Saturday, August 6, 2011

Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer

It's time for another Skype collab review again already! But we have a new guest reviewer this time! Mel aka "Mrs. Real Ale Guide" joins me to review this Scottish oak-aged pale ale. Of course, Mr. Real Ale Guide himself Simon, also joins in the review, so this will be my first every three-person Skype beer review.

Be sure to check out Mel on the web here:

Simon can be found here:

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (642) - Albany, USA - AUG 4, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into an English nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Completely clear body with honey or dark amber shade. Some carbonation noticeable, but it becomes tepid quickly. Forms a small, off-white, foamy head. Poor retention and lacing.

Smell: Because this is packaged in a clear bottle and comes from overseas it’s really not surprising the beer smells just as skunky as Heineken or any other European green bottle pilsner. It’s quite pugent, but a hefty swirl of the glass does release some of the beer’s authentic aromas of vanilla and some confectionary sweetness.

Taste: Innis and Gunn Original is one of those beers I can tell would be pretty amazing if I was able to drink it as it’s meant to be drank. The skunk factor is not only in the nose, but the palate is quite sour and tangy as well. However, my palate did become accustomed to the off qualities rather quickly and I was able to pick up the real flavors. Just like the label on the bottle indicates: toffee, vanilla and oak are all prominent in the palate here. In fact, the beer is actually quite sweet and borderline syrupy at the beginning and end. There’s a whiskey-like sweetness through the middle with virtually no bitterness. The aftertaste is akin to having just eaten a toffee candy square, but with the sourness of skunked beer. Despite all this praise, this beer is actually rather mild, which is shame because the flavors I pick up would be quite delicious if consumed fresh.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, but tepid. Slightly oil texture and aftertaste.

Drinkability: The soft mouthfeel and low carbonation combined with the mild palate make this beer quite quaffable. At fridge temp it’s actually quite refreshing while in the mouth, but the aftertaste is a little annoying. The 6.6% ABV seems a little high as the beer drinks and feels like something much lower.

Overall, Innis and Gunn Original is probably a better beer than what I’m able to taste, but my experience is probably indicative of what an American drinker can and should expect to encounter. Just another example of the folly of clear bottles.

Grade: 6/10

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