Thursday, 17 November 2022

Innis & Gunn unveils sixth imperial stout from its limited-edition Vanishing Point range


Image courtesy of Innis & Gunn

A new release from Innis & Gunn is almost as exciting as Christmas. Every year, the Scottish craft brewer brings out a new product from its Vanishing Point range.

The company describes the series as its “apex. It’s the point at which the passion, skill and ambition of our brewers all converge.”

Vanishing Point 06 is 2022’s offering, and it’s a good’un. In collaboration with The Glenlivet, Innis & Gunn’s has matured an imperial stout in oak casks that previously held The Glenlivet 18-year-old single malt whisky.

The beer was left to mature in the casks for the year, which means it’s taken on some of the flavours and characteristics of the whisky, which will be left behind in the oak. The stout is very dark, complex, and is spicy, but balanced with honeycomb, toffee and vanilla. It has a lingering finish with a warming whisky sweetness.

Only 1,500 bottles of Vanishing Point 06 were available from Innis & Gunn’s online shop, costing £15 per 500ml bottle. As you can imagine, the beer sold out incredibly quickly. Fortunately, we managed to get our hands on one, and will be opening it on Boxing Day with a huge Innis & Gunn fan. We’ll update this article again with a review once we've tasted it.

Image courtesy of Innis & Gunn

Dougal Gunn Sharp, founder and master brewer, Innis & Gunn said, “Our first edition of Vanishing Point was in 2016 and since then each annual release of the beer has been an evolution of the last. A ‘vanishing point’ is something always slightly beyond reach and this name perfectly fits this beer and our quest for continual progression in brewing, evolving year by year.

“Collaborating with The Glenlivet to mature this beer in their rare 18-year-old whisky casks has taken Vanishing Point 06 to another level, introducing flavours and complexity that only a whisky skilfully matured in this way, could have left in the casks.”

Innis & Gunn's limited-edition beers still available

Although you may have missed out on the excitement of Vanishing Point 06, three of the previous Vanishing Point beers are still available: 02, 04 and 05.

All 11% imperials stouts, Vanishing Point 02 is matured in first-fill bourbon casks for 300 days, Vanishing Point 04 is matured in first-fill bourbon barrels for 450 days, and Vanishing Point 05 is matured in hand-selected 15 year old Speyside single malt whisky casks for 365 days. All are available on the Innis and Gunn website, including as a bundle of three if you just have to try them all.

If you want a bit more sunshine from your limited-edition beer, we'd recommend getting your hands on a bottle of The Original: PX Edition. Innis & Gunn's The Original Scottish golden beer is matured in Pedro Ximénez casks for three months, which brings out a sweet, fruity richness with some really delightful toffee, malty characters. Pedro Ximénez sherry is often called Christmas pudding in a glass, so if you want a beer that'll fit the bill for the festive season, you know where to look. However, at the same time, it remains light and citrussy, meaning it'll be perfect over summer too. 

*Updated article to say Vanishing Point 06 had sold out*

Monday, 14 November 2022

Drinks by the Dram boozy advent calendars 2022 – the beautiful, the bold, and the bloody expensive

[Image courtesy of Master of Malt]

We’re into November, which means it’s officially ok to start talking about Christmas (if not a bit late...). And Christmas talk means boozy present talk.

These legendary calendars don’t really need an introduction  they're now in their 10th year. That's right, we're talking about the Drinks by the Dram advent calendars

For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, instead of a small, mildly disappointing chocolate treat, you get a 30ml dram of delicious booze to enjoy.

These babies just keep getting better every year. For 2022, the selection has been streamlined to 18 options: 12 whisk(e)y, three gin, two rum and a vodka. One for every kind of booze lover. 

[Image courtesy of Master of Malt]

If you're feeling particularly flush (recent lottery win etc.etc.), the ultimate treat is the Very Old & Rare Whisky advent calendar, priced at £9,999.95. 

That's likely beyond the reach of most of us, but it sounds incredible. Highlights include Probably Speyside's Finest Distillery 50 Year Old 1967 (cask 12418) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing), Glenfarclas 1958 (cask 2061) Family Cask Spring 2015 Release, and The Macallan No.6. If you’re not a fan of surprises (or just want to have a nosey), check out the full list. The calendar is presented in a walnut box with a tasting glass nestled in the middle.

If your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, there’s the Old & Rare Whisky advent calendar for £999.95, which also comes with a Glencairn tasting glass.

[Image courtesy of Master of Malt]

More realistic still, there's the universally loved Gin advent calendar for £99.95, or Whisky advent calendar for £149.95. With the biggest range of options, the whisk(e)y calendars have something for everyone, with some more specialised options including Bourbon and American Whiskey (£149.95) to Japanese whisky (£249.95), and Peaty Whisky (£149.95) to a calendar from excellent independent bottlers, That Boutique-y Whisky Company (£149.95). The Boutique-y calendar of course comes adorned with signature illustrations by the fabulous Emily Chappell.

[Image courtesy of Master of Malt]

The Whisky Advent Calendar

This year, we've got our hands on the OG Whisky Advent Calendar, and will be spending our December dramming away and sharing our tasting notes. As we're not so great with surprises, we've had a look at what we'll be tasting. There's a real range of countries and styles, including English single malt Gulliver's 47, Finnish Kyrö Wood Smoke Malt Rye Whisky, the classic Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old and Irish West Cork Black Cask.

Let us know if you've got a Drinks by the Dram advent calendar this year, which one you've got, and which dram you're most excited to try.

We were kindly gifted the 2022 Whisky calendar, but it doesn't change our opinion that they're the best in the biz, and we have purchased them in previous years.