Brew Review

Beer Review – Innis & Gunn Raspberry Barrel Aged Saison


We’re no strangers to Innis & Gunn. In our review of their Original, we told you about how this brewery was born “by accident” in 2003. Here’s the video that was included in that post which tells the tale of this happy accident…

After 10 years of exclusively making their barrel aged beers, Innis & Gunn expanded their offerings in 2013 with the release of their Lager, and a little after that, they released an IPA. One would think that creating a series of barrel aged beers, a Lager, and an IPA would be more than enough variety for one brewer to handle, but nooooooooooo! They just HAD to keep broadening their horizons…

Their latest and greatest offerings include a Raspberry Barrel Aged Saison which just so happens to be the beer in the photo at the top of this post and the subject of this review. Before we tell you what we thought of this beer, here’s what the brewers have to say about it:

Our new latitude & longitude series will see us take inspiration from some of the best-loved beer styles from around the world and adding an Innis & Gunn twist to make it our own.

The first release in the series is one of our all-time favourite styles; Saison. We’ve stayed true to the farmhouse style, brewing the beer with Ale and Acid Malt and then fermenting it with a wild saison yeast. Then we’ve matured the beer in barrels containing heaps of Scottish Raspberries.

This raspberry brew is perfect for those sunshine days; a refreshing beer, flinty and dry with wonderful raspberry flavours and aromas.

Like most things in life, its best served chilled.

Let’s get on with the review…

  • Appearance: Pale golden color with a slight orange hue. In Limpd’s words, “It looks like cloudy clover honey”. As far as a foamy head or lacing, there’s none of that.
  • ABV: 6%
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: Smells wet and wheaty with a hint of cloves and maybe a little fruit.
    • G-LO: Not getting any raspberries, but it definitely has a Saison thing going on, i.e. clove, yeast, some lemon zest, and a touch of farmhouse funk.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: A little fizzy. Also a bit chewy and very refreshing. Not super raspberry-ish like a St. Louis Framboise or farmhouse funky like a Saison Dupont. This Raspberry Barrel Aged Saison is more of a muted blend of both (perhaps it was a bit too cold?).
    • G-LO: Soft and fizzy carbonation with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. More importantly, I found that bit of raspberry that I was looking for and it’s bringing some delightful pucker to the proceedings. After that healthy dose of fruit, all the other Saison-ness comes through in the form of that clove, yeast, and lemony zest that I picked up in the nose. The finish is lightly puckering and dry at the same time with lingering clove and some pepperiness.

The Verdict

  • Limpd: I usually find the Saison style to be a bit salad dressingy for my taste, but thanks to the infusion of raspberries and barrel aging, this beer downplayed that which I dislike in a Saison and left me with a distinct and flavorful beer that was crisp, refreshing, and quite enjoyable. Overall, I wouldn’t say that Innis & Gunn knocked it out of the park with this beer, but it was definitely a solid double. If you subscribe to the Moneyball theory of baseball where on base percentage is the name of the game and home run hitters are highly overrated, then this is the beer for you.
  • G-LO: I am pleased as punch to report that Innis & Gunn stepping out of its wheelhouse and making a Saison was well worth the effort. This is a lightly tart and very refreshing beer that I would definitely have again. These boys can fruit up my beer anytime!

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Many thanks to United States Beverage for sending us this very generous sample! 

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