Innis & Gunn, the Scottish brewery known for the beer that tastes a little bit like whisky, has launched a program of seasonal releases. This month it led off with the timely Winter Treacle Porter.">

First Draught: a wintry porter from Innis & Gunn


Published:

Innis & Gunn, the Scottish brewery known for the beer that tastes a little bit like whisky, has launched a program of seasonal releases. This month it led off with the timely Winter Treacle Porter.

Innis & Gunn beers are traditionally aged in used spirit casks, but the brand’s success — it’s the number one bottled British beer in Canada — has led to a problem of both scale and breadth. There are only so many surplus barrels out there, and they have been used for a limited variety of spirits (whisky, bourbon or rum usually). To avoid continually buying old barrels, the Scottish brewery has developed a process — and trademarked its futuristic Oakerator name — whereby pieces of aged, American white oak are seasoned with booze, chipped and then added to large steel tanks of beer. Left for days or weeks, the beer draws flavour from both the oak and the seasoning spirit. 

The Spiced Rum Finish beer that was released in October needed to be made this way, because spices are added to rum after it comes out of the barrel, but the wood that goes into the Oakerator can be treated with spiced rum beforehand. The Winter Treacle Porter was next in line for the process.

“Treacle” is a sugary syrup similar to light molasses. The idea of adding treacle to the brew came from a guide to the traditional beers of Scotland called The Scots Cellar. It gives this porter a dense mouthfeel and also contributes a faint acidic edge. 

Oak brings its familiar vanilla scent that matches well with the sweet biscuit and dessert flavours of the first sip. Deeper into the glass you'll find cooked and dried fruit flavours. For a porter, this beer is relatively light on its feet and has a more open carbonation. The flavour lingers remarkably long and ends with a hint of anise. 

Innis & Gunn Winter Treacle Porter, $3.45 for a 330 mL bottle, LCBO #315697

In addition to covering beer, new restaurants and food trucks for Post City, David writes about food and drink for several Toronto publications including Spotlight Toronto and his own site, Food With Legs. For more of his thoughts on food, beer and life in general, follow him on Twitter.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

For his new restaurant on Ossington, Brandon Olsen has gone bananas

For his new restaurant on Ossington, Brandon Olsen has gone bananas

Brandon Olsen is a man obsessed with process. Prior to opening of his French restaurant on Ossington, La Banane, the chef spent hours in the kitchen breaking down every element of his menu in progress.
Posted 2 days ago
First Look: Tabülè adds a location at Bayview Village to their growing family business

First Look: Tabülè adds a location at Bayview Village to their growing family business

Their latest opened inside Bayview Village just a few weeks ago and is drawing on established Tabülè favourites with a few new twists.
Posted 7 days ago
Restaurant Review: Chef Steve Gonzalez is back with his gigantic new King West eatery

Restaurant Review: Chef Steve Gonzalez is back with his gigantic new King West eatery

Cherry-picking the menu works really well. Some of the fusion items, where East meets Latin, are really fun. Chef’s suite of ceviches are superbly entertaining: we’re captivated by the variegated flavours of tiraditos, raw tuna napped in passion fruit and lulo sauce, with black and white sesame seeds, chili-studded purée of butternut squash and baby greens.
Posted 7 days ago
Post-ROM sips at Museum Tavern

Post-ROM sips at Museum Tavern

Blink and you’ll miss Museum Tavern. Squirreled upstairs and across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum sits the suitably named brasserie. The charming space has been satiating museum goers since it opened back in 2012.
Posted 1 week ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module