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Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 - Innis & Gunn

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 74
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 11.83%
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
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 74
Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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...

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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchases in a gift pack. First to be tasted. Poured from bottle into Innis and Gunn glass

Appearance - A nice deep/dark red color. A billowing head lasting for ~ 1 min prior to fading to a white laces coating on top of the beer.

Smell - A Nice aroma of fruits and rum meets the noise at first. Quite strong, but give away to a bit of vanilla later on.

Taste - A rum flavor initially gives away to a more citrusy flavor. This then fades again to a more alcohol/rum aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - A fair amount of carbonation and a relatively expected body for the strength.

Overall- A good brew although it looks and smells a bit better then it drinks. I am looking forward to trying others by them.

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Photo of Florida9
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring.

S - caramel and toffee.

T - starts out sweet and pretty much stays sweet all the way through with just a light bittering near the finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

O - a good beer for winter.

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Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that has reduced quickly to a vey thin layer. it is a copper amber colorwith great clarity and vision of carbonation coming up through the glass.

Smell: Oak, vanilla, spices, citrus, and some bready and caramel malty goodness too.

Taste: same as above. some bitterness that dies off quickly.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, tingling feeling in my mouth, and super easy to drink.

Overall: This was really a tasty brew. Barrel aging adds a unique flavor profile that comes out better in this beer style than others. Looking forward to their other styles

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Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of rangerred
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice caramel orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied off-white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted and caramelized malts, a bit of oak, some vanilla, and a hint of brown sugar.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, nice mix of caramelized malts, some oak and vanilla flavors, hints of citrus and brown sugar finish it off.
M: Rich, smooth, perfect amount of carbonation, medium bodied, warming.
D: Overall a really nice mix of flavors and feel making it very enjoyable.

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Photo of sommersb
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured from 330mL bottle into pint glass, dark red brown with 1" off white head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear
S: caramel malt and toasted oak, earthy
T: whiskey like qualities of oak and vanilla, sweet malt with a dry finish, cherries
M: medium and less carbonated, no alcohol
O: an excellent aged beer with whiskey qualities

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Photo of dacrza1
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: more malt than hop on the nostril; a bit of caramel or toffee hints; incredible whiskey scents--always a plus! Appearance: dark mahogany body that olds a thin off-white inconsistent head and embodies thinner effervescence...not very attractive... Palate: mellow, buttery slide with a bit of soda pop punch--odd as expected, and Scottish highlands for certain... Taste: as usual, the whiskey/vanilla wedding hits you like a Donkey Kong barrel--sweet goodness, to combine these two wonders together.... a pleasant alternative to the norm, slick and musty with that signature whiskiness; as part of the three-beer sampler (with glass!), I place this slightly above the orignal--but both deliver...

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Good looking for the style, probably slightly darker, a deep amber color. Good clarity where the lighter brown to creamy golden highlights are. A nice off white colored head that sticks around a bit and provide a little bit of lacing.

Smell is very nice. It has all the nice malty characteristics of a classic scottish ale, but there are some nice additions as well. Nice woody oak flavors along with a hint of vanilla, then there's a nice citrus (almost exclusively orange) zest.

Taste is unique and excellent. A strong solid malt base. A nice buttery and bready flavor. Along with that are the nice additions as mentioned before. A nice vanilla oak again along with the citrus zest again.

Mouthfeel is very nice. A not too thick, but creamy feel maintaining a fuller than not body. Sweetness, smooth, and a nice sharp bitter finish at the end. A real delite. Overall a really nice beer, my first Innis&Gunn. I hope I didn't ruins the rest of the lineup by how much I like this one, but I'm looking forward to trying more.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2011 from Innis & Gunn
84 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.