Innis and Gunn has unveiled Vintage, a limited-edition beer, which has been six years in the making – the longest the award-winning brewer has matured any beer to date.
Pioneers of beer maturation, Innis and Gunn originally laid Vintage down to mature back in 2015. The beer spent its first 100 days in first fill American Bourbon casks, then following this, the beer was bottled with some live yeast, allowing the brew to slowly mature and develop in Innis and Gunn’s bonded warehouse over the last six years.
The result of this uncommonly long maturation is exceptional and surprising in equal measure. Those who have tasted Vintage so far, have described the beer as a real experience, with each finding different things at different times as they sip and savour the beer. A universal observation is how the aromas and flavours of Vintage change over time after pouring into a glass.
Innis and Gunn’s founder and master brewer, Dougal Gunn Sharp, said: “It starts with a champagne like aroma, which carries into the taste, but this soon dissipates as the beer opens up to give aromas and flavours of Christmas cake, ginger and dark treacle with hints of cocoa. Wait five minutes more and liquorice and caramel start to emerge on the palate alongside more of the bourbon, malt and vanilla notes we are best known for. At some point it will pass through a phase of smelling just like a good white Burgundy. Towards the end of the glass, orange marmalade, toasted butter and smooth espresso.”
The deep red, 9% ABV beer is ready to be enjoyed now or could be cellared for the future to allow for even further maturation, which makes it a great option for gifting or for collectors.
Dougal added: “Innis and Gunn was founded on a passion for trying different styles of maturation and Vintage achieves a special milestone for us. As we finally release this one-of-a-kind beer after six years, it marks our longest maturation to date and one which is almost unheard of in brewing.
“Vintage is a journey – both for us as a brewer and for the drinker – as it offers such a wonderful and unusual experience, with its evolving aromas and flavours, from first pour to last sip. I’d recommend enjoying Vintage with fellow beer lovers and comparing tasting notes to truly celebrate the unique qualities offered by this beer.”
Just 1,000 bottles of Vintage will be available from the Innis and Gunn online shop from Wednesday 1st September (innisandgunn.com). Priced at £25, the 500ml bottle comes in a specially designed gift tube.