Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer | Innis & Gunn

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Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked BeerInnis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer

Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 03-01-2008

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Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 102
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 330ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Jan 2013. Picked up from a supermarket some time back and stored in my garage. A lightly oaked beer; the label states that it was matured in casks for 37 days.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear golden colour with plentiful carbonation. Forms a large creamy head of white foam that remains for a few minutes before settling. Aroma of strong vanilla, toffee, oak, tannins and stewed leaves. Slightly sweet, with a mild whiff of booze in the background. Faintly reminiscent of whisky - unusual but not entirely appealing.

Tastes of distinctly oaked beer with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of oak, vanilla, toffee/caramel, a hint of brown sugar, tannins, stewed leaves, cardboard and overcooked veg. Faintly sweet but also astringent. A mild solventy twang in the background, followed by a restrained, earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and mildly spicy, with decent carbonation. The body is OK for a comparitively 'light' beer. Dries the palate and leaves an aftertaste of oak, vanilla and stewed leaves.

Different, but not brilliant. The oak/vanilla/toffee/stewed leaves combo comes on a bit too strong and spoils the character for me - it just isn't balanced. The flavours also seem forced and artificial; there ought to be some 'beer' flavour in there. I admire I&G's efforts to bring variety to the beer world, however in this case the oak and blonde beer don't work amazingly well together. The wood dominates the flavour - perhaps showcasing it was the intention? I reckon a dark oaked beer would be better; I can imagine oak and roasted malt flavours marrying nicely. At any rate, this is an odd sideshow and not a particularly worthy one. Try it for the novelty factor then move along.

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Photo of Serge
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. Clear deep golden color with small white head. Malty aroma with explicit oak flavor. Taste is caramel malty, oak / vanilla is a bit more decent than in other Innis & Gunn brews, but still typically present, adding a woody dry note, therefore narrowing the taste in a way. Nevertheless there’s room for a slightly hoppy finish.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bottle. Purchased from Plonk in Canberra. Clear beer, too, when it comes to it: a pale golden hue, with a frothy, but bubbly head of white. Carbonation seems quite languid, and the body has a little heft to it, despite being very fluid. Lacing is patchy and slightly sudsy. Not bad overall.

Nose is mildly oaky, with a touch of vanilla coming through above a generic English malt character and a touch of slightly skunky organic hops. Overall, it's mostly sweet, with that oak giving it a port-like character and the malt leaving plenty of heavy-duty caramel. Not bad for it, though.

Taste is smooth and light, with more of that pleasant caramel malt character capped with some port or sherry cask characters on the back giving a slight bite to the continuing sweetness. There's a touch of something slightly peppery and a little astringent on the back, perhaps a little restrained booze, but it works nicely with the rest of the palate. Feel is clear and smooth.

Overall, this is very solid stuff. Oddly, I think the oak works better in this "lightly-oaked" version than it does in some of their more oak-forward beers. This is probably the best I've had from them so far.

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Photo of leaddog
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a golden straw with a 1/2 finger width of bubbly white head.

Smell - Sweet malts, oakiness, touch of apple.

Taste - Oak is more predominant in flavour than in the initial aroma. Nice light woodsiness and bourbon vanilla. Sweet malts also noticeable. Very lightly hopped. Vanilla remains in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall - A nice take on an EPA/blonde by Innis & Gunn. The oak makes this brew special by adding pleasant woodsy and vanilla flavours.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very clear orange straw-like colour with a finger of creamy stark-white coloured foam head that dissipates rather promptly.

S: Grainy (cracker-like) aroma, herbal elements, pineapple, and a touch of vanilla sweetness. Faint woody-oak notes.

T: Lightly toasted taste, herbal element, pineapple and some fainter orchard fruits (pear & apple), and vanilla. Woody oak notes are pleasing and more present in the taste than the aroma indicated. Quite smooth and pretty well balanced.

M: Medium body with a medium carbonation. Slightly oily with a crisp and clear finish.

D: Quite drinkable and the hints of subdued woody oak are appealing.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm slowly ticking off my Innis and Gunn encounters. This is beer #5 from I&G for me. I've found the others to be rather consistently decent to good.

It pours a dark golden colour, almost akin to apple juice. I know that's probably not the most appealing description, but that's what she looks like. There isn't much of a head to talk about. It was sparse and bubbly before it completely receded after only a minute or so.

The aroma is subtle and balanced. It has a nice sweet-ish grainy malt aroma, alongside a nice hint of oak that isn't overpowering. There is a bit of smoky aroma in the background, but far less pronounced compared to other I&G offerings. In some ways, the aroma reminds me or french toast and nutmeg.

The taste starts out bold, with some hints of caramel, but quickly subsides and moves into some standard light malty business. It finishes with a rich sweetness and the hint of oak rounds things out nicely. The aftertaste is lovely and stays.

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm inclined to say that this might be my favourite I&G offering to date. Perhaps I'm just really in the mood for a beer like this one at the moment. It certainly doesn't have as strong and interesting a flavour as the Winter ale for example. I think it has to do with the drinkability. I can see myself drinking a few of these back-to-back, which is more that I can say for other I&G beers.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the biggest beer store in the UK, Beers of Europe Ltd. Clear pale yellow pour with one finger head with decent retention and lacing. Vanilla and oak dominate the nose with a hint of butterscotch. The taste mirrors the nose, with an unusual and unique buttery flavor really jumping out as well. The oak and vanilla are the stars as they always are with Innis & Gunn with a hint of caramel as well. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth making this a very drinkable beer. Perhaps not my favorite offering from Innis & Gunn, but a solid beer none the less.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First of three I&G singles picked up at the LCBO. Pours an appropriately amber-blonde colour, with a finger of loose, puffy, off-white head on top. Some lacing on the edges of the glass but otherwise poor retention. Smell is nice but not especially complex; sweet grain malts, vanilla and oak.

Interesting flavour. Bready grain malts, some sweet fruitiness, vanilla and notes of oaked whiskey. Some light floral hops in the finish. Sweetness and oak linger for a while in the finish. Good flavour but I'm not really sure it's up my alley. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; pretty smooth drinking. Quite drinkable but not something I would consider very sessionable.

Not really feeling this one. It's not bad, just not really what I'm looking for in an EPA. Maybe I just don't like oaked beer. Either way, this is worth a try, but I doubt I'll get it again.

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Photo of SebD
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice golden colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down quickly and has minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of vanilla, oak with some sweet caramel and malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a very nice sweet vanilla/caramely taste to with hints of oak and some grassy hops bringing a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice sweetness.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours bright and dark golden. One finger soapy white head going quick. Good carbonation. Filmy retention and no lacing.

S - Oak and vanilla, sweet malts and caramel. Seems a little mild. Mostly pale malts. Not alot of vanilla and oak like other I&G beers.

T - Caramel, oak, and vanilla. All better than the aroma. Some caramel too. Subtle but quite nice.

M - Fairly strong carbonation and a medium body with a sweet vanilla/caramel finish.

O/D - Not too shabby. Seems like I&Gs version of a session beer. Lighter than their other offerings but still oaky and vanillay. Not bad.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a half finger head from an aggressive pour with little lacing and retention of the white head. The colour is a cystal clear golden hue.

S - Plenty of oak and vanilla comes through. Some sweet malt as well.

T - Again, sweet malt balanced with some grassy hops. Oak (that whisky Innis flavor) and lots of vanilla dominates but is not overdone.

M -light carbonation and medium bodied. Slightly bitter and dry in the finish.

O - Very decent offering from this brewer that is a little more subtle in terms of the taste than some of its other offerings I have sampled. Not so sure calling it a pale ale fits but enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of shearer292
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light golden colour and very clear, not much of a head, medium carbonation.

Smell - very nice smell, strong oak as expected with a burned caramel smell which is more pleasing than it sounds, dont get much of the vanilla as stated on the bottle but i do pick up a little forest fruit.

Taste - this is great beer, it has just the right amount of sweetness with the fruit and caramel flavors and a little bitterness on the finish which lingers very nicely, little earthy and the wood flavor is well balanced.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and coats the mouth nicely so it stays with you for a while which i really enjoy.

Overall - This beer is one of the best i have tasted, and i would gladly drink this on a regular basis, i cannot wait to try the original version, i would recommend this to anyone who likes to relax with a smooth beer.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.69/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a crystal clear golden colour, finger of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Slightly bitter with the oak notes dominating amongst some caramel, grassy hops and a touch of peat.

T - Pleasantly flavourful with the vanilla notes shining through among bready caramel and peaty scotch flavours. Touch of grassy hops are mildly detectable. The toffee and caramel linger on the finish.

M - A bit overly carbonated for my liking, but it went down smooth and had a nice finish.

O - Overall a tasty brew and one of my favourites so far from Innes & Gunn. One of the more reasonably priced ales from them as well. I would pick this one up again and would suggest any fan of oaked ales take it for a spin.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear straw golden, generous soapy white head, decent retention and lacing
S - sharp grains and grassy and peppery hops with a light fruity aroma
T - grassy and grainy, with light candied fruit, vanilla, and light woody flavour
M - light and refreshing, moving to a tart and slightly dry finish
D - light and drinkable with an interesting flavour mix, not what I would call a 'pale ale', but enjoyable regardless

 416 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden orange with a small but short lived white head which.

Mild smelling of oak as you would expect. Also hints of butterscotch & vanilla.

Quite pleasant blend of oak & vanilla with a hint of bitterness.

Light to medium bodied & quite smooth on the pallet.

Very nice & well balanced beer that goes down quite nicely.

More at:

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Photo of beertunes
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to OKComputer for this holiday gift. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very nice golden honey-blond color, with just under a half-inch of foamy white head that had very good retention and light-to-medium lacing.

OhOh! Clear bottle! Yup, even at arms length while pouring this I could smell the skunk. After a couple minutes the skunk started to fade and there was a pleasant grain scent underneath. On the tongue, there was that nice grain taste, just a whisper of hops and a bit of a caramel finish.

The body was very good, just a hair too full to be called crisp, nicely smooth and clean. Drinkability was good, if I had several, I'd happily drink them all.

Overall, in spite of the skunk, quite a nice beer. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of marty21
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep golden colour with one finger creamy head. Settles to a bit of a cap but thick ring around the glass. Leaves lots of thick lacing.

S: A lot more mild compared to other beers by Innis & Gunn. Hints of vanilla and oak. Bit of skunkiness to it.

T: It's a bit more watery then I was expecting. There are some hints of vanilla and oak just like the aroma.

M: Lighter carbonation with a medium body. It goes down quite easily.

D: This one was given to me as a gift and is the only Innis & Gunn beer I've had that didn't come in a box. That may have lead to the mild skunky aroma I smelt. Overall this was the easiest beer to drink from Innis & Gunn that I've had. It's a lot milder compared to the other ones, but this would make a great starting beer if you've never had any beers from Innis & Gunn.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden orange appearance with decent head. Smell is enjoyable, sweet with a vanilla and oak. Picked up a hint of toffee.

Taste is like the smell, picked up vanilla/oak like taste, very creamy texture. There is a hint of caramel as well. Body is light with nice carbonation. Aftertaste is nothing overwhelming, but is bitter.

Overall, this is a decent beer. Interesting taste but light and drinkable at the same time, very good take on English Pale Ale's.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looking at the beer you are reminded of the trend towards golden ales started by Summer Lightning et al. The beer is lighter and less malty than the regular version but the vanilla and whiskey notes still show up in the finish. Pretty well balanced for a beer of this style to be put in a cask for aging. It also much be mentioned that this line is good value for the money in BC for a barrel aged beer.

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Photo of kwjd
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange colour with thin white head without much lacing. Smells of vanilla and oak with some sweet butterscotch. Flavour is quite sweet, no real bitterness. Mouthfeel is very thin, not enough carbonation. Ok beer, but most of their beers are pretty similar.

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Photo of Swedes21
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ml bottle poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - Gunn pours with a nice crisp foamy head that is slightly blonde in colour. Head takes over 1/2 the glass then produces some decent lacing. The head contains a lot of air pockets despite the minimal carbonation. Beer is a solid gold colour, very appealing to the eye.

Smell - a slight hint of vanilla and nice oak balance. I can smell the apple as well, very clean and crisp.

Taste - you can taste the vanilla with a little hint of bitterness to the beer. I found the oak taste comes out a lot more in the tasting than the smell.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is not brought fwd during the mouthfeel, very light beer on the pallet. leaves a slight oak taste in the mouth as well, but nothing that overtakes the taste.

Drinkability - This is a beer that would appeal to those looking for a good combination of oak/vanilla based beer. Although good, not something i would go out and get again.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From it's attractive (yet CLEAR . . .) bottle, this "fruity Scottish Beer" (I'm sorry but, lol!) pours a light amber blonde colour with a decently creamy 2 finger white head that dissipates to a decently thick film and leaves some decent lacing on my snifter.

Smell is pure skunk right away. Upon closer inspection, behind the skunk I pick up some subtle caramel and grain notes with a touch of grassy hops. When you really try hard, you can, indeed, pick out some subtle notes of vanilla in there.

It does have some nice candied fruit flavours going on up front with the vanilla from the oak coming through mostly on the finish, complemented by big notes of California Chardonnay-esque butter and subtle hints of chocolate and smoke notes on the linger (these being very common to American Oak-aged beverages). Otherwise, I get some rich caramel notes with some hints of bread, spice and grain in there as well. The alcohol, while not very high, does make its presence felt - a bit too much in my honest opinion.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and it has quite an oily texture. The finish is also quite oily leaving a similar mouthfeel to, again, a classic California Oaked Chardonnay.

Drinkability, I feel, is not one of this beer`s strengths. It`s a bit too heavy on the alcohol flavour and the strong flavours form the oak make it much more of a sipper. I should say that I am impressed how much of the oak flavour they were able to get into this brew. It does offer some pretty interesting flavours that would impress any wine-geek too. I enjoyed this brew but I, that said, I won`t be rushing back for more.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip july1 2010

A slight chill haze in golden orange body with decent carbonation and a fast falling fingers worth of head that left no lace

S some pineapple, mild oak and vanilla but I didn't pick it up until I read it on the bottle so make of that what you will

T not far from the smell but a little bit of hops come out and perhaps some mild toffee to

M a little thin but some decent carbonation makes up for it and you can taste it for a while after it leaves your mouth

D decent beer but not something you would session all day, I just couldn't see myself drinking more then a couple of these back to back, but I did enjoy the one I just drank

I can't see any reason why you shouldn't try this beer, not my favorite beer by this brewer but still good. Oh ya happy birthday Canada

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clean blonde color with a finger of white head. Head retention is pretty good.

First whiff of this was somewhat skunky. Clears up a bit to provide a light oak scent and a touch of vanilla.

Taste consists of some oak and vanilla. Has a buttery quality to it. Slight amount of bitterness at the end. Wet finish.

More drinkable up front than the stock oak ale, this one would be pretty good if it wasn't for the smell. It is a shame that these are packaged in clear bottles.

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Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden straw with a white head, thin ring of retention, initial hints of lace.

S: Candied pineapple, papaya, orange rind, vanilla, caramel and sponge toffee.

T: Quite buttery. Candied pineapple, nice wood, vanilla, dry biscuit, marmalade, good bitterness, alcohol is really well-hidden.

M: Moderate body has a crisp, dry finish.

D: A good drinker.

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Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer from Innis & Gunn
3.63 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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