1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale - Innis & Gunn

Not Rated.
Innis & Gunn India Pale AleInnis & Gunn India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

41 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MeisterBurger on 10-30-2009)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StephenRich
StephenRich

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 23:55:47 | More by StephenRich
Photo of vauxhaulastra
vauxhaulastra

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.5/5  rDev +30.1%

06-08-2013 20:11:26 | More by vauxhaulastra
Photo of speak72
speak72

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +22.8%

08-08-2013 23:59:25 | More by speak72
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 15:39:14 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of Stalgondo
Stalgondo

Georgia

4/5  rDev +15.6%

05-09-2014 01:19:04 | More by Stalgondo
Photo of Duncanster
Duncanster

New York

4/5  rDev +15.6%

09-09-2013 01:54:00 | More by Duncanster
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 09:31:16 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 22:52:49 | More by biboergosum
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 00:07:25 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.83/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear amber-golden colour, almost coppery, with a full, but large bubbled and extremely cratered head of white foam. Head is fed by some exceptionally large-bubbled and extremely vigorous carbonation, which is the only thing which seems to keep it going. It looks as though it would happily subside if given the opportunity. The carbonation is somewhat too extreme for me, but otherwise, it's a decent enough look to it.

Nose is... extremely unusual. Masses, upon masses of fresh oak character, implying the beer was lain upon new oak. But the freshness in the body and the aromas released by the effervescence give it fruity notes, and almost a skunky character. Together these mingle into odd nuances of jam-filled doughnuts, unroasted coffee beans and lemon-grass. It's like you don't quite know where the aroma is going to go next. I'm not sure I've had such an oak-heavy beer before - one where the oak itself provides the flavour rather than whatever was in the oak beforehand. It's quite a unique experience.

Taste is surprisingly boozy, and with the oak, it gives it a very whisky-like character. Vanilla-oak on the front, before a lightly noticeable hop bitterness on the back comes through to feebly battle with the huge woody flavours of the oak. Together, a light peach and apricot sweetness is created.

Body is quite full, although the smooth vanilla characters accentuate this fact more than the body itself. Slightly hot and astringent alcohol characters on the finish, which appear in a way that neither the oak nor the hops can counteract.

It's an extremely unusual beer, and almost an unusually extreme beer. The oak is exceptionally pronounced, and overwhelms most of the other characters. My guess is this is only substantially hoppier when compared to others in the Innis & Gunn range, the oak takes on a far, far more prominent role.

Still, all up it's a tasty brew, and the weird oddities in the flavour make it all the more exciting. I'm very pleased to have tried it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 02:50:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of NATOuk
NATOuk

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
A very distinctive vanilla and toffee smell, less so than I remember with original Innis & Gunn but definitely there.

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
Medium carbonation, about right for this style.

Drinkability:
A very easy drinking beer, although one to be savoured - perhaps only in a small quantity of 1 or 2 in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 20:42:46 | More by NATOuk
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 19:08:19 | More by andrenaline
Photo of rogerdandy
rogerdandy

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

07-08-2014 17:26:20 | More by rogerdandy
Photo of Sellen
Sellen

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

07-23-2014 22:46:28 | More by Sellen
Photo of Molson2000
Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

01-29-2013 23:23:23 | More by Molson2000
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle my boss brought back from Halifax. From notes.

A - Poured a copper colour with good carbonation and a one finger white head. Bright. Left a little lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Earthy with a light citrus note, vanilla, oak, and caramel.

T - Caramel, oak is stronger but not overly strong, citrus hop again. Quite sweet but the hop presence is mellowing.

M - Medium body with good carbonation and a sweet finish with a light bitterness.

O/D - Oak adds an interesting twist to a traditionally un-interesting style IMO. Not too shabby.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 14:05:57 | More by tbeckett
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 02:18:55 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of dqrull
dqrull

Sweden

3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 14:01:17 | More by dqrull
Photo of berley31
berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 21:41:10 | More by berley31
Photo of Mdodge8837
Mdodge8837

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

11-06-2013 13:16:22 | More by Mdodge8837
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 20:46:48 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 00:55:24 | More by cypressbob
Photo of Seanstoppable
Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've enjoyed the occasional Innis & Gunn Oak Aged and Rum Barrel Oak Aged beverages in the past. When a "christmas package" became available with the IPA, I figured it was worth trying.

Pours a nice golden color. A few fingers of thick creamy head were produced. When settled, there is still fine covering of head that doesn't appear to be evaporating all that quickly.

No real hops in the nose. More of a malt characteristic. Noticeable oak scent though.

A faint trace of hops up front, followed up with a malty bitterness. Oak and bourbon flavor dominate the back end, giving a strong boozy flavor (which makes sense, given the 7.7% ABV). Oak and earthy flavor in the aftertaste.

Like the regular oak aged, the more you drink, the better it tastes and the smoother it goes. However, I can't really think of a difference between this and the regular oak aged, with maybe the exception of the brief hop flavor. Interesting for at least a glass or two.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 23:23:34 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of Long813
Long813

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 22:44:45 | More by Long813
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 03:14:05 | More by joemcgrath27
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale from Innis & Gunn
80 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.