This blog sends out congratulations to the very happy marriage and highly enjoyable ceremony of Paul and Shazan.
A uniting of two people from diverse backgrounds and countries whose combination is greater than the sum of their individual parts.
In attending the joyous event, I brought along something OLD for the occasion – and how older can you get than a specially bottled whiskey from the oldest working distillery in the world?
Like a good marriage – a good blended whiskey brings together diverse spirits – in this case single malt and single grain – that when combined bring about a happy taste experience. The flag bearing Kilbeggan Blend from the Kilbeggan/Cooley distilleries certainly does that in style!
Something NEW is the superbly redesigned Whiskey Shop at the Loop Dublin Airport. I felt like a little kid let loose in the chocolate factory! There was so much whiskey on offer I didn’t know where to begin. From what I can see all the Irish whiskey expressions currently on release were on display – along with a very impressive range of the big four – Scotland, USA, Japan and Canada. There were also some very welcome releases from World Whisky ie,, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, France and India to name a few. But what to chose?
Luckily – a representative from Walsh Whiskey Distillery was at hand with their very impressive range to sample. I spent a happy half hour sampling as well as being informed on the merits of each expression on offer.
First up was the Irishman Founders Reserve. This is the standard blend of the Irishman range but it is no ordinary blend! It is a combination of single malt and single pot still with no grain whiskey in sight that gives it a lovely spicy palate characteristic of a single pot still expression. I really enjoyed this tipple.
This was followed up by the Irishman Single Malt which is very smooth and palatable – so much so I’ve a bottle at home already.
The Irishman 12 yo Single Malt was an even smoother more complex dram,
and the Irishman Cask Strength certainly knocked the socks of me.
To finish off there was the delightful Writer’s Tears blend. A popular expression – again with a single malt and single pot still mix which gives it a punchy palate.
I’ve tried a few of these whiskeys before and found them very agreeable – but never back to back. I must admit the Irishman Founders Reserve impressed me the most on this occasion. Good luck to all at Walsh Whiskey in building their new distillery in Co. Carlow, based on my tasting experience – they have a bright future.
The BORROWED element came in the form of the wedding venue – The London Irish Centre in Camden Square, London. During the course of the festivities I acquainted myself with the fine array of Irish whiskey behind the bar and introduced a fellow guest to the delights therein. It’s a pity the range of Irish craft beer on offer wasn’t also represented at the venue.
Two sampling trays together with tasting notes were duly despatched to our table which included;
Green Spot. An historical Single Pot Still whiskey that is at the forefront of the rise in interest in Irish whiskey as well as being a survivor of a period when independent wine merchants bottled a distilleries spirit under their own label and specifications. A fine dram indeed.
Redbreast 12 yo. A smooth, oloroso finished single pot still that clearly shows why it has won awards upon sampling a dram and,
Crested Ten. A favourite tipple of mine at home. Crested Ten has the honour of being the first whiskey Jameson sold under it’s own label in 1963 as opposed to the route of selling to independent bottlers as shown by Green Spot above, It’s a blend of single pot still and grain whiskey with some ageing in sherry casks which give it a more complex finish than the standard Jameson blend. Well worth looking for.
In this taste off – Redbreast clearly shone through with it’s smooth and complex taste with a long finish.
During the speeches a toast was raised to those absent from the ceremony. This constituted my BLUE element and what better to toast those departed than a shot of Wild Geese – a whiskey named after The Flight Of The Earls in 1607 but also to represent the long history of Irish emigration. Over 150 years ago the boats carrying people would have been the Irish fleeing famine across the Atlantic rather than Africans fleeing conflict in the Mediterranean today. I just wish that the compassion, care and help that Irish emigrants received then would be replicated for the modern day emigrants.
Wild Geese is another range coming out of the Kilbeggan/Cooley distillery and the dram I had proved to be a very smooth balanced dram. It’s a pity I don’t remember which expression it was but it came in a rectangular bottle so I’m guessing it was the Rare Blend release.
To wrap this blog up – what better than to toast the happy couple with a glass of Amrut Fusion whisky. A perfect blend of Indian and Scottish malts married together to create a very enjoyable and tasty dram.
Although Shazan is originally from India – the analogy falls with Paul as he isn’t from Scotland (although one of the guests was) – but nonetheless – their marriage is a perfect blend of two cultures coming together in unity.
To borrow from an Irish descendant, “May the road rise with you“.