Category Archives: Peat

Mourne DEW Miniature Pack, 40% to 43%.

When a particular distillery’s output wins 2 blind tasting sessions – you take notice.

Both Mourne DEW’s Blend and Single Malt stood out for me,

Tasty trio c/othewhiskeynut

So I purchased their miniature set to try them out side by side.

The Kilbroney Gin went down well with my better half,

Kilbroney c/othewhiskeynut

Allowing me to concentrate on the others!

Pooka Poitín, 43%

Pooka c/othewhiskeynut

The colour immediately intrigued me. A pale straw hue – similar to the whiskeys – obviously a bit of barrel ageing going on – 10 weeks is allowed.

An entertaining floral note greeted me – with a hint of woody smoke. Oily smooth mouthfeel with enticing flavours. A touch of nuttiness on the finish topped off with a pleasing drying prickleness.

A rather unique poitín offering – very happy with this one!

Mourne DEW Blend, 40%

Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Like encountering an old friend!

A clean & fresh nose, smooth honeyed palate drying out towards the finish leaving with a tingling spiciness.

A characterful little number!

Mourne DEW Single Malt, 43%

Single Malt c/othewhiskeyut

Just a word on the colour – of the 3 – it appears the palest!

Clearly no caramel here & a relatively young malt – which works well for a peater – as the nose brings me back to sitting by an open turf fire!

What can I say about this one?

A delightfully young & vibrant peater – loved it!

Thoughts

For a small distillery nestled on the pretty banks of Carlingford Lough in Warrenpoint – Mourne DEW are releasing a flavourful range of spirits to charm & entertain.

Happy drinking! c/othewhiskeynut

The Essence Of Mourne – works wonders for me!

Sláinte

Penderyn Icon Of Wales #6, Royal Welsh Whisky, 43%

Penderyn flies the flag for Welsh Whisky.

Along with a solid core range of single malts to suit all palates,

The Icon Of Wales series continues to highlight aspects of ‘Welshness’ be it in culture, politics, sports or history.

A good whisky doesn’t last for long! c/othewhiskeynut

Attracted to the initial #1 Red Flag release,

It’s always a joy to encounter the latest offering.

Royal Welsh Whisky caught my eye at the lovely Fife Whisky Festival last year.

Royal Welsh Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

Based on an original bottle from the Frongoch Distillery – later to become Frongoch Interment Camp for Irish Republican prisoners – Royal Welsh Whisky exhibits a flavour profile pleasing to my palate – peat.

The historical connections, revival of Welsh Whisky & gorgeous smokey notes all make for a winner to me.

Iechyd dda!

The Famous Grouse, Smoky Black, Blend, 40%

Grouse come in a variety of species – just like their whisky counterparts.

Red & Black Grouse with a Teacher inbetween c/othewhiskeynut

The Red – or Famous Grouse – is the most common & biggest selling of the Matthew Gloag dynasty of blended Scotch.

Ptarmigan – or Snow Grouse – are quite a scarce bird to encounter – just like blended grain whisky.

Snow Grouse c/othewhiskeynut

Black Grouse are a bit more easy to find – & the species proudly adorns the bottle of Smoky Black Grouse Whisky.

Smoky Black c/othewhiskeynut

Promising a heavier & peatier experience – Smoky Grouse delivers.

The smoke is rather subdued & very well balanced – it won’t blow you away – making for a very easy drinker with a touch of character.

Peated Glenturret c/othewhiskeynut

While the Red Grouse is easily found in Ireland – Snow & Black Grouse are rarely encountered. Brexit is also causing problems with whisky imports/exports & could lead to higher prices.

It looks like the expansion of Grouse in Ireland could hit a rocky patch.

Sláinte

Against The Grain, Peated Single Malt, Irish Whiskey, 46%

It’s Level 5 Lockdown.

You’re home from work & a little package has arrived.

Against The Grain Sample c/othewhiskeynut

Whiskey.

But not any whiskey.

Peated Irish Whiskey!

What else are you gonna do but crack it open!

Sample poured! c/othewhiskeynut

Gorgeously rich peat fire smoke permeates room.

An initial sweetness gradually transforms into the warm embrace of a well stacked turf hearth glowing brightly.

A touch of prickly spice dances merrily away on the long finish.

Sheer delight!

Against The Grain c/oWhiskeyFactor

Against The Grain is the latest release from independent bottler whiskeyfactor.com

Another stunner of a whiskey!

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A Paul John Whisky Miniature Tasting

My first encounter with Paul John was back in 2016 at Whisky Live Melbourne.

The quality of flavours impressed me back then – but there’s been a lot of whiskey since – so a revisit seemed in order.

The pleasures reside within. c/othewhiskeynut

A gorgeously presented miniature pack showcasing their core range happened my way – so I got stuck in!

To be honest – I was blown away!

To paraphrase an old hit – Everyone’s A Winner.

They had me question my preference for peat – as well as the attraction for cask strength.

Brilliance 46%

A gorgeously clean & fresh ex-bourbon cask matured malt.

Edited 46%

A straightforward peat smoke stonker.

Bold 46%

Dials the peat – and the flavours – up a notch.

Classic 55.2%

A cask strength crusader.

Peated 55.5%

The peat fire is getting seriously hot.

Enjoying these whiskies again was a fabulous treat.

Were the joys of a flavoursome ex-bourbon cask malt able to trounce a pleasing peater?

Was the cask strength power curtailed by the 46% sweet spot?

Ready & waiting. c/othewhiskeynut

Let’s just say Bold won the day!

Hat’s off to Paul John – seriously satisfying whisky.

Sláinte

Summerton Virtual Whisky Festival, 2020.

COVID has cancelled a whole host of Whiskey Festivals this year.

I did manage to get in the excellent Fife Whisky Festival just before the lockdown – but it may prove to be the only physical show I’ll get to.

So when Summerton Whisky Club announced their online virtual festival – I had to give it a go!

Initially I was worried the festival pack wouldn’t get through the rather clogged postal situation – but it arrived in plenty of time.

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Virtual Whisky Festival! c/othewhiskeynut

My next problem was technology!

Turns out my old laptop is not up to speed – thank goodness for a loan of the wife’s modern machinery!

Bimber were up first.

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Ex-bourbon Bimber c/othewhiskeynut

This new London distillery offered an exbourbon cask at a stonking 51.8% to get things rolling!

A gorgeously rich vanilla laden single malt!

I must profess to having a soft spot for Bimber. A sample of their 1st Release came my way & impressed me very much.

After trying a London Single Malt – Dublin’s Single Pot Still was in order!

Under my table was Dublin’s 1st whiskey release in many years – Teeling Single Pot Still Batch 1.

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London & Dublin’s finest! c/othewhiskeynut

Very fresh & fruity in comparison to Bimber. Less wood influence too. Afraid to say Bimber wins out in this comparison!

Scalasaig’s Blended Malt Island Hopper sailed in next.

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Scalasaig Island Hopper c/othewhiskeynut

Soft peat & caramel with a warming smokey fire.

A back to back with The Dark Silkie blend was in order.

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Swimming with the Silkie! c/othewhiskeynut

Silkie came over cleaner, fresher & ultimately more enjoyable!

A Limited Edition 14 year old Tawny Port Finished Glen Scotia proved to be a stunner!

Ruby coloured, rich, nutty & warming with a hit of peat from the 52.8% strength. Fabulous!

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Campbeltown cracker! c/othewhiskeynut

Campletown Whisky obviously suits my palate after it came out tops in a blind tasting I did recently.

The Lakes Distillery The One Signature Blend suffered a little from the previous offering.

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Now this One! c/othewhiskeynut

The bottle appears to be redesigned & re-recipied from my 1st encounter at a Whisky Birmingham Show a few years ago. The main difference being Lakes own malt is used in the whisky.

One came across as a soft easy peater. Perhaps a sherry influence had detracted from the peat hit for me?

Hinch is the first Irish contribution to the show.

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Hinch Double Wood c/othewhiskeynut

The 5 Year Old Double Wood brings out the warm vanilla & spice of the cask maturation – although I still prefer the Peated Single Malt sampled previously.

Lambay provided the 2nd Irish selection with a cute duo of miniatures featuring their cognac finished blend & single malts.

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A Lambay duo c/othewhiskeynut

It’s fortunate I enjoyed larger samples at a tasting hosted in Sean’s Bar, Athlone. I’m still enjoying the fresher Small Batch blend over the smoother Single Malt though.

I didn’t have a cognac handy to try out the source cask – so made do with a brandy – and found those dark fruity & nutty notes along with a slight spice from the wood that enhanced the Lambay.

I do love Mackmyra’s Limited Editions. They are creative, experimental & feature part of Sweden in every bottle. My last time in Gotherburg introduced me to the range.

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Smashing Swedes c/othewhiskeynut

Efva & Fjällmark were the 2 samples. Both impressed me with their richness, depth & complexity – but Fjällmark just pipped the post for me.

I couldn’t pass up the chance to compare these 2 with a Single Cask Reserve Rök, 1st fill bourbon Mackmyra.

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Smokey Swede c/othewhiskeynut

Class smokiness!

At this stage of the evening I’d usually be on the train home – or tucking into a big feed to sober up – but Wolfburn were the finale with a duo of single malts – Morven & Northland.

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A pack of Wolves! c/othewhiskeynut

I was pleased to be reacquainted with these softly peated malts. The Morven won out in this contest.

Congratulations to all the team at Summerton Whisky Club for hosting this virtual show.

It’s been fun – but I must admit to missing the real thing.

My dram of the day?

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Campbeltown cracker! c/othewhiskeynut

Glen Scotia from the actual show

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Smokey Swede c/othewhiskeynut

& Mackmyra Reserve Cask from under my table!

Sláinte

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Galway Bay, Märzen To The Fire, 5.5%

Smoke isn’t exclusively either peat – nor restricted to whiskey.

The fuel used to dry the barley – or other grains – imparts a wide variety of flavours to the resultant beverage.

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Smokin’ c/othewhiskeynut

For this Galway Bay Märzen – a popular style of German lager – beechwood is the choice.

I was keen to sample the results.

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Beechwood smoked. c/othewhiskeynut

There’s an element of trompe l’oeil going on here.

You expect a dark, heavy ale – but get a light, refreshing lager overlaid with a soft, attractive wood fired smokiness.

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Ingredients c/othewhiskeynut

An excellent accompaniment to those lazy sunny afternoon BBQ’s.

Sláinte

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The Legendary Dark Silkie Smokey Irish Whiskey, 46%

Peat smoke.

It’s in fierce short supply as a flavour profile in Irish Whiskey.

Connemara flew the flag for many a year.

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Turf Mór c/othewhiskeynut

West Cork’s Peat Charred Cask used Irish Turf to flavour their barrels.

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Glorious Glengarriff whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

And lately WD O’Connell’s Bill Phil landed a smokey smacker.

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Peated Series c/othewhiskeynut

But they’re all Single Malts.

The big selling smokey blend market was effectively abandoned.

Inishowen did a gorgeous soft smoker from a few years ago.

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Inishowen, peated Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Three Crowns Peated uses Islay casks to great results.

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Dunvilles Three Crowns Peated c/othewhiskeynut

But actual peat dried barley in an Irish Blended Whiskey was hard got.

Step forward The Legendary Dark Silkie Smokey!

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Dark Silkie c/othewhiskeynut

I took it for a whirl!

That distinctive coastal peat aroma greeted me.

Smooth easy & sweet on the palate.

A softly glowing peat fire grew in intensity – slowly drying out – adding a few prickly spices along the way – before leaving in a blaze of glory.

Dark Silkie is not for the faint hearted.

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@SilkieWhiskey c/othewhiskeynut

This is full on unapologetic smoke for the peatheads out there.

Fantastic!

Sláinte

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Brand Ambassador Tasting, Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder, The Irish Collection

An invite to the Brand Ambassador Tasting at the fabulous Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder in Killarney transpired into a highly enjoyable & eminently entertaining evening.

I’d encountered all the Irish Whiskey selection before – yet it was wonderful to enjoy them again in such engaging company.

Celtic Casks 29, Single Cask, Single Malt, 46%

CC29
First met CC29 on a Celtic Whiskey Club Tweet Tasting c/othewhiskeynut

A dignified, complex & well balanced ‘traditional’ single cask – ex-bourbon maturation & sherry finishing.

Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye, 43%

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Picked up bottle for blog Oct 2018 c/othewhiskeynut

The return of rye to Irish Whiskey! Softly spoken and pleasant. Lacking character for my palate.

Kilbeggan Single Pot Still, 43%

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Picked up bottle for blog December 2019 c/othewhiskeynut

A Technical File compliant SPS. The oats add a creamy smoothness contrasting with the spicy finish.

Powers 1817, 46%

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Bottle blog March 2017 c/othewhiskeynut

An underrated gem of an Single Pot Still. Always pleased to encounter this gorgeous whiskey.

Powers John’s Lane, 46%

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Vertical tasting blog March 2017 c/othewhiskeynut

The flagship bearer of the Powers core range. Soon to sport it’s controversial new livery!

Celtic Cask 25, 46%

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Celtic Cask 25 at Whiskey Live Dublin 2019 c/othewhiskeynut

A thoroughly enjoyable young & feisty peater with additional PX Cask finishing. Loving it.

Hard to pick a winner. All excellent in their own way. For sheer exuberance I think CC25 has it!

Oh – there were 2 American offerings.

I’ll get to them later.

Slàinte

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My thanks to all at Celtic Whiskey Bar for their warm hospitality.

Teacher’s, Highland Cream, Blend, 40%

I had the privilege of attending The Brand Ambassador’s Tasting at the fabulous Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder in Killarney recently.

Fine whiskey, great company & mighty craic ensued.

I came away with a nugget of Irish Whiskey sales information however.

The biggest selling whisky in Ireland from the eclectic & well represented Beam-Suntory brand portfolio is by a long shot – Teacher’s Highland Cream.

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A naggin of Teacher’s c/othewhiskeynut

So I bought a bottle.

It’s yer standard Scotch Blend product.

It’s chill filtered & has added caramel. It’s non age statmented and gives no list of the 30 or so distilleries that have contributed their malt and grain whisky to construct this historic blend – yet it sells bucket loads.

It’s a straight forward no nonsense attractively peated whisky that outsells all others on the Beam-Suntory portfolio.

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The light of Scotland is added caramel. c/othewhiskeynut

The colour is ‘The Light Of Scotland’ – according to the label.

A decent hit of peat on the nose is mellowed by a sweet honeyed palate. A slightly drying peaty bite leaves toffee notes to finish on.

Plain, simple peated whisky.

Clearly what the market wants.

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Inishowen, peated Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Yet ever since the demise of the gorgeous Inishowen – Irish Whiskey has no peated blend currently for sale.

Seems to be a big omission.

Slàinte

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