Review: Innis & Gunn Vanishing Point No 03 Imperial Stout (VP03)

It's been a good few minutes since I've reviewed anything by Innis & Gunn. I still remember when I&G was exclusively just a sweet oaky and whiskyish ale but the brand has branched out to a lot of styles, including lagers and even tropical IPAs. Today I'm reviewing their Vanishing Point 03 (VP03) Imperial Stout. Imperial Stouts are somehow incredibly hard to find here in Manitoba so it's always a treat when I do see them.. I absolutely crave them on days like today where the weather is something like -30 before the windchill.

From the label: "VP03 is an Imperial Stout matured in bourbon barrels for an incredible 420 days. Chocolate, charred oak, vanilla and ripe fruit are underpinned by a heady bourbon character, mellowed by over 10,000 hours in barrel, Deep, dense and dark with a foam to match, this is truly a beer to savour." 11% ABV

Appearance: VP03 pours a dark as the night black with no noticeable carbonation in the body and a moderate thickness with a burnt caramel appearance to it. The head doesn't really diminish much as I let it sit for a bit.

Aroma: Notes of roasted malt is the initial aroma I get from this beer, followed by notes of caramel sweetness, a hint of oak, a hint of Bourbon and a subtle hint of smoke at the end. Some molasses popping out in every couple sniffs but it's actually lighter than I expected for an Imperial Stout so far, I was expecting the Bourbon to be quite overpowering but it's not.

Taste: A very sweet Imperial Stout - I get a heavy presence of caramel the very second it gets to my palate. There's a good deal of smoke in this beer coming from the charred oak, giving it a bit of a bonfire kind of vibe to it, as well as a roasted coffee presence from the roasted malt. There's a good deal of Bourbon in there - it's almost got a Bourbon turned into syrup kind of vibe going from it, which I'm finding interesting. There's notes of dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla and overall - you damn well know this is 11%, I could feel it hit my body right from the first sip. Very sweet.

Overall Thoughts: This turned out be much sweeter than I ever expected from this Imperial Stout, I wasn't expecting much from the aroma but the taste caught me off guard. The sweetness may be a bit too sweet but it's damned cold out so this is very enjoyable right now. Bourbon, charred oak, dark chocolate, caramel and molasses. The beer itself is a bit outside my price range at $14.99 per 500mL bottle but I honestly think it's worth it, no complaints coming from here! Liquid boozy dessert in a bottle.

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