Innis & Gunn Bourbon Pale Ale
Innis & Gunn

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Pale AleInnis & Gunn Bourbon Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,086
Ranked #35,663
3.65 | pDev: 8.22%
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom
Innis & Gunn Bourbon Pale AleInnis & Gunn Bourbon Pale Ale
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 22 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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thehyperduck from Canada

3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Aug 2016 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a clear golden colour, capped off with one finger of foamy, bone-white head that fizzles itself out over the next 2 minutes or so. There are few remnants, beyond a sickly-thin collar and a some bubbly islands on the surface. Light oak and butterscotch sweetness on the nose, with hints of floral hops, orange zest, candied apricot and vanilla. Not bad.

The taste isn't off-putting, but it's a definite rehash of this brewery's usual tropes. Butterscotch and caramelized sugar come through initially, with oak and vanilla overshadowing the weakly citrusy hops and floral notes that crop up in the back end. There's a touch of bourbon-esque warmth in the boozy-sweet aftertaste; this one punches a little above its 6% weight class in terms of alcohol presence. Medium in body, with soft carbonation levels that result in a mostly smooth mouthfeel. One bottle is drinkable enough, but it's not something I'd want multiples of.

Final Grade: 3.38, a B-. Call them what you want - consistent, predictable, or whatever - Innis & Gunn has found and exploited a profitable niche in the beer market. I don't begrudge them for beating the hell out of that dead horse with an oaken bat, but from a personal standpoint, I think it might be time for a bit more innovation. Their oaked pale and blonde ales tend to be my least-favourite of their labels, and this Bourbon Pale Ale is another meh-worthy entry to tack onto the end of that list. If you're not a devout I&G fan, this one can safely be skipped - there are plenty of other bourbon-themed beers worth trying out there right now.

Jan 06, 2016
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330ml bottle from Tesco (£1.65):
This one was an incredibly sweet beer and to be honest I'm struggling to think why it would be labelled as an American pale ale, there was none of the hops and floral flavours that you'd expect to me backing up the malts with such a beer. It was a drinkable offering but it was also a little overdone and basic with everything else struggling to be noticed really. I did detect a nice mix of oak and bourbon around the middle and the usual butterscotch and vanilla from Innis & Gunn was present but in truth it wasn't the best from them sadly.

Dec 18, 2015
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Mlkluther from Canada

3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This was not a very good pale ale. The barrel aging did nothing to add to the pale ale style. There was a time when I thought I liked Innis and Gunn. That time has passed.

Dec 16, 2015
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TheBierdimpfe from Canada

3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear dark gold color with a moderate amount of activity. Weak white 1 finger head that last for 5 minutes and making poor legs. Flavors of faint bourbon, sweet grains, lemon, oak, and herbal hops. Sweet with a little sharpness. Slick full body with a perfect amount of zesty carbonation. Light and short finish, ending with a dry alcoholic feel of wood, malty sugary tongue coat, and a faint smoky salmon like aftertaste. Overall above average quality craft: decent flavors (a little off) and good freshness, a little too much sugar and too much syrup, nice bourbon aged feel and well intensified.

Dec 02, 2015
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle served cold into a tulip. Purchased from the LCBO for $3.55 CDN. Yet another I&G iteration has come across the ocean to our shelves here in Ontario. Bourbon Pale Ale, but an APA? Color me intrigued.

Appearance - Clear and rich golden color with orange tinges. A small wispy head is formed, there's not much in the way of staying power. A tiny soapy collar is the only remnant that lingers beyond a minute. Carbonation doesn't appear plentiful.

Smell - Nose is straightforward, there's certainly some bourbon aromas going on with some herbal and slightly citrusy aromas taking on a background role first, but gradually moving to the forefront as the beer warms.

Taste - Some bourbon-lite flavors, some woodsy notes of oak. The traditional vanilla in I&G's offerings remains pretty silent. Some mild bitterness and definitely some earthy hops, but its all rather subdued. Sweetness on the finish being a combination of bourbon and vanilla again. Improves as it warms, showcasing the bourbon.

Mouthfeel - Sticky and carbonation is actually quite expressive, but something doesn't quite work here, maybe the beer is too cold, but the carbonation just doesn't coordinate with the flavors on my tastebuds.

Overall - Another decent offering with a pretty good nose, but the end product isn't quite as cohesive as it could be. Worth a shot if you are a big Innis & Gunn fan.

Nov 25, 2015
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ChrisCage from Canada

4.36/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- This one pours a clear golden hue with a head that starts out promising...two fingers thick but is dissipates rather quickly into a ring and thin film over the beer. Carbonation appears to be fairly mild but rises quickly to the top and lacing is modest at best....This isn't the best looking brew but it's not the worst.

S- Initial bourbon blast with undertones of oak cask, corn mash, toasty nuts and almost a burnt brown sugar. There is an Earthy vanilla smell about this as well as muted caramel. A real treat to the nostrils for sure!

T- A real blend of flavors happening here. Starts with toasty oak, followed by vanilla/caramel sweetness. The bourbon booziness is muted and comes across more flavorful and sweet than i would have initially expected...some sort of mild spice that is somewhat floral/woody dryness hits the palate right at the end...a very nice tasting beer overall!

M/O- Tight bubbles that allow the full flavor profile to exude itself onto the palate are present in this almost medium bodied ale! This is a great beer with good taste...not your ex father in laws kinda brew...unique in the marketplace....another one that I&G has hit out of the ballpark!

Sep 30, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada

3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle, an American-style pale ale, made with Amarillo and Cascade hops, and then given the usual I&G treatment of 'American oak infused with Bourbon'. Holding breath...

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden amber colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, weakly foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of ocean swell splash lace around the glass as things quickly recede.

It smells of, predictably, a strong caramel and vanilla sweetness, muddled leafy, weedy, and floral hops, and a twinge of metallic alcohol. The taste is more bready caramel malt, further overly sweet vanilla, wet wood chips, a drier biscuity toffee essence, a suggestion of the spicy alcohol that once was, and may yet be again, and a very tame earthy, weedy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is pretty low-key in its barely perceptible frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and a tad clammy in its overwrought smoothness, not to mention that extra bit of treacly creaminess. It finishes sweet, but in a more moderated manner than usual, as perhaps the hops have a certain more appreciable role here than the norm.

Yeah, not much new to really go on about here, as the house Innis & Gunn wood aging scheme doesn't seem to have to go far to obliterate this attempt at rolling out a hoppy, American-style pale ale. If you like the typical offerings from this brewery, then you're certain to dig this, and the opposite duly applies, especially in this correspondent's case.

Aug 09, 2015
Innis & Gunn Bourbon Pale Ale from Innis & Gunn
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 22 ratings