Tonight’s Beer: Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Scottish Stout

One of pleasantest surprises from our recent trip to Edinburgh was the abundance of excellent beers. We figured Scotland would be Scotch-land, but craft beers were in abundance, especially at beer-centric bars like Brewdog. Among our favorite local brews were Alechemy Five Sisters Cask Ale, which isn’t yet available here in the States, and Innis & Gunn, which is. Innis & Gunn has an impressive range of beers, but our favorite was Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask Oak Aged Beer. It’s a Scottish stout matured in oak barrels that previously contained Irish whiskey, and it’s finally available in the good old USA. It’s also what I’ll be sipping tonight.

I got my hands on a four-pack of this delicious stout last week, and think it’s just great. It’s mildly sweet, like expensive chocolate, with notes of espresso and vanilla. It has a nice chewy mouthfeel, and ends with just a kiss of bitterness, to remind you that you’re not, after all, sipping a chocolate malt. If you like Guinness and Murphy’s stouts, you should try it. 

It’s the first beer to be aged in Irish whiskey barrels, which give it a mellow sweetness (something about a sugar exchange). Yes, barrel aging is quite the thing these days, not just with whiskey and rum, but with cockails and beer too. Works for me. 

Visit the Innis & Gunn website to find out where you can get some. A four-pack will run you about $10. If you’re in New York, drop by the city’s only two proper Scottish pubs, Highlands in the West Village or St. Andrews in Midtown, for a pint. You’ll linger.

[Related: BlackBook New York Guide; More by Victor Ozols

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