Luzhou Laojiau Six Years Ton Qu, Baijiu, 52%

Another immaculately presented bottle with a very distinctive design.

Fancy bottle c/othewhiskeynut

Another strong tasting Baijiu from the Luzhou Laojiau company.

On a back to back with the clay pot Zisha Quo I couldn’t discern much of a taste difference.

Delightful packaging c/othewhiskeynut

Maybe it’s just down to the fancy packaging?

Sláinte

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Dead Centre, Preciou2 Cargo, Sherry Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel, 9.2%

I never got hold of Preciou1 Cargo – but popping down to the Dead Centre Brewery to collect my tasty takeaway pizza – Preciou2 was on display.

So I bought it.

Combining 2 of my favourite styles of beer – barrel aged – sherry this time – and Belgian Tripel – the results were a delight.

Despite the 9.2% ABV this is seductively easy to drink.

Starting off with a beguiling lightness on the palate, heavier rich notes of maltiness & treacly undertones develop.

A touch of nuttiness on the finish only adds to the experience.

Preciou2 Cargo was brewed to celebrate Dead Centre’s 2nd Birthday.

With beer this good – let there be many more!

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Del Maguey Mezcal Tasting, 42% to 49%.

Mezcal – the artisanal spirit from Mexico that’s attracting attention right now.

Already a convert – mainly due to the smokey element – I eagerly signed up for the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder Zoom Tasting with Del Maguey Mezcal.

The 1st offering – Vida Mezcal, 42% – immediately satisfied. A seductive smokiness combined with those rich earthy agave notes reeled me in!

Gorgeous!

Chichicapa Mezcal, 46%, dialed down the smoke a touch & ramped up the pungent agave along with a prickly dryness on the finish from the higher ABV.

Unlike the whiskey world – which for some is all about the wood to bring about complexity & flavour – Mezcal is all about the raw ingredients & production methods used to deliver a fully flavoured spirit with depth & complexity straight from the still.

Tobala Mezcal, 45%, shone in this department. Using a roast time of 30 days accentuated the rich smokiness. A long fermentation of up to a week brought out some cheesy funky notes & using the A. potatorum agave species added pungent earthy overtones.

Certainly the Mezcal that enamoured me the most!

Pichuga Mezcal, 49%, rounded the evening off.

Compared to the others there was less smoke evident – but those engaging earthy agave aromas entertained me no end.

The Del Maguey website is packed full of information on these single village mezcals.

If you haven’t ventured into Mezcal yet – you won’t go far wrong enjoying any of the above.

A quintessential Mezcal quartet!

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Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Wicklow Hills, Blend, 40%

Despite my own personal preferences, sherry finished whiskey remains the category of choice for sales & any new brand – like Barr an Uicse from Wicklow – usually have an offering in this style.

An opportune sample at my local O’Briens displayed a fresh & vibrant grainy nose overlaid with deeper, darker notes of sweet plums from the sherry influence.

An attractively easy little sipper.

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Lyre’s American Malt, 0%

Cognisant of the rise in non-alcoholic drinks – when this American Malt appeared in my local SuperValu I was intrigued enough to purchase one.

Promising a taste experience similar to bourbon – other offerings are available – could it deliver?

It certainly looks like a bourbon – although the legs are watery & limpid.

It even nosed like an entry level bourbon – caramels, vanilla & hints of toasty oak – despite no 51% corn or virgin oak barrel ageing.

On the palate it fell apart – watery & weak mouthfeel – but recovered on the finish leaving a warm spiciness that lasted a long time.

I’m not exactly the target audience – but the branding is good, the presentation is fine & despite the watery experience – it possesses some bourbony qualities.

Non-alcoholic drinks are clearly a growing market & Lyre’s appear to be leading trend setters.

I wish them well – but think I’ll stick to the real thing myself.

Sláinte

All images courtesy Whiskey Nut

A St Patrick’s Day Blind Whiskey Tasting

Blind tasting some whiskey on St Patrick’s Day in the midst of a pandemic?

Sure – what else would you be doing?

I had my usual Tuath whiskey glasses, water, pen & paper – and set to it.

In order of appearance are my rather distilled notes – given in italics before the reveal.

c/oMasterOfMalt

A Tullibardine 500, 43%

Grand

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

B Glendalough Pot Still, 43%

OK

c/oMasterOfMalt

C Auchentoshan Three Wood, 43%

Lacklustre

It became apparent doing the tasting that all struck a similar chord – sherry finished, mild & mellow, easy going & sweet. Attractive for some – but lacking a certain flair on my palate.

Things changed a little with the next pair.

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

D Writer’s Tears Copper Pot, Japanese Cask, 55%

Bit of a welcome bite & entertainment.

c/oIrishMalts

E WD O’Connell 12 Sherry Series, 59.2%

Almost, but not quite.

The use of Japanese Mizunara & longer maturation times added to the depth, complexity & variety of flavours found in these whiskeys.

I had to re-sample to pick a winner – E WD O’Connell 12 – if only for those tannic woody spices.

c/othewhiskeynut

The tasting further confirmed a few themes with my palate;

Sherry finished whiskey isn’t my forte – but even within that category there can still be a diversity of flavours.

Added caramel dulls the intensity – lacklustre kind of sums that up.

Ageing & higher ABV generally adds to the experience – but not always.

As for the not quite comment – well it wasn’t Bill Phil!

I’d encourage all to sample far & wide. It will hone down your palate preferences, enable you to pick out what works – or doesn’t – & is great fun too!

I’m always open to sample swaps – get in touch.

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The Legendary Alnwick Rum, 43% vs The Duppy Share Caribbean Rum, 40%

Nearing the end of my lockdown miniature selection are these 2 rums.

Alnwick Rum c/othewhiskeynut

The Legendary Alnwick Rum immediately brought back memories of my days at sea aboard the MV Alnwick Castle bulk carrier whose parent company hailed from the same area this Dark Rum emanates from.

Deep reddish brown in colour, heavy molasses on the nose. Good solid mouth feel – oily & viscous – with a lovely flourish of spice on the rear.

A very decent dark rum.

Duppy Share c/othewhiskeynut

The Duppy Share also took me back to my days in London where the vibrant & colourful Carribean culture enlivened the otherwise grey streetscape.

Light straw in colour, a clean & clear funk on the nose. More fruity on the palate, a mellow funk fusing with a sprinkling of spice & sweet caramels to round up this very easy & approachable golden rum.

‘Duppy’ has a number of meanings – one being a playful spirit – & this rum toys with that association.

A lovely little duo to appreciate the diversity of styles & influences within the growing rum category.

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I Enjoy Drinking Whiskey

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic spirit found all over the world.

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Whether spelled with or without the ‘e’.

Art Of The Blend #4 c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Different countries have a diversity & variety of rules as to what constitutes whiskey.

Royal Stag c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The exploration of flavours brought about by the use of raw ingredients – barley, oats, rye & maize – even molasses, rice & sorghum in some places.

Shenk’s Homestead c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Single malt, single grain, single pot still, blended, single, double, triple distilled or more.

JJ Corry at McHugh’s c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey produced in one country may not be legally sold as such in another.

Brazilian whisky in an Irish glass. c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The original whiskey was unaged, poitín, aqua-vitae, moonshine, uisce beatha & white dog.

White Dog c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey bought in the local Spar in Lagos – which I can afford – excites me as much as one accompanied with a Fabergé egg in Ireland – which I cannot.

Fly like an Eagle! c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

What kind of whiskey do you enjoy?

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Pressing on the highlighted links will guide you to my reviews of the whiskeys.

Luzhou Laojiao Zisha Daqu, Baijiu, 52%

Well the whole presentation is a bit of a performance!

Delightful packaging c/othewhiskeynut

Red cloth wrapped around a clay pot!

At 52% – this baijiu is a bit of a performance too.

‘Strong Aroma’ it says on the box – & it does exactly as stated – in a very pleasing way.

Strong Aroma c/othewhiskeynut

An enticing savoury, meaty umami type of thing going on.

The high ABV pack a punch – but doesn’t over power.

The EU/China trade agreement has opened the door for Irish Whiskey exports to China – as well as Baijiu imports to Ireland.

I’m certainly enjoying exploring the fruits of that deal!

Ganbei

I purchased my Baijiu from Asia Market, Dublin.

Exploring the World of Whiskey from Westmeath

Rumtastic

Another UK rum blog

Scotty’s Drams

Dram by dram, tasting the dream

My Malt Whiskys

This is a listing of the whiskys that I have collected over the years

Rant And Whisky

Thinking, Drinking & Enjoying

Nomunication

tokyo bar & cocktail guide

Cocktail Wonk

Deep insights into spirits and cocktails

300 Shots at Greatness

A race to the bottom of the bottle

Whisky, Aye?

Aye, Whisky!

Leg before Wicket

Over whisky, sigaren en meer. Door Fred Blans

Rum Diaries Blog

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Medley Drink Designs

A window into the lifestyle that the bartending profession has opened up for me.

Whiskey Exploring

Adventures of an enthusiastic amateur in the world of Whis(e)y

Some Whisky Bloke

An independent whisky blog reviewing whisky, whiskey, bourbon and spirits from all over.

Dave's Irish Whiskey

My Irish Whiskey Journey

The Angel's Share

One Irishman's battle to bring his love for whiskey to the world.

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