Tag Archives: Chapel Gate Whiskey

Dolmen Irish Whiskey Stout, 7.6%

A few years ago you’d be hard pushed to find an Irish Craft Beer – let alone one aged in Irish Whiskey Barrels – yet this growing category continues to expand.

Western Herd – based in County Clare – recently re-released their Dolmen Irish Whiskey Stout. I was lucky enough to secure a sample.

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McHugh’s in Ennis c/othewhiskeynut

Western Herd also release a wide range of craft beers – best sampled at one of their bars – like I did at McHugh’s in Ennis – or perhaps Flanagan’s in Lahinch is more your style?

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Western Herd beers in McHugh’s c/othewhiskeynut

You can always top it off with a glass of Chapel Gate’s JJ Corry Whiskey – the source of the barrels that enhance the flavour of this stout. ‘Hon The Banner’ certainly went down well with me!

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JJ Corry at McHugh’s c/othewhiskeynut

Using the branded tasting glass provided – I poured myself a Dolmen.

A gorgeously dark stout with a lively head.

Aromas of coffee, malt & burnt molasses. Mrs Whiskey also discerned blackcurrant & chocolate. Very inviting.

I must admit to finding the stout a bit too gassy for my palate. My preference is for a creamy flatness – but there’s a good combination of flavours within. The coffee was still present, initially the sweet honey malt made itself known, then faded slowly into quite a light feeling stout which belied the 7.6% ABV.

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Flanagan’s in Lahinch c/othewhiskeynut

Now this isn’t a beer to swig down. It’s one to be savoured & sipped – which is how I approached it over the course of an hour or so.

By then the ‘fizz’  I’m not a fan of had dissipated. The stout tasted more fuller bodied with darker, treacly notes coming through – much to my satisfaction.

A worthy addition to the barrel aged beer canon.

Sláinte

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Mezcal Amores, Cupreata & Espadín Joven, 41%

The generous folks at Axiom Brands kindly sent out some tasty samples from their eclectic spirits portfolio for me to enjoy.

Having already sampled the delights of Australia’s Starward Whisky here,

And visited the maturing casks of Chapel Gate Whiskey here,

I thought it opportune to explore some of Axiom’s other stars.

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An assembly of Axiom Brands spirits. c/othewhiskeynut

Like Mezcal Amores.

I first became acquainted with Mezcal doing a Level 2 Spirits Award at the WSET – Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

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Spirited reading c/othewhiskeynut

There is long and proud tradition of spirit production in Mexico that parallels that of whiskey manufacture in Ireland or Scotland. There are rules & regulations to get any spirit geek excited – and it certainly helps I was hooked immediately by the rich & complex flavours contained within the Mezcals I tasted.

Terroir is key to Mezcal.

Geographically protected to certain regions within Mexico & made with varietals of the long lived agave plant, Mezcal is the artisanal based small scale product to the mass produced sister spirit Tequila.

The 2 Mezcal Amores sent showcased the results of 2 different varietals of agave with the same production methods.

Joven in both these expressions means unaged.

With a spirit as pure and unadulterated as Mexcal – no ageing is required.

Espadín Amores – as suggested in the name – is made from the Espadín agave which must be used to make Tequila – but Mezcal can use any variety of agave.

There is no harsh abrasiveness to this spirit.

It gently warms & caresses both the nose & palate with a richness of flavours.

A gentle soft sweetness combined with hints of leather or even tobacco from the roasting used to prepare the agave swirl around in the mouth in a comforting snug.

Lip smackingly enjoyable.

Cupreata Amores was even better!

Made from the Cupreata agave which matures for 8 to 13 years before being harvested. This mezcal possessed  a deeper – even darker – cornucopia of complexity to hook me in even further to the charms of this Mexican spirit.

There was a contrast to the almost muscovado dark sweetness at the start to a warming stewed note at the end.

Wild yeasts are used in fermenting – much like the popular Brett yeasts of craft beer fame – but without the sour tart results – funky perhaps – but not overpowering – just well balanced & enticing.

I had to have more!

No wonder there is a fan club as fanatical as whiskey has for this fabulous spirit.

It’s definitely amore for Mezcal Amores from me!

Cue Dean Martin.

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.

JJ Corry, The Flintlock, 16 Year Old Single Malt, 46%

The first thing you notice about the new Flintlock release from the award winning Chapel Gate Whiskey is the pale complexion of the 16 year old single malt.

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Come on in to Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

No added colouring here.

The next thing you notice is the rich aroma of vanilla even as you pour the sample into a Túath Glass.

No chill filtering either.

It’s silky smooth in the mouth.

Yet more rich vanilla & light caramel from the bourbon cask maturation.

Some fresh lemony citrus notes.

It softly grows into a gorgeously gentle spiciness which dances off the tongue.

A lovely warming finish rounds up this award winning single malt.

Sláinte.

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A sample was taken at the Irish Whiskey Awards held in Slane Castle on 18th October 2018 and tasted at home.

Limited release – contact Celtic Whiskey Shop to reserve a bottle.