118. Innis & Gunn Original

Posted: September 22, 2011 in ale, International beer, traditional looking label
Tags: , , , , ,

Innis & Gunn Original

Company info:
Innis & Gunn
Edinburgh, SCOTLAND


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 6.6%
Standard drinks: 1.7

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $6.50

Label info: ‘To make Innis & Gunn we hand-select barrels which are packed with the most delicious oak flavours. Over many weeks our unique maturation slowly unlocks these flavours from deep inside the oak grain, the beer growing in character with every hour that passes. Only when it has matured to perfection do we bottle and release it. The result is a refreshing, honey-hued beer with aromas of vanilla and toffee, and a malty, lightly oaked finish’

What the label really means: For a brew that has been matured to taste perfection prior to bottling, why have Innis & Gunn decided on the clear glass bottle? Surely this just ruins all their hard work? I admit the oak maturation sounds exciting but can’t help feel any subtleties will be disolved to nothingness by the time it reaches my lips. We shall see.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is my second Innis & Gunn reviewed beer (the first can be found here). The only difference between the two labels is that this Original has more red. So, I re-post my previous label comments minus a point for lack of originality:
‘There’s a musky Gentlemen’s Club kind of feel to this label. It makes me think of cigar labels or a fine bottle of cognac that’s sat upon a shelf and brought out for only the most special of guests. It’s blokey, it’s musky, it’s exclusive. I appreciate its simplicity, and its old world charm. I cannot overlook the annoying clear bottle that the label sits upon. Why, Innis & Gunn, why? You were looking so good’.

I give it a label rating of 5.5 out of 10.

AROMA: An intensely strong hop aroma with a hint of what I think smells a bit like cinnamon.

Taste: GLASS – Innis & Gunn Original is quite sour and bitter in flavour with a distinct burnt sugar / toffee undertone. It’s dry and bitter and nothing overly exciting. I had hoped this would be as good as their Rum Cask brew but it doesn’t come close unfortunately.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Basically the same as from the glass but perhaps not as complex. It also appears to become a little more dry which is definitely not a good thing. Stick to the glass, people.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: This would sit nicely beside a thick, flavoursome beef ragout.

Best season to appreciate: More of a Winter Warmer…perhaps that’s why I haven’t enjoyed this as much as I’d hoped…it’s just too darned warm.

All-nighter beer? Not for me I’m afraid. It’s just a bit too dry and a bit too bitter.


  1. Radio Snivins says:

    By the way, I popped into my local Murphett’s on Friday night and Eric, the lumpy genius behind Grand Ridge Brewery, had his tasting bench set up. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I was starstruck. In fact, I was a complete gigglewort. I didn’t even ask him about his hop choices, or yeast strains, or in his opinion what chip goes best with which beer, I just giggleworted, and test slurped his superb range. I did get my liverspot signed though.


  2. BargeDave says:

    I’ve tried this before during the previous I&G review and don’t feel the need to go back. In other news, there was an interesting doco about the history of Australian beer. Turns out most of the claims about James Squire which we read on our beer bottles are true. It also outlined the transition from ales to ‘lagers’ in the late 19th century, brought about by refrigeration. Today’s big commercial brewers essentially started out as ice-makers rather than beer lovers, and I think this explains rather a lot about much Australian beer.


    • Radio Snivins says:

      It sounds fascinating, Bargé. What’s it called? Is it on iView? Did Edmund Resch get a mention, and if so, was he a poisoner?


      • BargeDave says:

        I think several Resches copped mentions. We don’t get that brand in SA so I don’t know what I’m missing when Sniv refers to their brews.


      • Radio Snivins says:

        You can’t get it here in Vic either. It must be like fruitfly. They try to keep it contained in the northen states.

        My disdain for the stuff stems from the early ’90’s when a chum ‘n’ I were in Canberra buying porn and fireworks. Reschs was the local Pub tap beer. We drank half a middy of it each one Friday night and had to retire hurt.


    • Radio Snivins says:

      Say no more, Bargé. I’ve done some more of that research malarkey. It’s called ‘Your Shout: History of Australian Beer’. Part 1 is repeated on The History Channel next Monday, and Part 2 on Wednesday. I’ll record ’em ‘n’ up ’em if anyone’s interested. I’ll take a thumbs-down to be a yes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m exhausted after all that. I must nap…zzz


  3. Radio Snivins says:

    Another excellent review, ‘Kazoo. I’m in complete agree with you. Complete agree. I had tall hopes for this stuff, but my hopes were midgeted upon first glug. It reminded me of a slightly louder version of Melbourne Bitter. There was a time in the Snivins zeitgeist when that would’ve been enough, but not now that he’s a beer poontz.. No way Still, it is 6.6%. Nine out of ten.

    Also, ‘Kazoo, if it’s no bother, would you mind choosing a kick-bottom German beer for your next review. There’s a good ‘Kazoo.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Your wish is my command Signeur Snivellikis. I have a German brew lined up and waiting to be set free – review released tomorrow.


      • radiosnivins says:

        That’s the ‘Kazoo.

        Er, ‘Kazoo, any poss you could tell me what it’s called? Hmm? Then I could grab some when I’ve finished loitering around the low-carb beer shelf at my local Muphettorium tonight. They’re sellin’ slabs of Three Kings Lager for $26.90. I’m not a fan of the stuff, I find it as interesting as a telly test pattern, but I reckon anyone fool enough to buy it in quantity is a ricketyhead and will be ripe for the Litmus Configuration wheeze…


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