First released in 2021, this is Innis & Gunn’s fastest ever selling limited-edition. And the 2022 release had the highest rate of sale of any craft 330ml bottle beer in Scotland.
Islay Whisky Cask Beer, a 7.4% Scottish red ale, is brewed by Innis & Gunn before every year being matured in a different way, always in Laphroaig casks. This produces a limited edition that continues to evolve while offering familiarity – yet with subtly different nuances:
In 2021, matured solely in Laphroaig 10YO casks;
In 2022, matured in rare Laphroaig ‘Quarter Casks’ which, being smaller casks, allowed a greater interaction between cask and beer;
The 2023 release of Laphroaig’s Islay Whisky Cask beer is set to offer a unique and intriguing tasting experience. The larger Laphroaig 10YO casks, which have been previously used for second fill Bourbon, will be utilized for the first 10 weeks of maturation, followed by 3 weeks in second fill Port casks. This combination allows drinkers to savor a double dose of Laphroaig’s renowned and highly sought-after flavors.
The resulting beer is a deep chestnut color with an attractive head upon pouring. The aroma is initially intense and heady, with a hint of peat smoke that gradually gives way to notes of chocolate, spiciness, heather, and coffee. The taste is a contrasting marriage of oak and malt sweetness, full-bodied with hints of dried red fruits, toasted malt, caramel, and Scottish ‘tablet’. The Islay Whisky Cask beer finishes with a slight dryness, leaving a soft aftertaste that delivers subtle smokiness.
For the best experience, it is recommended to pour the beer cold (between 1°C to 4°C) into a goblet glass and enjoy with a dram of Laphroaig for a complementary pairing. With its higher ABV and full flavor profile, Islay Whisky Cask beer also pairs well with a variety of foods.
This is my favourite expression of our collaboration with Laphroaig yet. The double maturation, and use of ex-port casks, has brought further depth to the beer and introduced sweet, fruity notes which are in delicious balance with the briny-smoky hallmark Laphroaig taste.
Both our brewing team, and the distillery team at Laphroaig really understand how to balance flavour and have pushed themselves this year to make something really special. This uncompromising beer unites brewing and distilling craftsmanship at its best.
– Dougal Gunn Sharp: Founder and Master Brewer, Innis & Gunn
Our collaboration with Innis & Gunn is as natural as it is exciting. At Laphroaig, we’ve spent over two centuries perfecting our unique and bold flavours. It requires an uncompromising and original brand to match it – enter Innis & Gunn!
I’ve always been a fan of Innis & Gunn, and this latest release does not disappoint. You’ll taste a whisper of peat along with a distinctive toasted malt note that comes from the Laphroaig cold smoking kilns, along with rich fruits and a long-lasting sweetness from the double matured port casks. The unmistakable refreshing citrus and orange rind flavours from the beer are followed by a warming finish with hints of oak and that classic understated bitterness that Innis & Gunn create so well. It’s a superb combination of cask, whisky and beer all perfectly balanced in flavour.
– Barry McAffer: Distillery Manager, Laphroaig
Innis & Gunn Islay Whisky Cask in its specially designed gift carton by Scottish artist, Scott Naismith, is available from 17th April 2023 via the Innis & Gunn online shop, priced at £6 per 330ml bottle; and for the first time appearing on shelf from June at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s nationwide, plus in Booths Supermarkets and in Tesco in Scotland at £5-6 per 330ml bottle.
Pioneers of cask maturation, Innis & Gunn was founded in 2003 by Master Brewer, Dougal Gunn Sharp with the launch of ‘The Original’, a single malt whisky cask matured Scottish golden beer, widely available in supermarkets and in export markets.
Innis & Gunn’s innovative NPD programme continues to push the boundaries of brewing in 2023 with five Limited Edition brews being unveiled throughout the year.
About Innis & Gunn:
Since its foundation in 2003, Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has grown to become one of the UK’s most successful craft beer businesses. Using innovative techniques including oak cask maturation, Innis & Gunn brew multi-award-winning beers including the flagship ‘The Original’ and Innis & Gunn Lager Beer, recently awarded at The Great Taste Awards. The brewer’s portfolio also includes a range of IPAs and a line of bespoke limited-edition brews which demonstrate quality, innovation and craft.