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Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2012 - Innis & Gunn

Not Rated.
Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2012Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2012

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

133 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 133
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 0
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CloudStrife on 10-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Porter brewed with molasses.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 133 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by takemetothelion:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: light brown in color, 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, clear

Smell: smell is amazing: brown sugar, oak, rum, vanilla, and light chocolate

Taste: oak, vanilla, toasted malt, and some holiday spicing--cinnamon is in there for sure.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, sweet with oakiness

Overall: I am a fan of Innis and Gunn beers. This one does not disappoint. The smell is amazing and complex. This has just enough holiday spice in the taste to make me think winter, but not enough to distract from the oak or make me think spice bomb. I will look forward to next year's winter beer.

Photo of jondeelee
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Winter Beer 2012 opens to a light, sweet nose, the predominant notes including toffee, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, and touches of molasses, and the beer itself smelling at first blush closer to a watered-down version of a cola, or something that might be poured over pancakes. There are hints of pine and oak in here to separate the beer from syrup, as well as light cereal grains, toast crust, and biscuit. But sugars seem to win out, though with the lightness of the overall aroma, this is actually hard to decide.

On the tongue, the beer does prove better than the weak aroma let on, with sugars cresting on the taste buds in lovely balance and good quantity, the aforementioned toffee, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and light molasses (offering a faint burnt quality to the sugars) joined by a faint edge of berry and cherry fruit esters. Hops add a nice bitter pine backing, and the oak aging adds woody, perhaps nutty notes. Toast crust, biscuit, and cereal grains add earthiness. The aftertaste is a continuation of these grainy, woody notes, with a slight whiskey-like overtone, lingering for a decent while. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is decent fare, though it’s somewhat difficult to not compare the beer to a soft drink, especially one lightly spiked with whiskey. The sugars in here are quite nice, of course, and the light burnt/dark edge offered by the molasses prevents them from becoming cloying, but at the same time, does bring to mind a soft drink.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Sept 2013. Comes in a decorative box. Picked up a little while back from Trembling Madness in York. A limited edition beer for the winter months - I&G seem to be doing more one-offs like this recently.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark, clear reddish-brown colour with medium carbonation. Forms a small, off-white head of foam that lasts for a minute or two before dissipating. Aroma of fruity malt mingled with spirits and tannins. Notes of banana, fruity yeast esters, oak, vanilla, solventy alcohol (rum-like), brown sugar, aged malt and stewed leaves. Somewhat herbal and medicinal, with a lingering sweetness. Complex but not great.

Tastes of sweet, boozy malt with a woody, leafy character and a dry finish. Notes of oak, tannins, fruity yeast esters, banana, brown sugar/molasses, dark malt and stewed leaves. Slightly sweet with a fairly hot, alcoholic kick. A rather harsh woody/herbal bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly spicy, with prickly carbonation. A bit thin for the style - body could do with amping up somewhat. Quite astringent, with an aftertaste of bitter herbs/leaves, oak and molasses.

Interesting idea but subpar execution. It's surprisingly light-coloured for a porter; it more closely resembles a strong ale. The treacle doesn't seem to have much presence - just a hint in the flavour. Overly woody and boozy. What this needs is a sturdy malt backbone to which other taste components are added; instead we get the reverse. The result is unbalanced, in addition to having a watery body that doesn't match the flavour. It does have a degree of complexity going for it, but that doesn't make it a great beer. Nothing too special - no need to seek it out.

Photo of Brenden
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Part of the 2012 gift pack received for Christmas; notes are old but thorough.

The color is a sort of cherry wood red-brown, completely clear in the body though dark. It grows about a finger of loose off-white head that tightens up, shows pretty good retention, and leaves good spotting on the glass.
I feel as though not many Americans are familiar with treacle, but this beer's got it. As such, it offers more familiar notes of molasses and toffee, maybe with a little vanilla, certainly some caramel, some liqueur, and fruits within a substantial malts backbone. The nature of the beer is sweet, but it's not at all cloying. The flavor brings a little bit of the dryer aspects drawn from the wood than the aroma does.
As an English porter, while the body may seem light it's really not particularly, though there could be a little more to add some depth. otherwise it's got a meek bite and a pleasant smoothness.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear dark ruby with a 1 finger off white head. Some small visible carbonation. Leaves a little lace. Real nice color but very light for a porter.

S: Ripe barrel notes of whisky and scotch. A dark fruit sweetness possibly from the molasses. Yeasty and maltiness comes through too.

T: Solid porter backbone reminiscent of a Samuel Smith with a boozy barrel overtone. Nice natural yeast and smooth malt.

M: Thin bodied with mild carbonation. Leaves a nice lasting alcohol feel like a finer spirit.

Overall a great new taste from Innis and Gunn, glad they decided to tackle something darker especially for the winter.

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, called 'Winter Treacle Porter' in shipments to Canada, where it comprises part of the usual I&G giftpack, and is now sold separately, like batteries, I suppose.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a low fuzzy rise of lace around the glass as it subsides at an even pace.

It smells of dark, rummy sugar, banana liqueur, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate, a subtle oaken woodiness, some mildly astringent orchard fruitiness, and marshmallows. The taste is musty molasses - restrained in their sweetness - dark black fruit, a twinge of besotted wood graininess, nicely evolving Christmas cake notes, some additional soft, warming alcohol, and a touch of earthy hops.

The bubbles are generally quite tame, and barely supportive, the body a sturdy medium weight, just a tad clammy, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the molasses (I suppose that's actually treacle, but having no cultural or gustatory experience there, I'm going with what I know) doing well to not overstep its guest role - the fruit, hops, and booze all lending a hand.

Well, I&G usually leaves me with a case of the blahs, usually from the overwrought oak sweetness - here, however, that is leavened a fair bit, and the unusual sugar adjunct adds a touch of seasonal whimsy. Nothing revelatory, but worth a try, if only to check back in to this particular brewer's wares.

Photo of dacrza1
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

date reviewed: 1 February 2013...
glassware: innis & Gunn tulip...
occasion: prep for Quiz Bowl tournament at Phillipsburg...
appearance: velvet purple body that bolsters a soft, short, creamy white head; cloudy smears of head move down the glass...
aroma: sweet, almost minty (!) freshly syrupy scents; a complex bouquet that wine enthusaists would claim as their own....
palate: a bit of a burn at the finish; dryish and smoother than expected; the alcohol is palpable,, not put-offish...
taste: hops are winey, with a grapelike pucker; some toasted flavors and the malts are peaty; worthwhile investment...
overall: another strong offering for the oddity that is Innis & Gunn; this is fuller but more subdued than the others in their lineup--uniqueness is a draw,, but this brewery's substance has outstripped its niche and nuance ...

Photo of scootny
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A somewhat dense creamy head rising up from a firm pour. Clear chestnut brown fluid. Decent lacing here and there with a light covering remaining after a few minutes. Aromas of dark fruits and a bit of overripe banana. Sugary molasses and brown bread. Taste is much the same with a toffee tinged dark roasted malt flowing through. Notes of vanilla, a bit of oak, and a subdued mineral edge in the light, earthy hop bitterness. A touch of alcohol that is well integrated and gives a sweetness in the finish. A velvety feel over the tongue and a light syrupy consistency giving a nice weight. Carbonation is spot on with a mild effervescence. A vibrant and dynamic taste that brings many traditional flavors to the fore while melding them into a highly drinkable ale. A really nice overall beer for the colder months with a full flavor and satisfying drink experience.

Photo of Beelzebeer
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, as part of the christmas pack, served in branded glass

A - Dark coke brown, with minimal head, doesn't last long, with lacing.

S - Fruit esters, some banana, more like a weizenbock than a porter

T - Some biscuit, malt, butter, dates. Not very porter-y. Little booze, and surprised at it's ABV.

M - Medium-thin, a little "slick", with good amount of carbonation for style.

O - Not bad. Not overly great, but I wouldn't say no.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle (best before Sept 2013) poured into a Innis & Gunn branded fluted snifter (not sure how else to describe the glass).

Appearance: Clear Ruby red to deep copper color. Thin white head across top - tiny bit of persistent lacing (little islands) noted.

Smell: Tiny bit of molasses, some roasted malt, but mild overall.

Taste: Quite nice. Molasses, roasted malt, whiskey, some buttery toffee, and a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, but sometimes a little bit much. Sticky on the teeth, good thickness.

Overall / Drinkability: Really digging the color on this beer. Tasty, but surprisingly not as deep in aroma as you would expect with the taste. The barrel aging is here, but I think blends better with all the other flavors. I could see myself having another one this evening.

Photo of Kromes
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear dark brown/ruby color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

Caramel, vanilla, butter, oak, and alcohol notes in the aroma.

Very strong oak and butter flavors up front. These carry through to the finish with a weak caramel malt flavor. It finishes with a bitter alcohol bite and lingering oak.

A little bit thin at first, but the carbonation helps round it out. Slight burn in the finish.

Not bad....The oak flavor is very strong and overpowers the beer. Can't say that I was able to pick up anything other than a sweetness under the oak.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Uncanny I found this in the 10 dollar mix a six collection.

A - Very un-porter like it pours a deep dark hard wood brown with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head.
S - Not very much roast or molasses either. Getting the usual caramel,toffee, oak, and rum smells though.
T - Well it's not off putting I am getting some molasses but very little porter. Its like any of the other beers they make, malt forward with caramel and toffee, but it does have a hoppy twang that may be a shred of dark malt.

M - Slick, oily, medium to thick in body.

Overall totally better than the rum cast version but far from the original. Worth picking up for a fair price.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle from the LCBO. I used to be a big proponent of I&G, but in recent months I've begun to tire of their offerings - there's just too much overlap between most of them. I like oak and vanilla and all, but let's see some more variety, huh? I went out on a limb and purchased this one anyway.

Pours a deep, clear, brownish-amber colour with ruby highlights, topped with slightly more than two fingers of dense, creamy, light tan-coloured head that seeps away over the next few minutes. Besides the soapy film left behind on the surface, its only remnants are a 1 cm-wide collar of foam around the edge, and a continuous swath of lacing stuck to the glass above it. The aroma is very reminiscent of most I&G offerings, with the oak, vanilla and toffee notes making themselves very apparent, but with the extra addition of a sweet, syrupy, almost roasted note from the molasses/treacle.

Decent flavour, but as I suspected this comes across more as a tweaked version of their flagship oaked ale (or maybe their rum cask) than an entirely new beer. Caramel, toffee and oak come through at first, leading into the powerfully sweet molasses notes. Together, the treacle, with the dark fruit (dates or figs) and buttery feel, give off a bit of a maple syrup vibe. Finishes with some pleasant toffee sweetness and a weak hint of ethanol; the aftertaste is lingering oak and earthy hop dryness. Medium-bodied, with a decent thickness/chewiness to the body. Leaves a slick feel on the palate after swallowing, and the mild carbonation helps facilitate this. Not especially well-balanced, in that I could see the treacle sweetness becoming annoying after more than this serving.

I still feel that I&G makes good beer, but I have come to terms with the fact that they are a one trick pony. It's not that these oaked beers don't taste good, because they generally do. Rather, it's that they all kind of taste the same, with only a few discernible tweaks with each new specialty release. This bottle was a relatively cheap pick-up, and thank goodness for that because I might have skipped it if it were one of those bottle-in-a-carton deals that cost an extra 2-3 dollars.

Final Grade: 3.48, a serviceable B-. Innis & Gunn's Winter Treacle Porter is pretty much what I expected - a sweeter, boozier version of their base oaked ale. I&G fans with a sweet tooth may wish to give this one a try, but anyone who doesn't fall into that category (and isn't a big I&G homer to begin with) probably wouldn't be missing much if they skipped it. I could go either way on this one; I don't like it as much as their flagship oaked ale or their rum cask, but it's still a decent brew - just not one where the tweaks were tailored toward my preferences. The porter name is also fairly misleading, as I'd be more inclined to stuff this into the "English Strong Ale/Wee Heavy" box than the "stout/porter" one.

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear bottle... aaahhhH!!!, Well I grabbed this directly from the box, and it hasn't seen light since.

Pours a light fizzy head that looks like a 10% abv beer, fades fairly quickly, no lacing, mostly clear dark amber color with hint of molasses color to it, doesn't look anything like a porter.

Nose brings plenty of molasses, as promised, syrupy almost corn syrup like, light nutty like spices that seem to come with most Innis & Gunn beers I think from their yeast, and a bit of sweet toasty oak but not much, a touch of phenolic booze, caramel, toffee, a light earthy root like tannin aroma as well, and lots more candy toffee as it warms.

Taste starts with a light licorice root like flavor, then right into molasses and sweet malt flavors, syrupy candy corn syrup and molasses a plenty. Also bringing toffee and nutty flavors, and light caramel, a touch biscuit. Phenolic and slightly fusel booze really hammers, it reads at 7.4%abv, but between the head and flavor burn it seems more like 9+%. There is light toasty oak in there in the background, but not much, with a hint of wood dust flavor, and hints of alcohol esters too. Finish is drier but still a bit sticky sweet, another tingly warming booze kicks in right at the early finish, then lingering buttery flavors probably from the oak, little molasses and candy toffee lingering.

Mouth is med to slightly fuller bodied, little syrupy, nice carb, way too much booze.

Overall an OK beer, but not great. I do like the molasses flavors, and light barrel characters, as well as the toffee, candy, etc. However, way too boozy and phenolic, that light earthy root flavor is meh, not enough overall barrel and no hops. Also, this isn't anything remotely close to a porter, despite they even write porter on the label. But hey, at least it's not skunked.

Photo of Foam
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got a single bottle to try as it was on sale for $1.50 . Hard to pass up.
At first sniff and taste, reminds me of a "jack & coke" cocktail . Whiskey & cola, in other words... Definite soda-pop like sweet-ness and oak-barrel essences. The molasses is evident, as well . I'm eager to try Innis & Gunn's other offerings . Not a session beer for sure . Something to pair with beef or other heavy food as far as i'm concerned .

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to brown color with a light tan head. In the aroma, oaky and a sweet molasses stickiness. In the taste, oaky, a small stickiness and a note of roast. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sticky molasses and a small roast in the aftertaste. Oaky and sticky molasses, definitely adds more to an English porter.

Photo of HBBJ
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Reddish-orange. Very clear. Big-bubbled carbonation produced a medium-sized head, which faded quickly to a thin, fine layer of foam.

Smell: Big, complex aroma, with notes of oaked sherry, toffee, caramel, and alcohol sweetness. A slight metallic note.

Taste: Sweet treacle and oak explode across the palate, with just enough hop bitterness to keep it in check. Alcohol warmth. Long-lasting caramel and malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and surprisingly mouth-drying.

Overall: This is really more of an old ale than a porter, as it is totally lacking in chocolate malt aroma/flavor. However, it's a very good example of an old ale. The oaking gives it that aged character, and the use of molasses adds complexity.

Photo of IllNate
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appealing deep red copper with ample off white head and good retention. Aroma is familiar to other innis and gunn offerings with big oak and vanilla. Some darker roast pokes through but it misses the mark if they were aiming for a porter, not detecting the treacle they mention either. Taste is the highlight for me. Comes in with big oak and vanilla again, but dark roasts are more pronounced and detecting some of that treacle they were talking about. Could use a bit more bittering or dryness in my opinion, but it's fairly well balanced. Overall a little twist on what Innis and Gunn do well, but nothing revolutionary here.

Photo of mnrider
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. Clear Bottle.

A: Pours dark brown to ruby red. Small tan head. No retention with very little lacing.

S: Oak. Molasses. Malts. Wheat. Sugary. Dark sweet fruits.

T/M: Malty. Molasses. Oak. Toffee. Wheat. Alcohol. Warming. Medium bodied. Smooth.
The finish is mostly clean with a linger of oak and wheat.

O: Interesting Porter. Flavorful. Boozy. The oak aging really helps the taste. A little watery
and kind of one sided. Not sure I have more than one.

Cheers!

Photo of brureview
4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Innis and Gunn beer. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The key to this beer is serving it a the recommended temp: 39-42F(4-6C). I put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, and then in the fridge. The temp was at 41F.

The beer poured a nice dark tea color in a stein. A stein can bring out a fuller flavor with this style of beer.

Oak, (rum?) molasses in the smell which was more pronounced with a bit of warming.

Mouth feel was lightly carbonated.

Taste was excellent and complemented the aroma. Oak, molasses, (rum?) some tartness.

This is a damn good beer served in the right glass and at the right temp.

Photo of wordemupg
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip 8/12/12

A clear dark amber with no visible bubbles and just a thin film for foam that leaves a lone patch of lace

S brown sugar, molasses, and banana bread mix with some faint woody notes and vanilla, smells pretty good

T some coco and a little more wood then the smell but I felt the nose had more going on and I was liking the banana bread I'm not finding in the mouth

M has some body but not enough bubbles to back it up, a little slick and a woody, spicy, earthy finish lingers

O not quite a porter in my opinion but not a bad beer if you ignore the classification, well concealed booze and a solid nose

I'll admit I don't know what Treacle is, or how to pronounce Treacle for that matter. Stay in school kids, stay in school.... Hey at least I'm a role model

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Translucent copper with an ephemeral, tawny head; not a good look to this, as it's a porter.

S: Rumcake, butter, prunes, and dark cherries. A bit better than its looks.

T: And it gets progressively better. Boozy cherries, rum notes, grassy hops, and amaretti cookies (almond). Some dull, charred malted barley on the finish. Still not very true to porter form.

M: This beer is definitely a stepcousin of the traditional porter, and its shunning of tradition continues in the feel. Watery, a touch of spiciness, and some light carbonation.

Photo of srhoadsy
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured slightly chilled into a fluted tulip.

Pours a rich amber color with about half an inch of airy, light tan head that slowly recedes leaving a thin surface layer with moderate lacing.

Aromas of carmelized sugars, vanilla, dried fruits. As it warmed I also picked up a light aroma of leather.

Flavors follow through the aromas. I also noticed some light smoky and mineral background flavors. I did pick up on the banana(ester) notes that other reviewers mentioned, but did not find them quite as cloying as they did.

Medium body with light to moderate carbonation. Lingering aftertaste.

Overall a nice beer. Not my favorite by I&G but a nice sipper.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best By SEP2013

A: Pours a mahogany color with almost no head that quickly reduces to absolutely nothing

S: Lightly roasted malts, toffee, bready malts, banana, molasses, lightly spicy, light oak, and vanilla

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with huge notes of toffee and banana, followed by lightly roasted malts, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses, and oak

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: I usually don't expect or see such huge banana notes in a porter, but it works with this beer. The 39 days in barrels imparts a light oak which compliments the beer nicely. At less than $2 for a single, there's no reason why you shouldn't try this beer

Photo of BlackhammerOhio
4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Nice winter beer even after 3yrs.

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Innis & Gunn Winter Beer 2012 from Innis & Gunn
83 out of 100 based on 133 ratings.