Category Archives: Irish Whiskey

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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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

Púca Irish Whiskey Mint Julep & Whiskey Mule, 5%

You can’t keep the Púca down!

Aldi’s exclusive Irish Whiskey brand has risen again as a pair of Pre Mixed Drinks – otherwise known as RTD’s, Ready To Drink.

The RTD market is growing fast so it’s great to see Blackwater Distillery venture into this arena.

I can’t say it would be my cup of tea – but I’m willing to sample what all the fuss is about.

Púca Irish Whiskey Mint Julep, 5%

A very pale coloured fizzy offering.

Definitely getting the mint influence – but struggling to pick up any whiskey elements out of the lemonade-y fizz.

Púca Irish Whiskey Mule, 5%

Pours like a fizzy whiskey – golden brown.

Deeper, darker aroma & taste. I do like a ginger ale myself but found the expected punch a bit muted & again – more lemonade like.

Thoughts

Ermmm – this is not how I enjoy my whiskey.

I’m so far off the demographics for these kind of drinks my palate is giving out to me.

When you actually love the taste, flavour & warm feeling experienced with whiskey – these RTD just leave me cold.

Púca Irish Whiskey c/o@WhiskeyPundit

I’ll stick to my Púca Irish Whiskey neat in future!

Sláinte

Spirits Business report into RTD growth here.

Teeling, The Revival Vol V, 12 Year Old Single Malt, 46%

A special whiskey require a suitable time to be opened.

The festive season provided an opportune occasion to crack open & share the contents of this splendid bottle.

Teeling Whiskey Company were at the forefront of bringing whiskey distilling back to the heart of Dublin when they opened up in 2015.

They have successfully leveraged that position by releasing a series of limited edition whiskeys under The Revival series label.

As much care & thought has gone into the presentation packaging of this whiskey as to the actual contents.

The elegant oversized black & gold box swings open to reveal an opulent looking bottle. The Phoenix seal of approval officially declares the contents.

The bottle itself is suitably heavy & chunky while the gold topped cork stopper is also of solid weight.

All of this screams ‘Premium Product’ to me – as well as added expense.

I’ve a feeling a lot of these bottles are destined to never being opened.

Some may end up on prominent display to boost the credibility & bragging rights of the owner.

Others may be hidden in vaults to accrue added value & emerge at a future date for sale to eager collectors.

I’m into whiskey however for the taste & flavour so a glass – or two – was poured!

Now I must admit to being fond of Teeling Whiskey.

They generally release at 46% or above which usually denotes non chill filtering & natural colour. The crispness, clarity & richness of flavour attest to this.

Revival V is no exception.

For me the ex-cognac cask have added a sumptuous nuttiness to the mix – which has me hooked.

Being a 12 year old the original whiskey clearly wasn’t distilled by Teeling.

They acquired a large inventory of sourced stock from an unnamed Irish Distillery – or distilleries – from which they’ve further matured, finished, mixed & blended under the expert guidance of Master Distiller Alex Chasko.

What may have originally been destined as the malt content in a blend, a 40% chill filtered & coloured supermarket whiskey – or even a single cask distillery offering – has ended up as a splendidly presented limited release whiskey.

This is not core release Teeling.

This is unicorn bottling.

A one off chance to grab some quality Irish Whiskey while it lasts.

I’m glad someone grabbed it for me.

This kind of product is no longer within my reach!

Sláinte

Teeling Whiskey Distillery website here.

Old Warehouse, Tullamore

It’s great to see an old historical Irish Whiskey building come back into use.

Tullamore DEW’s Old Bonded Warehouse has re-opened under new ownership – local businessman Alan Clancy & local PGA golfer Shane Lowry – with a new name – Old Warehouse.

The building has only been open to the public for a few weeks but a visit to sample the hospitality was in order.

Much remains the same from the outside – only the whiskey barrels sport their new branding.

The inside is oddly reminiscent of the former owners Tullamore DEW – who rightly moved the whiskey visitors experience to the actual working distillery a few miles down the road – with the bar area now moving to the back wall but happily showing an array of whiskey barrels as well as 3 copper pot stills in the 2nd floor dining area.

A nice little touch was the copper topped salt & pepper set which made me smile.

The top floor has yet to be developed into a sports bar & a large pizza oven is due to be fired up too. A late licence has also been applied for.

We enjoyed a late brunch in congenial & warm surroundings.

It took me back to an earlier meal in the building – 2016’s Irish Whiskey Awards!

All in all a fantastic venue and a welcome addition to the hospitality scene in Tullamore – along with the Midlands in general.

I’ll definitely be back!

Press release of Old Warehouse opening here.

Old Warehouse facebook page here.

My thoughts on the 2016 Irish Whiskey Awards here.

The Egans of Moate and Tullamore, Maurice Egan & David Egan

It’s not everyday you read a book so rooted in the historical & current fabric of affairs in the Midland’s of Ireland.

But then it’s not everyday a thoroughly researched & entertainingly presented publication charts the almost 200 year history of the Egans of Moate and Tullamore.

P & H Egans of Tullamore may have folded in the late 1960’s – but the legacy of their large commercial enterprises are evident to this day.

Their former Tullamore Brewery is now the Brewery Tap bar.

Their large headquarters, merchants shop & seed store is now the Bridge House Hotel.

Many artifacts, memorabilia & perhaps stories can still be found in these buildings – especially over a glass or two of Egan’s Irish Whiskey.

Descendants of this prominent business & political family have resurrected one of the enterprises that made them so famous – whiskey bonding, blending & selling.

I had a fabulous day celebrating the launch of Egan’s Centenary Irish Whiskey – along with many members of the Egan family – being shown round numerous historic buildings & making them come alive with tales & stories from the past.

The book adds so much colour, depth, complexity & character to a glass of Egan’s Irish Whiskey.

Liquid history.

For my original Egan’s Centenary Whiskey blog click here.

Egan’s Irish Whiskey website here.

Fercullen Falls, Small Batch Irish Whiskey, 43%, Blend

When Powerscourt Distillery originally released their core range of Irish Whiskey much of the commentary made a big play of the fact Head Distiller – Noel Sweeney – had overseen the distilling of the liquid whilst at Cooley Distillery & then latterly supervised the blending of the casks at Powerscourt.

Now Mr Sweeney has left Powerscourt – does this lessen the ‘story’ of the whiskeys?

If you rate whiskey by the personality of key players involved in bringing it to market – then perhaps yes?

On the other hand, if you appraise a whiskey based on the taste & flavour of the liquid in the glass before you – it doesn’t matter.

Most whiskey has been produced by a large team of mainly un-named people who all contribute – in one way or another – to making & marketing the final product.

That product – especially if it’s a core release like this Fercullen Falls blend – can be presented to the public as a consistent expression regardless of the potential changing personnel who participate in its existence.

As it is, Fercullen Falls is a non-age statement blend of whiskeys both from outside sources and Powerscourt Distillery itself.

I like the name.

Fercullen Falls themselves are an impressive spectacle set in Powerscourt Estate grounds – and well worth a visit they are too!

So, onto the whiskey!

Pale straw in colour. No mention of added caramel or chill filtering.

A very easy, pleasant soft aroma of vanilla & caramel.

Smooth palate with a touch of honeyed maltiness on the body.

Livens up on the finish with a lovely prickly sensation & decent depth of flavours which fade slowly.

A very well-presented easy drinking blend with no rough edges, fine heritage & an entertaining flourish on the finale.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Fercullen Falls Whiskey information here.

Noel Sweeney information here.

In Praise of Miniatures

Up in Dublin to meet friends & family was a different style of trip to my Poitín Now adventures of last weekend.

I did however manage a quick visit to the Celtic Whiskey Shop to replenish my miniatures.

I do love miniatures.

When you have shelves groaning with around 50 opened bottles of varying spirits – not to mention a similar number waiting to be uncorked – constantly buying more is no longer an option.

There’s also the squeeze on spending by having to fork out increasing amounts for basics – let alone the luxury of drink – so miniatures it is!

There were 3 untried expressions that made my basket.

Nardini Grappa Riserva – to further explore my Grappa fascination.

Cognac Park 10yo Mizunara Cask – Mizunara seems to be all the rage right now – so why can’t Cognac get in on the act?

and

Fercullen Falls Whiskey – Powerscourt’s latest core release blend.

Expect a monologue on each in due course!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Celtic Whiskey Shop website here.

A Trio of Blacks Irish Whiskey, Triple Threat, Maple Mayhem & Black Smoke, 40% to 43%.

Blacks of Kinsale are currently building their own distillery. In the meantime they have released this core rage sourced Irish Whiskey trio to entice you in.

Presented in attractively liveried bottles bearing their trademark flying crow emblem the names allure to the beer brewing background of Blacks.

I was fortunate enough to be sent a sample pack from Blacks to taste.

All thoughts on the whiskey – as always – are my own.

Triple Threat, 40%

As the name suggests, this Irish Blended Whiskey is aged in a triple cask trio of bourbon, sherry & virgin oak casks.

Light brown in colour. The nose wasn’t giving much away, sweet grainy vanillas. A silky mouthfeel. Honeyed. Drying spiciness on the rear enlivens this solid starter of a blend.

Engaging!

Maple Mayhem, 43%

An unusual one this – aged in maple bourbon casks!

Wasn’t sure what to expect – yet the nose offered up a rich dark sweetness that pulled me in. Smooth palate grows into a surprisingly complex dark honey yet spicy & tingly finalé.

Enticing!

Black Smoke, 43%

A more conventional heavily peated offering.

Have you ever noticed heavy peaters tend to be the palest whiskey out there?

Black Smoke is no exception!

That coastal, iodiney peat is evident on the nose – yet doesn’t overpower. Very engaging on the palate. It’s the finish that excites me. The warming hug of a turf fire heats up & pulls me in with it’s comforting embrace.

A solid sod of turf to please the palate!

Thoughts

This trio of Blacks Irish Whiskey are currently available (Oct ’22) in the sub €50 category level – prices subject to upward pressure in the ongoing economic climate.

They offer a solid & surprisingly complexity of flavour.

Black Smoke would be my whiskey of choice here – but Maple Mayhem engaged me more than I expected with a heavy sweetness that enticed. Triple Threat meanwhile isn’t threatening at all – just a good solid blended Irish Whiskey!

Fabulous to taste the growing array of Irish Whiskey out there – which one would please your palate?

Sláinte

Blacks of Kinsale website here.

The Spirits Business article on economic situation here.

Bottle images courtesy Blacks of Kinsale.

That Boutique-Y Whisky, World Whisky Blend, 41.6% vs The Whistler, The Good The Bad & The Smoky, Blended Malt, 48%

That Boutique-Y Whisky, World Whisky Blend, 41.6%

Image courtesy That Boutique-Y Whisky Co

I do like a bit of a mystery blend.

Independent bottlers That Boutique-Y Whisky have done a few of them over the years & this World Whisky Blend made up of distillate from around the world is a celebration of the art of blending.

A soft nose greeted me with the merest hint of smoke.

Nice & easy delivery, lovely sweet grain, touch of depth.

Growing complexity on the rear leaving with a tingly drying sensation.

A very engaging blend to sip & savour!

The Whistler, The Good The Bad & The Smoky, Blended Malt, 48%

Image courtesy Boann Distillery

The Whistler series are part of Boann Distillery’s growing range of sourced spirits with witty names showcasing their blending & bottling prowess.

How could I resist The Good The Bad & The Smoky?

Soft & smooth palate slowly builds in intensity.

Opens up into a glowing hearth fire on the rear finally exhibiting The Smoky – which up until now had been subdued.

Neither the nose nor the palate kind of let you know what this one develops into!

Very intriguing!

Thoughts

If it was on the name only – The Good The Bad & The Smoky would win hands down.

But on the taste & overall experience?

Well The Whistler was certainly a bit of a rollercoaster of a ride alright – if slightly unexpected at the end.

That Boutique-Y came across more of a balanced easy drinker if anything – with a bit more complexity too – so for that reason the World Whisky Blend gets my vote!

By the way That Boutique-Y inform me this blend is made up of distillate from; Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Sweden, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands, Taiwan, India, Italy, Germany, France, Japan & Finland.

Now that’s a harmonious whisky!

Sláinte

That Boutique-Y Whisky webpage here.

Boann Distillery website here.

Whiskeys purchased from Tiny Tipple.