Tag Archives: Beam

Old Grand-Dad, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40%

Usually on tasting whiskey I try to avoid reading reviews or flowery PR to mitigate against any undue influence or bias in my tastings.

Everyone has their own individual & often unique palate preferences as to how they enjoy & experience their whiskey.

With Old Grand-Dad I did pick up it was part of the Beam group – no mention of Suntory on the back of this bottle.

Only Beam here. c/othewhiskeynut

Beam encompasses a worldwide brand portfolio & Old Grand-Dad has been available from the late 1800’s.

It’s also a ‘high rye’ style of bourbon.

Now ‘high rye’ isn’t legally defined. It loosely equates to a rye grain content of between 20 to 35% in the all important mash-bill – along with the 51% minimum corn to be labelled as bourbon.

The rye produces a pleasing dry spiciness over and above the candy floss sweet bourbon which adds a degree of complexity, depth & bite to my palate.

Old Grand-Dad c/othewhiskeynut

Old Grand-Dad certainly is a fine example of this style.

Slightly shy on the nose. The rye is in there – but the 40% ABV might just mute it a little.

Mild & sweet in the palate – it’s not until the finish Old Grand-Dad opens up for me.

That dry, almost biscuity ryeness kicks in above a sugary sweet candy floss leaving an enjoyable prickly tingling slowly departing.

I also read Old Grand-Dad is a ‘cult’ whiskey.

Whether that’s because it’s an old brand given a resurgence, hard to get hold of or limited release – I don’t know.

A happy dram. c/othewhiskeynut

What I do know is Old Grand-Dad offers a lot of flavour for it’s affordable price point.

It also further confirms my high rye bourbon soft spot.

Sláinte

Titanic, Premium Irish Whiskey, 40%, Blend

While Kilbeggan Black explores the softer side of smoke, this latest incarnation of Titanic Whiskey is a bolder offering.

Titanic Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

More pronounced smoke infused with a sweet juiciness from the sherry casks greets the nose.

Quite a clean, fresh & clear grainy palate.

Gorgeously drying spicy finish leaves with an entertaining tingling gently sailing away.

A fabulous addition to the growing peated Irish fleet.

The original Titanic Whiskey was a honeyed blend sourced from Cooley Distillery – there’s still a few bottles around – for Belfast lottery winner Peter Lavery.

Peter Lavery c/o belfastmediagroup.com

The brand was doing well before John Teeling sold to Beam in 2011 – who promptly turned off the taps to 3rd parties.

Titanic 5yo c/oCelticWhiskeyAuctions

Little did Beam know this would precipitate the biggest whiskey distillery building spree witnessed in Ireland for generations!

From Slane Distillery in Co Meath, Great Northern Distillery in Co Louth & Teeling Distillery in Dublin.

McConnells of Belfast c/othewhiskeynut

Peter Lavery attempted a distillery in Crumlin Gaol – now in new hands as McConnell’s Whisky – & has secured planning for a distillery at Titanic Docks itself!

Today’s Titanic Whiskey is sourced from GND & it’s a lovely little blend.

Titanic info c/othewhiskeynut

Who knows – in a few years time there could be a Belfast made whiskey again emanating from the same docks the Titanic ship hailed from.

Wouldn’t that be a wonderful dream to achieve?

Roll on the Titanic!

Sláinte

Michael Collins, Single Malt, 40%

One of the last bars I entered before the COVID19 shutdown was Garavan’s in Galway.

There on the shelves was an old acquaintance of mine – Michael Collins Whiskey.

2 (1 of 1)-2
Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

Michael Collins is an iconic figure in Irish history. To name a whiskey brand after him celebrates that history.

When having a glass I not only enjoy the whiskey – I also wonder at the momentous changes Michael Collins witnessed – and eagerly participated in – a hundred years ago. There is a similarity to the current changes we are living through with the pandemic.

I ponder at the beauty and longevity of a brand too.

It can outlive changes in distilleries that supply the spirit.

It can overcome changes in ownership.

It can constantly change & adapt to the availability of casks – altering the blending ratios accordingly to produce the finished product.

2 (1 of 1)-3
I polished off the blend! c/othewhiskeynut

Yet it’s still remains the same brand.

The Single Malt version before me was the old ‘baseball bat’ shaped bottle originally commissioned by Sidney Frank Importing Co. There is no age statement with this one.

It had a smooth honeyed maltiness to begin with. A characterful bite followed by a touch of dryness on the finish – perhaps reflecting a smidge of smokiness – which is more evident in the 10 Year Old Single Malt offering.

MC 10
Michael Collins 10yo c/owhiskyauctioneer

Sazerac now own the brand.

I eagerly await their reincarnation of Michael Collins Whiskey.

Just as I look forward to the end of the pandemic – and welcome in whatever changed reality exists in the future.

Long live the brand!

SláinteGood Logo

Garavan’s, Galway.

The minute you walk inside Garavan’s – located on the busy pedestrianised thoroughfare of William St/Shop St in Galway – you realise this pub is something special.

The well worn wooden snugs busily occupied by softly chatting customers – the small bar area dominated by a bewildering array of whiskeys behind it – the discrete TV in the corner with the sound down low to not disrupt the conversation – but not too low for the sports fans gathered around it – the regulars coming in and being served their favourite tipple with ne’r a word being said when a nod to the bartender will suffice.

Yes – this place is the real deal.

And that’s before you even get started on those whiskeys!

DSCF5862 email
Would you like to taste these? c/othewhiskeynut

Old ComberHewittsDungourney 1964 – old and rare brands each with a different story to tell. I’d only read about them in books and yet here they were all on display – and if you’re willing to pay the price – drink.

My Galway Whiskey Trail adventure plans budget hadn’t anticipated such delights so my drink of choice was much more affordable – one of many third party whiskeys that Cooley distillery produced prior to the Beam takeover in 2012 and which are now increasingly difficult to get hold off – Shanahan’s Single Malt.

Made exclusively for Shanahan’s Steak House in Dublin – it proved to be another of my false starts as the Garavan’s bottle was decidedly empty when retrieved from the shelves!

Ah well – I’m getting used to this – try again with Slane Castle Whiskey from the same source.

Now I’m not talking about the new Slane Castle brand owned by US giants Brown-Forman – I’m talking about the original blend launched by the Connyingham family in 2009.

The reviews didn’t exactly give this expression great acclaim – but I was intrigued and excited enough to order a glass – after all – it is now part of the growing Irish whiskey heritage – even if it’s very recent heritage at that.

A slightly sweet sharpish grainy nose follows through to a similarly light grainy taste offering very little in the way of depth or flavour rounded off with a short finish sums it up.

The reports were true – not much going on here – a fairly standard entry blend no more no less – but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to try it.

DSCF5867 email
Brian at Garavan’s c/othewhiskeynut

I enquired about tasting trays – and despite seemingly single handedly running the bar – Brian the bartender – as it was himself that was on duty when I visited – very helpfully showed me the delightful wooden platter complete with a pretty little glass water jug and 3 Glencairn glasses – all embossed with Garavan’s logo across them no less – together with an envelope containing the tasting notes of the particular tray you’d selected – there are several available – just shows the attention to detail that explains why Garavan’s are deserving winners of The Best Whiskey Bar In Connacht for 2 years running!

DSCF5864 email
Garavan’s winning trophy c/othewhiskeynut

The extensive whiskey menu leaves you salivating at all that is on offer.

I could come back again and again to this lovely bar and still not get over all the expressions!

Truly a marvellous spot for any whiskey afficiado.

Sláinte.

Good Logo