Saskatoon Sessions: Innis & Gunn 150 Limited Edition Maple & Thistle Rye Ale

First of all I’d like to apologize. The second half of 2017 has been pretty uneven for post publication. As in, all of one since I moved at the end of July. Part of this was the move and getting sorted and not having anything to review or any time to review it. Part of it was also beating myself up for being an idiot.

A couple months ago, I went to Saskatoon for the first time. Nice town, kind of Kingston-y. I was staying at the Holiday Inn downtown, which actually has a pretty good bar – you’ll see some of their whisky collection in the next few weeks. I also found this Innis & Gunn at a local liquor store. If you follow the site you’ll know I don’t do solo reviews very often, but this was a new city with some new goodness on offer and it would have been foolish not to take advantage.

I sat in my hotel room and drank this beer and took some notes. When I went to the bar, I kept pretty good notes for a night of five whiskies. Then I packed the notes somewhere safe and promptly forgot where exactly that safe somewhere was.

I had lost 6 reviews. I had the photos, I had even promo’d the selection on social media. But I’d lost the notes, trying to stash them instead of uploading them right away.

I then beat myself up over it for two months. Every time I went to look at iScotch and get back to it, there was the glaring absence of the lost reviews. What would have been a month and a half of posts. Posts I paid a per-glass price to get. What a buffoon. So I’d go do something else, cursing myself.

But as luck would have it, I’m forgetful, but not a complete idiot. While in New York this week, I found the notes in my luggage. In an inside pocket I never use, at the very bottom of the bag, very fucking safe.

And so Ladies & Gentlemen, washed of my own recriminations and self-loathing, I give you, the Saskatoon Sessions.

First up is an Innis & Gunn, the Maple & Thistle Rye Ale to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. This is a bottle conditioned rye crystal ale with added Canadian Maple and Scottish Thistle, to celebrate the special bond between sweet Canadians and prickly Scots. Or something. A very important note there was the bottle conditioning – remember, that means a spoonful of yeast into the beer at bottling. This raises the alcohol level as well as adding yeast’s extremely characteristic flavour to the mix – and so enjoyment of this beer comes down to enjoyment of yeast, YMMV. Here’s what I thought:

between a cola and a root beer

like a more robust innis & gunn original – heavy dark dried fruit

defnintely innis & gunn. bottle conditioning less present than previous offerings. definite maple. unsure of thistle. lighter top. pretty heavy, higher alcohol.

lingering sweet

7.4/10 – probably better to split, do not shake bottle.

Innis & Gunn 150 Limited Edition Maple & Thistle Rye Ale – 5.9% 500ml – $9.95 – Scotland/Canada

Try it? Yes. Buy it? Not much time left.

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