When in Anstruther I usually pick up a few bottles in the Wee Couper Of Fife Whisky Shop.
They have a varied selection of miniatures – mainly for the tourist trade – as well as single cask bottlings for the aficionados.
I enjoy sampling the miniatures myself – so picked up a pair of themed minis from the Cumbrae Supply Co.
The Jockey & The Fisherman sport stylised images of their namesakes, are presented at 40% with no mention of distilleries sourced from, nor chill filtering or added caramel, which I’d expect for this type of product.
Without further ado I poured some glasses.
Sweet biscuity malt, very easy palate, slight hints of drying leather on the rear.
A very decent blend.
Similar nose, if anything an easier palate, softer, sweeter, with less dryness on the rear.
I was expecting to find this pair to share the same source – but they did differ slightly on drinking.
For me The Jockey has pulled clear of the sedentary Fisherman.
Stripped of any clues as to what’s before you it heightens your senses to the tastes & flavours experienced on drinking the liquid.
Presented before me were 6 samples. I duly poured them into 6 identical Túath glasses & proceeded to savour the contents.
For some reason I thought this was a rum tasting – & quickly revised this theory as No 1‘despite having a bit of a sour nose the lack of body on the palate & high ABV kick signalled to me a poitín! Can’t say it did much for me. Nice experience – but not an approachable spirit’.
There was no No 2 so No 3‘proved intriguing. The pale yellow colour, soft fruity nose, easy palate with slight hints of burnt notes on the rear drew me in. I could drink this one again!’.
With No 4 ‘I experienced a slightly musty nose, indicative of long ageing, perfectly fine palate yet lacked a bit of body & very dry on the rear. Rather nonplussed by this one’.
No 5‘had a sherry like influence, smooth & silky on the palate with a nice touch of dryness on the rear. Could be a low ppm peater? Not quite enough to excite me if it is’.
No 6‘initially blew me away! Suggestive of high ABV. On a 2nd tasting it still didn’t entice me’.
No 7 ‘kinda hooked me, if only for a more pronounced smoky influence. Elegant yet challenging all at the same time’.
So that was it! My initial thoughts are in italics.
Samples 3 & 7 stood out for me in this selection.
So what were they?
3 – Dunville’s 1808, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%
What can I say? A very pleasant easy drinker with enough depth of character to keep me coming back for more.
7 – Smögen 100 Proof, 6 Year Old, Swedish Single Malt, 57.1%
A heavy peater finished in oloroso casks at a challenging high ABV. Think I’d have enjoyed this one more at 46% without the oloroso finish myself.
And the others?
1 – Black’s Single Pot New Make, 63.5%
4 – Jamesons Black Barrel Proof, Blend, 50%
5 – High Coast, Dálvve Sherry Influence, Swedish Single Malt, 48%
A light peater with 50/50 bourbon/sherry influence. A bit of a let down from the original high peater Box Dálvve I enjoyed at Gothenberg Airport here.
Given that Smögen is a bit of a unicorn bottle – hard to get hold of, pricey & limited edition – as are some of the other bottles – I think Dunville’s 1808 performed extremely well on my palate.
I took away a few themes from this tasting. High ABV can blow away the flavours for me & make for a challenging drinking experience. Sherry cask influence isn’t my style of choice & when it comes to enjoyable, affordable drinking – you can’t beat a good blend!
What would your palate have chosen?
Many thanks to fellow Whiskey Blogger S for the blind samples & bottle photo.
Irish Whiskey is often triple distilled, but this triple tasting includes rum distilled at the Copeland Distillery in Donaghadee.
I’d already purchased their Smugglers Reserve Overproof – read about it here – & found it a lively powerfully funky rum.
Their Smugglers Reserve Bordeaux Cru Rum at 42% won out over a couple of other Irish Rums also due to the funk – blog here.
So will the standard Smugglers Reserve at 40% hold up to scrutiny?
Well the nose certainly promised it would!
That sweet fruity funk lured me in. An engaging oily mouthfeel enveloped the senses delivering that rich funkiness & prickly enticing spice on the finish.
The last remnants of my Grand Cru sample continued to delight. If anything – it delivered a more mellowed & cultured mouthfeel. Perhaps some would find this more appealing – but the straight forward bold flavours of the original still won me over.
The Overproof meanwhile managed to excite!
A powerful explosion of funky flavour, high ABV & an intense drinking experience is something to behold.
I must say I was mightily impressed by all 3!
That fruity funk signature note I love presents itself clearly in all variants making it hard to choose a favourite.
For ease of delivery, richness of flavour & overall accessibility & affordability however – I’m giving it to Smugglers Reserve, 40%.
Who got the funk?
Copeland Rum’s got the funk!
For clarity, Overproof was purchased in Donaghadee, Grand Cru was sample swapped & Original was kindly donated by Copeland Distillery.
I previously tried this attractive trio – blog here – but now they’ve appeared in an eye-catching miniature set complete with historical stories regarding the Earls portrayed & tasting notes on the whiskeys too – I thought I’d give them another go!
Red Earl, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%
Triple casked, finished in Rioja casks. This light brown blend has a gentle aroma of soft dark fruits. The palate is quite soft yet there’s a delightful fruit bomb on the finish. An added prickly spice livens up the finish.
A very pleasant offering.
Great Earl, Single Grain Irish Whiskey, 40%
Triple casked, finished in Sangiovese casks. Not come across that wine before! Slightly paler in colour. Finding the nose more expressive than the blend – richer & more redolent. A lovely sweet grainy appeal on the palate slowly develops into a punchier finish.
Liking this one!
Spanish Earl, Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 43%
Triple casked, finished in Stout casks. Upping the game with a few extra ABV! A darker shade of straw. Finding the nose a tad muted – but darker & heavier when it does appear. Very smooth & silky palate. The stout cask flavours emerge with dark toffee & burnt toast notes.
A terrific trio!
It’s actually hard to pick a favourite from these well presented whiskeys. All lean towards a sweet wine cask finished style with the malt introducing darker stout elements. On this occasion Spanish Earl won me over. What it lost on the nose was more than compensated by a rich finish.