Innis & Gunn Rum Cask is a Scottish ale (out of Edinburgh, Scotland) uniquely aged in rum casks. With rum having such a bold flavor on its own, it comes as quite a surprise that its flavor contribution to this beer is understated, but then again, it does hail from the United Kingdom. American barrel-aged beer brews are usually a smack in the mouth, so the delicate blend here is a welcome deviation from the norm.
This barrel-aged Innis & Gunn pours a nice, clear amber with one finger of a light, khaki head. The nose smells strongly of Scottish ale (extremely similar to an English ale)--lightly fruity esters blended precisely with hints of rum, vanilla, and an ever so soft zip of an alcohol tail.
The base beer is quite true to style: malty but not overpoweringly so and lightly hopped for a balancing bitterness, but no hop flavor to speak of. There is a subtle, yet present, rum bite upfront, with all the flavors that go with it--vanilla, sweetness, and a woodiness that comes on slowly but lingers even past the finish.
There are also definite caramel notes from mid to finish and perhaps even peaty mineralness in the mid to finish as well? A nuanced flavor such as this is more than likely present due to the local water used. The brew finishes pretty dry with a bit of that woody rum holding on, and after the fact, there is a slight warmth to remind you of that alcohol, yet one would never realize the over 7% ABV.