Style: Strong ale
Brewery: Innis & Gunn
Based in Edinburgh, Innis & Gunn was founded in 2003 by Master Brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp. The business has gone on to achieve incredible growth, currently selling 2.5 million cases of beer per year in over 35 countries. Brewed using Innis & Gunn ale malt, roasted barley and chocolate malt, this beer is brewed with bits of broken up oak casks that have originally been used for rum production to give the distinct oak finish that the company has become synonymous with. This beer was also previously released under the name “Blood Red Sky”, but it was changed recently to emphasize the rum barrel aspects of the beer more predominantly.
This poured with a dark ruby red colour, along with a slight eggshell hued head that held fairly well. The aroma was rather surprising, with soft cherry, sherry, burnt oak and almonds all noted. It was most enticing to say the least! The medium to low carbonation was first noticed upon sipping, and seemed like the perfect level for this style of beer. The taste was robust, with the rum sweetness blending delightfully with other notes such as raisins, figs, pumpkin spice and toasted brown bread. After being swallowed, a buttery character came through in the aftertaste, mixed with burnt vanilla and a hint of a cinnamon. It left the palate feeling smooth and refreshed, but with a light sweetness that clung to the tongue for a fairly long time.
Medium bodied and easy to drink, this was extremely enjoyable. I was surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did, as I sometimes find Innis & Gunn beers to be slightly boring. For the price though, I think this is a great beer and one I could easily have again in the upcoming autumn months as a cosy beer to enjoy as the leaves start to fall.