Innis & Gunn 150 Maple & Thistle Rye Ale

Reviewed by on June 23, 2017 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Innis & Gunn

  • Origin: Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Rated On: June 23, 2017

  • Best Before: January 2022

  • ABV: 5.9%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Rye Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Arriving in a nice cardboard tube, this rye ale was aged in 150 barrels for 150 days, to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, all because of the love this country apparently shows towards this UK brewing concern.

This 500ml bottle pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with three Fat Bastard fingers of puffy, rocky, and silken tan head, which leaves some extensive limestone cave lace around the glass as it quickly sinks away.

It smells of subtle maple syrup, semi-sweet grainy and bready caramel malt, weak rye cereal notes, muddled citrus fruit, vanilla-laden nougat, a weird earthy and musty floral thing, and fairly tame leafy, weedy, and musky green hop bitters.  The taste is grainy and crackery pale malt, mild bittersweet cocoa powder, a sort of rye-forward barrel woodiness, musty yeast, faint maple sap, ethereal domestic citrus rind, and more musky, floral, and herbal verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is active in its palate-probing frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess settling in once things warm up a tad.  It finishes off-dry, the mixed base maltiness and spectral maple character contending with a lingering musty floral essence.

Overall, I gotta say, this does not taste like yer typical Innis & Gunn joint – no big caramel/malt bomb here.  However, there is almost a ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ thing happening, in that the two national guest ingredients get lost in the mire of rye, hop, and wood.  Ah well, a pleasant enough effort, nonetheless, and their hearts are at least in the right place.

Brady White



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