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Innis and Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask

The accidental birth of the perfect summer beer

by Kat Herriman in Food + Drink on 18 July 2012

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In 2002, a whiskey distiller approached Dougal Sharp, a top brewer at Caledonian, to create a method of brewing whiskey that would give it an ale finish. Sharp invented a process that would impart a beer flavor onto the oak whiskey casks, but to his surprise it would be the beer brewed in these casks that would be too good to throw away. Born by accident, Innis and Gunn was launched in 2003 by Dougal and his brother, Neil, based on this oak cask aged brewing process.

In March 2012, Innis and Gunn released their first limited-edition Irish Whiskey Cask stout. "We have never brewed a stout before, but when we heard we could get ahold of those exceptional barrels, we got very excited at the prospect of maturing a Scottish Stout in former Irish whiskey barrels!" says Dougal. The Innis and Gunn Irish Whiskey Cask is the first beer to be aged in former triple-distilled Irish whiskey barrels. The result is a dark beer with a chocolate and treacle taste, hints of oak and vanilla, and a crisp whiskey finish.

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Although stouts are not typically considered a summer beer, the whiskey finish makes this beer surprisingly refreshing. A perfect bottle to add to the backyard rotation, this stout tastes great when paired with this summer's Euro Cup festivities and bratwursts on the grill. Four packs of Innis and Gunn's Irish Whiskey Cask beer can be found for a limited time in the US at Whole Foods and other retailers for $13.

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