Innis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye Ale
Innis & Gunn

Innis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye AleInnis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye Ale
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Rye Beer
3.65 | pDev: 6.58%
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom
Retired (no longer brewed)
Innis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye AleInnis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye Ale
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 16
Photo of Sammy
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One dimension smoked maple, a touch of base. Nothing objectionable, but not too drinkable either. LCBO special release. 500 mls best shared with at least 5 people I think.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Love the tube that this comes in and the simple label....perfect for us Canadians on our 150th! This pours a heavily dark reddish color with brown and even some blood orange hues in the background. The head is lovely....being a solid finger thick and has excellent is tan/toffee colored. This is a mainly opaque brew and I can see some mild columns of carbonation rising to the top of the liquid. Lacing is quite good....good and thick with picturesque formations clinging to the side of the glass! A pretty decent looking brew!

S- Right out of the bottle, the aroma is actually quite brutal! It smelled of rot and clearly needed some air! Upon pouring and having some oxygen, this has some toffee, vanilla, oak, fall spices, and not much else. It has an overall effect of staleness and dry grain. Unfortunately there is no maple sweetness and the thistle is weedy and not that great. Rye grains provide dryness and this reminds me of a dusty beer aged in wood shavings. My friend quite liked this, saying he got the sweet maple, creme, and toffee and vanilla extract....perhaps a tinge of the orange mentioned on the packaging....he says the rye blends very well to balance everything out.

T- The flavors are almost opposite of what I feel the aromas lead on to starts out sweet, with caramel/toffee/molasses notes, with the body showing much of the rye grain dryness with oak, char and dark heavily roasted malts providing the backbone. The thistle adds an astringent bitterness along with a hint of dried orange rind. Not sure really what to make of this on the palate....maple is lacking as well.

M/O- Light/Medium mouthfeel and the carbonation is quite nice....being soft and plentiful overall. The drinkability is modest....I wouldn't go after this one again and don't think this experiment wasn't a homerun....second base was stolen by the opposing team only. Hopefully next year the Canada Day series makes a return.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle-in-a-tube purchased at the LCBO; best before Jan 2022 and served slightly chilled. Given the far-off expiry date, I had been considering holding onto this one for a while... but even with the bottle conditioning, I'm skeptical that a less-than 6% rye ale would really benefit all that much from a stint in the cellar.

Pours crystal clear and effervescent; it's deep maroon in hue, featuring more than an inch of frothy, lumpy, beige-coloured head. Retention is fantastic - even beyond the ten minute mark, there's still a thick, creamy cap and collar in place, with a robust coat of sticky lace still in the process of being laid down. Looks amazing. The aroma is malt-forward, blending toffee, oak wood, fig fruit and rye bread together with muted hints of maple syrup and some leafy, floral, vaguely herbal notes - which may be derived from either the hops or the thistle (or both).

A balanced, dignified quaff - definitely not an attention-grabbing sort of brew, with the flavour profile falling somewhere between an ESB, a Scottish ale and I&G's usual house flavour. The rye flavour is more noticeable here than on the nose, taking the form of a bready, lightly spicy note at the front end of the sip, overlapping with toffee, clean oak wood and maple syrup sweetness. Suggestions of fig and plum mid-sip are soon brushed aside by the leafy, floral hops and muddled orange citrus flavours of the tail end, with just a touch of vanilla and oak persisting into the dry-ish aftertaste. Medium body, with relatively low carbonation that weakly nudges the palate; the overall texture is fairly generous in weight and satisfying to sip, with a smooth, soft mouthfeel. Pretty good, but I've had better from I&G.

Final Grade: 4.05, an A-. I appreciate this brewery's effort to commemorate Canada's 150th anniversary, but Innis & Gunn's Maple & Thistle Rye Ale still leaves something to be desired. While my opinion seems to be a bit more, shall we say, 'generous' than that of the average BA, in the end I have to agree with the consensus: that this is underwhelming, mostly because it's a Limited Edition beer and is actually not all that much more interesting than their flagship oaked beer. The fact that it costs a sawbuck per pint (give or take, depending on your locale) also does not help out much, at least in terms of my odds of revisiting it. Nevertheless, a good selection for my 1600th review - I enjoyed this beer and wouldn't discourage others from trying it at least once... but once is probably enough.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, rich, brown/ruby red body, with a sand coloured head that's thick and has great retention. It's a beauty.
Sweet roasted malt on the nose, with clove and cinnamon, almost like pumpkin spice. Very mild.
More of the spices on the palate, more nutmeg, and a big malty backbone, sweet without being sugary (somewhat surprisingly for an I&G). Heat and hops in the finish, and it's feeling herbaceous. The flavour evolves over time, that herbal note taking the lead over the spice. Medium-heavy body, medium carbonation.
This was a delicious tribute to Canada's 150! Not nearly as sweet as I expected, although also little sign of maple. I guess the herbal taste was the thistle. Well done, wish it was a regular.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1,200th review! 500 ml bottle that came packaged in a cylindrical cannister. purchased for a steep $9.95 per cannister. With the 150th anniversary of Canada right around the corner, this seemed like an appropriate beer for my last milestone beer before the anniversary. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - A dark ruby colored beer, great clarity and capped with two fingers of light tan head. Moderate retention although a thin cap stays virtually the duration of the glass and minimal lacing.

Smell - Somewaht metallic like an old stale Euro Pale Lager, but redeemed in part by some spices from the rye and some heat. Leafy hops on the nose too.

Taste - Initially a subtle taste of maple sweetness then some heat and spice from the rye. Earthy hops then some more garininess pulls everything together. Improves as it warms considerably and very different from Innis & Gunn's standard fare. Wood starts showing up in droves at the end.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, expressive carbonation and drying finish. Unique and lacking the sticky sweetness of vanilla that is common in other beers. A pleasant change.

Overall - Good, maybe even very good to the right person, but a little short of the expectations. Somewhat muddled, lacking a good nose and everything never quite fits together the way I thought it might. A little too subdued for my liking given some of the boldness of other beers out there by these guys. Nonetheless, I appreciate the intent to make this a fantastic and special beer for Canada's 150th.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle (in a nice cardboard tube) - aged in 150 barrels for 150 days, to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday, all because of the love this country apparently shows towards this UK brewing concern.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with three Fat Bastard fingers of puffy, rocky, and silken tan head, which leaves some extensive limestone cave lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of subtle maple syrup, semi-sweet grainy and bready caramel malt, weak rye cereal notes, muddled citrus fruit, vanilla-laden nougat, some weird earthy and musty floral thing, and fairly tame leafy, weedy, and musky green hop bitters. The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, mild bittersweet cocoa powder, a sort of rye-forward barrel woodiness, musty yeast, faint maple sap, ethereal domestic citrus rind, and more musky, floral, and herbal verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is active in its palate-probing frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess settling in once things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, the mixed base maltiness and spectral maple character contending with a lingering musty floral essence.

Overall, I gotta say, this does not taste like yer typical Innis & Gunn joint - no big caramel/malt bomb here. However, there is almost a 'too many cooks spoil the broth' thing happening, in that the two national guest ingredients get lost in the mire of rye, hop, and wood. Ah well, a pleasant enough effort, nonetheless, and their hearts are at least in the right place.

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Innis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye Ale from Innis & Gunn
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 16 ratings