From the 33cl bottle it pours a clear dark ruby rather than proper black and gives off a vague sugary spiced vanilla whiff like that pirate-themed rum the kiddies like to drink. Surprisingly, on the first taste, it's a rather decent strong dry stout. There's a nice hit of boozy treacle, livened up with a liquorice edge and complicated by more than a little smoky sophistication. All very classy for the first half of play, while it was still relatively cool from the fridge.
Unfortunately it couldn't keep its true nature under wraps for long. As it warmed there came a growing and unpleasant slick, sticky, sickly butterscotch flavour, typical of I&G beers and the reason I normally avoid them. Thankfully it doesn't get so strong that it overpowers the nice bits but still sufficient to remind me of what I don't like about these beers.
So while I'd grant this high status among the Innis & Gunn range that's not the same as a recommendation. Not bad for a holiday gimmick, though.
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