Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Melville’s Strawberry Craft Lager – Innis & Gunn, 4.1% ABV, 275 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

We have captured the mouth-watering flavours of Scottish Jubilee Strawberries by blending real fruit juice with our craft-brew lager. The resulting beer is full flavoured and deliciously refreshing. Purity of flavour is so important to us we never use juice from concentrate.”


  • Style: (strawberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Strawberry puree mixed with a simple lager
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek / Vancouver
  • How much: $11 CAD (after 10% off) – 275 ml. x 4, September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope

Visual: (cellared for 3.5 years). Pours reddish-brown with a micro bits of suspended strawberry sediment, no head, a half ring retention, scattered mix of spread out slow and steady loose streams.

Nose: strawberry puree, jam-like (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tingly-soft crisp bite, strawberry fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: bright (lvl-5-sweetness), slightly jammy-mostly authentic strawberry, conflicting subtle hop bitterness, barley malt background

Finish: artificial sweetener-like palate roughness

Summary: Decent bright fruity flavour but its severely lacking in any strawberry tanginess. It’s okay as a casual sipper to go along with a meal or a chill beer at the beach, but it lacks any real depth beyond mixing strawberry puree into a glass of lager.

Espresso Barleywine – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Espresso Barleywine – Innis & Gunn, 8.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

This robust, oak-aged barleywine has been infused with coffee beans that have been roasted and ground to our own specifications. We’ve finished the brew with an infusion of cardamom, mace and cloves, to create a very full-bodied, warming brew, perfect for enjoying by a fire as the colder nights draw in.

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  • Style: (flavoured – coffee bean, cardamom, mace, clove) Barley Wine
  • Taste: Sickly sweet syrupy liquid barley malt mace-clove coffee syrup gag reflex
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.15 CAD (after 20% off) – 330 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: what?? no way

Visual: Pours very dark brown with barely any head, a centered island and ringed retention, sporadic fast and slow bubbles surfacing.

Nose: aromatic mace-clove-cardamom, soft roasted coffee beans, alcohol nasal tingliness. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming heavy sugars, thicker viscosity

Mid-palate: syrupy (lvl-9-sweetness), alcoholic heavy, liquid barley malt, mace-clove-light cardamom

Finish: lingering gagging sickly sweetness, coffee syrup

Summary: All the spices are there as well as the coffee, but I find the thing to be just too darn sweet and heavy. I can handle sweet things but this particular brew causes a mildly offensive gag reflex near the finish. Not smooth and one of their worst that I’ve ever had – good aroma but ultimately disappointing.

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – 6.8% ABV (Scotland)

Innis & Gunn Rum Finish – matured for 57 days, 6.8% ABV, 33 cl., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

“This ruby red beer is matured over the finest rum-infused American Oak heartwood resulting in a beer with delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness. These vibrant flavours perfectly balance the beer’s toffee-malt backbone making it an ideal accompaniment to game meats like venison or duck. It is sublime with mature cheeses served with good chutneys and relishes.”

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  • Style: (barrel-aged – American Oak Rum cask) English Strong Ale
  • Taste: Dense overly sweet toffee’d barley malt brown sugar-molasses
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $16 CAD – 4 x 330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: fabulous

Visual: Pours clear mahogany brown without a significant lasting head, ringed retention with a small island, countable singular sporadic streams.

Nose: sugary thick toffee’d liquid barley malt (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming densely sweet malts

Mid-palate: heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), brown sugar-molasses, toffee’d liquid malted barley

Finish: residual malted sugars

Summary: I usually enjoy I&G brews but this one tasted awfully plain, short, and uninspiring. The toffee profile just becomes overly heavy with the addition of the rum barrel.

White Oak Wheat Beer – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

White Oak Wheat Beer – Innis & Gunn, 6.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

Inspired by the aroma and flavours more typically found in a cup of Earl Grey tea, the German-style Kristallweizen beer has been brewed at a warmer temperature to encourage sweeter, spicier flavours to develop. The brew has been aged over oak and then infused with dried bergamot and blood orange to create a fragrant and refreshing finish.

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  • Style: (flavoured – bergamot oil, blood orange, white oak aged) Kristallweizen
  • Taste: Malty compounding honey barley malt sweet tea bergamot oil orange citrus rough finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $3.50 CAD (7.5% off) – 12 oz.,  September 2015
  • Do I love this enoughto drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sessionable and forgettable

Visual: Pours golden orange with a smallish dissipating head, ringed fine retention, barely clustered active streams.

Nose: bergamot oil, sweet honeyed malts. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp-slick-thicker

Mid-palate: light tingly, (lvl-5-sweetness), orange pekoe tea, light liquid honey barley malt,

Finish: bergamot oil, orange citrus exhale, mild palate cloying roughness

Summary: Quite a bergamot oil presence, causing just a bit of a gag reflex, even though I’m a huge fan of Earl Grey tea. Flavours are unique and as advertised, although I’m sure this beer isn’t for everyone. As with all Innis & Gunn beers, the sweetness of the malts compound with each sip and this one is no exception.

Toasted Oak IPA – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

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Toasted Oak IPA – Innis & Gunn, 5.6% ABV, 330ml, (Edinburgh, Scotland)

on the back label:

“This IPA’s intense hop character comes from a brewing technique unique to Innis & Gunn. We add hops 3 times during brewing, each one creating additional layers of zesty flavour and aroma. We then finish the beer over specially toasted oak to give it the rich, rounded character of authentic IPAs from the 1800s.”

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  • Style: (oak) Barrel-Aged English IPA
  • Taste: Malt liquor sweet soft nondescript hopped bitter
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3 – 330ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: pass

Visual: Pours clear golden amber without much head, a thin layer of micro-fine retention, steady scattered streams all around.

Nose: gummy sweet liquid malt, lightly rank. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: ultra-biting crisp, thick malts

Mid-palate: (MAIN) bitter malt, subtle oak

Finish: (lvl-5)-sweetness, dry malt liquor, lager-like sweetness, soft-subtle hopped bitter finish.

Summary: Malty smooth but a very understated hop character; mostly the typical I&G sweetness takes over the palate – still, it’s smooth and drinkable but hardly memorable. Most importantly it doesn’t have the toasted oak flavour as advertised.

Crabbie’s Raspberry Ginger Beer (Edinburgh, UK)

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  • My Rating: [C+]

Raspberry Ginger Beer – Crabbie’s, 6.9% ABV – 750ml., (Edinburgh, UK)

on the back label:

Ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, alcohol (water, glucose syrup, yeast), ginger wine (water, glucose syrup, grape juice concentrate, ginger extract, yeast), grain alcohol, citric acid, natural flavour, anthocyanins (colour), potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium metabisulphite (preservative), ascorbic acid (antioxidant). Contains wheat and sulphites. [full of non-beer stuff!]

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  • Style: (raspberry, ginger) Flavoured Cooler
  • Taste: Fruity grape med-sweet light ginger cooler
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4.25 – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not particularly special

Visual: Pours clear brilliant ruby red without any head, no retention, no lacing, and only a few countable streams.

Nose: Very fruity berry, ginger beer soda in the background (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense fruity sugars

Mid-palate: Very berry-forward, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) red grape, mild ginger, syrupy sweetness

Finish: mild ginger burn, rooty ginger-sweet finish.

Summary: Not actually raspberry, but grape, and not actually a beer but a mix of alcohol, wine and juice. Pretty good drinkability, but not something I’d want again and again.

Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Beer (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B

Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Stout  (60-day matured), 7.4% ABV – 330ml, (Edinburgh, Scotland)

On the back label:

“This award winning (International Beer Challenge London 2012) bottling of Innis & Gunn is back for a second year following its runaway success in 2012. The beer has been aged in rare oak barrels which were previously used to mature of the great triple distilled Irish whiskeys. The result of this unique maturation is a big, full flavoured beer with an unexpectedly warming finish.”

  • Style: (Irish Whiskey) Barrel- Aged Stout
  • Taste Profile: foamy/tingly sweetness -> caramel malts/cola/coffee -> warm sweet-bitter finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4, April 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours dark almost black-very dark brown with a small dissipating head, ringed retention and runny lacing. Med-dark malts, roast coffee and oak on the nose.

Attack: crisp foamy-tingly 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: STRONG caramel malts, cola, coffee, hints of orange sweetness

Finish: warming lingering light-med more sweet than bitter finish

This one is a nice balance of sweet, rich, maltiness and bitterness from the first sip to the last. Quite enjoyable and I prefer this to the original.