Innis and Gunn Original


When I tried my first Innis and Gunn beer - which happened to be an Original like the one presented here, I was a bit harsh on them. The beer I had was old, and I was reluctant to give them a review at all, but I took particular offense at their decision to use clear bottles - which increases the likelihood of skunking the beer.

Well, one of the ways I get my articles out there is to send them to my Twitter account. If the manufacturer has an easily found twitter handle, I'll include them in the post. Well, my Tweet was:

Drinking #beer is not always a pleasure. @InnisAndGunn have befouled my mouth with a terrible brew.

They responded about being sorry that I didn't have the optimal experience with my beer, and they wanted to furnish me with a fresh one. I told them I would try the beer again. So, this is a beer I didn't pay for, as furnished to me by the manufacturer. I want to be up front about that. It will not change my opinion (consciously) and I will be as honest as usual. Still, their customer service is pretty good.

I pour it out into the glass, and it doesn't smell skunky at all. It has a very weak head that goes away VERY quickly leaving few traces of there ever being a head at all. If I couldn't smell the beer, I would look at it and think it was somewhat darker than normal apple juice from concentrate. It has that same very clear look and the color is almost spot on, really. But the aroma is no apple juice; it smells of malt and hard liquor. Yup, I smell whiskey.

First sip - they say that this is has 6.6% alcohol, and I just don't believe them. It almost tastes as if they made a Scotch Ale. I have encountered two different brews that were similarly named: Scotch Ale and Scottish Ale. The first is pretty much just Scotch mixed with beer, and I'm not a fan. The latter is a Scottish style of ale, and it is fantastic. This one appears to be the first. I know I'm supposed to taste the intricacies of the brew, but a sip isn't going to do it. I can't get past that Scotch taste - I'm not a hard liquor drinker.

I'm going for a man-sized swig. That definitely alters the taste quite a bit. NOW I can taste the toffee, vanilla, and the hint of oak. It's hidden right in the middle, but the finish is still a harsh whiskey. If I was a fan of hard liquor taste, I would probably be drinking some Scotch or bourbon instead of beer. If I drink in nice, big draughts, I can certainly get through it. The Whiskey finish turns sweet on the lips as it fades away, and it is not entirely bad.

I let it warm a bit, and that was a mistake. It's definitely better cold. Well, they sent me two, and I'm going to down the second one while it's cold. I am exceptionally impressed with their customer service, but only mildly impressed with their beer - the Original, at least. They sent me two other styles to try, and those reviews will be coming soon. For now, I can only give this one a rating that is straight down the center. A fifty percent.


Subnote: I drank the second one very cold, and it went down much easier. It might be that I got more used to the taste. I expect my sixth one would really go down well; either way, the second one gets a 2.75/5


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