Review: Innis & Gunn Presents Islay Whisky Cask Scottish Red Beer Matured in Laphroaig Quarter Casts

Before I start off today's review - this is the first new review I've written in approximately six months, excluding one specific review back in the early Summer. 

So, I took a hiatus from and actually called it quits. Mental health and I have a hard time writing about beer to begin makes it hard to keep up in an era when people prefer their beer reviews in TikTok/YouTube/Instagram clips.. I just can't express myself in video form. Nobody reads shit anymore so I felt why bother? I'm just a nobody with a boring beer blog. In the six months I was on hiatus, I didn't really get any fan mail or anything but whatever.. I'm back for now. I hope to also continue to be your source for non-alcoholic beer reviews for those who are there for that or maybe I'll just let this domain expire in 11.5 months time.

Anywho, now onto the review. By the time this is posted, it's already December.. and I just wrote this on November 30th (see, freshness for you!). Today's sampling is Innis & Gunn's Islay Whisky Cask Scottish Red Beer matured in Laphroaig casks. Innis & Gunn has been quite popular in Manitoba for a good amount of years and I'm surprised that I even got my hands on this beer (2-330mL bottles for around $15 CAD) because it randomly made an appearance here and disappeared before you know it.

From the label: This beer has slowly matured in a rare cache of Quarter Casks from Laphroaig, an iconic Islay Single Malt Whisky. Absorbing all the rich flavours from these very special casks - spicy woodsmoke and peat, sea salt and burnt toffee, the beer ads its own rich, roasted flavour to create something as unforgettable and uncompromising as the island and whisky which inspired it. 7.4% ABV

Appearance: I was thinking this was a stout before looking at the label, so seeing a tad bit of clarity in the bottom confused me. The body is a deep dark brown with a reddish-brown cola hue to it. The head is thick, creamy, with a light beige tinge to it.

Aroma: The I&G beers that took off back in in the 2000s were a toffee, sweet as heck variety of ales and lagers that reminded you of rum and whisky with a lot of oak, vanilla and butterscotch. This one immediately gives off a lighter, more refined aroma than overly sweet as we're used to - the notes of peat and smoke are pretty much the first thing you get, followed by a hint of tobacco and followed by a sweet oakiness with a fine Single Malt Whisky at the end that gives off a tad bit of sweet caramel but also gives me a bit of goosebumps from the alcohol burn. Almost a cabane à sucre vibe here.

Taste: It's a very familiar taste to me but not in the sense of what I'd think. This reminds me of summer time bon fires and barbecues - this is heavy on the smoke so it reminds me of a classic Smokie dog specifically.. It's got a sweetness of it of caramel, a tad bit of saltiness, a hint of spice.. so makes sense why I keep going back to bonfire and "Smokie cart right outside a nightclub at 2AM" vibe to it. This definitely isn't for everyone but I don't mind it. A bit of oakiness to it and a smidgen of Single Malt Whisky but the smoke takes it all. Surprisingly smooth on palate and leaves behind a slight smoke and sweet aftertaste.

Overall Thoughts: Interesting combo. Worth $7.50 CAD per bottle? Probably not but it's worth trying this collab. Decently sweet, lots of smoke, bonfire. 

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