All posts by Whiskey Nut

Exploring the world of whiskey from Westmeath, Plus other spirits too!

Dundalgan Irish Whiskey Ginger Ale & Lime RTD, 5%

Dundalgan is an exclusive brand for Lidl made by West Cork Distillers.

They’ve branched out into the Ready To Drink – RTD – cocktail market with this Irish Whiskey Ginger & Lime.

Despite RTDs not being my ‘drink-of-choice’ – I’m happy to try them out.

I was pleasantly surprised by a pronounced & clear ginger aroma on the nose.

Lime came through on the palate too.

But I still find it a trifle difficult to detect the Irish Whiskey element.

Dundalgan Ginger & Lime does make for a very easy going & highly refreshing drink however.

A pleasing little offering.

Sláinte

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Thistly Cross, Whisky Cask Scottish Cider, 6.7%

Whisky Cask Ciders don’t pop up very often.

All the more reason to grab this Thistly Cross Cider when I spotted it in a local Co-op Store when over in Scotland.

Suitably pale in colour the nose offered up a lovely dry apple aroma.

Crisp, clean & fresh taste augmented by a richness of depth to the body.

It states ‘Matured for six months in Scotch Whisky Casks‘ on the label – no mention of style, distillery or region given – yet I found it hard to discern any whisky flavours in the cider.

I did enjoy the dry apple influence & wholesome feel of Thistly Cross however & would happily grab it again when I next visit!

Sláinte

Thistly Cross website here.

All images authors own.

Gauldrons, Blended Malt, 46.2%

My favourite whisky shop in Anstruther doesn’t just do novelty whisky – it also does proprietary brands.

Respected bottlers Douglas Laing are behind this Gauldrons Blended Malt.

Described as ‘ a marriage of aged single malts from Campbeltown‘ Gauldrons is presented non chill filtered with no colouring.

Suitably pale in the glass – always a good sign in my book.

I’m getting a soft kiss of smoke with old leather on the nose.

Easy mouthfeel – sweet & biscuity – builds with intensity to a prickly drying crescendo.

Was expecting a bit more of a peat hit – Gauldrons was quite mild mannered & tame in that respect – yet otherwise a decent dram.

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The Wee Couper Of Fife website here.

Douglas Laing website here.

All images authors own.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie, 5 Year Old Single Malt, 47.4%

With Ardbeg Committee Releases well beyond my price range I’ll settle for one of their core bottlings – Wee Beastie – and in a naggin bottle too!

Simply pouring this whisky results in strong aromas of coastal peat smoke wafting around.

It’s surprisingly delicate on the palate – before that gorgeous smokiness gradually takes over.

Wee Beastie leaves with a very dry prickliness immediately making you want more!

A Monster Of A Dram indeed!

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The Jockey vs The Fisherman, Blended Scotch Whisky, 40%

When in Anstruther I usually pick up a few bottles in the Wee Couper Of Fife Whisky Shop.

They have a varied selection of miniatures – mainly for the tourist trade – as well as single cask bottlings for the aficionados.

I enjoy sampling the miniatures myself – so picked up a pair of themed minis from the Cumbrae Supply Co.

The Jockey & The Fisherman sport stylised images of their namesakes, are presented at 40% with no mention of distilleries sourced from, nor chill filtering or added caramel, which I’d expect for this type of product.

Without further ado I poured some glasses.

The Jockey

Sweet biscuity malt, very easy palate, slight hints of drying leather on the rear.

A very decent blend.

The Fisherman

Similar nose, if anything an easier palate, softer, sweeter, with less dryness on the rear.

Thoughts

I was expecting to find this pair to share the same source – but they did differ slightly on drinking.

For me The Jockey has pulled clear of the sedentary Fisherman.

An entertaining duo!

Sláinte

Cumbrae Supply Co website here.

Wee Couper Of Fife website here.

All images authors own.

Crag & Glen, Blended Scotch Whisky, 40%

I picked up Crag & Glen on my last Scottish trip.

Usually I stop at the last supermarket before the ferry to top up on haggis & booze that isn’t readily available in Ireland.

Sadly the Asda in Girvan had only 1 haggis left & it was too early in the morning for alcohol sales – so another plan emerged.

Sainsbury’s in Lisburn provided my needs.

There are no Sainsbury’s in Ireland – hence Argos pulling out – but Northern Ireland has them – so I indulged in some supermarket spirits.

I do enjoy trying out this category. There can be some good ones & being only a 35cl serving the outlay is minimal. Pity there’s little choice in this size.

Crag & Glen is Sainsbury’s own bottling. It has a suitably bold name that conjures up romantic notions of rugged Highland scenery, magnificent stags & warm drinks by a roaring fire.

Can tasting the whisky match the imagery?

First thing I notice is the golden brown hue of this 3 year old – very suggestive of added colouring & chill filtering – which you kinda have to expect at this price point.

The nose is mild, caramelly & honeyed sweet.

The label very aptly displays ‘smooth & rounded‘ – an accurate descriptor of the mouthfeel.

The finish is the best bit for me – a warm juiciness topped off with joyful prickliness leaving a dry lip-smacking finale.

As basic supermarket brands go Crag & Glen lives up to it’s imagery – minus the roaring fire!

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Link to Sainsbury’s whisky page here.

Argos pulls out of Ireland here.

Bells Steak & Haggis Pie

No – it’s not whisky.

But it does share the name of a popular Scotch Blend.

And it is a Scottish delicacy.

Or rather 2.

Pies

and

Haggis

All wrapped in a tasty meal!

If you visit Scotland & don’t partake of whisky, pie or haggis – you’re missing out.

I usually ‘go native’ & immerse myself in the tasty trinity.

Sláinte

Bells Food Group website here.

Bell’s Whisky information here.

Innis & Gunn, Caribbean Rum Cask, Scottish Red Beer, 6.8%

Innis & Gunn were one of the first beer companies I encountered using barrel ageing to give additional flavours to their brews.

This Caribbean Rum Cask is the latest I picked up in a local Co-op on my Scottish travels.

It’s slightly unusual in using Red Beer as the donor brew rather than the commoner stouts normally found.

I do like the neck collar motif proudly displaying ‘Aged 51 Days‘.

There’s a lovely foamy head on pouring.

I’m getting a dark, rich malty aroma.

The palate is almost luxurious – sweet & heavy.

Suits my tastes.

Another nice one from Innis & Gunn!

Innis & Gunn website here.

All images authors own.

A selection of Scotch Whiskey encountered in Scottish Bars

I recently visited Scotland.

The trip wasn’t centred around whisky – although it was enjoyed.

The hotel bar stocked a limited selection of Scotch – most of which I’d sampled before – so a pleasurable peater in the guise of Highland Park 12 was chosen.

The smoke gently enticed on the nose in a balanced mix of flavours.

A more bolder peat hitter – Talisker Skye – was encountered in The Golf Hotel in Crail. I also noticed their ‘bar pour’ was a double of Scottish Leader – also possessing a smoky element – which I politely declined.

One new Scotch I stumbled on was Naked Grouse.

A soft kiss of smoke wrapped up in a warm hug of a whisky gave an easy drinking & finely balanced dram with a little bite on the rear.

Turns out it’s a blended malt with additional ageing in sherry casks & happened to be ‘whisky of the week’ at my hotel.

I happily accepted the suggestion this time round!

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Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop here & Whisky Exchange here.

The Golf Hotel Crail website here.

Persse’s Galway Whiskey, William Henry

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

I also enjoy reading about it.

Especially an historical whiskey located in Galway that I’m unlikely to obtain a glass of anytime soon!

This highly informative book charts the rise of the well respected Persse Distillery of Nun’s Island Galway.

At the height of it’s fame Persse Whiskey was considered ‘of the finest quality & highest order‘ and reached a global sales audience through shipping out of Galway Docks.

The book contains much detail & tales of the extended Persse family – many of which I’d never heard of before.

Lady Gregory of Coole Park fame was one such family member – it’s not known if she partook of the whiskey!

Mount Vernon – a house built by the Flaggy Shore – was named after George Washington’s abode by an admiring Persse member.

Sadly, by 1912 it was all over.

Quite what led to the demise of this distillery isn’t fully explored in the publication.

It pre-dates both prohibition & civil war in Ireland – 2 convenient events to explain the fall of Irish Whiskey.

There was an other event that isn’t always talked about. The invention of the Coffey Still by Irishman Aeneas Coffey in the 1830’s.

Persse didn’t utilise the Coffey Still in their production.

Scotch Whisky – mainly in the guise of Lowland blends – took to this new invention with gusto & created a new whisky category which usurped the former reigning sales topper.

Perhaps if Persse Distillery had embraced this new technology it might have still been around today?

Who knows.

As it is there are visible remnants of the former distillery to view across the rushing waters of the Corrib River as it flows into Galway Bay.

A very well researched & entertaining book on the glory days of Irish Whiskey.

Sláinte