Tag Archives: European Union

Rampur Select, Single Malt, 43%

With all the COVID travel restrictions – 2km from home in Ireland – it’s great to taste the world of flavour through whiskey.

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Rampur packaging c/othewhiskeynut

Rampur Select is one of a few Indian brands made to European Union rules that allow it to be marketed there.

The actual distillery – Radico Khaitan – has been making spirits since 1943 and have obviously built up a wealth of experience & knowledge.

The packaging is exquisite.

An outer tube embossed in golden lettering extolling the virtues of the Maharajas.

A luxurious inner bag proudly displaying the company logo.

And the bottle itself – replete with an attractively clean design – clearly stating non chill filtered.

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Front label c/othewhiskeynut

So far so good.

But what of the taste?

Well the nose immediately transported me to a land of exotic fruits – not that I’ve tasted many!

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Back label c/othewhiskeynut

It was certainly enticing & intriguing.

A gentle mouthfeel eased me in.

Rich dark fruits flowed over the palate – reminiscent of sultanas.

A lovely spicy hit on the finish – more peppery than curry – rounded things off on a flourish.

There’s a richness & depth to this single malt that entertained me.

I gladly roamed the Himalayan foothills drinking the delights of this exotic elixir.

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Class cork! c/othewhiskeynut

Roll on Indian Whisky.

Sláinte

Good Logo

 

Brexit Whiskey, No Single Malt, 43.3%

Brexit is more of an aspirational idea rather than a clearly thought out plan for Britain to leave the European Union.

No one knows what the future will be like in this new Europe – with or without the UK.

Meanwhile in Austria – Gölles Distillery had a clearly thought out plan.

They grew and harvested 5 types of grain in fields around their distillery. Barley, wheat, rye, corn and spelt.

They double distilled the mash in copper pot stills which they have been using since the 1980’s.

And they matured the spirit in a variety of  casks for 4 to 13 years.

They brought their plan to fruition and delivered.

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Brexit Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

I give you Brexit Whiskey.

They make no bones this isn’t a copycat Scottish style of single malt.

They make a big play of the differences. This is a European whiskey. Scottish Whisky Association rules do not apply here.

A 1 Lr email
No Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

This whiskey has provenance & terroir in abundance. There is no chill filtration and no added caramel. Something sadly lacking in many big brands.

So what does it taste  like?

Well – Austria really.

It’s very earthy.  There is a complex mix of aromas from the grains used – but for me a soft rye spice rises from the sweet corn & wheat base to entice me in.

A barley smoothness greats you on tasting – where again that dry rye presence makes itself known. Quite what the spelt adds to the mix I don’t know – I’ve never encountered it before in a whiskey – but there is an earthy almost grounded quality to the taste.

A lot of time can be spent musing over the nose, taste & finish of this delightfully complex whiskey trying to figure out which grains adds their own distinctive notes to the final mix.

Kind of sums up what the European Union project was all about. Trying to harmonise together variety & difference in an enjoyable mix.

That’s an admirable idea which certainly has been captured in this bottle of Brexit Whiskey.

Some people might see Britain’s Brexit as a rejection of the European Union – they in turn might also reject Scottish Whisky.

If Brexit Whiskey is anything to go by – I’ll be saying Goodbye Johnny!

 

Sláinte.

Good Logo

 

 

Coleraine Irish Whiskey, 40%, Brexit in a Bottle

As I sit tasting a whiskey, relishing it’s flavours & relaxing in the warmth of the brown spirit – my mind often wanders to the stories contained within the glass.

You could say it’s the ‘Message in a Bottle’ that often excites me.

Coleraine Distillery used to produce first class whiskey. Opened in the early 1800’s – Coleraine made triple distilled malts of distinction before struggling during the two world wars eventually coming under the ownership of nearby neighbour Bushmills. It was converted to a grain distillery in it’s latter years before falling victim to Irish Distillers rationalising plans in the 1970’s when grain production was moved to the New Midleton Distillery & Coleraine closed for good.

This is the Message in a Bottle.

So I took a sip.

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Comes with an E & House of Commons logo c/othewhiskeynut

The current incarnation of Coleraine is a budget priced blend trading off it’s past glory. The nose has that e150 caramel characteristic of an entry blend – the taste is rather muted but approachable – the finish is slightly harsh but not unwelcoming – overall no strong flavours, no surprises, but for the price point – it’s grand.

This is the Message in a Bottle.

So I took another sip.

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There is no distillery by the name of Coleraine anymore. c/othewhiskeynut

Brexit – for those that don’t know – is the name given to the process by which Britain will leave the European Union after the historic vote in 2016.

Northern Ireland is part of Britain – along with Scotland, England and Wales.

Depending on how the talks go – Northern Ireland will be out of the European Union (EU) by 2019.

As ‘Irish Whiskey’ is an EU definition – Regulation 110/2008 – I’d argue that definition no longer applies post Brexit. I cannot see how a non EU country will be allowed to label itself the same as an EU country.

This is the Message in a Bottle.

So I took another sip.

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Neck detail c/othewhiskeynut

Now initially this means whiskey collectors will have a field day. Just think – all the whiskey producers in Northern Ireland will no longer be able to label their produce as ‘Irish Whiskey’.

At present these producers are;

Bushmills,  Echlinville,  Quiet Man,  Boatyard  &  Rademon Distillery 

To the best of my knowledge they are all engaged in making, planning or building a whiskey distillery. After 2019 they will all be out of the EU – and if you click on the names you will be guided to their websites.

Do you think the 27 remaining member states will allow a non-member state to trade under an EU registered label?

I think you will get a resounding non, nein, nie, ne ………… and so on.

This is the Message in a Bottle.

So I continued to sip and ponder.

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Post Brexit is Bushmills non-Irish? c/othewhiskeynut

But it gets more complicated.

There is no grain distillery in Northern Ireland.

At one fell swoop all blends produced there will now become whiskey made in an EU country – Ireland – as well as a non EU country – Northern Ireland.

That will go down well with the Brussels bureaucrats!

It was beginning to wreck my head too!

This is the Message in a Bottle.

I needed another sip at this stage.

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Ring ring, Brexit calling! c/othewhiskeynut

But wait a minute. Doesn’t Bushmills export some of it’s liquid South for other bottlers & blenders to use?

Won’t that be subject to import taxes & customs control?

Won’t the resultant whiskey become a non EU product or a hybrid whiskey at least?

This is the Message in a Bottle.

And it was all getting a bit too much for me – and another song popped into my head.

What is the message in your bottle?

Sláinte.

Good Logo