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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

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 16.03%
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StJamesGate
3.98/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of StephenRich
4.53/5  rDev +32.1%
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.

Photo of bark
2.38/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 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?

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.13/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of rarbring
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of dqrull
3.6/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of berley31
3.5/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.43/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Ralphus
2.73/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm not a huge fan of Innis & Gunn, but when a gift pack was under the tree this year I wasn't complaining. I hadn't tried a few of them and the glass, while hardly a standout is always nice to have in the collection.

The gift pack comes with a pamphlet including pouring instructions. It says to basically pour the beer into a vertical glass which should only result in 1-2 cm of head. MY attempt, rather unsurprisingly, caused a half a beers worth of foam and some shaking of my head. That said when it was all done the beer does look nice. The head is particularly creamy and nice rings on the way down. Colorwise it's clear and dark golden.

The smell is not a standout. Earth tones with a mix vegetably bitterness which is probably the best pine representation they could manage with Goldings.

Tastewise there is a classic I&G flavour to be found, a sweet booziness mixed with vanilla, plus some stronger than normal bittering hops. It's still quite sweet though and mix of the overall parts doesn't really paint a compelling picture either. It can't really make up it's mind what it wants to be.

Mouthfeel is smooth albeit a little sticky from the sweetness. Drinkability is poor. Sessioning these is not something I would look forward to.

Photo of TerryW
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Photo of cypressbob
3.43/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.45/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.48/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of nighthawk
3.1/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Long813
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of ritzkiss
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of PoisonedMushroom
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into the branded glassware that came with this and two other I & G beers.

A: A nice, clear, golden colour greeted me as I poured this. The head, on the other hand, barely bothered to make an appearance. It was a about a finger long and disappeared into a tiny film in a very short time. There was lacing throughout, however.

S: According to Innis and Gunn, this had a "Citrus fruit with orange to the fore, balanced by a mellow toffee note." Horse feathers. Surprisingly, it instead had a faint smell of hops at first, although that quickly subsided into a rather unpleasant skunk smell. A little bit of oak came through once the beer warmed, and faint hops were detectable off and on but it was still far too skunky. I was disappointed, especially as this one was presumably in a dark box for its life.

T: Hmmm. Apparently this one was "bursting with fruity hops and juicy malt" according to Innis and Gunn but I don't think so. Instead, some caramel, toffee, and oak were present. Some bitterness in the hops was certainly detectable in the finish, but it was not too overwhelming. I also detected a flavour akin to a stick of butter sliding down my throat in the finish, but only with the first few sips and then somewhere in the middle when I neglected the brew for a minute or two. It was different, for sure, and not bad to be truthful.

M: I thought this to be surprisingly carbonated, and sharper and lighter than it needed to be, lending an alcohol bite I did not entirely appreciate. It was not horrible, though.

D: Finishing the bottle proved to be no problem. However, this is not a sessionable beer, but I don't really think I & G pretends it is. I thought this to be a sipper, perhaps more than it should be, though.

Overall, my least favourite of the three Innis and Gunn beers, and I wouldn't really seek another.

Photo of mintjellie
2.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.88/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Innis & Gunn India Pale Ale from Innis & Gunn
80 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.