Poitín Now is happening on 20th November 2022.
I thought a ‘warm up’ tasting of this posse of poitín before the inaugural Dublin based event would ease me in.
I knew nothing about Hackler before purchasing this sample from Tiny Tipple. Turns out it was a late 1990’s launch by Diageo – distilled by Cooley – to build the Poitín market. On failing to meet ‘targets’ it was unceremonially dropped.
A rather shy nose, sweet & sour. Easy on the palate. A sweet warming spice on the finish.
A very pleasant easily quaffable poitín – if a tad too artificially sweet for my liking. Smacks as a bit of a crowd pleaser – not sure why it didn’t catch on?
Straw Boys, 46%
Connacht Distillery’s venture into Poitín is presented in a very attractive bottle.
Richly pungent, offering that sour new make nose I associate with poitín. Gently oily palate. Noticeable bite on the finish, leaves with a strong tingling sensation.
A classic poitín drinking experience.
The Big Field, 46%
Distilled using barley grown on Tipperary Distillery’s own ‘big field’ using a 50/50 mix of malted/unmalted barley it’s taken me a little while to sample this one.
A softly muted nose. Wonderfully oily palate. The finish bites with a healthy dose of spiciness.
An extremely varied tasting experience from this trio!
Can’t help thinking Hackler is a toned down poitín to appeal to the masses. Certainly makes for a very easy drinker. Pity it never caught on. Perhaps Diageo were ahead of the curve?
Both Straw Boys & Big Field are a bit more challenging yet offer- to me at least – a grounded authenticity.
With the former you have malted barley alone – while the later has that malted/unmalted mix giving added spice & an enhanced appeal.
It’s hard to pick one out from this diverse & very well delivered variety of poitín styles – but for me Straw Boys does it!
Poitín Now event site here.
Diageo drops Hackler news report here.
Connacht Distillery website here.
Tipperary Boutique Distillery here.