It’s not everyday you pop into your local supermarket for some messages and come out smiling – but that’s exactly what happened to me the other day!
When I’m out shopping – whether it’s local or not – I generally always take a look at the whiskey shelves to see what’s on offer or changed since my last visit. On this occasion I was rewarded by a selection of new whiskey expressions at my local Dunnes. What caught my eye were a couple of whiskeys from one of the very few new Irish distilleries to have been around long enough to release their own product. None other than West Cork Distillers.
Now these Distillers have a bit of a reputation of being a little “unforthcoming” when it comes to whiskey aficionados about what they are up to down in Skibbereen – at least that’s what I’ve read. I don’t know why – but I do know their very bold and striking black bottle with simple white lettering on it stood out from the crowd.
The Pogues The Official Irish Whiskey – are the stark words emblazoned across the front of the bottle.
Marketing a whiskey after such a band – with a lead singer who has a somewhat legendary relationship with drink – too much of it perhaps – is a bit of a brave move to say the least. But the packaging style of the bottle bucks the trend of being able to see the whiskey inside. The Pogues also bucked the trend of the time when they first appeared by combining traditional Irish music with raucous punk – and look at them now – world famous!
Anyway – I couldn’t resist buying a bottle.
Price wise at 33 euro it’s a bit above your standard blend range. For around 23 euro you can have Kilbeggan – Paddy – Powers or White Bush. Add some more and for 40 euro you can have the excellent Powers 3 Swallow release in the Irish Whiskey sale at O’Briens. But hey – it’s new – it’s bold – it’s striking. I gotta have it.
Oh – did I say The Pogues Irish Whiskey was a blend? There is no mention of it on the bottle – although the website does say so.
On pouring a glass – after putting away the shopping – I was struck the rich dark brown colour. A bit too dark for such a youthful expression? Three years and a day the bottle says – but hey what’s this?
Farven justeret med E150a
To you and me it’s added caramel.
Question. When the whiskey is in a black bottle you can’t even see it – so why bother?
Does it affect the taste?
For a full appraisal of added caramel in whiskey I suggest you read Dramming’s Blog here and make up your own mind.
Despite all the above – the aroma was very pleasing. Rich and oaky to me. This followed through into the taste together with a little spice – which I like – and a lovely long warm finish.
I was worried that using the Pogues name as a marketing tool would cover up a substandard expression. On sampling this whiskey I think I’m sadly mistaken as this is a very enjoyable tipple.
It certainly brought a smile to my face;
On spotting it at the supermarket
on reading about it and most importantly
on drinking it.
Quite what Shane MacGowan makes of it will have to wait for another time.
Good on ya West Cork Distillers. I’ll have to check out your other releases on the strength of this!