You may remember not so long back that I reviewed another Innis & Gunn beer, another rum one in fact. It had disappointed me, frankly, given the usually high standards of the brewery in question. Well, at the end of the review I pointed out how I’d love to have a ‘proper’ rum finish beer (that’s my way of saying ‘dark rum‘ as opposed to simply ‘spiced‘).
Serendipity struck. A friend bought me the drink I had been dreaming of as a birthday present – now is the time not just to say thanks for his generosity, but also to review the h**l outta this beverage! It was great that he’d got me a selection of high-end beers, even more since he got me the exact one I was salivating for. I waited for the next sober night when my palate would be pure, then cracked off the top, immediately sniffing the beauty within and becoming entranced (thought I’d avoid the word ‘intoxicated’!).
- Served in 330ml bottles
- 6.8 ABV
- Matured over oak heartwood
- Brewed in Scotland
- Originally a limited edition, now part of the core range
Look It’s the standard I&G bottle, to be fair. It’s a nice logo and the raised-lettering on the glass gives it a groovy look of old-fashionedness.
The beverage itself is an odd one, in a way. I find it unusual in that I’ve not seen such a dark brown colour beer that, when held up, let’s so much light through. Burning orange at the bottom, up to a night sky at the top. It’s lovely! There’s no head retention, but it’s a light beer so that’s ok. 7/10
Aroma Ooh it’s lovely, that’s what I’m talking about! There’s a nutty (almost coconutty?), raisiny smell with hints of vanilla and some gentle spiciness – I think that’s cinnamon. It smells sweet, but really inviting what with the balanced hints of hop and malt. 9/10
Taste It’s extremely pleasant, though I must say that it doesn’t quite live up to the smell. It’s light, creamy and slightly refreshing, but the main thing is the fruity taste-train rolling smoothly over your tongue. It’s a touch too sweet for my personal tastes, but the hoppy bitterness does balance it out a bit.
You get that warming rummy sensation on the finish, caramelly sugars, vanilla and dark fruits, but the oaky dryness isn’t lost, so it’s pretty arty. Yum! 8/10
Value Since this was a present, I can’t really say! I won’t give this a score, but I’ll say that I think it’s worth at least £2.99 per 330ml. It’s 6.8% ABV, so it can’t be very cheap. Certainly a £4.00 pint would be the bargain of the year. The taste, more than anything, though, shows that it’s something worth paying a bit more and spending some time savouring.
Session Well at this strength you certainly have to watch out – you don’t want to get blotto immediately! The good news is that the flavours you can enjoy will develop over many sips, which makes for a good session, but perhaps the sweetness builds up too much. 7/10
You know, I really enjoyed this based on aroma, and the taste was good too. I can’t say it was ‘one of the best things I’ve ever had’, but it was certainly better than its ‘spiced rum finish cousin’. I recommend you try it whether you like rum and/or beer, you can’t help but like something about it. Enjoy!
Final Score: 77.5/100