Scotland is arguably the birth place of beer in the United Kingdom. There are some that hypothesize that the vikings brought the alcoholic staple with them when they plundered and eventually settled the northern reaches of the British Isles. Of course, at that time beer was not flavored with hops, but with heather a flower that is abundant in both Scandinavia and Scotland.
Since those barbaric days of plunder and pillage, Scotland has gained a reputation as having refined there own style of ale and the spirit named for its origin — Scotch Whisky. One of Scotland’s now beloved ale producers came about quite by accident. In 2002, Dougal Sharp was asked by Grant’s Distillers to create a distinctive beer that would season whisky barrels for a Cask Ale Reserve whisky. In those early days, the beer was used only to season the casks and thrown away after sitting on the oak for 30 days.
One day, curious brewery workers tasted the beer before discarding it and discovered that it had a distinctive taste like no other beer they had ever tasted. The oak imparted flavors of vanilla and toffee while mellowing the hops and enhancing the sweet malt profile. The beer was, in the workers’ opinions, too good to flush down the drain.
In 2003 Innis & Gunn came into being and their first beer “Original” hit the market. The unique flavor was an immediate hit and the fledgling company added Blonde and Rum Finish. Plaudits have abounded for both the beer and the company: Monde Selection medals, World Beer Awards and two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade have all signaled that, despite an accidental discovery, Innis & Gunn has a nose for beer and a head for business.
This fall, Innis & Gunn are again blazing a trail and offering two new brews for the season. The new beers were carefully formulated to provide a warming experience fitting for the chilly days and even cooler nights ahead. Both are, as is the tradition at the brewery, oak-aged in proprietary oak-aging percolators known as the Oakerators.
The two new brews are; Bourbon Stout and Scottish Porter.
LIMITED EDITION: BOURBON STOUT. Bourbon Stout is made exclusively for the USA and not available in any other country. Having made its debut in 2013 to great acclaim, Innis & Gunn decided to re-release it in 2014 as a limited edition. Offered in a boxed large format bottle (660ml), this is a red stout brewed with Innis & Gunn ale malt, rye crystal, roast barley and wheat and matured slowly over bourbon-infused oak. Deep ruby in colour, Bourbon Stout has aromas of roasted chestnuts, rich dried fruit and oat biscuits. Whitbread Golding hops complement the sweet biscuity malt with a soft hop bitterness, giving way to a warming boozy fruit and nut chocolate kick laced with hints of mellow vanilla.Bourbon Stout (7.4% ABV) is available now in select US markets while supplies last. SRP is $8.99/660ml.
Malts: Innis & Gunn Ale Malt, Rye Crystal Malt, Chocolate Malt and Wheat
Hops: Whitbread Golding
Maturation: Over bourbon-infused oak
Drink With: Casseroles, rich chocolate desserts and rum babas
SEASONAL RELEASE: SCOTTISH PORTER. This award-winning seasonal release is back by popular demand after collecting a Silver medal at the World Beer Championships 2012. Adapted from a historic Scottish beer recipe that mixes molasses for depth and richness, Scottish Porter is a deep red ale that carries rich maltiness with notes of orange oil, chocolate and bonfire smoke on the nose and brown sugar, almonds and toffee on the palate, with refreshing hop bitterness. Scottish Porter (7.4%ABV) is available now in select US markets while supplies last. SRP is $9.99/4-pack (available in 330ml bottles). Also available on draft in select bars.
Malts: Innis & Gunn Ale Malt, Crystal Malt, Raw Wheat, Chocolate Malt
Hops: Super Styrian
Maturation: 39 days over bourbon-infused oak
Drink With: Roasted chestnuts; mature cheeses or rich fruit cake
Both beers join the Innis & Gunn core range of beers including Original, Rum Aged (matured over oak infused with Navy and Demerara rums) and the new Toasted Oak IPA (triple-hopped British style of traditional IPA). These beers are available nationwide on draft and at retail in 4-packs/330ml bottles (SRP $9.99/4-pack).
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