Johnnie Fox’s is a well known pub which does a roaring tourist attraction trade in the mountains just outside of Dublin.
They released a whiskey a few years ago & this is my 1st time to try it.
I’d never heard of Henry Downes before – so had to look them up. Turns out they are also a bar – situated in Waterford City – but originally started out as spirits merchants.
Nice to see some traditions last with this release!
Obviously these are both sourced whiskeys from unnamed Irish distilleries – so what did I find?
Johnnie Fox’s, Blend, 40%
Pale straw in colour, a fruity little number with hints of darker depth, clean fresh grain palate develops some pleasing spiciness towards the rear finishing with a little spirity kick.
An attractive blend to entice you into the Johnnie Fox’s establishment!
Henry Downes No 9, Blend, 40%
Whatever happened to the other 8?
A slightly darker shade of pale straw, soft malty nose with hints of wet leather, sweet biscuity palate finishing with a dry peppery spice & slight frisson of excitement.
For me Johnnie Fox’s came over as a fresher & livelier style of whiskey which instantly appealed to me.
Can’t help thinking Henry Downes was beginning to suffer from being too long in the bottle & might have been more enjoyable when originally released.
Happy however to have tasted a couple of early pioneers who paved the way for the positive explosion of Irish Whiskey brands entering the market today.
Johnnie Fox’s website here.
Henry Downes bar information courtesy Publication website here.
Samples purchased from Drams Delivered here.