Tag Archives: Baltimore

Wolfhound Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

The ‘Gentle Giant’ it says on this attractive bottle of Irish Whiskey – and when it comes to the Wolfhound – they certainly are gentle giants of the dog world.

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The Gentle Giant c/othewhiskeynut

But what of the whiskey?

Another sourced brand brought back by my better half & purchased at a Total Wine store in Baltimore.

Prestige Wine And Spirits Group are the company behind this one – or so it says on the label – but Prestige Beverage Group come up on an internet search here.

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Part of the group. c/othewhiskeynut

The nose is mild, caramelly & malt biscuit like.

The palate is soft easy drinking.

Nothing really exciting – but it slowly grows with grainy heat to a bit of a spirity bite at the end – which doesn’t last long.

The spirity bite was the part I enjoyed the most – as otherwise Wolfhound lacks character & depth.

A bargain basement blend.

Sláinte

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Roll out the barrels!

When stripped back to basis – all whiskey is made the same way.

Peated barley
A grain c/oJack Teeling

A vegetable grain is processed to allow the starch within to be converted into sugar.

The sugar is eaten by a yeast to produce a mild alcoholic liquid.

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A distillery c/othewhiskeynut

The liquid is distilled – ending up as new make spirit.

The spirit is aged in wooden barrels.

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A distiller with wooden barells. c/othewhiskeynut

The wooden barrels are emptied, filled into bottles and labelled.

It’s now whiskey!

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Each step in the process – from the choice & quality of grain used – to the length of time & type of wooden barrels used for maturation – ultimately alters & influences the resultant flavour.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Different countries have different rules governing the whole production methods used. What can be done in one country may not be allowed in another.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

A distillery can make new spirit in one country – mature it in another – ship it out to a third for final blending – perhaps bottle it in a fourth – and sell it in a fifth.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Whether it is labelled Bourbon, Rye, Single Pot Still, Blended, French, German, Chinese, Irish – by the distillery itself – the blenders – the bottlers – the third party brand makers.

It is all whiskey.

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

I drink whiskey.

I enjoy exploring the huge variety of styles, flavours and experiences brought about by the myriad of options available both within one country – as well as the countless choices around the world where whiskey is produced.

I enjoy the never ending innovation, experimentation and technical adaptation that constantly evolves what we know of as whiskey.

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Whiskey from the barrel. c/othewhiskeynut

Roll out the barrels – of whiskey!

Sláinte

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All distilleries featured & whiskeys photographed have been visited, sampled & written about previously on this site.

Pikesville Supreme, Straight Rye Whiskey, 40%

Pikesville was a small neighbourhood in Maryland USA. It is now consumed into Baltimore County and happens to be where some of my in-laws live.

Despite visiting last year – I never did get the chance to try the locally named brand.

Pikesville  – as well as Maryland in general – had a thriving rye whiskey business before prohibition. Only now is there a bit of a resurgence of that proud history with new distilleries entering the market.

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Pikesville Supreme Rye c/othewhiskeynut

This bottle in the meantime is made in Kentucky at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown – and when I spotted it on the shelves in Garavan’s – I couldn’t let the opportunity pass.

Now ‘straight’ in American terms means aged for at least 2 years. ‘Rye’ means at least 51% rye is used in the all important mash bill  – the other 49% can be commonly made up of corn, wheat or barley. Added caramel is not permitted.

Rye is a style of whiskey I love.

I like the hit of spicy cinnamon & nutmeg followed through by a rich peppery dryness combined with some softer warming vanilla & caramel notes.

Pikesville Supreme only just had that rye kick. I found it very much muted by the other ingredients – which I suspected as being corn. This resulted in a warm vanilla led nose & taste with only a tingling of rye at the end.

An easy drinking approachable rye yes – but not what I’m craving.

My suspicions on the corn content were confirmed later by an internet search. The mash bill makes all the difference to the taste. In this instance Pikesville appears to have a mix of rye 51%, corn 37%, and barley 12% – which explains why it didn’t light up my life.

That’s not to say it’s a bad rye. In fact many are lamenting the loss of this particular bottling which has been replaced by a 6 year old 110 proof – 55% ABV – expression that might be more up my street. The Washington Post even covered the story here! 

So if you’re missing a taste of Maryland – head for Garavan’s in Galway!

Sláinte.

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