these great luscious caramelized flavors and almost no bitterness to it. This IPA though is mouthwatering and supremely quenching new new flavors of earthy hops and zesty bitter notes. It quenches and satisfies like the original can't, leaving you open for a huge range of foods.
The finish is crisp and clean leaving you with light vanilla and lemon zest. Again, a brand new sensation for the Innis & Gunn, and a very welcome one. I still don't think that this is the best Innis ever. It is really delicious, and I do wish it was regularly available, however to me the hops remove some of the dense richness of the beer that I fell in love with. I love the original for the deep soft and sensual flavors - if I really want refreshing, I'll grab an American IPA of sorts like the Southern Tier IPA.
In any case, I severely enjoyed my last IPA (for now), and something tells me that it will be back in Canada eventually.
08-22-2010 23:55:47 | More by StephenRich
2.63/5 rDev -24%
11.2 oz 2009 edition IPA, part of the gift pack. Pours a light golden with hints of caramel - macro lager meets vienna lager color. Small head builds up and slowly fizzes out.
Nose smells like a cross between a pils and oktoberfest with a dash of musty grass smell. Certainly no juiciness as the bottle promises.
Heavy on the oak, light on juicy hops - ok, no juicy hops. Saaz and other 'Euro' hops provide the IPA part (I guess), not much bitterness. Lots of vanilla-oak throughout, odd contrast. Light caramel, hints of lemon, grass, slightly metallic. Some off vegetal notes in there as well, slight booze in the finish. Blech.
This has to be the worst I&G I've had - I guess IPAs just aren't their thing - they should stick to the more malt forward offerings.
11-19-2009 21:25:45 | More by ritzkiss
2.98/5 rDev -13.9%
Poured a 330-ml bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance - Solid gold colour with minimal head, reduced to a thin ring of bubbles within a minute. Slight carbonation visible.
Smell - Decent aroma of oak reminiscent of the Original Ale these guys produce. Very little hops versus what I would expect from the style.
Taste - Oaky, malty flavour with fairly flat middle. Does not fade with a burst of hops, really very little hop presence in this beer. As a side note this beer is listed at 7.7% alcohol by volume and doesn't show it at all as the flavour covers nicely.
Mouthfeel - Nothing offensive with this beer, its soft, warming effect perpetually welcome as with the other offerings from this brewer.
Overall - this cost $5 for the bottle and I expected something different, something more. I don't believe I would get it again although there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't live up to the expectation. I prefer the original if I'm planning on having an Innis & Gunn, both for the price and the taste.
05-01-2011 02:29:43 | More by DoctorStrangiato
3.3/5 rDev -4.6%
A clear pale amber beer, with a white head that recedes rather quickly but leaves some lacing.
A bit of sweet orange mixed with green lemons, a sour creme odor, wet old wood.
The taste is sweet, brown sugar, digestive biscuits, a faint rhubarb sourness, a dry but rather weak bitterness. A nuance of driftwood from the sea.
Weak carbonation, somewhat sticky sweetness, a short dry finish.
Well, it is hard to find good cask aged beer, this was sort of OK, but no real treat.
06-15-2010 17:38:23 | More by rarbring
Nova Scotia (Canada)
3.1/5 rDev -10.4%
330mL bottle, no freshness date, poured into accompanying branded glass.
Clear gold body with some orange hues, topped by a small white foam cap that retains well. Lacing is excellent.
Noble, earthy and slightly spicy hops on the nose, with just a slight bit of maltiness giving a bready background. The I&G vanilla-ish oak is present too. Muted.
Taste has a bit of the promised juicy hops up front, but it's pretty quickly overtaken by the vanilla/oak character that continues until the finish. Hops are slightly juicy citrus up front, spicy and grassy twangs, with a thin malt background in the form of caramel and biscuit. The oak aging is pronounced with the oaky vanilla flavour, and a bit of alcohol bite on the finish, along with some bitter earthy hops.
Medium-light body, nice balanced carbonation, feels pretty crisp and refreshing in the mouth, but still smooth.
The oak and mildly ipa flavours don't quite coalesce in this beer; it's certainly different, but not in a great way, and not something I'll seek out again. Not bad, exactly, just less than thrilling.
11-26-2009 19:19:55 | More by nighthawk
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.5/5 rDev +1.2%
A: Like the Original, poured with a small, white head that quickly dissipated. Body is a dark yellow/orange color, and slightly hazy.
S: Again, lots of oak... that's what they're known for, right? There's also some citrus from the hops.
T: The oak is present, but not overpowering. A bit of toffee comes through again, but there's more hop bitterness in the finish, although overall it's still light.
M: Light-bodied, slightly creamy, with average carbonation.
D: Not terrible at all, but I think I preferred the I&G Original.
02-24-2010 21:41:10 | More by berley31
3.6/5 rDev +4%
Pours a clear light amber with a white head that leaves a tight lid on the brew.
Smells quite orange-y, with some oakish vanilla with a sharp metal tinge to it. I get some golden apples coupled with light alcohol and almond paste and chlorophyll, and very light hint of english hops.
Alot of orange in the taste as well, and it's really hard to tell if it's rom the beer itself or from the oak, as it blends in very well with the vanilla that I also get. After the vanilla/orange-chock settles it makes room for some bready malt-notes and some buttery and earthy english hops, not that intense to be honest, and I would expect an IPA at 7.7%, even an english, to have more hop-preassure than this. But it is pretty tasty however, even if it get slightly too single-tracked with the orange/vanilla-stuff, its pretty nice.
Mouthfeel is okay, slightly stingy carbonation butit goes well with the semi-dry beer.
06-03-2010 14:01:17 | More by dqrull
3.38/5 rDev -2.3%
G: I&G Tulip
A: Cloudy orange-yellow body. One inch white head with decent retention and lacing beautiful lacing.
S: Citrus fruits are noticeable with hops following. Hints of caramel and vanilla are subtle
T: Toffee, the oak and vanilla is noticeable, with mild hops and orange in the background.
M: Light bodied with medium-light carbonation. A little creamy and leaves a fruity/toffee sticky finish
D: This is flavourful, but I do not see how it is an IPA - pale ale maybe. I think I&G should really concider moving to dark bottle though b/c you will typically buy a skunked beer. I had it from the gift pack so it was fine.
11-24-2009 22:44:45 | More by Long813
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
3.78/5 rDev +9.2%
Pours a clear amber with a thick head which dissipates to a small ring which clings to the glass. A gentle stream of small bubbles rising to the surface.
A very distinctive vanilla and toffee smell, less so than I remember with original Innis & Gunn but definitely there.
Very interesting - The sweet vanilla/toffee taste comes through initially but gives way to a light hoppy bitterness at the back of the mouth. Feels balanced.
Medium carbonation, about right for this style.
A very easy drinking beer, although one to be savoured - perhaps only in a small quantity of 1 or 2 in an evening.
01-24-2011 20:42:46 | More by NATOuk
2.38/5 rDev -31.2%
The colour is copper - pale amber. The High head slowly sinks down to a firm finger thick off-white head, leaving some lacing. The liquid is clear.
The smell is sweet with a lot of diacetyl. Some bitter-fruity hops in the background as well as flowers and vegetables. Do I notice some smoky hints in the background?
Diacetyl (butter, butterscotch, crème caramel) dominates the mellow sweet taste. Some oak-matured notes. Very weak bitter/hoppy flavours. The aftertaste is woody and very sweet with notes of cheap butterscotch and bitter hints. Alcohol is well hidden.
The carbonation is very mild; the bubbles are mild. The liquid is sweet and a bit sticky.
An orgy in diacetyl. It reminds more of cheap caramel than beer. Do people really drink this?
07-09-2010 20:19:16 | More by bark
3.75/5 rDev +8.4%
This came as a recommendation at the local bottle shop.
A - Pours a crystal clear copper colour with a thin layer of head, little retention and no lacing.
S - Quite unique with wooden, smoked, peaty, hops and some very prominent caramel notes and some ground coffee.
T - The 'oaked' characteristics are definitely prominent with the wooden peaty flavours complementing the sweet caramel notes. Hop presence is grassy and holds a bit of a sweet corn flavour to it. Unique combination indeed.
M - No complaints in this department, solid carbonation lift that goes down smooth.
O - Overall a tasty offering from Innis & Gunn, though at $5 a bottle, there's better beer to buy.
03-26-2011 19:08:19 | More by andrenaline
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
3.43/5 rDev -0.9%
Pours with a light amber body. No haze or cloudiness as its not bottle conditioned. Puffy, dense white head with good retention.
Aroma, not huge or overwhelming. A touch of oaky sweetness, little bit of malt and a touch of alcohol. Little bit of mustiness also. Taste, creamy, almost overly sweet hop tainted malt. Lots of honey and sweet oak. A touch of English bittering hops but certainly not overpoweringly so. Malt rich alcohol on the finish.
A bit of an oddity. Not particularly interesting or memorable. Its a little boozier than the standard ale with a handful more hops however the sweetness of the malt and overpowering oak character is a little off putting. This may be worth a peek at some point but I can't see it turning any heads. Solid, but underwhelming.
12-10-2009 00:55:24 | More by cypressbob
3.98/5 rDev +15%
Pours amber yellow with a thin ring of foam. Saltwater taffy, butterscotch, vanilla and wood on the nose. Werther's malts with scotch understones followed by spice and barley hops. Sweet finish. Medium, chewy, oily with some burn.
Dangerous candy beer. Hops not as forward as the label claims, but still a heavyweight.
From the Deveney's of Dundrum beer festival.
09-10-2010 09:31:16 | More by StJamesGate
3.9/5 rDev +12.7%
Pours a murky-brown-amber and I've unfortunately got some floaties, not sure if it was a decanting problem or something to do with the beer. They look very protein-rich, anyway. Head is off-white and a bit slim, just a whispy cloud after a couple of minutes. Lace is quite nice and sticky. Don't look bad, don't look great either.
Smell is extremely sweet, with massive vanilla coming off. Caramel malt base blending with that whiskeyed oak aroma, giving vanilla beans and a touch of fresh-ground coffee as well. Almost Irish coffee really, with a faint booziness apparent as it warms up. I would like it more bitter and grounded, but the sweetness is pleasant and complex.
Taste begins with a fair amount of sweet grain, barley blending with oatmeal, with a caramelised and almost honeyed edge. This quickly takes on those sweet oak notes, giving me strong vanilla, creme anglaise and yes, even a touch of wood (wood you believe it!) Slight kiss of alcohol warmth as it reaches the apex of my mouth and then a welcome earthiness that doesn't quite reach bitter, on the finish, making it out not quite cleanly. Nevertheless a solid beer; well imbued with tasty wood notes. I just feel like more IPA notes - even a Burtonised IPA - would complement the sweetness more successfully. Would love to see Marston's Old Empire oak-aged in this way.
A little bit thin on the feel, which means that defence is lacking for what fizz is there. There's not too much though so it's not bad.
A tasty brew, and the balance is struck well enough to go down pretty easily.
02-11-2011 00:07:25 | More by laituegonflable
Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale from Innis & Gunn
80 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.