Innis and Gunn. Scottish Beer Matured in Bourbon casks
by Russell Sharp
(Innis and Gunn, Scotland)
The Scottish beer brewer Innis and Gunn do not have a brewery of their own but outsource the brewing to Belhaven Brewery at Dunbar and then tanker the beer to Williamm Grants distillery at
Girvan where it is filled into bourbon casks fresh from Kentucky.
The casks are from a variety of distilleries and all bestow their own character to the beer.
Innis and Gunn know the provenance of every cask they use and can even trace them back to where they were coopered and, although perhaps not the individual tree, where the oak was grown.
This is in contrast to other brewers in the UK who have used old Scotch whisky barrels for
maturing their beers and really cannot trace the life cycle of them.
Also it is critical that the beer is in harmony with the flavour character which the cask imparts.
The oak lactones and aromatic aldehydes are present in such minute amounts that their
flavours are lost in a coarse and unbalanced beer.
The beer is in the cask for up to one month which is the optimum time that has been found over the years.
Innis and Gunn also do a beer matured in rum casks and 18 year old Speyside Whisky casks which had been first fill after Bourbon and have done an IPA style which is sensational.
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