Edinburgh, Scotland – Innis & Gunn the award-winning independent brewer of oak-aged beers, is releasing its cult-favorite winter seasonal in the United States.
Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Aged Stout is a 7.4% ABV creation that debuted in 2012 and has become a US hit that quickly sells out within weeks of hitting retailer shelves.
Rich, complex and ultra-smooth, Irish Whiskey Aged features dark chocolate and coffee flavors, honey and spice whiskey notes, and oak/vanilla aromas and flavors. It has a velvety mouthfeel that leads to a satisfying finish of dark malts and more hints of whiskey.
“Ireland is known for its great stouts and it’s amazing whiskey,” says Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer, Dougal Sharp. “We’re paying tribute to both of them in our Irish Whiskey Aged beer.”
The beer is aged in Innis & Gunn’s pioneering Oakerator aging device on American oak that is infused with Irish whiskey.
“We use a lightly toasted oak for this beer,” says Rachel Sutherland, Innis & Gunn’s Sensory & Quality Manager, “to match Irish whiskey casks, which are typically lightly charred. This produces more of the coconut and spice notes that you get in an Irish whiskey, and less of the caramel and vanilla notes you find in American bourbon.”
“It’s an especially unique beer for US fans of barrel-aged beer,” Sharp says. “It’s got a lot of oak and whisky character, but it doesn’t overpower the beer itself. It’s a very balanced mix of spirit and beer that’s hearty and delicious but also very quaffable.”
Innis & Gunn’s unique Oakerator puts a modern twist on the barrel-aging practice. Instead of putting the beer in the barrel, it puts the barrel in the beer. Beer circulates through this modern device (filled with blends of toasted and spirits-infused oak) to gain better and more consistent barrel-aged flavor. It was developed through two years of extensive research by Sharp that included trials at Edinburgh’s famed Heriot-Waite brewing school.
Irish Whiskey Aged Stout is available now in fourpacks of 11.2-ounce bottles (SRP $9.99) and in 5.5 gallon kegs in AL, CT, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, and VT.
TASTING NOTES – Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Aged Stout
- Malt: I&G Ale Malt, Crystal Malt, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt, Raw Wheat
- Hops: Super Styrian
- Maturation: Over Irish Whiskey-infused American oak heartwood in the Oakerators®
- Color: Black
- Smell: Chocolate, treacle, roasted coffee beans and dried fruit
- Taste: Earthy hops, rich malt and cocoa
- Finish: Complex and satisfying with a lingering oaky sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel
- Drink With: Beef stew, oysters, treacle pudding or blue cheese
Dougal Sharp Background: Sharp is a craft beer pioneer in his native Scotland and grew up in breweries there. At 14 he began doing grunt work in Edinburgh’s famed Caledonian Brewery, which was founded by his father, Russell Sharp. He worked up to head brewer while earning a chemistry degree in college. Sharp soon revamped the brewery’s recipes and his efforts resulted in numerous UK medals including top UK IPA for Caledonian’s Deuchars IPA. Sharp also helped to rebuild the brewery after two devastating fires.
An Accidental Backstory: In 2002 Sharp was asked by William Grant distillers to create a distinctive beer for seasoning oak whisky barrels for a special whisky. After distillery workers alerted him to the wondrous taste of the beer being drained from the barrels after seasoning, Sharp left the family business to launch Innis & Gunn (in 2003) and focus on oak-aged beers.
About Innis & Gunn:
Innis & Gunn is Scotland’s most award-winning brewer over the past 13 years. In 2015 Innis & Gunn’s three core beers — Original, Rum Aged and Toasted Oak IPA — all won medals in the 2015 U.S. Open Beer Championships, the 2015 International Beer Challenge and the 2015 World Beer Awards.