Malt Whisky Trail – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Malt Whisky Trail (Scotch ale aged in scotch whisky casks) – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-matured for 60 days in scotch whisky barrels


on the back label:

This very special 90 shilling ale has been matured in casks from each of the five whisky-producing regions. After a lengthy maturation, we selected the very best casks from each of the regions and blended them together to achieve a rich yet balacned ale with layers of delicate, complex flavour.”

(back)


  • Style: (scotch whisky barrel aged) Scotch Ale
  • Taste: Sweet toffee vanilla malt subtle wood/peat light banana
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 CAD –  330 ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah
  • What was the impression: sweet vanilla toffee, doesn’t deserve the box

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Comes in a box with “limited edition” printed at least 5 times total on the box and bottle. Pours a Dr. Pepper reddish brown with a small 1cm head, very fine 1mm layer of retention, several scattered singular streams.

Nose: biscuity liquid barley malt. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, dense sugary malts

Mid-palate: persistent (lvl-7-sweetness), nutmeg, vanilla toffee malt

Finish: hint peat smoke, residual toffee malts, hints banana

Summary: That signature toffee sweetness this time, which is cloying at first, but after a few more sips the flavours start compound and the vanilla notes start to take over. The peat is subtle to the point of being indiscernible. Solid, but not that memorable.

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney (Stromness, Scotland)

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery (Sinclair Breweries), 10% ABV, 330ml., (Stromness, Scotland)


on the bottle neck label:

“Dark Island Reserve is a rich, robust ORCADIAN ALE. After a gentle fermentation at our brewery in Quoyloo, the beer is finished in old oak casks formerly used to MATURE FINE MALT WHISKIES. This unhurried process creates a timeless classic full of fruit, spice, oak and roast malt aromas. An Extraordinary ale.”

(neck)


  • Style: (scotch barrel aged) Old Ale
  • Taste: Thick heavy sweet balanced tangy molasses brown sugar caramelized barley malt
  • Where I got it : Liquors Hasegawa / Tokyo
  • How much: 900¥ ($9.90 CAD) – 300ml., November 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 50/50

Initial tasting 2012/05/16, [A-] Rating.


(2nd tasting, 5 years later)

Visual: Bailer top re-sealable cap. Pours cola dark brown with no head, micro bubbles along the perimeter, no activity, but a few bubbles surfacing now and then.

Nose: thick brown sugar sweet caramelized malts, molasses. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: slight oily, thick malt impression

Mid-palate: heavy brown sugar molasses, (lvl-6-sweetness), tangy backdrop, caramelized medium boozy barley malt, nutmeg

Finish: dates, vanilla, woody whisky exhale, residual barley malt

Summary: Thick and full but still manageable on the palate. Not enough smoothness in the mouthfeel to round it out. Still delicious though.

BrewDog Paradox Speyside (Scotland)

Paradox Speyside – BrewDog, 10% ABV – 330ml, (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

On the front side label:

“Scottish Malt Whisky Casks Rock! Their ruggedly robust beauty, character, captivating aromas and unique Scottish heritage had us completely spellbound. We tried maturing various things in them; garden plants, Germans, sandwiches and goldfish before we found the killer application: our imperial stout. This edition sees our Imperial Stout aged for several months in specialty selected Speyside whisky casks (1987 Macallan Sherry Cask). This maturation process results in the whisky flavours and aromas being infused deep into our beer. Paradox combines BrewDog’s premium craft brewed beer with the finest malt whisky casks. All you need to do is combine this bottle’s contents with a glass. To release the true character complexity and depth of flavours in this beer please enjoy at room temperature, unless you live in an igloo.”

  • Style: Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
  • My Rating: B
  • Taste Profile: caramel malts -> chocolate/cherry/coffee/vanilla -> bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: $8, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours coffee black brown with no head and almost no visible carbonation. Thick malts and caramel on the nose. Initial tastes of medium-heavy nicely sweetened (7/10) malts mixed with caramel, counterbalanced with a very light carbonation, milk chocolate, light roast coffee, light peat, vanilla and hint of cherry. Finishes bitter-semisweet with a lingering mild bitterness. Medium-high compexity, high depth, great transitions, excellent carry, great balance, good drinkability.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special 18 Reserve (Scotland)

Ola Dubh Special 18 Reserve – Harviestoun Brewery, 8.0% ABV, (Hillfoots Village, Scotland)

On the stringed ad around the bottle:

“Ola Dubh (or ‘Black Oil’) is so named because it is gloopy and viscous. This limited release has been matured in casks from Orkney’s award winning Highland Park distillery and to add complementary whisky notes to what is already an amazing brew. It is chocolatey with a roasty, bittersweet aftertaste.

Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was named Best Spirit in the World by F. Paul Pacult; it offers toffee sweetness, almond nuttiness and a prolonged, smoky aftertaste.”

  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: controlled sweetness and subtle flavours
  • Where I got it: Keg n Cork
  • How much: $8.50, June 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: mm…no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes
Tasting notes: pours jet black, small head, micro CO2. Dark malts on the nose. Thick heavy roasted malts up front, followed by a friendly gentle toffee-chocolate sweetness (4/10), while in the background there is a persistent smoky woodiness, mixed with soy sauce, and light ash. Finish is dense and light bitter (3/10). Medium-high complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, good drinkability. I think this one needs a touch more sweetness to balance out the thick and heavy flavours.

Texas Ranger BARREL AGED (Speyside Edition) – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Texas Ranger BARREL AGED (Speyside Edition), 6.6% ABV, (Denmark)

On the back label:

“Danish: En Porter brygget specielt til Texas på: vand, malt (smoked, maris otter, cara-crystal, brown og chocolate), ristet byg, humle (zeus, saaz og centennial), gær og chipotle chili. Lagret på Speyside Whisky Barrels i 3 måneder.”

My notes:

  • My Rating: A
  • Why I like it: suuuuuuper smooth mocha
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), 37.5cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes, I’d buy a half case
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours coffee black, small head, micro CO2 ringed retention. Coffee and heavy malts on the nose. Roasted coffee hits your first, followed by mocha, sweet chocolate, vanilla, cocoa nibs, chipotle chile, soy sauce, all mixed with a creamy mouthfeel, and 5/10-level sweetness and coffee-like viscosity. Finish is soft and bittersweet with a mild spicy hot kick. Medium-high complexity, high depth, excellent transitions, great carry, excellent drinkability. Sourness is expertly controlled leading to a smooth drinking and very sippable experience.

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery (Stromness, Scotland)

Dark Island Reserve – Orkney Brewery, 10% ABV, (Scotland)

On the front label:

“Dark Island Reserve is a rich, robust ORCADIAN ALE. After a gentle fermentation at our brewery in Quoyloo, the beer is finished in old oak casks formerly used to MATURE FINE MALT WHISKIES. This unhurried process creates a timeless classic full of fruit, spice, oak and roast malt aromas. An Extraordinary ale.”

Other notes:

  • hand-bottled on 11th November 2011
  • 2933 bottles produced in this batch
  • great taste GOLD award 2011

My notes:

  • My Rating: A-
  • Why I like it: super depth of chocolate and coffee
  • Where I got it: Sherbrooke
  • How much: $27 (after 10%), 75cl, May/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe with beer-friends
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: for sure

Tasting notes: pours jet black, minimal creamy head, ringed retention, micro CO2. Heavy thick malts on the nose. Drinks with minimal carbonation, slightly syrupy viscosity, starts off extremely bright fruity of bitter chocolate & orange peel, roasted coffee, toasted oak, figs & dates, vanilla, and lots of malt on the exhale. Drinks with 8/10-level slightly heavy sweetness. Medium-high complexity, high depth, great transitions, great carry, great drinkability. Its profile is similar to Ola Dubh scotch-barrel aged beer, however this is more fruity and more aggressive with the sweetness.

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel High Land Edition – Mikkeller (Denmark)

Beer Geek Brunch Weasel High Land Edition – Mikkeller, 10.7% ABV, (Brewed in Denmark)

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: great smoothness for 10% abv
  • Where I got it: W. 16th
  • How much: $10 (after 10%), 1 pint 6 fl.oz., Feb/2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: nah
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: yes

Tasting notes: pours inkjet black, minimal head and minimal CO2, sticky lacing, barely any retention, no visible CO2 streams. Coffee, oak, vanilla on the nose. 7/10-level soft sweetness hits first, then comes the barrage of coffee, vanilla, caramel, lightly smoked oak, dark bitter chocolate, prune/fig finish, creamy mouthfeel, bittersweet lingering finish with a slight dryness like when you eat 90% cacao chocolate. High complexity, high depth, great transitions, great length, great drinkability. Every sip is slightly different which makes drinking this a real pleasure. It hits pretty hard halfway through.