It’s always a delight to encounter a new Irish Whiskey brand on the shelves of my local SuperValu.
Wrapped in an attractive tin proudly displaying a period portrayal of O’Connell Street in Dublin, including the General Post Office from where the original proclamation was read, starting the founding of the Irish State in 1916.
Proclamation Irish Whiskey certainly stood out among the other brands sharing it’s keen price point.
‘Matured in bourbon casks & blended with a touch of sherry finished malt.’ is the information given – along with extensive tasting notes on the back – as to the contents of this bottle.
A light golden brown colour complete with viscous legs.
Aromas of soft warm caramel, a touch of sherry sweetness & a hint of nuttiness to add some depth & complexity.
Suitably smooth on the palate – but entertainingly so.
The nuttiness follows through into a softly drying sweetness with an added flourish of some oaky spice too.
The finish was rather brief – but Proclamation certainly lifted my spirits!
A very pleasant easy going sipper with a touch of character – and a long pedigree.
Even before Teeling Whiskey Distillery opened in 2015, I eagerly attended a guided tour of the nascent facility by none other than master distiller & blender Alex Chasko himself.
I’ve been avidly watching the rebuilding of Irish Whiskey – especially the role Teeling plays in that growth – ever since.
Teeling’s 5th Anniversary took place during COVID – and like many events – moved online.
So instead of a lavish party inside the fabulous distillery itself – it was me, my computer & 5 samples of Teeling Whiskey made in that very distillery.
Alex Chasko was again present – along with brand ambassador Robert Caldwell – to regale us with tales of those 5 years. From a dream to reality, a building site to a fully functioning whiskey distillery and from brewing beer in Oregon to distilling whiskey in Dublin.
To date most of the Teeling bottles on the shelves are sourced product – and very good they are too!
Alex is responsible for maturing that stock, choosing the casks, finishing, blending and releasing a wide variety of styles & flavours.
Now before me are 5 differing samples drawn from casks distilled at Teeling’s Distillery in Dublin itself.
This is the dawning of a new age in Irish Whiskey.
So what does it taste like?
A trio of Single Pot Stills started the show. All triple distilled using a 50/50 malted/unmalted mashbill presented at 46%, non chill filtered & natural colour.
SPS Bourbon Cask
The combination of rich vanillas, bourbon sweetness with a joyful youthfulness followed by an attractive prickly spice just won me over.
SPS Virgin Cask
A more tannic, sawdusty element with a sharper spice came through. Still enjoyable – if less balanced.
SPS Sherry Cask
Milder, mellower & more subtle & sweeter than the other 2. Not my favourite.
The 3 casks demonstrate the influence wood has on the whiskey. They also show the building blocks Alex uses to blend together to achieve a relatively consistent product for the Single Pot Still release which can iron out any excesses within the individual components.
A wonderful insight into the world of the blender.
Next came a duo of single malts – Crystal & Peated – which demonstrate the role raw ingredients play in developing flavour.
Crystal Single Malt
Crystal malt is commonly used in craft beer circles to boost flavour, depth & colour. A throwback to Alex’s brewing days.
Crystal malt has been roasted for longer – allowing richer, darker flavours to come through.
I found a farmhousey saison type of nose, rich vanilla on the palate with a gorgeous spice on the finish.
Peated Single Malt
Well anything with peat in it is a winner for me – and Teeling’s didn’t disappoint!
Very well balanced from start to finish.
A sheer delight!
A wonderful way to celebrate Teeling’s 5th Anniversary with such delicious whiskeys.
Having followed their growth along every step of the way it reassures me no end – the quality & diversity of whiskey being produced at Newmarket is a joy to experience.
Hats off to Teeling Whiskey – and all the team involved – Happy 5th Anniversary!
The recently opened Dublin Liberties Distillery launched a trio of beer cask finished whiskeys at a highly enjoyable & entertaining event held in the fabulous bar at the distillery itself.
Based on the original bourbon cask matured Dubliner Whiskey the limited edition Beer Cask Series have been finished in casks formerly maturing a variety of Irish Craft Beers.
I managed a small taster of those beers.
O’Haras Leann Folláin Irish Stout at 8.1% is a full on bourbon cask matured belter of a brew. Full of heavy dark chocolate & molasses this appealed to my tastes.
5 Lamps Brewdolf at 9% is a worthy contender too. Based on an amber barley wine finished in bourbon casks there were sweet fruity notes balancing the darker & heavier elements.
Rascals Irish Coffee Stout at 4.8% has a wonderful coffee aroma on the nose that doesn’t quite follow through on the palate. Having said that – I’m not a big fan of coffee – so this offering isn’t to my palate.
A variety of cocktails were served on the evening – some tasty titbits – a compered introduction to the whiskeys (and the collaborative beers) by none other than Darryl McNally, Master Distiller of Dublin Liberties Distillery himself – as well as the folks behind the craft beers too – all seamlessly guided along by the dulcet tones of Today FM DJ Ed Smith of Ed’s Songs Of Praise fame.
Rebels, Rascals and Raconteurs indeed!
Sampling the whiskey had to wait for later as I was driving – but this is what I found.
Oh, my test bottles were kindly filled by Dublin Liberties Distillery on the evening.
Dubliner Irish Coffee Stout Whiskey
Lovely warm bourbon cask notes with a subtle depth & clean fresh grainy sweetness. Bit spirity but enjoying the clarity with underlying warmth. Soft prickly spice on a long finish.
Dubliner Irish Stout Whiskey
Deeper, darker & more malty nose. A heavier mouthfeel. The malt has been accentuated & grain mellowed. Long smooth finish.
Dubliner Irish Red Ale Whiskey
Slight sweet fruit off the nose which follows through on the palate. The malt comes through cleanly. Long lasting flavoursome finish.
Well well well!
In a reversal of my findings on the beer from which they came – I think I’d go for the Irish Coffee Stout Whiskey as my favourite!
The combination of the clear sweet grain with a nice depth on the malt & just a hint of coffee in the background proved a winning combination over the smoother & darker elements of the others.
All were very enjoyable blends & quite distinctively different in the ways they presented on the palate.
Just goes to show what a few months in wood can achieve!