Tag Archives: Donegal

Donegal Catch, Craft Cider Battered Haddock Fillets.

I’ve encountered beer battered onion rings & Guinness stew before – but never Craft Cider Battered Haddock.

Tea time c/othewhiskeynut

Always happy to try out something new this Donegal Catch & Armagh Cider collaboration made my plate.

The batter was noticeably on the lighter & slightly sweeter side.

‘Orchard like’ in reference to fish is a bit of a stretch – but it did make for a very tasty experience.

Craft Cider Battered c/othewhiskeynut

I think I’d have these again!

An innovative pairing from Donegal Catch & Armagh Cider.

Sláinte

Mulroy Bay, Irish Poitín, 47%

Distilled in a renovated cottage using direct fired copper pot stills is Baoilleach Distillery‘s Mulroy Bay Poitín.

Poitín in a Tuath glass c/othewhiskeynut

The hills of Donegal have long been associated with Poitín making & this bijou distillery is – legally – bringing that tradition alive.

Baoilleach Distillery c/othewhiskeynut

When COVID restrictions allowed I made a trip up to Donegal & bagged myself some of this fine spirit.

Using a mixed mash bill of malted barley & potatoes, Mulroy Bay Poitín has unique characteristics – as well as a potent strength of 47%.

Poitín 1 c/othewhiskeynut

There’s an earthy new make kind of nose. A bit of depth, a hint of umami & an added dash of sweetness.

Very smooth & oily on the palate – to begin with – as a prickly heat slowly builds & dries out the mouth,

The finish ebbs away with a gently fading tingling sensation.

Poitín 2 c/othewhiskeynut

‘Hand Crafted In Small Batches’ implies there could be slight variations between each mash – but I’d be very happy to sample every one as it came off the still!

The taste of Donegal.

Sláinte

Asda, Fine Dark Navy Rum, 37.5%, Caribbean

Virtually every UK supermarket has their own brand range of spirits.

Commonly referred to as ‘bottom shelf’  – I’d uncovered a few delightful diamonds in this category & I’m always happy to hunt for more.

Returning from a short trip to Donegal the Asda in Strabane beckoned me.

Their own brand whisky had sold out – is that a sign of quality? – so I pivoted to rum.

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Asda Rum c/othewhiskeynut

‘Superior Quality Blend, Fine Dark Navy Rum, Sourced From The Caribbean’ is the full title, came in a plastic bottle.

Is this a thing now & would it put you off?

At less than £6 for a half bottle – it didn’t deter me.

Could Asda deliver the goods?

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Caribbean rum packed in France c/othewhiskeynut

Sadly not!

Possessing that burnt rubber aroma – previously encountered before – didn’t win me over.

The palate was a little better. Soft, smooth, good mouthfeel & a slight prickly spice on the finish – but that heavy treacly note persisted.

If it floats your boat – fine – but it just sank mine.

Not my cup of tea!

Sláinte

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The Legendary Dark Silkie Smokey Irish Whiskey, 46%

Peat smoke.

It’s in fierce short supply as a flavour profile in Irish Whiskey.

Connemara flew the flag for many a year.

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Turf Mór c/othewhiskeynut

West Cork’s Peat Charred Cask used Irish Turf to flavour their barrels.

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Glorious Glengarriff whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

And lately WD O’Connell’s Bill Phil landed a smokey smacker.

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Peated Series c/othewhiskeynut

But they’re all Single Malts.

The big selling smokey blend market was effectively abandoned.

Inishowen did a gorgeous soft smoker from a few years ago.

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Inishowen, peated Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Three Crowns Peated uses Islay casks to great results.

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Dunvilles Three Crowns Peated c/othewhiskeynut

But actual peat dried barley in an Irish Blended Whiskey was hard got.

Step forward The Legendary Dark Silkie Smokey!

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Dark Silkie c/othewhiskeynut

I took it for a whirl!

That distinctive coastal peat aroma greeted me.

Smooth easy & sweet on the palate.

A softly glowing peat fire grew in intensity – slowly drying out – adding a few prickly spices along the way – before leaving in a blaze of glory.

Dark Silkie is not for the faint hearted.

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@SilkieWhiskey c/othewhiskeynut

This is full on unapologetic smoke for the peatheads out there.

Fantastic!

Sláinte

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The Silkie Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%

Silkie

a) A mythological creature of many coastal communities along the Atlantic seaboard of Europe. Said to live as seals offshore but shed their skin and appear as humans on land – usually female.

selkie_by_sgorbissa-d4f7n9m
Photo c/osgorbissa

b) A pretty tasty entry blend from the Sliabh Liag Distillery in Donegal who are currently planning & building a distillery in the beautiful countryside near the famous sea cliffs of the same name on the magnificent Wild Atlantic Way.

sliabh-liag-distillery
Artists impression c/osliabhliagdistillery

or

c) The subject matter of a lovely film by Neil Jordan starring Colin Farrell as a fisherman who lands a silkie in his nets – or is she?

Choose one of the above.

Choose a combination of all three.

Not me.

I choose to believe in silkies.

I choose to relax and enjoy the smooth taste of Silkie whilst watching a modern interpretation of the silkie story set in stunning scenery.

Sssssláinte.

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