The Way Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Warms

A big thanks to Innis & Gunn for sharing their latest offering with us at Growler Fills. This Scottish stout, released in the U.S. in March, is the first beer to be aged in former triple-distilled Irish Whiskey barrels. The beer is aged for 60 days as part of three different maturations following fermentation: oak maturation, cold maturation and in bottle.
When poured, an immediate nose of good Irish Whiskey prevailed. The special stout poured a dark brown with a tight off-white to tan head, which produced a nice lacing. The brown sugar-esque sweetness from the chocolate and roast barley came through readily, but the Fuggles hops were hardly noticeable except for a slight hop bitterness at the finish.
The best part of this unique offering by Innis & Gunn was the warmth from the Whiskey barrel aging. It was not at all overpowering. The carbonation was perfectly balanced. Overall, a very fine beer. This beer is not immediately available in Montana, but if you see it while traveling, don’t hesitate to pick up a four-pack ($12.99).
This stout began back in October 2011 when brewmaster and owner, Dougal Sharp, found and filled 400 rare Irish Whiskey barrels with a stout, a style which Innis & Gunn had never brewed before. Traditionally, Scotland is known for its whiskey and Ireland for its stout; this beer, however, is a memorable cultural exchange that worked well. In fact, in Swedenit sold out in record time!
In short, I found this beer to be smooth enough to drink with dinner, yet special enough to toast on rare occasions.
You can follow Innis & Gunn on Twitter (@InnisandGunnUK).
About Innis & Gunn:
Innis & Gunn was first established in 2003 as a joint venture with a leading drinks firm, who had approached Dougal Sharp, then head brewer at Caledonian, to create a beer that would lend the perfect finish to a Cask Ale Reserve whisky. The beer was too good to throw away so Innis & Gunn (the middle names of Dougal Sharp and his brother Neil) was formed. Dougal led an MBO in January 2008 and the business is now under private ownership.
Innis & Gunn has two core products in its range: Original and Rum Cask, as well as many award winning Limited Edition beers. Innis & Gunn is available in ten countries (UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark Finland, Norway and Australia) and in 17 states in the US: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Illinois and Nevada.