Innis & Gunn Original

Innis and Gunn's clear bottle gave me a skunked beer, and I lambasted them for it. They were really nice and sent me free beer to re-try it. The problem was that I was just dipping my toe in the idea of oak-aged beer, and I really didn't know what to expect. Well, I know what makes this stuff good now, and they switched to a brown bottle, so great things may be ahead.

The beer is a light copper color with a thin head that dissipates pretty quickly, and it leaves no lacing love for me. The aroma is rich and caramel with oak and light toast coming in over the heavy brown alcohol, and I think - this time - I am really looking forward to this.

First sip reminds me of the first time I had an Innis and Gunn beer, but I think I am expecting the right things now. The oak is heavy, and the toffee and caramel are compelling. I'm not tasting much in way of hops, but I'm getting earth in here, and that might be them.

Tip-in is very light carbonation tingle, and there is an unexpected sweetness of brown sugar with a light, crusty biscuit. The middle rolls in with a caramel and toffee malt that is smooth and rich. The finish is where things break down a bit with the oak taking hold of everything while earth and a muted vanilla trail off.

Bottom Line: I was unfair twice. This beer is robust and has found a nice niche.

3.25/5

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