My introduction to Innis & Gunn was accidental—a bottle of the company’s classic ale was included in a press kit for one of Gordon Ramsay’s many Las Vegas-based restaurants. No one else claimed it, so I took it home, but didn’t drink it right away. At that time, I was much more into whiskies than I was beer.
One day, while waiting for a steak to cook, I decided to give it a sip. That sip turned into a dusting off of the bottle in short order. It was smooth and malty, with a nice crisp bite at the end, one of the most accessible beers I think I’ve ever tasted.
I didn’t revisit Innis & Gunn for quite some time, but a recent visit to Pub 1842 with staff writer Erin Ryan changed all that. They had a few nice variations on the classic Innis & Gunn formula, including an oak-aged and rum-aged version. Both were fantastic, and rekindled my interest. I’ve since made I&G a regular staple in my refrigerator. I’ve also begun to realize how large the company’s selection is, which brings me to the subject of this particular Booze Blog.
My latest acquisition is one of the brand’s “limited editions”—Canadian Cherrywood Aged, ale aged over cherrywood chips with maple syrup added. It clocks in at 8.3 ABV, higher than the norm for most I&G products.
I was a tad skeptical when I saw the words “maple syrup.” The last product I tried that mentioned those two words was a barrel-aged porter, and was a way-too-sweet disappointment (truthfully, I tried two sips and the rest went down the kitchen sink).
Not only was this not a disappointment, it might be my favorite Innis & Gunn product yet. The higher alcohol content doesn’t get in the way of this beer’s drinkability, and the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm the smooth flavor. I breezed through this bottle quickly, and will be scooping as much of this off the shelves as I can before it’s gone (if the “limited edition” tag is to be believed).
In other words: If you can’t find this at your local liquor store, it might be my fault.