Weekly Beer Geek: Rum Cask Beer
- Written by Luke G
- June 14, 2012
Rum Cask Beer
Innis & Gunn
$3.69/ 11.2 Oz Bottle
The Beginning: A while back I reviewed Innis and Gunn’s Irish Whiskey Cask. I rested, and looked upon the beer that they had made, and saw that it was good. When I’m going to have some liquor I have two choices: whiskey or rum (or peach schnapps, but that’s what I drink when no one is watching). And lo and behold! I&G has also made a Scottish Beer aged in rum casks. Hell, I didn’t even know there WAS a fancy special kind of cask for rum, although this should not surprise me. Onward!
The Brewer’s Pitch: Innis and Gunn pitches Rum Cask much like I was envisioning it in my head - a spiced, flavorful beer aged in oak rum casks. In fact, the bottle even has a signed certificate plastered on it, saying it was aged for 57 whole days! Wow! The tasting notes they emphasize are a smell of spiced fruit and oak, over a deep red brew with a fruity taste and spicy zing from the rum. It finishes mellow with an oaky bitterness and a bit of spice - they say it makes a good pairing with wild game like venison. As a hillbilly nerd I’ve had my share of deer, so we’ll see if that claim meets muster.
The Beer: Rum cask is a deep, clear ruby red with a finger or so of dark tan head. The nose is almost reminiscent of scotch whiskey - a smoldering, smoky bite with more subtle notes of sugar and spice. The first taste is molasses followed by a fruity spice like cloves and berries. It's smooth and fairly full-bodied, and feels thicker than it is by virtue of its smooth sweetness. This is a very sweet beer, a musty fruit flavor with an undertone of leather and spiciness. The aftertaste is a sugary tang that lingers on the back of the tongue.
The Breakdown: This is good, but very sweet. It’s syrupy and fruity and sticky, and really a bit cloying. I do think it would go well with venison or other game, though, since smoky or gamey tastes would do a great job of cutting the treacle that lingers underneath the body of this beer. On the upside, the flavors are delicious. It’s got a smoothly tropical feel, and although it’s fruity and sweet it has those flavors in a dark way, musty and boozy rather than perky and sugary. I think a bit more spice would have totally made this beer dominate, but it’s still worth a purchase. I’ll likely be seeing what else I&G has to offer in weeks to come.
The Bottom Line: The Innis and Gunn website asks, “Who’d have thought that rum and beer would work so well?” I would, you nitwits, that’s what we call “Friday.”