This month pioneering Scottish craft beer maker, Innis & Gunn, releases its third exclusive limited edition for the US market: a small-batch Spiced Rum Aged brew infused with the finest spiced rum from the Caribbean. In a landmark move by the brewer, which has won worldwide plaudits for its innovative oak-aged beer, this is believed to be the first Spiced Rum Aged beer to be made for the US. Spiced Rum is the fastest growing segment of the Rum Market in the USA with over 9-million cases being sold each year.
“We wanted to create a beer that would capture the spirit of the summer season,” says Dougal Sharp, CEO of Innis & Gunn. “The ingredients and the way that we have made this beer give it a delicious taste and aroma, bursting with spiciness, fruit and vibrancy.”
To create the Spiced Rum Aged, Innis & Gunn used its Oakerator™, the only one of its kind, which is an alternative way of oak ageing Innis & Gunn beer and the only way for them to create this unique new beer.
“Caribbean distillers mature their rum in oak casks and then add their spices in a vat at the end of the process. There are no such thing as a ‘spiced rum barrel’ so we have made Innis & Gunn Spiced Rum Aged in a different way, using our unique Oakerator™ process
“Ever since we discovered the effect of maturing our beer in a first-use bourbon barrel back in 2002 we have been exploring different methods of oak-ageing to create great tasting beers. One of our most exciting projects has been developing our Oakerator™. This resulted from a programme that we undertook over several years at a cost of $150,000 at Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh, which is one of the world’s leading schools for brewing and distilling.
“The Oakerator™ enables us to make beers we would not otherwise be able to. At its most basic it imparts the typical flavors of barrel maturation, but above this it allows us to be even more creative with combinations of oak and spirit not normally found. Rather than putting the beer into the barrel, in the Oakerator™ we are getting the effect of ‘putting the barrel into the beer’, which, literally, was one of our earlier experiments!
“To make this beer we infuse air-dried, heartwood, toasted American Oak with an especially fine blend of spiced rums. We then bring the oak and our special beer together in the Oakerator™ in a unique process which enables us to achieve a perfect balance of oakiness and Caribbean spiciness in the beer.
“The Oakerator™ opens up a world of possibilities in making new and great tasting beers in the future.”
The final result is a well-balanced delicious beer with notes of baked apples and pears along with hints of dried fruit and oak. At your first sip the mellow biscuit malt is brought to life by rum notes of caramelized fruit and pear. The hops add a bitter quality and tastes of lychee, which complements the oak. This all diminishes to allow the rum to shine through with a trace of banana leaving lingering malt sweetness. All together, the mellow toffee character of the malt balances the lively spiciness from the rum and the bitterness from the Whitbread Golding Variety hops.
The Innis & Gunn Small Batch Limited Edition Spiced Aged Rum is now available for a limited time only on US shelves and is priced at $12.99 for a 4-pack.
Innis & Gunn Spiced Aged Rum is the third Limited Edition beer to be released in the US, following Innis & Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask, which was introduced in January, and then Innis & Gunn Independence Day, which debuted in July, both selling through the trade almost immediately. Over the past nine years, Innis & Gunn has won an international following for its innovative Limited Editions as well as the core range of Innis & Gunn Original and Rum Cask.
Color: A rich toffee hue.
Nose: Rich and pudding-like – baked apples and pears with hints of dried fruit, spice and oak.
Palate: The mellow biscuit malt is brought to life by the pungent rum notes of caramelized pear and cloves. The hops add a bitter quality and hints of grapefruit.
Finish: Mellow rum, perhaps a hint of banana, leaving a lingering malt sweetness.
Oakerator™ is a registered trademark of The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company Limited