Tag Archives: ABV

OBrother, Opus One, Imperial Stout Aged In Fercullen Whiskey Barrels, 12.5%

OBrother Brewing have tied in with Powerscourt Distillery to use their Fercullen Whiskey Barrels to age this Imperial Stout.

It’s rare you get told the actual barrels used – Fercullen 18 Year Old Single Malt & Fercullen 8 Year Old Single Grain in this instance.

So how does it taste?

Rich, malty nose. Veering to chocolatey & coffee notes.

A wholesome solid drinking experience full of body & flavour.

Sweet rich coffee notes follow up on the finish.

A lovely collaborative brew.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

8 Degrees Brewing, Irish Oak Aged Barleywine, 12.2%

Well this is a first – barleywine aged in Irish Oak casks – along with some original Irish artwork too!

A deep rich sweet aroma greets the nose.

The sweetness is complimented by a touch of woody tannic spice on the palate which gently fades away on the long finish.

Pushing the boundaries of barleywine.

8 Degrees Brewing collaboration with Midleton Distillery has delivered some wonderful beer!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Royal Envy, Exclusive Premium Whisky, 42.8%, India

I wouldn’t mind getting hold of this bottle.

Courtesy winewell.in

A number of things strike me.

Tales of solid smokiness tempt me.

While the name, labelling & general packaging all allude to a superior product- even if it’s a regular Indian made whisky using imported Scotch malt blended with Indian grain.

So much in the whisky world hinges on desirability, exclusivity & limited runs – often to the detriment of what really matters to me – taste.

Courtesy nvgroup.co.in

Royal Envy seems to be the ‘crowning glory’ of that exclusivity bubble – although it might be tainted by a certain royal payment to quieten a paedophilia scandal.

But a smoky Indian whisky is something I’d like to savour.

Sláinte

Barr an Uisce 16 Year Old, Single Malt, 46%

Whiskey finished in an ever increasing array of fancy casks appears to be de rigueur right now – so it’s always refreshing to get back to basics with an ex-bourbon cask only Irish Whiskey.

Even if ex-bourbon maturation only became a ‘thing’ due to American Bourbon legislation which states new – or virgin – American oak casks must be used in the production of bourbon – resulting in all those once used casks being shipped to Ireland to be refilled to mature our whiskey.

And with Barr an Uisce 16yo it tastes damn fine.

A honeyed nose.

Rich vanilla coming through on the palate which is both clean, sharp & enticing.

The finish excites with an engaging bite on the 46% ABV presentation.

A classic ex-bourbon cask matured Irish Whiskey.

A joy to encounter!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Stroh ’60’ & ’80’, Original Austria Inlander Rum

A favourite pastime of mine is having a peek at other folks drinks cabinets to see what’s lurking there.

My friends in Bournemouth pulled out Stroh 60.

Never having tried Austrian rum before – I gave it a go.

A rather strange reddish hue greeted me on pouring – along with that burnt rubber, dark molasses heavy treacle kind of nose.

Oily mouthfeel.

Very sweet towards the finish – almost liqueur like – which just about hid the 60% strength alcoholic punch.

Indeed punch might be a more apt descriptor of this ravel novelty style drink.

There’s also an 80% version.

I happened to pick up a miniature when last in Scotland!

The reddish hue & burnt rubber were still there – but no amount of sweetener could calm the rather harsh & biting 80% kick coming through.

Until the finish that is – rather sweet & sticky.

If anything – the 60 version was more palatable.

Just wondering at which point a rum becomes a liqueur with Stroh?

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

Rye River, The Herd, Bourbon Barrel Aged Quadrupel, 13%

This is the kind of beer best drunk with friends.

Coming in a 750ml bottle like a whiskey – but unlike whiskey in that when opened it has to be downed in one session!

I found a rich maltiness on the nose.

A lovely dark cherry fruitiness to the palate with a carbonation that doesn’t overpower.

Unlike a whiskey however – the finish is over all too quickly.

A heavy style of ale usually found for sale around the festive season.

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

Lidl, Minimum Unit Pricing Of Alcohol & Queen Margot 3 Year Old Scotch, 40%

I’ve been taking an interest into how the lower price range of spirits have reacted to the Minimum Unit Pricing Of Alcohol – MUP.

Previously having featured blogs of both whiskey & rum for sub €20 – and really enjoying a few of them too – MUP wiped all that out to a standard €22.09 for 700ml at 40%.

Now there’s been stories of beer being brewed to a lower ABV to keep to a certain price point. This isn’t an option for spirits with legally enforced alcohol strengths.

Which leaves bottle sizes.

Lidl were ahead of the pack offering their tasty Liberté Rum, Captain Cook Spiced Rum & Rachmaninoff Vodka in 500ml versions to keep prices low.

Buying & consuming less alcohol is one of the stated aims of MUP. Lidl appear to be facilitating this.

Personally I’m all in favour of smaller bottles.

As a blogger I enjoy tasting far & wide. Smaller pack sizes allows a bigger variety for a smaller outlay.

Environmentally it’s a bit of a no no.

Smaller containers means more of them, more packaging, increased costs & ultimately – more waste.

Having said that – when Queen Margot 3yo Scotch appeared in 350ml for just over €11 – I thought I’d give it another spin!

I admire the no nonsense, utilitarian approach & unpretentiousness of this whisky.

There’s a caramel rich nose with a spirity sensation.

Smooth palate, quite rich with hints of warm woodiness.

Suggestions of tannic prickly spice on the rear slowly fading away.

Queen Margot is a perfectly presentable easy drinking dram of a whisky. No rough edges, the usual whisky flavours with an alcoholic warmth too.

If only more brands offered 350ml alternatives I’d probably be inclined to purchase them.

Would you agree?

Sláinte

All photos authors own.

The Irishman, Founder’s Reserve, Blend, 40%

At one time I had a whole box of miniatures – they’re almost all gone now.

This Irishman Founder’s Reserve is the core blend from Walsh Whiskey.

I’ve always enjoyed it – even against their single malts.

Perhaps the 30% single pot still component adds a touch of depth & spice to the remaining 70% single malt mix?

Perhaps the rich, creamy viscosity enhances the experience?

Whatever.

The old adage ‘ greater than the sum of it’s parts’ certainly holds true for Founder’s Reserve.

Worth checking out.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Ireland

MUP – Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol became a ‘thing’ in Ireland on 4th January 2022.

Pegged at 10 cent per gram of alcohol it has effectively wiped out the sub €20 bottle of spirits I enjoyed reviewing.

Lidl & Aldi before MUP

Photographing the shelves of Lidl & Aldi beforehand – all stores have to comply – displays a range going from €14.49 for Samuel Joe’s & Western Gold Bourbon to €20 for Bushmills & Jameson Original.

Lidl & Aldi after MUP

Afterwards all these offerings are at the new minimum price of €22.09.

How the market for those previously sub €20 brands will fare out is hard to predict – I did however purchase a few before the price increase – as is the impact of MUP pricing in reducing the harmful effects of excess alcohol on Irish society.

One thing’s for certain though – The Time’s They Are A Changin’ 🎶

Sláinte

All images authors own.