This week’s beer comes from a well known and much-adored brewer we’ve covered before, Innis and Gunn. Readers on both sides of the pond will need little or no introduction to their classic original oak aged beer, which began life as the waste product of whiskey barrel enhancement that just so happened to taste sensational. You can read our previous post for the full story of how Innis and Gunn came to be, but today, we’ll be turning our attention to a seasonal special from their ever-expanding plethora of oak-aged goodies.
White Oak Wheat – Seasonal Edition
I was compelled to write a full review of this particular offering having recently featured it on TA Brews TV, because, quite simply, it’s the best beer I’ve ever smelt. The aroma is sensational! Here’s why:
In true Innis & Gunn fashion, the White Oak Wheat is anything but conventional and is said to take inspiration from the aromas and flavors typically found in a cup of Earl Grey tea. That’s right, true to the stereotype of typical Brit I’m rather partial to a cup of well-made, fresh tea. I’ve been known to partake in an Earl Grey or two over the years, and it has to be said, the aromatic qualities of this British classic are particularly comforting.
What makes it smell so good?
Classic Earl Grey tea is infused with bergamot oil – extracted from the rind of a bergamot orange – giving the tea a distinctive citrus flavor and aroma. Similarly, Innis and Gunn White Oak Wheat is infused with dried bergamot and blood orange oil to create an invigorating, fragrant aroma.
Secondly, while this beer takes its inspiration from German-style wheat beers, the brewing style is just as unconventional as the aroma enhancement. The brew is, of course, aged over oak to impart the classic Innis & Gunn signature, and is also brewed at a warmer temperature to encourage sweeter, spicier flavors to develop.
Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Let’s crack one open and see…
The beer in review…
Moving to the aroma, the nose is dominated by intoxicating bergamot orange, with lighter floral notes combined with cloves, lemongrass and vanilla. If you’re familiar with earl grey tea, you’ll immediately feel a sense of familiarity, only with the added complexity of something extra – almost like Earl Grey meets mulled cider.
Time of year
Refreshing in Summer and aromatically comforting in Winter.