While most will be drinking beer brewed in The Heartland to celebrate the Fourth of July, cigar enthusiasts have another option in Independence Day 2012, a Scottish pale ale that pairs well with both barbecue and premium cigars.
Brewed by Scotland’s Innis & Gunn as a limited-edition beer, Independence Day 2012 is, according to master brewer and CEO Dougal Sharp, the brewery’s hoppiest brew to date. English and Styrian Goldings hops combine with Willamette hops from the United States to help make Independence Day an aromatic beer with zesty citrus flavors.
Innis & Gunn is renowned for maturing its beers in barrels that had previously held Scotch and Irish whiskey. Many of these barrels, of course, are originally sourced from America. To help round out the hoppy flavors and add a touch of vanilla and oak to the beer, Sharp matured Independence Day in American oak barrels for a period of 54 days.
Sharp says that many breweries in the United Kingdom have learned from the practices and techniques of U.S. craft breweries, and his is no exception. “When we first produced Innis & Gunn Original in 2003, its wonderful flavor resulted from the interaction between our beer recipe and the American Oak in which we aged it,” said Sharp. “And the success we have had internationally has only been possible because the U.S. has been the trailblazer for craft beer for over a decade. So, we owe a great deal to the U.S., and we have brewed this special Independence Day beer to celebrate this.”
Independence Day is now available for a limited time in 17 states throughout the U.S.
Independence Day 2012 (7 percent alcohol by volume, $11.99 for a four-pack)
APPEARANCE: Pours a clear, copper-red color with a creamy head that soon subsides. Brief lacing in the early stages of the beer.
AROMA: A robust biscuit note combines with hints of vanilla and apple to form a character reminiscent of a freshly cooked turnover.
PALATE: A bright, fruity start that turns bready at the midpoint before letting loose with a toasted oak and vanilla finish. As the liquid warms up a nice toffee note shows up in the finish, too. Balanced and refreshingly quaffable.
CIGAR PAIRING: Rocky Patel The Edge Candela (Not yet rated) The creamy smoke of the cigar sticks nicely to the liquid, bringing out a nutty, earthy taste in the beer with a touch of lemongrass.