Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale - Innis & Gunn
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
3.83/5 rDev +10.7%
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.
12-12-2010 02:50:10 | More by lacqueredmouse
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
3.13/5 rDev -9.5%
It comes in a 33 cl clear bottle. The label is small and in silver. Looks a little like a small whiskybottle.
A: Pours golden with a medium-large white kind of airy head. It sets after a little while, leaving some nice lacings behind.
S: Citric notes and slight roasted caramell malt. But there are lots and lots of vanilla from the very dominant oak.
T: Very oaky - vanilla galore. Sweetness from the malt, almost a bit syrupy. Bitterhops in the back.
M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is the best part, long and nicely balanced between sweet and bitter.
D: I'm not sure, but it's probably me - I really can't rate this beer higher. I'm having problems with the heavy overpowering oak - to much vanilla. Strange, because when it comes to whisky I usually love it!
If you like oaky beer - this would probably be right up your alley.
06-19-2010 16:47:56 | More by Evil_Pidde
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
3.65/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
09-06-2011 14:05:57 | More by tbeckett
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
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
3.75/5 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
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
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
3/5 rDev -13.3%
Part of a three brew gift pack from the LCBO. Something a little different from I&G's usual offering.
Clear beer, pale amber with a clean moderate head that is long lived and leaves some decent lace.
Not really hoppy like you'd expect from an IPA and you get a whiff of the oak thats common in other I&G offerings. Leans more to the malt side of things than you would expect from and IPA as it doesn't taste blazingly hoppy. Vanilla like their other beers.
If you like others from this brewery you'll recognize the profile and get something out of it. Decent enough, but not as interesting as their other offerings. Strange for an IPA, but still worth a try.
12-29-2009 12:39:21 | More by TerryW
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
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
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
2.88/5 rDev -16.8%
Pours a crystal clear golden color with a slight head. Laces nicely.
The aroma is weak and all I really get is a bit of fruitiness, dry oak, and a hint of skunk.
The taste is almost vinous, with a good amount of toffee and butterscotch, with a strong oakiness throughout and absolutely nothing to indicate this is an India Pale Ale. The ABV is high, sure. But there's no discernible hops present and it's the farthest things from bitter. The malt is also nondescript. The oak is the star of the show and without it I think I'd just be drinking a very generic pale ale. There's some vanilla like oak rounding things out and adding a bit of depth.
The label says it is "bursting with fruity hop character" which seems like an overstatement. There's some caramel, the slightest hint of bitterness and some restrained hop flavor in there, but it's not bursting with much of anything.
Light and highly carbonated, smooth.
Overall I'm just not digging on I&G's beers.
10-30-2009 03:26:35 | More by MeisterBurger
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
3.38/5 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
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
Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale from Innis & Gunn
80 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.