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.”

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  • 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.

Vanishing Point 01 – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Vanishing Point 01 / VP01 (Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout)  – Innis & Gunn, 11.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

VP01 is the first in our Vanishing Point series; an 11% Imperial Stout, aged for over 200 days in the first fill bourbon barrels. Packed to the brim with big, bold flavours of rich bourbon oak and overflowering with character. VP01 is set to be the perfect winter warmer.”

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  • Style: (200+ day bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $17.50 CAD (after 10% off) –  500 ml., October 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yep, got 1 more in the cellar
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!
  • What was most impressionable: cannot taste the 11%, excellent BA influence

Visual: Odd 500 ml size. Pours jet brown-black without much head, thick ringed retention with a large island, a few micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel, bourbon + vanilla toffee, molasses. No alcohol detection, pristine. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: soft-crisp, thicker-light slick,

Mid-palate: tingly-slight microfizz, (lvl-8-sweetness), stealth alcohol tangy behind cola molasses dark barley malt

Finish: salted caramel-toffee, charred oak, maple syrup exhale,

Summary: I’ll admit the first few sips straight out of the fridge into a chilled glass were underwhelming but it drinks much better at around 15°C. As it warms the caramel malt flavours lengthen and the bourbon barrel aging characteristics become more prominent. Although delicious, supremely sippable without being overly heavy, the roasted malts just don’t hit a deep enough note before the sugars start to take over. The signature I&G toffee sweetness is certainly there, and is counterbalanced nicely with the vanilla bourbon oak aromas. I’m looking forward to their future Vanishing Point lineup.

Bourbon Dark Ale – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Bourbon (cask) Dark Ale – Innis & Gunn, 7.4% ABV, 330 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)

-matured for 30 days in bourbon barrels


on the back label:

This very special dark ale has been brewed in small batches and then matured over oak infused American Bourbon to give it its rich, rounded character and a satisfying smooth finish. Notes of coconut, orange oil and dark coffee beans are complemented by an earthy freshness from the hops.”

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  • Style: (bourbon barrel aged) Scotch Ale
  • Taste: Super sweet malty orange oil cola barley malt
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $18.40 CAD –  in a 4pack x 330 ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nope
  • What was most impressionable: sickly sweet

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours dark cola brown with a small 1cm head, thick micro ringed retention with a large island, spread out slow steady micro streams along the perimeter.

Nose: caramel-mild bourbon barley malt, slight booze (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: slight crisp, huge malty sweet impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-8-sweetness), sweet heavy barley malt, muddled coconut-ish/orangish cola notes, woody vanilla malt

Finish: sickly malt sweetness, residula cola malt

Summary: I used to enjoy I&G beers, up until they all become the too similarly sickly sweet, with this brew being no exception. Too sweet right from the get go, while lacking a creamy mouthfeel texture or fullness to round it out. Below average, especially for a BA beer.

Punk IPA (5.6%) – Brewdog (Ellon, Scotland)

Punk IPA (5.6%) – Brewdog, 5.6% ABV, 330ml., (Ellon, Scotland)


description from ratebeer.com:

Ingredients: Extra Pale Malt; Chinook, Ahtanum, Amarillo, Cascade, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin hops. IBUs 45
This fresh, full flavour natural beer is our tribute to the classic IPAs of yester-year. The post modern twist is the addition of amazing fruity hops giving an explosion of tropical fruit flavours and a sharp bitter finish.


  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Medium crisp dull CO2 biscuity barley malt stealth orange stealth bitter
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.25 CAD (after 5% off) – 330ml., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no, not enough body

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Pours almost clear marmalade orange, not much head, a half layer of micro retention, scattered loose streams.

Nose: toffee biscuity barley malt, hints of hops. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: medium crisp, dull CO2,

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), sligtht tingly, light grainy-light biscuity barley malt, gentle stealth orange citrus notes

Finish: super stealth soft hop bitter, grainy barley exhale

Summary: Very smooth without much lingering hop bitterness unlike North American IPAs. It seems to lack punch and depth characteristic of the other Brewdog brews I’ve had. Perhaps its due to the 2 year cellaring.

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.

Melville’s Ginger Beer – Innis & Gunn (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Melville’s Ginger Beer – Innis & Gunn, 4.1% ABV, 275 ml., (Edinburgh, Scotland)


on the back label:

We have captured the mouth-watering flavours of natural ginger by blending real stem ginger with our craft-brew lager. The resulting beer is deep, spicy and really packs a punch! Purity of flavour is so important to us we never use juice from concentrate.”


  • Style: Ginger Beer
  • Taste: Cane sugar cloying palate rough plain ginger light-medium burn
  • Where I got it : 16th St. Liquor / W.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 4 years). Pours copper orange with a bit of fizz and no head, very thin ring, scatter very loose slow streams.

Nose: cane sugared ginger, slight musky. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: soft crisp, incoming artificial sweetener like roughness

Mid-palate: ginger root, light tangy (lvl-6-sweetness), liquid cane sugar

Finish: light-medium ginger heat, ginger rooty exhale mixed with light barley malt

Summary: Not much beer in the ginger beer, mostly sugary liquid sweet cane with ginger overtones. There’s a compounding cloying artificial sweetener-like palate roughness after every sip. Average. I’ve had plenty of non-alcoholic ginger beers with more fiery punch than this.

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

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


on the back label:

We have captured the mouth-watering flavours of Scottish Glen Ample Raspberries 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.”

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  • Style: (Raspberry) Fruit Beer
  • Taste: Jammy mild tangy sweet raspberry subtle malt roughish finish
  • 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 4 years). Pours dirty reddish-brown with no head, surfacing soda-like streams with a small island, bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

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

Attack: crisp, raspberry fruity impression

Mid-palate: fruity-jammy-tangy raspberry juice, slightly cloying (lvl-6-sweetness), background light malt

Finish: residual malt, subtle bitter hops, palate roughness

Summary: A pretty simple beer that hardly tastes like a beer except at the finish where the hops appear. Partially authentic but mostly jammy raspberry with just a touch of tang. Drinkable, a bit better than their strawberry [C], though I don’t really like the palate rough finish.