Innis & Gunn, the award-winning independent brewer of oak-aged beers, is releasing its cult-favorite winter seasonal in the United States. Familiar with it?
Irish Whiskey Aged beer is a 7.4% ABV creation that debuted in 2012 and has become a US hit. It that quickly sells out within weeks of hitting retailer shelves.
Rich, complex and ultra-smooth, Irish Whiskey Aged features dark chocolate and coffee flavors, honey and spice whiskey notes, and oak/vanilla aromas and flavors. It has a velvety mouthfeel that leads to a satisfying finish of dark malts and more hints of whiskey.
“Ireland is known for its great stouts and its amazing whiskey,” says Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer, Dougal Sharp. “We’re paying tribute to both of them in our Irish Whiskey Aged beer.”
The beer is aged in Innis & Gunn’s pioneering Oakerator aging device on American oak that is infused with Irish whiskey.
“We use a lightly toasted oak for this beer,” says Rachel Sutherland, Innis & Gunn’s Sensory & Quality Manager, “to match Irish whiskey casks, which are typically lightly charred. This produces more of the coconut and spice notes that you get in an Irish whiskey, and less of the caramel and vanilla notes you find in American bourbon.”
“It’s an especially unique beer for US fans of barrel-aged beer,” Sharp says. “It’s got a lot of oak and whisky character, but it doesn’t overpower the beer itself. It’s a very balanced mix of spirit and beer that’s hearty and delicious but also very quaffable.”
Innis & Gunn’s unique Oakerator puts a modern twist on the barrel-aging practice. Instead of putting the beer in the barrel, it puts the barrel in the beer. Beer circulates through this modern device (filled with blends of toasted and spirits-infused oak) to gain better and more consistent barrel-aged flavor. It was developed through two years of extensive research by Sharp that included trials at Edinburgh’s famed Heriot-Waite brewing school.
Irish Whiskey Aged Stout is available now in fourpacks of 11.2-ounce bottles (SRP $9.99) and in 5.5 gallon kegs in AL, CT, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, and VT.