Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer | Innis & Gunn

364 Reviews
Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged BeerInnis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer

Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 10-21-2007

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Reviews: 364 | Ratings: 1,355
Photo of DavidBart
1.33/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25


I've tried to be as objective in my individual scores so the accumulative score might appear higher than what it should. WTFX2?

I picked one up because I had one of their glasses early on in my beer exploation days. I figured, hey... they gave me a free glass - I'll give their beer a shot. Although, even their bottle never captivated me.

Not to be redundant but WTF? It doesn't even taste like a beer. Perhaps an acquired taste?? Sweet, sparkling, cider? WTF? It's just wrong. Sorry Innis. All that Oak Aging gone to waste. Not for me, although I know some must appreciate you.

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Photo of CountJustinian
2.1/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Whoa, where to start... It looked OK, with a deep amber brownish hue, but it was all downhill from there. Musky, woodsy, eye-watering smell. Overly sweet taste combined with the chewy and slick mouthfeel are what you'd expect if motor oil were blended with honey and maple syrup. Couldn't even finish the glass; stay away.

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Photo of djmichaelk
2.13/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle into a 7venth Sun snifter.

A - Pours a nice, clear reddish-auburn. Decent finger or so of head, but not much retention and only wisps of lacing on the glass. Inauspicious start.

S - Meh. Smells like a bland scotch ale. Maybe just the slightest hint of vanilla and spice, sweet malt, and sherry.

T - More meh. Just an average scotch brown ale, with little to no sign of the rum barrel that is featured so prominently on the label multiple times. I'd call it plain vanilla, except some vanilla would liven the taste of this beer up quite a bit. It's sweet in the wrong places, bitter in the wrong places. Disappointing to say the least.

M - Very thin and almost cloying in its sweetness. Not at all what I'd expect from a beer in this category.

O - I honestly do not understand the above-average scores from others for this beer. I've already had a superlative rum barrel-aged scotch ale this month -- CCB BA Big Sound. This beer bears no resemblance to that one. It barely tastes like a wee heavy, and I have no idea why they bother putting the "rum barrel" information on the label. Not worth the time, the money, or the calories. Down the drain it goes...

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.17/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a surprisingly dark rich amber, topped by more head than I got from the last two Innis & Gunn's I tried and with tons more lacing.

The aroma is much more subdued than the regular Oak Aged Beer I just had, almost more like a Sauvignon Blanc mixed with Coke.

The taste is sweet bread, sour plums, with raisins and a sweet sugary rum finish and again, it has almost more of the air of a sweet white wine mixed with a rum and Coke about it than it does a beer. Odd.

Thin mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation.

You know what? Forget it. I just find, of the three I have had, I&G beers are too sweet and the oak finishing brings nothing to the party for me.

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Photo of patm1986
2.22/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Clear Glass 750ml

Auburn with a half-inch grey head that exits very quickly. after a few moments, the beer just sits flatly in glass.

phenolic burst, ginger, vanilla, some oak, a bit of anise, faintly orange but more an orange extract or oil than the whole fruit, slight cinnamon and pepper. if i were blinded and held this to my nose, i'd probably think soda, like a mix of stewart's and sprite.

tasting some wood, that orange extract, ginger, cinnamon, phenol acidity, then it halts and finishes muted and rounds out with a taste like plastic.

it flattens quickly and becomes watery. it still holds a minute amount of carbonation on the swallow for a slight burn and tingle, but it does not last.

i couldn't finish it. it's unfortunate, but it just didn't work for me. it smells like an overly sweetened soft drink, tastes like cheap dark rum watered down with a vanilla cola and is flat after several sips and swirls. sorry.

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Photo of justdropit
2.28/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

As a beer, this pretentious option is a bit disappointing. As a rum, this option is light and disapponting.
Its presentation is pretty good though and it's only sold in establishments where it's promoted skillfully.

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Photo of corby112
2.3/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber color with golden orange edges and a two finger frothy, off-white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with grassy hops dominating the nose. Floral with some pine and sweet malt but not much of a barrel presence. only subtle oak but not much else and not a trace of rum.

Medium bodied and much more complex than the aroma suggests. The barrel makes more of a presence here but is still pretty tame. Some dry oak with some spicy rum note but these flavors are subtle allowing the elements of the base beer to come through. Sweet caramel malt backbone with some biscuit, nut and toffee countered by dry, grassy hops without being bitter. Dry finish.

Overall this beer is a disappointment for me. The barrel aging didn't do much to affect the flavor add little oak and hardly any rum. The ABV is nicely masked but it's just kind of boring. I'm glad I found a smaller bottle so I didn't have to dump the majority of a bomber.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.31/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a really clear dark red with a nice foamy cream colored head. Head is gone in a flash and leaves no lacing.

S- Smell is very very sweet and almost like cream soda. Picking up vanilla, wood and rum. Nothing really beer like.

T- Again very sweet, too sweet. Vanilla, wood and rum really come through. Nothing else really.

M- Fairly light in body and carbonation.

O- This one was more like cream soda than beer.

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Photo of elricorico
2.43/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Looks pretty good, it is a deep golden brown with two fingers of foamy beige head. The head has some staying power and also leaves plenty of lacing.

Rum jumps out to the nose, as well as a vanilla-like oak. Throw in a bit of caramel malt impression, and the whole thing smells like what I would imagine a rum and vanilla coke would smell like. Everything is sweet.

Rum trumps beer in the flavour category. Everything malty becomes cola-like from being associated with the rum. Not my thing at all.

Mouthfeels is alright, a bit of stickyness and the carbonation is light but lively.

If I could taste more of the beer this might be alright. As it is, I can't really find any pleasure in it.

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Photo of Immortale25
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottleneck says May 2013.

A- Pours a translucent reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that bears little retention time before vanishing to nearly no surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Skunky aroma with a hint of brown sugar. Damnit.

T- Lifeless. Just a tinge of brown sugar and alcohol and then just skunk.

M- Watery with a medium body and low carbonation.

O- I've had two Innis & Gunn offerings before: the Irish whiskey cask aged and one other of the rum cask. At first, I refused to take a chance on them because of their clear glass bottles but, when someone recommended the Irish Whiskey cask to me, I bought one from Total Wine and it was great. Then, when at my local beer bar recently, the bartender recommended the Rum cask to me and I decided to give it another go. Once again, great. Even better than the Irish whiskey. So, when I saw a 4-pack of it at my local bottle shop and the best by date said May 2013, I went for it. This beer is obviously light struck and I regret wasting my money. I don't understand why this brewery insists on using clear glass especially when they're exporting this beer such a far distance. I will never buy Innis & Gunn's products again if they continue this trend. Drainpour.

I decided to give another bottle in the 4-pack a try to see if it was just a bad bottle:

A- Basically the same but with a considerably higher amount of carbonation.

S- Wet cardboard aroma that's still a bit skunky but there's some faint brown sugar and a tinge of alcohol underneath all the off aromas.

T- Neutral flavor of wet cardboard at first that gives way to some booze and the slightest amount of rum sweetness.

M- Pretty much the same but with a tad more zing from the carbonation.

O- Still certainly lightstruck and a little oxidized but this one (and the other two in the pack) were actually drinkable and didn't result in a drainpour. I'm gonna consolidate the scores from the two bottles (first one got an even 2, second one got an even 3) and give it a 2.5. Obviously these guys have serious quality control issues. They really need to start considering shelling out the extra capital to invest in colored bottles. At least go for green glass if not brown, guys....

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Photo of peensteen
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep amber/mahogany colour, minimal white soapy head, no lacing. Smell is sweet caramel like, sugary, rum, light traces of oak and vanilla and slight alc. Taste is really sweet with notes of rum, caramel, slight alcohol, little vanilla, sugary malt. Light mouthfeel and at times syrupy, fairly high carbonation. Not very good really, it reminds me a little of a poor quality barley wine, ABV noticeable, I cant think of a single thing the oak contributes to this.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.56/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear chestnut color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. Retention is okay, but a consistent ring of lacing on the glass gives it rock-solid aesthetic appeal. (4)

Smell: I'm stunned how mild the skunk is. To be fair, it was kept in a dark, cold-ass room, so there wasn't much of a chance for it to get lightstruck. As expected, caramel dominates the nose. There are additional notes of fruits (cherry) and brown sugar, along with a touch of hopping (first signs of skunking?!?!) The rum seems to accentuate and define the caramel instead of sticking out on its own. Generally, it's an acceptable aroma. (3)

Taste: It starts off with gentle hints of both caramel and brown sugar. While it doesn't smell skunked, the clear bottles causes the hops to be lightstruck, seemingly accentuating their intensity. I'm only getting slight touches of rum on the finish - Batchelor's Delight this is not. The more I sip this, the more it hits me: this is really buttery. Not in that Pilsner Urquell way I like, but rather as a distracting flavor that ruins the balance. A pity. (2)

Mouthfeel: It doesn't seem to have the richness of other Scotch ales; inversely, it's drier and more drinkable than others in the style. The wood tannins and the hops give this a dry finish. Carbonation isn't particularly vibrant. (3)

Overall: Clear bottles are absolutely inexcusable, so I'm docking points. While some okay notes exist, the flaws (the buttery, diacetyl-laden nature; the hints of skunkiness) tank it almost completely. Yeah, I don't want to revisit this one in the future.

EDIT: This isn't in clear bottles anymore (thank Jebus), so I'll return the points I docked. Still, I won't be getting this one again. (2.5)

2.56/5: Dat diacetyl doe

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Photo of gfreed
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Innis & Gunn presents its nicely colored beers in pretty packaging but doesn't seem to pay much attention to what's inside the bottle-- at least, that's what I've consistently found. This one is right in line with the others I've tried: gorgeous color but weak aroma; rather flat body and bland taste. I detected some buttery oak in the flavor but there wasn't much in the way of scotch ale-- for me, this was just too light and thin. The Kool-Aid aftertaste was, I suppose, the rum part. Pass.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a dark red color with a finger of off-white head that dies quickly with no lace to speak of.

S: Hot sauce, butter, tropical fruits, and even a little chocolate.

T: Caramel, rum, odd fruity flavors, banana, rice, and a peppery bite.

M: The body is slightly dry with medium thickness and average carbonation.

O: The attempted rum flavors taste like Texas Pete and make this tough to finish.

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Photo of timtwoface
2.65/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Admittedly this is one of my first ventures into the Scotch Ale style, so I might come around in time. I guess what came across as being a big negative for me with this beer was that I could just taste the alcohol a bit too much for my taste, and all other tastes seemed minimal by comparison.

Just not my style, I suppose.

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Photo of Pahn
2.66/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml clear bottle into Duvel tulip. No freshness info.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch, fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Pours a translucent deep ruby and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Obviously and severely skunked. Smell gives me a wave of college party nostalgia.

Some rum and oak underneath. Seems like there's good happening here, but it's hard to get motivated to sniff a beer that smells like skunk.

Taste: First sip: sweet rum, some candy-like malt flavor, oak, *heavy skunk*, some more oak, leading to a sugary vanilla oak and skunk aftertaste.

Not worth bothering with any more description. The rum and scotch ale combo is arguable, but this beer doesn't really argue for either side; it argues against releasing beer in clear glass bottles.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good, enhancing my annoyance with this beer. Medium bodied, not really juicy or watery, but refreshing. Good carbonation.

Overall: This is probably a good beer when it's not light-struck.

Sidenote: I have a policy not to buy beer in clear bottles. A friend gave me this after he tried it and said it tasted like shit. I don't agree; I think there's worthwhile beer here, but it's destroyed by the brewery's dumb choice.

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Photo of Jcarpx
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer looks and smells fantastic. Mouth feel is great, a little bitey but smooth. The taste kills the beer for me though, revolting and offensive. Had to give it away. I love other innis and Gunn beers but this one is not for me.

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Photo of dowen17
2.74/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark whiskey colored amber with a 2 finger off white head. Head retention is low and there isn't much lacing down the glass. It's very clear.

On the nose is vanilla and oak. Very complex. I get a different scent every time I go in for another whiff. I'm picking up on a fruit an I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe dried sour apple? It also has a kind of yeast-y puky smell in the background that I really can't get my mind off of when sniffing.

At first sip I taste vanilla and toffee and some spice. Very sweet up front. When letting the beer sit in my mouth I pick up flavors of apple. Hints of honey also come through as the beer warms. As the taste evolves the oak from the barrel begins to take over your palate. The end is all barrel and alcohol but its surprisingly smooth for the flavor.

Although the taste isn't bad, I feel as if the taste of the barrel and the rum really overcomes any beer flavor. You could buy a cheap liquor and achieve most of the flavors you'd get from this beer, just with more of a burn going down.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Light carbonation which was expected. Spicy as well.

This is a good beer. Nothing too special to my taste other than the flavors from the barrel. I could stand to drink it again but I doubt I would buy it. Definitely worth a try if you're into liquor though.

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Photo of
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - brownish red with a finger of off-white head that dissipates somewhat, but lasts. Dark but clear.

Smell - Dominated by sweet malt flavours - toffee, brown sugar, butter - with hints of wood and, no surprise, rum.

Taste - again, mostly sweet with buttery diacetyl. Not much in the way of bitterness or balance. Almost sickly sweet.

Mouthfeel is slick, almost oily.

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Photo of donmonkey1
2.82/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cola brown, good carbonation. The whitish/tan head was about 1/2" thick and receeded way to fast and left little or no lacing.

Smell: Weak, weak, rum.

Taste: Sweet, and more like rum that beer.

It tastes too much like rum and not enough like beer. If you like rum this is a beer you should definately try. It's not something I would drink again.

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Photo of Derek
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Best before Dec 2009... a little late.

A: Copper with an off-white head, nice ring of retention, some good lace. (Plenty of yeast floaties left in the bottle).

S: Initial rummy aroma subsides to a tart fruitiness.

T: The barrel bugs definitely made this a little sour. Dark raisins, sour cherries, brown sugar, caramel, light spicing and bitterness.

M: Moderate body has a light acidity.

D: Below average for the style.

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Photo of RollBeerTide
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this brew in an Innis & Gunn variety 3 pack that included an I&G glass. Poured into a standard pint.

A- Lighter caramel, almost watery-cola color. Produced a beautiful 2-3 finger off-white head that faded rather quickly. Leaves no lacing at all.

S- Malty, sweet smells going on here. The nose is overall pretty mild. Nothing seems to overpower- faint rum and slightly stronger oaky scents are almost lost in the malt.

T- The first sip is very interesting. Sweetness dominates initially, with some caramel coming through from the roast. The earthy oak flavor comes in next in concert with the rum. Very unique (admittedly, this is my first beer in this liquor cask style). A slight warming sensation from the alcohol sets in at the finish. I initially rated the Taste a 3.5, but as the beer has warmed each sip is becoming less enjoyable. I thought the suggested serving temp. is a bit too cold, but it is making sense now. With about 25% of my beer remaining, all the incipient uniqueness and intrique is gone and now it just tastes like somebody spiked my Newcastle with Bacardi.

M- Somewhat pedestrian- I expected more. It isn't bad, but seems rather light. I was looking for a more viscous mouthfeel. Carbonation is nice and appropriate.

Overall- I really want to love this beer, but I can't. But I can't hate it, either. It seems to me that the balance is off. The rum flavor, sweetness and alcohol begin to dominate soon after the pour. If the ABV was lower I could see this being a very interesting session beer. But unlike most brews I enjoy, this becomes less complex as it warms. Certainly give it a try- I've never had anything like it. 3/5 for me. It's making me crave a 90 Shilling Ale from my favorite brewpub.

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Photo of NForr
2.84/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Dieu du ciel small tulip glass. Minor head retention but dissipates quickly. Beautiful dark brown, slightly auburn color. A really good looking beer.

smells of oak and vanilla as most of the I&G, but with some cherry, brown sugar, and well... rum of course.

Taste is oakey, fruity, with vanilla and a lot of alcohol. Although I'm enjoying the warming feeling, I find the taste of booze a little overpowering.

Body is medium/light, nice on the tongue.

Overall the beer is decent, but not great. I feel he alcohol overpowers the rest of the beer, but I do enjoy the rum flavor and as usual, the oak tastes and aromas.

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Port Brewing tasting glass.

A- Nice copper color with a 2 finger light tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- Caramel, some spice, do not get much rum aromas.

T- Lightly toasted malts, with a slight sourdough taste.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O- Not sure how long this is "cask" aged. Possibly 1 day?

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Photo of Ralphus
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My first beer aged in rum barrels and I can sort of understand why it's not massively popular. Anyone who has tried adding some rum to their beer will know it's not exactly a marriage made in heaven. In fact it generally tastes plain awful. But this isn't rum and beer it's rum barrell infused beer.

However it was with some trepidation that I opened a bottle of rum cask I&G from a gift pack. It's was darker than I expected - a rich brown that you can barely see through. And the smell was a little lighter than I was expecting, it's even pleasant. Just a light sweetness mixed with an earthy alcohol smell. Not bad.

The taste is just odd though. Sweet, sour and alcoholic all at the same time. I guess if there's one favorable adjective it might be complex? But not in a good way.. more a 'wtf?' way.

Mouthfeel is fine but drinkability is low. Having more than one of these is doable but not something I'm looking forward to.

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Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer from Innis & Gunn
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,355 ratings.
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