Innis & Gunn Winter Treacle Porter

Reviewed by on January 20, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Innis & Gunn

  • Origin: Scotland

  • Rated On: December 3, 2012

  • Best Before: September 2013

  • ABV: 7.4%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Innis & Gunn, those venerable Scottish oak-aging enthusiasts are at it again with their latest offering, called ‘Winter Treacle Porter’ in shipments to Canada, where it comprises part of the usual I&G giftpack, and is now sold separately, like batteries, I suppose. A 330ml bottle, their first attempt at a porter, to which they’ve added some treacle (molasses, essentially, on this side of the pond).

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a low fuzzy rise of lace around the glass as it subsides at an even pace. It smells of dark, rummy sugar, banana liqueur, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate, a subtle oaken woodiness, some mildly astringent orchard fruitiness, and a marshmallows candy character. The taste is musty molasses – restrained in their sweetness – dark black fruit, a twinge of besotted wood graininess, nicely evolving Christmas cake notes, some additional soft, warming alcohol, and a touch of earthy hops.

The bubbles are generally quite tame, and just barely supportive, the body a sturdy medium weight, a tad clammy, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the molasses (I suppose that’s actually treacle, but having no cultural experience there, I’m going with what I know) doing well to not overstep its guest role – the fruit, hops, and booze all lending an even helping hand.

Well, I&G usually leaves me with a case of the blahs, usually from the overwrought oak sweetness – here, however, that is leavened a fair bit, and the unusually exotic sugar adjunct adds a bit of seasonal whimsy. Nothing revelatory, but worth a try over the imminent onslaught of baked goods, I’m sure.

Brady White

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