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Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask | Innis & Gunn

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Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland CaskInnis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
135 Ratings
Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland CaskInnis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Innis & Gunn
Scotland, United Kingdom
innisandgunn.com

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
60
Ratings:
135
pDev:
16.22%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
11
Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 135 |  Reviews: 60
Reviews by ChrisCage:
Photo of ChrisCage
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Issue....

A- Well, just like the brewer describes, this pours an auburn color, with tinges of copper in the narrow portion of my glass, and the beer is clear throughout. There appears to be aggressive looking carbonation rising to the top of the liquid, and there really isn't much of a head on this one, but more of a thick ring around the glass that retains quite well. The lacing aspect is rather good too, leaving behind good sticky foam on the glass. A decent looking brew...just better if there was more of a head.

S- This is actually quite heavy in malt sweetness, and I do smell sweet fortified wine, such as a nice tawny port, which is giving this some dark skinned fruit aromas. In the background, there is hints of wood and vanilla from the scotch barrel....rather pleasant smelling overall I have to say!

T- This is really deep in flavor, and now the smooth scotch notes are more noticeable. There is lots of dried prune/raisin flavor on the palate, and it really is on the mellow side....it reminds me of a freshly made dark rum fruit cake! There is hints of vanilla bean, and toffee thrown in there as well. The alcohol shows a bit of kick on the palate at first, but then really smooths out once you've had a couple tastes! I didn't find really much in terms of a hopped finish either. Very nice!

M- This is surprisingly light and fresh on the palate during the taste, and then leaves an oily, flavorful aftertaste making this feel much heavier than it really is. I get lots of dessert like fruitiness on the palate in the end, especially if you let this warm up a couple of degrees....it gets sticky actually. The carbonation really isn't that aggressive, and only enhances what was intended here.

O- This is most definitely one of I&Gs' best outings that I've tried, and I believe I've tried most of them! I would enjoy this on a regular basis if it wasn't so expensive per bottle, but it makes a great sipping brew for any occasion. As always, I highly recommend this offering and will definitely pick this one up again in the future....hopefully they make this a regular seasonal!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz clear glass bottle (wrong!) Served in a standard pint glass.
Poured a coppery amber color with a fast-fading off-white head.
Smells off cut dried wood, caramel, dry malt, resinous hop followed by peaty scotch.
Flavors of caramel malt, wheat crackers, resinous and metallic hops mix. The cask whiskey taste pulls through in the finish.
The body, quite dry at first, mellows and becomes smooth and velvety as it warms.

This HAS to be marked down because of the clear glass bottles. The brewers must not respect their own beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, 7.1% abv. Clear, darker copper color. White head holds for a few minutes. Only a few tiny bubbles moving about.

Slightly skunked nose, due to the clear bottle. A light caramel, butterscotch note, with some toffee. Slight suggestion of oak and whisky.

A nice clean malt, with a bit of a toffee taste. Hint of vanilla, some oak without drying out too much. Very faint whisky feel. Maybe a bit of a mineral edge, with some fruity notes rounding things out.

Lighter body, with soft carbonation. Just some slight warming from alcohol. A simple beer, with some nice flavors here. Very nice.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comes in a 330 ml clear bottle. Pours out a brilliant clear amber with healthy carbonation and a creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Aroma of toffee, caramel and light alcohol, basic but very enjoyable.

Holy crap, this is as good as it gets, or at least from what I've experienced so far. Smooth and flavourful, it's all about clean sweet toffee malt, light mild toastiness, hints of rounded whiskey, very faint grassy hops on the finish. Sweet malt and liquor linger long in the aftertaste.

Full-bodied mouthfeel, smooth and creamy texture with moderate carbonation.

For some reason this hits all the right buttons with me. I enjoy Innis and Gunn, yet have been disappointed with some limited edition releases in the past, so am far from being a biased banner waver. This is the best I've tried from them yet, and if it wasn't for the abv and price tag this would be my regular go-to beer and session beer of choice. I thought I was an incorrigible hophead, but this offering from Innis and Gunn has shown me the joys of the other side again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.06/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with light retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of butter and light scotch notes. Taste is a weird mix between some butter with some light warming notes of scotch. Body is light well some rounded notes of scotch with average carbonation. Another bad mix from a strange brewery.

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Photo of TerryW
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

At best this is a boring looking beer. Rusty orange, with no head, no lace, no fizz - nuthin' of what you'd usually expect. On the down side, for the novice beer drinking it's flat out off putting with lots of chunky bits of yeast in suspension throughout the glass. So be warned, don't be letting the yeasty bits bother you, and trust in your dishwashing skills - it's not you.

Big malty scotch nose, so if you're a scotch drinker this is for you. Sugary, boozy, lots of butterscotch. Very sweet to drink, no carbonation, slight bit of alcohol, somewhat thin bodied. I&G stuff is usually lots of big vanilla, but no so much in this case.

Nothing speacial, a bit to much like liquid candy. Forgettable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brewery has been at barrel aging for a long time. This is a mediocre attempt, but it is different. The appearance looks OK, with a fruitiness to the colour, along with a minimal head. There is a lactose aroma, and that of milk going bad. The mouthfeel is easy, a bit creamy. Butterscotch and rum tastes. Purposely like this? Apparently, very sweetish.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am pulling stuff out of my refrigerator that I had completely forgotten about! I am not kidding when I say that the bottle backlog is out of control. I will be glad to return to The CANQuest (tm) when all is said & done.

From the bottle: "Oak Aged Like No Other Beer"; "Brewed In Small Batches"; "Oak Aged Beer"; "Beer Aged In Malt Whisky Casks"; "This special bottling of Innis & Gunn has been matured in oak barrels which ha previously been used to mature 18-year old single malt Scottish Whisky from the famed Highlands region of Scotland. The result of this unique maturation is a smooth, complex and warming beer with a classic Highland malt character."; "We hope you enjoy this beer as much as we do."; "Carefully Matured for 71 Days Prior to Release"; "Approved for Bottling [undersigned] Andrew Gourlay [;] Master Brewer [undersigned] Douglas Gunn Sup".

I Pop!ped the cap, but I employed a VERY gentle pour since I could see that some lees had settled in the punt of the bottle. As such, I only got a brief finger of foamy, light-tan head that quickly fell to wisps. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a sweet, liqour-like smell, but I would have been hard-pressed to identify it as single malt Scottish Whisky. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was definitely oaken, but not overpowering. Warming, I got coconut and caramel flavors beginning to assert themselves. It was certainly easy-drinking and at 7.1%, a little dangerous. Finish was semi-sweet, not suggesting that it was bitter in any way, but more to the idea that it was not outright sweet. Tasty, but not really in my wheelhouse.

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Photo of Viggo
2.29/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

330 ml bottle from the LCBO.

Pours a clear amber, some dark golden highlights, nice colour, thin white head forms and quickly settles to a very thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick.

Smell is weird, tons of butterscotch, buttery oak, some caramel, a bit of almost grapefruity hoppiness, a bit of raw oak and vanilla, booze, more butterscotch, thats about it, pretty overpowering.

Taste is similar, very sweet, just a butterscotch bomb that masks almost every other flavour, some oak and vanilla, brown sugar, way too much butter.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. I feel like its almost good, but its way too butterscotchy. Kind of tastes like caramel corn.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think this is my favourite I&G beer. I'm a sucker for Highland Scotch and this just plays into my preferences.

Light copper with a thin head. Very buttery scent, with a definite Scotch scent to it. Quite sweet. I've had many Highland cask aged beers, and this is really quite unique.

Buttery, Scotchy taste. Sweet, smooth and really pleasant. The alcohol really creeps up on you. This is almost too smooth....

A great brew, way to smooth. It sucks you in...and one could probably drink a few before they realized the punch this packs.

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Photo of Derek
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear copper with an off-white head, very thin ring of retention, hint of leg/lace.

S: Caramel popcorn, earthy orange zest, sponge toffee, quite sweet.

T: Caramel, honey, marmalade/orange rind, vanilla, hints of nut, slightly earthy, modest bitterness, alcohol is subtle.

M: Moderately full body has some residual sweetness. Modest carbonation.

D: A little sweet for me.

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Photo of chakadrum
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This toasty auburn colour has become an emblem for this brewery. The fact that all its beers look essentially the same whether aged in fresh oak, spent oak, rum, whiskey or scotch barrels is either a peculiar coincidence or a testament to the endurance of the base beer. It is undoubtedly attractive, especially given the clarity, but needs a lot more head.

The write-up on the bottle's casing prepares us for notes of "thick honey, vanilla, marmalade, heather flowers" and "all classic Speyside characteristics". Unfortunately, that's rubbish because the bouquet in my glass is hardly delicious and hardly reminiscent of a quality Highland Scotch. All I make out are some sedated alcohol vapors and sample of wood spice. Although its buttery sweetness, which comes with warmth, does grow on me.

I was less than keen about taking a taste but am, for mixed feelings, glad to have finally done so. The beer is decidedly underwhelming, that much is quickly asserted. It is not, however, without some character and strength, as the distinct Speyside whiskey notes would attest. Peat and smoked wood come instantly to mind.

Dried fruits and butterscotch malts also feature on the palate but the aftertaste and resounding impression is of a beer that has been (possibly intentionally) diluted and emasculated. It is not without flavour and that flavour is not without its virtues, but it offers little by way of depth and complexity despite apportioning a considerable bout of its alcohol content. Warming does assist in bringing forth brilliant notes of golden raisin.

I rather like the beer, despite being disappointed by its inability to even remotely compare to similar (but more complex and competent) offerings. I would still recommend it to aficionados of both beer and scotch, despite suspecting that both camps might be disappointed. It makes a satisfying and quaffable tipple, shortcomings notwithstanding.

Unlike other Scottish breweries to try the same thing (Harviestoun) this beer shares few (if any) of the nuanced complexities of Scottish whiskeys and results not in an animated, ingenious blend of two worthwhile products, but rather in a surprisingly plain, pedestrian offering that would be less appealing to connoisseurs than mainstream consumers. While this is worth a try, any of the Ola Dubh beers are worth that as well as your money.

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Photo of cratez
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle from the LCBO. Part of the 2010 Autumn Ales release.

Pours a burnished amber gold with a deep orange hue, thick ring of white froth, and strands of lacing on the footed pilsner glass. Smell is butterscotch, cream, faint apple, very light whisky aroma, alcohol, oak barrel, golden raisins, white wine, and malt vinegar. Pretty complex nose, though not overly pleasing. Taste is sweet toffee-like malts, slight cola flavour, mildly spicy hops, some woodiness, caramel, butter, and a boozy sting on the back end. Better than I expected, but still unimpressive. Mouthfeel is smooth, thicker than medium, average carbonation, drying finish borders on chalky.

Although it's a decent quaff, Highland lacks bold and enjoyable flavours and the malts figure too prominently for my liking. The barrel aging adds depth yet fails to save this from being a mediocre beer. I also think these special releases, with their expensive packaging and high price points, are getting quite gimmicky. A ho-hum offering IMO.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright orange amber with a nice head initially. Unfortunately, the head collapses quickly. Minimal lacing sticks.

The smell is grassy at first - almost skunk-ish. Whisky comes through backed by a traditional "English" style ale.

The taste is on the sweet side. Woody with some whisky dryness and alcohol peppery spicing. Very mild herbal hop taste is in the backround behind the malt and whisky oak. Sweet touch turns to a dry finish.

The alcohol is noticeable, but it still maintains smoothness with a solid medium body.

Although it didn't set off fireworks for me, or knock my socks off, there is something very enjoyble about the brew. It has a nice smoothness and the whisky casks adds a nice, unique touch to a balanced oaky, traditional, well-made brew.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a bright, clear amber-orange colour, with a bit more than a finger of frothy beige head on top. Retention isn't great, but some sparse lacing is left behind on the sides of the glass before the head dies down to a thin, filmy cap. Enticing aroma that blends many elements together - sweet notes of caramel, vaguely peaty scotch, leafy English hops and some toasted nuts. Not a hint of skunk, likely thanks to the carton.

This is a delicious beer. Leans toward the sweet side, starting with butterscotch and toffee, followed by a light hint of vanilla. Oak and scotch malt notes come through toward the finish, alongside more leafy, earthy English-style (edit: technically Slovenian according to the carton) hops for a slightly bitter, drying finish that balances the malt sweetness perfectly. Medium-bodied, with mild carbonation and a silky smooth mouthfeel. My ideal abv is usually in the 7-8% range, so this stuff provides the perfect level of warmth from the alcohol for me. It could stand to be a bit heavier, and some peatiness would be nice I suppose, but it's fabulous either way.

This is my favourite Innis & Gunn offering of the four I have tried by far, easily beating out the rum cask... an unsurprising assertion when you consider that I greatly prefer whisky or scotch over rum. I wish this were available year-round.

Final Grade: 4.15, a high A-. I will probably get this again at some point - it's a bit pricy, but worth it IMO, and (coming from a fan of them) significantly better than I&G's year-round offerings.

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Photo of microbrewlover
2.84/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color with black mixed in. There is about 1 finger of head which does not last long and very little lacing which dissapates quickly.

The smell is of oak, whiskey and a smokey quality.

The mouthfeel is thin and creamy.

The brew is aged in oak whiskey casks and you will definitely taste the oak and the whiskey. The malts also hit the palate on the front end with no discernable malt or hop taste on the back end. The ABV. is listed as 7% but it feels like more.

Overall, I can't say much about this brew. The oak and whiskey tatse are there; so are the malts, not much else.

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Photo of Paul68
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a tumbler.

L - clear copper color with a thin white head that got even thinner.

S - scotch, vanilla bean and oak.

T - starts out with a sweet caramel cream taste and then the scotch and oak comes into play turning back towards sweet vanilla on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel and easy drinkability.

O - a most enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rangerred
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into an Innis & Gunn tulip. 2011 edition.

Appearance is a clear dark copper with a one finger tan head that fades rather quickly to a thin cap with light lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smells quite skunky at first due to the clear bottle. Once that is allowed to fade there is raisins and plums along with a bit of toffee and oak.

The taste has tons of oak evident throughout. Some of that dark fruit is there but there is also a little bit of smoke and lots of wood. It is evident this was aged in scotch barrels but it is more subtle than what I was anticipating. The beer is pretty sweet but not cloyingly so. A light bitterness finishes everything off.

Overall this is a good beer but not too different from other Innis and Gunn offers I have had. Could have used more scotch character and not really worth the price.

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

Strong aroma has a firm overtone of whisky-soaked wood, plus hints of malt and caramel. It pours a clear coppery with an average white head. Malty, slightly fruity flavor has a woody overtone and a firm whisky note. Texture has average body but a good amount of persistent fizz. Definitely worth at least a try.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice clear orange-copper color with a short medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass a bit on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, hints of oak, vanilla, and nice scotch.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, caramel, oak, vanilla, and a nice scotch aftertaste. Really nice flavors to this one.
M: Rich, smooth, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, warming.
D: Overall a really nice beer, smooth flavors and feel with a decent abv make it one to savor.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge frothy head with tons of sticky lacing, crystal clear honey amber orange color.

Nose creamy malts, syrupy, light molasses, earthy hops even, light esters and tannins, slightest hint of whisky barrel.

Taste sweet, lots of whisky and some vanilla barrel oak, esters, some fruit, chewy malts and hops, some light bitter grassy hops. Finish is fairly bitter almost spicy hops, some malts and sweetness.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier bodied, dec carb.

Overall nice malts but don't get very much highland scotch or barrel, but whisky is there. It's more like esters and wood almost saw dust from the barrel. The base beer is fairly tasty but the barrel doesn't add much.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Clear copper and off white head.
smell: caramel, fruit, vanilla. Nice nose .
taste: Much like the nose. Oak, caramel, vanilla, touch of Scotch. Not an amazing brew by any means but a damn pleasant one.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hmmm...'Highland' malt does not necessarily equal 'Speyside' malt, but this is a sidestep into beer, so let's have a look at the proverbial pudding...

This beer pours a clear, dark copper hue, with one finger of fast-disappearing soapy pale beige head, which leaves no lace in its wake. It smells of caramel, vanilla, nougat, a bit of floral fruitiness, and oaky wood. The taste is nutty caramel/toffee malt, some tangy butterscotch, a concentrated orchard fruitiness, a subtle oakiness, with the inherent vanilla and honey standing as one, and a soft floral hoppiness. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight, smooth, fruity, and a little slick. It finishes quite dry, the mild warming alcohol and latent fruity hops coming to bear.

While I've always found the I&G beers to be interesting, none so far have stood out that much. Well, they couldn't go wrong by putting their starter ale in a 21 year old Speyside barrel, and this result is testament to that.

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Innis & Gunn Limited Edition Highland Cask from Innis & Gunn
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 135 ratings