Category Archives: Whiskey

Where is this whiskey sourced from?

It’s become an obsession.

I’ve encountered folks refusing to drink a whiskey for not divulging where it was distilled.

Are folks really that petty?

Let’s dial back a bit however & answer a few basic questions.

What got you into whiskey?

For me it was primarily taste & flavour.

The joy of exploring different whiskey using a variety of grains, distilling techniques, maturation & blending practices to produce a never ending cornucopia of brands for my palate to enjoy.

Is where the whiskey distilled important?

Starting out on my journey it wasn’t.

Initially I’d be unaware of the myriad of distilleries around the world – even if they were printed on the label – but as time progressed I’d begin to favour certain flavours & styles over others & take notice of where it came from.

Does knowing where the whiskey is distilled make a difference?

Yes.

My buying & drinking experiences began to be predicated on my previous encounters. A bias or prejudice towards certain styles or distilleries formed which I’ve subsequently worked to overcome. Blind tasting & doing an WSET course worked wonders in this regard & challenged any bias – conscious or not – & helped develop an open mind about the whiskey in my glass.

Do you need to know where the whiskey is distilled?

No.

Legally there is no jurisdiction that stipulates distillery of origin must be named. Usually they are – as it enhances brand recognition – but it’s not necessary. Knowing can automatically engender bias – so I often immerse myself in the taste & flavours of the whiskey in front of me before finding out the details.

What if there’s no information as to distillery of origin?

Enjoy the whiskey.

Blended whiskey by default do not name the distilleries the individual components came from as they are often made up of numerous malts, grains & single pot stills from a variety of changing sources to bring about a uniform flavour in the one brand.

Single Malt & Single Pot Still releases from blenders & bottlers may also be subject to legally binding ‘non disclosure agreements’ from the distilleries involved & whilst they come from a single source – this does not preclude that source changing. Distilleries are capable of replicating the style of another’s to provide consistency of flavour.

What do you want in a whiskey?

An enjoyable drinking experience that excites my palate.

While learning about where it was distilled, who made it & all the other information may enhance that experience – it’s not a prerequisite. If on the other hand knowing those details is more important to you – we’re not on the same page. Giving up the taste & flavour experience to a prescribed set of data that must be met before drinking is rather sad.

The frisson of excitement & growing sense of exploration & adventure in anticipation of tasting a new & unknown whiskey is a joy.

May I never loose it.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Whiskey Nut’s Readers Favourite Blogs Of 2021

It’s nearly the end of 2021 – and what a year it’s been!

A little reflection of the previous 12 months is in order.

The blogs below are my readers favourites for 2021.

1) Proper Twelve V’s Jameson, Dec 18.

Proper 12 must be the most divisive Irish Whiskey ever – yet it’s already outselling Bushmills 400 years of heritage in the American market after only 4 years. Go figure!

2) Kyasuku World Whisky, Oct 21.

Rising to 2nd spot in only a couple of months is a remarkable achievement for this Aldi brand from Japan.

3) Dundalgan Single Malt IPA Cask, Nov 20.

This popular range of whiskey continues to be an attractive & affordable purchase.

4) Irish Whiskey Distilleries, Dec 21.

The only page to make the list! My constantly updating list of Irish Whiskey Distilleries!

5) Púca Blend, Nov 20.

These mischievous spirits make a welcome return to the Top 10 – as well as Aldi shelves!

6) Ron Rumbero Miniature Pack, Dec 19.

The 1st of a number of rum entries into the list – and a great introduction to the category.

7) Liberté Rum, May 20.

This affordable white rum charmed me with it’s attractive range of flavours.

8) Black & Blue Whisky, Jan 19.

This Nigerian Whisky brand made in India with UK connections demonstrates the global reach of whisky.

9) El Bandido Beer, July 20.

While I can’t say I love this beer – there’s clearly a lotta love for it out there!

10) Ardfallen Whiskey, Jun 19.

A no nonsense Irish Whiskey blend at an affordable price.

A big thanks to all my readers – without you I’d be drinking on my own!

Sláinte

By pressing on the links you’ll be directed to the original blogs.

Fear, Paranoia & Tasting By Numbers In The Spirits Category.

There appears to be a palpable fear within the spirits drinking community.

Fear of being ‘gouged’ or ‘ripped off’ by rogue producers.

Paranoia that brands aren’t being ‘honest and transparent’ in refusing to disclose every conceivable nugget of information.

Refusing to taste a spirit until the correct check list;

Trusted distillery – check.

Non chill filtered – check.

Single Malt – check.

Cask Strength – check.

Distillery release – check.

Or whatever criteria you choose has been adhered to.

It’s all so reductionist.

Taste is not defined by what is – or isn’t – written on the side of a bottle.

Taste isn’t made by engaging tweets or larger than life characters.

Taste is the complex interplay of the individual drinkers palate with the fruits of the raw ingredients, distilling process, blending & maturation regimes of the liquid before them.

Someone’s ‘amber nectar’ is another’s ‘gnat’s piss’.

What if all that extraneous information was removed?

What if all bottles of spirits simply stated the legal minimum?

No branding, no advertising, no stories?

Would the spirit taste the same?

Well – yes and no.

Yes in that the liquid – and your palate – remains the same.

Having blind tasted whiskey for the Irish Whiskey Awards over a number of years a familiar pattern of brands & styles consistently rise to the top.

On the other hand slick advertising, where & whom with you taste the liquid as well as your mood on the day can all sway the results.

But is there another fear at play?

Fear of enjoying a drink that is deemed unpopular?

Fear of enjoying a spirit that hasn’t matched your check list?

Or simply a fear of not conforming?

You don’t have to like the popular brands or top sellers.

Just enjoy what works for your individual palate.

Above all – enjoy the journey.

Sample & taste as far and wide as possible – you’ll quickly find your own sweet spot.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Abasolo, El Whisky De Mexico, 43%

It seems Pernod Ricard are on a spending spree.

Hot on the heels of their Whisky Exchange purchase a stake in Mexican Whisky Abasolo is also gracing the enlarged portfolio.

Whether this will increase the diversity of drinks into the Irish market is yet to play out. Abasolo is not currently available in Ireland – so I picked this one up on a UK visit.

Made with 100% Mexican ancestral corn using historical techniques to boost the flavour – Abasolo piqued my interest from the very start.

The nose exudes a rich, sweet & enticing aroma of toasted corn.

An earthy wholesomeness with added savoury notes peeking through on the palate.

All wrapped up by a pleasing spiciness giving a warm feeling of cosy roastiness slowly fading away.

It’s not very often a whisky just grabs me but –

Abasolo was ‘abasolutely’ fabulous!

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

I Enjoy Drinking Whiskey

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic spirit found all over the world.

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Whether spelled with or without the ‘e’.

Art Of The Blend #4 c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Different countries have a diversity & variety of rules as to what constitutes whiskey.

Royal Stag c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The exploration of flavours brought about by the use of raw ingredients – barley, oats, rye & maize – even molasses, rice & sorghum in some places.

Shenk’s Homestead c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Single malt, single grain, single pot still, blended, single, double, triple distilled or more.

JJ Corry at McHugh’s c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey produced in one country may not be legally sold as such in another.

Brazilian whisky in an Irish glass. c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The original whiskey was unaged, poitín, aqua-vitae, moonshine, uisce beatha & white dog.

White Dog c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey bought in the local Spar in Lagos – which I can afford – excites me as much as one accompanied with a Fabergé egg in Ireland – which I cannot.

Fly like an Eagle! c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

What kind of whiskey do you enjoy?

Sláinte

Pressing on the highlighted links will guide you to my reviews of the whiskeys.

Blind Tasting Rums – 37.5% to 46%

Presented with 6 sample bottles of rum.

No labels – no information – no back story.

Do you panic?

Or rub your hands in glee eager to experience the hidden delights within?

I chose the latter.

Arbitrarily split into ‘whites’ & ‘darks’ the notes in italics are my thoughts before the reveal.

Whites

Whites c/o@bogstandarddram

A – Trois Rivieres De L’Ocean Cuvée, 42%, Martinique

Clear & colourless. Straight into funk! Rich & pungent. Guessing agricole.

This delicious rum displays fully the raw materials & distilling techniques of agricole style rhum to produce stunning spirits.

B – Glen’s White Rum, 37.5%, Scotland

Clear & colourless. Soft mild & sweet. Touch of spice. Pleasant. Decent.

Perhaps unfair to sample a fairly standard entry rum after an agricole – but Scotland’s growing rum category is certainly finding it’s stride.

C – The Hanson, Batch 1, Blended Grain, 46%, Ireland.

Pale yellow. Sweet & mild. Quite a sweet tooth resurrected by a lovely turn of spice. Enjoyable.

A wild card! Wasn’t expecting this summery light whiskey from JJ Corry here. Did enjoy that spicy finish!

Darks

Darks c/o@bogstandarddram

D – Havana Anejo Especial, 40%, Cuba

Golden brown. Sugary sweet. Doesn’t really excite. OK. Spanish style. Demerara?

Well it wasn’t demerara – but it is Spanish style – and one of the biggest sellers too! Just lacked character.

E – Mount Gay XO Triple Cask, 43%, Barbados

Golden brown. Sweet & funky. Opens up on the rear with a touch of tannic spice & hints of funk. Aged. Easily drinkable.

A lovely sipping rum. Hats off to Mount Gay – founded 1703 & still going strong!

F – Appleton Estate, 12 Year Old Rare Blend, 43%, Jamaica

Golden brown. Full on funk, rubbery kind. Dark rum. Very easy palate with slight spice & soft funk on rear. Hints of Jamaica.

Well it wasn’t hints – this is full on Jamaica! Appleton continue to deliver the goods!

Thoughts

A thoroughly enjoyable tasting – with an unexpected whiskey that performed well – even if undetected – in the mix!

Before the reveal my palate preferences were;

A for tops.

E & F vied for joint second.

C came next.

Followed by B.

With D trailing behind.

Based on my findings – it’s pretty clear agricole is what I’ll be hunting down!

Sláinte

Many thanks to @bogstandarddram for the samples

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.

Sláinte

Header image courtesy abcnews.

Spirit Labelling – What is to be done?

A recent twitter spat got me thinking.

It centred on Rum – but applies to all categories.

White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Labelling.

One train of thought is the more information the better.

Sounds reasonable.

But every time the issue arises a chorus of similar phrases crop up.

‘Lying’, ‘cheating’ & ‘out to gouge us’.

Paints a rather paranoid & fearful picture of those big bad spirit manufactures & regulatory regimes that conspire to outwit us – into buying a liquid we enjoy drinking??

151 Proof Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Just don’t buy the stuff if you’re that worried.

Spirit manufacturing is a highly regulated, highly legislated industry – regardless of country of origin.

A whole raft of rules & standards have to be adhered to before any product reaches market – one of the most important being that it’s fit for human consumption – and anyone who doubts that clearly has no faith in those measures – nor the manufacturers.

Aged Rum c/othewhiskeynut

So why would additional labelling provided by those very same bodies make any difference if you don’t trust them anyway?

The other train of thought is simply the taste test.

It’s called blind tasting – & I’m a fierce big proponent of it.

Many spirit competitions are conducted using this method and it’s the most honest & transparent system there is.

Blind tasting c/othewhiskeynut

You are presented with a line of identical bottles stripped of branding, fancy presentation & flowery prose extolling the virtues of the liquid within.

I trust my palate to decide in such situations whether I enjoy the spirit or not.

And I also trust the regulatory systems in place that the spirit before me is safe to consume & is what it says it is.

If you want more information then buy from manufacturers that provide it – but don’t make out those that show the minimum legal requirements are somehow ‘cheating’ you. They will taste just as good – or bad – as those with with the complete works of Shakespeare attached.

There is one proviso though.

Make sure any information provided is accurate.

Unlike the manufacturer below.

A 50 year old whiskey? c/othewhiskeynut

Bow St Distillery closed in 1971.

Sláinte

Jameson Irish Whiskey Ginger & Lime, 5% vs Jameson Irish Whiskey Cloudy Apple, 5%

RTD – Ready To Drink.

Jameson RTD’s c/othewhiskeynut

It’s an odd name – a bottle of whiskey is ready to drink for me.

So why would I throw ginger & lime or cloudy apple at something I already enjoy?

Made in the UK? c/othewhiskeynut

Obviously some folks do.

Having added said ingredients – in attractive cans I must say – I no longer detected the influence of the whiskey.

That’s a no from me! c/othewhiskeynut

Which is probably the whole point.

Not my thing.

Sláinte

JG Kinsey, Dry White Rum, 37.5%, Caribbean .

After enjoying the delights of JG Kinsey Whisky – I pleasingly noticed the addition of a rum to the JG Kinsey range of spirits in my local Dunnes Stores.

2 (1 of 1)-2
JG Kinsey Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Offered in an attractive metallic blue – the whisky comes in green –  ‘Product Of The Caribbean’ is all you’ll get as to the source of this spirit.

Clear colourless rum with good viscous legs.

A rather soft aroma with subtle hints of sweet fruity funk peeking through.

The palate is very smooth with a silky mouth coating feel. That fruity funk opens up a little developing a light peppery spice to provide the finishing flourish.

2 (1 of 1)
Caribbean Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Very easy drinking quietly exhibiting the attractive attributes I enjoy in a white rum.

Bottled in the UK by R Carmichael & Sons – a subsidiary of the giant InterBev group – years of blending experience shine through in this simply stated yet well delivered rum.

Sláinte

Good Logo