Aug 21, 2012

Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Aged Ale

Innis & Gunn have sent me a few samples of their wood aged beers over the past several months. From the okay Independence Day 2012 to the much more flavorful and enjoyable Irish Whiskey Cask, their products have had their own unique spin on wood aging. This latest effort, an English Strong Ale aged on spiced rum wood chips, is just as intriguing.

Now, I’m not the biggest fan of spiced rum (or rum in general really). My liquor of choice has always been bourbon and, on occasion, scotch, but having had several mishaps in my college years with a variety of rums, I have steered clear of them for many years now. That said, I’m always willing to give anything another go, even if it’s in the form of a beer that only has the flavors of rum attached to it and not the eventual affects.


A light tan head that sat briefly before dropping quickly over the brilliant amber brew. It certainly looks like a spiced rum.


Plenty of vanilla and oak from the wood chip aging. A light caramel, bready notes and a smooth spiced rum character mingle softly in the background.


The spiced rum is more noticeable on the tongue than the nose alluded to, but it really makes its presence known in the lingering finish. Up front it’s all vanilla and oak — perhaps a touch too much. Caramel malts and a light hop bitterness arrive smoothly and fade gently into the rum in the sweet finish. The alcohol leaves a bit of warmth in the chest.


The rum presence on this beer is subtle and smooth, which makes it easier for me to enjoy a product like this considering I’m not at all a rum drinker. The vanilla is a little too strong for my liking, but it’s not overtly distracting. All in all, this is another solidly produced, wood-aged beer from Innis & Gunn. I still much prefer their Irish Whiskey Cask though.

Rating: 3.5/5

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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