Edinburgh, Scotland – Innis & Gunn, the award-winning independent brewer of oak-aged beers, is releasing a new and limited-release beer in the US.
Innis & Gunn Vintage is a 7.7% ABV ale that was brewed in 2015 and aged in first-fill American bourbon barrels for 100 days before being packaged in 25-ounce bottles.
Vintage was bottled with live yeast for natural carbonation and to replicate the flavors and conditioning methods of cask-style beers. The bottle conditioning also allows the beer’s flavor to mature and further develop in the bottle.
Vintage was brewed with additions of crystal malt, roasted barley and Styrian Goldings hops. The beer sports a dark amber/brown color with red highlights and features flavors of caramel, coconut, cocoa, marmalade and almonds backed with notes of bourbon.
The beer’s barrel-aged methods are a nod to Innis & Gunn’s start and its future.
“I launched Innis & Gunn in 2003,” says founder Dougal Gunn Sharp, “after discovering the amazing flavors that oak barrels add to beer. Over the past 13 years we developed our Oakerators as a way to expand on our oak-aging methods, but barrel aging of beer is something we continue to do and will expand on this year.”
Vintage also serves as a celebration of Sharp reaching a certain vintage of his own: 30 years in the brewing business.
“The realization that I’ve been in the brewing industry for 30 years fills me with equal measures of achievement and absolute horror,” Sharp says. “Where the hell did the time go?! But from my first days of working with my Dad in Edinburgh at the Caledonian Brewery in the late 80’s, I knew that brewing beer would be a huge part of my life.”
“Vintage is a special beer,” he says. “It tastes incredible and has been a labor of love that we’ve been working on for several years. From sourcing the best first-fill bourbon casks we could get our hands on to deliberating over the right combination of malts, this brew is a thank you to our fans and a promise of what’s still to come.”
The launch of Vintage comes in a monumental year for Innis & Gunn. Earlier this month Innis & Gunn acquired the Inveralmond Brewery in Perth, Scotland. Innis & Gunn will be investing substantially to further develop the Perth brewery and to create a new state-of-the-art Innis & Gunn brewing and maturation facility.
The brewery was purchased with funds from a hugely successful BeerBond crowd-funding effort that raised £3million toward a state-of-the-art brewery in Scotland.
To bolster its US presence, sales and reach, last month Innis & Gunn appointed US Beverage as its new US importer. It also welcomed back Dougal Sharp’s brother, Neil Innis Sharp, to the Innis & Gunn team. Neil Sharp was instrumental in the early successes of Innis & Gunn and will head up the company’s efforts in the US.
Innis & Gunn Vintage is available in limited supply in boxed 25-ounce bottles in AL, CT, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, and VT. The suggested retail price of Vintage is $19.99.
About Innis & Gunn:
Dougal Gunn 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 and soon revamped the brewery’s recipes. 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.
Innis & Gunn Honors: 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.