Category Archives: Irish Whiskey

Britain, Brexit & The Lost Art Of Ordering Via Amazon.co.uk.

Happily receiving amazon.co.uk vouchers over the festive season I rushed to place some orders in the hopes they’d get through before Brexit kicked in.

Many Irish based whiskey fans use UK online sites to source product not normally available in Ireland & there had been warnings this could be in jeopardy after Britain left the EU.

My orders would test this new reality.

A few choices were simply rejected.

The computer says no! c/oamazon

So my search narrowed from the start.

A mixed bag of affordable spirits eventually made my basket.

Jatt Life Irish Whiskey

Jatt Life Irish Whiskey c/oMasterOfMalt

One of many sourced Irish Whiskey brands that exist totally outside of Ireland. This one appears to focus on the Asian market.

Mezcales De Leyenda

Mezcal triple pack c/oBlackwell’s

An attractive Mezcal triple pack to continue my appreciation of this alluring spirit.

Abasolo Whisky

Abasolo c/oMasterOfMalt

Mexico’s foray into whisky excited me.

English Park Whisky

English Park c/oWinestyle

A Czech distillery marketing a Union Jack clad whisky in the UK amused me for the sheer ‘we spotted a market & we’ll fill it’ opportunity.

A few books made up the remainder & I sat back to await developments.

Within a week Jatt Life cancelled.

Cancel 1

Within a fortnight the books & English Park arrived.

Sadly English Park was broken – but a replacement arrived swiftly.

Oops v Yeah c/othewhiskeynut

Then both the Mezcal & Abasolo – coming from the same supplier – cancelled as well.

Cancel 2 & 3

And that was it!

Ordering spirits from the UK is effectively closed.

Will Irish suppliers step up to provide an extended range?

Will former UK based operations set up in Ireland?

Or do the costs & market size just not stack up?

Whatever happens it appears the diversity of choice just got smaller & all that was solid melted into air.

Thank you Brexit.

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Header image courtesy abcnews.

What Price Whiskey Flavour? – 2 Dundalgans & a Teeling, Beer Barrel Aged Whiskey, 42% to 46%.

There’s been a sprinkling of articles questioning the price of whiskey.

Rant And Whisky, – Whisky And WisdomDairiesOfADramMerchant.

If cost is an issue – look around!

There are an increasing amount of attractively affordable alternatives available.

Lidl Ireland whiskey choices 2020 c/othewhiskeynut

The Dundalgan range from Lidl is one example.

Comprising of 5 bottles – none above €26 – displaying a broad array of styles & finishes, I’d suggest there’s something to suit all palates.

Having tried the entry level blend – & the entertaining IPA finished single malt – I grabbed the opportunity to sample more in a trio of beer barrel aged whiskey tasting.

Dundalgan IPA c/othewhiskeynut

Dundalgan IPA Cask Single Malt, 42%

A light, fruity & summery style of malt full of attractive flavours & a touch of character too.

Nice easy drinking.

Dundalgan Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Dundalgan Stout Cask Single Malt, 42%

A more solid, rich & heavy malt feel about this one. Very engaging – very moreish.

Lovely.

Teeling Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Teeling Galway Bay Stout Cask, Blend, 46%

The delightful bouquet of aromas from nosing were slightly diminished on drinking by the sweet grainy influence. A lighter offering with contrasting deeper notes & a prickly finish.

Very refreshing.

Thoughts

Overall – Dundalgan Stout Cask won the day.

Considering one Teeling costs around two Dundalgans – what price are you prepared to pay for flavour?

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Shanahans Original, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 40%

Hopefully by the end of 2021 we’ll be able to freely walk into bars & enjoy ourselves without any worries – as I miss the unexpected encounters within.

Back in summer ’19 herself requested a trip to the seaside on a hot sunny day in contrast to the flat Midland’s bogs we normally frequent.

Afterwards, a spot of light refreshment at Keelings Bar in Donabate rounded off the day.

Shanahans Original c/othewhiskeynut

The whiskey shelves were scanned for a suitable selection & Shanahans Original stood out for me.

Being a commissioned malt from the Cooley Distillery for the famous Dublin based steakhouse – this was in the days before the Beam/Suntory takeover turned off the taps to 3rd parties – Shanahans is a slice of Irish Whiskey’s recent history I was keen to sample.

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

That lovely fresh citrusy & fruity malt aroma greeted me.

A delightfully light & easy whiskey with a touch of malty character – as well as an entertaining back story – to enjoy on a warms summers day in the beer garden of Keelings.

Oh to be able to experience those simple & unexpected pleasures again!

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A Unicorn Whiskey Tasting, 40% to 58.7%

What is a unicorn whiskey?

To me it’s a whiskey way above my price range – I max out at €100 – which is usually rare, a collector’s item, limited edition, first release or a combination of all.

Many are never opened.

I grasp any opportunity to sample such whiskey – tastings, whiskey shows, launch parties – or in this instance – miniatures.

I approach them with the same level of respect as that of a €20 bottle from the local supermarket.

They are opened, poured into a Tuath Glass & enjoyed.

MVR 2020 c/othewhiskeynut

Midleton Very Rare 2020, Blend, 40%

The MVR series is highly collectable – especially this one – as it’s the last under Brian Nation’s tenure.

Quite a light nose, sweet grain with woody oak enticing me in. A lovely mouthfeel with those oaky tannins drying out towards the finish.

Very approachable, enjoyable & complex – yet lacks a certain oomph.

Knockrath Tree 7 c/othewhiskeynut

Midleton Dair Ghaelach, Knockrath Forest Tree 7, Single Pot Still, 56.6%

Straight into a deep, dank woody close!

The richness of this whiskey is a sheer delight to enjoy.

Gorgeous stuff!

Blue Spot c/othewhiskeynut

Blue Spot 7 Year Old, Single Pot Still, 58.7%

The much anticipated completion of the Spot series.

After the other 2 – this was a bit of a let down.

Light & spirity on the nose – lacking the depth & complexity of the MVR’s – what sherry influence appeared was quickly blown away by the high ABV.

Not for me – even if it’s the only one I could afford!

A satisfying tasting! c/othewhiskeynut

Thoughts

I don’t lust after these whiskeys – nor am I prepared the break the bank for them. They are simply expensive whiskeys appealing to a demographic beyond me,

But that Knockrath Tree 7 is a lovely tipple to lose yourself in!

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Whiskey Nut’s Top 10 Blogs of 2020

It’s that time of year when a certain reflection is done of the previous 12 months – and anticipation of those to follow.

My reflection in this instance came about via the stats figures within the WordPress computing machines.

A somewhat random & unexpected Top 10 list of blogs pops up based on views. Not all were written in 2020, some don’t feature Irish Whiskey & others aren’t whiskey related at all!

It’s a fair representation however of my journey through the world of spirits.

What I’d consider my best pieces – spending hours researching, constantly rewriting & fretting over – don’t particularly appear highly. Others randomly do – while a few are not entirely unexpected.

I raise a glass to each & every reader who visited my site – hopefully you’ll keep returning.

Many thanks.

Sitting in front of the computer can be a lonely place & without the feedback & growing readership – would feel even lonelier.

Without further ado – here’s the list – with links to the original blogs.

What was your favourite?

Proper Twelve v Jameson, Irish Whiskey Blends, 40%. Dec ’18.

Black & Blue Premium Whisky, 43%, India via Nigeria. Jan ’19.

Discovery, Highland Single Malt, 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky, 40%. Sept ’19.

The Busker Irish Whiskey, Royal Oak Distillery. May ’20.

Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt, 40%. Dec ’18.

Best Classic Whisky, Blend, 43%, Nigeria. March ’18.

Ron Rumbero, 4 x 40ml miniature pack, 15% to 38%. Dec ’19.

Rampur Select, Single Malt, 43%. Apr ’20.

The World Of Rums, 4 x 40ml Miniature Pack. Nov ’19.

Wall Street, Blended Spirit, 39%, Vietnam. Dec ’17.

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All photos authors own.

Kinnitty Castle Irish Whiskey, The Dapper, Blend, 43%

Popping into my local Carry Out for some last minute purchases – I couldn’t help noticing the new Irish Whiskey on the shelves.

2020 – despite COVID – has witnessed the continued growth of Irish Whiskey in terms of sales, diversity of brands and distilleries being built.

Never before has there been such a glorious out pouring of whiskey.

The Dapper in a tuath c/othewhiskeynut

Kinnitty Castle is one of those new players.

Based just down the road from me in County Offaly, Kinnitty Castle has plans for their own distillery built on the Castle grounds within the old stables.

In the meantime – a couple of sourced releases are on offer to establish the brand.

The Dapper caught my eye.

Haunted castle? c/othewhiskeynut

Sporting a rather suave looking skeleton bedecked in glasses, sharp suit & tumbler of uisce beatha on the go – it exudes an air of cheeky fun yet steeped in heritage.

Very dashing!

There’s a bit of cask information on the rear – but a thorough tasting is far more enjoyable.

Back info c/othewhiskeynut

It’s almost if drops of the skeleton’s blood have imbued The Dapper with a ruby glow.

Dark rich & heavy aromas of fruity plums reeled me in.

A full mouthfeel bursting with flavour deliciously cascaded over my palate.

Contrasting dry & spicy vanillas danced merrily away on a long lasting finish.

The combination of Chablis casks & Virgin Oak barrels brought out a delightful depth & captivating complexity to this characterful blend.

A cracking little combo to introduce Kinnitty Castle Irish Whiskey to the world.

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The Irish Whiskey 2010 -2020 Report is available here – IW 58pp A4 10 Year Report.pdf (9,061kb)

Dundalgan Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

The recently released diverse range from Dundalgan Whiskey have benefited from a fresh restyle – especially their standard blend.

Classic! c/othewhiskeynut

Sporting a classic red topped green bottle livery – the labelling proudly displays it’s West Cork Distillers origins & establishes an attractive uniformity to the series.

info c/othewhiskeynut

After being impressed by the IPA cask finished Dundalgan Single Malt – I thought I’d get back to basics with this ex-bourbon matured blend. Well – over 95% of Irish Whiskeys are blends – so says the Irish Whiskey 2010-2020 report.

Dundalgan in the Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

Golden brown in colour – a soft light honeyed nose greeted me.

Very easy on the palate – gentle vanillas & richer darker caramels gradually made their presence felt.

A frisson of tingly spice on the finish gave a lift to this elegantly simple sipper.

Punches beyond it’s pleasing price point!

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Old Newry Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

Irish Whiskey is slowly regaining it’s former glory.

Part of this marvelous ‘restoration’ – as mentioned in the latest Drinks Ireland 2010 – 2020 report – is the establishment of regional & localised brands – as would have been common in the past.

Old Newry c/oMattD’Arcy&Co

Matt D’Arcy & Co of Newry have released this attractive Old Newry Irish Whiskey – along with a book chronicling the rich heritage of distilling & spirit bonding in the area.

Old pub sign still hanging. c/othewhiskeynut

An obligatory zoom meeting launched the publication & later I acquired some samples of Old Newry for tasting.

Old Newry Book c/oMattD’Arcy&Co

Reassuringly pale in colour, the nose exuded soft vanillas & deep rich caramel.

An easy & approachable palate developed a warm malty style of blend.

Samples c/othewhiskeynut

The long lasting finish exhibiting a tingling dry spiciness added a certain character to this delightful offering.

A marvelous whiskey to mark the restoration of distilling to Newry.

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Thanks to the Matt D’Arcy facebook site for the use of the images.

Exploring The Penetration Of Irish Whiskey In The German Supermarket Sector.

A random tweet got me thinking.

Obviously I checked on the link & was blown away by Lidl offering a cask of new make whisky to it’s customers!

Lidl whisky cask c/oLidl.de

My inquisitive mind led me to checking out what else they had.

Let’s put it like this – the depth & spread of whiskies on offer would qualify the shop as being a specialist whiskey outlet in Ireland!

The bare figures are pretty outstanding;

Total bottle selection…………………………..127.

Comprising of;

Scotland…………………………………………………….84

America……………………………………………………..19

Ireland……………………………………………………….10

Japan & Taiwan………………………………………….4 each

Wales & Austria…………………………………………2 each

Canada & South Africa………………………………1 each

At only 8% of the market – Irish Whiskey clearly has a long way to go!

But who was flying the Irish flag?

First off – in order of appearance here – Lidl own brand Dundalgan.

Dundalgan Blend c/oLidl.de

Next up – the ubiquitous Jameson in Original, Black Barrel & Caskmates varieties.

Jameson Original c/oLidl.de

Irishman Single Malt made an appearance.

Irishman c/oLidl.de

Kinahan’s popped up with their tasty Kasc Project.

Kinahan Kasc c/oLidl.de

Kilbeggan followed.

Kilbeggan Blend c/oLidl.de

With Paddy being the last whiskey.

Paddy c/oLidl.de

A couple of liqueurs wrapped up the Irish contingent.

I’d definitely be like a kid in a sweet shop drooling over the extensive choice!

Aldi Sud meanwhile had only 8 whisky on offer – 5 Scotch & 1 each from Japan, Canada & Germany. Ireland didn’t even feature!

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Header image c/oextra.ie

Seven Churches Irish Whiskey, Single Grain, 40%

I get a frisson of excitement welcoming every new Irish Whiskey released to market.

Each and everyone of them are further confirmation of the renewed growth, revitalised confidence & appreciation of the category.

7 Churches Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Seven Churches Irish Whiskey is of even greater appeal – it puts the historical significance of Clonmacnoise on the map & being only a half hour down the road from me – is truly local!

Back in 1405 a certain ‘Richard Magrannell died from taking a surfeit of aqua vitae,’ – as written in the Annuls Of Clonmacnoise – the earliest confirmed record attributed to the spirit that became whiskey.

Historic Clonmacnoise c/othewhiskeynut

Seven Churches has a bold & attractively designed bottle – adorned with an artists impression of the Clonmacnoise site itself & historical notes too.

600 years in the making! c/othewhiskeynut

Initially a good hearted spirity kick greeted me – followed by touches of caramel & a hint of star anise.

Rather unusual – but very engaging.

Very easy on the palate with a lovely warm embrace.

The long lasting finish brought out more star anise with a pleasant prickly spice dancing merrily away.

Overall quite a light & refreshing offering possessing a degree of character with intriguing & entertaining flavours.

Hat’s off to Seven Churches!

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