Category Archives: Blind Whiskey Tasting

Cask Strength Calamity!

My continued blind tasting sessions threw a bit of a wobbler recently.

Randomly chosen from a selection of 8 bottles – I failed to identify any of the 4 samples – failed to detect some of the cask influences & failed to enjoy the cask strength couple.

They were – in order of preference;

Stout Cask c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

West Cork, Black’s Stout Cask, Blend, 40%

I found this a very easy & enjoyable, quite clean & sweet, attractively approachable whiskey which despite being relatively simple – hit the right notes.

The reveal surprised me a little as I didn’t detect any stout influence.

Black Op’s c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Black Op’s, Blend, 43%

A more complex whiskey offering greater depth of flavour from a sherry influence – I guessed Oloroso? – that again satisfied.

It just lost out to the simple pleasures of the Stout Cask.

Dark Silkie CS c/oSliabhLiag

Dark Silkie, Cask Strength, Blend, 64.5%

Wow!

The high ABV was noticeable from the go. Nice clean & fresh flavours – but the high strength just obliterated my palate & left me reeling.

The peat influence must have been subtle – as I didn’t detect it!

Currach CS c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Currach Founders, Cask Strength, Single Malt, 60%

Again the high ABV swamped my senses. The more subtle & smooth flavours emanating from this whiskey were lost in a powerful alcohol hit.

I was disappointed by the reveal – I really enjoyed the 46% version & thought nothing had been gained by being 60%.

So there you go.

A good clean & simple 40% blend won out over the high strength competitors.

What would your palate pick?

A Blind Tasting Experience

In a departure from the usual – today’s blog is courtesy of the Irish Whiskey Stone Company who received one of my blind tasting packs.

This is the experience they enjoyed!

“About a week ago I saw a post on Twitter by a whiskey reviewer, @2DramsofWhiskey of Westmeath Whiskey World, in which he showed a picture of some vials of whiskey and informing us that he was going to be doing a blind whiskey tasting. I replied to his tweet asking what was a blind whiskey tasting and how does one go about doing it. Not really expecting an answer, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got a reply telling me that it could easily be arranged!

This was followed with some private messages in which I then had to admit that I know next to nothing about whiskey (which may surprise some of you, considering I sell whiskey stones but how and ever…)

That didn’t put the reviewer off and before I knew it, here I was with 3 samples of whiskey to try out.

I have to admit, it took me a few days to get around to doing it and a certain amount of mental preparation (don’t know why but I was quite daunted by this task!).

Anyway, today was the day. I got out the samples, I found three glasses, got a spittoon glass at the ready and a bottle of water to clean my palate between tasting.  

I got a pen and paper out ready to make some notes and cracked open Sample D. I poured some into a glass and first took note of the aroma, which struck me as quite sweet. I sipped and let it rest in my mouth, closed my eyes and thought for a moment about the flavours. The two flavours that struck me the most was citrus and wood. I then added a wee drop of water to see what flavours this would release and the sweetness became more intense. I found this sweetness too much for my liking to be honest.

Sample D West Cork Peat Charred Cask

I washed my mouth out with some water and proceeded to try out Sample E. Again, the first thing I noted was the aroma. This time I could almost detect the freshness of the sea. (probably not remotely a technical whiskey tasting term but it fits for me). This whiskey had a very pure taste and I found it very pleasant indeed.

Sample E Kilbeggan Rye

On to Sample F I went. As soon as I opened the bottle, I could catch a hint of peatiness. I like peat but not too much of it so I was wary. However, this was not overbearing at all. I tasted. Wow, what an explosion of flavour in my mouth. There was an almost orange tang of it but it was a little sharp for me. Having said that, I think this would be an amazing after-dinner tipple.

Sample F Mackmyra Reserve Cask

I gathered my notes and what you have just read is my semi-coherent interpretation of them. 

So, there you go. My first whiskey tasting. I actually really enjoyed it and it was a good challenge to write about it too!”

Many thanks to Irish Whiskey Stone Company for sharing their thoughts.

Have you tried blind tasting yet?

Sláinte