An Fear Grinn – Dundalk’s Own Whiskey – have released some cracking independent bottles over the last few years.
Much appreciation to them for providing this latest pair for review.
As usual I cracked them open before reading up on what they were & my initial tasting notes are in italics.
An Fear Grinn Tide’s In, 13 Year Old, Cask Strength, Single Cask, Single Grain, 57.8%
Gentle warm caramelly nose with hints of leathery depth, lovely mouth coating experience, gorgeous complexity of flavours come through on the finish, hints of smoke, oaky wood & a prickly excitement too.
Gullion, Single Cask, Single Pot Still, 46%
Light, bright & fruity, gentle palate, mild mannered, easily accessible offering yet retains a depth of character & engaging attractiveness.
All An Fear Grinn are presented non chill filtered & natural colour. It shows in the richness of flavours & joie-de-vivre of the delivery.
I was slightly taken aback on finding Tide’s In to be a 57.8% single grain matured in ex-bourbon & finished in oloroso. Nothing silent about this one & no need for water.
Gullion turned out to be a bourbon matured, rye finished single pot still – which explained the prickly dry spice I experienced on the finish. A novel approach to presenting a single pot still – which worked for me.
Both are delightful whiskey to sip, savour & enjoy. My palate leans towards the rather-too-easy-to-enjoy-at-cask-strength delights of Tide’s In – but yours might go the other way.
When Red Earl first appeared with it’s cartoon like imagery it was somewhat overlooked.
Now available in 4 differing styles. – with varying images too – The Flight of the Earls make for a striking posse of whiskey.
It’s about time I discovered the flavours behind the brand – so ordered up a tasting pack from Tiny Tipple.
Red Earl, 40%
A blend aged in bourbon, sherry & rioja casks.
Warm, inviting & fruity sweet nose. Juicy mouthfeel with a lip smacking finish.
A lovely well balanced flavoursome blend.
Great Earl, 40%
A single grain aged in recharred & virgin oak barrels, finished in Sangiovese casks.
A dry, clean & clear nose. The wine influence makes it’s presence felt on the palate followed by a lovely frisson of oaky spice on the rear.
Spanish Earl, 43%
A single malt matured in bourbon casks & finished in rum & stout casks.
Yum yum – a juicy depth to this one! Rich maltiness on the palate with a solid backbone of darker delights. Opens up further on the finish with a spicy prickle, soft hints of roastiness & an engaging dryness.
Red Earl, Cask Strength, 63.48%
A cask strength version of the Red Earl blend.
Despite the high ABV the nose is still inviting – with just a suggestion of high alcohol presence. The triple cask maturation notes roll over each other in a wonderful flourish of flavour – before a drying hit of alcohol kicks in with an explosion of power.
I don’t subscribe to the notion cask strength is automatically superior to 40% – but Red Earl CS wears it well.
The Flight of Earls impressed me.
Full of flavour, full of style & a hearty bunch of characters too.
The pale colour of the quartet also points to a lack of added caramel.
It’s a delight to taste them all back to back to explore both the differences – & similarities – that run through the collection.
It’s hard to pick a winner from this flight of beauties – but for me the ease of drinking, clarity of flavours & enjoyable flair on the finish – I’m giving it to Great Earl.
Honesty & Transparency are current buzzwords in the whiskey world.
The implication being there are dishonest & cloudy whiskeys out there.
But how does this alter the all important factor – taste?
Having always taken these buzzwords as the latest marketing ploy of whichever brands use them – or whiskey fans extolling the virtues of their choice over another – in choosing to blind taste that ‘honesty & transparency’ is turned on it’s head.
What whiskey does your palate enjoy?
It’s no longer about what’s written on the label, the limited edition, attractive bottle or price.
It’s simply 4 vials of whiskey, glassware of choice – and your palate.