Edinburgh, Scotland — Innis & Gunn, the award-winning independent brewer of oak-aged beers, is releasing a new winter seasonal beer in the United States.
Bourbon Aged Dark Ale (7.4%) is a cola-colored ale made with Innis & Gunn’s house ale malt, crystal and toasted malts, roasted barley and Super Styrian Goldings hops.
The beer is aged in Innis & Gunn’s unique Oakerator oak-aging device over a blend of American oak that has been infused with American bourbon. This aging imparts the beer’s luxurious oak, vanilla and bourbon notes and rounds off the beer’s edges. It also helps create the beer’s complexity, velvety mouthfeel and long-lasting finish.
“For all our beers,” says Innis & Gunn founder and brewmaster Dougal Sharp, “we try to make something of exceptional quality that’s unique and bursting with flavor. Bourbon Aged Dark Ale has all of that in spades.
“The beer,” Sharp says, “has standout flavours of coconut, coffee beans and orange, complemented by notes of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and hops. This isn’t a beer for the flavour frigid,” he adds. “It’s big and characterful and will put hairs on your chest. It might be the holy grail of dark ale.”
Bourbon Aged Dark Ale is sold in a 22.3-ounce bottle and is now appearing at retailers in the
20-plus states where Innis & Gunn beers are sold. (Currently 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 is $8.99/bottle.
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.
Innis & Gunn Honors: Innis & Gunn has won a multitude of awards for its unique range of oak-aged beers. This summer 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.
The company has been recognized for its contribution to industry by winning the IGD Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award in 2013 and collecting two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade.
International Details: Available in over 20 countries, Innis & Gunn is the second-biggest supplier of specialty beer to the UK off-trade, the top bottled imported ale brand in Sweden, and the best-selling British bottled beer brand in Canada. The company employs over 50 people globally and enjoyed 30% average annual growth over the past two years.