Beer of the Week

Innis & Gunn Original

Week of December 20, 2011

Innis & Gunn's flagship beer, with flavors of toffee, vanilla and oak that perfectly complement the beer’s backbone of luscious malt and fruity hop notes.

Scottish Ale
Alcohol %:
Beer of the Week Image

What the Brewery Says:

This is our flagship beer, the one whose discovery led to the formation of the company back in 2003. Since then we’ve won a string of awards for Original, most recently a third consecutive Modern Monde Selection gold award.

Like the world’s great wine and whisky makers we strive for depth of flavor, complexity and mellowness in every beer we produce. Innis & Gunn Original typifies this approach.

Its lengthy 77-day maturation imparts flavours of toffee, vanilla and oak that perfectly complement the beer’s backbone of luscious malt and fruity hop notes.

The oak helps to give Innis & Gunn Original its appealing colour and also mellow the alcohol character, so although the beer is 6.6%, it’s very smooth and easy to drink.


More About the Brewery:

Innis and Gunn was born by accident. A fantastic, delicious accident.

It all began when a famous whisky distiller contacted Master Brewer Dougal Sharp to tell him that they wanted to produce an ale-finished whisky. Many other brewers and distillers had tried to make ale finished whisky but none had succeeded. Dougal proposed a special recipe and a special technique. He created a unique ale to impart a smooth, beery character to the oak barrels. This would in turn flavour the maturing whisky. The distillers were delighted that the process worked and the resulting Ale Cask reserve Whisky was a real success.

It was only many months later, after thousands of gallons of beer had been used to season the oak barrels (then tragically, thrown away), that Dougal received a call that would change everything.

“You have got to taste this beer that we are pouring away. The workers have sampled it and they say it tastes absolutely delicious,”

They were right. The first tasting of this ‘oak barrel’ beer was an unforgettable moment – it was delicious, and had a flavour unlike any beer Dougal had ever tasted. It had been completely transformed by its time in the special barrels used at the distillery.

And it wasn’t just Dougal who thought something special had been discovered. At the brewery tasting panel the beer scored an unprecedented nine out of nine!

Now, Dougal believed so strongly in the potential of this unique discovery that he promptly quit his job so that he could concentrate on perfecting the process and bringing Innis & Gunn to market. In short he demonstrated himself what he could see in the beer, real character.

What followed was one whole year of long days and late nights, all in the name of refining and perfecting this pioneer beer.

When the launch finally came, a whole new oak aged beer style was born. Beer drinkers loved the delicious flavour and so did beer judges who showered Innis & Gunn with awards.

From then on we have been travelling the world introducing as many people as possible to the unique flavour of our oak aged beer.

But that isn’t the end of the story. In fact Innis & Gunn Original was only the beginning. More beers of character now regularly join the Innis & Gunn family. You can find out all about these in ‘The Range’ section of this site. And it’s even available on draught now too.

So there you have it, the story of Innis & Gunn. An inspiring tale of one man who showed his character in the quest for a beer that would reveal a unique character all of its own.

And now it’s the choice of drinkers of character too.

1 Comment · Innis & Gunn Original

  • I'm typically a little bit anti-imports given the quality and variety available on the US craft beer scene, but I must say this beer is pretty awesome.

Leave a Comment

Log in to leave a comment!

Log In | Register

What's Hot on Beer Universe