We love beer, we love art and we love Canada Day! So imagine our delight when a lovely woman from Innis & Gunn made us aware of their special edition Canada Day 2012 beer and asked us what we thought. We saved our sampling for the holiday Monday which gave our palettes time to recover after Saturday’s Central City summer cask festival. Here are our thoughts.
Canada Day 2012
The nose and taste match up perfectly with whiskey/oak, toffee/vanilla, and currant/raisin. The mouth feel is slightly warming and somewhat sticky, leaving a lovely buzz on the tongue revealing its 7.7% abv. It is sweet but nicely balanced with hops from our favourite hop garden, Kent. This is a nice one to sip, as the richness of the fruit becomes more prominent as it warms.
For die-hard beer drinking Canucks back east (just saying as one of us is from there), this may not be your Canada Day session beer on the ‘Hill’ or at your cottage shaker but should be included in the celebratory repertoire. We found this a delightful beer that paired well with our Canada Day celebrations and brought a little sunshine to our damp west coast day. Well worth a taste and one that can be enjoyed year-round.
What makes this Scottish beer even more Canadian is that the artwork on the box was created by BC artist Gary Whitley; a painting of sugar maple saplings titled Emblems. This is the second release from the brewery to feature original Canadian artwork.
Matured using Kentucky bourbon barrels, this brew imparts a toffee/vanilla aroma with a nice whiskey/oak flavour and a slightly higher carbonation.
Matured using bourbon and rum infused barrels, this one tingles the nose with deep rum/raisin aromas, flavours the mouth with malts, a bit of spice and fruits. It warms your throat beautifully and has a nice balance of sweet and tart character. The Run Finish is highly drinkable and not too dangerous with its 6.6% abv.
We did not know much about this brewery until we noticed their beer on display at the Legacy Liquor Store a few months ago. The limited edition releases are packaged singly in elegantly designed boxes, reminiscent of what you see containing a nice scotch. We purchased a couple of Irish Cask beers for our inventory.
Innis & Gunn is a Scottish Brewery (with distribution in Canada, US, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Finland) that specializes in oak-aged beer. It was developed by Dougal Sharp as a happy result of the ‘beer-finished’ whiskey he created for a Scotch whisky distillery in 2003. Turns out some of the workers sampled the brew which was poured away after the seasoning of the barrels and quite enjoyed it! The rest is history.
Thanks to the kind folks at Innis & Gunn for making us aware of this very special brew and the many others they create.