Category Archives: Blended Whiskey

Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey & Celtic FC Irish Whiskey, 40%

Continuing my exploration of recent Irish Whiskey offerings that may have slipped into history are these 2 blends.

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Uisce Beatha Real Irish Whiskey, 40%

Released by ROKDrinks – a large multinational company with a varied range of branded products.

Pale in colour – which I always find reassuring. Quite light & gentle nose. Surprisingly rich depth on the palate of sweet vanilla. Lovely warmth to this one with a pleasant prickly frisson on the finish.

Very engaging.

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder

Celtic FC Irish Whiskey, 40%

Celtic Football Club have released a number of whiskeys over the years for their fans to enjoy.

Pale golden brown. A very gentle nose that grudgingly gives up soft aromas of sweet vanilla. Mild palate that sits easily in the mouth slowly warming to a fruity sweet finish.

Grand

Thoughts

Both of these blends offer easy accessible drinking. There’s no jagged edges or bold off-putting flavours to deter. For my tastes Uisce Beatha does it with more flair & would score the goals in this round.

Sláinte

Royal Envy, Exclusive Premium Whisky, 42.8%, India

I wouldn’t mind getting hold of this bottle.

Courtesy winewell.in

A number of things strike me.

Tales of solid smokiness tempt me.

While the name, labelling & general packaging all allude to a superior product- even if it’s a regular Indian made whisky using imported Scotch malt blended with Indian grain.

So much in the whisky world hinges on desirability, exclusivity & limited runs – often to the detriment of what really matters to me – taste.

Courtesy nvgroup.co.in

Royal Envy seems to be the ‘crowning glory’ of that exclusivity bubble – although it might be tainted by a certain royal payment to quieten a paedophilia scandal.

But a smoky Indian whisky is something I’d like to savour.

Sláinte

Fujimi, The 7 Virtues Blend, Japan, 40%

Continuing my sample selection from the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder is this blended whisky from Japan.

Image courtesy alconealko.sk

I like to taste without prejudice – so dived straight in.

Pale golden colour – decent legs.

Nice nose!

Old leather, slight smoke, touch of depth.

Quite light on the palate.

A lovely drying & spicy finish – which I often attribute to a hint of peat in the mix.

A well presented & balanced blended whisky with hints of depth & complexity.

Fujimi is one of these samples I enjoyed so much I’d be happy to buy a full bottle!

Sláinte

All images authors own unless stated.

The Jacobite, Blended Scotch Whisky, 40%

A random bar in Bournemouth.

A random whisky which resonated.

My home town of Athlone has streets & areas named after participants of The Siege Of Athlone in 1691 where Williamite forces overcame the Jacobites defending the town.

So how did this affordable blend with a rich history taste?

An initial caramel nose develops into an engaging soft smokiness with hints of some depth.

A smooth palate of vanilla, caramel & richer butterscotch.

More of that faint smoke comes through on the finish with a warm hug which raised the bar of this blend enough for me to order another dram.

So who is behind this blend?

Apart from the back story, the bottle label doesn’t give much away – apart from an NN8 1LT postcode which happens to be the HQ for the Bookers Cash & Carry chain.

Wherever Bookers sourced The Jacobite from, it’s an easy accessible blend with an attractive finish – & a long reaching historical name – which connected with me on a number of levels.

Just the kind of whisky I enjoy encountering – randomly.

Sláinte

All photographs authors own.

The random bar was Drop The Anchor Tap House, Tuckton.

Paddy’s Share Irish Whiskey, Blend, 47%

Being a judge in the blind whiskey tastings for the Irish Whiskey Awards 2021 did reveal a few surprises.

One of them was an entrant named Paddy’s Share in the Blended Limited Release category.

Photo Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

I gave it an above average score with brief tasting notes of

very soft smoke, soft palate, drying finish, pale colour’.

Searching the internet failed to uncover what Paddy’s Share was – until now!

Sazerac -Paddy brand owners – have just unveiled Paddy’s Share to the public.

A sherry finished triple distilled blend presented at 47% offering bold & nutty flavours.

Blind Whiskey Judging courtesy Whiskey Nut

Paddy’s Share is a welcome addition to the long established brand & one that stood out for me in the blind tasting.

Looking forward to enjoying more of Paddy’s Share!

Sláinte

Lidl, Minimum Unit Pricing Of Alcohol & Queen Margot 3 Year Old Scotch, 40%

I’ve been taking an interest into how the lower price range of spirits have reacted to the Minimum Unit Pricing Of Alcohol – MUP.

Previously having featured blogs of both whiskey & rum for sub €20 – and really enjoying a few of them too – MUP wiped all that out to a standard €22.09 for 700ml at 40%.

Now there’s been stories of beer being brewed to a lower ABV to keep to a certain price point. This isn’t an option for spirits with legally enforced alcohol strengths.

Which leaves bottle sizes.

Lidl were ahead of the pack offering their tasty Liberté Rum, Captain Cook Spiced Rum & Rachmaninoff Vodka in 500ml versions to keep prices low.

Buying & consuming less alcohol is one of the stated aims of MUP. Lidl appear to be facilitating this.

Personally I’m all in favour of smaller bottles.

As a blogger I enjoy tasting far & wide. Smaller pack sizes allows a bigger variety for a smaller outlay.

Environmentally it’s a bit of a no no.

Smaller containers means more of them, more packaging, increased costs & ultimately – more waste.

Having said that – when Queen Margot 3yo Scotch appeared in 350ml for just over €11 – I thought I’d give it another spin!

I admire the no nonsense, utilitarian approach & unpretentiousness of this whisky.

There’s a caramel rich nose with a spirity sensation.

Smooth palate, quite rich with hints of warm woodiness.

Suggestions of tannic prickly spice on the rear slowly fading away.

Queen Margot is a perfectly presentable easy drinking dram of a whisky. No rough edges, the usual whisky flavours with an alcoholic warmth too.

If only more brands offered 350ml alternatives I’d probably be inclined to purchase them.

Would you agree?

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

May Lóag Oriel & Bordeaux Smoked, Blends, 40%

The rise of Irish Whiskey continues at an unprecedented pace & anything that gets you noticed in an ever increasing marketplace is a bonus.

May Lóag Irish Whiskey’s attractively designed bottles crowned with distinctive ‘Bull Horns’ evoking tales of Táin Bó Cúailnge – Cattle Raid Of Cooley – certainly stand out from the crowd.

But what do they taste like?

A recent gathering of the Athlone Whiskey Tasting Society provided the answer.

Oriel was first up.

The core blend comprises of ‘malt and grain Irish Whiskey aged in bourbon, red wine and sherry casks’ as stated on the label.

A very expressive & engaging sweet nose enticed me in.

Quite light on the palate yet subtle notes of dark fruitiness provided welcome depth.

A gently pleasing spice rounded this very well balanced & delightful blend up.

Bordeaux Smoked – also a blend – came ‘Lightly Peated’ with a 2 cask maturation of ‘bourbon and red wine’.

The soft sweet peat on the nose was a delight.

A fresh lightness on the palate gave clarity to the interplay of vanilla, dark fruits & an enjoyable smokiness.

The smoke gently faded away on a prickly drying finish.

A gorgeous & gentle sweet peater with subtle depth.

May Lóag have released a very tasty pair of attractive blends in distinctive packaging at an extremely competitive price to boot.

Here’s hoping May Lóag gain the popularity they deserve.

Sláinte

May Lóag Irish Whiskey is a brand from Old Carrick Mill, Carrickmacross, website here.

Concannon Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

You’d be forgiven for never hearing of Concannon Irish Whiskey before if you live in Ireland – as it’s mainly sold in the USA!

Concannon is a popular seller over the pond making it into the Top 10 of the biggest brands – appearing above Powers & Black Bush – so when an opportunity arose to purchase a miniature from the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder’s new sample service – Drams Delivered – my curiosity was piqued.

Interestingly this whiskey is finished in Petite Sirah casks from the Concannon Vineyard in California – which might partly explain it’s impressive sales!

The colour was reassuringly pale for a wine cask finish.

Sweet, fruity & honeyed on the nose. Gently inviting.

Quite a light palate with an attractive freshness.

Juicy sweet grain appears before a pleasing fruitiness topped off with a touch of prickliness gently fades away.

A very pleasant easy drinker with enough depth of flavour to keep it entertaining.

Nice!

Sláinte

Concannon Vineyard website here.

Irish Whiskey Sales in America 2020 here.

Bell’s Blended Scotch Whisky, 40%, On Burn’s Night

I was gifted this 37.5cl Bell’s Decanter on my travels.

A lot were sold over the years.

Wade pottery made my decanter with production in both Stoke & Portadown to keep up with demand.

The design here was in use from 1966 to 1988 – but as my decanter sports a barcode plus 40% ABV notation it suggests a 1980’s offering.

To celebrate Burn’s Night fellow whisky fans were invited round for a grand opening & drinking of the Bell’s.

The plastic seal on the cap was intact on removal.

Trying to prise open the cork it split in half!

Undeterred a corkscrew was utilised.

Sadly it only proceeded to open up a hole as the cork disintegrated into small pieces & a tea strainer had to be used to filter the whisky!

Nonetheless pleasant sweet & fruity aromas rose from the glass.

Decent depth & a rich body on the palate suggested sherry cask influence.

A flourish of spice on the rear left us all agreeing the 35yrs or so in the decanter hadn’t harmed this lovely little drinker.

My only disappointment was not detecting any peat influence – which I was expecting – but hey – it’s not every day you crack open a slice of Scottish Blended Whisky history!

A lovely dram to toast Rabbie Burns!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

For info on Bell’s Decanters read here.

For info on barcodes read here.

For info of Proof to ABV changes read here.

The Irishman, Founder’s Reserve, Blend, 40%

At one time I had a whole box of miniatures – they’re almost all gone now.

This Irishman Founder’s Reserve is the core blend from Walsh Whiskey.

I’ve always enjoyed it – even against their single malts.

Perhaps the 30% single pot still component adds a touch of depth & spice to the remaining 70% single malt mix?

Perhaps the rich, creamy viscosity enhances the experience?

Whatever.

The old adage ‘ greater than the sum of it’s parts’ certainly holds true for Founder’s Reserve.

Worth checking out.

Sláinte

All images authors own.