Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 - Innis & Gunn

Not Rated.
Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

35 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 74
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 6.17%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mduncan on 10-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 35 | Hads: 74
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as a part of the gift pack so as to avoid light-struck bottles.

Appearance -- Pours a dark garnet hue with chestnut highlights and a tuft of fizzy beige head. No head retention or lacing.

Smell -- Well-caramelized malt, booze-soaked dark fruitiness, oak, vanilla, orange zest. Nice, but not enough big malty character for me.

Taste -- Malty with dark bread and dark fruit. Mild spicy phenolic character is also there. The oak cask lend some woody vanillin, but more dry oak flavor.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with lots of fizzy carbonation. Dry, tannic woody feel. Off-puttingly tannic.

Overall -- Somehow I'm not thrilled. Half the beer that Rum cask ale (presumably the same base beer) is. Admittedly, not my favorite style, but it lacks the big, robust, over-the-top malty richness that greats of the style portray. (833 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Innus & Gunn 3-Pack - $9.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, mahogany-hued body with a half-finger of manilla-hued foam.

Smell: Modestly malty, almost as if it's ashamed of itself. Some dry, raspy caramel with a bit of citrus peel, a spoonful of alcohol, and crestfallen oak wood.

Taste: Very low caramel flavor, with just a hint of sweetness. Heavy pour of unsweetened iced tea. A wooden backdrop throwing off very, very little vanilla touches. Sliver of citrus peel. Minimally bitter. Dry, earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm Innis to win-is, though this brew was very ineffusive, very ineffectual, like it had a tragic run-in with a flavor vampire. The remainder of the mix-pack and even water served in the Innis & Gunn branded glass were more enjoyable. (907 characters)

Photo of Heischman
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer/Brewery - Winter Beer 2011/Innis & Gunn
City/State- Edinburgh, United Kingdom (Scotland)
STYLE – Scottish Ale
ABV – 7.4%
IBU – UNKNOWN
DATE – 12 DEC
SERVING TYPE – 12 OZ bottle
GLASSWARE – Pub Glass
APPEARANCE – A red with an orange hue very little head, what head there is an off white color
AROMA- Whiskey with hoppiness in the tail end
TASTE – Alcohol is the thirst taste, like a horse at the track. There is a vanilla taste that mellows out the alcohol.
MOUTHFEEL – Crisp and very carbonated also a bit syrupy as well.
CONCLUSION – I am not a big fan of this beer. I was so hyped for it and no sparks for me. Being that you can only get this beer in the gift box with the glass I was expecting a lot more.
-JH- (739 characters)

Photo of jlenik
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: a bit over carbonated but I think the bottle might just be a little old. retained a slight tan head for a while. almost a solid brown color, no reddish notes.

s: spice, alcohol, and vanilla are all mixing together. reminiscent of some winter warmers

t: some spice, oak and vanilla, a little caramel, lots of spice. for a scottish ale it tastes tad watered down.

m: I'm not getting the creaminess I've come to expect from most Innis and Gunn beers. quite light on the carbonation as well.

o: This one is a meh though I will keep trying all the new beers I&G throws out. (576 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got this in a mix pack for Christmas with an Innis and Gunn Tulip/Flute glass.

Appearnace: Poured with a solid finger of head that didn't produce any lacing. The body is a dark mahogany with a couple tiny peices of particulate in it. Slow thin carbonation in the body.

Smell: A black rum smell dominates the nose, backed by a smokiness that sadly buries subtle vanilla and spice touches. Still it's quite good. Warming is a must, as with all Innis and Gunn beers.

Taste: Mild malt with vanilla notes starts us off before shifting to a spiced whisky sort of taste that has a certain smoke element that I'd expect from scotch. My issue is it seems to be conflicted between tasting like a dark rum or scotch, which make it come across as off.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation really needs to make a better showing at the start. The aftertaste however is very well done, leaving a light vanilla oak taste. Could hid it's high alchohol a bit better, but shifts well enough to let it slide.

Drinkability: Goes down easy and the low carbonation keeps it there. Something to savour, not to guzzle. Something to really be drunk only on an occasion.

Final Thoughts: This is a whisky drinker's beer. It's the kind of beer that you drink by yourself near an open fire because you don't want to have to deal with the consequences of liquor. Sadly, Innis and Gunn seems to be perpetually chasing either the Canadian cask or the standard beer. I'll tell you what though, I am looking forward to the Spiced Rum finish that came with this pack. (1,529 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a New Glarus tasting glass.

A- Light caramel, with a 2 finger light tan head. Very little lacing.

S- Some sweet malts, and slight spiciness.

T- Sweet caramel malts, nice light spice flavors.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Has a slight bubbly finish.

O- Average beer that if it was put in front of me I would drink it. (333 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a clean deep amber (almost brown) pour with a slight amount of head. smells of wood barrel, dates, rye. bourbon up front with a taste of oak following right behind. subtle hints of vanilla and dates in the background. light body, fizzy carbonation, slight creamy feel. after trying a few of the other innis & gunn offerings, i have to admit there really isn't much going on in this beer. it was nice as a throw in, but if i end up purchasing any on their own (it was a gift pack) it's be either the regular oak aged, or rum cask one - this one is pretty average as far as i'm concerned. (586 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two years old in clear glass. I guess I better get to drinking this one because I don't think any more time is going to do it any favors.

A: Dark shade of reddish chestnut brown in color. Forms a modest light tan head that quickly recedes to a thin surface coating and a thick ring. Some light lacing.

S: Aroma is sweet. Mostly cream soda, with notes of vanilla, baking spice, gingerbread, and molasses.

T: Taste is more of the same, but this one comes off as being more of a flavored soda than a spiced beer. Cream soda dominates. Notes of ginger, allspice, and molasses. Just a hint of oak. Very sweet. Reminds me of a pfeffernüsse cookie.

M: Again, very soda-like. Medium body with a strong sweetness and a heavier carbonation. Mild spiciness.

O: Personally, this isn't my thing, but thats probably why I've been sitting on this beer for the last two years. Not necessarily a bad beer, but I do question if this is more of an alcoholic soda than a flavored beer. (975 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of oak and vanilla are quite powerful with light sweet malt notes also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some vanilla notes with some notes of oak and a sweet malt backbone with some light caramel notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not something I would necessarily search for on a regular basis but a lot more pleasant then some of their first barrle-aged offerings. (495 characters)

Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very attractive honey hued amber, with creamy light tan head that dissolves quickly and leaves a very silky bit of lacing.

S-immediate sugar sweetness followed by rumcake and dried fruit character.

T-smooth dark cherry rum and caramel malt. smokey vanilla and peppery rum mix in the finish.

M-very smooth, nice balance and decent carbonation. Afterwarmth lingers on the tongue

O-not bad. still not completely sold on the style but this is decent and i could see myself trying another someday.

salud! (514 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany/reddish colour, ring of white head, some lace left. Smell is full of vanilla and malt, caramel like sweet notes, lots of oak, light skunky pointd but not as much as some of their other stuff, cherry and light alcohol. Taste is fairly malty with vanilla and sherry notes, light spice, citrus and fruity points, light alcohol with a woddy almost whisky like aftertaste. Med-high active carbonation, full body and lightly syrupy. A decent brew thats a bit of a sipper, it was a little too oaky but there was enough other flavours there to not be an issue. (561 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear medium ruby with a one finger off-white head.

Smells strongly of toffee, caramel, and banana. Also a slight rum smell along with some vanilla.

Flavor of toffee, caramel, vanilla and banana. Really quite a bit going on here. When this beer was cold I definitely picked up a lot of banana and vanilla. As it warmed some more caramel and toffee started coming out. There is a slight bitterness towards the finish.

Overall this is a decent beer but not my favorite from Innis and Gunn. I would have it again, though. (564 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish amber garnet body with a foamy one finger head. Weak lacing, and poor retention-- but this still looks pretty decent.

Smells of oak, little tobacco, some sweet malt. The veer has a little spicy note. Dry oaky finish with a light warming booziness.

Feels a bit syrupy. Medium body. Firm carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice beer... But I will take the regular version over it any day. (403 characters)

Photo of sweethome
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a 4 - pack receieved as a gift.

Nice pour in to a a tulip glass - dark amber - close to crimson color. Decent lacing.

Big, alcohol, rum nose. Rasins, rum, and alcohol.

Yo, ho ho! Fresh oak here. Excellent barrel/oak flavors.

Yes, rum barrel aged beer .... I assume - big alcohol fire, but rather limited. Hot alcohol, rum/rasin flavors, but that is about it. Nice full mouthfeel.

Nice, warming winter beer with a unique twist for barrel aging - rum! (463 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into innis and gunn glassware from a cold clear bottle. red/brown color with receding one inch head. smells oaky for sure, and less potent than the rum cask they make. mild citrus flavor from what must be orange peel, and a robust woody barrel finish. complex yet approachable this is the best beer ive had from innis and gunn. mouthfeel is a little watery, which you can tell by looking at the texture, but the bubbles keep it drinkable and they aftertaste asks for more. not sure how seasonal this one really is, but it works for me (541 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a touch darker than the regular oak aged beer. With a tan head that doesn't stick around long. For a beer almost 6 months old the carbonation is bubbly.

S - Well the addition of orange zest is quite interesting in the smell with the typical oak, toffee and caramel of the regular oak aged beer.

T - Not too wild for the taste though. The zest is strong and sharp which seems to distract from the nice malty flavors from the regular version (caramel and toffee) oak also seems to have taken a back seat next to the power of the zest.

M - Medium and chewy yet seems a bit lighter with the zest.

Overall I found it quite worth it for the 2 dollars I paid. It by no means is better than the regular oak aged version but way better than the boring rum cast. (768 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Winter Beer 2011 has a wonderfully sleek chestnut colour with sharp highlighting of various shades. The beer is clear as the bottle it came in. While it is reasonably flat it nonetheless looks quite handsome in the brewery's branded tulip glass.

If you've smelled one Innis and Gunn beer you've pretty much smelled them all. For a brewer that is always experimenting with different recipes and different barrels in which to age their beer, it's remarkable how much house character is retained one offering to the next. I'm not complaining though - I like this buttery oak scent.

'Buttery' is a bad word to most beer drinkers. Innis and Gunn, however, have a way of making buttery good in the same way other brewers have a way of making sourness a favorable element. This is smooth and clean on the palate, with tons of pure vanilla and oak flavour. It drinks like a whiskey but without the alcoholic harshness.

Winter Beer is an excellent offering for a mild Scottish winter, but not so much a freezing Canadian one. The chewy, nutty sweetness of amber and Cara malts is appreciated, and blends very well into the subtle orange zest and pumpkin-pie spiciness, but you need a hell of a lot more of it when dealing with endless nights and sub-par temperatures.

This brewery has disappointed me in the past by marking up new - but virtually indistinguishable beers - and releasing them with fancy packaging where what's written on the bottle is more impressive than what's actually contained within it. But I was willing to let bygones be bygones. And, so far as Winter Beer 2011 is concerned, I'm glad I did. (1,613 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger-high dense off white head that died down but left a patch of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of rum in the nose—similar to what you would expect from a rum cake.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of rum with notes of oak and toffee and some hints of vanilla. There a light amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The rum flavors are well incorporated into this beer and don’t dominate the overall taste. It’s quite easy to drink because there is no cloying sweetness and the beer isn’t that full-bodied in nature. (809 characters)

Photo of NForr
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Innis & Gunn glass. it has a very dark, reddish brown color. Clear, dark looking ale. Little bit of head.

Scent hits you with vanilla right away from the oak barrels. It smells more sweet than the original - brown sugar, with a slightly sour finish. Buttery.

Again, the vanilla hits you right away, but lingers more then usual. A bit of alcohol, cherry, very sour finish. Caramel, but not sweet. Very little hops.

creamy, nice body, not much carbonation which is normal for this style.

Overall pretty good. Innis & Gunn was one of the first beers I tried during my beer coming of age period. It is not on the top of my list anymore but it is always an interesting experience. (697 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I don't know how these British types get away with having good beer in clear bottles, but I wish they'd tell the Corona folks (among others)... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear russet-brown topped by a minor bit of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises buttercream and toffee. Yeah, that's pretty much it, frankly. That doesn't mean it's bad, just very uncomplicated. The taste, on the other hand, holds notes of buttercream, toffee, ginger, light orange peel, light sharp oak, and a touch of banana. Decidedly more complex than the nose let on. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, I think I like this one the least of all the I&G brews I've had thus far, but it's still pretty strong and complex. I wish my worst homebrews turned out this well... (853 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 11-26-2011
Freshness: Best by 12-2012
Packaging: 330 ml clear bottle
Glassware: Innis & Gunn cervoise glass
Purchased: Gift box from Frugal MacDoogal, Nashville

Picked this up in a gift box with the attractive cervoise glass and 3 Innis & Gunn offerings.

Clear chestnut brown color, with few bubbles seen in the glass. Head is tan, with small tight bubbles, of about 3 fingers in height. Very good lacing and a good amount of head retention.

Aromas are mainly of oak woodiness, caramel malts and spices. Also some hints of alcohol.

Taste is rich and somewhat sweet, with biscuity malts. There is also vanilla and a light bitterness of orange citrus. The oak presence is strong and seems to overwhelm the other flavors.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth. The finish is dry but not bitter.

Overall a very good beer, but not as enjoyable as their original Scottish ale version. (893 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of the gift pack along with the two other bottles and glass, and now that the nights are cold, this fit in well with the season! This wasn't as dark or heavy as other winter beers that I've had but this had to be one of the smoothest winters I've ever tasted and like the other Innis and Gunn beers that I tried, the carbonation was so low that I wondered if this was beer or not. It's good to have something that stands out from the crowd!

This had a nice mahogany-oak hue to it with not a lot of head or lacing to be seen. The aroma wasn't strong but there was some oak, vanilla, and booze in the smell and all of these were present in the taste as well. Just a hint of peat and charcoal too but nothing so strong as to be offensive. For a beer this strong, this went down well and had a bit of a bourbon feel in the aftertaste, since it was more sticky and not spicy like some rums that I've had. This was thick like rum but had a bit more of a warming effect than I anticipated.

I pictured this as Winter Ale until I saw what category this fell under. Many would probably not pick this style for a cold and windy night but for the time of the year, this is a great choice. Like the other offerings from Innis and Gunn, it's nice to see something like this push the boundaries of what is considered beer and it's a bonus that this is so enjoyable sip by mellow sip. (1,389 characters)

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 330-ml bottle into the Innis & Gunn collector tulip glass provided in the gift set.

Appearance - darker copper colour with a beige head that recedes fairly quickly to a thin ring of foam along the side.

Smell - deep malty aroma with some mild oak notes.

Taste - flavourful and smoky taste expectant of I&G, some fairly intense sweetness near the end, woody lingering flavour.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth and definitely the ABV is not really noticeable. An even brew.

Drinkability - goes down easy but nice to savour. I'd have one or two of these and then switch to something lighter. (595 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish red, it has a medium pale tan head, steadily shrinking to thin ring, no real lace.

Aroma is vanilla, wood, caramelly toasty grain, raisin, hint of dusty pine bark.

Taste is malty-fruit-toasty with hints of vanilla and orange, mostly ending up with dried cherries and lightly bitter wood. It has light warming alcohol. It is lively, but a bit thin in feel and character by the finish, light in body, and somewhat reminiscent of a dubbel. Overall, this ia a very enjoyable, tasty, warming winter ale. (514 characters)

Photo of ChrisCage
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a rich coppery color that is transparent for the most part...possibly a bit of chill haze. The head starts out a beige color, isn't really thick and is rather fizzy, disappearing rather quickly in my I&G glass. Carbonation appears to be finely tuned and mild, and the lacing leaves much to be desired. Overall, this isn't the best looking beer that this brewery has produced...it just doesn't stand out, but I think this will be the only weak point of the review.

S- The aromas are really pleasant, with warming tones of sweet sugary malt, fresh vanilla bean, caramel/toffee and light fruitcake. The oaked character is much mellower than in other offerings, but it's there and reminds me more of a dark rum cask than Scotch. Hop profile is noticed, but again, very mellow.

T- Much different than the aromas let on! The oak is much more noticeable and reminds me of single malt instead of the sweeter rum smells I felt it had....it hits the palate aggressively at first and quickly smooths out. The sweeter characters of caramel malts and vanilla shine nicely, along with dark fruits and a buttery tinge. I don't really notice any boozy aspects, which is always a plus in my books. The finish, I don't find has much of a hop presence, but rather a woody dryness. Nice mellow flavors on the palate!

M- This is a distinctly smooth, warming beer with great cozy flavors. The body is medium-ish and very creamy, as the carbonation is very fine and isn't overdone. I really like the deepness that this one has without it being in my face....just very well blended.

O- Overall I find this to be a little weaker in terms of I&G's full lineup that I've tried to date, but it's still a quality brew that I have no qualms with for drinkability. I'd happily enjoy a couple of these on a cold night, under a blanket watching a movie! I recommend this one for anybody to try! (1,874 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 from Innis & Gunn
84 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.