Jul 3, 2012

Innis & Gunn Independence Day 2012

We’ll let Innis & Gunn CEO Dougal Sharp explain the origins of this oak-aged Scottish Ale:

“When we first produced Innis & Gunn Original in 2003, its wonderful flavor resulted from the interaction between our beer recipe and the American Oak in which we aged it. The success we have had internationally has only been possible because the USA has been the trailblazer for craft beer for over a decade. We owe a great deal to the USA and the brand would not exist without the American Oak used to flavor the beer, so we have brewed this special Independence Day beer to celebrate and honor this.”– Dougal Sharp, CEO Innis & Gunn

That’s quite a bit for this beer to live up to. And while Independence Day 2012, is a pretty tasty brew, the company’s Irish Whiskey Cask is by far and away their better product. This one isn’t bad, it’s just not great.


The brew pours with a dense, creamy and light tan cap that sits atop a medium amber liquid.


You pick up the American oak almost immediately with plenty of vanilla and wood rising from the surface as hints of butterscotch, grain and grassy hops linger in the background.


All of the elements from the aroma are present in the taste along with a sweetness that’s a bit cloying at times. Big vanilla, oak and butterscotch notes dominate the palate from start to finish as a light touch of hop tingle arrives late. A relatively light body and soft carbonation are appropriate for a beer of this fashion as the 7% ABV leaves a light, warming glow in the chest.


All in all, Independence Day 2012 isn’t all that bad of a beer. It’s just a little too sweet and packs a touch too much vanilla for my liking. The woody character brought on by the barrel aging is at a good level, though. Given the choice between this and the brewery’s more refined Whiskey Cask, I’d have to go with the latter and it’s fuller flavor profile.

Rating: 3.25/5

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

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